WASHINGTON, Jan. 17 (UPI) -- In the wake of President-elect Donald Trump's threats to levy high taxes on auto companies seeking to import cars and trucks into the United States from elsewhere, two automakers have announced plans to invest billions of dollars and hire workers at new and expanded facilities in the United States.
Hyundai Motor Company and General Motors each announced Tuesday they would invest several billion dollars in the construction or expansion of manufacturing facilities in the United States, with GM saying it also expects to add 1,000 jobs over the next few years.
Executives at Hyundai, and its affiliate Kia, said they plan to pump $3.1 billion into the United States during the next five years, which includes building a new factory, production of the high-end Genesis line of cars and an SUV specific to the United States.
Hyundai president Chung Jin-haeng said the company expects the U.S. economy to improve and demand for the company's cars to increase. It has pegged part of those expectations on President-elect Donald Trump's promises on jobs, but the company is not planning expansion based on the incoming president.
"The U.S. market is strategically a very important market for us and success or failure there is a barometer of our success globally," Chung said. "Our interest in the U.S. market is consistent regardless of the government of the day."
While Hyundai plans to increase spending in the United States by $1 billion in the next five years, General Motors announced Tuesday it has plans for expansion and hiring.
The company said it expects to add about 1,000 employees in the next few years and will invest more than $1 billion expanding its U.S.-based operations.
"These are investments and decisions that are good for the business and have been in the works for some time," a spokesperson for GM told NBC News, echoing statements by other companies announcing similar U.S. expansion plans in recent weeks.