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Trump thanks Fiat, Ford for choosing to invest in the US

A worker assembles a Jeep Wrangler at the Chrysler Toledo North Assembly Plant in Toledo, Ohio.
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A worker assembles a Jeep Wrangler at the Chrysler Toledo North Assembly Plant in Toledo, Ohio.

President-elect Donald Trump tweeted praise for Fiat Chrysler on Monday after the automaker announced plans to invest in U.S. plants and create jobs, although the automaker later said the decision was "coincidental."

Trump also thanked Ford Motor in a tweet for saying last week it would expand in Michigan rather than build a plant in Mexico. Fiat shares gained about 1.4 percent on Monday, while Ford shares ended the day 1 percent lower.

Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne said Monday the decision to announce the U.S. investments was "coincidental" to Trump's tweets, according to Reuters.

Ford did not immediately return CNBC's request for comment.

FCA, the U.S. arm of automaker Fiat Chrysler, announced on Sunday that it would invest $1 billion in plants in Michigan and Ohio, which will add 2,000 new jobs in the United States.

The announcement, in what the company said was the second phase of a plan it first made public a year ago, came days after Ford decided to scrap a plan to build a facility in Mexico, opting instead to invest in a plant in Michigan.

Ford's CEO cited demand, rather than Trump's pronouncements, including a vow to impose a "border tax" on companies that send jobs abroad.

In a statement, FCA said it would retool and modernize its Warren Truck Assembly Plant to produce a new Jeep and Grand Wagoneers in Michigan, while a facility in Toledo, Ohio, would build a new Jeep pickup truck. These plans will be in place by 2020, the company said.

"Consistent and combined with previously announced investments, FCA US is further demonstrating its commitment to strengthening its U.S. manufacturing base, and aligning U.S. capacity to extend the Jeep product lineup," FCA said.

The move "is a continuation of the efforts already underway to increase production capacity in the U.S.on trucks and SUVs to match demand," the company said, adding that it would help solidify the U.S. as "a global manufacturing hub" for its flagship brands.

However, Fiat indicated it would still continue to produce at least one line, its Ram heavy duty truck, in Mexico.

"The added benefit of the investment in Warren is that it will enable the plant to produce the Ram heavy duty truck, which is currently produced in Mexico," FCA said.

— CNBC's Evelyn Cheng contributed to this report.