Ford to Cut Mexican Production by 17%
By Thomas Black
Monterrey, Mexico, June 5 (Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co. expects to make 17 percent fewer vehicles in Mexico this year after the company decided earlier this year to stop production of the Escort.
Ford will produce about 200,000 vehicles in Mexico, down from nearly 240,000 last year, said Marcos de Oliveira, president of Ford's Mexican operations, at a finance executives' conference in Monterrey.
``We've already made adjustments in our local strategy according to what's needed in the industry and product demand,'' he said.
Ford said earlier it would drop the Escort to cut costs after it posted a loss in 2001, the first in nine years.
The Escort was produced at Ford's plant in Hermosillo, which also assembles the Focus. Ford, which employs 7,500 people in Mexico, operates two other plants in the cities of Cuautitlan and Chihuahua.
The cutback in output won't affect motor production at the Chihuahua plant, which should remain at about 450,000 this year, de Oliveira said.
About 80 percent of the vehicles and motors Ford makes in Mexico are exported, he added.
De Oliveira added that Ford expects to maintain its about 17 percent share of the Mexican auto market share.