U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has threatened Toyota Motor Corp over its Mexican-built cars, but the biggest risk from a punitive tariff would be for its compatriot Nissan Motor Co, the largest automaker operating in the country.
Major automakers in the U.S. market are expected to show robust December auto sales on Wednesday, perhaps high enough for 2016 results to break the record high set the previous year, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters.
Hefty consumer discounts during a robust Black Friday weekend helped boost November U.S. auto sales between 4 % and 5 %, which could catapult results this year above a record high in 2015, economists and industry analysts said.
The big three U.S. automakers - General Motors Co, Ford Motor Co and the U.S. operations of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV - reported a jump in September sales on Thursday as cheap gasoline and ultra-low interest rates drove demand for sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks.
Ford Motor Co reported a first-quarter profit that was less than analysts expected, selling fewer vehicles in North America as it worked to increase production of the redesigned F-150 pickup truck, and losing money in South America.