Ford Spent the Presidential Debate Correcting Trump on Twitter
Donald Trump’s opening remarks during the presidential debate at Hofstra University on Monday night began on an ominous note: U.S. jobs fleeing the country and heading to Mexico and China. He specifically cited Ford—as he has numerous times before—as one example of a company sending U.S. jobs to Mexico.
“So Ford is leaving. You see that their small car division [is] leaving. Thousands of jobs leaving Michigan, leaving Ohio. They’re all leaving. And we can’t allow it to happen anymore,” Trump said during the debate.
Within minutes, automaker Ford f and United Auto Workers fired back on Twitter. The UAW has publicly supported Hillary Clinton for president.
And then Ford came next with an infographic tweet, as if the company had expected this.
From there, the Ford team spent the remainder of the debate tweeting responses and fact checks.
A Ford spokesman elaborated in an email after the debate, saying the company has more hourly employees and produces more vehicles in the U.S. than any other automaker. Ford employs 85,000 U.S. workers.
Earlier this month, CEO Mark Fields confirmed that the company would move all of its small-car production from U.S. plants to Mexico over the next two to three years. The Ford Fiesta subcompact, Fusion, and Lincoln MKZ are already manufactured in Mexico.
Ford plans to move the Focus and C-Max to Mexico as well. Earlier this year, Ford announced it was building a $1.6 billion assembly plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, where it will make small cars beginning in 2018.
Shifting production of the Ford Focus to Mexico is part of a labor contract Ford ratified with the UAW in November. Ford is moving two new vehicles to the Michigan plant where the Focus is produced, and the existing U.S. workforce at the plant will make those vehicles. A Ford spokeswoman said there is no impact on U.S. jobs.
Trump has repeatedly criticized Ford for its investment in Mexico. He’s used Ford as a symbol of both outsourcing and the decline of manufacturing. Trump has promised to slap a 35% tax on cars, trucks, and parts that the company makes in Mexico and ships into the United States.
However, Ford is not the only automaker that has shifted production to Mexico over the years. General Motors gm has been in Mexico for decades just like Ford, though Trump hasn’t criticized the former. GM announced in 2013 plans to invest $691 million for its manufacturing operations in three facilities to build higher performing, more fuel-efficient powertrains.