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Ford goes forward with plans to build plants in Mexico after all

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LAS VEGAS, NV - JANUARY 06: President and CEO of Ford Motor Co. Mark Fields delivers a keynote address at the 2015 International CES at The Venetian Las Vegas on January 6, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. CES, the world's largest annual consumer technology trade show, runs through January 9 and is expected to feature 3,600 exhibitors showing off their latest products and services to about 150,000 attendees. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

According to CNN Money, the CEO of Ford Mexico Gabriel Lopez announced that Ford will go forward with building two plants in Mexico. An engine plant in Chihuahua, and a transmission plant in Irapuato.

The plants will cost $2.5 billion in construction costs, and will results in 3,800 workers upon completion.

While this news may seem like a sudden turn away from an American jobs centered plan seemingly arranged by President Donald Trump, Ford has actually had these plans on the books since 2015, and had never intended to veer from them. The confusion, says CNN Money, is likely due to news of a canceled plan for another Mexico factory being released on the same day as the announcement of another plant being opened in Michigan.

Ford got a lot of attention last month when it dropped its plans to build a $1.6 billion assembly plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. But the small car production originally planned for the discontinued San Luis Potosi plant is shifting to an existing Ford Mexican assembly plant, not returning to the U.S.

Ford (F) never claimed to be bringing work back, but onlookers could be forgiven for getting confused. On that same day, Ford announced plans for a $700 million investment and 700 new jobs to build electric and self-driving cars at a Michigan plant.

The truth is, the plans for the Michigan plant - while being hailed as a "vote of confidence" in Trump's new economy by Ford CEO Mark Fields - was never supposed to go to Mexico in the first place, and was always intended to be build in the states.

Trump and Ford have had a tumultuous relationship in the past. During the 2016 elections, Trump targeted Ford as one of the companies that planned to move all its jobs to Mexico, and threatened to hit Ford with a 35% tax on all their products that came to the U.S.. Fields denied any intention to move all of their factories to Mexico, and explained that certain lower selling models were going to be made in Mexico, to make room for more lucrative models to be made here in America.

However, since Trump won the election, his view of the car company has been more sunny. During his first two days in office, Trump invited CEO's of various auto companies to the White House. Among them was Fields, who Trump singled out for praise saying "Mark was so nice with the plant coming back, I wanted to sit next to him."

 

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