Earlier this year, Ford introduced a new Focus vehicle that looked to be one of the best on the market. The goal was to challenge the best and make them work harder to make changes, as well. While most people agree it could have been a success, Ford then announced that the Focus Active, similar to the Subaru Crosstrek, would be the only option in the US. Again, plans have changed because of the tariffs put on manufacturers by the Trump administration, along with the fact that it costs more to build smaller vehicles in the United States.
Little Impact Projected
Even though many consumers were excited to see the Active in showrooms across America, the president of North America Ford, Kumar Galhotra, claims that there shouldn’t be any impact to their future sales and if there is, it’s expected to be marginal. Their viewpoint right now is that costs to bring the vehicle from overseas would be higher than necessary and that current resources could be more strategically placed at this time.
About four days ago, President Trump tweeted about Ford’s decision to kill the Active, suggesting that they build it in the United States instead. Of course, President Trump claims, quite rightly, that if the vehicle is built in the United States, Ford doesn’t have to pay any tariffs, so they wouldn’t incur any more costs.
While this idea appeals to many, Ford and similar automakers, know that building cars in the U.S. isn’t as easy as it initially appears. A few hours after the tweet from the President, one Ford spokesperson nixed the idea, claiming it wouldn’t be profitable to build the Active in the United States, as only about 50,000 units are expected to be sold. They also claim that Ford is one of the most profitable automakers in the United States and hires more hourly workers than other automakers.
Along with such, another spokesperson for Ford brought statistics into play. According to Mike Levine, Ford employs over 85,000 people and Ford dealerships, of which there are over 3,200, provide more than 166,000 jobs. He also went on to state that 80 percent of the vehicles sold by Ford are made in the United States, claiming that Ford has more American-made vehicles than other automakers.
While the Ford Active is considered the first official car killed by the new tariffs, it’s not likely to be the last. It’s impossible to know right now how many other automakers could have sold vehicles to the United States if it weren’t for the implemented tariffs.