Hyundai Motor and General Motors announce billions in US investment (but deny it's anything to do with Trump's tax threat)

 
Rebecca Smith
Hyundai said it needed to remain committed to the US as a key market for the South Korean company
Hyundai said it needed to remain committed to the US as a key market for the South Korean company (Source: Getty)

Hyundai Motor will boost investment in the US, after Donald Trump warned of a 35 per cent border tax of cars imported to the US.

Hyundai said it plans to increase US investment by 50 per cent to $3.1bn (£2.57bn) over five years and could also build a new factory, though group president Chung Jin-haeng denied the development was pushed by pressure from the President-elect, saying the US market was "strategically important" for the company.

Around 30 to 40 per cent of the investment will go towards R&D, particularly on developing self-driving and eco-friendly technologies.

General Motors meanwhile, has announced it will invest an additional $1bn in US manufacturing operations with 1,500 (new and retained) jobs tied to the investments.

Read more: Trump’s business meddling: Crony capitalism to a Tea

“As the US manufacturing base increases its competitiveness, we are able to further increase our investment, resulting in more jobs for America and better results for our owners,” said GM chairman and chief executive, Mary Barra. “The US is our home market and we are committed to growth that is good for our employees, dealers, and suppliers and supports our continued effort to drive shareholder value.”

The President-elect has threatened car firms with significant border tax should they opt to build cars outside of the US that'll then be imported to the country.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/817071792711942145

He told German newspaper Bild that the likes of BMW would face tariffs of up to 35 per cent if they set up plants in Mexico where production costs are lower.

Read more: BMW commits to Mexico plant as Fiat Chrysler wavers

In response, Germany's deputy chancellor and economy minister Sigmar Gabriel, said: "The American car industry will become worse, weaker and more expensive," if this were to go ahead. When asked what Trump could do to encourage more German customers to buy American cars, Gabriel suggested, the US "will have to build better cars".

BMW said it intends to press on with plans to invest $1bn in a new plant in Mexico, with production due to start in 2019.

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