Carlos Ghosn, the executive in charge of the Nissan, Renault and Mitsubishi alliance, expects that the automotive industry will adjust to any overhaul of U.S. trade rules under the Trump administration, he said in a FOX Business interview Friday.
President Donald Trump has been a fierce critic of car production in Mexico, arguing that manufacturers such as Ford (NYSE:F) should pay tariffs on vehicles shipped back into the U.S. Trump has pledged to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, the trade deal that is intertwined with automakers’ supply chains in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
New cars, trucks and SUVs could become more costly, Ghosn said, but price increases would likely dissipate in the long run.
“We will adjust to any rules that will come,” he said on “Mornings With Maria.”
He added, “I don’t think anybody can sit comfortably with a price hike.”
Ghosn recently stepped down as CEO of Nissan, although the well-known automotive leader will continue to serve as the Japanese manufacturer’s chairman. Ghosn also serves as chairman and CEO of France’s Renault, as well as chairman of Mitsubishi. Nissan acquired a controlling stake in Mitsubishi in October.
Combined, the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi group is the fourth-largest seller of new vehicles in the world. The three companies sold a combined 9.68 million vehicles in 2016, behind Volkswagen, Toyota (NYSE:TM) and General Motors (NYSE:GM).
“All car makers today are paying attention to what the president is saying,” Ghosn said, adding that companies are looking at adding capacity and hiring more workers in the U.S. as a result of Trump’s plans.