Toyota Motor Corp. (IW 1000/212) said it plans to invest $10 billion in the U.S. over the next five years, maintaining its pace of spending during the last half decade, making Japan’s largest automaker the latest to respond to pressure by President-elect Donald Trump.
Jim Lentz, Toyota’s CEO for North America, outlined the company’s intentions during an interview with Bloomberg Television at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Trump last week criticized an announcement Toyota made 20 months earlier that it would build a Mexico factory to assemble Corolla compacts beginning from 2019, saying in a tweet the company should build the plant in the U.S. or pay a “big border tax.”
The automaker already makes Corollas at a plant in Mississippi.
Toyota broke ground last month on the plant in Apaseo el Grande, Guanajuato, which will add capacity for the model without leading to decreased production or employment in the U.S.
The company said last week it’s made $21.9 billion in direct investment in the U.S. and pointed to its 10 manufacturing facilities, 1,500 dealerships and 136,000 employees in the country.
By John Lippert and Tom Lavell