"Try building your cars in the United States instead of shipping them over", he added, apparently forgetting, or conveniently ignoring, the fact that 75 percent of Japanese cars and trucks sold in the USA are made in North America.
Hours later, after being shamed on social media, CNN updated the piece to include Trump's full quote but, as if to once again prove the truth means nothing to them, the utterly dishonest headline remained the same.
In addition, CNN Money reports, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association estimates its members not only built nearly 4 million vehicles in the US last year, but that auto exports from Japan to USA have declined by almost 60 percent over the last 30 years - from 3.5 million in 1986 to just over 1.5 million in 2016.
When you add Hyundai, Kia, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen, 48 percent of all vehicles assembled in the US previous year were produced by companies other than Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler, according to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers. However, he said that in the context of a speech that clearly acknowledged the fact that auto carmakers such as Mazda and Toyota have been investing in USA manufacturing.
"The issue with Trump is that if you ignore some of the things he says, it might come back to bite you", said Hoyt Bleakley, associate professor of economics at the University of MI.
"The United States has suffered massive trade deficits at the hands of Japan for many, many years", Trump said, according to a Reuters report. Trump has apparently forgotten about this or, more possibly, has never bothered to learn about these key facts of the automaking industry. I don't think so. "Several Japanese automobile industry firms have been really doing a job". (Laughter.) If you could build them.
Nissan (NSANF) says that it sold 1.5 million vehicles in the US last year, and made 1 million in the country - although some of those were for export. It has also scaled back a planned $700 million investment in a new manufacturing plant in Mexico. Toyota? Mazda? I thought so.
As much of the social-media world had it, Trump lived up to the image of the grotesque, laughable USA president we've grown accustomed to in the past eight-plus months. I want to thank you.
In August, Toyota and Mazda announced plans to invest $1.6 billion in a new jointly operated assembly plant to be built in the U.S. "I have no doubt that it will be done in a quick and very friendly manner".
Ask the many Italians who opposed Silvio Berlusconi for decades, and know well what it is like to live with a leader who is both embarrassing and dangerous-lacking good manners as well as respect for democratic institutions.