Despite being “committed” to the continent, Ford confirmed plans to cease production at its São Bernardo do Campo plant in Brazil later this year. Ford decided to close the plant as they’re exiting the heavy commercial truck business in South America. This means the automaker will stop selling the F-350, F-4000 and Cargo lineup there.
Trucks aren’t the only thing affected by the closure as the facility also builds the Fiesta. In another blow to South American car lovers, Ford reiterated they will cease production of the Focus in Argentina.
Similar to their North American plans, Ford said they will be strengthening their South American portfolio with “SUVs and pickups that are growing in popularity with consumers.” Speaking of the latter, Ford confirmed they will be “leveraging global partnerships, such as the recently announced alliance with VW to develop mid-size pickup trucks.”
The decision to close the São Bernardo do Campo plant will likely be met with fierce resistance, but Ford said they spent months looking for ways to save the plant and its 2,782 employees. The company says this included everything from exploring possible partnerships to selling the operation. However, these ideas were rejected as Ford determined the investments required would have resulted in “no viable path to profitability.”
In a statement, Ford’s president of South America said “We know this action will have a major impact on our employees in São Bernardo and we will be working closely with all our stakeholders on the next steps.” Lyle Watters went on to say “Ford is committed to the South American region by building a sustainable and profitable business with strengthened product offerings, outstanding customer experience, and a leaner more agile business model.”