Nissan calls on Trump for clear rules after he blasts Toyota

January 09, 2017

The chief executive of Nissan has called on President-elect Trump to outline clear rules and even-handed treatment for carmakers looking to build cars in the US or import them into the country. 

‘We need laws, regulations, expectations, policies to be announced and we follow it,’ Carlos Ghosn told the Financial Times. ‘Because this has got to apply to everybody, we’re all in the same boat.’ 

President-Elect Trump turned his Twitter attacks on Toyota last Thursday for its Mexico plant plans after similar criticisms to GM for its plans to manufacture the Chevy Cruze in Mexico. Trump's hostile approach to the industry resulted in Ford feeling the need to repackage a Mexican plant cancellation they would probably have made anyway as ‘a vote of confidence in Trump’ to try to appeal to the incoming US administration and its voters. 

Unlike Toyota and Ford, Nissan has not announced any plans to build new facilities in Mexico, which Ghosn suggested made his company less vulnerable to immediate attack from Trump. 

Trump attacked Toyota on Twitter, saying: ‘Toyota Motor said will build a new plant in Baja, Mexico, to build Corolla cars for U.S. NO WAY! Build plant in U.S. or pay big border tax.’ 

Toyota responded by saying that no US jobs would be lost as a result of the planned new plant in Guanajuato, its second in Mexico after a plant in Baja that makes the Tacoma pick-up truck. However, Toyota only produced 82,000 of the 2 million vehicles it produces in North America in Mexico in 2015. It has plans to expand the Baja plant’s capacity by 60,000 units by the end of 2017 - still a drop in the ocean compared to the overall figures. 

However, in 2015, Toyota announced plans for a new $1 billion facility in Guanajuato to make Corolla compact cars from 2019. The Corolla car is the second-best selling car in the US and is currently manufactured in Mississippi and Ontario, Canada. 

Toyota shares fell more than 3% in Tokyo on Friday morning, and were still down 2% in midday trading.

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