November 17, 2016 / 3:57 PM / 2 years ago

No U.S. car market disruption in short term under Trump: Daimler CEO

Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler and Head of Mercedes-Benz, gives a speech during the Handelsblatt Automotive Summit 2016 in Munich, southern Germany, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Michael Dalder

BERLIN (Reuters) - Daimler (DAIGn.DE) Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche said he did not expect any disruption to the U.S. auto market in the short term when Donald Trump takes office but he warned that limiting trade with Mexico would hurt both countries.

“We have hope there will be a gulf as wide as possible between campaign and presidency but that is something no one can safely predict,” Zetsche told a car conference on Thursday.

“We assume that there will at least be no disruptions over the short term,” the German CEO said.

He said that was why his expectations regarding the U.S. car market for next year would not have been much different if Trump had lost the Nov. 8 election, Zetsche said, without being more specific.

He warned, however, of the risks to the economy from possible restrictions to U.S.-Mexican trade. During his campaign, Trump repeatedly bashed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and said that if elected he would not allow Ford (F.N) to open a new plant in Mexico.

Daimler is due to open an assembly plant in Mexico next year in a joint venture with Renault-Nissan (RENA.PA) (7201.T).

“Both economies are so extremely closely intertwined that one could only actually ruin both if one were to draw a dividing line there,” Zetsche said.

Reporting by Andreas Cremer; editing by David Clarke

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