Ford chairman calls Trump’s Mexican manufacturing criticism ‘infuriating’

Ford Motor Company Chairman Bill Ford, Jr.

WASHINGTON (UPI) — The chairman of Ford Motor Co., on Wednesday said remarks by Donald Trump that the company is “sending our jobs” to Mexico are misleading.

Bill Ford Jr., the great-grandson of Henry Ford, told the Economics Club of Washington, D.C., he met privately with Trump after the Republican nominee publicly criticized Ford’s plan to expand a production facility in Mexico and move production of the Ford Focus from a factory in Michigan to the new facility in 2018. Ford called Trump’s comments “infuriating.”

Ford said no U.S. factories will close and the affected plant in Wayne, Mich., will be given the responsibility of producing two new vehicles once the Focus line moves south.

The facility in Mexico will create 2,800 jobs there. The company said no U.S. jobs will be eliminated as a result.

In a speech in Flint, Mich., last month, Trump called out Ford for the decision.

“They’ll make their cars, they’ll employ thousands of people, not from this country, and they’ll sell their car across the border,” Trump said. “When we send our jobs out of Michigan, we’re also sending our tax base.”

Ford said he talked privately with Trump, calling it a “very good meeting” during which Trump was a “good listener.” But, Ford said the realities of the presidential campaign have led to misunderstanding.

“The campaign trail is a different animal than anything I’m ever familiar with, so whatever he’s saying he’s going to say, I suppose,” Ford Jr. said. “But the facts, in my mind, speak for themselves.”

Ford noted the company has paid back all the government loans issues in 2008 and has hired 26,000 U.S. workers since the auto bailout in 2008.

“We didn’t go bankrupt. We paid back our loans. We did it the old-fashioned way: We pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps,” Ford said. “[Trump] and others should look at us and say that’s how you do business.”