Trump Lauds Ford, Fiat Chrysler for US Investments
Jan 09, 2017 07:08 PM EST
Ford Motor Co (F.N) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCAU.N) were praised by President-elect Donald Trump for announcing new investments in the United States. During his presidential race, Trump has made U.S auto production part of the major key of his campaign.
Last week Ford announced that it would ignore plans to build a $1.6 billion plant in Mexico and instead would invest $700 million plant over four years in Michigan. On the other hand, Fiat Chrysler on Sunday said that it will invest $1 billion and add 200 jobs in Ohio and Michigan plants to build new pickup trucks and SUVs.
Both companies stated that the decision was made for business reasons and not related to the pressure from Trump, and praised Trump nevertheless for seeking improvement to the climate for business operation in the United States, reported Reuters.
Sergio Marchionnes, Fiat Chrysler chief executive said on Monday at the Detroit auto show that the decision had been in the works for a long time and it was coincidental to criticism by Trump which was channeled through his twitter account last week.
"We didn't twist ourselves into a pretzel (to make this decision)... It wasn't a preemptive strike against a tweet," Marchionne said during a roundtable discussion.
When asked about tariff that Trump has threatened to impose on imported vehicles from Mexico and elsewhere in the United States, he explained that Fiat Chrysler will live with any new rules. It was "quite possible", however, that heavy tariffs on Mexican imports could force the closure of Mexican plants, he added.
Trump who is a real estate developer that will take office on January 20 has repeatedly signaled out companies in various industries including auto sector for not doing more to maintain jobs in the country.
He also criticized Toyota Motor Corp last week for shifting production from Canada to Mexico. There is no impact on US employment, according to the company as a result of the change.
"It's finally happening - Fiat Chrysler just announced plans to invest $1BILLION in Michigan and Ohio plants, adding 2000 jobs," Trump said in a tweet on Monday.
"Ford said last week that it will expand in Michigan and U.S. instead of building a BILLION dollar plant in Mexico. Thank you Ford & Fiat C." he said in the follow up post.
Last Monday, Ford announced that it will build the Bronco SUV and Ranger pickup at its Wayne assembly plants and will shift its Ford Focus car production to an existing Mexican factory due to low demand.