The American automaker has stepped up its criticism against Japan, saying the weak yen lets the local automakers overproduce and threatens also the U.S. job growth.
Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of operations in the region, said in an interview that in North America the sales rise but production for automakers including Ford is at the moment constrained. At the same time, IHS Automotive estimates Japan’s auto industry has 2 million vehicles of excess capacity as the weaker yen is supporting exports from Japan.
“The industry is growing and capacities are a little tight in North America,” Hinrichs said. “Where is the extra available capacity going to come from? If Japan’s one of those places, in lieu of more manufacturing in the U.S., the American worker does lose in that proposition.”
In June, Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally remarked Japan was manipulating its currency, and reflected a threat that Ford sees to continuing its recent growth in the U.S. While the automaker has been the industry’s biggest market-share gainer this year, Toyota outsold Ford in July for its first monthly win since March 2010.
Ford has said it plans to add almost 3,500 hourly workers in the U.S. this year as it increases capacity to build 200,000 more vehicles annually in North America to meet increasing demand for F-Series pickups and Fusion sedans.