Ford will build its electric SUV in Mexico

Trump did not tweet his displeasure this summer with Hackett's plan to build small cars in China to be exported to the US, nor has he blasted the automaker after news broke Wednesday of the electric SUV's shift to Mexico. "It's not like they're not putting money into the U.S".

Ford is shifting production of a future battery electric vehicle to Mexico to free up capacity at its Flat Rock, Michigan, plant to build the self-driving vehicles in 2021, according to spokesman Alan Hall.

Mark Fields, Ford's CEO at the time, referred to the plans for the MI plant as a "vote of confidence" in the Trump administration.

The Detroit News reports that the reason Ford plans to move production of that electric SUV to Mexico is that it wants to focus on building autonomous vehicles in MI.

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In fact it now expects to have 850 jobs there, rather than 700.

The move comes as Ford and other automakers place increasingly large bets on electrification and self-driving technology.

In August 2016 Ford announced plans for a level 4 automated vehicle, and has now confirmed that it will be a bespoke design specifically to meet the needs of commercial fleet operations. Ford now builds the Fiesta there, which isn't very popular. It has only one all-electric vehicle, and it is not competitive with either GM's Chevy Bolt or the Tesla Model 3, which each cost about $35,000 and can go more than 200 miles on a single charge. It now seems as though the electric portion of that product onslaught will end up in Mexico all the same, at the automaker's existing Cuautitlan plant. After replacing Mark Fields as CEO in May, one of Hackett's first moves was to shift a plan to make the Focus small auto in Mexico to one of the automaker's plants in China. At least 150 jobs will also be added. It won't shut down any USA production. The automakers met with Vice President Mike Pence recently to express concerns about moving away from NAFTA.

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