Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

Ford To Import Focus Small Car From China In 2019

Ford To Import Focus Small Car From China In 2019

Ford Motor Co will export the next-generation Focus compact auto from China to North America in 2019, rather than from Mexico as earlier planned, saving the company $500-million, a top executive said on Tuesday.

Hinrichs said Ford remains a major exporter to China, shipping about 80,000 vehicles a year from North America.

DETROIT (AP) — Ford Motor Co. will export vehicles from China to the USA for the first time starting in 2019.

The new North America Focus production plan saves $1 billion in investment costs versus the original plan - $500 million on top of the $500 million savings announced earlier this year by cancelling plans for an all-new manufacturing facility in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, and moving Focus production to Ford's Hermosillo, Mexico, plant.

Sales of small cars have dropped sharply in the USA and companies are seeking to cut costs making them.

Ford Motor has plans to invest $900 million in its Kentucky truck plant, adding 1,000 hourly jobs, the company said Tuesday. The Wayne plant will begin building a new Ranger compact truck in late 2018.

The Dearborn automaker said production of the next-generation Focus will begin in the second half of 2019, with most new North American Focus models coming from China initially with with additional variants coming later from from Europe.

The investment will support production of redesigned Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator sport-utility vehicles. Those vehicles will go on sale this fall and will be exported to more than 55 markets globally, the company said.

The $900 million investment secures 1,000 jobs for hourly workers at the Louisville plant.

US sales of the Focus were down 20% through May, hurt by low gas prices and consumer preference preference for SUVS.

The company announced Tuesday the plan to export the next-generation Focus from China rather than Mexico, as previously planned.

He said Ford planned to inform the White House this morning.

None of the US work force is to be affected by the move to source from China. It sells the Chinese made Buick Envision SUV and the Cadillac CT6 plug-in hybrid in the U.S.

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