Archive for the ‘Trade’ Category

Trump Reversing Stance on Trans Pacific Partnership

President looks to assuage concerns of farmers, auto industry.

by on Apr.13, 2018

Presiden Trump is reversing course on the Trans Pacific Partnership, investigating the country's re-entry into the pact.

In a surprising about face, President Donald Trump is apparently considering reversing one of his first decisions on trade — scuttling the Trans Pacific Partnership.

Denouncing and walking away from TPP with a sharp dig at former President Barack Obama was one of Trump’s first pronouncements after his inauguration as President in January 2017. While support for TPP was mixed, with some companies supporting and others opposing it, it did include provisions that would have benefited the global auto industry.

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Trump’s decision on the TPP helped set the stage for the assault on NAFTA. (more…)

Lincoln Planning Five New Models for China in Bid to Catch Rivals

China destined to become brand’s top market, said new Lincoln chief.

by on Apr.12, 2018

The Lincoln Aviator made its U.S. debut last month and should reach China by 2019 or 2020.

Struggling to catch up with rivals now dominating the world’s largest luxury car market, Lincoln plans to start building five new models in China by 2022, according to a report by the Reuters news service.

That’s in line with comments made to TheDetroitBureau.com by Lincoln’s new boss, Joy Falotico, who said she expects China to soon become the brand’s largest market, much as has happened for other luxury marques, including Detroit-based rival Cadillac.

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It appears that the new models Lincoln will build in China will also be produced and marketed in other countries, including the U.S. During a backgrounder on the new Aviator SUV prior to its debut at the New York International Auto Show late last month, Falotico revealed that Lincoln plans to launch two new SUVs by 2020, “followed closely by four more vehicles.”

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China to “Significantly Lower” Tariffs on Vehicle Imports

Move could help defuse threat of trade war, but unclear how much will change.

by on Apr.10, 2018

Tesla CEO Musk is one of those celebrating China's plans to sharply reduce import auto tariffs.

Foreign automakers have long complained about the hefty tariffs levied on vehicles exported to China, but Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday said his government plans to “significantly lower” duties this year.

The move comes at a time when tensions between the U.S. and China have built to the point where many observers have been fearing the start of a potentially devastating trade war. Just Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump complained in a tweet about “STUPID TRADE” policies that allowed the Chinese to levy a 25% tariff on imported vehicles, compared to the 2.5% duties imposed by the U.S. on most foreign-made vehicles.

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The Chinese president’s comments leave a lot of questions to be answered before it can be clear what impact the proposed move will have on foreign automakers, but at least one U.S.-based manufacturer is pleased, Tesla CEO Elon Musk quickly tweeting, “This is a very important action by China. Avoiding a trade war will benefit all countries.”

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Mexico’s Auto Exports to US Rise 7.5 Percent in March

Nearly 70% of exports go to the U.S.

by on Apr.09, 2018

Mexico's top trade official Ildefonso Guajardo said recently he believed NAFTA talks could be done by May.

With the Trump Administration struggling to gain concessions in ongoing North American Free Trade Agreement talks and on the cusp of a trade war with China, the news that Mexico’s auto imports into the U.S. rose 7.5% may only serve to complicate matters.

One of the provisions Trump wanted in a revised NAFTA was fewer exports from Mexico into the U.S. President Trump was also heavily critical of automakers that built vehicles in Mexico and shipped them here, at one point threatening to tax them.

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The jump in exports comes despite a production drop of 10.9% in March compared with year-ago figures, auto industry group AMIA said.  (more…)

End of the Road for Chevy Spark?

Korean plant may replace minicar with new CUV.

by on Apr.09, 2018

The Chevrolet Spark is at the end of the line as General Motors plans to end production of the small car in favor of a crossover.

Yet another familiar passenger car nameplate may be heading to the junkyard, General Motors’ troubled Korean subsidiary saying Monday that it may discontinue the Chevrolet Spark and replace it with a new crossover model.

The potential move has been prompted by the sharp decline in Spark sales, especially in the critical U.S. market, but also reflects GM’s efforts to try to turn things around in Korea. The Detroit-based automaker recently announced it will close one of four Korean plants and could shut down its operations there entirely without a mix of union concessions and government assistance.

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The Spark is one of a growing number of sedans, coupes and other passenger car models facing an uncertain future. As TheDetroitBureau.com reported last week, the slightly larger Chevy Sonic is also likely to be pulled from production in the near future as GM shifts resources to focus more on the SUVs, CUVs and other light truck models that continue to gain market momentum. (more…)

Trump Trade Disputes Put Automakers in Crosshairs

U.S. auto buyers could face substantially higher prices; industry profits could tumble.

by on Apr.04, 2018

President Donald Trump could be hearing rumbles from the auto industry over his trade policies.

Wall Street investors aren’t the only ones growing worried about Pres. Donald Trump’s increasingly aggressive actions on international trade. Finding themselves in the crosshairs of a potential trade war, automakers are also sounding the alarm.

“We are not in a trade war with China, that war was lost many years ago by the foolish, or incompetent, people who represented the U.S.,” the president tweeted this week, ahead of announcing $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese-made goods. The move quickly was mirrored by tariffs announced by China.

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The tit-for-tat trade battle could lead to serious problems for a number of industries, including aerospace, agriculture and chip manufacturers – as well as the auto industry. Carmakers are also fretting over the president’s increasingly confrontational tone over NAFTA, trade with Europe and new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

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NAFTA on Ropes Again After Trump Tweets

President continues to threaten end of trade deal in tweets.

by on Apr.03, 2018

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, left, talks with Canada's Chrystia Freelander and Mexico's Ildefonso Guajardo, both right.

Even more than some relief on fuel-economy standards, carmakers have said over and over again they want to settle the issues around the North American Free Trade Agreement.

However, President Donald Trump threatened to discard the agreement in a series of Easter weekend tweets in which he accused Mexico of doing “very little” to stop the flow of people across the U.S. border. He also renewed his attack on U.S. immigration policies, including DACA, the program that would allow immigrants brought to the U.S. as children an opportunity to become U.S. citizens.

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Trump once again demanded the Mexico pay for the border wall that Republican led Congress declined of fund in full and threatened to target the North American Free Trade Agreement in retaliation for Mexico’s failure to stop migrants from Central America to the Southern of the United States. (more…)

Showdown in South Korea: GM Warns of Bankruptcy

Union concessions demanded by April 20.

by on Mar.27, 2018

GM is looking to shut down its underutilized Gunsan plant in South Korea.

Union workers at General Motors’ money-losing South Korean operations have barely three weeks to come up with a package of concessions or the automaker says it will plunge the entire unit into bankruptcy, a move that could lead to its pulling out of the market.

The announcement by GM follows its decision in February to close one of its four assembly plants in the country and examine whether it could keep the other facilities open. Along with the union concessions, GM is demanding new support from the South Korean government.

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The Detroit automaker is “using threats to ramp up pressure on the union to make concessions,” a government official told Reuters. The news service also cited a document indicating GM is trying to lock down $600 million in operating funds by the end of April to keep the South Korean operations going. (more…)

GMC Adding “Black” Models to 2019 Offerings

Diversity within brand keeps GMC ahead of competition.

by on Mar.27, 2018

GMC is expanding offerings for its premium SUV lineup with the 2019 Acadia (left) and Terrain Black Editions.

GMC has already made its collection of Denali vehicles one of the most successful sub-brands in the industry.

Now GMC plans to add some new wrinkles by adding two new “Black Editions” that build on the success of the Denali with some additional features to its premium line-up.

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The Black Editions of the Terrain and the Acadia for 2019 expound on the bold road presence that defines both SUVs with muscular, sculpted exteriors. (more…)

Ford and Mahindra Teaming Up on New SUVs and an EV

Partnership focuses on India but could target “other markets.”

by on Mar.23, 2018

Even as Ford and Mahindra lay out plans for the Indian market, Mahindra is ramping up U.S. production of its Roxor SUV.

After agreeing to form a strategic alliance last year, Ford and India’s Mahindra & Mahindra now plan to jointly develop at least two new sport-utility vehicles, as well as an electric vehicle.

The two manufacturers say they will initially target the fast-growing Indian market where Ford has been trying to expand its presence. But they eventually may look at opportunities in “other markets,” according to a source in the U.S.

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“Today’s announcement is the next step in the collaboration between Mahindra and Ford,” said Pawan Goenka, Managing Director, Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd. “Both teams are working together on joint development areas in keeping with industry requirements and leveraging mutual strengths. We are excited about the synergies unveiled through this collaboration and the potential opportunities it will bring.”

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