Trump Keeps Bragging About Imaginary Auto Plants in Swing States


Glenn Kessler, The Washington Post

Many plants are being built right now – auto plants – in Michigan, just like I said. They’re being built in Ohio, they’re being built in South Carolina, North Carolina, they’re being built all over and expanded at a level that we’ve never seen before. Cause I said to Japan, Germany and others, ‘Sorry, you’ve got to come here and build plants, otherwise we’re going to have to make it very tough on you with tariffs.’ ” – President Donald Trump, remarks on Labor Day, Sept. 7, 2020

Acording to our database of Trump’s false and misleading claims, the president has mentioned Michigan in 120 false claims, Ohio in 94 claims and North Carolina in 68 claims. South Carolina is not a swing state, but it may have a competitive Senate race, so that may be why it slipped into his spiel on Labor Day

It’s been a while since we have reviewed these claims in a full fact check. So has anything happened to make Trump’s falsehoods any more true?


Essentially, Trump says that under his watch, auto assembly plants have been added at an unprecedented rate in Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina and possibly other states – “they’re being built all over and expanded at a level that we’ve never seen before.” He attributes this to his jawboning of countries such as Japan and Germany – and his threat of higher tariffs.


So we checked in with the experts at the Center for Automotive Research, a group that assiduously tracks this information.

No surprise. Trump is making stuff up.

Kristin Dziczek, vice president at CAR, said there have been four new auto assembly plants announced since Trump took office – three in Michigan, one in Alabama. Here are the details, with the information provided by Dziczek.

– Navya, a French company, announced 2017. This is the company’s first North American production facility, which will roll out 25 of its driverless Arma shuttles by the end of the year. Kits will be brought from France initially, but Navya is under contract with U.S. suppliers to provide parts. (Saline, Mich., 50 jobs.)

– Toyota, a Japanese company, in a joint venture with Mazda, announced 2017. Toyota Motor Corp. has abandoned plans to build Corolla sedans at a joint assembly plant it is building in cooperation with Mazda in Huntsville, Ala., and instead will build an as-yet-unannounced crossover there. (4,000 jobs.)

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