GM Hopeful on NAFTA, Sticking with Mexican Production Plants for Now

CEO voices optimism on prospects for the North American Free Trade Agreement, and other execs say GM will still make trucks across the border.

byKate Gibson|
GM Hopeful on NAFTA, Sticking with Mexican Production Plants for Now

Two days after Fiat Chrysler hedged its bets related to the potential unraveling of NAFTA, the head of General Motors voiced hope that the treaty would live on.

At an event Saturday, GM CEO Mary Barra reportedly declined to specifically say if the carmaker is reviewing its truck production in Mexico given possible changes or outright demise of the accord between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. 

“When I look at our footprint, there is so much more work and negotiations to be done on NAFTA," Reuters quoted Barra saying in sidestepping a question about GM's Mexican truck production. “We’re going to continue to work constructively to get a modernized NAFTA agreement,” Barra added.

Competitor Fiat Chrysler on Thursday said it would switch production of its next-generation heavy-duty pickup trucks to Michigan from Mexico by 2020. The move cuts the odds of those vehicles getting smacked with a 25 percent tariff should NAFTA come apart.

GM's product development head, Mark Reuss told reporters the automaker plans to make use of all its North American plants.

But company executives are not ruling out a change in strategy in response to the eventual outcome of discussions to renegotiate NAFTA.

The Trump administration is threatening to shelve the 1994 agreement unless changes are made.