Monday, 9 January 2017
Toyota commits to US; BMW to Mexico
The firm's North America chief executive, Jim Lentz, announced the decision at the Detroit motor show.
He said it had nothing to do with President-elect Donald Trump's hostility to imported cars, but was part of its existing strategy.
Trump has threatened to tax firms that make cars in Mexico for the US market.
Lentz said the investmtent would be directed on a new headquarters in Texas and to upgrade existing US car plants.
Meanwhile, BMW one of the world’s largest luxury carmakers, has reaffirmed its commitment to open a new plant in Mexico, despite the threat by Donald Trump of a ‘big border tax’ on US car imports from Mexico.
Last week, Trump scolded General Motors for buildings cars for the US market in Mexico. He told GM to make the cars in the US “or pay big border tax!”
However, Ian Robertson, BMW sales and marketing director, told the UK's BBC that the firm was "absolutely committed" to its new plant in San Luis Potosi, which will make its 3-series cars for sale across the US, bucking a trend by other manufacturers of increasing their domestic investments or moving factories back to the US.
"I don't think there's any discussion that BMW is not at home in the United States. Yes, we are building a plant in Mexico. Yes, we built a plant in Brazil last year. Yes, we are building plants in other parts of the world as our capacity increases. But that's part of a normal strategic manufacturing direction," Robertson said.
Robertson added that the company, which owns Mini and Rolls-Royce, would also bolster investment in its plant in South Carolina by $1bn, pointing out that BMW was the biggest exporter of vehicles from the US in terms of value.
Trump has taken aim at car manufacturers who have moved manufacturing jobs abroad, including GM and Toyota.
Last week Trump tweeted: "General Motors is sending Mexican made model of Chevy Cruze to US car dealers-tax free across border. Make in USA. or pay big border tax!"
Following Trump’s tweet, Ford announced it would not open a planned facility for assembling Ford Focuses, which would have brought $1.6bn and 2,800 jobs to the state of San Luis Potosi.
Instead the company will add 700 jobs at a cost of $700m to a US plant in Michigan.