Archive for the ‘Politicians’ Category

Trump Smacks GM With New Lordstown Plant Tweet

After a quiet three weeks, President takes another swipe at automaker.

by on Mar.18, 2019

President Donald Trump took another swipe in a tweet at GM about the closure of Lordstown.

General Motors was again the target of a tweet by President Donald Trump, which pushed the automaker to reverse its decision to shutter an assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio, which is located in the state’s politically sensitive northeastern corner.

Trump attacked GM after it first announced the decision to close Lordstown and returned to this weekend with a tweet that urged the company to reopen the plant. The Presidential tweet came 10 days after the Lordstown plant built its last Chevrolet Cruze, ending U.S. production of the compact of the car.

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However, the timing of tweet suggested that Trump was concerned less about the fate of Lordstown than the optics surrounding another key decision Trump is expected to make in the next few weeks on a key trade issue. That said, Lordstown and GM promises to remain an issue through the 2020 Presidential election when Ohio is once again a pivotal battleground state. (more…)

Toyota CEO “Sad” About Being Declared “National Security Threat,” But Plans $3B More in U.S. Investments

Tariffs actually could backfire and see investment plan cut back, warns top Toyota official.

by on Mar.15, 2019

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda called the prospect of his company being called a "national security threat" by the Trump administration "sad."

Toyota plans to boost by $3 billion its investment in the U.S. market, a decision that comes as the automaker – and other foreign-based brands – are facing the possibility of huge new tariffs from an American president who has labeled them a “national security threat.”

That designation is something that “makes feel sad,” Akio Toyoda, the Japanese giant’s CEO, said during an appearance at the Economic Club of Washington. “I hope that this kind of conversation can go away,” the grandson of Toyota’s founder said through an interpreter.

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Separately, the head of Toyota’s North American operations cautioned that those planned investments, which include $749 million to upgrade existing plants in five states, could be cut back if the Trump administration moves ahead with tariffs, something experts have warned could actually result in lower U.S. car sales and a sharp loss of automotive jobs. (more…)

Safety Advocates Push for Adoption of Drunk Driving Deterrents

Groups pushing for installation of devices in new vehicles.

by on Mar.15, 2019

Former NHTSA Chief Joan Claybrook is leading the charge for ignition interlock devices to prevent drunk driving.

Safety advocates and other groups are looking to add some momentum to new ignition interlock technology that would prevent drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel and driving, saving thousands of lives annually.

Joan Claybrook, a former administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), urged Congress to pass a law forcing automakers to include passive ignition-interlock systems in all new motor vehicles within as little as three years.

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“I don’t know what’s the matter with the industry on this issue,” Claybrook said during testimony Thursday before the House consumer protection and commerce subcommittee. (more…)

Trump Administration Takes Credit for Fuel Economy, Emissions Improvements

Average fuel economy improved year-over-year, emissions dropped.

by on Mar.08, 2019

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler argues that the CAFE changes are getting cleaner, safer cars onto the road faster than under the Obama rules.

The Trump administration is arguing that its deregulation polices are helping reduce the amount of heat-trapping carbon dioxide emitted by automobiles.

In a report issued this week, Trump’s EPA said auto manufacturers continue increasing fuel economy and reducing pollution through innovation.

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Andrew Wheeler, the new head of the EPA, said the latest edition of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s annual Automotive Trends Report underscores the administration’s contention. (more…)

Toyota Building Lunar Rover for Japan’s 2030 Moon Landing

Japan's lunar mission targeting 2030.

by on Mar.06, 2019

Toyota will follow in GM's tire tracks and build a lunar rover, although it's likely it will look a bit different than the original shown here.

Toyota appears set to do something only General Motors has done before: Put a car on the moon.

The Japanese automaker is working with the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to develop a new lunar rover for the agency’s new moon mission, which is targeted for 2030. However, more details are set to be announced next week.

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“We are planning to cooperate with Toyota in an exploration mission to the moon,” a JAXA spokesperson told SkyNews. (more…)

Ghosn Released on Bail

Prosecutors lose appeal nearly four months after exec’s arrest.

by on Mar.06, 2019

Carlos Ghosn was released from a Tokyo detention center after the appeal to deny him bail was denied.

Nearly four months after he was unceremoniously yanked off a private jet after landing at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn was escorted out of the Tokyo Detention Center on Wednesday, looking gaunt and wearing both a surgical mask and cap.

The executive was freed a day after a Tokyo District Court ordered him released on 1 billion yen, or $8.9 million, bail. Prosecutors had previously blocked the release of the Brazilian-born executive but lost an appeal of the release order this time.

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“I am innocent and totally committed to vigorously defending myself in a fair trial against these meritless and unsubstantiated accusations,” Ghosn, who will turn 65 on Saturday, said in a statement issued shortly before his release. (more…)

SEC Cites Musk for Contempt

“I do not respect the SEC.”

by on Feb.26, 2019

Tesla's Elon Musk if facing contempt charges over some tweets about the Tesla's production plans.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s fondness for tweeting has already caused him serious problems, from lawsuits to the loss of his job as the automaker’s chairman, but he now faces the possibility a federal court could hold him in contempt for violating a settlement reached last year over his claims Tesla was getting ready to go private.

The Securities and Exchange Commission claims Musk violated the $40 million agreement the two sides agreed to last September that led to Musk relinquishing his post as Tesla chairman and agreement to have his planned tweets reviewed by the company before posting them. Regulators say they are worried that, as was the case last year, Musk could be using social media to mislead investors.

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The new allegations come at a challenging time for both Musk and Tesla. The company has now delivered a profit for two consecutive quarters but has warned it faces the prospect of tighter finances for the rest of the year. It is struggling to build sales in China and other overseas markets. And the latest dust-up between Musk and the SEC raises the prospect the South African-born executive could be forced out of his remaining management role. (more…)

Ghosn’s Lawyer Blasts Japanese Prosecutors, Nissan

“This should have been dealt with as an internal matter,” says lawyer known as “The Razor.”

by on Feb.20, 2019

Former Nissan Renault CEO Carlos Ghosn's new lawyer is ready to shake up his defense efforts.

Ousted Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn’s new lawyer hasn’t wasted any time going on the offensive, calling out not only the automaker that has accused the former exec of financial misdeeds, but also the prosecutors who have refused to release Ghosn on bail after three months in detention.

The 64-year-old Ghosn was arrested on Nov. 19, shortly after his corporate jet landed at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport. He has been charged with several crimes, including the concealment of about $88 million in income. The allegations arose out of an internal investigation Nissan said was triggered by a whistleblower.

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“This should been dealt with as an internal matter,” Junichiro Hironaka said at a Wednesday media briefing in Tokyo. Hironaka is known as “the Razor” for his ability to help high-profile clients win acquittal in a country where prosecutors routinely win convictions in over 90% of their cases. (more…)

Japan Waiting on US for Signal on Trade Talks

Abe believes Trump won't raise tariffs before two sides talk.

by on Feb.20, 2019

Trump and Abe discussed the trade imbalance between the U.S. and Japan during Trump's visit.

Japanese officials believe the Trump administration will avoid slapping higher tariffs on Japanese cars and auto parts that are imported into the United States as it faces off with China and the European Union on various trade issues.

While the majority of vehicles that Toyota, Honda and Nissan sell in the United Sates are built at factories in the U.S., they also import large number of finished vehicles as well as key components, such as engines and transmissions.

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In total, Japan’s auto industry would suffer a value-added loss of about 8 billion euros or $9 billion and Germany would lose 7 billion euros, according to a new study by the German research institute Ifo. South Korea’s auto industry would suffer a loss of more than 3 billion euros. The Ifo study looked at long-run effects, about 90% of which typically occur in five years and 99% in 10 years. (more…)

Honda Shutting Down Lone UK Auto Plant

Maker says Brexit not the reason, but move highlights problems.

by on Feb.19, 2019

Honda announced plans to close its manufacturing plant in Swindon. It means the loss of 3,500 jobs.

Honda will close its only auto plant in Great Britain in 2021 becoming the latest automaker to say it was leaving and turning what was once a trickle into a torrent of closures due to Brexit. The facility makes the Civic.

The Swindon plant closure means the loss of 3,500 jobs and a tenth of all vehicles produced in Britain. However, despite early reports, Honda officials claim Brexit had little to do with the move. Honda officials said the company was focusing manufacturing in the areas where it has the largest sales, and Europe isn’t one of those.

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“We had to consider the rise of electrified vehicles, and the different speeds at which electric vehicles will be taken up in North America and Europe,” said Honda Chief Executive Takahiro Hachigo. “This decision was not informed by Brexit.”  (more…)

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