The US industry is back – this impression President Donald Trump vehemently tries to convey to his constituents. The fact that the auto giant General Motors (GM) wants to dismiss up to 15,000 employees fits badly into the concept. To stand better, Trump now uses the German car maker BMW for its own PR – but leaves out a significant detail.
„General Motors is very opposite to what car companies and other big companies are doing,“ Trump wrote on early Thursday morning (local time) on Twitter. „Large steel companies are opening and renovating plants across the country. Car companies are pouring into the US, including BMW, which has just announced a new plant. The US is booming! “
Really a new work?
What Trump did not mention in his morning tweet: BMW has by no means announced a new plant. The Munich-based company is currently thinking about opening a second plant, chief executive Harald Krüger said Tuesday in an interview at the LA Auto Show in Los Angeles. But nothing is decided yet. In fact, BMW has another plant in planning – but in Mexico.
The German carmaker is already screwing cars together in a plant near Spartanburg in the state of South Carolina. Due to good sales figures in the US, BMW now think about a second plant, in which engines and transmissions could be made, said Krüger in Los Angeles.
Hard life with the Trump government
All in all, the Trump government makes life rather difficult for the Munich car giant. The US trade war with China ensures that SUVs produced in the US will receive Chinese retaliatory tariffs. The group had therefore already shifted part of its production of the X3 model to China.
To make matters worse, the US government is probably thinking about new car taxes on imports from abroad. „The reason that the truck and pickup business in the US is doing so well is the 25 percent tariff on those foreign cars, Trump wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. „If we do that with cars that come into the country, a lot more cars would be built in this country.“
Earlier, an internal report by the US Department of Commerce had become public, recommending new levies on car imports. Such tariffs would hit hard especially German carmaker.
Threats of the Trump government
But most of the trouble with the US president is still with General Motors. The car maker from Detroit had announced at the beginning of the week, to cut back on domestic production and therefore lay off staff and close down some manufacturing facilities. The measure could affect 15,000 employees.
The main reasons are the weakening US sales of smaller cars and increased material costs, such as the special duties imposed by Trump on steel. In addition, the group wants to shift capacities and investments due to the switch to future technologies such as electric cars. Trump threatened with retaliatory measures, such as the cancellation of subsidies for electric cars.