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更新时间:2017-6-21 18:40:14 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Ford Chooses China, Not Mexico, to Build Its New Focus

DETROIT — In a move that highlights the shifting landscape of global auto production, Ford Motor said on Tuesday that it would build its next-generation small car in China rather than in the United States or Mexico.

福特汽车(Ford Motor)周二宣布将在中国而不是美国或墨西哥制造新一代小型车。此举突显了正在发生变化的全球汽车生产格局。

The decision underscores the potential for China to export more vehicles for sale to American buyers, and the reluctance of domestic automakers to invest in additional production in Mexico.


Ford currently builds its Focus compact car in Michigan, as well as in China and Europe.


Last year, the company said it planned to shift Focus production to a plant under construction in Mexico, primarily because of lower labor costs. But Ford canceled the project in January after it met stiff opposition from President Trump, who had repeatedly criticized the company for investing in Mexican jobs at the expense of American ones.


Now Ford, the nation’s second largest automaker after General Motors, is centralizing much of its small-car production in China, where it has available capacity.

现在,作为仅次于通用汽车(General Motors)的美国第二大汽车厂商,福特正在把大量小型车生产集中在已具备相应产能的中国。

Ford’s head of global operations, Joe Hinrichs, said the company would save $1 billion by building the Focus in China instead of Mexico — including $500 million in savings announced at the time the Mexico plant was canceled — and would be able to spend more money expanding American plants that make high-profit trucks and sport-utility vehicles.

福特的全球业务负责人乔·欣里希斯(Joe Hinrichs)表示,通过在中国而不是墨西哥生产福克斯,福特将节省10亿美元(约合70亿元人民币)——包括取消在墨西哥建厂时宣布的五亿美元节省资金——并能够投入更多资金,扩建生产高利润的卡车和运动型多功能车的美国工厂。

“We have looked at how we can be more successful in the small-car segment and deliver even more choices for consumers in a way that makes business sense,” Mr. Hinrichs said in a statement.


At the same time it announced its Chinese plans, Ford said it would invest $900 million in a Kentucky factory to add production of revamped versions of its full-size Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator S.U.V.s. The investment will preserve about 1,000 jobs at the Kentucky plant, Ford said.

在宣布中国计划的同时,福特称将在肯塔基州的一座工厂投资九亿美元,以增加改良版的全尺寸福特远征(Expedition)和林肯领航员(Lincoln Navigator)SUV的产量。福特说,这笔投资将挽救该工厂的大约1000个就业岗位。

The moves were among the first strategic steps taken by Ford’s new chief executive, Jim Hackett, to improve the capital returns on its manufacturing investments. Mr. Hackett, the former chief of the Steelcase furniture firm, was named last month to replace Mark Fields.

这些举动属于福特新任首席执行官吉姆·哈克特(Jim Hackett)为提高制造投资的资本收益率而率先采取的一系列战略举措。哈克特上月被任命取代马克·菲尔茨(Mark Fields),之前是家具公司Steelcase的掌门人。

One industry analyst said Tuesday that automakers in general were looking to build popular S.U.V. models in the United States and concentrate production of slow-selling, less profitable passenger cars in lower-cost nations.


“It’s all about making cars in the right facility with the right capacity,” said Michelle Krebs, an analyst with Autotrader.com.

“都是为了在具备适宜产能的合适工厂里制造汽车,”供职于Autotrader.com的分析师米歇尔·克雷布斯(Michelle Krebs)说。

Sales of cars have been trending downward in the United States for the past couple of years as cheap gasoline has prompted shoppers to buy larger, less-fuel-efficient S.U.V.s and trucks.


In the first five months of this year, car sales fell 11 percent compared with the same period in 2016. The Focus has been hit particularly hard, with sales dropping about 20 percent.


Ford had planned to move the Focus to Mexico, where workers earn a fraction of the $29-an-hour wages paid to veteran union workers in the United States.


But the Trump administration has threatened to penalize automakers for expanding Mexican production, possibly by imposing tariffs or taxes on vehicles built there and shipped to the American market.


The administration has signaled that it will tackle the Mexican import issue during a renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement later this year. But it has not indicated whether it will challenge moves, like Ford’s, to beef up imports from China.

特朗普政府表示将在今年晚些时候重新协商北美自由贸易协定(North American Free Trade Agreement)期间解决墨西哥进口问题。但特朗普政府尚未表明是否会挑战福特等公司增加从中国的进口的举动。

In a statement on Tuesday, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the president was intent on encouraging companies to step up their investments in America rather than overseas.

在周二的一份声明中,商务部长威尔伯·罗斯(Wilbur Ross)说,总统决心鼓励企业增加在美国而不是海外的投资。

“The Ford decision shows how flexible multinational companies are in terms of geography,” Mr. Ross said. “I believe that as President Trump’s policies and reforms take hold, more companies will begin to locate their facilities in the U.S.”


At a briefing in Washington on Tuesday, Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, deflected a question about Ford’s decision on production in China, saying that tax reform would provide economic incentives to expand American manufacturing.

周二在华盛顿的情况通报会上,白宫发言人肖恩·斯派塞(Sean Spicer)避开了一个有关福特决定在中国生产福克斯的提问,称税收改革将为扩大美国制造业提供更多经济刺激。

“The general consensus is that the president wants to create a tax system that encourages companies to bring jobs and factories back here,” Mr. Spicer said.


It is not clear how much cheaper it is for Ford to build cars in China than in the United States. While wages may be lower there, companies still must absorb costs for shipping and modifying vehicles to meet American safety regulations.


But other automakers, such as Volvo and G.M., already make models in China for sale in the United States, including G.M.’s Buick Envision S.U.V.

但其他车企,如沃尔沃(Volvo)和通用汽车,已经在中国生产面向美国销售的车型了,包括通用汽车的别克昂科威(Buick Envision)SUV。

There was no immediate comment on the Ford move from the United Automobile Workers union, which has been critical of G.M. for selling Chinese-made Buicks in America.

指责通用汽车在美国销售中国制造别克汽车的全美汽车工人联合会(United Automobile Workers),没有第一时间就福特此举发表评论。

Ford shares ended the day 1.1 percent lower.


Ms. Krebs, the Autotrader analyst, said consumers were largely unfazed by where vehicles are built, and rarely based their buying decisions on geographical production.


“Most people generally don’t know where their car is built, and they don’t care,” she said.


In announcing its plans for the Focus in China, where it expects production of the new model to begin in the second half of 2019, Ford did not specify the costs related to the decision. A company spokeswoman, Kelli Felker, said that adding production to its existing Chinese plants will require a “relatively small investment.”

宣布计划在中国生产福克斯时,福特没有具体介绍和这个决定有关的成本。公司发言人凯莉·费尔克(Kelli Felker)说,中国现有工厂的扩产只需“相对较小的投资”。

The move may also affect suppliers that currently produce parts for the Focus made in Michigan.


According to Transportation Department data, about 46 percent of the parts for the American-made Focus are produced in the United States and Canada.

美国运输部(Transportation Department)的数据显示,在美国制造的福克斯使用的零部件中,大约46%是在美国和加拿大生产的。

Ms. Felker said there was no information available on where parts are manufactured for Focuses currently made in China.