President Donald Trump, on the left, listens to a strategic and political forum meeting with business leaders and advisers in the White House in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, Friday 3. February 2017.  Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
DETROIT – President Donald Trump on Friday attacked General Motors for its significant presence in China, questioning whether the carmaker should move operations to the United States
Trump, in a tweet, said GM, "once Giant of Detroit, is now one of the smallest car manufacturers there. They moved large plants to China BEFORE I came into office. This was done despite the scared help they gave the US. Now should they start moving back to America again? "[1
GM is still the largest automaker in the US by sales, but it has been surpassed by crossown rivals Ford Motor and Fiat Chrysler in the number of union-represented American workers they employ. Overall, GM says it employs nearly 100,000 people in the United States at 132 locations in 27 states.
GM declined to comment directly on the tweet, which comes a day after Bloomberg News reported that GM's 6,000 UAW workers trail Ford by about 9,000 and Fiat Chrysler by about 1,200.
The tweet also comes a week after China announced that it would re-impose a 25% tariff later this year on US vehicles entering the country as part of the ongoing trade war with the United States
Regarding China, GM has never moved a facility from the United States to China . The carmaker has long had a significant presence in China, including sales of more than 3.6 million cars last year. That compares to $ 3 million in the United States in 2018.
"They didn't move any factories there," said John Bonnell, senior adviser to ZoZo Go, a company that advises automakers to do business in China. "The rules in China require that you have to produce in China in order to sell in China."
Almost all vehicles GM manufactures in China are sold in the country, but however, Buick Envision imports from China to the US GM sold 30,152 Envisions last year in the US, which represented 1% of domestic sales.
Bonnell said it would not be good business for a company currently operating in China to move out of the country to export to China.
"Everyone who supplies GM in China, they should live in China," he said. "They will not come out of China to deliver to China."
GM remains one of the largest employers in the region, but announced plans last year to potentially close the only production facility in Detroit's city limits. Aside from the Detroit plant, which is scheduled to end production by January, GM operates four large assembly plants and several powertrain and division plants.
In general, GM says it employs more than 47,900 people in Michigan in 33 locations.
If GM closes the Detroit plant as part of the union negotiations this year, Fiat Chrysler will be the only manufacturer of Detroit automakers with a city-wide assembly plant. The Italian-American carmaker is also in the process of adding another assembly plant in Detroit.
The GM stock on Friday morning was relatively unchanged after opening at $ 37.25. The shares of Ford and Fiat Chrysler were also relatively unchanged.