Toyota and Honda Play the Waiting Game After Ford Surprise

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
toyota and honda play the waiting game after ford surprise

Tuesday’s surprise announcement by Ford, where it declared plans for a new Mexican assembly plant were as dead as disco, turned up the heat on other automakers.

With President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign promise of a hefty import tax weighing heavily on the minds of auto executives, long-term production plans are being placed in limbo across the industry.

According to Reuters, sales titans Toyota and Honda are paying close attention to how Trump’s promises play out after Inauguration Day. Both automakers claim they have no plans to end production of certain U.S.-bound models in Mexico, but that doesn’t mean they’re not keeping an eye on America’s policy landscape.

“We will consider our option as we see what policies the incoming president adopts,” Toyota President Akio Toyoda said at an industry meet-up Thursday. Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo was on the same page. He added that Mexican-made models supply both the North America and European markets.

Still, the bulk of those vehicles end up in American driveways. Toyota is in the midst of a $150 million expansion plan aimed at squeezing more Tacoma pickups out of its Tijuana plant.

Whether or not Trump could impose a tariff on imports is up for debate, as the World Trade Organization could kibosh the move. If it doesn’t, other WTO members could impose similar tariffs in retaliation — economic food for thought for the incoming administration.

[Image: Toyota]

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  • Corollaman Corollaman on Jan 05, 2017

    It's simple, if you want to sell your cars here, build them here. Period. Toyota, Subaru and Honda both did it back in the 80's with much success. No good reason to change their business plans.

    • Heavy handle Heavy handle on Jan 05, 2017

      That's a two-way street, obviously. Every manufacturer should build plants in every country where they operate. Sell one car, build one factory! Why limit it to countries? Let's do this at the county or city level. The obvious upside is that we are guaranteed massive economic growth once these new barriers are repealed. The downside should be obvious.

  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Jan 05, 2017

    So how many cars come from Canada? You can state Canadian income is high, but these ain't 'Murican jobs. So Trump picks on the weak? Great guy, especially if that's how to make 'Murica great.

    • See 2 previous
    • VW4motion VW4motion on Jan 05, 2017

      Mtmmo, slow down on that d.trump kool-aid. It's embarrassing.

  • Stuki Stuki on Jan 06, 2017

    Well, employing the Top Goon Gang to force investment decisions to be made on the basis of what generalissimo feels tickles his ego, worked like a dream for Chavez... Less so for the rest of Venezuelans perhaps, but then again, they're not the ones the cameras will be pointed at.