DETROIT (Sept. 29, 2016) — Ford Motor Co.'s top executive said he's disappointed by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's accusations that the auto maker is moving jobs to Mexico and reiterated that the transfer of small-car production will result in “zero” job loss in the U.S.
“Our commitment to American jobs is stronger than it ever has been,” CEO Mark Fields said in an interview at the Bloomberg Markets Most Influential Summit. “The facts are, zero jobs are going to be impacted here in the U.S.”
Ford is moving production of its slow selling Focus compact car and C-Max hybrid to Mexico — where labor costs are lower — to generate a better return for shareholders, Mr. Fields said in a follow-up interview with Bloomberg Television. It is replacing those models in the factory in Michigan with two new products, he said. People familiar with Ford's plans have said the new models will be the Ranger compact pickup and a revived Bronco SUV.
“We're in the presidential election season and there's lots of things said on the campaign trail,” Mr. Fields said. “It's really disappointing when politics gets in the way of facts.”
Mr. Fields has spent some of the past two weeks battling Mr. Trump's accusations, repeated during the Sept. 26 presidential debate, that the auto maker is firing U.S. employees to move work to Mexico. The company took to Twitter and other social media during the debate to counter the claims. Mr. Trump has threatened to levy a 35 percent tariff on Ford's Mexican-built cars if he's elected in November.
“We want to make sure we run a responsible business, drive returns for our shareholders,” Mr. Fields said. “As a multinational business, we really have to look where we can make good returns and satisfy customers.”