Updated with statement from General Motors.
It’s not just Ford’s Mexican assembly plants that has President-elect steaming on Twitter.
Donald Trump’s latest online automotive salvo wasn’t directed at the Blue Oval, which was a favorite corporate punching bag during the election campaign. Rather, it was General Motors’ turn to be blasted.
“General Motors is sending Mexican made model of Chevy Cruze to U.S. car dealers-tax free across border,” Trump tweeted this morning. “Make in U.S.A. or pay big border tax!”
The president-elect has famously threatened Ford and other automakers who manufacture vehicles south of the border with a 35-percent import tax. While GM primarily builds the Cruze at its Lordstown, Ohio assembly plant, it bolsters that production with overflow from Mexico. Last year, the automaker said that domestic demand of the next-generation Cruze would be partly met with vehicles from its Ramos Arizpe, Mexico plant.
General Motors replied shortly after Trump’s tweet with an official statement, saying, “General Motors manufacturers the Chevrolet Cruze sedan in Lordstown, Ohio. All Chevrolet Cruze sedans sold in the U.S. are built in GM’s assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio. GM builds the Chevrolet Cruze hatchback for global markets in Mexico, with a small number sold in the U.S.”
The lack of demand for passenger cars recently forced GM to curtail production at several U.S. plants to get ballooning inventories under control. In mid-December, GM had a 121-day supply of Cruze models. To stem the flow, Lordstown will shut down for a week this month.
[Image: General Motors]