U.S. President-elect Donald Trump says he worked hard with Ford to prevent moving a Kentucky plant to Mexico, but the automaker says it informed Trump it is keeping one vehicle in U.S. production. Fred Katayama reports.
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump tweeted that he had played a major role in getting Ford to keep a Lincoln production plant from moving to Mexico. In the post, he referred to Ford's chairman Bill Ford, saying, "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!" But Ford has repeatedly said it has no plans to close any U.S. plants and likely could not do so under the United Auto Workers contract that expires in 2019. A Ford spokeswoman said in a statement, "Ford confirmed with the President-elect that our small Lincoln utility vehicle made at the Louisville Assembly plant will stay in Kentucky." David Shepardson covered the story for Reuters: (SOUNDBITE) DAVID SHEPARDSON, REPORTER, REUTERS, (English) SAYING: "What Ford told Donald Trump yesterday, was that, it will not move production of a single Lincoln SUV, the MKC, from its Louisville plant to Mexico, as it have been intending, but to be clear, what was confusing or wrong about Donald Trump's tweet is that the company never had any intention of actually closing the Louisville plant or moving those jobs to Mexico. So, this is a case where the President-elect overstated what actually happened." Shepardson says automakers are more than happy to let the President-elect take at least partial credit for their decisions because they fear he might impose severe tariffs on them if they try to move production out of the United States. Ford builds the Ford Escape and Lincoln MKC SUV in Louisville and employs about 4,700 people there. It also has a separate truck plant in Louisville, where it builds pickups and larger SUVs.