The American auto industry isn’t what it once was, but it looks like Donald Trump’s presidency could change that. Ford Motors CEO Mark Fields announced Tuesday that they have canceled plans to build a new plant in Mexico. Instead, they will invest $700 million to expand an existing plant in Michigan, creating 700 jobs in the process.
Fields called the decision a “vote of confidence” in the pro-business Trump administration:
“We didn’t cut a deal with Trump. We did it for our business,” Fields told CNN’s Poppy Harlow in an exclusive interview Tuesday.
The $700 million investment will go to the Flat Rock, Michigan plant to produce more electric and self-driving cars. Ford believes electric vehicles will outsell gas-powered vehicles within the next 15 years.
Last year, Ford announced it would invest $1.6 billion in Mexico to transfer production of the Ford Focus from Michigan to Mexico to save costs. Now the Focus will be built at an existing plant in Hermosillo, Mexico, and Ford will instead expand its plant in Michigan.
Prior to the announcement, Trump threatened to slap a 35% tariff on Ford vehicles made in Mexico and sold in the U.S. However, Fields said that Ford’s decision to cancel the Mexico plant was “done independently” of Trump.