Ford CEO Mark Fields on Tuesday announced that the carmaker would cancel plans to invest $1.6 billion to build a new factory in Mexico.
Instead, the company will undertake a $4.5 billion investment to roll out 13 electric vehicles over the next five years, Fields said.
He said $700 million would be spent to expand and upgrade Ford’s Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan, with 700 new jobs added.
Fields’ announcement occurred against the backdrop of a war of words between President-elect Donald Trump and the US auto industry about expanding production in Mexico. Trump targeted Ford in particular during the presidential campaign.
“Ford today announced it is cancelling plans for the new plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico,” the carmaker said in a statement.
“It also announced that, to improve company profitability and ensure the financial as well as commercial success of this vehicle, the next-generation Focus will be built at an existing plant in Hermosillo, Mexico. This will make way for two new iconic products at Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, where Focus is manufactured today – safeguarding approximately 3,500 U.S. jobs.”
Fields described Ford as a global automaker but said “our home is right here in Michigan.”
Immediate speculation emerged that Ford had made a deal with Trump, but Fields denied that in an interview with CNN.
Fields did address the debate around rising federal fuel-economy standards, something the industry has been pressuring the government to ease as vehicle sales favor SUVs and pickup trucks.
Watch the interview below: