Ford Ending Focus Production in Argentina in May 2019
Ford is expected to end production of the Focus in Argentina by May 2019, Reuters reported on Monday. The move to end production of the Focus is being undertaken to help the automaker mitigate losses in the region.
The decision will not affect the production of Ranger pickup trucks at Ford’s Pacheco plant, but Ford said that it was “too early” to determine whether the end of Focus production could lead to layoffs. A source familiar with Ford’s plans told Reuters that the plant may receive one or two new crossovers by 2021.
Ford is in talks with Volkswagen to explore joint vehicle development in South America as well as Europe, with Volkswagen’s chief executive in Latin America Pablo Di Si telling Reuters in September that talks are “advancing positively.” Ford and VW previously worked together in South America as part of the Autolatina joint venture, which ended in 1995.
Ford said in a statement issued Monday that it is considering “multiple alternative investment projects” in the region, adding that “a significant redesign of our business model is required to determine where and how we should participate” in the market. Bloomberg reported in August that Ford is rumored to be shopping its South American operations and assets to FCA and Volkswagen, but a Ford spokesman denied the report and confirmed that the automaker has no intention of leaving the continent.
Production of the Ford Focus ended earlier this year in the United States as Ford makes room for the new Ranger and Bronco at its Michigan Assembly Plant. Ford had planned to import a Focus Active wagon variant from China, but the prospect of higher tariffs torpedoed those plans as of September.
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News Source: Reuters