Global auto executives don't want to talk much about President-elect Donald Trump and his trade plans.
But with billions of dollars invested in Mexican plants and supply chains, they can't afford not to think about what steep tariffs and scrapped treaties might mean for their businesses.
Even Canadian parts makers are also deeply embedded in Mexico. The Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association recently told Automotive News Canada that 25 Canadian auto parts makers operate upward of 50 facilities in the state of Querétaro, alone.
What the auto executives do say in cautious public comments reflects their uncertainty over a novice politician whose campaign promises followed no particular economic philosophy. One week after the surprise election outcome, they were left wondering which Trump will show up on Jan. 20, the pro-growth businessman or the protectionist populist.
The stakes are high and growing. Mexico exported a record 2.8 million cars and light trucks last year, with nearly three-quarters landing in the U.S. About 12 per cent of new vehicles bought in the United States last year were made in Mexico.