Want to Buy an ‘American-Made’ Car? Good Luck.
By Dan Murphy
The news that American auto maker Ford will build a new plant in Mexico makes the idea of buying an “American-made” car from one of the three American-made automakers more difficult – or even impossible.
The Detroit News recently reported on the news, with Michael Martinez writing:
“Ford Motor Co. plans to build a new assembly plant in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosi and significantly increase its production in that country, according to multiple reports.
“The plant will represent a $1.5 billion investment and allow Ford to build 350,000 cars annually, reports say. Ford is expected to announce the plans in the first quarter.
“Reuters first reported the news last month, citing unnamed Mexican government officials. The Wall Street Journal on Monday said the new plant, and expansion of an existing plant, would double Ford’s production in Mexico.
“Ford last year said it would stop building its Focus and C-Max cars at its Michigan assembly plant and move production elsewhere. UAW officials said at the time that at least the Focus would move to Mexico. Ford executives have said they’re looking for a cheaper option to build lower-profit vehicles like the Focus and C-Max, and Mexico would represent such an opportunity.
“The automaker said in April it would invest $2.5 billion for two new engine and transmission plants and an expansion of a diesel engine line that will create about 3,800 jobs. Ford will spend $1.1 billion to build an engine facility within its Chihuahua Engine Plant, where it will produce a new gasoline-powered engine, creating 1,300 jobs. Ford will export the engines to the U.S., Canada, South America and the Asia Pacific region.
“In addition, Ford will spend $1.2 billion to build a transmission plant within the premises of a facility used by transmission supplier and partner Getrag, which is based in the city of Irapuato in the state of Guanajuato. The project will create 2,000 jobs. The new transmission plant – Ford’s first transmission facility in Mexico – will produce two all-new automatic transmissions for key products primarily in South America, Europe and Asia Pacific as well as other North American markets.
“The automaker will spend $200 million and create 500 more jobs to expand its I-4 and diesel engines production in Chihuahua. Ford has 11,300 employees in Mexico and builds the Ford Fiesta, Fusion and Lincoln MKZ there.
“Executives have said they have no plans to build a new plant in the United States. Ford last opened a new U.S. plant – the Dearborn Truck Plant – in 2004.” (End of Martinez report.)
Several websites and “Made in the USA” organizations have highlighted this decision by Ford, and other U.S. automakers who are moving toward manufacturing their cars in China and Mexico. GM will built its Buick SUV in China, the company recently announced.
Bringourjobshome.com founder Frank Spotorno, a Westchester resident, commented: “Americans are losing the war for good-paying manufacturing jobs, and they are fighting against our own U.S. corporations and our members of Congress in Washington who continue to permit and support the outsourcing of our jobs overseas.
“I like to make an effort to buy American whenever I can, but now with Ford and GM moving their plants overseas, it’s harder and harder to buy an American car. If you want to buy American, and have to make a choice between a Ford built in Mexico, a Buick made in China or a Honda or Toyota built in an American plant, what should we do?” asked Spotorno.
Other websites join Spotorno in pointing out another fact: Which Americans will buy these products built overseas, if at some point, they don’t have the money to buy them? What good does it do these corporations to save a few dollars on the cost of manufacturing a car when their prime consumer base, the American people, don’t have a job to give them enough money to buy a new car?