Ford to move Focus production to China

Ford to move Focus production to China

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Ford Motor said on Tuesday it will move some production of its Focus small car to China and import the vehicles to the United States in a long-term bet on low oil prices and stable US-China trade relations despite recent tensions. According to Reuters, the move suggests China could play a much larger role in future vehicle production for North America, perhaps eclipsing Mexico as a low-cost manufacturing source. Ford painted the production shift from Mexico to China, slated for mid-2019, as a purely financial move that will save the company $500 million in reduced tooling costs. But Ford also expects to ship about 80,000 vehicles to China this year, including the redesigned Lincoln Navigator luxury sport utility vehicle, which goes into production this fall at Ford's Kentucky truck plant. The decision also signals a shift in strategy at Ford, which is responding to dwindling US consumer demand for small cars in favor of trucks and SUVs.