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On Friday, Trump said the investigation would be completed in three to four weeks. "Indeed, Toyota operates 10 manufacturing plants in the U.S. We are an exemplar of the manufacturing might of America".

Tariffs would lead to "a contraction of the company versus an expansion", said Rebecca Lindland, executive analyst at Kelley Blue Book in NY.

In comments to the commerce department, it also said weakening South Korea's Hyundai would ultimately hurt Trump's effort to halt North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

"In its filing on Friday, The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) said Trump's tariffs stand to undermine the sector, ultimately "[giving] an edge to foreign production at the expense of US manufacturing, job growth, our economy and ultimately USA national security". In a filing with the Commerce Department, GM said that the tax would invite retaliation from other countries and drive up the cost of imported components, increase the cost of vehicles, and stifle demand.

The company's blunt statement underscores the increasing frustration among American multinational corporations, which fear the president's "America First" trade policy ignores the realities of a global economy. And it underscored how high she, and many industrial leaders, believe the stakes are as the president sinks the USA into tit-for-tat trade squabbles across the globe.

Follow GM's stock price in real-time here.

The "comment suggests how severe the impact would be to GM, its employees and consumers", said Ms Michelle Krebs, analyst with AutoTrader.com. He said the impact of tariffs on the price of a GM vehicle was equivalent to "a luxury floor mat".

A number of GM cars are manufactured out of the country, so the company would have to pay the tariff when importing them back into the United States.

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"America does not go to war in a Ford Fiesta", the group said. President Trump has ordered that department to investigate imported cars and vehicle parts as a national security threat, which could lead to new tariffs.

Vehicle collector Guy Mace of Springfield, Missouri, was one of many classic-car enthusiasts who wrote in to call for used cars and parts to be excluded from any tariff.

Trump later threatened to impose 20% tariffs on cars from Europe if the European Union didn't remove tariffs and trade barriers on United States goods. "They send a Mercedes in, we can't send our cars in".

The Commerce Department planned to wrap up its investigation into automotive imports by late July or August.

Under the trade statute, Mr Ross has until February to conclude the inquiry. The duties would make imported cars more expensive, while also potentially hitting USA producers by making parts sourced from other countries pricier. Toyota said its Camry sedan, built in Kentucky, is made with about 30% foreign parts.

GM shares closed down about 2.8 per cent on Friday at US$39.40.

The National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) said auto tariffs will raise costs for automakers, which will eventually hit customers.

Barra had earlier tried to stay on good terms with Trump. Stock indexes in China are down more than 20% so far this year. He's also imposing steep tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum.