Donald Trump targeted Toyota in his latest tirade against car companies. He said via Twitter that there would be hefty fines for Toyota should the carmaker push through with a plant in Baja, Mexico. Trump has been clamping down on automakers, warning against selling cars made in Mexico to the US.
He rejected the idea that Toyota would build cars in Mexico then sell them to the US market. This rant, directed at Toyota, is just the latest in Trump’s broadsides against the auto industry. It is also his way of ensuring production would happen in the US, which he is particular of.
Toyota Motor said will build a new plant in Baja, Mexico, to build Corolla cars for U.S. NO WAY! Build plant in U.S. or pay big border tax.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 5, 2017
Trump’s attacks versus Mexico-made cars is hurting the cross-border production network of the two countries. Around $583 billion worth of trade happens between Mexico and the US. The Mexican peso also weakened as investors feared Trump’s policies would jeopardize the second largest economy in the Latin America, the Washington Post noted.
Toyota already released a statement in connection to Trump’s Twitter threat. Scott Vazin, spokesperson for Toyota, said that the world’s largest automaker “looks forward to collaborating with the Trump administration.” He added that they will serve the interests of both consumers and auto industry together, Reuters reported.
— Toyota USA (@Toyota) January 5, 2017
Trump Tweet Confuses Baja and Guanajuato Production Plants
Trump singled out Toyota Corollas in his tweets. However, Toyota will produce Corollas in another Mexican plant, this time in Guanajuato. They announced this plant in April 2015, and construction began last November. The Baja factory, on the other hand, is responsible for assembling Tacoma trucks.
Toyota President Akio Toyoda said they are not make any changes to their productions plans in Mexico until Trump’s January 20 inauguration. Toyota is first foreign carmaker to receive Trump’s ire. He previously ranted about Ford’s plans to move production south of the border, which Trump says takes away American jobs.
Mexico now boasts 20 percent of all automobile construction in North America. The production capacity of the country is also expected to double in five years. Moreover, more than $24 billion in investments has poured into the country since 2010.
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