Ford Motor Company announced on Tuesday a $1.6-billion investment to build a new factory in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosi.
Construction on the new factory will begin this summer and it's expected to begin producing its first cars by 2018. About 2,800 people will be employed at the facility by the end of the decade. Ford hasn't announced which vehicle or vehicles will be built at its newest Mexican factory, but they will be in the small car segment. Ford already builds the Fiesta in Cuautitlán Izcalli, Mexico, while its other small car, the Focus, is built at its Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, MI.
"We're a proud American company," Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of the Americas, told Automotive News. "We set up our global manufacturing footprint and our facilities where we think it makes the most sense for our business."
UAW President Dennis Williams called the announcement "disappointing" and "very troubling," while criticizing both NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
"Today's announcement that Ford is investing in Mexico is a disappointment and very troubling. For every investment in Mexico it means jobs that could have and should have been available right here in the USA," Williams said in an official statement. "This is another example of what's wrong with NAFTA and why the TPP would be a disaster for the citizens of the United States. Companies continue to run to low-wage countries and import back into the United States. This is a broken system that needs to be fixed."
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump issued a sharp statement opposing Ford's move, calling it "an absolute disgrace." You can read his entire statement below. Trump, who has been busy campaigning in Wisconsin for today's presidential primary, has repeatedly criticized and threatened Ford over its Mexican plans, insisting that he'd somehow force the company to cross back over the Rio Grande.
When asked about criticism over the Mexican deal, Ford spokesperson Kelli Felker told Autoblog the company produces more cars and employs more people in the United States than any other automaker. Felker also pointed to the company's five-year hiring binge, which added 25,000 US-based workers – 15,000 hourly and 10,000 salary – to its ranks.
Read on for the official release from Ford.
Ford is investing in a new plant in Mexico's San Luis Potosi State to produce more small cars
The $1.6 billion USD investment will create 2,800 additional direct jobs by 2020
Construction begins this summer, with new small cars expected to start rolling off the line in 2018
MEXICO CITY, April 5, 2016 – Further increasing its competitiveness, Ford is investing in a new small car plant in Mexico, building a new manufacturing site in San Luis Potosi State.
Ford is investing $1.6 billion USD in the facility, which begins construction this summer. The new plant will create 2,800 additional direct jobs by 2020.
Specific vehicles being produced at the new facility will be announced later.
This investment comes during Ford's 91st year in Mexico, including manufacturing vehicles since 1925. Ford and its 116 dealers this year also are celebrating 50 years of strong educational programs, including the construction and maintenance of nearly 200 rural schools throughout the country.
Mexico is Ford's fourth largest vehicle manufacturing site for global customers – behind the U.S., China and Germany. Vehicles produced in Mexico also serve customers in the U.S., Canada, China, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and South Korea.
The investment is part of the company's One Ford global product and manufacturing plan. During the past five years, Ford has invested more than $10.2 billion in Ford facilities alone in the U.S. In addition, Ford has invested $2.7 billion in facilities and supplier tooling in Spain, $2.4 billion in Germany and – with the company's partners – $4.8 billion in China. All of these investments are part of the company's plan to serve global markets and deliver profitable growth.
Official Statement from Donald J. Trump
This transaction is an absolute disgrace. Our dishonest politicians and the special interests that control them are laughing in the face of all American citizens. These ridiculous, job crushing transactions will not happen when I'm president. The United States now has a three quarter trillion dollar merchandising trade deficit with the world. NAFTA has incentivized plants to move to Mexico, closing factories across the United States. When I am President, we will strongly enforce trade rules against unfair foreign subsidies, and impose countervailing duties to prevent egregious instances of outsourcing. This will continue until we can renegotiate NAFTA to create a fair deal for American workers. Cheap goods are not cheap when you consider the cost of lower wages and higher unemployment. Once we reduce the incentive to outsource and keep businesses in the US – and reduce taxes and regulations – the relative price of goods will go down as decades of wage stagnation finally come to an end.