Let’s imagine you were a European car manufacturer looking to launch into the US, the world’s second largest car market after China. A car maker like Skoda, for instance, or Citroen, DS or Peugeot, or even Alfa Romeo, Chrysler relationship notwithstanding.
All that planning, all that complication, all the challenges - and then Donald Trump, with his ‘America first’ policies and avowed intention to impose tariffs and blocks on free trade and labour movements, lands in the White House. What do you do now It seems the answer is to sit tight and say nothing, which is probably not a bad policy given The Donald’s apparently short fuse in the face of criticism and his see-sawing attitude to whether today’s policy will remain tomorrow’s.
After all, even homegrown Ford - America’s second largest car maker - has come to blows with him over its Mexican plants and workers. Given Ford found itself on the naughty step (albeit temporarily, if reports are to be believed), it's little wonder that brands that already import to the US are quietly and anonymously nervous and those looking to get into the country have gone virtually mute.