Ford announced Thursday that it planned to move production of two of its smaller cars from its assembly plant in Michigan to a plant abroad by 2018 in order to maintain competitiveness.
Ford did not say where it would relocate production of the Focus and C-Max, amid media reports that Mexico was likely. The Focus is already produced at several locations around the world.
“We currently are reviewing several possible options,” spokeswoman Kristina Adamski said. “We are committed to continuing to improve competitiveness and to invest where it makes the best sense for our business.”
The announcement came as Ford and two other large U.S. automakers, General Motors and FCA US, the former Chrysler, gear up for new contract talks with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union.
Adamski said no jobs in the Michigan plant would be affected by the move, although in April Ford cut a production shift and said it would lay off about 700 workers.
In a letter posted on Twitter, Jimmy Settles, vice president and director of the UAW’s Ford department, told workers that Ford was expected to build other products at the 1.2 million square foot plant.
We are extremely confident that a new product commitment will be secured during the upcoming 2015 negotiations,” he said, “and that the Michigan Assembly Plant will maintain a full production schedule.”
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015