Ford announced on March 28 that it plans to invest $1.2 billion at three plants in Michigan. President Donald Trump's administration has taken partial credit for the move, though the car company said that the majority of the deal has been in the works for years.
The investment includes plans to significantly expand the automaker's Ranger and Bronco models with an $850 million investment, reflecting the U.S. auto industry's changing focus from sports cars to SUVs, reports The Detroit Free Press. They made a similar announcement confirming the information in January, and UAW auto union Ford employees voted in support of the proposal in November 2015.
"These Michigan Assembly Plant and Romeo Engine plant announcements are consistent with what we agreed to and talked about with the UAW in 2015 negotiations," said Joe Hinrichs, Ford's president of the Americas, according to The Detroit Free Press.
The decision was well-received among many, including Democratic Rep. Debbie Dingell of Michigan, who lauded Ford as "a leader in the future of mobility" for their investments in technology.
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"Ford’s roots run deep in Michigan’s 12th District, and these investments bolster the company’s dedication to building its highest-tech vehicles here in the U.S. and strengthen its commitment to American workers," Dingell said.
Shortly before the Michigan automotive company released the news, Trump tweeted about it.
"Big announcement by Ford today," Trump wrote on Twitter March 28. "Major investment to be made in three Michigan plants. Car companies coming back to U.S. JOBS! JOBS! JOBS!"
Top Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway indicated on Twitter that Trump influenced Ford's decision.
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When asked at a press conference whether the president was responsible for the investment, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that he thought "regulatory efforts … might have played a role," according to ThinkProgress.
"The president was pleased to see that Ford announced $1.2 billion investment in three manufacturing facilities in Michigan just two weeks after automobile executives came to the White House and met with the president," Spicer told the press. "This adds to the growing wave of positive news, jobs news, under the president."
A Ford spokesperson told ThinkProgress that "much of today's announcement" came from the 2015 contract.
"We committed to adding [a] $9 billion investment and to create or secure 8,500 hourly jobs at Ford's U.S. manufacturing facilities during the contract," the spokesperson explained.