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Ford Bronco Michigan Comeback Will Secure Jobs, Union Says

Image: Ford Bronco Michigan Comeback Will Secure Jobs, Union Says

Production of the Ford Bronco will secure jobs in Michigan, a union official says. (Ford)

By    |   Tuesday, 04 Oct 2016 10:56 AM

The Ford Bronco's Michigan comeback will secure jobs at the auto giant's assembly plant in suburban Detroit, a union official said, pushing back on Donald Trump's charge that plant workers will be left without jobs after small car production moves to Mexico.

Production of the Bronco and Ranger pickup is coming to Ford's Michigan Assembly plant in Wayne, Michigan, Bill Johnson, plant chairman for United Autoworkers Union Local 900, who represents workers at the plant, told the Detroit Free Press. The plant has more than 3,700 employees.

Last month, Ford announced that it was moving all of its small vehicle production to Mexico, including the Focus, which is currently made at the Michigan Assembly plant in Wayne, CNN reported.

"We hate to see the products go to Mexico, but with the Ranger and the Bronco coming to Michigan Assembly that absolutely secures the future for our people a lot more than the Focus does," Johnson told the Detroit Free Press.

Autoweek reported Monday that the Bronco will need a redesign but the Ranger, which has been in production since 2011, is already sold internationally. The Ranger could also see a redesign in Michigan by 2020.

"If the Bronco launches in 2018, as scheduled, it may compete directly with an all-new Jeep Wrangler (also scheduled for 2018), assuming Ford's new model picks up where the older compact Bronco left off," wrote Autoweek associate editor Jay Ramey. "Alternately, a new Bronco may be a size or two larger, adopting the dimensions of the model that left in 1996 and using F-150 architecture and design as a departure point."

Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, has criticized Ford and other companies for moving productions of their vehicles out of the United States.

"When you look at what's happening in Mexico, a friend of mine who builds plants said it's the eighth wonder of the world," Trump said at the Sept. 26 presidential debate against Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, according to the Washington Post. "They're building some of the biggest plants anywhere in the world, some of the most sophisticated, some of the best plants. With the United States, as he said, not so much.

"So Ford is leaving. You see that, their small car division leaving. Thousands of jobs leaving Michigan, leaving Ohio. They're all leaving. And we can't allow it to happen anymore," Trump continued.

Ford pushed back on social media, touting the number of employees it has in the United States and charged that it was not abandoning jobs in Michigan, according to USA Today.

"Ford has more hourly employees and produces more vehicles in the U.S. than any other automaker," the auto giant tweeted last week with a graphic that showed 28,000 U.S. jobs produced in America in the past five years, according to USA Today.

The UAW followed, according to USA Today, saying: "Ford is not moving jobs out of Michigan. Our agreement secures future product commitments for affected plants."

Former Michigan U.S. Rep. Pete Hoekstra, who is advising the Trump campaign, told the Free Press that statements by Ford and the UAW are misleading because the company's new jobs in Mexico mean lost opportunity for American workers to get those jobs.

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The Ford Bronco and Ranger pickup will be produced at the auto giant's Michigan Assembly plant in suburban Detroit, as a union official and Ford pushed back on Donald Trump's charge that plant workers will be left without jobs after small car production moves to Mexico.
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Tuesday, 04 Oct 2016 10:56 AM
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