November 29, 2018 22:20 CET
President Donald Trump congratulated BMW for building a “major new plant” in the U.S., taking a swipe at General Motor’s move to close several factories. The only problem is that the German automaker’s decision has not been finalized.
“Big Steel is opening and renovating plants all over the country,” Trump posted Thursday on Twitter. “Auto companies are pouring into the U.S., including BMW, which just announced a major new plant.”
BMW is mulling setting up a second site in the U.S. for the production of engines and transmission systems, CEO Harald Krueger said Tuesday, stopping short of announcing a firm plan. BMW’s biggest plant in the world is in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and the automaker has already unveiled a project to raise capacity there by 50,000 to 450,000 vehicles a year. The ability to make more components in the U.S. would help BMW address local content rules.
The tweet follows months of rising tension over vehicle imports from the European Union, with Trump repeatedly singling out German automakers complaining about uneven import levies. Separately, rival Volkswagen Group has been considering potential locations to make electric cars in North America, including at the company’s existing plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Contact Automotive News