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Why Ford Will Keep Plants Humming and Trump Happy

  • With car capacity already cut, Ford’s U.S. plants may be safe
  • President renews tariff threat, takes aim at GM’s subsidies
Ford Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, Kentucky.
Ford Kentucky Truck Plant in Louisville, Kentucky.Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg
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Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. both need to overhaul their U.S. manufacturing base to cope with consumers’ drastic switch to SUVs from sedans. Only one is poised to make that adjustment without ticking off the president.

In a significant rework of its U.S. production plans, Ford will eliminate shifts at factories in Trump country. But it plans to retain all the 1,150 workers affected by shifting their jobs to Michigan and Kentucky plants making big SUVs or supplying transmissions to pickups. That’s fortunate not only for employees, but for Ford’s relations with a touchy White House.