President-elect Donald Trump said Ford Motor Co. (IW 500/4) will be keeping a Lincoln plant in the U.S. instead of moving it to Mexico.
“Just got a call from my friend Bill Ford, Chairman of Ford, who advised me that he will be keeping the Lincoln plant in Kentucky -- no Mexico,” Trump wrote in posting on Twitter.
Ford builds the Lincoln MKC small sport-utility vehicle at its Louisville Assembly Plant in Kentucky alongside the Ford Escape SUV. Ford has never said it was considering moving MKC production to Mexico, where it builds the Lincoln MKZ sedan at its factory in Hermosillo.
Trump has criticized Ford for planning to move all its North American small-car production to Mexico, where wages are 80% lower than in the U.S. During the campaign, he threatened to slap Ford’s Mexican-built cars with a 35% tariff. He also said he would terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement, which lets goods flow between Mexico, the U.S. and Canada without tariffs.
Ford confirmed late Thursday it has told Trump its Lincoln SUV made at the Louisville assembly plant will stay in Kentucky.
“We are encouraged that President-elect Trump and the new Congress will pursue policies that will improve U.S. competitiveness and make it possible to keep production of this vehicle here in the U.S.,” the automaker said in an e-mailed statement.
By Keith Naughton