Earlier this week car manufacturer Ford announced that it would move its small-vehicle production to China despite Trump’s repeated efforts to prevent jobs leaving the country. Ford has previously clashed with Trump over the production of the Focus. On the campaign trail, the car maker wanted to move manufacturing to Mexico and transport it back to the U.S.
Focus Not Popular with Americans
At the time, Trump attacked the automaker for its plan, which caused Ford to no longer want a factory in Mexico. However, the company thinks that a relatively unpopular car with American drivers should be built in the U.S. U.S. buyers usually prefer SUVs and crossovers.
By shifting production to China, Ford will be able to relocate the available resources to build a new Bronco SUV and Ranger mid-size pickup. Both cars are best-sellers in the U.S.
On the other hand, Ford tried to appease Trump and announced that it would invest $900 million in a Kentucky plant where it plans to build the Lincoln Navigator and Expedition. The move would save around 1,000 U.S. jobs.
Trump Could Retaliate
Experts noted that the Michigan-based carmaker is taking an enormous political risk with its decision to employ Chinese workers for Focus’ production. It is unclear if the company will be able to withstand any possible retaliation from the Trump administration.
Trump desperately needs American companies like Ford to hire workers across the swing states in the Midwest where he secured the 2016 election. The GOP also needs the region to preserve control of the U.S. Congress in the incoming midterm elections and to offer Trump another term in 2020.
Detroit is no longer hiring amid a looming downturn, which may explain why Ford focused on a lower-labor-cost solution in the first place.
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