Toyota, the world’s biggest vehicle manufacturer, is building a new factory in Guanajuato, in central Mexico, which will produce a Corolla model that is currently made in Mississippi and Ontario, Canada.
In response to Donald Trump´s pledge to impose a 35 pc tariff on cars manufactured In Mexico and exported to the US, Toyota said that “in 2015, we exported over 160,000 vehicles made in the US to over 40 countries.”
Mr Trump, misidentifying the site of the new plant as Baja California, warned on Twitter that the firm should place its factory in the US “or pay big border tax” to bring the vehicles into the US.
Japan’s finance minister responded to the criticism of one of the country’s largest exporters. “Toyota is responsible for large employment at US plants such as in Kentucky. It’s questionable whether the new US President has a grasp of how many vehicles Toyota builds in the US,” said Taro Aso, according to the Financial Times.
“With more than $21.9bn direct investment in the US, 10 manufacturing facilities, 1,500 dealerships and 136,000 employees, Toyota looks forward to collaborating with the Trump administration to serve in the best interests of consumers and the automotive industry,” the company said.
“We’re always considering ways to increase production in the United States, regardless of the political situation,” said Toyota president Akio Toyoda.