President Donald Trump has asked the General Motors to stop manufacturing cars in China, according to a media report, after the American automobile company announced its plans to cut around 14,800 jobs in the U.S. and Canada.
Reacting sharply, Mr. Trump asked the General Motors to review its decision, which the auto major said would help it save around $4.5 billion in costs by the end of 2020.
The decision will have a major impact on jobs in some of the key states like Ohio and Michigan.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Trump told the GM chief executive Mary Barra that she should stop making cars in China and open a new plant in Ohio to replace the one that is ending production.
“They better damn well open a new plant there very quickly,” Mr. Trump told The Wall Street Journal in an interview.
“I love Ohio. I told them, ‘You’re playing around with the wrong person’,” he said, referring to his talks with the GM leadership.
Earlier at the White House, the US President said he does not like the GM’s decision.
“We don’t like it. I believe they’ll be opening up something else. I was very tough [with GM leadership]. I spoke with her when I heard they were closing. And I said, ‘You know, this country has done a lot for General Motors. You better get back in there soon. That’s Ohio, and you better get back in there soon’,” Mr. Trump said.
“So, we have a lot of pressure on them. You have senators, you have a lot of other people -- a lot of pressure. They say the Chevy Cruze is not selling well. I say, ‘Well, then get somebody -- get a car that is selling well and put it back in’ So I think you’re going to see something else happen there, but I’m not happy about it,” he said.
Noting that their car is not selling well, Mr. Trump exuded confidence that soon they will put something else.
“I have no doubt that, in a not-too-distant future, they’ll put something else. They better put something else in,” he said.
Ms. Barra defended the decision of the General Motors.
“The actions we are taking today continue our transformation to be highly agile, resilient and profitable, while giving us the flexibility to invest in the future,” Ms. Barra said.
“We recognize the need to stay in front of changing market conditions and customer preferences to position our company for long-term success,” she added.
“These actions will increase the long-term profit and cash generation potential of the company and improve resilience through the cycle,” Ms. Barra said.