The Real Reason Ford Abandoned Its Plant in Mexico Has Little to Do with Trump

Labor News

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Reprinted from The Washington Post by Danielle Paquette on January 4, 2017.

Ford chief executive Mark Fields said Tuesday the automaker was ditching its plans to open a factory in Mexico and instead expanding a Michigan plant, creating 700 more local jobs.

The next wave of workers in Flat Rock will build mostly self-driving and electric cars, including a hybrid Mustang. Unlike manufacturing roles of decades past, though, the jobs will probably require computer literacy and more than a high school degree.

“The era of the electric vehicle is dawning,” Fields told his employees this week, “and we at Ford plan to be a leader in this exciting future.”

The new employment opportunities — the tickets to the middle class — will not look like the old ones. Economists say auto manufacturing at Ford and beyond will become increasingly automated, resulting in fewer jobs for more highly skilled workers. …

Washington Post 1/4

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Jeff Burman represents assistant editors on the Guild’s Board of Directors. He can be reached at

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