Trump threatens GM with tax for car mostly built in U.S.
President-elect Donald Trump threatened General Motors Co. with a “big border tax” for moving its Chevy Cruze model production to Mexico.
Trump tweeted out at 7:30 a.m. this morning:
General Motors is sending Mexican made model of Chevy Cruze to U.S. car dealers-tax free across border. Make in U.S.A.or pay big border tax!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2017
General Motors responded in a press release that it makes its Chevy Cruze model in Lordstown, Ohio. In clarification, the firm said it “builds the Chevy Cruze hatchback for global markets in Mexico, with a small number sold in the U.S.”
GM manufactures Cruze sedans at a factory in Lordstown, Ohio. But last year, the company introduced a hatchback model that is made in Mexico and is largely sold in international markets. GM spokesman Pat Morrissey said the company also made the hatchback available to U.S. dealers.
GM sold about 190,000 Chevy Cruze models in the country in 2016, and about 4,500 were the Mexican model, he said. GM sold about 30,000 Cruze hatchbacks around the world last year.
“The hatchback is a very small volume vehicle,” Morrissey said. “There’s just not a lot of demand for it.”
The Cruze sedan manufactured in Lordstown has suffered from declining demand. In November, GM announced it would eliminate the factory’s third shift, cutting 1,245 salaried and hourly workers in the process. The jobs will end this quarter. The plant currently employs about 4,500.