Site of the canceled Ford plant in San Luis Potosí. Site of the canceled Ford plant in San Luis Potosí.

Dismay, dashed hopes at site of Ford plant

Ford said it was a market issue but there's still bitterness towards Donald Trump

“It hit us like a bucket of cold water.” That’s how one prospective and hopeful automotive supplier described the effect of Tuesday’s announcement that Ford Motor Company had canceled plans for an assembly plant in San Luis Potosí.


Fernando Rosales Ortuño sells hydraulic hoses and had anticipated that Ford would become a client when the plant opened.

“Everyone here in the state and the region had looked forward to strong growth.”

Now, it appears, the metal framing that had begun rising on the 220-hectare site will be dismantled, and the signs indicating the location of the plant’s component manufacturing sectors will come down.

Already gone are the hopes the state had for maintaining strong economic growth through the addition of a third automotive plant (it is already the location of a General Motors factory and BMW’s new plant will begin operating in 2019) and the creation of 2,800 direct jobs and 10,000 indirect.

State officials heard the news of the plant’s cancelation just one hour before Ford CEO Mark Fields made the announcement. Economic Development Secretary Gustavo Puente Orozco said the company made it quite clear that the cancelation was permanent.

“They told us that it was mainly a market issue” and spoke of a decline in demand for the Ford Focus, the vehicle that would have been built in the US $1.6-billion facility, whose annual capacity would have been 350,000 units.


The economic losses of the decision could run into billions of dollars over the next five years, said the managing director of a firm that supplies auto manufacturers. Julian Eaves told Reuters it would have a “huge impact” on the local community.

A local realtor said between 40 and 50 suppliers were ready to set up shop and supply the new plant, and at least a dozen had already invested in land or signed contracts with developers.

Here in the central Mexican region where the country’s huge automotive industry is concentrated, the perception is that United States president-elect Donald Trump is already completing his promise to return manufacturing jobs to the U.S.

Said a site security guard with some bitterness, “It was on Mr. Trump’s orders.”

As construction workers packed up materials and prepared to leave there was shock and dejection among them.

“This is a massive kick in the teeth,” said one.

Rosales, the vendor of hydraulic hoses, said the site had begun to look like a cemetery.

He told Reuters: “[There is] only death here; we are all leaving.”

Source: Milenio (sp), Reuters (en)

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  • Pogo

    It seems like the promise should have been fulfilled. The plant should have gone in and the expectations fulfilled. The Trump presidency might cause more of this in Mexico, but this particular Ford plant was planned well before he came along. It’s wrong for him to interfere.

    • GOPerson

      “the promise should have been fulfilled’? And Mr. Trump is not even been sworn in yet, so he could not have done ANYTHING to to Ford. These are childish rants by the left that will make sure you wander in the wilderness of insignificance for a very long time.

      • Pogo

        “..rants by ‘the left’ ..” <—– speaking of "childish" ..and your sociopathic orange leader is publicly taking credit for these actions, walnut brain. Are you saying he's lying?

        • GOPerson

          Taking credit for something they have not done is what politicians do. Have you not listened to President Stompyfoot take credit building a paradise in the US? The unemployment rate is very low ( truth; 95 million out of work), the economy is great (truth; no quarter over 2%). Shall I go on?

  • Jumex

    The decision to not build was made before Trump was elected. Market demands do not support the plant.

    For all of the people that gambled on the plant you lost. That is what happens sometimes when you gamble on future market predictions and movements.

  • cooncats

    Exactly why do you think Americans should want their jobs moved to Mexico and the stuff made by people paid very low wages then shipped back up north?

    Mexico needs to get over feeling they are entitled to an open border, to take American jobs, to demonstrate in American streets. The backlash against this has finally arrived and it would behoove Mexico to become an equal partner instead of a welfare dependent on a declining U.S.

    • Commander Barkfeather

      The decision to locate in Mexico was made by the company, not the Mexicans. The wages paid are determined by the company, not the Mexicans. The decision of where the products are shipped to is made by the company, not the Mexicans. The ones left holding the bag are the local communities who invested in supplies and real estate in the area based upon a speculation of future support for the facility, not the company, and certainly not the U.S. Stop blaming Mexico for the vagaries of American politics.

      • cooncats

        And that has absolutely nothing to do with my point. Look at the reaction of the Mexicans. Are they blaming Ford? No. They are blaming Trump.

        I repeat, this country needs to get over the idea it is entitled to use the U.S. to dump surplus people and take American jobs. The longer they persist in this double standard the worse the backlash is going to be.

        • mexicoman

          Ford is going to pay the U.S workers the same rate as the Mexicans!. Good look with find willing US applicants. I doubt it. If they pay them a much higher salary then the price of the cars rise and will not be an attractive price for the US consumer. It is all a rat race to the bottom.

          • GOPerson

            Wrong. I live in Mexico and my daughter pays a carpenter, a real craftsman, the US equivalent of $140 a week or $3.50 an hour. He is the highest paid person we have met.

          • David L. Allison

            So you are happy, Mr. GOpee, to take advantage of the Mexican economy and the hardships of the people but you get angry and altruistic when Ford wants to do the same thing? Hypocrite or just mean?

          • David L. Allison

            The neoliberal Reagan worshiping Republicans in the US have destroyed the middle class consumers in the country with their ‘trickle down’ economics for the past decades. Bill Clinton and the neoliberal DLC adopted the deference to the wealthy and corporatists to fund the Democratic party and get Clinton elected. NAFTA was only a symbol of the dependence of the US on the corporations instead of on the responsible government agencies.

        • localnet

          If it keeps up, the US Marines may be paying Mexico a visit… Narco Terrorists and now Jihadists planning attacks in the USA from border points in Mexico. Trump is not Obama.

          • cooncats

            The wall would be good for both countries. Mexico’s failed government has demonstrated it can’t police its side of the border. The wall will force this country to deal with its own illegal immigrant problem and may put a real dent in the flow of weapons and corruption money south.

          • David L. Allison

            The Hate and resentment is strong in this old white man watching his country go from bleached out European white to a healthy tan international mix.

          • David L. Allison

            Yes, Trump could very well invade Mexico if the government of Mexico refuses to comply with his demands that the people of Mexico pay to build his stupid and useless wall. He is a vindictive and resentful man without a moral compass. He is dangerous. That is why the majority of American voters voted against him last year.

        • David L. Allison

          Trump takes credit for the cancellation of businesses in Mexico. Why should anyone not blame him if they think that it was the wrong thing to do. Data, replicable data, demonstrates that the US gains far more from Mexico and Mexicans than the reverse. You need to get your angry head out of your nether end and deal with facts rather than your resentment and hate of the ‘others’ which seems to run deep in you.

      • pedrochapala

        pointless to argue with dan coon as he is always right-SNORK!

        • cooncats

          And you never are, LOL

  • lang_eddy

    Donald Duck Trump is the reason why the Ford plant is moving bak to the USA. This man is not to be trusted with any contract. The world better smarten up! We have a man who is out of touch with the world. It scares me to think that D.D. Trump has his finger on the button that could end the world. Very stupid Americans to vote this asshole in power in the first place.

    • GOPerson

      It is NOT America’s job to provide work for Mexico. Not when we have the lowest labor participation rate in decades. Over 95 million Americans are out of a job. And that is why they voted for Mr. Trump.

      • David L. Allison

        You spend far too much time on Faux news and Breitbart and too little in conversations with rational and intelligent people. Trump did not get a majority of the votes in the election. He lied to win the election. He used those people with little hope for the future and gave them false hopes of a restoration of a white dominated 1950s and punishments that he knew he could never deliver to his enemies. He sits on a golden throne tweeting out of both ends into his cell phone and onto the page.. He is an embarrassment to America, all of America, North and South. Your allegations of unemployment, attempting to blame Obama for the destructive and negative conduct of the Republican Senate and House are both wrong and disgraceful.

    • cooncats

      Yeah you’re such a genius you would rather elect a corrupt, venal old woman who was a disaster as Secretary of State. Wise up.

      • David L. Allison

        He is a traitor sitting in the lap of Putin, enemy of the people of the United States and friend only of the oligarchs, billionaires and millionaires. If you are one of them, congratulations and shame on you. If you are not one of them, the laugh is and will be on you and your family for years, if not decades.

  • GOPerson

    Build your own plant. Round up the politicians that have stolen all your money and get it back, then build your own plant.

    • David L. Allison

      Grow up and act your age instead of spreading your Yankee hate and venom on Mexican websites. You are the gringo who even gives ugly American tourists a bad name. You come from a country filled with corrupt politicians, greedy corporatists and slavish idolaters of the dollar. You have no right or justification to be criticizing the people and country where you live in relative luxury with your likely ill-gotten gains in the USA.

  • localnet

    Free trade is no longer free… It is payback time.

  • David L. Allison

    This is the result of the neoliberal austerity and ‘trickle down theory’ of economics that has left plenty of orders for Jaguars and the like for the 1% while orders for the middle class and underclass of the other 99% in the world decline. Nixon and Reagan started the destruction of the economy with massive tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. The neoliberal domestic and international economics spread with Clinton’s DLC, the Bush dominance by the Military Industrial complex and the constant wars and ‘war on terrorism’ through the middle east and north Africa by Obama and Clinton.

    International bankers and traders continue to insist on austerity and destruction of domestic safety nets rather than investment and construction of public owned infrastructure. While initiated by Prescott Bush and his Corporate buddies in the failed US attempt to destroy the FDR New Deal, the oligarchs have continued to dream of the effective restoration of Royal Families sitting on golden thrones (like Trump), with advisors exclusively of economic royalty and a return to European ‘golden ages’ of Kings, vassals and peasants enclosed in great protective walls to keep the peasants and merchants in and the “others” out.

    • G.b. Adams

      And each election cycle we send 90% of the bought and paid fors back to Washington to screw us again. The problem isn’t the neo liberals, the neo conservatives, or the Realists, it’s the ignorant voter. The problem is in the mirror. Quit trying to blame the left or right. We have met the enemy and he is us.

  • Rob Mellors

    Wouldn’t want to be a Ford Dealer in Mexico right now!