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Jan 15, 2018

Ford has no ‘near-term’ plans to change investment strategy in Canada, exec says

Ford remains committed to Canada as NAFTA future remains unclear

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Ford has no immediate plans to change its investment strategy north of the border despite the uncertainty surrounding the North American Free Trade Agreement, according to the company’s executive vice-president and president of global operations.

“I don’t see anything changing in the near-term,” Joe Hinrichs told BNN in an interview Monday. “We’ve made significant investments in Windsor with the new engine program and of course, we announced [Sunday] a new Edge ST, a performance derivative of the Ford edge. It’s built there in Oakville. And we are excited about how we can sell that vehicle around the world.”

Hinrichs, who was speaking from the Detroit auto show, said cities in Ontario such as Oakville and Windsor are “very important” parts of the company’s manufacturing footprint for the future.   

And even though NAFTA’s fate remains unclear, Hinrichs said Ford is “optimistic” the involved nations will settle on the right solution to modernize the deal.

“We’ve been encouraging the administrations for all three countries, really, to modernize NAFTA,” he said.  

The company also announced a US$11-billion investment to expand its hybrid and electric vehicle lineup to 40 models by 2022, but Hinrichs didn’t confirm if that would have a direct impact on production or jobs in Canada.

“We don’t have anything specific to announce,” he said. “You’ll see proliferation of electrification across our lineup, but we will have more to say on that as [further plans are revealed].”