Fiat Chrysler Automobiles chief executive Sergio Marchionne believes Donald Trump’s election as the next US President could have a significant impact on the North American auto industry.
Speaking from Italy with Bloomberg Television, Marchionne said that Trump’s election “certainly is a game changer, mainly because I think that there are a number of conditions in the U.S. which are not yet spelled out.”
Throughout his campaign, Trump was fiercely critical of NAFTA and proposed huge tariffs on imports in an attempt to keep businesses and jobs in the United States. He took particular aim at carmakers moving production to Mexico, especially Ford, which is preparing to shift all of its small car production south of the border.
In the first 10 months of 2016, The Detroit News reports that about 17 per cent of FCA’s models were produced in Mexico. Of those, the vast majority were sold in the United States and Canada. If Trump does indeed enact a 35 per cent tariff on such vehicles, it could hugely affect FCA.
Despite his obvious reservations, Marchionne told Bloomberg that the company will work with the new administration and believes that they are strong enough to adapt and respond to the changing conditions.