Thursday night, Donald Trump claimed credit for saving a Ford plant from relocating to Mexico. He says that Ford will keep the automaking plant in Kentucky. However, there is one wrinkle to the matter. Ford was not really planning on moving the plant to begin with.
The Ford plant makes sport utility vehicles, more precisely, the Lincoln MKC at the Louisville factory. In a tweet, Donald Trump sheds light on his conversation with the Ford plant chairman. He tells the general public that William Clay Ford Jr. “will be keeping the Lincoln plant in Kentucky – no Mexico”.
President-elect History with Kentucky
Donald J. Trump won the trust of 62.5 percent of the Kentucky state’s trust during his campaign. However, while running for president, he continuously criticized Ford for relocating to Mexico. He even threatened to raise taxes with 35 percent for the Lincoln vehicles.
In a Twitter post, Trump says: “I worked hard with Bill Ford to keep the Lincoln plant in Kentucky.” Furthermore, he goes on to express his gratitude toward the people of Kentucky for their trust in him as the 45th president via the same post.
Ford Plant Chairman’s Response
After the president-elect’s allegations, William Ford addressed the public. The company says that Mexico is a possible destination for building another Ford Plant. However, the automaking plant will carry on with the Lincoln MKC production in Kentucky, nevertheless.
The confusion comes from the fact that Ford was planning to expand the vehicle production outside of Louisville. Ford was simply looking to shift production from Michigan to Mexico to make room for another plant. Hence, the new Michigan plant would give off two more products, among which is the Ford Escape. At the same time, the factory in Kentucky would remain active. Hence, the change does not result in any job losses, contrary to the popular belief.
“Whatever happens in Louisville, it will not lose employment”, says Jimmy Settles, a union official. The main goal was to move production of the Ford Escape, while keeping the Lincoln MKC on track, as well.
However, thanks to the “persuasion” of president-elect Donald J. Trump, the Ford plant will make more MKCs whit a drop in the Ford Escape production.
Nevertheless, the Ford plant Chairman, is optimistic. “We are encouraged that President-elect Trump and the new Congress will pursue policies that will improve U.S. competitiveness and make it possible to keep production of this vehicle here in the United States”, declares William Ford.
The Ford Plant Statistics and Strategy
In 2016 alone, Ford successfully produced and consequently sold nearly 20,000 Lincoln MKC units and 258,000 Escapes. Moreover, according to Reuters, William Ford has repeatedly stated that he has no plans of closing any factories in the future. Another key aspect is that the current United Auto Workers contract he subjects to forbids him from doing so until 2019, at least.
A similar incident occurred in 2015, when Trump took credit for Ford’s decision on building a plant in Ohio, rather than Mexico. “Trump appeared to be relying on information gleaned from an article posted on a website of a shop that sells business cards and door hangers”, says Jim Tankersley of The Washington Post.
In spite of all this, Ford still plans on making room for a new Michigan plant. Consequently, he will move the Focus production from Michigan to Mexico.
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