Trump says new Chinese tariffs mean small crossover can be built in the States, Blue Oval responds with ‘yeah, nah’.
Ford Motor Company has confirmed it will not be producing the new Focus Active crossover in the United States, opting to drop the high-riding hatchback altogether from its North American line-up after President Donald Trump imposed higher tariffs on Chinese-made products.
In April, the Blue Oval announced it would be culling its entire passenger car line-up bar the Mustang sports car and upcoming Focus Active crossover, as it turned its attention to SUVs and pickup trucks.
While the Mustang is made in the US, the new-generation Focus was always going to be sourced from China in the States – the company confirmed this back in July 2017, shifting from the previous plan for a Mexican production schedule that was also rebuked by Trump.
The move was going to save Ford US$1 billion ($1.41b) in investment costs without sacrificing existing jobs in the US.
However, the company cancelled the US launch of the Focus Active when the Trump administration introduced a 25 per cent levy on Chinese-built vehicles, issuing a statement saying the higher tariffs undermined the model’s profitability.
After President Trump tweeted that Ford should build the Focus Active in the US and pay zero levies, Mark Levine, spokesperson for Ford, tweeted that the company hasn’t changed its mind on not offering the crossover in America.
“It would not be profitable to build the Focus Active in the U.S. given an expected annual sales volume of fewer than 50,000 units and its competitive segment,” Levine said in the tweet.
Our market will be sourcing the new Focus range from Germany, meaning our supply will be unaffected by the drama surrounding Ford’s North American division.
However, the Blue Oval’s Australian arm is yet to confirm the availability of the Focus Active Down Under, so far only confirming that the regular hatchback and wagon will be arriving in November.
In saying that, CarAdvice discovered in July that Ford made a trademark application for the ‘Focus Active’ name in Australia, hinting at the company’s plans to bring the model to our market. Ford Australia didn’t offer any further comments, though.