In an announcement that’s been anticipated for months, Ford Motor Company said today it will build a small car plant in Mexico’s San Luis Potosi state.
Ford will spend $1.6 billion on the facility, which starts construction this summer and will employ 2,800 workers by 2020.
The automaker isn’t saying what vehicles it will produce at the plant, but it’s widely expected that the Focus will move to Mexico after production stops at its Wayne, Michigan facility in 2018. Offshoots of the platform, including a rumored hybrid, could also be produced.
As wonderful as the American marketplace is, there’s an entire world — literally — of cars out there that we just can’t get our hands on. In TTAC’s new series, “Foreign Affairs,” we look at forbidden fruit that you can buy brand new around the world.
The Mexican new car market is remarkable. While plenty of good new cars come across the border, inciting at least one presidential candidate to threaten penalty taxes, its domestic market still continues to sell older gems, some of which are built to older safety standards. Even the Beetle was built there long after its sell-by date.
The car that fascinates me, naturally, is one I’ve previously owned: the Nissan B13-chassis Tsuru, known here in the U.S. as the 1991-94 Nissan Sentra.
Donald Trump, while on the campaign trail in Michigan, is still promising to apply a 35-percent import tariff on vehicles built by Ford if it continues with plans to expand operations in Mexico, even though Trump wouldn’t have the authority to implement a tariff as president, reports The Detroit Free Press.
“We are going to do something that is going to (be) great (and) a very big beneficiary is going to be Michigan,” Trump said while speaking to supporters at Macomb Community College on Friday. “The car business is being abused more than most other businesses. … Mexico is becoming the new China.”
And we all know how much Trump looooooooves China.
Is there a chance that a leadership change at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles reported by Automotive News could lead to an often-speculated new pickup truck?
Jeep’s longtime director Jim Morrison is leaving that post to head the Ram pickup and commercial vehicle division, replacing Bob Hegbloom, who is leaving for the global shores of Ram International.
Ram and Jeep are by far FCA’s biggest moneymakers these days, and under Morrison’s watch the Jeep brand took on new prominence by expanding its range of models, even if it meant adopting architecture sourced from (sacrilege!) Fiat.
The news of Morrison’s switch to Ram raises the question, “Is this the person who will take the Ram brand in a smaller direction?”
General Motors CEO and Chairwoman Mary Barra defended Wednesday her company’s decision not to put airbags in some of its cars in international markets.
“In many of those places the technology is available and it’s a customer choice if they want it,” Barra said, according to the International Business Times. “There’s many cases where we are well above standards, but we also have to look at affordability otherwise you cut people out of even having the availability of transportation.”
Barra made the remarks in Davos, Switzerland, which was a response to a letter sent to her last year by consumer advocacy groups in the U.S. — including Consumer Reports — requesting the automaker standardize safety features in its cars worldwide.
Ford will announce plans early this year to build a new plant in Mexico, Reuters reported Thursday. The $1.5 billion plant will produce 350,000 cars annually and could eventually produce the new Focus after production of that car leaves Ford’s Wayne, Michigan plant in 2018.
Ford didn’t comment on the report.
Reuters said Mexican officials with knowledge of the facility confirmed that the plant would be built in the state of San Luis Potosi.
Investors aren’t necessarily drinking automakers’ Kool-Aid that 2016 will be full of beer and Skittles.
That, the China-made Cadillac CT6 that’ll eventually get here, El Chapo’s cheapo getaway car and General Motors’ questions get down and dirty … after the break!
It certainly sounds like Ford is close to selling a self-driving Fusion real soon.
That, Matthias Müller finally comes to the U.S. to ask “You mad, bro?” Nissan has no love for Takata, and business is hot south of the border … after the break!
The Chevrolet Aveo is the most popular car in Mexico, but is also the least safe, according to consumer safety experts. Testing from Latin NCAP found that the Aveo, when sold without airbags, received zero stars for its front-passenger safety rating.
Huffington Post and The Wall Street Journal report that American safety advocates including Consumer Reports have written to General Motors CEO Mary Barra, asking why the potentially life-saving devices that are installed as standard equipment for many other countries, are expensive add-ons for Latin American countries.
(“Life-saving” assuming that Takata isn’t the supplier.)
While we were hanging outside the Staples Center begging passersby for photos, information and leftover shrimp from the Los Angeles Auto Show to share with you all (well, maybe not the shrimp), there was still news happening that we didn’t get the chance to cover.
So, here it is in condensed form.