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GM CEO Says Production Won’t Change — Despite Trump’s Threats

General Motors has no plans to change where it produces small cars because of criticism from President-elect Donald Trump, the company's top executive said Sunday night.

Chief Executive Mary Barra said the auto business has long lead times for where it produces vehicles, with decisions made two to four years ahead.

Donald Trump Targets Intelligence Community, GM 2:32

Last week, Trump threatened on Twitter to slap a border tax on GM for importing the compact Chevrolet Cruze to the U.S. from Mexico.

As it turns out, GM imports only a small number of Cruze hatchbacks from Mexico, and Barra said it makes all of the sedans at a factory in Lordstown, Ohio, near Cleveland.

Asked whether she was worried about a possible tariff, Barra said it was too early to speculate. GM's strategy, she said, has much more in common with Trump's goals for trade and jobs than differences.

"I very much look forward to being part of the solution that allows the country to be strengthened along with business, along with our manufacturing capability," she said at an event in Detroit unveiling the new GMC Terrain small sport-utility vehicle.

Production of the Terrain will move to Mexico from a plant in Ingersoll, Ontario, for the new model year. The Ingersoll plant will still make the Equinox, GM's best-selling small SUV.

Related: Ford Commits to $700M U.S. Plant as Trump Blasts GM on Mexican-Made Chevy

The president-elect is badgering the auto industry to get companies to stop making cars in Mexico and shipping them back to the United States in an effort to preserve jobs.

Image: Mary Barra
General Motors Chief Executive Mary Barra after the introduction of the 2018 Terrain SUV in Detroit on Sunday. Rebecca Cook / Reuters

He has also criticized Ford and Toyota. Last week, Ford canceled plans to build a small car factory south of the border, but it announced 700 new jobs in Michigan.

The company, however, still plans to shift production of the compact Ford Focus to an existing Mexican plant. Jobs at the Detroit-area factory that now makes the Focus will be preserved because the plant will get a new SUV and small pickup truck.

Barra is part of a group of CEOs that will advise Trump on economic issues.