Business World

Sunday 8 December 2019

Fiat insists Donald Trump not responsible for new US jobs - despite his tweets

US president-elect Donald Trump and his wife Melania. REUTERS
US president-elect Donald Trump and his wife Melania. REUTERS

Rachael Revesz

Fiat Chrysler has said thousands of news jobs it announced in the US is not related to Donald Trump - despite a series of tweets in which the President-elect appears to take credit - and that the firm's chief executive had not even spoken to him.

The car manufacturer announced its plan on Sunday to spend $1bn to expand plants in Ohio and Michigan and create 2,000 more jobs in the country.

A news release issued by the company stated the move was part of a plan that had been first conceived in 2015.

Shortly after the announcement, the President-elect tweeted his thanks to the company.

“It's finally happening - Fiat Chrysler just announced plans to invest $1BILLION in Michigan and Ohio plants, adding 2000 jobs,” he wrote on Twitter.

“This after Ford said last week that it will expand in Michigan and U.S. instead of building a BILLION dollar plant in Mexico. Thank you Ford & Fiat C!”

He did not directly take credit for the move, but his implication that his "America First" policy might be related to the move was mistaken, according to company spokeswoman Jodi Tinson.

"All of the plans were conceived in 2015 and articulated in 2016 and now we have come full circle [to implementing them]," she told The Independent.

When asked if the company chief executive, Sergio Marchionne, had even had any direct conversations with Mr Trump, she said: "No".

When asked if Mr Trump and his politics had any effect on the company decisions, she also said they had not.

The company first announced its plan in an investor presentation in 2015, describing what it saw as a consumer trend from cars to SUVs and trucks, and a resulting demand for larger vehicles in the US.

The company no longer builds small cars at all.

The news comes after Ford CEO Mark Fields said his company’s decision to ditch plans to build a new factory in Mexico and instead invest $700m into a Michigan plant, creating 700 jobs, was not related to Mr Trump.

The President-elect, however, tweeted that the news about Ford was "just the beginning".

Mr Trump has taken credit for other company moves, including Sprint’s decision to create 5,000 jobs in the US - a decision made before he won the election - and claiming that he would save jobs at air conditioning company Carrier from moving to Mexico.

Carrier decided to save fewer than half its jobs at the plant in Indiana, and the union leader Chuck Jones claimed Mr Trump was “lying his a** off”.

Independent News Service

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