MOVING PRODUCTION: Ford moved its US production of small cars to Mexico. Ford SA reports local models will be unaffected. Image: iStock
Detroit - Ford says it's moving all of its US small car production to Mexico. The move won't affect South Africa, reports the automaker.
Ford CEO Mark Fields confirmed the long-expected move on Wednesday (September 14) during an event for investors and Wall Street analysts.
Ford SA says its Ranger will continue to be built locally and production of its Everest will begin soon.
Ford currently makes its Fiesta subcompact in Mexico, but its Focus and C-Max small cars are made in suburban Detroit. Making them in Mexico would boost company profits because of low wages there.
READ: Ford to invest R11.5-million in South Africa
The company is building a new $1.6-billion assembly in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. It will make small cars there starting in 2018.
Ford's Michigan assembly plant, which currently makes the small cars, will be getting new products under a contract signed in 2015 with the United Auto Workers union. They will likely be larger, more profitable vehicles like the Ford Ranger pickup.