Ford cancels Mexico plant; will build electric and autonomous cars in Michigan

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Ford is canceling its plans to build a $1.6 billion plant in Mexico and is instead investing $700 million into its plant in Flat Rock, Michigan.

Ford President and CEO Mark Fields made the announcement at the plant Tuesday morning. He explained the transformation and expansion of the Flat Rock plant will create 700 new jobs and allow for production of electric and an autonomous vehicles.

"Our home is right here in the United States," Field said at the conference, which was met by a round of applause from plant workers.

Fields said Ford would be creating "a new manufacturing, innovation center."

"We're also encouraged by the pro-growth policies that President-elect Trump and the new Congress have indicated that they will pursue," Fields said.

Which, according to Mark Fields, includes tax and regulatory reform.  A switch in Ford's long term plans. 

"(This) has prompted us to obviously invest in Flat Rock's expansion and to cancel building a new plant in Mexico," Fields said. 

The announcement was well-received by the United Auto Workers Union.

"Give us the right tools, give us good working condition, and we can produce the best products in the world," said Jimmy Settles UAW Ford vice-president. "And you have proven to do that."

Ford, however, still plans to shift production of the Focus small car to Mexico and will make the car at an existing plant. President-elect Donald Trump has been pressuring Ford to keep production of the Focus in the U.S.

Fields announced a hybrid version of the Ford Mustang will be built at the Flat Rock plant, and will debut in 2020. An autonomous vehicle will debut in 2021 after also being built at the Flat Rock plant. A hybrid version of the F-150 pickup is also on the docket, and will be built at the Dearborn plant to be available by 2020.

Also in Ford's electric lineup are two new electrified police vehicles that will be built and upfitted in Chicago, along with a fully electric SUV with an estimated range of at least 300 miles.

You can watch a replay of the press conference here