Ford to import Focus models to US from China from 2019
Some next-generation variants will also be shipped to US from Europe
Ford will export next-generation Focus models from China to North America in 2019, rather than from Mexico as earlier planned, the company said on Tuesday.
The current Focus will be phased out of production in Wayne, Michigan, in mid-2018, according to Joe Hinrichs, president of global operations. The Wayne plant will begin building a new Ranger compact truck in late 2018.
No US jobs will be affected, Ford said, adding that it employs more US hourly workers and builds more vehicles in the United States than any other carmaker.
The redesigned Focus for North America will be built at a joint-venture plant in Chongqing, China, Hinrichs said. Earlier this year, Ford cancelled plans for a new $1.8 billion (€1.6 billion) small-car plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, and said it would build the new Focus instead at an existing plant in Hermosillo.
The decision to shift from Hermosillo to Chongqing, where Ford has an existing Focus plant, was made “over the last couple months,” according to Hinrichs, and will save the carmaker $500 million in tooling costs.
Hinrichs said Ford remained a major exporter to China, shipping about 80,000 vehicles a year from North America.