Toyota to Invest $10 Billion in U.S.

CBJ — Automakers continue to say Donald Trump is not affecting their business plans, but their actions don’t seem to back up those claims.

Toyota North America CEO Jim Lentz says the Japanese automaker will spend $10 billion in U.S. capital investments over the next five years, matching its investments over the prior five years.

The automaker has come under fire from President-elect Donald Trump for announcing in 2015 plans to shift production of its Corolla to Mexico from Canada. Lentz said in an interview at the Detroit auto show the decision is not a response to Trump but part of the automaker’s business strategy to invest in the United States, where it has 10 plants in eight states.

Some auto companies have not outwardly admitted Trump’s stance has impacted on their decision-making, but it certainly appears to be the case. On a number of occasions he’s threatened to impose large trade tariffs on vehicles entering the U.S. from other countries. Those tariffs would be so high that it would essentially offset the price of cheaper labour in other countries.

Ford, Nissan and General Motors have also announced new investment plans in the U.S., which may or may not have happened without the actions of Trump, but the announcements definitely spell good news for U.S. autoworkers.