Ford has announced that it will be moving production of the Focus out of the United States entirely for the 2019 model year, though the automaker is keen to state it does not mean the loss of American jobs.

The next-generation Focus for North America will be globally sourced primarily from China – rather than Hermosillo, Mexico – with production starting in the second half of 2019. Production of the current North American Ford Focus will continue at its Michigan Assembly Plant through mid-2018, and the plant will then be converted to build the Ranger in late 2018 and the Bronco in 2020, according to Ford.

In addition to the move, the company has also announced a US$900 million (RM3.8 billion) investment into upgrades for its Kentucky Truck Plant, which is set to build the Ford Expedition and the Lincoln Navigator. Both the Expedition and the Navigator will be exported to more than 55 markets around the world, including China in the case of the Navigator, the automaker said.

The Kentucky Truck Plant currently employs 7,600 full-time, hourly workers, and Ford says it has more US hourly workers and builds more vehicles in the US than any other automaker.

The automaker added that the new production plan for the Ford Focus saves US$1 billion (RM4.29 billion) in investment costs compared with the original plan, with the move overseas saving US$500 million on top of another US$500 million that was saved by cancelling plans for an all-new Mexican plant in San Luis Potosi.

GALLERY: 2018 Ford Focus spyshots


GALLERY: 2018 Ford Expedition