Toyota boss to Trump: No such thing as American-made car

Toyota North America CEO Jim Lentz has a stern message for President Trump.

“There is no such thing as an American-made car,” he told FOX Business’ Jeff Flock during an interview at the 2019 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Lentz said that his “biggest fear is tariffs” and he is hopeful that the United States Mexico Canada Agreement, which will govern $1.2 trillion in trade, will be ratified by Congress by the end of the year.

“Mr. President, this industry is extremely important to the U.S. economy,” he said. “So it's important that we're able to compete with the rest of the world and keep our costs down. You're doing great things for the economy, let's keep this industry strong.”


Lentz added that “tariffs would be difficult” for the Japanese automaker which already produces “one of the most American-made cars”— the Toyota Camry, which has been a top-selling sedan for 17 years.

“We’ve been doing business here a long time.” he said. “We’ve invested $26 billion in the United States alone.  We’ve got a new plant going into Huntsville, Alabama, with Mazda. So we understand that we have to be good corporate citizens and build cars where we sell them and procure them where we build them.”

In 2018, Toyota was the No. 1 retail selling brand for seven consecutive years.