- Interview



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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Meanwhile, back to that interview I had with the CEO of Ford Motor Company on the FOX Business Network regarding this, well, quid pro quo agreement with Donald Trump.


MARK FIELDS, CEO, FORD MOTOR COMPANY: Primarily, we did a couple of things.

One is, we`re investing $4.5 billion in electrified vehicles and producing and introducing 13 electrified vehicles over the next five years. And we announced today that we`re going to be producing two of these here in our facility in Flat Rock, Michigan, and investing $700 million, and creating 700 jobs.

And the reason that we`re canceling the plant down in Mexico is primarily due to the fact that we were going to build our next generation focus there. We`re now going to build it in an existing plant in Mexico, because we have seen decreasing demand in North America for small cars. And we simply don`t need the capacity anymore.

CAVUTO: So this has nothing to do with all the criticism you got from Donald Trump?

FIELDS: Well, we`re doing this decision based on what is right for our business.

As we think about the investments here in Michigan, as you can imagine, Neil, we look at a lot of factors as we make those. One of the factors that we`re looking at is a more positive U.S. manufacturing business environment under president-elect Trump and some of the pro-growth policies that he said he`s going to pursue.

CAVUTO: By the way, did you talk to him about this thing?

FIELDS: And so this is a vote of confidence.

CAVUTO: I`m sorry.

Did you talk to him about this today?

FIELDS: We notified him this morning, as well as vice president-elect Pence, of the announcement that we were making today.

CAVUTO: And what did the president-elect say?

FIELDS: Well, they were very pleased that we were making these investments here in the United States and creating the 700 jobs, building on the 28,000 jobs that we have created over the last five years and the $12 billion that we invested in U.S. plants over the last five years. So, they were very pleased that we`re making this action.

CAVUTO: Mr. Fields, would you have done this if Donald Trump were not elected president?

FIELDS: Yes, absolutely.

I mean, we -- again, the cancellation of the plant in Mexico was just really looking at capacity requirements. And the investments here in Michigan are around building our high-tech products here and making Flat Rock one of our most advanced manufacturing facilities that we will have going forward.

CAVUTO: The president-elect has gone after your rival, General Motors, for making the Chevrolet Cruze sedan in Mexico, signaling a likelihood that there is going to be a showdown there over that.

What do you think of that?

FIELDS: Well, you know, I can`t really speak to that. I speak to the Ford business.

And when you look at our business, obviously, we`re a multinational, a global multinational. Our home is here in the U.S. We are the largest producer of vehicles here in the United States than any other automaker. We`re the largest employer of hourly workers. And about 80 percent of our sales here in the U.S. come from vehicles that are produced here in the U.S.

So we will have to see how some of the trade policies work themselves out. But we will engage very proactively with president-elect Trump and his administration, just as we have done with many administrations in the past.

CAVUTO: Sir, I know you said that you didn`t do this because Donald Trump was elected president. Nevertheless, this is something that he wanted to see, the kind of thing he wanted to see. Was there any quid pro quo in this? Did he promise -- I know this rush towards fuel economy requirements and rules that you said in the past can be too fast and onerous and expensive or all the automakers, Ford included, would ease up, or any other commitment on the part of currency manipulation for those against whom you compete?

FIELDS: Well, there was no quid pro quo, because there was no negotiation on this. We did these actions because it`s right for our business.


CAVUTO: But did he come back at you, sir? Did he say that, look, all right, I hear what you`re saying about currency manipulation. I hear what you`re saying about tough fuel economy rules. I will address that when I become president?

FIELDS: Well, clearly, he said that publicly. So, obviously, we`re looking at that. And that`s one of the factors that we put into place.

And, again, when we look at some of the tax and regulatory reforms that he`s been talking about, that gives us a lot of confidence. And this is a vote of confidence that he can deliver on those things.

CAVUTO: What do you think the way he went after your company, the way he went against General Motors, the way he went after Carrier to save what amounts to 800 or so jobs there?

We haven`t seen a president-elect, let alone a president, use that type of bully pulpit to try to get his way. Obviously, you argue that was not a strong-arm tactic in your making this decision today. But what do you think of that presidential policy?

FIELDS: Well, I think, you know, when you look at -- there`s nothing wrong, I think, with a president who is looking to make sure that there is a strong and vibrant U.S. economy.

I think we all share that vision and that hope and that reality going forward. In terms of some of the things that the president-elect said on the campaign trail about Ford, you know, clearly, we`re always going to be out there talking about the facts and making sure we lay those out, which we have, just as we`re doing today.

And we will continue to do that going forward.


CAVUTO: All right. I will let you be the judge as to whether that might have been inspired by the election of Donald Trump and recognizing the new reality that there`s a new sheriff in town. In 2.5 weeks, he will be the new president of the United States.


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