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Next Ford Focus to Come From China

Next Ford Focus to Come From China

— Starting in 2019, the Ford Focus sold here will come from an unlikely country: China. On Tuesday, Ford announced plans to shift production of the next-generation Focus from an existing plant in Hermosillo, Mexico — where it had previously planned to build the car — to China, which will be the source of "most" new Focus models initially. Some Focus production will eventually come to the U.S. from Europe, Ford added.

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Ford currently builds the Focus in Wayne, Mich., where the automaker says current production will end in mid-2018. Ford says the next Focus will have more technology and space, plus "a number of new Focus models." China will provide the bulk of global sourcing for the car, and production starts in the second half of 2019.

Not many cars sold in the U.S. hail from China, but the Focus won't be the first. The Buick Envision and certain versions of the Volvo S60 also come from the world's most populous country, and Volvo plans to eventually move global production of the S90 from Europe to China.

Ford's move comes a month into the tenure of incoming CEO Jim Hackett. The automaker says the move will save $1 billion in investment costs versus original plans to build the Focus at an all-new facility in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. Elsewhere, Ford announced a $900 million investment in its Louisville, Ky., facility to build the redesigned Ford Expedition and related Lincoln Navigator. (Lincoln is Ford's luxury brand.) Both full-size SUVs hit dealerships this fall, and Ford said it plans to export them to more than 55 global markets.

Amid the current political climate of buy-American sentiment, Ford added that the Focus' move won't result in any U.S. employees losing a job. The automaker's Wayne facility will get two new products, the Ranger pickup truck and Bronco SUV, to protect its roughly 3,500 jobs. Oh, and if economic impact matters to you, stay tuned for 's American-Made Index, which ranks cars built and bought in the U.S. by economic impact. Our 2017 study comes out next week.

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