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How will Akio Toyoda choose to deal with the threat of Trump's imported cars?

2024-03-04 Update From: AutoBeta autobeta NAV: AutoBeta > Industrial Economy >

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The Japan Automobile Association recently issued an official statement in which Japanese car companies said they were "very disappointed." Akio Toyoda, who is also president of Toyota, took the lead this time. Tough "criticism" of Trump's tariff policy.

President Akio Toyoda stressed in his speech that Toyota has been operating in the American market for more than 60 years and has made a lot of contributions to the United States and the American people. The cumulative investment of the Japanese automobile industry in the United States has reached 51 billion US dollars, directly or indirectly solving the problem of employing 475000 people in the United States. The US government also intends to impose tariffs, which means that the US government is not welcome to Japanese investment in the United States.

In response, Akio Toyoda strongly pointed out that "all trade measures will be a major blow to the US auto industry and the economy."

It is understood that Akio Toyoda told the internal management team that he hoped Toyota would speed up its development in China. But Toyota needs to strike a good balance between China and the United States on a global scale.

Toyota has been responding to US commitments, saying at a meeting on March 19th that it had invested $749 million in US manufacturing capacity and jobs before accelerating expansion in the Chinese market.

Toyota announced on March 14th that it would make new investments in the United States and promised to increase its investment from $10 billion to $13 billion. The day after the announcement, Akio Toyoda also delivered a speech declaring: "I love America."

But the US government does not seem to approve of Japan's actions, and on Friday, Trump announced that some imported vehicles and parts posed a national security threat, even though he delayed his decision to impose tariffs for up to six months.

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Toyota has a 14 per cent market share in the US, compared with 5.3 per cent in China in 2018, with 1.49 million sales less than half that of Volkswagen and GM.

Asked about Toyota's plans in China, a Toyota spokesman said that China is an important market and carmakers are considering strengthening their base in China in order to better promote business development.

Toyota has been expanding its manufacturing presence in China since May last year, with plans to increase production capacity at its factories in Tianjin and Guangzhou.

Toyota cancelled a press conference at the Shanghai auto show last month. Sources say this is because Akio Toyoda warned that dealing with the media should be cautious on issues such as raising tariffs and US import quotas.

The United States may want to act as a hegemon to Toyota, making it clear how to decide how to deal with its future development plans.

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