Ford Motors Denies Trump’s Influence in Saving Manufacturing Jobs

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    President-elect Donald Trump may still be living in his New York City tower, but that hasn’t stopped him from getting a head start on claiming credit for keeping jobs in America. The only problem? Those jobs were likely never in danger of leaving in the first place.

    Trump recently spouted two tweets in reference to a Ford Motors manufacturing plant in Kentucky: “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,” the first read. The second, a few minutes later: “I worked hard with Bill Ford to keep the Lincoln plant in Kentucky. I owed it to the great State of Kentucky for their confidence in me!”

    However, reports from the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other sources close to Ford executive chairman William Clay Ford Jr. deny that the company had ever considered cutting jobs from the Kentucky plant, much less moving them to Mexico.

    In fact, the plant currently operates at full capacity. Though Ford does have manufacturing facilities in Mexico for many small car parts, the majority of its SUVs and pickup trucks are produced in the U.S., where sales of such vehicles are routinely higher. The Ford F-150 truck has been the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. since 1982, and the Kentucky plant manufactures the company’s most popular SUV model, the Ford Escape, as well as the luxury Lincoln MKC.

    Ford had considered transferring MKC production to another facility in order to increase output for the Escape, which would not hinder the number of jobs at the plant. Though the company ultimately decided against the shift, Ford representatives maintain that the decision was made before the publicized phone call between Mr. Ford and Mr. Trump.

    “We have been reviewing the sourcing of this product, and Bill Ford spoke to the President-­elect yesterday and shared our recent decision to keep Lincoln MKC in Kentucky,” said a Ford spokeswoman, Christin Baker, in a statement. “We are encouraged the economic policies he will pursue will help improve U.S. competitiveness and make it possible to keep production of this vehicle here in the U.S.”