Ford Motor Co. plans to build a new auto facility in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosi, some Mexican officials familiar with company plans told Reuters.
The announcement on Ford’s intentions will be made during the first quarter of the year, as the investment in the central Mexican state of San Luis Potosi has been confirmed last week by three Mexican officials. The new car plant is said to build around 350,000 vehicles annually, according to two officials familiar with the matter, and Ford plans to spend over USD $1.5 billion for the entire facility.
The automaker declined to comment on the rumors. However, it is likely that Ford plans to build the Focus compact car there, as the company said back in November that it would stop making the model at the Wayne, Michigan, factory beginning with 2018.
This supposition is also being backed by the United Auto Workers union officials who have said the replacement for the current Focus will be made in Mexico. More and more automakers are rumored to move some part of their production to Mexico to cut labor costs, with infrastructure, supply base and productivity all improving, analysts say.
It has also been reported that, besides Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the other two auto-giants from Detroit, are planning to move some of their smaller cars production from North America to Mexico, the expectation being for the new Chevrolet Cruze hatchback and the Jeep Compass replacement to be built in the country, according to people familiar with the companies’ strategy.
Analysts project that GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler will produce around 40 percent of their small cars for the North American market in Mexico in five years’ time, up from 18 percent in 2014.
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