Ford CEO Finally Responds to Trumps Accusations About Small Car Production in Mexico
So much drama from the Republican presidential candidate.by Robert Moore, on
Trump has been criticizing and attacking Ford since June of 2015 when the brand announced that it would move production of the Ford Focus and the Ford C-Max to another country to save production costs. Then in April of 2015, Ford announced it was building that $1.6 billion plant in Mexico and Donald Trump quickly got to work calling it an “absolute disgrace” and that “our dishonest politicians and the special interests that control them are laughing in the face of all American citizens.” Ford had remained silent until Trump appeared on Fox News on September 15th, and continued to criticize the automaker yet again, suggesting a 35-percent tax on Ford vehicles built in Mexico and saying that Ford would “fire all their employees in the United States and Move to Mexico.” Well, enough was enough, and Ford’s CEO, Mark Fields, finally broke silence in an exclusive interview with CNN.
“It’s really unfortunate when politics get in the way of facts. Not one job will be lost. Most of our investment is here in the U.S., and that’s the way it will continue to be.” Fields went on to discuss that Ford has created 28,000 new U.S. jobs in the last five years, and has invested more than $12 Billion dollars here in the U.S. He said that zero jobs would be cut as the result of moving small car production to Mexico as the current assembly plants and workers will begin building new, “very exciting products.”
Poppy Hollow, who was conducting the interview with Fields for CNN, asked him repeatedly if there was anything a future president could do to prevent them from shifting small car production to Mexico, but he never actually answered. Instead, he beat around the bush and restated how much Ford has invested in the U.S. Either way, the important thing to take away from all of this is that Fields is clearly stating that there will be no jobs lost as a result of the shift to Mexico and, at the end of the day, that’s really the most important thing.
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Let’s look at the facts for a moment. According to Fields, labor costs in Mexico are about 40-percent less than that here in the U.S. And, on top of that, manufacturers struggle to profit on small cars as of lately thanks to the big boom in the pickup and SUV market. Fields stopped short of mentioning what models the Plant’s here in Michigan will be building once the production shift takes place, but rumors are suggesting that the Michigan-based plants could begin manufacturing the Ford Ranger pickup and Bronco SUV.
Furthermore, I would like to point out that Trump’s aggression toward Ford and the whole 35-percent tariff on cars produced in Mexico is kind of like pointing an unloaded gun and threatening to fire. See, the president must be backed by congress to impose a tariff such as this. Plus, the last time a large tariff like that was placed happened back in the days of the Great Depression. Economists now agree that if that tariff did anything, it made the depression worse, so it’s not likely Congress would go for such an action in today’s economy anyway.
In the end, Ford has increased its labor force here in the U.S. to roughly 85,000 employees, which is attributed to an increase of 50 percent over the last five years. Plus, there are more jobs coming as part of a new contract between Ford and the UAW that includes investing $9 billion in plants here in the U.S. and to create or retain more than 8,500 jobs as well. Trump may be attacking Ford, but he’s far from correct when you look at the facts. Ford may be shifting production for small cars to Mexico, but we’re not losing any jobs, Mexico is getting 2,800 new jobs, and the U.S. will ultimately end up with more job opportunities as well. Plus, the money saved from producing those cars in Mexico can be reinvested here in the U.S., making it a win-win as long as Ford does the right thing.
What do you think about all of this? Is Trump just blowing smoke or is there a real concern? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.