At the Flat Rock plant, Ford is boosting investment to $900 million from $700 million and adding 850 jobs.
The news was celebrated by the incoming Trump administration, which claimed that it had convinced U.S. automakers to bring jobs home. Plus, if Ford had kept the EV in Flat Rock, that would have reportedly interfered with plans to expand the plant for autonomous vehicle production.
The net effect is hundreds of additional American jobs there, he said.
Ford has dropped a flurry of news in recent weeks in an effort to change the perception within the industry that it is trailing General Motors and Google's Waymo spinoff in the race to introduce a reliable and safe autonomous vehicle for ride-sharing purposes. Since it's cheaper to produce cars in Mexico, it makes sense to build the electric SUV there.
"We have excess capacity at that plant", said Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker. In preparation for building its first autonomous vehicle, Ford reportedly plans to invest $200 million in the factory, as well as the $700 million it previously announced.
National Electric Vehicles Sweden (NEVS), the company which bought the remains of Saab, has finally started production of the battery-powered 9-3.
Both the 2020 electric and the 2021 self-driving vehicles will draw on the next-generation Ford Focus for some of their underbody structure and components while using different propulsion systems. But it also entails the risk that the Trump administration could put steep taxes on new cars built in Mexico as it seeks to renegotiate the NAFTA trade deal. It scrapped plans for a new small car plant in Mexico because demand for them is so weak, not to shift any manufacturing back to the U.S. The automakers met with Vice President Mike Pence recently to express concerns about moving away from NAFTA.