Trump attacks GM over Chevy Cruze production, threatens tax

Carmaker attempting to lower labour costs with shift to Mexico
||Last Updated: 01/04/2017
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump talks to reporters as he and his wife Melania Trump arrive for a New Year's Eve celebration with members and guests at the Mar-a-lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., Dec. 31, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON (Reuters) — U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday blasted U.S. carmaker General Motors Co and threatened to impose a "big border tax" for making some of its Chevrolet Cruze cars in Mexico.

"General Motors is sending Mexican made model of Chevy Cruze to U.S. car dealers-tax free across border. Make in U.S.A. or pay big border tax!" Trump said in a post on Twitter.

Shares of GM fell about one per cent in premarket trading after Trump's tweet.

Representatives for GM could not be reached immediately for comment.

In November, GM said it planned in early 2017 to lay off 2,000 employees at two U.S. auto plants, including one in Lordstown, Ohio, where it builds the compact Chevrolet Cruze.

GM had planned to build the Cruze hatchback in Mexico while continuing to build the Cruze sedan in Ohio, supplier sources have said.

The shift is part of a larger trend among Detroit's Big Three automakers to produce more small cars for the North American market in Mexico in an effort to lower labor costs, while using higher-paid U.S. workers to build more profitable trucks, sport utility vehicles and luxury cars.

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