As both the United States and the country to its south grapple with the challenge of returning to normal amid a pandemic, Ford Motor Company faces another problem resulting from punting production over the Rio Grande.
Just as local laws aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus can stem the flow of essential engines, local protests can cut off the flow of everything.
Ford’s Fusion sedan has found itself in the headlines for illicit cross-border shipments before, and you know what they say about history repeating.
Regarded as the delivery vehicle of choice after caches of Mexican marijuana were found in U.S.-market models built at Ford’s Hermosillo plant, the sedan’s unlikely double life continues apace. Cartel operatives continue using the model in their smuggling operation, recently shipping a different type of drug to a country with absolutely no use for extra marijuana.
It’s no secret that the American buying public shuns four door sedans as if they were an especially virulent leper. Through the first 11 months of this year, the segment is off by over 300,000 units. Almost every car is down, even the spanking-new Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.
Reuters now reports that three of its sources claim Ford plans to consolidate global production of midsize sedans in 2020. The cars will be built in China and shipped to the United States and Europe.
For the first time, yesterday Ford started assembling the midsize Fusion sedan in the United States as production began at their Flat Rock, Michigan facility. That move will add about 100,000 units a year to Fusion production, which was formerly only done in Hermosillo, Mexico. Ford is looking at options for expanding American capacity even more, should demand grow, and a Ford executive says that the Flat Rock plant could produce yet another model in addition to the Mustangs and Fusions that are currently assembled there.
“We certainly have the flexibility for the future to do more,” Ford president of the Americas, Joe Hinrichs told Reuters. “We’re trying to get our capacity set up to meet demand. With the growing demand for our trucks, growing demand for Fusion, other product lines, that’s what we’re focused on.”
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