Toyota stocks tumble after Trump criticism over planned Mexico plant

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Shares in Japanese company Toyota Motor fell sharply on Friday after US president-elect Donald Trump denounced the carmaker’s plans to build a new factory in Mexico.

Toyota shares closed at 6,930 yen, or 59.7 dollars, down 1.69 per cent after falling as much as 3.1 per cent in the morning, while the benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average lost 0.34 per cent.

“Toyota Motor said will build a new plant in Baja, Mexico, to build Corolla cars for U.S. NO WAY! Build plant in U.S. or pay big border tax,” Trump said on Twitter on Thursday.

Toyota chief executive Akio Toyoda told reporters on Thursday that the company would consider Trump’s comment in decisions regarding its business in Mexico.

Toyota said in a statement the new plant, which was announced in April 2015, would not cause a decrease in production volume or employment in the US. The new plant is to be built in Guanajuato, Mexico.

“Toyota has been part of the cultural fabric in the US for nearly 60 years,” Toyota said in the statement, adding that the carmaker looks forward to collaborating with the Trump administration.

Toyota has 10 manufacturing facilities, 1,500 dealerships and 136,000 employees in the United States and more than 21.9 billion dollars worth of direct investment in the US, it said.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga responded to Trump’s criticism, saying, “Toyota has been aiming to be a good corporate citizen for the United States.”

“Japanese automakers are making significant contributions in terms of jobs in the United States. It is important that their efforts and results are accepted widely,” Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko told a news conference. “It is an issue of a private company but the government is set to support it.”

dpa