Ford Still Planning Big Things for Mexico

Over the past few months, there’s been a lot of talk about Ford Motor Company’s plans for plant expansion. Will they or won’t they build in Mexico. When they said they would, that decision became a political football, front page news for days as candidate Trump called them out again and again.

When Ford announced it would not be building a plant, and had plans to expand in the States, President-Elect Trump crowed about victory. Lost in the news shuffle around those soundbites and back-slapping were two salient facts: Ford still planned to expand in Mexico, and it had been planning to expand in the States as well. And both of those decisions had been made independent of the election.

But, again, that information was lost in the noise of the campaign, so it might come as a surprise to some folks when they learn about Ford’s plans to move forward with expansions at two Mexican plants, an engine plant in Chihuahua and a transmission plant in Irapuato. And who can blame them? These plans have been in motion for nearly two years now. Sure, it runs contrary to the narrative that Trump is successfully bringing auto manufacturing jobs back to the United States, but it does have the benefit of being, well, true.

Due to the not so accurate narrative floated by the administration in DC, Ford will likely have some explaining to do when people find out the resources that would have gone into building a new plant in San Luis Potosi are not coming back to the United States, they are being shifted to other plants in Mexico.

Not that Ford tried to deceive anyone. They never said they had plans to bring the jobs back to the United States. The right-leaning blogs just ran with that headline after President Trump tweeted about it. They essentially manufactured a manufacturing in the States story, hoping their readers would not dig any deeper. They turned out to be correct. Most who wanted to believe Trump saved Ford jobs still believe that. Even this news will likely be ignored or disbelieved…or, at least, discounted.

Such is the reality in today’s media world. The loudest, first, and most easily accepted narrative tends to be the one that sticks. Forget fact checking, pundit commentary or any other form of backup confirmation or denouncement. Reality is as reality wants to be. Proving, once again, that the best narrative tends to win the war of ideas and reminded other brands to make sure they are very well armed with an attractive, powerful narrative and prepared to pull the trigger at any moment’s notice.

William Doonan is a tax law and legal expert in New York.

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