Mexico 'flirting' with Ford after U.S. carmaker bails on Brazil

FILE PHOTO: Ford logo is pictured at Ford Motor Co plant, after the company announced it will close its three plants in the country, in Taubate, Brazil, January 12, 2021. REUTERS/Carla Carniel

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - The Mexican government is trying to entice Ford Motor Company to consider relocating some of its operations to Mexico, a senior official said on Tuesday, after the U.S. carmaker announced the closure of three plants in Brazil.

Mexican Economy Minister Tatiana Clouthier told reporters that officials were considering some kind of overture to Ford.

“We’re now looking to make Ford an offer,” Clouthier said.

She did not go into any further detail, but said the government was “flirting” with the company.

“What do you need? How do you need it?” she said, referring to the automaker and suggesting that the government wanted to better understand tax or other incentives Ford may require in exchange for relocating some of its manufacturing operations to Mexico.

For decades, carmaking has been a key part of Mexico’s manufacturing sector.

Ford’s press office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Earlier this month, Ford announced plans to shutter its three plants in Brazil this year while taking pre-tax charges of about $4.1 billion as the coronavirus pandemic pushed the company to reevaluate its manufacturing capacity.

Company officials said at the time that the decision was part of a previously announced $11 billion global restructuring.

Reporting by Sharay Angulo; Editing by David Alire Garcia and Stephen Coates