Ford Motor Co Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields said on Wednesday that all of the company's small-car production would be leaving U.S. plants and heading to lower-cost Mexico, drawing another rebuke from Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
'We will have migrated all of our small-car production to Mexico and out of the United States,' over the next two to three years, Fields told Wall Street analysts at an investor conference hosted by the automaker.
Trump, campaigning in Flint, Michigan, on Wednesday, called Ford's decision 'horrible'. He has criticized Ford's Mexican investments for more than a year and vowed to pressure the automaker to reverse course if elected.
'We shouldn't allow it to happen,' Trump said.
A Ford truck assembly plant is pictured in Dearborn, Michigan, in this 2006 photo. The Ford Motor Company is headquartered in Dearborn, which is not far from Detroit
Ford is building a new $1.6billion assembly plant in San Luis Potosi (pictured in a file image)
Ford Motor Co Chief Executive Officer Mark Fields (left) said that all of the company's small-car production would be leaving U.S. plants and heading to lower-cost Mexico. Donald Trump (right) called Ford's decision 'horrible'
Fields has previously responded to Trump's criticism by saying that as a global company Ford must compete by making solid business decisions.
Ford is building a new $1.6billion assembly plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. It will make small cars there starting in 2018.
The facility is expected to create 2,800 Mexican jobs, according to US News & World Report.
In April 2016, Trump said the move by Ford to build a manufacturing plant in Mexico 'is an absolute disgrace' and shows the need to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
He said at the time in an emailed statement: 'This transaction is an absolute disgrace. Our dishonest politicians and the special interests that control them are laughing in the face of all American citizens.'
Trump had also said that deals like the one Michigan-based Ford made to build a plant in Mexico 'will continue until we can renegotiate NAFTA to create a fair deal for American workers'.
Revealed: How Henry Ford drove the Industrial Revolution
Piece of history: Henry Ford is pictured with the Model T vehicle
Often seen as the father of modern industry, car maker Henry Ford implemented an idea that revolutionised manufacturing.
He launched the modern assembly line in a factory in a suburb of Detroit to speed up motor production.
Ford's River Rouge plant in Detroit, Michigan, went on to become the largest factory in the world.
Ford produced a standard model, the Model T Ford. A new Model T Ford cost less than $300 in the mid-1920s.
By 1929, more than 26million cars were registered in the US.
During the 1920s, about $1billion a year was spent on the construction of a national network of highways.
The automobile industry also caused other industries such as steel, rubber, leather and paint to grow rapidly.
An assembly line is seen in Dearborn, Michigan
During contract talks in 2015, Ford confirmed that it would move Focus and C-Max production out of its Wayne, Michigan, plant in 2018. The United Auto Workers Union said at the time that Ford planned to build the next Focus in Mexico.
A source briefed on the matter said the shift of production to Mexico was expected to take place next year before the start of the 2018 model year.
In April, Ford reiterated that it was planning to build two new vehicles at the Wayne plant beginning in 2018. Analysts have said they expect Ford to build a new Bronco SUV and Ranger pickup there.
Fields said that Ford planned to shift a majority of its small car production around the world to low-cost countries by 2019, which could affect Ford's Western European car production.
A Ford Galaxie is seen on a Wayne, Michigan, assembly line in 1963
Workers are pictured at a Ford assembly plant in Dearborn
A Ford Motor Co Transit Connect Electric van is assembled in Livonia, Michigan, in 2010
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV said in April that it would realign North American plants to emphasize truck and Jeep production over car output. The changes are expected to be completed by early 2018.
Both automakers are making the moves because U.S. consumers have turned away from traditional sedans and hatchbacks to SUVs and pickup trucks.
The United Auto Workers has said the number of auto assembly jobs would not decline because workers would be busy making SUVs and pickup trucks.
However, UAW President Dennis Williams has said there was a risk that if gasoline prices rose again above $4 per gallon as in mid-2008, consumers might once again favor smaller cars.
How Henry Ford's Model T revolutionized the world to produce the first mass-produced vehicle
Thing of beauty: The Model T is an icon, but with a top speed of 45mph - if going downhill with a following wind - drivers cannot get anywhere very fast
Germans may have invented the petrol engine, but it was Henry Ford, a Michigan-Irish farmer who used his genius to realise its social potential.
Ford said he had to invent his gasoline buggy to escape the crushing boredom of his own life on the farm in the United States.
The Model T was made from 1908 to 1927 and is generally regarded as the first affordable car.
In total more than 15million were made.
The first Model Ts were fairly expensive, about £500. But by the early 1920s, when millions were being produced, the price had dropped to about £125, which was roughly equivalent to the average annual wage.
Ford was obsessed with efficiency: his production lines were inspired by the meat-packing yards of Chicago and it became the first mass produced car in the United States.
His famous decree that customers could choose any colour so long as it is black was not to limit consumer choice, but to reduce costs.
In Fords day, freshly painted cars were left in the sun to dry.
Black dried more quickly and was thus cheaper. By 1914, a Model T could be manufactured in 93 minutes and spare parts were all available through the Sears Roebuck mail-order catalogue for drivers to install themselves.