Import Tariffs Kill the Last Ford Focus for the US Market

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The automaker announced the decision on Friday, saying that the previously imposed tariffs on Chinese products - and the prospect of more in the future - are likely to hit the company's bottom line.

The Chinese-made Focus Active, which Ford calls a crossover, would have been a niche vehicle for the United States, and the decision to abandon plans to launch it in the U.S. market next year will not cost jobs or have a significant impact on the automaker's USA sales, Ford North America chief Kumar Galhotra told reporters during a conference call on Friday.

For months, the US Department of Commerce has been investigating whether imported cars and components pose a threat to US national security, and the administration is said to be considering tariffs of as much as 25 percent.

Ford had reportedly not settled a USA price for Focus Active. The company decided it wasn't worth it for a vehicle that would sell fewer than 50,000 units a year, Galhotra said. A Ford representative refused to comment on proposed changes to NAFTA auto trade regulations, and Galhotra did not address them. It's already being sold in China and Europe. This officially leaves just one passenger vehicle in Ford's USA lineup, the Mustang.

By 2020, Ford expects 90 percent of the automaker's North American sales to consist of utility vehicles, trucks, and commercial vehicles.

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That is probably going the most most important of "many such announcements", warned Kristin Dziczek, vp of the Ann Arbor-primarily based Center for Automobile Research.

"This is the first of potentially many vehicles that will disappear from the USA market", she told The Detroit Free Press. "All of that imported say material would be discipline to tariffs as successfully".

The impact of the increased tariffs isn't just impacting Ford.

The automaker had planned to build the Focus Active SUV in China about this time next year. The shares dropped another 2.3 percent on Friday to US$9.48. The corporate outsourced some of its manufacturing due to income margins in the USA had been falling.