WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - US President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday (Jan 5) targeted Toyota Motor Corp, threatening to impose a hefty fee on the Japanese automaker it if builds its Corolla cars for the US market at a plant in Mexico.
"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 in a post on Twitter.
Toyota, which announced its plan to build the Mexican facility in April 2015, had no immediate comment.
Following Trump's tweet, the automaker's American Depositary Receipts, its stock traded on the US market, fell 0.5 per cent to US$120.45 (S$172.16) on the New York Stock Exchange.
This was Trump's latest broadside against automakers building cars in Mexico.
Toyota President Akio Toyoda said in Japan on Thursday that the automaker has no immediate plans to curb production in Mexico, preferring to wait until after Trump's Jan 20 inauguration before deciding whether to make any changes.
Automakers in the United States have been slammed by Trump for building cars in lower-cost factories south of the border, which he said costs American jobs.
Pressure to curb that production intensified this week after Ford Motor Co scrapped plans to build a US$1.6 billion assembly plant in Mexico after Trump harshly criticised the investment.
Ford, however, still plans to shift production of small cars to Mexico from Michigan.
"We will consider our option as we see what policies the incoming president adopts," Toyoda said at an industry gathering in Tokyo on Thursday, when asked whether his company was considering any changes to a production plant the automaker was building in Mexico.
Trump has also said General Motors Co could become subject to tariffs on Mexico-made cars for the US market, and that he would like to renegotiate terms of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) signed with Canada and Mexico, or scrap it altogether.