"Donald Trump is keen on preserving vehicle production roles in the US"

Donald Trump has been very outspoken about the US car industry - but what does it mean for manufacturers in America?

The most powerful, productive and provocative individual in the car world in recent weeks? That person has been – and may continue to be – Donald ‘DJ’ Trump.

Love or loathe the man who’s inaugurated as US President this week, he’s a master manoeuvrer and a force for change (some good, some bad). The sort of dude who clearly gets it done. He’s achieved much, even before formally clocking on and doing his first proper working day as President. 

Best world leader's cars

For starters, minutes after he was announced President-elect on 8 November, he made an unbreakable pledge that his incoming regime will spend billions on road, bridge and tunnel works designed to help road users and the American construction industry. Firms and workers from other nations need not apply!  

Weeks later, he in effect bullied Ford into putting a stop on building works at the company’s now abandoned vehicle plant in Mexico. Not content with this, he’s even warning Toyota (a Japanese firm!) that it too must think carefully before ‘exporting’ US auto workers’ jobs south of the border. 

Ford Edge - Ford badge

Trump is certainly hinting tariffs or financial penalties might be dumped on some cars by GM, Ford and Chrysler/Fiat if they’re built in Mexico, forcing Ford’s decision to abandon its latest Mexican factory/recruitment programme and bring those jobs ‘back home’ to the US. DJ doesn’t like ‘US auto workers’ jobs’ going to Canada, either. Put another way, he’s keen on preserving and creating vehicle production roles in North America – well, as long as they’re inside the bit known as the US.

Best American cars of all time

Why should we care? Because DJ’s next nationalistic step might be to object to US jobs being ‘exported’ to, for example, Italy, where Chrysler/Fiat recently started building ‘American’ Jeeps. And what will he make of Britain, where Ford uses Brits – not Americans – to build millions of engines for itself, Volvo, JLR and others? Might he introduce fines on some Ford-powered Jaguars and Land Rovers being shipped to the US because Ford had the temerity to build those engines outside the States? 

Never forget, DJ is a nationalist, not an internationalist. He thinks domestically, not globally. This mindset could create major problems for trade, not least with motor manufacturing, which is, and has to remain, one of the most global industries on the planet.

Do you think Donald Trump will do good or bad for the US auto industry? Let us know in the comments below...

Recommended

'Some traditions need to be abandoned, and working 9-5 is one of them'
Opinion commute
Opinion

'Some traditions need to be abandoned, and working 9-5 is one of them'

Britain needs to re-think its approach to commuting, according to Mike Rutherford
11 Apr 2021
'It's clear that lorry drivers deserve much-improved working conditions'
Truck
Opinion

'It's clear that lorry drivers deserve much-improved working conditions'

Mike Rutherford proposes some alternative options to help streamline British imports and exports
23 Jan 2021
'Gordon Murray is my British motor industry person of 2020'
Opinion

'Gordon Murray is my British motor industry person of 2020'

Mike Rutherford highlights his positive car industry stories of 2020
4 Jan 2021
'Citroen has changed the game and changed the lives of countless consumers'
Opinion

'Citroen has changed the game and changed the lives of countless consumers'

Mike Rutherford thinks the quirky new Citroen Ami is a true game-changing car
13 Dec 2020

Most Popular

'Nissan has been quietly building an advantage over electric car rivals'
Opinion Nissan EV
Nissan

'Nissan has been quietly building an advantage over electric car rivals'

Steve Fowler thinks Nissan is in a great position to build on the Leaf's success
8 Apr 2021
New Citroen C5 X flagship crossover set to offer ‘ultimate comfort’
Citroen C5 X - front
Citroen C5

New Citroen C5 X flagship crossover set to offer ‘ultimate comfort’

The new flagship Citroen C5 X will arrive with petrol and plug-in hybrid power, and looks set to cost from around £27,000 when it arrives in the UK in…
12 Apr 2021
Volkswagen Golf GTD vs BMW 120d
VW Golf GTD vs BMW 120d - main
Volkswagen Golf GTD Hatchback

Volkswagen Golf GTD vs BMW 120d

Can the Volkswagen Golf GTD or BMW 120d prove diesel isn't dead?
10 Apr 2021