President Donald Trump congratulated BMW AG for building a “major new plant” in the U.S., taking a swipe at General Motor Co.’s move to close several factories. The only problem is that the German carmaker’s decision hasn’t 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.”
The Munich-based manufacturer is mulling setting up a second site in the U.S. for the production of engines and transmission systems, Chief Executive Officer 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 carmaker 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 carmakers complaining about uneven import levies. Separately, rival Volkswagen AG has been considering potential locations to make electric cars in North America, including at the company’s existing plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.