Now Ford has announced that production of the new electric SUV is shifting from its plant in Flat Rock, Michigan to Mexico so that it can produce an autonomous vehicle in Michigan. According to the latest reports, however, that SUV will now be built at Ford's Cuautitlan Stamping and Assembly Plant in Mexico.
The Detroit News reports that the reason Ford plans to move production of that electric SUV to Mexico is that it wants to focus on building autonomous vehicles in MI.
"During the 2015 negotiations with Ford, we secured significant product investment for our members at the Flat Rock assembly plant and other manufacturing facilities in the USA", said UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles.
Unlike the full electric vehicle from Cuatitlan, the self-driving vehicle from Flat Rock will use a hybrid system with a gasoline engine and an electric motor, Hall said.
Ford originally earmarked US$700 million for the EV in its MI plant, which would have created about 700 new jobs, but it now plans to invest even more for its autonomous development there.
The report also states that part of the reason for Ford's decision is that electric vehicles now have a comparatively low profit margin.
While the UAW is never thrilled with manufacturing in Mexico, automakers, regardless of whether they're based in the U.S., Japan, South Korea, or Germany, are producing more small passenger cars in Mexico or other low-priced countries.
Earlier this year Ford confirmed plans to introduce a fully electric SUV in 2020. Production of the electric SUV is expected to start in 2020, while the autonomous vehicle will start rolling off the production line in 2021. "I can't wait to share more with you about our plans and promise to do so throughout this journey we're on to create the future".