BMW hasn't announced a new USA plant, but Chairman Harald Kruger did tell reporters at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week that the company is exploring whether to build an engine plant in the U.S.to support its North American operations, according to reports. He also said he had told GM CEO Mary Barra to open up a new facility in OH and stop making cars in China.
While it's true that GM, like other USA automakers, has received substantial federal assistance over the years - including a almost $50 billion bailout in 2009 - experts cast doubt on the idea that Trump could unwind federal aid for the company by executive fiat.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters at a briefing, "I don't know that there's a specific timeline" for taking action against GM.
Lighthizer said, "At the president's direction, I will examine all available tools to equalize the tariffs applied to automobile".
Numerous workers who will lose jobs if the plants close could transfer to another GM factory where production is being increased, spokesman Patrick Morrissey said.
While his latest comments mark an escalation in frustration over GM's restructuring plan, the administration has always been considering imposing new tariffs on vehicle imports.
In a pair of Wednesday tweets, the president pointed to the 25% levies that are placed on pickup-truck imports into the USA, and said this "chicken tax" was the reason why the US small truck business is doing well.
Also, BMW didn't announce a major new plant, but its CEO said Tuesday the company is considering a new US engine factory to supply assembly plants in SC and Mexico. A day earlier, Trump issued a vague threat to GM warning it to preserve a key plant in the presidential bellwether state of OH, where the company has marked its Lordstown plant for closure.
"The president wants to see American companies build cars here in America not build them overseas and he is hopeful that GM will continue to do that here", she said.
The Detroit-based automaker is on track to generate an estimated $144.2 billion in revenue this year.
GM did not directly comment on Trump's tweets, but reiterated that it was committed to investing in the United States. White House officials have promised to keep pressure on GM to keep the jobs and factories open.
The reductions could amount to as much as 8 percent of GM's global workforce of 180,000 employees. "Can't say anything final about that, but we're looking into it".
The American firm said due to customers' demands for SUVs, crossovers, hatchbacks and trucks, the once-popular sedan has fallen behind in sales, triggering huge redundancies for staff. A Honda executive at the September hearing testified tariffs are hurting the entire auto supply chain, calling the business environment in the USA "unsettling".
About 14,700, including 6,000 factory workers, will be laid off because of the five plant closures. It found that households earning more than $50,000 per year claimed 99 percent of the credits.