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Ford to Shift Production of Focus, C-Max Outside of U.S.

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 7/9/2015 Kelly Pleskot
Ford to Shift Production of Focus, C-Max Outside of U.S.

Ford will no longer produce its Focus and C-Max small cars at the Michigan Assembly Plant by 2018, according to recent reports. Production on these models will shift to a yet-unknown location outside of the U.S.

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The automaker said it is reviewing "several possible options" for future production of the Focus and C-Max. The decision comes just days before Ford starts contract negotiations with the United Auto Workers union. A note written by UAW Chairman Bill Johnson given to UAW members at the plant ruled out the possibility that Ford would keep production of these models in the U.S.

The Michigan plant has been building the Focus and C-Max cars, along with their electric variants, for several years now. Just a few months ago, Ford laid off hundreds of employees at the Michigan plant due to slumping sales for small cars, electrics, and hybrids. A total of 673 hourly employees and 27 salaried employees on the "C Crew" were scheduled to be cut indefinitely starting June 22. MotorTrend Image© Provided by MotorTrend MotorTrend Image

It's possible that Ford could shift production to Mexico, considering it already builds the Fiesta there. Recently, the automaker also promised it would build a new gasoline engine for small cars at its Chihuahua, Mexico plant. The automaker has also committed to expanding production of current diesel and inline-four cylinder engines in the nation.

For now, all we can do is guess. As to which vehicles will replace the Focus and C-Max at the Michigan plant, Ford is already looking into the matter. "We actively are pursuing future vehicle alternatives to produce at Michigan Assembly and will discuss this issue with UAW leadership as part of the upcoming negotiations," Ford said in an emailed statement.

Source: The Detroit News, The Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)

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