auto industry

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                             Jump to:    2018;   2019;

-- 2017 --

January 9:
Donald Trump had nothing to do with our new US jobs, Fiat Chrysler reveals

Car firm tells The Independent its CEO has not even spoken directly with the President-elect 

February 2:
Donald Trump's early trade moves favor Fiat Chrysler

-- 2018 --

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March 29: E.P.A. Prepares to Roll Back Rules Requiring Cars to Be Cleaner and More Efficient

June 28: Fiat Chrysler would take big hit from U.S. import tariffs

July 2: Trump defends tariffs on foreign autos as Ford, GM, Fiat-Chrysler push back

October 10: Europe Is Making Moves To Ditch Dirty Cars. Trump Wants More Of Them.

Denmark, Norway, France and the U.K. have a date to ban gas and diesel cars. In the U.S., the plan is to gut car emission legislation.

October 22: Ford Ratchets Up Rebuke of Trump Tariffs as Steel Costs Rise

October 29: Fiat Chrysler Reconsidering Ram Production Move That Trump Lauded

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV may keep making heavy-duty Ram pickups in Mexico, reconsidering a move President Donald Trump has repeatedly touted as validation for his America-first policies.

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November 26: GM to slash over 14,000 jobs from North American workforce

The reduction could include the closing of up to five domestic plants.

In the most far-reaching shake-up since the company emerged from bankruptcy more than eight years ago, General Motors will shutter three North American assembly plants and two other facilities, while also eliminating 15 percent of its salaried and salaried contract workforce, moves that together will cost an estimated 14,700 jobs.

The cuts are part of a plan to adapt to changing market demands favoring SUVs over sedans and coupes, while also shifting focus to the electrified and self-driving vehicles GM sees as central to the industry’s future.

November 27: President Donald Trump threatened Tuesday to cut U.S. subsidies to General Motors, describing its plans to close plants and cut workers as ingratitude to taxpayers. 

"Nothing being closed in Mexico & China," Trump tweeted. "The U.S. saved General Motors, and this is the THANKS we get!"

The automaker received large bailouts under both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama. White House aides have argued that a pending trade deal with Canada and Mexico was also crafted to help the industry.  

Trump said his team is "now looking at cutting all @GM subsidies, including for electric cars."

November 27: To Get Back at G.M., Trump Threatens to Punish Any American Who Buys an Electric Car

The president is in a MOOD.

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November 26: President Trump said Monday that General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra "better get back" to continue producing cars in Ohio "soon," after the company announced it planned to shut down an assembly plant in the state.

Trump also told The Wall Street Journal on Monday that he told Barra that the company "better damn well open a new plant there very quickly."

"I love Ohio," Trump said, according to the Journal. “I told them, 'You’re playing around with the wrong person.' "

November 27: President Donald Trump threatened on Tuesday to cut all General Motors subsidies after the automaker announced thousands of jobs cuts.

"Very disappointed with General Motors and their CEO, Mary Barra, for closing plants in Ohio, Michigan and Maryland," Trump tweeted. "We are now looking at cutting all @GM subsidies, including for electric cars."

GM (GM) stock declined as much as 3.8% on the comments. GM closed 2.6% lower, wiping out a chunk of Monday's gains.

November 28: Why Ford Will Keep Plants Humming and Trump Happy

November 30: What Trump gets right — and wrong — about the auto industry

The auto industry is focusing its attention on a series of escalating moves in what is fast becoming a full-scale trade war with China.

Ever since he entered the presidential race in 2016, Trump has put an emphasis on automotive trade. He repeatedly lashed out at Ford’s plans to move small car production to Mexico, and took other automakers like General Motors and Toyota to task over automotive imports.

Threats turned to action only this year, however, when the White House authorized new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. Both GM and Ford have, in recent weeks, indicated that they will each take a $1 billion hit due to higher costs — which eventually will be passed onto consumers.

But, at least from an automotive perspective, the administration’s moves have backfired. Only a few, niche models — such as the Buick Envision SUV — are imported from China right now, so the impact of the higher tariffs is minor in that arena. But higher costs for Chinese-made parts will be felt in the form of higher prices for vehicles assembled in the U.S., according to industry leaders.

The other problem is that China has retaliated by raising duties to 40 percent on American-made vehicles as they enter China — even as it lowered tariffs on other auto imports to 15 percent. That has all but shut down sales of vehicles like the Ford Mustang, the BMW X5 sport-utility vehicle produced at a plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and the Volvo S60 sedan rolling off the carmaker’s new assembly line in Charleston, South Carolina.

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December 3: Trump takes on General Motors (guess who wins?)

The president is hammering the company for cutting US jobs – but that’s the reality of our shareholder-driven system

Trump’s “America first” economic nationalism is finally crashing into the reality of America’s shareholder-first global capitalism.

Last week GM announced it would cut about 14,000 jobs in the politically vital swing states of Michigan and Ohio.

This doesn’t quite square with the giant $1.5tn tax cut Trump and the Republicans in Congress enacted last December. Its official rationale was to help big corporations make more investments in America and thereby create more jobs. Trump then told Ohio residents “don’t sell your homes”, because lost auto-making jobs “are all coming back”.

GM got a nice windfall from the tax cut. The company has already saved more than $150m this year, according to GM’s latest financial report. But many of those Ohio residents probably should have sold their homes.

December 4: He Said, Xi Said: U.S., China Have Different Recollections Of Trump-Xi Trade Talks

“China has agreed to reduce and remove tariffs on cars coming into China from the U.S. Currently the tariff is 40%,” his tweet said.

It’s doubtful that Xi agreed to any such thing, because World Trade Organization rules forbid a country from imposing differential tariffs. If China eliminated its tariffs on American cars, it would have to eliminate its tariffs on all other countries’ cars. Trump and Kudlow apparently don’t know this. But Japanese, Korean and German car companies know it and would be thrilled to have duty-free access to the Chinese car market.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Monday that the two governments had agreed to talk further about reducing all tariffs, and about other trade issues, but said nothing about any agreement to reduce car tariffs uniquely.

December 4: Trump meets with German auto execs, tweets 'I am a Tariff Man'

He outlines 'his vision of all automakers producing in the United States'

December 6: Fiat Chrysler to Open New Assembly Factory in Detroit

Auto maker plans to make a sport-utility vehicle at the new factory

December 13: Trump says 'GM is not going to be treated well'

"To tell me a couple of weeks before Christmas that she's going to close in Ohio and Michigan, not acceptable to me," Trump said Thursday on Fox News. "General Motors is not going to be treated well."

-- 2019 --

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January 10: Trump administration slams Fiat Chrysler with a half-billion dollars in fines for flouting emissions rules

February 11: U.S. Steel credits Trump in resuming work at Alabama plant

Company has benefited from 25% tariffs on steel imports

February 11: General Motors has hired Ballard Partners, which has close ties with the Trump White House, for federal representation on labor and fuel efficiency matters.

GM is in the midst of a $2.5B corporate restructuring that will lead to the shutdown of plants in Detroit-Hamtramck, Warren (MI), Lordstown (OH) and Baltimore and the loss of thousands of jobs.

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