Ford nixes Mexico plant, plans to add 700 jobs in MI

AP / WOOD - FLAT ROCK, Mich. (WOOD/AP) — Ford Motor Company is canceling plans for a new plant in Mexico and will add hundreds of jobs in Michigan to build electric, autonomous vehicles.

"The era of the electric vehicle is going. And we at Ford plan to be the leader in this exciting future," CEO Mark Fields said before making the multi-million dollar announcement during a brief news conference Tuesday.

Fields said his company will invest $4.5 million in 13 new electric vehicles within the next five years. He shared information about seven of the models Tuesday, which includes hybrids of two pursuit grade police vehicles, the Mustang, F-150 and Transit Connect. Fields said Ford is also working on two entirely new unnamed vehicles, including an all-wheel, small utility vehicle that can travel 300 miles and a fully autonomous vehicle that will begin rolling off the line in 2021.

The F-150 has remained the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. for decades.

"What's really cool is that by electrifying it, it can double as a mobile generator capable enough to power a work site," Fields said.

Fields said the two new vehicles and the Mustang hybrid will be manufactured at Ford's Flat Rock plant, leading to 700 new jobs at the facility. The F-150 hybrid will be made at Ford's Dearborn plant, while Chicago will handle the police vehicles.

Ford also nixed its plan for new $1.6 billion plant in Mexico. However, the company still plans to shift production of the Focus small car to Mexico and will make the car at an existing plant.

President-elect Donald Trump has been pressuring Ford to keep production of the Focus in the U.S.

"Ford's made a promise to me. And hopefully at the beginning of the year they're going to honor that promise about something they're going to do that's very big. And they're going to do it in Michigan, not in Mexico. And it's going to be great. Totally great," Trump said during a Dec. 9 speech at the DeltaPlex in Walker.

Fields told NBC News the decision to scrap the Mexico plant was influenced by President-elect Donald Trump's "pro growth" policies.

Earlier, a high level source from Ford told NBC News that Trump had nothing to do with Ford's decision to expand in Michigan.

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