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Toyota shares drop after Trump threat on Mexico plant

TOKYO: Toyota shares dropped more than three per cent on Friday (Jan 6) after US President-elect Donald Trump threatened the carmaker with import taxes over a new vehicle plant in Mexico.

Shares in the Japanese automaker fell as much as 3.11 per cent after the opening bell before paring losses to move 2.21 per cent lower at 6,893 yen after the first half hour of trade.

Other automakers also sagged, with Nissan declining 2.08 percent to 1,174.5 yen and Honda down 2.01 percent to 3,497 yen.

Toyota became the latest company to face Trump’s wrath when he tweeted “NO WAY” to the firm’s plans for a new manufacturing plant in Mexico.

“Build plant in US or pay big border tax,” Trump said.

The president-elect – who takes office on January 20 – campaigned in part on bringing manufacturing jobs back to America’s heartland and allegations of unfair trade.

As well as the Trump salvo, Toyota shares were also under pressure as exporters across the board were hit with a fall in the dollar against the yen, which can damage their profitability.

The US currency stood at 115.47 yen on Friday morning, compared with 115.89 yen in Tokyo on Thursday and sharply lower from 118.12 yen seen in Tokyo on Wednesday.

In a statement issued after the tweet, the company said it looked forward to “collaborating with the Trump administration” to serve consumer and industry interests.

“Production volume or employment in the US will not decrease as a result of our new plant in Guanajuato, Mexico announced in April 2015,” it said.

The company employs 136,000 Americans and maintains 10 manufacturing facilities in the United States.

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Channel NewsAsia Asia Pacific News