Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr. said today that Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump has it all wrong when it comes to his criticism of the automaker, which plans to open a plant in Mexico to build small cars now made in America.
“We ought to be celebrated in America for what we’ve done. We’re about as American as you can get,” Ford said on the sidelines of the World Mobility Leadership Forum in Detroit.
“We are everything that he should be celebrating about this country. We pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps. We paid back our borrowings. We are very healthy again. “We’ve been adding jobs in the U.S. We’re the largest manufacturer of cars and trucks in the U.S. And the investments we’re making in the U.S. are enormous,” Ford said. “But he knows all that. I can’t control what he says,” Ford said, adding that he has “a relationship” with Trump.
Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford speaks at the Commonwealth Club on October 1, 2015 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
“We’ve been for over 100 years in markets all around the world making vehicles,” Ford continued. That’s something that is really important to put into context. We’ve made vehicles in Mexico for a long time…. ”
“ We’ve always been an international company but we’ve never lost sight of the fact that this is our home.”
Trump has repeatedly said that Ford is “firing all its workers and moving to Mexico,” which is not true. In fact, Ford is transferring production of small cars from a factory in Michigan to a new plant in Mexico starting in 2018. The Michigan plant will build future truck products, likely a new Ford Ranger pickup and a reimagined Ford Bronco SUV.
The move has raised some eyebrows, however, because of the fact that Ford received a $5.9 billion loan from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2009 to retool the Michigan plant for small-car production and finance other projects to improve the fuel economy of its vehicles. Ford still owes the government $3.5 billion.