Ford announces plan to invest $700 million in Michigan, moving plant from Mexico

Tuesday, January 3, 2017 - 11:59am

Ford CEO Mark Fields announced plans to invest $700 million into Michigan while cancelling a $1.6 billion plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico in a press conference Tuesday morning.

According to Fields, the new Michigan investment will involve a transformation of a facility in Flat Rock into a new manufacturing and innovation center, which will in turn create 700 jobs.

"We are today announcing that we are investing $700 million to transform Flat Rock into a new manufacturing and innovation center,” Fields said.

Ford does still plan to build the next generation of its Focus in Hermosillo, Mexico in order to maintain profitability.

The announcement also included information about a new initiative towards electric vehicles. Fields said Ford will launch 13 new hybrid and electric vehicles including the F-150 and Mustang, some of the company’s best selling vehicles, over the next five years as part of a $4.5 billion investment.

Fields also announced a new electric SUV with a 300 mile range and two new electric police vehicles within the next five years.

"The era of the electric vehicle is dawning and we at Ford plan to be a leader," Fields said.

Keeping manufacturing in the United States was a key component of President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign. In November, Trump announced a deal he forged so a Carrier plant would remain in the country.

During the press conference, Fields stated the support from Trump and Congress is in part what has allowed this major announcement.

“We are also encouraged by the pro-growth policies that President-elect Trump and the new Congress have indicated that they will pursue,” he said. “We believe that these tax and regulatory reforms are critically important to boost U.S. competitiveness.”

Following the announcement, Trump retweeted an article giving himself credit for Ford’s move to remain in the U.S. for Flat Rock’s innovations.

United Auto Workers vice president Jimmy Settles spoke after Fields, saying he was incredibly pleased at the announcement and the progress made since 2009 when the Flat Rock facility was slated to be closed.

“I’m a very, very happy and proud person,” he said. “I remember back in 2009 when this location was on the closing list.”

Fields said he looks forward to working towards similar goals with the UAW.

“I have to tell you, we are so proud to work together with the UAW to support good paying jobs and a profitable business,” he said.

Fields concluded the press conference by expressing his company’s commitment to both the United States and work towards innovative vehicle technology.

“Ford is a global automaker, but our home is here in the United States,” Fields said. “We could not be more excited about leading an electrification going forward.”