Donald Trump Takes Aim At GM As Ford Cancels $1.6B Mexico Plant

Tue, Jan 3, 2017 1,247

It appears President-elect Donald Trump claimed a small victory Tuesday in his vendetta against automakers that import cars from Mexico.

Ford announced Tuesday it will cancel its plans to build a $1.6 billion production plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, according to Detroit Free Press reporter Brent Snavely. The announcement comes after months of mudslinging between Ford and Trump regarding the manufacturer moving its small car production across the border.

CEO Mark Fields said he notified Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence of its decision this morning, according to Michael Martinez of Automotive News. However, Fields reportedly didn’t call them until after the president-elect bashed General Motors on Twitter for producing the Chevrolet Cruze in Mexico.

GM promptly to responded to Trump’s comment with a three-sentence press release setting the record straight.

“General Motors manufactures the Chevrolet Cruze sedan in Lordstown, Ohio,” GM said in a statement. “All Chevrolet Cruze sedans sold in the U.S. are built in GM’s assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio. GM builds the Chevrolet Cruze hatchback for global markets in Mexico, with a small number sold in the U.S.”

Had Trump known about Ford canceling its development plans in Mexico prior to his tweet, it would seem as though he was using it as leverage to persuade GM to import fewer cars from Mexico. Considering he took aim at GM before speaking to Fields, however, it’s more likely that Ford itself was attempting to stay out of Trump’s crosshairs.

In addition to confirming it has canceled production plans, Ford reportedly also announced Tuesday that it will make the next-generation Focus at its Hermosillo, Mexico plant.

That’s significant as the Focus is the Cruze’s direct competitor, and, unlike GM, Ford didn’t specify whether the sedan and/or hatch variants will be produced in Mexico.

Thumbnail photo via Ford