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20150711
The Ford Motor Company will move its production of C-Max and Focus small cars to an undesignated foreign nation in three years, the company announced Thursday. A likely new location is Mexico. Focus is already built at plants in China, Argentina, Germany, Russia, Thailand, Taiwan and Vietnam. Germany has a C-Max factory.

Ford currently manufactures those automobiles at its plant in Wayne, Michigan, where it employs some 4,400 workers. The company began laying off 700 workers at the Wayne plant in June:

The company's decision sets a potentially combative tone just days before contract talks are scheduled to begin and runs counter to Ford's normal approach to negotiations, which is to emphasize its ability to cooperate with the union. The United Auto Workers union formally opens negotiations with GM on Monday, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles on Tuesday and Ford the following week.

"It's very, very unusual," UAW Vice President Jimmy Settles says, adding that workers were upset when they were briefed on the news on Thursday. "You never feel good about that kind of information. But I am very, very confident that there will be a replacement product that we will secure for the plant."

Industry analyst Dave Sullivan of AutoPacific called it a "a power move before negotiations start ... Before today, Ford didn't really have anything to negotiate on. The UAW had the upper hand. Now Ford has wiggle room to negotiate for jobs and products.".....................

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