Ford fires back at Trump in skirmish over Mexico factory

Ford CEO Mark Fields hit back at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Thursday, refuting Trump's accusations that Ford plans to fire its US workers and move to Mexico. "It's really unfortunate when politics get in the way of the facts," Fields told CNN.

Trump said Thursday on Fox News that Ford planned to "fire all their employees and move to Mexico." Trump said he would levy a 35-percent tax on Ford's vehicles built in Mexico if he's elected.

The Dearborn, Michigan,-based automaker plans to relocate production of small cars (like the Focus) from a factory in Michigan to a factory in Mexico. The company will use the Michigan site to build other vehicles, likely crossovers or a pickup. Ford is moving the smaller vehicles, which are less profitable, to Mexico, where the labor costs are lower. Crossovers and trucks usually have higher profit margins.

Ford's plans have been a lighting rod for Trump's campaign for building cars in Mexico, despite the fact that the company — and nearly every other automaker — has done so for decades. Fields noted that Ford produces cars in many other locations around the world, including Europe and Asia. "We're a global company and we produce in many different places," he told CNN.

Fields reiterated to the CNN that the company will continue to invest in the United States, where it has been based for 113 years. Ford added 28,000 jobs in the US in the last five years. "We are very committed here, and those are the facts," he said.

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