President-elect Donald Trump should not have any effect on Ford’s Canadian plans, according to the company’s President of the Americas.
Speaking to BNN from the North American International Auto Show in Detroit on Monday, Joe Hinrichs said he didn’t foresee a change to Canada’s auto manufacturing industry, despite a spate of recent Twitter attacks the president-elect launched on carmakers doing business outside American borders.
“Our investment in Canada continues,” he said. “Our plans continue as they are and I don’t see any changes happening to that anytime soon.”
“We have an investment in a new engine (plant) in Windsor, we’re very excited about. We worked very hard with UNIFOR and we’re working with the governments in Ontario and up in Ottawa to make that happen. Of course, we’re continuing to invest in Oakville where we produce a number of products that are very important to us, not only in North America, but we sell other places in the world.”
Hinrichs’ comments come five days after Ford announced plans to scrap a proposed new US$1.6-billion plant in Mexico and the same day rival Fiat Chrysler admitted it may have to withdraw from Mexican production. Last week targeted Ford, GM and Toyota in critical tweets and threatened to impose a border tax on cars produced in Mexico.
Hinrichs believes Ford will be able to strike a balance between a “Made in America” approach and the continuing integration of North America’s automotive and manufacturing industries. “At the end of the day we have to stay competitive with our competitors around the world in this market in the U.S. and, of course, up in Canada as well. We watch that very carefully.”
Last week Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa told BNN that targeting the Canadian auto sector could cost “hundreds of thousands” of jobs and would ultimately backfire and hurt the U.S. sector.