GLOBAL CAR: A Ford Focus ST on an assembly line at a Michigan plant. The company will move production of two of its smaller cars from the US plant to cut costs. Image: AFP / Saul Loeb
NEW YORK, United States - Ford announced on July 9 2015 that it wants by 2018 to have shifted production of two of its smaller cars from an American assembly plant to another un-named country.
The two models are the Focus - already assembled in countries around the world - and C-Max and, speculation says, the other country will be Mexico.
Ford's Kristina Adamski said: "We are reviewing several options. We are committed to continuing to improve competitiveness and to invest where it makes the best sense for our business."
KEEPING LABOUR COSTS LOW
The announcement came as Ford and the other two large US automakers, General Motors and FCA US (former Chrysler), gear up for contract talks with the powerful United Auto Workers union.
Adamski said no jobs in the Michigan plant would be affected by the move, although in April 2015 the company cut a production shift and said it would lay off about 700 people.
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Jimmy Settles, vice-president and director of the union's Ford branch, told members in a letter posted on Twitter that Ford was expected to build other products at the huge US plant. The letter added:
"We are extremely confident that a new product commitment will be secured during the upcoming 2015 negotiations and that the Michigan Assembly Plant will maintain a full production schedule."
Here's the tweet sent out by UAW's Ford department: