The billionaire Donald Trump put on his Superman suit and took credit for saving all the Ford jobs from moving to Mexico. His supporters cheered, but it seems the president-elect sold the public a fake news story.
On Thursday night the soon-to-be president gave himself credit on Twitter for halting a flood of jobs from moving from Kentucky to Mexico. There was just one problem. Ford had never intended to move the Louisville, Kentucky assembly plant south of the border, according to a CNN Money report.
Maybe Trump needs to sleep more than two to four hours a night, so that he can keep a clear head. This is what he tweeted:
‘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. 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!’
Here is the truth:
Ford said that it plans to keep the Lincoln MKC production plant at the Louisville plant. Just last year, Ford signed a legally binding contract with the United Workers Union that invested $700 million into Louisville.
The company employs 4,705 workers at its Louisville plant. Whether it ever decides to move production of the Lincoln MKC to another plant or even to Mexico, it has to retain the level of employees, according to its contract.
Ford released this statement:
‘Today, we confirmed with the President-elect that our small Lincoln utility vehicle made at the Louisville Assembly Plant will stay in Kentucky. We are encouraged that President-elect Trump and the new Congress will pursue policies that will improve U.S. competitiveness and make it possible to keep production of this vehicle here in the United States.’
Ford CEO Marks Fields said Trump was wrong about the company plans:
‘Absolutely not. Zero. Not one job will be lost. Most of our investment is here in the U.S. And that’s the way it will continue to be. It’s really unfortunate when politics get in the way of the facts.’
Just last year, Ford began manufacturing the heavy-duty F-Series trucks in Ohio rather than in Mexico, where they had been built. Trump took credit for this, too, at a New Hampshire rally:
‘I brought [Ford’s Mexican investment plans] up in so many speeches, and frankly I think I embarrassed ’em. Ford is now gonna build a massive plant in the United States, and every single person, even my harshest critics gave me credit for it.’
The MKC is a luxury version of the Escape. Last year Ford sold only 25,000 luxury Escapes in the U.S. But the company sold over 10 times as many regular Escapes here, 306,000.
Bill Ford’s great-grandfather founded Ford, and he summed up Trump’s criticism of the auto manufacturer in one word: