China: It's why Ford Motors may have no future in Oakville, Ontario

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Alas, there are ominous signs that Ford’s Oakville, Ontario assembly plant might go the way of the General Motors assembly plant in Oshawa last year. Namely, being shuttered.

Numerous sources are reporting that the two vehicles made in Oakville – the Ford Edge and its upscale twin, the Lincoln Nautilus – might be doomed.

For starters, Ford may discontinue the Edge after the 2023 model year. But it is the potential future fate of the Lincoln Nautilus that is truly stunning. In three years, production of this luxury crossover might be moving to… China?

This is downright inexplicable in today’s day and age. China is responsible for yet another global pandemic. In addition to the number of people afflicted (more than 9-million infected and almost 500,000 dead worldwide), just consider the economic damage the Wuhan virus has done to the entire planet – a number that is easily into the trillions.

So then, why would Ford reward a corrupt communist regime while penalizing a Canadian town? If the Oakville plant closes, that means the loss of about 4,200 jobs for Ontarians.

And really, what’s the rationale behind moving Nautilus production to China? Lower labour costs? And will the cost-savings even be worth it given the amount of toxic public relations Ford will surely receive by going ahead with this decision?

Indeed, such a move would only further change the definition of what sort of vehicle qualifies as being a “domestic.” Sure, the Ford Motor Company is headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, with its Canadian subsidiary based in Oakville. But how “domestic” is a Lincoln vehicle if it’s assembled in China?

By way of contrast, Japanese manufacturers are building vehicles in Ontario. Honda builds the Civic and CR-V in Alliston; meanwhile, Toyota manufactures the Corolla, RAV4 and Lexus RX in Cambridge and Woodstock.

But I would argue that even a Japanese-made Honda or Toyota is preferable to a Chinese-made Lincoln! At least Japan is a democracy, after all.

I did reach out to Ford Canada, but the company declined to comment.

Oh, and by the way, in case you think I don’t care for domestically made vehicles. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I own two Ford products: a 2017 Fusion and a 2009 Sport Trac Adrenalin. They are terrific in every way and are supremely reliable. Indeed, I am a Ford fan.

But if these heart-breaking rumours are true that Ford might move production to China and axe it’s Oakville assembly plant, I don’t know if I’ll be able to envision a Ford in my future anytime soon.

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