The automaker plans to keep shipping cars to the U.S. from Mexico despite Trump's ''America First'' battlecry and threats to impose a border tax and renogtiate the NAFTA trade deal. Fred Katayama reports.
U.S. President Trump has threatened to slap a hefty border tax and renegotiate the NAFTA trade deal, but Kia plans to keep shipping cars from its new Mexican plant to the U.S. Launching production last spring, the plant's vehicles will be sold in the U.S., Central and South America. Kia Motors America COO Michael Sprague: SOUNDBITE: MICHAEL SPRAGUE, COO AND EVP, KIA MOTORS AMERICA (ENGLISH) SAYING: "We can all speculate in terms of what's going to happen. Until the verdict comes down, we'll continue to build great cars and export them ehre to the U.S. If things change, then we'll change our strategy." 11:04:01 Sprauge says Kia has contingency plans and can shift vehicles sales to another market if they're not welcome in the U.S. Following criticism from Trump, Ford scrapped its plans to build a plant in Mexico. Kia also makes 360,000 vehicles in the U.S at its plant in West Point, Georgia. The Korean auto maker is considering making a multibillion dollar investment in the U.S. Sprague says whether Kia builds another plant or expands production at its current facility, it'll be sure to include sport utilities. Kia has a sedan-heavy lineup at a time when SUVs, crossovers, and trucks are the rage. It'll be pushing sales of its new crossover, the Niro, this weekend when it airs a pricey spot on the big television event of the year, the Super Bowl.