Pres. Trump's Claim that Japanese Automaker Assembly Plants Have Been Announced or Built in Michigan is False

 Newswise
22-Sep-2020 2:30 PM EDT, by Newswise

Fact Check By: Craig Jones, Newswise

Truthfulness: False

Claim:

We won Michigan — first time in decades. And you know what we’ve done? Many, many car plants are now opening up ... I said, ‘Shinzo, please do me a favor, we need more car companies. ... We want them built here, not in Japan, please.’ He said, ‘But we can

Claim Publisher and Date: President Donald Trump in North Carolina on 2020-09-19

At a rally in North Carolina on September 19, 2020, Pres. Trump said that he persuaded former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to get car companies to bring manufacturing to Michigan. This claim is false. No Japanese-affilated auto-assembly plants have opened in Michigan and there doesn't seem to be any plans for the near future. In fact, the number of automobile and automotive-parts manufacturing jobs in Michigan has fallen since Trump was made President of the U.S. This includes the time leading up to the pandemic crisis that began in February. 

As reported by AP Fact Check...

No Japanese automaker assembly plants have been announced or built in Michigan, let alone in one day, and there are no plans to add any.

There is one manufacturing facility, a joint venture between General Motors and Honda, south of Detroit. It’s the $85 million expansion of an existing facility to make hydrogen fuel cells with about 100 new jobs, according to the Center for Automotive Research, an industry think tank in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Subaru has a new research center with about 100 new jobs, and Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi and Toyota have announced expansions of research facilities. These are not new “car plants” run by Japanese automakers.

In fact, the number of auto and parts manufacturing jobs in Michigan fell between Trump’s inauguration and February of this year, before the coronavirus took hold. When Trump took office there were 174,200 jobs, and that dropped to 171,800 in February, according to Labor Department statistics. In July, the most recent figures available, there were 154,400 auto and parts manufacturing jobs in Michigan.

That’s far from a car company renaissance in the state courtesy of Japan, as Trump asserts.

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