It’s not a secret U.S. President Donald Trump and General Motors are not on good terms right now.
GM’s decision to idle four U.S. plants from 2019 and cut up to 15,000 jobs didn’t go down well with the White House. When it made the restructuring announcement in late November, the automaker said it would invest twice as much money in electric vehicles and self-driving technology. Last year, GM said it planned to launch 20 new electric vehicles by 2023.
Apparently, Trump believes it’s the wrong thing to do. In an interview with Fox News last week, cited by Reuters, the President said GM’s decision to shift much of its focus to EVs would not succeed.
“They’ve changed the whole model of General Motors. They’ve gone to all-electric. All-electric is not going to work… It’s wonderful to have it as a percentage of your cars, but going into this model that she’s doing I think is a mistake,” Trump said referring to GM CEO Mary Barra.
The President, who threatened to eliminate EV tax credits, also reiterated his disappointment at General Motors’ job cuts and plant closures in the United States. “To tell me a couple weeks before Christmas that’s she going to close in Ohio and Michigan – not acceptable to me,” he said.
He added that a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada will make it “very uncomfortable” to build vehicles outside the United States. “I don’t like that General Motors does that… General Motors is not going to be treated well,” Trump said without providing details.
Although signed on November 30, the new trade deal has not been approved by the U.S. Congress yet. Under the agreement, a significant percentage of vehicles must be built by workers earning at least $16 an hour.