Fields said he informed officials in Mexico about the plans to cancel the plant.
“Obviously, there was some disappointment,” Fields said. “But we’ve been in Mexico over 90 years, and we’re moving our Focus down to Hermosillo, so we’ll be safeguarding the 2,900 jobs that are there, plus we’ll probably add about 200 jobs when we add Focus there.”
Mexico’s Economy Ministry said it regretted Ford’s decision to pull its investment from San Luis Potosi. The federal government has guaranteed that the automaker will reimburse the state government for its expenses on the project, the ministry said in a statement. It made no mention of Trump.
“The growth of Ford Motor Company in North America, and particularly in Mexico, has been the result of a strategy of competitiveness based on global value chains in which North America competes with other regions of the world,” the ministry said. “The jobs generated in Mexico have contributed to maintaining manufacturing jobs in the United States that otherwise would have disappeared due to Asian competition.”
The now-canceled plant was supposed to employ about 2,800 workers, Ford said when it announced the news. Fields said ground-clearing at the site began around May, but a spokeswoman said no actual construction had taken place.
“Where we’re at in the construction of the plant, any assets -- and there aren’t many -- can be redeployed throughout the Ford system,” Fields said.
It’s unclear how much Ford is investing in Hermosillo to add the 200 workers to build the Focus.
Automotive News reporter Laurence Iliff contributed to this report.