Put under pressure by Donald Trump, the big brands of the automobile world have shown white paw Monday at the Detroit auto show, making a display of their investments in the United States for fear of being taken into the flu by the president-elect.
Party in the war against the relocation, Mr. Trump recently took to the great names of the automotive world and its shadow is cast on the 29th edition of the great mass of the sector, which was opened in the city of Michigan (north-east).
Mr. Trump wants to force the automotive groups present on american soil to curb their relocation to Mexico, where many factories have been opened in the last decade.
The German auto industry has “quadrupled (sa) production in the United States between 2009 and 2016, from 214.000 to 850.000″, defended Matthias Wissmann, the president of the German association of the automotive VDA, which includes Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen.
“This is a clear commitment to the United States as the industrial base,” said Mr. Wissmann in Detroit, evaluating to 110,000 the total number of direct employees of the members of the German federation in the United States, including the suppliers.
The day before, Volkswagen, one of the officers was arrested Sunday in Florida (south-east) in the case of diesel engines-fixing, had tried to coax Mr. Trump by committing to produce its future electric vehicles in the United States. The group of the twelve brands could expand the capacities of its plant in Chattanooga (Tennessee, south) where Vw employs up to 3,200 people and produces the Passat, before his big 4×4 urban Atlas.
If it is already taken for General Motors, Ford and Toyota, Donald Trump, who has been elected on the promise to bring back industrial jobs to the United States and increased threats against the giants of the automobile, has not yet attacked a German manufacturer.
The future president blames the automotive industry have used the free trade agreement the north american Nafta, which allows, under certain conditions, and without customs duties, export to the United States of goods produced in Mexico where labor is less expensive.
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The agreement, signed in 1994, was attacked by Mr. Trump, who has promised to renegotiate or denounce it purely and simply. It is, he says, responsible with other trade agreements negotiated by its predecessors, the loss of millions of industrial jobs in the United States.
Ford and Fiat-Chrysler have already reached out to Mr. Trump, the first by cancelling an investment of 1.6 billion dollars in Mexico and the second by fetching the United States, the production of a pickup truck to shelf, and by announcing the creation of 2,000 jobs.
“It’s finally happened,” said Mr. Trump in a tweet on Monday. “Thank you, Ford and Fiat!”
Out of Mexico, the Swedish manufacturer Volvo, whose main shareholder is chinese, boasts for its part its facility in Charleston (South Carolina, southeast) where it will begin to produce the next generation of sedans, medium-sized S60 in 2018.
First plant of Volvo in North America after those of Sweden and China, the site is expected to export half of its production, highlighting the “Made in America” expensive to Donald Trump.
Exporting more than half of its cars manufactured in the United States, the German industry has also defended Monday the free trade agreement between the european Union and the United States (TTIP), currently in limbo.
“More than half of the jobs that the German automakers have created in the United States depend on exports,” said Mr Wissmann.
“For us, the value that Washington will give in to globalization is particularly important,” noted Mr Wissmann. “We postulate that the next presidential administration wants to strengthen the industry in the united states (…). We hope that the new president will be open to the policy of free trade in the interest of its industrial base”.
The show, which will open its doors to the public on January 14 after five days dedicated to professionals and the media, began with the awarding of the prize of the car of the year the Chevrolet Bolt, the sedan 100% electric, General Motors and marketed since little bit and the price — $ 30,000 on average – is expected to seduce the consumer.
Apart from the traditional SUV’s and pickups on the margins of profit, little of big product announcements are expected.