Trump causes chaos in the automotive industry - The Sentinel

WASHINGTON - With a few tweets, Donald Trump is plunging the automotive industry into gradual chaos with threats of substantial customs duties just as the industry is at its best in recent years. The president-elect's latest showdown with carmakers is also coming shortly before the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) opens on Monday, one of the most important dates of the automotive calendar in the world.

The leading automakers operating in the United States are planning to showcase NAIAS dozens of new models and prototypes for the next few years, after 2016 in which they reached a record sales figure of 17 , 55 million vehicles.

But after the last trump tweet saved, instead of devoting itself exclusively to promoting the latest technologies, such as autonomous driving and new products , manufacturers will have to focus on how to respond to the next president of the United States.

Especially when data and facts seem to count little when Trump launches his messages through social media Trump's latest victim was the Japanese company Toyota that on Thursday had to refute the president-elect's Twitter messages. Trump wrote that "Toyota Motor says it will build a new plant in Baja, Mexico, to produce automobiles Corolla for the US IN NO WAY! Build the plant in the US or pay a large customs duty. "

The fact is that Toyota is not building a assembly plant in Baja California, but in the state of Guanajuato, where from 2019 to 200,000 Corolla units for export to the United States.

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Toyota was quick to respond to Trump that not only the Guanajuato plant will not affect the level of employment or production at its plants in the United States, but the manufacturer has invested more than 21.9 billion dollars in the country, where it counts The facts also did not adjust to the reality when last Tuesday it threatened to General Motors (GM), the biggest American manufacturer of automobiles, with notable customs tariffs to produce in Mexico and import the Chevrolet Cruze model into the US

The reality, as GM pointed out shortly afterwards, is that "all Chevrolet Cruze sedans for sale in the United States are produced at the assembly plant of GM in Lordstrom, Ohio.

In 2016, GM imported only about 4,500 Cruze Hatch from five doors produced in Mexico, a tiny fraction of the 190,000 Cruze sold that year in the United States.

p> What is certain is that, according to the says Cars.com about the level of production of the automotive sector in the United States, which is based on component origination, vehicle assembly and sales level, the amount of domestic content has dropped dramatically in recent years. According to this source, in 2016 only eight models can be considered American: Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, Honda Pilot, Chevrolet Traverse, GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave. This figure is 30 percent lower than in 2011, although in 2015 the figure was even lower: only seven models were "American".

But where Trump's words fail to adjust in reality is at the point of employment.

However, Trump seems to be emboldened after Ford surrendered to pressure and announced on Tuesday the cancellation of a $ 1.6 billion investment in Mexico to build a new plant.

Even in his victory, Trump did not stick to reality. Although Trump congratulated Ford for not building the San Luis de Potosi plant and boasted of victory on Twitter, the manufacturer does keep its plans to produce the Ford Focus in Mexico, which the president-elect wanted to avoid.