Business

Toyota to invest $14.3 billion in US after Trump's Twitter attack

DETROIT: Toyota, the world's largest automaker, will invest US$10 billion (S$14.3 billion) in the US over the next five years, the company said at the annual Detroit auto show.

The announcement came days after US President-elect Donald Trump criticised the Japanese manufacturer for a previously-announced relocation of Toyota Corolla production to Mexico.

Toyota will devote a majority of the new investment to improving manufacturing plants, said its spokesman.

"This investment also includes our new headquarters in Plano and research into autonomous vehicles and robotics," she added.

The company declined to say if the investments would lead to the creation of new jobs, a key mantra of Mr Trump, who has repeatedly targeted vehicle manufacturers with his tweets.

Toyota currently employs 40,000 people in the US.

Last Thursday, Mr Trump tweeted about Toyota's Mexico plans, saying: "NO WAY! Build plant in US or pay big border tax."

The threat worried the Japanese auto industry, and Toyota's share price fell on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Toyota responded with a reminder of its existing US investments, saying: "With more than US$21.9 billion direct investment in the US... Toyota looks forward to collaborating with the Trump Administration to serve in the best interests of consumers and the automotive industry." - AFP

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