Ford abandons plans for new plant in Mexico, in order to invest in US factory

It says its next-generation 'Focus' will be built at an existing plant

Ford abandons plans for new plant in Mexico, in order to invest in US factory

This file photo shows the Ford blue oval badge in the grill of a vehicle on display in a showroom | Image: Keith Srakocic AP/Press Association Images

US carmaker Ford has announced it is cancelling plans for a new US$1.6bn (€1.53bn) plant in Mexico.

Instead, it says it is investing US$700m (€672m) and adding 700 direct new jobs in the expansion of its facility in Flat Rock, Michigan.

But Ford says it will build its next-generation 'Focus' at an existing plant in Hermosillo, Mexico "to improve company profitability".

US President-elect Donald Trump has frequently spoken about forcing American companies to return to home soil.

Ford also confirms seven of 13 new global electrified vehicles are coming in the next five years - including F-150 Hybrid, Mustang Hybrid and Transit Custom plug-in hybrid.

It is also to launch a fully electric SUV, with an estimated range of at least 300 miles, and two new electrified police vehicles.

The automaker says the additions to its Flat Rock assembly plant will create a factory "capable of producing high-tech electrified and autonomous vehicles".

Ford is piloting wireless technology that makes recharging an electric vehicle easy.

In addition, the company is testing prototypes this year in Europe, New York and other large US cities.

The moves are part of a US$4.5bn (€4.3bn) investment in electrified vehicles by 2020.

"As more and more consumers around the world become interested in electrified vehicles, Ford is committed to being a leader in providing consumers with a broad range of electrified vehicles, services and solutions that make people's lives better," said Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO.

"Our investments and expanding lineup reflect our view that global offerings of electrified vehicles will exceed gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 15 years."