DETROIT (AP) – Ford Motor Co. will export vehicles from China to the U.S. for the first time starting in 2019.
Ford will move production of its Ford Focus small car from the U.S. to China, where it already makes the Focus for Chinese buyers.
Ford’s president of global operations Joe Hinrichs says the move will save Ford $1 billion, including $500 million from canceling a new plant in Mexico that was intended to build the Focus.
U.S. Focus sales were down 20 percent through May, hurt by low gas prices and consumer preference for SUVs. But Hinrichs said small cars remain an important part of Ford’s business.
He also stressed that Ford will export more vehicles to China than it imports. Ford expects to export 80,000 vehicles to China this year.