President-elect Donald Trump criticized General Motors Co. (IW 500/3) for building a version of the Chevrolet Cruze compact in Mexico, saying the largest U.S. automaker should build the car at home or face a hefty tariff.
“General Motors is sending Mexican made model of Chevy Cruze to U.S. car dealers-tax free across border,” Trump tweeted Tuesday. “Make in U.S.A. or pay big border tax!”
GM started producing a hatchback version of the Cruze in Mexico last fall. Trump tussled with Ford Motor Co. during his campaign, threatening a 35% tariff on any cars it builds in Mexico and ships back to the U.S. GM makes the better-selling sedan version of the Chevy Cruze in Lordstown, Ohio.
General Motors is sending Mexican made model of Chevy Cruze to U.S. car dealers-tax free across border. Make in U.S.A.or pay big border tax!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2017
A GM spokesman didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment. The Detroit-based automaker said in November it planned to cut a shift at the Ohio plant and furlough 1,200 workers there due to weak demand for small cars.
Glenn Johnson, president of United Auto Workers Local 1112, which represents GM workers in Lordstown, said in an interview at the time of the layoffs he didn’t know if his plant had the tooling in place to make the hatchback version of the Cruze. The hatchback version sells in small numbers and probably would not rescue an entire shift, he said.
By Ben Brody and David Welch