Ford plans to halt the production of C-Max and Focus at its Michigan Assembly Plant in 2018. The manufacturing of these small cars will be shifted out of the US, according to UAW officials.

The company said: "We will move production of the next-generation Ford Focus and C-MAX, which currently are built at Michigan Assembly Plant, beginning in 2018. We actively are pursuing future vehicle alternatives to produce at Michigan Assembly and will discuss this issue with UAW leadership as part of the upcoming negotiations."

UAW vice president Jimmy Settles said, "It's very, very unusual. You never feel good about that kind of information. But I am very, very confident that there will be a replacement product that we will secure for the plant."

Dave Sullivan, industry analyst at AutoPacific, called it a "a power move before negotiations start ... Before today, Ford didn't really have anything to negotiate on; the UAW had the upper hand. Now Ford has wiggle room to negotiate for jobs and products."

The company said it does not plan to shut down the Wayne plant, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Ford manufactures C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid, C-Max hybrid, Focus Electric, Focus ST and Focus at the plant.

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