Toyota Motor has outlined its investment plans for the US as it moved to stave off criticism from president-elect Donald Trump.

Japan's largest automaker said it would spend US$10bn in the US in the next five years, mostly to upgrade existing manufacturing facilities. The plan also includes building a major new regional headquarters in Plano, just north of Dallas in Texas, as well as increasing its R&D capabilities for autonomous vehicles and robotics.

Toyota has felt the need to underline its US credentials after criticism from Trump of its earlier decision to relocate Corolla compact car production from Canada to Mexico. Trump has threatened global automakers, by way of Twitter messages, with punitive import tariffs if they continue to use Mexico as a low-cost manufacturing base for exports to the US.

Ford last week announced it had cancelled a new $1.7bn plant spend in Mexico while announcing a new $750 investment to produce electric-powered and autonomous vehicles in Detroit, Michigan. 

Fiat-Chrysler also said it is planning to spend $1bn in upgrading two existing plants in the US while General Motors has also come out with statements to assure the new administration of its commitment to US manufacturing.

Toyota said it has directly spent almost $22bn in the USA to-date and currently employs 40,000 people in the country, 5,000 of whom were hired in the last five years.