DETROIT — Ford Motor Co. said Monday it will cease vehicle production in Brazil, closing three plants and ending sales of nameplates like the EcoSport as it continues a global restructuring plan started by former CEO Jim Hackett.
The automaker said production will cease immediately at Camaçari and Taubaté engine plants in Brazil, with some parts production continuing for a few months to support inventories for aftermarket sales. The company’s Troller plant in Horizonte, Brazil, will continue to operate until the fourth quarter of 2021, Ford said.
Ford will end sales of the EcoSport, Ka and Troller T4 once inventories are sold. Ford said the moves will affect about 5,000 people.
Ford said the announcement would result in a special item charge of about $4.1 billion, with $2.5 billion in 2020 and $1.6 billion in 2021.
“With more than a century in South America and Brazil, we know these are very difficult, but necessary, actions to create a healthy and sustainable business,”Ford CEO Jim Farley said in a statement. “We are moving to a lean, asset-light business model by ceasing production in Brazil and serving customers with some of the best and most exciting vehicles in our global portfolio. We will also accelerate bringing our customers the benefits of connectivity, electrification and autonomous technologies to efficiently address the need for cleaner and safer vehicles well into the future.”
Despite the closures, Ford will retain a presence in South America.
In Brazil, it will continue to offer sales, service, aftermarket parts and warranty support. Ford will also maintain its product development center in Bahia, its proving ground in Tatuí, São Paulo, and its regional headquarters in São Paulo.
Elsewhere, Ford said manufacturing operations in Argentina and Uruguay, and the sales companies in other South America markets, are not affected by Monday’s announcement. It will continue to offer vehicles like the Ranger, Transit, Bronco and Mustang Mach 1, as well as “several new connected and electrified vehicles,” it said.