Trump Slams "Very Bad" Germans For Selling Millions Of Cars In US: "We Will Stop This"

Tyler Durden's picture

A day after Trump stunned his fellow NATO leaders, shoving one of them out of the way for a photo-op and demanding that they "must do more" to offset defense costs which are mostly borne by the US, Trump lobbed another bomb at the European center-right consensus by renewing his attacks on the German auto industry during a closed door meeting with two high-ranking European Union officials, according to a report in German magazine Der Spiegel, that was picked up by Bloomberg and CNBC.

Citing unidentified attendees, Spiegel quoted Trump as saying that “the Germans are bad, very bad” and adding “look at the millions of cars that they sell in the U.S. Terrible. We’re going to stop that.” The comments were said to have been made during a closed-door meeting with the EU President Jean-Claude Juncker and the European Council President Donald Tusk, who reportedly both stood up for Germany, according to CNBC.

Trump administration officials immediately went into damage-control mode, even as Juncker said the reports of the comment in question had been exaggerated. National Economic Council Director and former Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn clarified that the US has concerns with the US-German trade balance, not with Germany itself.

"He said they’re very bad on trade, but he doesn’t have a problem with Germany. He said his dad is from Germany. He said, ‘I don’t have a problem Germany, I have a problem with German trade'," according to Bloomberg.

The German trade surplus rose to a record €235 billion ($284 billion) last year, while the US trade deficit widened in January to its highest level since March 2012. Excluding the EU, Germany is the third largest exporter in the world, after China and the US.

Shares of German automakers were down slightly in Frankfurt trading following Trump’s comments, which apparently reminded investors of his January threat to slap BMW AG with a 35% tariff.

Trump reportedly tried to negotiate a bilateral trade deal with German Chancellor Angela Merkel when she visited Washington in March, according to CNBC. But Merkel insisted that all trade deals with the EU must be made unilaterally.

Following his meeting with Merkel back in March, Trump claimed that the Germans owe “vast sums of money” to NATO, and that the US “must be paid more” for the defense services it provides to Germany.

To be sure, Trump wasn't the first U.S. leader to complain that most NATO nations, including Germany, weren’t meeting the alliance’s goal that members spend 2% of their GDP on defense. Germany spends about 1.2% currently.

In fact, none other than President Barack Obama in 2016 said in an interview with The Atlantic about his foreign policy doctrine that “free riders aggravate me.”

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Kotzbomber747's picture

The Idiot in Chief has spoken/tweeted once again

If the US wants to sell more cars: improve the quality!

The relatively high German production costs (unions, taxes) obviously doesnt matter for people who want quality, and that's not only valid for cars.

TwelveOhOne's picture

Yeah no kidding.  My ten-year-old Mercedes is wonderful.

D.T.Barnum's picture

You guys can buy my brand beetle instead.  You can fit about 20 passengers! <honk honk>

Croesus's picture

My Mercedes fits 6,000,000 in the ashtray, and 4 passengers.

X- x3's picture

Come-on now Croesus, stop holyhoaxing was 6 Godzillion in the ashtray.

;)  &  :)  X-

NoDebt's picture

What he said vs. what NYT reported (quoted words highlighted):  

"the Germans are a proud people and what's happening to them because of the wave of Muslim immigrants is bad, very bad."  "they have a vibrant economy that helps the entire world- just look at the millions of cars they sell in the U.S.  But it's terrible what's happening to their people.  We're going to help them stop that."

ThaBigPerm's picture

This "german quality" thing is a bit 10 years old - Merc having lots of QC issues.  Today it's all about Korean cars.

ThaBigPerm's picture

Parallel: my off road toy early 90s Nissan is built like a brick shit house shaped like a tank.  Bulletproof.  My fully-loaded Honda from '04 was nothing but a basket of transmission problems (turns out to be a common defect among v6 Hondas of its generation) so I got rid of it

So convential wisdom of what is "reliable" often lives beyond the actual reliability of the product...

FrozenGoodz's picture

Has Malania held his hand yet?

barndoor's picture

Strange position to take about German cars, when the US is selling cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia....

barndoor's picture

It pretty clear from his behavior that Trump likes Saudi VIP's more than NATO VIP's.

How's that little piece of information working for the folks here?

tmosley's picture

He likes people that will deal with him. Clearly he is 6,000,000 times worse than Hitler.

Troll Magnet's picture

Raping Americans is for the Jews, not Germans!

Got The Wrong No's picture

This was retaliation for the big Merkel/Obama Pow Wow the other day. A shot fired over the Bow. 

AltRight Girl's picture

The Germans are no Germans anymore.

They are kike controlled drones.

Just like our liberal college dropouts:

New-York College Offers “Abolition of Whiteness” Course

john doeberg's picture

Kikes know how to make a shekel and brainwash you in the process.


artichoke's picture

More like an excuse he was waiting for, to do what he wanted to do anyway.

German cars aren't that great any more.  Americans would be missing out on luxurious turbo 4 bangers while here at home we're building good old V-8's still.

And "German engineering" knows little about self driving cars and electric cars.  China will likely be a significant importer for those, and at affordable prices.

Finally, Germany isn't much of an ally any more.  It's filling with a nasty sort of Muslims.  That's what it is now.  A good trader knows when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em.  Now is the time to get out of Germany, before the rush.

JRobby's picture

The quality has fallen on these over priced status symbols.

I like watching shallow people with plastic surgery and hair dye (both men & women) drive by in them though. It keeps me sharp.

artichoke's picture

Quality has fallen, reliability has fallen, complexity has gone up.

You can't get a normally aspirated V-8 in a Mercedes any more.  But you can from GM, Ford or Chrysler.  Why pay more for less -- a turbo 4 banger that probably won't go much beyond the warranty?

Chauncey Gardener's picture

BMW and Audi makes great cars that you love when they're new, hate when you have to pay for exorbitant repairs. Porsche & Mercedes are better quality, but still spendy to maintain and repair. My 12 year old Acura still runs and drives like it did when it was new. Give me a Mustang V8 or a Hemi anytime over a German 4-banger.

Stuck on Zero's picture

Ever try to sell a car in Germany. A thousand rules prevent it. Same with Japan and SOuth Korea. Trump should stop complaining and respond in kind. Make it impossible to export cars to the US for a few months and these countries will quickly come to a fair agreement.

joak's picture

About Europe what you say is utter BS... I drive a Chevy Cruze... But they decided to pull out of Europe, I have to go to Opel for service now. Trump is just whining like a snowflake.  It's like Europe would complain we import American or Korean smartphones while nobody buys Alcatel or Nokia products... cause they suck. Make products people want and people will buy it. Period.

KJWqonfo7's picture

----- "Strange position to take about German cars, when the US is selling cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia...."

Well the products are exactly the same.  Both go boom.

German car reliability is a thing of the past.  The modern german car is a POS compared to its Japanese and YES even their Murican counterparts.



HenryKissingerBilderberg's picture

Ze Germans already have pre emptive plans...

Volkswagen has a plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Mercedes Benz has a SUV plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. As well as trucks in Dunwoody, Georgia.
BMW in Spartanburg...

If you care about your fellow neighbours having no shitty McDonalds jobs...then buy a "REALLY MADE IN THE USA" Benz BMW SUV or a VW Passat,...

JRobby's picture

The MB & BMW plants are for SUV assembly to avoid the "truck tariff"

The parts are shipped in. They assemble them here and avoid the tariff.

That is why you have MB GLS 450's throwing suspension fault codes with 12 miles on the clock.

DocBerg's picture

I was cursed with owning 2 Volkswagens.  The first was a 1979 gas Rabbit, that I bought after my girlfriend bought one, and hers never made it home 15 miles from the dealer.  My Rabbit crapped out constantly.  It spent most of its time on the lift, and that cost me a bundle when I really could not afford it.  Nobody else would take the Rabbit in trade, so I was stuck buying a Dasher diesel wagon.  It was the same car as an Audi Fox.  It also spent most of its time aloft.  I couldn't keep belts on it, and once a belt broke, went under the other belts on the front of the engine, and sheared off the mounting studs at the block for the entire belt assembly.  About every 60,000 miles, the speedometer and odometer would start sounding like a bagpipe and suddenly explode.  By the time I could finally trade it in on the only decent Ford Tempo ever built, I was on the 3rd speedometer/odometer.  The clutches lasted either 90,000 miles or a week.  I finally realized that it was family Karma.  My maternal  great grandfather was decorated for valor fighting against the Prussians and Austrians trying to keep Schweslig-Holstein Danish.  My paternal grandfather was drafted to fight the Germans in WWI, and my father and both uncles fought the Germans in WWII.  I used to drive Pontiacs, but when Obongo nationalized GM, they quit making them, so now I drive Toyotas, and am very happy.  I will never make the expensive mistake of buying a German car ever again.  You pay for them 3 times over in repairs and maintenance.

Big Brother's picture

This is a true statement.  I had a conversation about this with my boss today.  My company made the transfer case housing for the BMW X-series, which was shipped to Spartenburg, SC.   I asked hm why there's so much manufacturing by foreign car / recreation manufacturers in the South.  He said favorable business climate, competent workforce, and good infrastructure.

I think Trump should attack the export regulations of Japan, South Korea, and Germany rather than the manufacturers themselves.  If its my one qualm with Trump, it's that he makes too many off the cuff statements and then requires his support to clarify for him later.  Oh well.  He showed some balls at the climate conference.

peddling-fiction's picture

Macron has held Melania's hand, uncomfortably long as well.

Whoa Dammit's picture

The new Mercedes are more like a smart phone on wheels. Just one big gadget. 

JRobby's picture

Yup. And the gadgets scream "run to the dealer for service" every other week.

land_of_the_few's picture

"clears throat shiftily*

Top 10 Merceds Benz Myths

John Cadogan




Old Benz cars are the shit. 

99 E300 turbo diesel, 259,000 miles, just getting nicely broken in.

European taxis get at least 1.5 - 2.5 million miles outta them bad boys.

Newer versions, not so much.  

Sector Catalyst's picture

It's all by design -- planned obsolescence. The focus is on building things that last is not a sustainable business model for companies anymore. 

Von Berger's picture

Nahhh. Just buy British. New Range Rover looks the dogs bollocks on road, off road drives the dogs bollcks.


JRobby's picture

$USD 110,000 grocery getter with "gadgets" galore!

Off Road, all the gadgets break and you tear up the undercarraige.


Of course you would need to define "off road"

The beginning of the "road" to Holy Cross City in CO, which starts out in the Homestake drainage is posted as follows:

"Minimum 33" tires, Front, Center & Rear Differential Locks Recommended"


Fucking Land Rovers - bankruptcy on wheels once they are out of warranty. 

And, under warranty, get used to the service department's waiting room - you gonna be spending a lot of time there.

I refuse to allow an unsuspecting person to buy one unwarned, and if it is used, not without the longest as new warranty plan coverage available.

Fucking piles of mechanical shit with nice interiors.  

KJWqonfo7's picture

They arent just like a smartphone.  

My smartphone WORKS




MANvsMACHINE's picture

Agreed. My 09 Honda CR-V was built like a tin can. I thought maybe I bought a knock-off. Got rid of it through KBB's used car site which was excellent.

Farmerz's picture

Wife's 13 CRV has been awesome, best fit and finish car I've ever owned.

Gen. Ripper's picture

03 Pilot with 262k mi just hitting puberty. Try that with a UAW ride

Relayer74's picture

98 Camaro Z28- 177,000. Never touched engine or transmission (auto). Never left me stranded.

350 hp after a few intake and exhaust mods, 3.42 rear gear, total hoot to drive every time. Made going to work actually bearable.

87 Mustang GT- owned 11 years, 149,000 miles. Likewise, never touched drivetrain, lotso fun to drive. Was also dead nutz reliable.

Fair disclsoure, lol- 85 Mustang GT- 11 months, 12,000 miles, 12 visits to dealership for warranty repairs. Example: after only about 4 months, car would not idle. It took 3 visits to figure out that a simple connector to the idle control solenoid had developed too much resistance. At about 11.5 months I went in and asked the Maintenance Manager to look at my file. Armed with said file I went and talked to dealership manager, he gave me the deal of my life on a sweet black 87 5 speed out in the lot. I took a chance and got lucky.

UAW can do it nowadays. A lot of it is in proper design though, and of course Those guys aren't union.

woody188's picture

Built in East Liberty, Ohio thank you!

Countrybunkererd's picture

I had an 87 civic that was bulletproof.  I had an 03 CRV and it was all trouble.  A friend has a 2016 Mercedes AMG and doesn't like it.  Of course, he destroyed the tires in a weekend at his track and had to wait a week for new tires to be shipped from EZ, so there is that.  Of course it was a new model with new specs and more likely a supply chain issue that has been resolved.  My 05 Lexus is a gem.  If I wreck it and survive, I will likely buy the exact same year and model again.

asteroids's picture

My 20 year old AMG Mercedes has had it due to rust. Nothing wrong with the drive train. Greatest buy of my life. Would NOT buy a recent model though.

847328_3527's picture

The Lion King has spoken!


Fuck, it's great to have a STRONG president instead of Limp-Wristed Bath House Barry.

AldousHuxley's picture

Asians want American cars like Buicks and Hummers

Americans want German cars like BMW and Mercedez

Germans want to ride Bicycles to work

Africans and Indians just want any car.


land_of_the_few's picture

They went a bit too greeny at one point years ago and were using water-based paint - rusted like a b*stard - and recycled soybean for wiring loom insulation - it cooked and fell off in engine bay at top end of motor usually. They may well have learned something from that episode ...