By Keith Naughton, Bloomberg News
DETROIT — Ford Motor Co., is attempting to push back against criticism by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for moving work to Mexico by highlighting its booming business in big trucks after shifting production to an Ohio factory from south of the border.
The auto maker has sold 10,160 of its F-650 and F-750 trucks this year through August. That's up 59 percent from the same period in 2015 and the highest sales of those models since 1997, the auto maker said in a statement Sept. 19. The big trucks are used as commercial vehicles, including beer haulers and tow, moving and dump trucks.
Ford is firing back at Mr. Trump, who recently called the auto maker “a disgrace” after CEO Mark Fields told investors that the second-largest U.S. auto maker is moving North American small-car production to Mexico, where labor costs are lower than in the U.S. After the candidate threatened to levy a 35 percent tariff on Ford's Mexican-built cars should he become president, Mr. Fields said the company is “absolutely not” cutting U.S. jobs to move small-car operations south because the Michigan plant currently building them will manufacture other models.
It wasn't the first time the Republican presidential candidate, businessman and golf course magnate has teed off on Ford. In August 2015 Mr. Trump came to the home state of the auto industry and attacked Ford for building factories in Mexico.
“It's really unfortunate when politics get in the way of the facts,” Mr. Fields said in a Sept. 15 interview on CNN. “And the facts are, Ford's investment in the U.S. and commitment to American jobs has never been stronger.