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01092018

Ford kills plan to sell Chinese-made vehicle in the United States

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The automaker's decision came because US President Donald Trump is stepping up a trade battle with China, threatening to impose duties on an additional $ 200 billion of Chinese goods.
The Trump Administration has already imposed duties on cars of Chinese production up to 25 percent. Trump separately evaluates the proposal for the introduction of tariffs for all imported cars for reasons of national security.

The Chinese Focus Focus, which Ford called the crossover, would be a niche vehicle for the United States, and the decision to abandon plans to launch it in the US market next year will not cost jobs or significantly affect US automakers' sales, Ford North America head Kumar Galotra told reporters during a conference call on Friday.

"It basically comes down to how we deploy our resources," said Galotra. Given the prospects for high tariffs, Focus Active costs in the US will be much higher.
When asked when the decision was made, Galotra said: "We just did it. Literally."

Halotra said that plans to build and sell Focus Active in Europe and China will move forward.

Ford's decision to abandon Focus Active contrasts with the effort of competitor General Motors Co (GM.N) to seek a release from the new 25 percent US tariffs on its official Buick Envision car.
Envision is a larger car than Focus Active, with an initial price of about $ 35,000. Ford did not set the US price for a compact Focus Active, but it would compete in a segment where prices start at about $ 20,000, leaving less profit to absorb additional import duties.

Ford and its rivals are also closely following the results of the negotiations on the revised North American Free Trade Agreement, which continued on Friday. The representative of Ford declined to comment on the proposed changes to NAFTA's automatic trading rules, and Galhotra did not address them.

Ford said in April that it would reduce most of its traditional passenger car models for the North American market and omit the earlier plan to import Focus Focus sedans from China.
About 95 percent of Ford cars sold in the US are assembled in the US, Canada or Mexico, Galotra said. U.S dealers receive a small sports utility EcoSport from India and small Transit Connect minibuses from Spain.

"At the moment, we do not see a significant risk for these products," said Galotra.




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