In Donald Trump’s latest Twitter rebuke of an automaker, the president-elect threatened Toyota Motor on Thursday with a large border tax if it builds a new plant outside the U.S. Of course, there are many other foreign automakers that make cars in the US that are hurting in South Carolina (BMW) and in Alabama (Toyota, Mercedes) and in Ohio (Honda) and all of these companies provide mega jobs and are every bit as much a part of our manufacturing base here.
The automaker is eliminating almost 2,100 jobs because consumers prefer trucks and sport utility vehicles over the small cars built at the two factories. Much had been made of GM’s inflated inventory over the past couple of months, but the automaker made moves to adjust its production capacity and shut down a handful of plants for varying lengths.
Automaker lobbyists are currently pushing the new administration to relax such clean-air standards. Today, the automakers are asking for cash, but they’re going about it all wrong. That is especially true in the auto industry, where the increasing clout of cash-rich private equity firms combined with the declining capital of automakers is making even the giants more susceptible to takeovers.
Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp has had the auto crown for the past four years, although it fell behind General Motors in 2011, when production was hit by a quake and tsunami in northeastern Japan. Earlier in the year, Toyota was out-delivered by Volkswagen , and the supposedly dieselgate-doomed German automaker had a clear shot at reaching its declared target and become the world’s largest.
Honda, Toyota and other automakers abroad have made more efficient well-made cars than the American automaker. If an automaker decided to switch suppliers, it could be devastating to the previous supplier’s business. The companies also discussed autonomous and electric vehicles and Trump asked about advanced vehicles, the person said.