Ford Motor stated on Monday it has strategies to stop building its Focus compact cars in Argentina in May 2019 as it looks to recover from losses from its operations in South America.
Ford stated it will keep building Ranger compact pickups at its Pacheco plant located in Argentina, which employs about 3,440 people. A spokesman stated it was “too early” to say if there would be layoffs at Pacheco once the Focus stops production, but the company was in discussion with the union that represents workers at the plant.
Once one of Ford’s most popular models, the Focus won’t be built in the Americas after next year, although it is expected to keep produce in China and Europe, where redesigned versions were just introduced.
Ford stated South American customers, similar to their counterparts in North America, are progressively going for SUVs and crossovers over traditional passenger vehicles like the Focus.
The U.S. automaker, meanwhile, is talking about joint vehicle development with Volkswagen Group in Europe and South America.
Last week, Pablo Di Si, chief executive for Volkswagen in Latin America, informed Reuters the companies are studying a partnership in Brazil and the discussions are “advancing positively.”
In a statement on Monday, Ford stated it is reviewing “multiple alternative investment projects” in South America, where “a major redesign of our business model is required to determine where and how we should participate” in the industry.
Volkswagen presently builds a Ranger-size pickup named the Amarok at its own plant located in Pacheco and stated last year that it prepares to add a new SUV, the Tarek, in next year.