Ford Motor Company has long been a symbol of American ingenuity, excellence, and middle-class values. Now the storied U.S. brand is taking fire from the GOP’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump.
The Donald is none too happy about the company’s plans to move certain manufacturing operations to Mexico and has gone on record saying, if he’s elected, he won’t let Ford take any more jobs away from the United States. How does Ford feel about the tough talk?
Ford said the candidate was being unfair, not telling the whole story and misrepresenting plans to actually bring “more jobs” to the United States than they would be taking out of the country. As the argument continued to build, Trump made the topic a big part of his stump speech at rallies and talking points on TV news.
Now Ford CEO Mark Fields has come after Trump, and he’s swinging for the fences, appearing on national television to say Trump is not only wrong, he’s playing politics and ignoring the facts. Here’s Fields’ meme-worthy quote in response to a question about Trump’s charges.
“It’s really unfortunate when politics get in the way of the facts…”
Fields dropped this line in an interview with CNN’s Poppy Harlow, and it instantly took social media by storm.
But Harlow wasn’t going to allow Fields to get away with just offering bumper sticker slogans. The reporter pressed, demanding answers, asking if Fields would go on record as promising Ford has no plans to cut ANY American jobs as they moved certain operations across the border.
“Absolutely not,” Fields insisted. “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 grow…”
Meanwhile, Trump told his supporters Ford planned to “fire all their employees in the United States” and move all operations to Mexico or other places abroad. Trump pledged to stop this from happening. Fields said Trump doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
In a follow-up to Trump’s comments, Ford has gone on the record saying factory workers who are losing jobs that have been shipped to Mexico will just start new jobs building other Ford models instead. Currently, about ten percent of Ford’s overall workforce is employed in Mexico, where labor costs are roughly 40 percent less than they are at unionized U.S. plants. According to Ford, building cheap cars in the U.S. is no longer viable, but they can still build higher end models to keep Americans working and meet demand for trucks, SUVs, and luxury brands.
Fields told CNN: “That’s what it takes to compete in that [small car] segment… Americans are looking for a good value…”