Trump takes credit for stopping auto plant’s Mexico move; Ford denies closure

William Clay Ford Jr., CEO of the Ford Motor Corp., speaks at the 2013 North American International Auto Show. President-elect Donald Trump said Thursday conversations between himself and Ford kept a Louisville Ford/Lincoln plant open, but there were no plans to close the plant, the company said. File Photo by Mark Cowan/UPI

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Nov. 18 (UPI) — President-elect Donald Trump credited himself with keeping a Ford Motor Company plant in Kentucky open, a facility Ford said it did not intend to close or move to Mexico.

In a Twitter message Thursday, Trump said Ford chairman William Clay Ford Jr. told him the Louisville plant was not closing, and production of the Lincoln MKC models manufactured there would not move to Mexico.

Just got a call from my friend Bill Ford, Chairman of Ford, who advised me that he will be keeping the Lincoln plant in Kentucky – no Mexico

Another message from Trump, minutes later, said he “worked hard” to keep the plant open in a state in which he received 62.5 percent of the popular vote in last week’s presidential election.

I worked hard with Bill Ford to keep the Lincoln plant in Kentucky. I owed it to the great State of Kentucky for their confidence in me!

The company previously said it might move production of the vehicle from the Louisville plant, with Mexico the likely destination, but Thursday announced the sport utility vehicle would continue to be made in Kentucky.

Ford never intended to close the Louisville plant, instead planned to increase production of its popular Ford Escape, another vehicle made at the plant, after potentially moving the production of the MKC to Mexico. The manufacturing change was not expected to result in job losses in Louisville, let alone a plant closure, but current plans call for Lincoln MKCs and Ford Escapes to continue being built in Louisville.

In 2015, United Auto Workers union official Jimmy Settles told the Detroit Free Press, “Whatever happens in Louisville it will not lose employment. They cannot make enough Escapes.”

Ford had previously said it had no plans to close any of its U.S. plants.

In a statement, Ford did not mention Trump’s alleged contribution to the production decision, but said “We are encouraged that President-elect Trump and the new Congress will pursue policies that will improve U.S. competitiveness and make it possible to keep production of this vehicle here in the United States.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here