General Motors executives defend NAFTA, truck plant in Mexico


General Motors CEO Mary Barra revealed optimism on Saturday that the North American Free Trade Agreement would endure, and other senior GM executives waited by the company’s strategies to continue developing trucks in Mexico.

At an event to promote the automaker’s 2019 Chevrolet Silverado pickup ahead of the Detroit auto show, Barra twice did not address directly when asked if the automaker is reassessing current production in Mexico because of potential modifications or the collapse of the trade deal between the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Company executives did not dismiss future modifications to its North American production strategies depending on the result of continuous NAFTA renegotiation talks, even though it would be pricey to move production of trucks.

Rival Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV stated on Thursday it will move production of its next-generation heavy-duty pickup trucks to Michigan from a plant in Mexico, a relocation that reduces the threat that those trucks would be hit with a 25 percent tariff if NAFTA deciphers.

Barra sidestepped a question about GM’s Mexican truck factory, stating, “When I look at our footprint, there is so much more work and negotiations to be done on NAFTA.”

Mark Reuss, GM’s product development chief, stated the company is utilizing its existing truck plants in North America, however would not elaborate when asked if the automaker might stop constructing trucks in Mexico.

In a separate exchange with reporters, Reuss stated the automaker meant to use its North American factories.

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