President-elect Donald Trump has taken credit for convincing the chairman of Ford Motor Company to keep a manufacturing plant in Louisville, Kentucky, from relocating to Mexico. The automaker, however, says it never planned to relocate the entire plant.
Trump, in a tweet posted to his Twitter account late Thursday, said he had "just got a call from my friend Bill Ford, Chairman of Ford, who advised me that he will be keeping the Lincoln plant in Kentucky—no Mexico."
He then added in a second tweet: "I worked hard with Bill Ford to keep the Lincoln plant in Kentucky."
The automaker confirmed in a statement that production of the Lincoln MKC crossover will remain at its assembly plant in Louisville, Ky.
Ford had initially planned to move the output of the Lincoln model to another plant to boost production of the Escape, which is built at the same factory. The company didn't say where it had planned to move production of the Lincoln crossover.
Just got a call from my friend Bill Ford, Chairman of Ford, who advised me that he will be keeping the Lincoln plant in Kentucky - no Mexico— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 18, 2016
According to the New York Times, Ford had not planned to close the Louisville factory. Instead, it had planned to expand production of another vehicle made in Louisville, the Ford Escape. And the change had not been expected to result in any job losses.
"Whatever happens in Louisville, it will not lose employment," Jimmy Settles, a union official, told the Detroit Free Press. "They cannot make enough Escapes."
"We are encouraged that President-elect Trump and the new Congress will pursue policies that will improve US competitiveness and make it possible to keep production of this vehicle here in the United States," Ford said in a statement.
Trump campaigned on a pledge to bring US manufacturing jobs back and took aim at Ford's separate plans to move small-car production from Michigan to a new $1.6 billion factory it is building in Mexico. That product, the Focus, is separate from the Lincoln Trump referred to, and Ford is still planning to move those small cars to Mexico, Chief Executive Mark Fields said earlier this week.
As a presidential candidate, Trump proposed a 35% tariff on vehicles or other products built abroad and imported by the US by companies like Ford. Fields said a tariff would have negative consequences for the broader auto industry and the US economy.