Ford tells Trump no Lincoln SUV production going to Mexico – CNBC

Posted: Friday, November 18, 2016

The company builds both the Ford Escape and Lincoln MKC SUV at its Louisville Assembly Plant in Kentucky, which Trump refers to as the “Lincoln plant” and where Ford employs about 4,700 people. It also has a separate truck plant in Louisville, where it builds pickups and larger SUVs.

It is not clear how many jobs would have been impacted if the low-selling MKC had moved to Mexico.

Ford has sold about 20,000 MKC SUVs this year in the United States, compared with 258,000 Escape SUVs.

Ford said last month it would suspend production of the Escape and MKC at its Louisville Assembly Plant in Kentucky for two weeks because of low demand.

In 2015, it told workers at the plant that it planned to phase out MKC production by 2019 and move it elsewhere.

The U.S. No. 2 automaker is planning to move some small-car production south of the border.

Scathing criticism

Ford has endured scathing criticism from Trump over its Mexican investments for nearly 18 months.

He has said at times incorrectly that Ford planned to fire American workers because of its Mexican investments. During his presidential campaign, the Republican candidate also said that if elected he would not allow Ford to open a new plant in Mexico and would slap hefty tariffs on any Ford vehicles made there.

A Trump spokeswoman did not immediately respond to questions about whether Ford’s decision to keep production of an SUV in the United States would cause him to drop plans to impose tariffs on some Ford vehicles built in Mexico.

In April 2015, Ford said it planned to invest $2.5 billion to build two new plants in Mexico, adding 3,800 jobs in all. Earlier this year, Ford said it will invest a further $1.6 billion in Mexico for small-car production to start in 2018.

In September, Ford confirmed that all of the company’s small-car production will leave U.S. plants and head to lower-cost Mexico by 2019, but no plants would be closed as a result.

Ford has repeatedly said no U.S. jobs will be lost because of the move – and it will produce two new vehicles at a Detroit area plant that built the small cars.

In October, Bill Ford said he had met with Trump to talk about his extensive attacks on Ford’s investments in Mexico.

Ford said Trump’s criticism was “infuriating” and “frustrating” because of the company’s extensive investments and employment in the United States.

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