DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – President-elect Donald Trump has trained his sights on Toyota in his latest effort to badger a company into building its products in the U.S. rather than Mexico.
Trump tweeted Thursday that the Japanese automaker plans to build a factory in Baja, Mexico, to build the compact Corolla. He warned the company to build the plant in the U.S. or pay a big border tax.
The threat is similar to those targeted at Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. Trump has repeatedly threatened Ford with a border tax and this week called out GM for importing cars from Mexico.
Trump has the location of Toyota’s new Mexican plant wrong. The company announced in April that it would build a $1 billion Corolla factory in the central part of the country.
Responding to Trump’s tweet, Toyota said the Baja plant will not decrease production volume or employment in the U.S., adding that the company looks forward to working with the new president.
Auto Trader analyst Michelle Krebs says where to locate an assembly plant is a big decision.
“Automakers, when they make decisions about what to produce and where to produce it mostly look at what makes economic sense, what makes logistical sense,” Krebs told WWJ Auto Beat Reporter Jeff Gilbert. “Now they’ve got the added political considerations.”
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