Automotive - - Dec 08,2017
Ford Motor plans to build a new electric vehicle in Mexico rather than in Michigan, where labor costs are lower, will help the business case for the costly model.
Earlier this year, Ford Motor Company had decided to invest $700 million in its Flat Rock plant in Michigan to build an electric SUV with a 300-mile range. That vehicle will now be made at an existing Mexico facility. The Flat Rock, Mich. factory had been designated for production of an unidentified electric car. The company says that this shifting of an electric sports utility vehicle from the U.S. to Mexico will allow the company to make more self-driving vehicles in Michigan.
Ford spokesman, Alan Hall, said that the decision to move production of an autonomous car at the Michigan plant is a good news for the region. Ford’s executive vice president, Jim Farley, has also stated in an interview that “Ford is boosting its investment by $200 million and adding 150 more jobs to the Michigan plant as part of the shift”. The advent of self-driving cars by Ford Motor Company will be a vehicle specifically designed for ride-hailing and delivery services. In 2018, the automakers will begin testing the car in an unnamed big city next year, he further adds.
As per the speech of Mr. Farley, it cannot be defined that how likely changes to NAFTA could affect Ford’s Mexican output, but the automaker couldn’t wait to make a decision on where to build the electric SUV because it goes into production in just over two years. It has been also reported that Ford Motor Co. intends to introduce driverless cars in the year 2021.
Also, Ford has been viewed by Wall Street as playing catch-up to rivals such as Tesla Inc. and General Motors Co., which at present sells the battery-powered Chevy Bolt and plans to introduce robot taxis in the year 2019.