Ford To Build Next North American Focus In China Instead Of Mexico

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Ford announced its future manufacturing plans for both the next generation Focus as well as the new Expedition and Lincoln Navigator models.

The company announced that production of the next Focus will begin in the second half of 2019, with most North American models initially sourced from China and additional variants coming from Europe on a later date.

At the same time, Ford says that no U.S. hourly employee will go out of job because of their new manufacturing plan for the Focus, as production of the current model at Michigan will continue through mid-2018 which is when the factory will be converted to produce not only the Ranger pickup truck from late 2018 but the upcoming Bronco SUV as well in 2020.

Ford claims that thanks to their revised North American Focus plans, they were able to save $1 billion in investment costs compared to their original plan, with half of the savings coming from the cancellation of an all-new factory in Mexico.

“Finding a more cost-effective way to deliver the next Focus program in North America is a better plan, allowing us to redeploy the money we save into areas of growth for the company – especially sport utilities, commercial vehicles, performance vehicles as well as mobility, autonomous vehicles and electrified vehicles,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford executive vice president and president, Global Operations.

In addition, the company announced the investment of $900 million in their Kentucky truck plant in order to upgrade the facility for the production of the all-new Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator. Both of them are set to hit the market this fall.

Ford plans to export both the Expedition and the Lincoln Navigator to more than 55 markets globally, including the latter to China. “Large SUVs are attracting a new generation around the world – and we’re finding new ways to deliver the capability, versatility and technology that customers around the world really want with our all-new Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator,” Hinrichs said.

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