President-elect Donald Trump sent a message to Chevrolet, warning that it would face a big border tax if it continued making its Chevy Cruze car in Mexico.
“General Motors is sending Mexican made model of Chevy Cruze to U.S. car dealers-tax free across border,” he wrote on Twitter on Tuesday morning. “Make in U.S.A. or pay big border tax!”
General Motors announced in 2015 that it would build the next generation of the car in Mexico, as part of a $5 billion investment in Mexican manufacturing plants. General Motors also announced in 2016 that it would build the Chevy Equinox sports utility vehicle in Mexico, investing $800 million into a Mexico manufacturing plant.
In 2009, President Obama visited a factory in Lordstown, Ohio, where the Chevy Cruze was built, celebrating his decision to bail out the auto industry.
“Our belief was that if GM retooled and reinvented itself for the 21st century, it would be good for American workers, good for American manufacturing, and good for America’s economy. I’m pleased to report that’s exactly what’s begun to happen at this plant and at others,” he told workers.
During his visit, Obama signed the hood of a Chevy Cruze, calling it “The Car of the Future.”
“I just sat in the car. I asked for the keys, they wouldn’t give me the keys,” he told workers at the plant. “I was going to take it for a little spin. But it was nice sitting in there. It was a roomy car – 40 miles per gallon.”
But despite the bailout and Obama’s visit, about 1,250 workers were furloughed at the Lordstown plant in November 2016.