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Ford shifts production of electric SUV to Mexico

UPDATED: Thu., Dec. 7, 2017, 4:12 p.m.

Flat Rock Assembly employees clap as Ford President and CEO Mark Fields addresses the auto plant, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017, in Flat Rock, Mich. Ford is canceling plans to build a new $1.6 billion factory in Mexico and will invest $700 million in a Michigan plant to build new electric and autonomous vehicles. The factory will get 700 new jobs. (Carlos Osorio / AP)
Flat Rock Assembly employees clap as Ford President and CEO Mark Fields addresses the auto plant, Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017, in Flat Rock, Mich. Ford is canceling plans to build a new $1.6 billion factory in Mexico and will invest $700 million in a Michigan plant to build new electric and autonomous vehicles. The factory will get 700 new jobs. (Carlos Osorio / AP)

DETROIT – Ford said that shifting production of an electric SUV from the U.S. to Mexico will allow the company to make more self-driving vehicles in Michigan.

Ford announced last January that it would invest $700 million and hire 700 workers to make electric and autonomous vehicles at its Flat Rock plant near Detroit. Among those vehicles is an all-electric SUV that will go on sale in 2020.

Ford said Thursday it now plans to make the SUV at its Cuatitlan, Mexico, factory.

Ford said it plans to add a second autonomous vehicle to the Flat Rock plant. It will increase its investment there to $900 million and hire a total of 850 workers.

Ford Motor Co. wants to have an autonomous vehicle on the market in 2021.