Ford to move Focus production to China, sees no US job loss - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Ford to move Focus production to China, sees no US job loss

Posted: Updated:
  • NationalMore>>

  • Family, home still unfamiliar to Honduran baby

    Family, home still unfamiliar to Honduran baby

    Saturday, July 21 2018 10:34 PM EDT2018-07-22 02:34:55 GMT
    (AP Photo/Esteban Felix). Adalicia Montecinos holds her year-old son Johan, who became a poster child for the U.S. policy of separating immigrants and their children, at a restaurant in Yojoa, Honduras, Friday, 20, 2018. Johan arrived in San Pedro Sula...(AP Photo/Esteban Felix). Adalicia Montecinos holds her year-old son Johan, who became a poster child for the U.S. policy of separating immigrants and their children, at a restaurant in Yojoa, Honduras, Friday, 20, 2018. Johan arrived in San Pedro Sula...
    A baby who came to embody the Trump administration's family separation policy is back with his parents in Honduras after five months.More >>
    A baby who came to embody the Trump administration's family separation policy is back with his parents in Honduras after five months.More >>
  • The Latest: Authorities say 1 killed in LA market standoff

    The Latest: Authorities say 1 killed in LA market standoff

    Saturday, July 21 2018 10:33 PM EDT2018-07-22 02:33:53 GMT
    Police believe a man involved in a standoff with officers at a Los Angeles supermarket shot his grandmother and girlfriend before firing at officers during a pursuit, then crashing outside the supermarket and...More >>
    Police believe a man involved in a standoff with officers at a Los Angeles supermarket shot his grandmother and girlfriend before firing at officers during a pursuit, then crashing outside the supermarket and running inside the store.More >>
  • Grandfather arrested after California boy shoots cousin, 2

    Grandfather arrested after California boy shoots cousin, 2

    Saturday, July 21 2018 10:30 PM EDT2018-07-22 02:30:47 GMT
    (Watchara Phomicinda/The Orange County Register via AP). San Bernardino County Sheriff's personnel investigate the scene of a fatal shooting, Friday, July 20, 2018 in Muscoy, Calif. Authorities say a 4-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his 2-ye...(Watchara Phomicinda/The Orange County Register via AP). San Bernardino County Sheriff's personnel investigate the scene of a fatal shooting, Friday, July 20, 2018 in Muscoy, Calif. Authorities say a 4-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his 2-ye...
    Authorities have arrested the grandfather of a 2-year-old girl accidentally shot and killed by her 4-year-old cousin in Southern California.More >>
    Authorities have arrested the grandfather of a 2-year-old girl accidentally shot and killed by her 4-year-old cousin in Southern California.More >>

By DEE-ANN DURBIN
AP Auto Writer

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

Ford said Tuesday it plans to move production of its Ford Focus small car from the U.S. to China, where it already makes the Focus for Chinese buyers. Ford will continue to make the Focus in Europe, and will also export some variants of the Focus from Europe to the U.S.

Sales of small cars have dropped sharply in the U.S. and companies are seeking to cut costs making them. Ford's president of global operations Joe Hinrichs said the move to China will save the company $1 billion, including $500 million for canceling plans to build the Focus in Mexico.

Wary of the response from President Donald Trump, who has criticized Ford for making vehicles outside the U.S., Ford said the move won't cost U.S. jobs. The suburban Detroit plant that currently makes the Focus will be converted late next year to produce the Ford Ranger pickup and Ford Bronco SUV.

Ford also said Tuesday that it plans to invest $900 million in its Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville to make the new, aluminum-sided Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator SUVs. Those vehicles will go on sale this fall and will be exported to more than 55 markets globally, the company said. The investment will secure 1,000 jobs at the Kentucky plant.

But the White House response was muted. Asked Tuesday whether Trump plans to get tougher on China or on automakers who leave the U.S., White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the president wants to lower business taxes and reform the tax code so businesses will want to "come back to the United States, grow in the United States, manufacture more in the United States."

Hinrichs said Ford's research shows that customers - who are used to phones and other gadgets from China - care more about product quality than where their vehicles are made.

Plans for production of the 2019 Focus - which will be larger and have some significant updates - have bounced around over the last few months as Ford tries to squeeze some profits from the ailing small car segment. U.S. Focus sales were down 20 percent through May, hurt by low gas prices and consumer preference for SUVs.

In January, the company announced it would cancel a new plant in Mexico and instead use capacity at another plant in Mexico to build the Focus. But over the last few months, Hinrichs said, Ford decided it could save another $500 million in tooling and other manufacturing costs if it moved production to China.

Hinrichs said last month's departure of former CEO Mark Fields had no bearing on the decision, which was in the works for some time.

Hinrichs said Chinese wages are lower than wages in Mexico, although the cost to ship the vehicles erases some of that advantage. It's still cheaper to make cars for the U.S. in Mexico, he said, but Ford has extra capacity in China and the move frees up capital for the company immediately.

Ford isn't the first car company to export vehicles to the U.S. from China. Volvo Cars made the move in 2015. General Motors Co. started importing the low-volume Buick Envision midsize SUV from China in 2016. GM also imports some plug-in hybrid-electric Cadillac CT6 sedans from China.

Hinrichs said he didn't know other automakers' plans, but as of now, the Focus would be the highest-volume vehicle exported from China to the U.S.

Ford shares fell 1 percent to close at $11.12 Tuesday.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • More NewsMore>>

  • Mahoning: Patrol conducting OVI checkpoint on US-62

    Mahoning: Patrol conducting OVI checkpoint on US-62

    Saturday, July 21 2018 6:57 PM EDT2018-07-21 22:57:46 GMT

    The Ohio State Highway Patrol is expected to reveal more details Saturday about an OVI checkpoint scheduled for that evening.

    More >>

    The Ohio State Highway Patrol is expected to reveal more details Saturday about an OVI checkpoint scheduled for that evening.

    More >>
  • 'Hungry Man' frozen dinners recalled

    'Hungry Man' frozen dinners recalled

    Saturday, July 21 2018 2:53 PM EDT2018-07-21 18:53:54 GMT

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service has issued a public health alert for certain 'Hungry Man' microwavable dinners.  According to a press release, there are concerns that the products may be contaminated with Salmonella from whey powder that has been recalled by the producer of the ingredient.  FSIS sais that they are issuing the public health alert out of caution to make sure that consumers are informed and aware that these products, wh...

    More >>

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service has issued a public health alert for certain 'Hungry Man' microwavable dinners.  According to a press release, there are concerns that the products may be contaminated with Salmonella from whey powder that has been recalled by the producer of the ingredient.  FSIS sais that they are issuing the public health alert out of caution to make sure that consumers are informed and aware that these products, wh...

    More >>
  • One arrested after woman found shot in Youngstown

    One arrested after woman found shot in Youngstown

    Saturday, July 21 2018 11:04 AM EDT2018-07-21 15:04:17 GMT

    One person was arrested early Saturday morning after a woman was found shot on Youngstown's south side. Youngstown police were called to Hilton Avenue around 4:30 AM Saturday for the report of shots fired.  Once on scene, they found 32-year-old Denise Thurston slumped over in the driver's seat of a car with a gunshot wound to the head. Thurston was taken to Mercy Health in critical condition and is undergoing surgery. Police arrested 31-year-old Terrance Edmonds at the scene.&...

    More >>

    One person was arrested early Saturday morning after a woman was found shot on Youngstown's south side. Youngstown police were called to Hilton Avenue around 4:30 AM Saturday for the report of shots fired.  Once on scene, they found 32-year-old Denise Thurston slumped over in the driver's seat of a car with a gunshot wound to the head. Thurston was taken to Mercy Health in critical condition and is undergoing surgery. Police arrested 31-year-old Terrance Edmonds at the scene.&...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms