OK, President-elect Donald Trump's spin on Ford's (F) statement about keeping Lincoln SUV production in Kentucky was an exaggeration wrapped in overstatement wrapped in hyperbole.
In fact, Ford hadn't previously stated any intention to move the Lincoln MKC crossover to Mexico. Yet Trump took to Twitter on Thursday evening to take credit for "working things out" with Bill Ford Jr., Ford's executive chairman, to the benefit of Kentucky.
Or, as he tweeted in his @realDonTrump account: "I worked hard with Bill Ford to keep the Lincoln plant in Kentucky. I owed it to the great State of Kentucky for their confidence in me!"
The temptation might be to criticize Trump as the nonsensical, uninformed blowhard he proved himself to be not infrequently during the presidential campaign. Rather, I see his latest statement -- however awkward -- as a hopeful development, perhaps an indication that the president-elect has gained an appreciation for the importance of brisk automotive trade among the countries of North America.
Ford is moving its car production to Mexico in order to lower costs and perhaps make a profit, or at least lose less, on that difficult part of the business. The reason Ford continues to manufacture cars at all is that it's necessary to comply with federally mandated fuel-efficiency rules, which make little sense but are the law.
In terms of trade, the tariff-free movement of parts, components and vehicles across the Canadian and Mexican borders with the U.S. has been continuous for years and remains a vital ingredient in the profitability of Ford and General Motors (GM) , not to mention Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCAU) and thousands of suppliers and suppliers to suppliers.