DETROIT (AP) – President Donald Trump distorted the state of the automotive industry Friday in a tweet after General Motors.
Trump tweeted that GM was among the smallest automakers in Detroit and that it had moved factories to China. Both statements are untrue.
Over the past two weeks, he has criticized the automotive industry for not embracing his proposal to freeze the Obama-era fuel economy demands. He singled out Ford, one of four companies along with California in a fight with Trump over gas mileage and emissions requirements.
Here's a look at his latest tweet and facts:
TRUMP: “General Motors, which was once the Giant of Detroit, is now one of the smallest automakers there. They moved large plants to China BEFORE I COME IN OFFICE. This was done despite the saved aid they gave the United States. Now should they start moving back to America again? "
FACTS: First, General Motors did not shut down any US plants and moved production to China. It set up and expanded its business there to serve China's market.
Automotive production of GM's joint venture in China has more than doubled in the last 1
Second, GM is far from a bit of a player in Detroit. By many measures, it is the largest American car manufacturer. And it remains the largest employer in Michigan with its headquarters in the state, with a workforce of 52,000 surpassing Ford, the state government and Fiat Chrysler, according to an analysis this year by Crain's Detroit Business.
The company made more money last year than overtaken rivals Fiat Chrysler and Ford, and GM sold more cars in the United States than the other two.
It produced over half a million more cars in the United States than Fiat Chrysler, but made nearly 300,000 fewer in the United States than Ford, according to LMC and Ward's Intelligence. GM's hiring of about 49,200 union-represented workers, including temporary employment, was second only to Ford, but more than Fiat Chrysler. With the exception of temporary workers, GM has the lowest number of workers represented by the United Auto Workers Union of 46,000.
In the United States, GM builds 62% of the vehicles it sells in the country. For Ford, it's 79.1% and it's 50% at Fiat Chrysler.
Trump's complaints about China are rooted in his trade war with that country. Mexico is actually more of a factor in shaping the American automotive industry.
GM leads all companies in the automotive industry in Mexico to just over 833,000 last year, according to LMC and the Center for Automotive Research, a think tank based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Of GM vehicles sold in the US, 22% are produced in Mexico. The same is true for Fiat Chrysler. About 10% of Ford vehicles sold in the United States come from Mexico, according to the think tank.
Associated Press author Josh Boak contributed to this report from Washington.
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