By on January 28, 2015

2015-mercedes-benz-c63-amg-12

Leaders from Germany’s automotive sector held a rally Wednesday in Berlin to lend support to a transatlantic trade agreement heavily facing opposition.

Automotive News reports the agreement between the European Union and the United States, which is supported by the likes of Daimler AG’s Dieter Zetsche, Volkswagen AG’s Martin Winterkorn, and even Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel, would be the largest such agreement put into play when signed. The deal would deliver a gain of €119 billion ($135 billion USD) for the EU and $131 billion for the U.S. by 2027, which equals an average of €545 ($620) and $910 for a family of four in their respective locations. Eighty percent of the gains would be the result of eliminating duplication costs linked to maintenance of two different bureaucracies and regulations.

However, German union IG Metall and various consumer groups take issue with key parts of the agreement, if not the entire agreement itself. For the union, the investor-to-state dispute settlement mechanism — which grants corporations the right to sue the government if revenue is lost due to government policy — is unacceptable, as are the threats of softening environmental and consumer protections, and hollowed workers’ rights. Other groups fear U.S. companies could force European legislators to draft policies in the former’s favor, and “harmonize safety or product standards downward.”

As for why the German automakers are rallying, the aforementioned harmonization would allow all automakers to focus on one set of safety and emission standards, thus allowing for the possibility of buying a new car from a different market without waiting 25 years first. That said, the agreement could collapse without majority support from all 28 members of the European Parliament.

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133 Comments on “German Automakers Rally In Support of US-EU Trade Agreement...”


  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    “…would allow all automakers to focus on one set of safety and emission standards…”

    If this means our cars have to comply with the EU’s draconian limits on CO2 emissions, no thanks.

    We’re now up to 18+ years of no STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT global warming.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      “We’re now up to 18+ years of no STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT global warming.”

      Wrong.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/17/science/earth/2014-was-hottest-year-on-record-surpassing-2010.html

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff Weimer

        By how much? Your “authoritative” NYT article fails to note that or any definitive numbers as it paints a picture of vague gloom. It’s 2 one-hundredths of a degree. That’s not even statistical noise, and the confidence factor in *that* number is 39%, meaning this scary headline you breathlessly link is worthless.

      • 0 avatar
        Fred

        JMO: Unless you can find a Fox news report on climate change you will never convince conservative/tea party types.

        • 0 avatar
          Richard Chen

          The Flat Earth believers have a wiki and a forum, and probably get together on a cruise once a year.

          • 0 avatar
            bunkie

            Just so long as they’re careful not to sail too close to the edge…

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Growing up I was taught that we are still in the process of coming out of the last (of many) ice-ages. 11,000 years ago (around the time Egypt was getting going) where I live was under 2 miles of ice. I live among puddles (lakes) left by buried chunks of ice. I live within a few miles of a melted glacier (Lake Michigan) I have been taught that the Earth has been gradually warming for 1000’s of years since grade school in the 60s and that this was a normal process.

            Now that it’s a political hot potato I’m suppose to panic? Nope, too many smart people spent too many years teaching me about climate change who weren’t financially or politically motivated, I choose to believe them. They also taught me not to poop where I eat and to keep my environment as clean as possible

          • 0 avatar
            50merc

            Fred and Richard, can you say “ad hominem argument”?

          • 0 avatar
            vwgolf420

            Are you talking about this? http://www.conservapedia.com/Main_Page

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            “Especially the Australian designed and Engineered Cars”
            Partially redesigned but engineered here : The Camaro
            The current Ford Ranger which is sold in Europe, designed and engineered here
            Chevrolet SS, ditto
            Vauxhall XR8 ditto
            Plus other Ford and GM designs that have been worked are being worked on here

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Lie2me
            This is an Automotive board, your somewhat racist chants would get you banned anywhere else

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @RobertRyan

            What are you talking about?

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            @28,

            The man has a screw loose

            I guess glaciers mean different things to different people

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @28 days
            Read lLie2 mes non Automotive posts.if you start on that track, then it is open slather No his anti German stuff, he now does not want to repeat it Glaciers? This comment section jumps all over the place. I was referring to his Anti German stuff

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            You’re frickin’ drunk, you can’t even type. How embarrassing

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            My only thought in general is to call out people in the correct thread if one feels compelled to regulate (also to avoid drunk typing, texting, or dialing as well as its easy to put one’s foot in one’s mouth).

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            “You’re frickin’ drunk, you can’t even type. How embarrassing”

            You act like your stoned , most of the time I would say

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @28Days
            Hopefully the new message board software, will allow more specific responses to posts, than this antiquated Software does

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “@28Days”

            ???

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Lie2me,
            They are going to upgrade the software, or supposedly

        • 0 avatar
          Hummer

          Oh please, you guys so readily accept any report your told under the guise as science that you would believe anything.
          The climate changes… By itself, trying to cite a 100 year period as evidence against a ~4 billion year period is ignorant. You can’t seriously believe humans are affecting the climate by putting CO2 into an atomosphere that supported life at much higher CO2 content in the past. It’s anti-science in itself.

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      LOL!!

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Not only CO2, but particulates for Diesels. I can understand the fear about watering down EU standards to meet the lesser US standards

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        The US doesn’t have CO2 standards and the US emissions standards particularly for diesels are more stringent than the current Euro standards. That is why the automakers continuously state that they have to make changes to the gas and particularly diesels to comply with US standards. It is also why you can import a US car to Europe w/o needing to change the emissions system.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          The US has MPG requirements (CAFE) that are similar to a CO2 standard. The only difference between the two is that a CO2 standard accounts for the higher energy content in diesel, while an MPG standard provides an (unfair) advantage to diesel.

          As for diesel particulates, the US generally and California in particular lead the pack on emissions standards. Anyone who believes otherwise doesn’t know what he’s talking about…and not surprisingly, you’re responding to one of those posters who can’t get anything right.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Do not have to worry about Diesrls they are.clean compared to a EFI Gas engine Gas EFI engines have vastly more particulates and Nitrides So what engine do they predominately run in California?

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @Scoutdude,
          No Euro regulations have a different emphasis and as such current US compliant diesels are not legal in a Euro V or the higher EuroVI environment
          The diesel in your new Transit, had to be discontinued in Europe because it could not meet Euro VI
          The emphasis in Euro Regs is CO2 and particulates., US Nitrides
          In Australia we can run the 3.2 engine as we have only Euro V
          Basically both Regs give “clean” diesels, but Euro V. Has become a default global standard
          Both different compliant engines have to be modified when can to meet the other regulations

  • avatar
    insalted42

    Leftist fear-mongering strikes again!!

    You wouldn’t believe some of the conspiracist BS I hear everyday here in Germany about the evils of a free-trade agreement…

    “The US is lulling us into submission to their spying!!””
    “They’re extremist right-wing capitalists come to strip your worker’s rights and disband your unions!!”
    “American produce is poison and will flood our supermarkets with GMOs that we will be forced to buy!!”

    And my personal favorite, the rallying cry of the Worker’s Party and unions…

    “American competition is going to force European companies to demand worker’s be more productive to compete! Technology will be cheaper and eliminate factory jobs, as workers are forced to work longer than 6.5 hours/day!!”

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Lol, paranoia from the country that produced the Third Reich, what a surprise

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        That was a wee bit harsh.

        For both sides, the agricultural stuff is a big deal. Cars are just a footnote to a trade deal, but this isn’t The Truth About Farming.

        • 0 avatar
          hreardon

          Exactly. It won’t be environmental or safety measures that sink these negotiations, I guarantee it will fail due to the agricultural lobby. The EU’s agri-subsidies dwarf what the United States provides, and a very large percentage of Europeans are strongly against GMO crops.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          “That was a wee bit harsh”

          So was the Third Reich. Paranoia usually goes hand in hand with a superiority complex

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @lie2me,
            You are a thoroughly nasty little piece. Guess you have not been to Germany as well.
            Do they still tar and feather in the US Southern States?

          • 0 avatar

            I thought lie2me’s remark was fairly rude. Generally it’s boring to mention Nazis the moment Germany is mentioned. It’s as tedious as immediately calling Americans good ol’ boys straightaway.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “Do they still tar and feather in the US Southern States?”

            Go read a history book, if you can

            “I thought lie2me’s remark was fairly rude”

            Really? I was responding to insalted42’s remark about the Germans being ignorant and paranoid, but I’m rude for mentioning a history of similar behavior? Is it not PC to mention Germany’s “colorful” history? Give me a break

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Don’t mention the War!

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfl6Lu3xQW0

          • 0 avatar

            Wow Lie2Me. rudeness dilutes relevancy

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            @Pch101

            lol,

            “You started it”

            “No we didn’t”

            “Yes you did, you invaded Poland”

            Too funny!

            But, I’m being rude

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I think tar/feather was much more a colonial northeastern US thing. In the south they don’t bother with that, just a lynching.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “I think tar/feather was much more a colonial northeastern US thing”

            Well, yeah that’s just it, it actually started in England about 1200AD, so I’m sure RobertRyan’s ancestors have first had knowledge of the experience

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Maybe it should be.

          You might be able to understand farming far better than your knowledge of the automotive industry.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @insalted42 – I’ve heard the same thing said by domestic workers but substitute Asian or Mexican for American.

  • avatar
    vent-L-8

    If this means that I can import a new Citroen DS-5 w/ diesel and 6 speed … then yes, do this yesterday.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      I hope u dont hold this agreement responsible for what will most certainly be overwhelming disappointment.

      Unavailable is not always better. Sometimes things are unavailable for good reason.

  • avatar
    romismak

    German automakers will benefit from it, now with EUR/USD exchange rates they can export EUR made cars to the US with better proffits than ever before.

    BMW, Mercedes and Audi will see even better sales for them – already they are doing fine, but even VW brand can benefit from this, with possibly more EUR exports to the US

    Also FCA should be happy, their NA plants are running at full or near full capacity and ITA plants are what 50% capacity using? so they can add even more vehicles not even Renegade to their ITA exports to the US

    Also Daimler can benefit with their US to EU exports, but with currently exchange rates not so much with strong USD, but in future and long – term even this way they can benefit

    Anyway this deal benefits clearly European automakers over American – GM and Ford US cars are not selling well in EU, right now with strong USD also not helping them, so germans + FCA Italian plants can benefit and possibly German and FCA operations in US can export more to Europe after exchange rates will change again

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      “Anyway this deal benefits clearly European automakers over American – GM and Ford US cars are not selling well in EU…”

      There’s still that *little* 10% to 22% tariff and trade barrier the EU levies against US and other foreign made vehicles. With that dropped, plus total harmonization, it would be Game ON with US autos, newly for sale all over Europe.

      Euro auto makers have clearly more to lose than gain, if it’s a true “free” trade agreement.

      • 0 avatar
        romismak

        I doubt US cars will be succesfull here, no matter better price thanks to no tariffs. Simply US manufactured GM vehicles and Fords are not going to win over market share and buyers in Europe. German plants in the USA, FCA and even Japanese, Hyundai-Kia can export to EU with better tarrifs, but GM, Ford No

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Well, you guys don’t get any US GM products anyway. Everything is basically GM Korea, and Chevy is dead in Europe. All that they could really import is the Camaro and Corvette.

          I think Ford has some production that they could move to the US though. Ford’s Valencia plant makes the Tranist Connect, C-Max, Mondeo/Fusion and Escape/Kuga. It is also supposed to build the S-Max and Galaxy. I could see the Mondeo, C-Max, Transit Connect, or Kuga moving to a US production site. The Mustang doesn’t count because that is already in the works.

          • 0 avatar
            romismak

            EU has also GM US products- ACEA stats always show under GM- GM USA – which means US GM cars- i guess it´s mostly Cadillac, Corvette, Camaro and maybe few GMC-but i think this brand is not officialy available in EU – it´s just i don ´t know thousand cars per year this GM USA cars, and honestly high tarifs, no tarifs, it doesn ´t matter maybe they will sell 200 more that´s nothing.

            Ford has enough plants in Europe and they want to make proffit in Europe, they need produce even more in Europe, so i doubt they will reduce EUR production just to move it to States and export back to Europe – now USD/EUR ex. rate is also not saying this is a option

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The volume GM US products you guys don’t really get. Not that you want them anyway. I can’t see anyone in Europe buying a Traverse. We basically send you guys the Corvette, Camaro, and trash. Sorry about that…

            As for Ford, yes their Euro plants are flexible and not to capacity so there would be no changes now. In the future, I could see Ford sending vehicles besides the Mustang to Europe from the US. Not in these current market conditions though.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @bball40dtw
            I very much doubt the Mustang will have much clout, see discussions about Camaro earlier. No Ford is suffering like GM from a poor quality or more the case in deteriorating quality, in Europe and elsewhere

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            RobertRyan-

            I never said the Mustang would have clout or do extremely well. It will do better than the Camaro because it was built with exportation to the EU in mind. It is also a better vehicle than the Camaro. It has a RHD model available from the factory as well.

            I don’t know if you mean that Ford or the EU is detertiorating in quality, but I can assume you that the Mustang hasn’t deteriorated in quality. It’s a better product than it’s even been.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @bballdt40w
            Yes Ford and GM in Europe are at the bottom of the reliability stakes and that is saying something.
            Mustand in the current climate is probably going to go as well as the Camaro. I know the EU Ford Dealers wanted a smaller car( personally that would make a small car , tiny) but was over ruled by Mullaly.
            Ford really has to concentrate in getting it’s quality levels up to speed

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I don’t pretend to know the reliability data from the EU. There is alreay too much data to look at from the US.

            If the Mustang doesn’t sell better than the Camaro, in Europe, Ford will be pissed. There wasn’t any room to make the Mustang any smaller. It’s 4-series sized, which is where it should be. EU Ford dealers are high off their a$$es if they think they’d have any say about the Mustang. That fight wouldn’t have ever been escalated to Mullaly.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Ford, GM and Fiat already have dealer networks all over Europe. It wouldn’t matter if only 3,000 of each and every US car, CUV, pony, sports car, pickup, luxury, whatever, sold in Europe. They would be free money for US brands and lost sales for Euro brands.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            US OEMs make more than just gas guzzlers and brodozers. There’s a lot of common ground, between the US and Europe. And not everyone in Europe lives in Medieval villages with just room to park Mopeds.

            US OEMs would be starting from scratch, to build momentum, loyalty, fan base, trust, repeat buyers, etc. But US OEMs would have plenty more reason to build crappy little cars both continents could enjoy, but have been hesitant to build for Americans. And more satisfy CAFE in the process, for cheap.

            So who’d win more? The US or Europe?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            This might surprise you, but GM, Ford and, er, FIAT already have factories in Europe.

          • 0 avatar
            romismak

            YEs but US manufcatured GM,Ford,Chrysler cars are not very popular in Europe and this EU-US deal doesn´t help it much, only Jeep has potential, but GM cars-Cadillac,Corvette,Camaro,GMC-nobody will buy more of them, Ford US cars and Lincoln-the same

            Chrysler producs-Jeeps exports it can help them, but they can also produce Jeep vehicles in ITA for Europe and Chrysler was under license produced in Austria for years-don´t know if it´s still going on or how it is

            My point was this US-EU deal doesn ´t help US companies exporting US cars to EU, it can help EUR companies exporting from US to Europe

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @romisak,
            The EU companies will be the major benefactor, but watering down safety standards would not be a good trade off

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        I’m thinking that Denver Mike hasn’t been to Europe.

        The winners of a EU-US FTA will be the European automakers that are building cars in the US for export. The EU’s 10% tariff is high enough to be meaningful.

        Dropping the US’ 2.5% tariff doesn’t do much for European production, as it isn’t very high.

        For the most part, the Detroit automakers aren’t building cars in the US that Europeans want. (Interestingly enough, they already have factories in Europe for that sort of thing.) There might be a couple of instances where it might help, but there won’t be many.

        The chicken tax/ 22% EU truck tariff doesn’t mean much, either. They don’t want our gas guzzlers, nor do we really want the Amarok (which would need to be federalized, regardless.)

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Yeah, I don’t think GM is going to be selling 3000 Yukons in Europe per year if this FTA agreement were to pass.

          This would have a better chance of benefiting Ford factories in the US than GM ones. At least they have some factories that make relatively identical products to those sold in Europe.

          And yes the big winner is BMW. All those X3s/5s/whatevers they churn out in SC just become more profitable.

          You said Amarok and Chicken Tax. Now this post will decsend into Chicken Tax hell.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            In addition to their costly-for-Europe fuel consumption, the Yank tanks look horribly out of place, are not well suited to narrow streets and won’t fit in many parking spaces. There is a small niche that really likes them, but it’s small and probably going to stay that way. The attitude toward American cars in general is not positive.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            If the Transit was being made in Germany instead of Turkey, I’d say that was the lowest hanging fruit for Ford. But Turkish production for Europe has to have lower costs than US production for Europe. Either way, the new Transit is more American than any of the Europeans realize.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I don’t see many opportunities for Ford. It would help the Mustang, but the volume will probably be low. Perhaps there could be some consolidation of production for efficiency’s sake, such as building all of the C-Max’s in the US, although I don’t really know.

            The good thing for the US is that it would give the Germans one less reason to build that next plant in Mexico. The southeast could become New Germania, which probably doesn’t make IG Metall feel very warm and fuzzy.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I guess my point is that there aren’t that many opportunities for Ford’s US plants (only effieciency changes), but there are zero opportunies for GM. We ain’t sending Malibus to Europe. We don’t even want them here.

            BMW is going to annex SC. They will rename Charleston to Karlston.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The thing about the Detroit 3 is that they have already been building in Europe for decades, tailoring their product for local consumption, so there’s not much reason for this to matter — it’s not as if they’re facing capacity shortages in Europe or there is enormous pent-up demand for American cars.

            The Germans are in a different position. They came to build crossovers, and stayed for the lower labor costs. Because they are newer players here and expanding their reach globally, they are in a better position to take advantage of this.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Dr Z is going to get all the mustache cream if this passes.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          What about One-Ford? Couldn’t they start sending our unwanted Focus production to Europe, where people pay hilarious prices for econoboxes?

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Well, then Focus prices would go up. I don’t know what Saarloius’ capacity is, but it also makes the Kuga/Escape. The Focus still sells 200k+ units per year in the US, and Ford closed the Genk and Southampton. Wayne will crank out Foci for years to come. I don’t know if the green loan they got to retool that plant has a time frame of how long it needs to stay open and producing fuel efficient cars.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          @Pch
          DiM has made claims he’s been to Spain over 36 times.

          He even thinks there is a large full size market in the EU.

        • 0 avatar
          romismak

          Pch101

          Agree with you, this deal has ZERO meaning for GM, Ford plants, GM and Ford are selling per year few thousand Cadillacs,Corvettes, Camaros,GMC´s,Fords,Mustangs,few pickups and Lincolns in EU for year. Maybe they will sell 10-20% more than before, which is still nothing almost 0%market share in European union total auto sales.

          Howewer FCA, Germans can gain a lot thanks to this FTA between EU-US

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @Pch/BAFO – You two need to stop agreeing. Or get a room or something.

          US OEMs make more than just gas guzzlers and brodozers. There’s a lot of common ground, between the US and Europe. And not everyone in Europe lives in Medieval villages with just room to park Mopeds.

          US OEMs would be starting from scratch, to build momentum, loyalty, fan base, trust, repeat buyers, etc. But US OEMs would have plenty more reason to build crappy little cars both continents could enjoy, but have been hesitant to build for Americans. And more satisfy CAFE in the process, for cheap.

          So who’d win more? The US or Europe?

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Europe.

            The products they make here are more popular in Europe than the products GM, Ford, and the Chrysler part of Fiat make here. The products the Germans make in Europe are also more popular in the US than the products GM and Ford make in Europe. The Euros win both ways.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Yes but would they gain any sales? The US would. And we’ve already milked Europe for all the makes and models we can stand.

          • 0 avatar
            romismak

            DenverMike

            You already posted this same

            You are really thinking who wins? or are you joking ? i don´t know really

            Because it´s sure that EUR companies will win this like 100 to 1

            GM and Ford US plants won´t sell more than maybe 2thousand cars in Europe more than before thanks to lower prices – that´s all, Nobody in Europe want US cars

            GM´s Cadillacs,Corvettes and Camaros, few pickups-well it won´t help them much

            Ford-Mustanss, few Ford pickups,Lincolnds- the same like GM – few cars per year FTA helps them little

            Ford volume models well USD/EUR ex.rate now is bad for US exports + Ford need production in Europe, not taking away EUR production to the US

            Interrestingly Chevrolet was only 1 brand that could have gain something from this deal, but GM pulled them out from Europe, i can imagine US made Chevy cars exporting to Europe-sedans and so on cars that are popular segments in Europe, but Chevy brand was pulled out so..

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            If there was an enormous demand for large US pickups and the like, then they would be building them in Europe, right now.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            It’s not just about gaining sales. It’s about making more money on each unit. It’s all about eliminating trade duties and pocketing the difference. DM, ask yourself this questions, “Who ships more cars across the Atlantic each way?” It’s the Europeans. BMW is the top exporter of vehicles built in the US.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            You don’t think those insane EU tariffs have lots to do with the utter lack of US presence there? You don’t just start selling in new markets overnight with great success. Takes generations of cars.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The US OEMs have a presense in Europe. Ford of Europe was founded in 1967 (merger of two existing Ford divisions) and has 10 manufacturing facilities spread out accross the EU. Ford has been building cars in Europe for over 100 years.

            GM bought Opel in 1929. They’ve been in Europe for awhile.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “You don’t think those insane EU tariffs have lots to do with the utter lack of US presence there?”

            No.

            Perhaps you should visit Europe, try to park a car in an urban center, and pay for a tank of gas. Then the light will come on.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “GM bought Opel in 1929. They’ve been in Europe for awhile.”

            GM and Ford plants were used to build vehicles for the Nazis. Yep, they’ve been there for awhile.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            If you just hit the tourist attractions and metropolitan areas, to and from the airport, you get a distorted view of all of Europe. In fact, there’s more similarities than differences. Try parking in larger US cities and beach communities with midsize to larger vehicles. Doable but the inept still snivel.

            But again, there’s more to US fleets than just huge behemoths. And more similarities in vehicles than differences. Not all Euro cars are subcompacts. More midsize than anything else.

          • 0 avatar
            romismak

            Agree with Pch101

            DenverMike – you probably are American who never was in Europe and just think how great are American cars and can´t understand why are they not selling like hot cakes in Europe, that those bad Europeans have those high tariffs, while in free market conditions People in London,Berlin,Amsterdam,Paris,Rome, Madrid,Warsaw or STockholm would be driving full size pickups and paying thousand euros each month for their big American SUV´s….

            EUR gas prices-to high for US cars, EUR cities-you need small car, diesels rule here-or at least are very popular in general, hatchbacks, sedans, small SUV´s you need those cars in urban areas here if you want have parking spot and don´t pay half of your salary on gas/diesel each month..

            Instead of pickups people drive here vans-LCV´s for small business and so on

            Ford and GM are here forver like Pch101 mentioned, Ford Britain and Ford Germany are here since 20s-30s at least and being big brands with benefits of mass production over whole continent – th esame goes for Opel and Vauxhall plants bought by GM looong time ago.

            They don´t need US exports – with EUR automotive problems and issues when capacity utilization is so low

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I’ve spent considerable time in Europe, including many places that tourists wouldn’t bother to visit.

            Again, go visit the place and try to deal with the annoyance and expense of living with a large gas guzzler. A far from ideal choice for most people.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @pch

            Which places off the beaten path do you recommend when in Europe?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Some major oversimplification and exaggeration on your part. Of course fullsize pickups, SUV, wouldn’t be the star attractions. Plus the adaptation of midsize to smaller cars to RHD, diesel, etc, to fully optimize the market. But the straight carryovers would like printing money. And you don’t speak for all of Europe. Point is, if it’s the same FTA zone, it doesn’t matter if US auto sales in Europe aren’t through the roof, at 1st. You have to start somewhere. Plus typical US autos have most
            European autos beat in reliability, close to Japanese. Time to stop fearing what you don’t know.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            DenverMike, really American cars just aren’t well suited for the European market. It’s not a judgement thing it’s just a practical thing. If you remember many years ago when European cars first started making their way to the US. They were small and underpowered and generally kind of dorky. They just weren’t designed for the US market. Same thing only reversed

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Provide a list of American vehicles that aren’t sold in Europe now but that would sell well without the 10% tariff.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “Which places off the beaten path do you recommend when in Europe?”

            I don’t know you’re tastes, so you may not share mine. A few random bits (take these for what you will, and this is not a complete list):

            -Den Bosch (NL)
            -Cadiz (ES)
            -Glasgow
            -Saint-Malo (F)

            Ireland (outside of Dublin) would be a good place for a driving vacation. Ring of Kerry is a common destination that works well with a car, although I prefer nearby Dingle. (If you have time, go to both of them.) For a smallish Irish city that isn’t Dublin or Galway, Kilkenny (not to be confused with Killarney) is one that I happen to like.

            It’s not hard to get off the beaten track in most major cities, including the popular ones, just by going to parts of town that aren’t so touristed. If you avoid doing your eating and drinking on major squares or near major tourist sites, then you’ll probably do well. Off-season is even better.

            And there are towns that get hit hard by tourism during the day, but change character at night. Bruges (which you’ve probably heard of) is a good example of this: it has a lot of visitors who come for the day on their tour buses but then stay elsewhere (presumably in Brussels, which is a major city but is nothing to write home about.) Bruges is the kind of place where you should spend the night so that you can see it at its best — seeing it for an hour doesn’t do it justice.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Thanks for the recommendations, Pch101. I was in Ireland six years ago but aside from a bus trip across the island we didn’t leave Dublin. I’ve been meaning to visit the continent and with Euro parity looming a trip suddenly seems much more attractive than it did six months ago. St-Malo and the Brittany region in particular look quite appealing.

            I’ve always wanted to do this, the London Classic Car Club offers day drives of up to five of their cars for 495GBP per pair a few times a year. If a flight to London were not about a grand round trip I’d fly in for a weekend by myself just to take the drive.

            “The five cars we use for our experiences are different on each day or night. We don’t release the actual list until the day. Some of the favourites that have featured on our driving experiences are: 1975 Aston Martin V8 Vantage, 1959 Jaguar XK150, 1964 Jaguar E-Type, 1971 Lotus Elan+2, 1977 Porsche 911 3.0 Carrera, 1983 Ferrari 308GTSi, 1965 Mercedes 230SL Pagoda, just to mention a few. ”

            http://www.classiccarclub.co.uk/experiences.asp

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @28-Days-Later
            Off the beaten path Try Slovenia,Croatia, Hungary, Czech Republic( more on the beatern path these days) and Poland. Quite surprised how good they were

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DiM’esque,
            You now want “niche” vehicles exported from the US to the EU????

            This is against all your paradigms in relation to the removal of the chicken tax and allowing “niche” mid sizer pickups into the US market.

            What a goat you are.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Calvin, Pch – it depends on what you mean by them having a “market”. Thought we were talking “niches”. But traditionally it’s taken decent, or high volume to make nationalizing a niche vehicle in a foreign land worthwhile and profitable. This would be a completely unheard, never before situation for autos on either s!de of the pond. FREE and unhindered access to each other’s consumers, just put them on a frickin’ boat! No crazy sales targets or mass popularity necessary. Sell just 10,000 Buick Regals? 8,000 Explorers? 2,000 Raptors? 100 dually crew cabs? 20 molester vans? 3 Navigators? Done and Done: No feelings hurt. No marketing execs fired. No foul.

            Although GM and Ford’s Euro cars $UCK! Nothing wrong with them, but nothing really to attract consumers, that isn’t duplicated by too many other OEMs.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Even niches need a certain amount of volume to be profitable. There is a thing called “overhead” that has to be covered, and there are logistics issues with adding new models to a lineup: parts have to be stocked, mechanics need to be trained, etc.

            If the prices or volumes aren’t high enough, then they aren’t worth it. And I seriously doubt that Europeans are going to be craving a Buick Regal when it is parked next to an Opel Insignia (as they are the same car.)

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Pch – Was there ever a supercharged Insignia? An Insignia GNX? But if it’s the same car as the Regal, real easy to stock parts and train techs. Don’t forget printing up glossy brochures! No I get that it would take a 10,000 or whatever, minimum sales. Now that’s a whole lot easier than the 100,000 sales it normally takes. But it’d be worth to take a small loss to build a new market, over time.

            But should OEMs just skip Canada unless there’s very high volume to justify? This since OEMs are in the US anyway with high volume sales, and practically the exact same rules/regs?

            Here’s some slow selling imports to Canada in 2014: Nissan Cube, 15 sold. Nissan Quest, 63 sold. Nissan Maxima, 968 sold; Mazda 6, 3,023; Chevy Spark, 1,577;

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Why on Allah’s green earth would GM import to Europe an Insignia built in North America with a different badge that nobody knows when that same car is already being built in Europe? That doesn’t make one bit of sense.

            You may have noticed that Canada is located next to the United States, which is the world’s second largest auto market. With the auto pact, there is virtually no border between the two countries as far as vehicles go. Europe’s is just a bit further (turn right at Greenland, and keep going.)

            This is just getting more and more irrational. You’re fixated on stuff that makes no sense.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Point is you’re missing the point. Once again. Forget the Insignia. A pact like this would be no different than an extension of NAFTA for US OEMs.

            As we’ve seen, it doesn’t take very many “exported” cars to Canada to make it worthwhile. “Destination” is the biggest cost. As if Canada is just an other state in the union.

            We ship even less cars to Alaska and Hawaii, so is there a reason to stop that *nonsense*? Figure it costs about the same to ship to Europe, or much less cons!dering “economy of scale”. Europe is a much larger market than those two states combined. Many times larger. Exponentially.

            So if you cons!der Europe another state to sell a “few” more cars and trucks, what’s the down s!de???

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          Good Grief I agree with you! The U.S. produced sedans are mainly ASIAN sourced or rehashed European products. US Pickups although loved in the US are impractical and do not do the job in Europe

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Especially the Australian designed and engineered American cars

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Lie2me,
            We only give the US the real muscle like the Chev SS. It has US muscle and steers like a Euro car. Look at the Comaro, what is underneath?

            We also have a larger impact in the global pickup/SUV market than the US.

            Look at what was taken from the Aussie designed Ranger and used in the new F-150.

            Look at the new Hilux, Ranger, BT50,

            We also design many vehicles for developing nations.

            Even engines for that matter. The 3.6 SIDI for example.

            The Supercharged Miami V8. Based on the Coyote with a supercharger fitted.

            Look at what our V8 SuperCar Series has given Ford and GM.

            Look at what Toyota Australia does for global platforms.

            It seems for such a small country Australia is exceptional at designing affordable bang for your buck vehicles, that also steer around corners and curves.

            That’s why myself and several others laugh at the ridiculous and uneducated comments from the Leftist people (UAW) who comment on TTAC.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @DenverMike – I’d like to see links backing up your comments AND how many USA based vehicles do you think the EU will buy?

        Homogenization of safety rules and emission rules would improve profit margins for car companies even without any exportation. Some reports indicate as high as 25% additional cost due to compliance with multiple rules.

        Most USA vehicles would be considered niche products in the EU.

        Ford is in favour of an EU/USA deal. It would greatly benefit FCA.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @Calvin/Lou/Pch – What would be wrong with niche vehicles, new to the EU zone? Especially when they’re FREE to import, and already meet EU rules and regs? It really doesn’t matter how low the ‘take rate’ is, at that point. All FREE money.

          The Wrangler and Jeep brand might catch on fast. Who’s to say what wont? Plus models specifically design for both the US and EU markets?

          And purposely made unreliable, so they fit right in!

          Market research only tells you so much. Or there would never be failures of any sort. Put them ALL out there and what’s the worst that can happen?

          Except the EU has more extremely niche, low volume vehicles than anywhere else. And s o what? British cars mostly. Ariel, Aston, Bristol, Brook, Capro, Caterham, Ginetta, Grinnall, to name a few. Yes they’re still in business.

          Many Euro exotics that can’t even turn a profit and owned by Fiat, VW and others. But something like the Challenger or Charger that only sells a few thousands (at 1st) in the EU, has many more thousands that sell back home.

          Worst case, icing on the cake.

          If a US model never moves beyond a complete and total niche in the EU, but popular/profitable in the US, who the heck cares?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Again, you don’t seem to get Europe.

            Parking is often a hassle.

            Fuel is expensive.

            American cars are often seen as cheesy and excessive.

            The European move toward CO2-based registration fees will make gas guzzlers quite costly to keep. The system is designed to discourage their ownership — the fees will be based largely upon fuel consumption, not the (depreciating) value of the car as is the case in the US — which means that guzzlers that aren’t particularly interesting will have high ownership costs, low resale value and minimal interest.

            There is also a matter of the company car market. Germany is the largest car market in the EU, and long story short, the domestics have no chance in hell of breaking into the German company car market, which is where automakers need to be if they wish to move luxury-priced metal.

            Ford and GM figured this out decades ago, even before the war. Once cars got larger than the Model T, they had to differentiate between the markets.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Mainstream EU acceptance of US muscle, pony cars, Jeeps, Raptors and other gas guzzlers? Mainstream acceptance of US subcompacts, CUVs or anything whatsoever? Likely not either. But that’s not the point.

            Heck, EU cars are barely mainstream in the US.

            But does any US car have to set Europe on fire to be an EU imported “success”?

            The point of a FTA and harmonization, bes!des zero tariffs, is to virtually eliminate the enormous costs of nationalizing vehicles for “foreign” markets, so it doesn’t take enormous volume to make an export worthwhile. Only then is “niche” volume perfectly fine, if not dandy.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @DenverMike – I already said “Most USA vehicles would be considered niche products in the EU.”

            I’m sure there would be the odd person who might like a HellCat but most wanting to swim in that end of the pond will buy an AMG Merc or big Beemer.

            Niche products aren’t necessarily “free money”. If anything profits will be less because of the cost of shipping. Another issue one has to factor is currency exchange rates.

            Ultimately most do not want USA vehicles. You seem to comprehend that point when one talks about small trucks but cannot make the small step to applying that logic to other products and other countries.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The domestics are already selling cars at low volume in Europe. That’s one reason why the cars are so costly — they don’t scale there.

            You have this idea stuck in your head, but nothing to back it up. They already build cars in Europe, remember?

          • 0 avatar
            romismak

            Even with this FTA between EU-US, it won´t help much GM, Ford for US exports to EU.

            GM had in 2014-162cars sold under OTHER GM-Cadillacs,GMC´s, than maybe another 100 Camaros and Corvettes, even Europeans wanting US cars will buy used cars – import them by themselves

            Ford has EU plants so won´t export volume models and those pickups and other US exports will have similar volume like now, Lincoln the same

            FCA is big question it can help them exporting US cars, but for example if Jeeps will be ,,volume,, brand i think they will try to produce some top model in ITA with their low capacity utilization and for others like Chrysler, Dodge cars the same like now similar exports, btw Chrysler group vehicles have been produces in Graz, Austria by Magna Steyer for years,not sure now how it looks like if they still produce their cars or not, so there is no room for improoved sales-exports, only for Jeeps, but how i said we can expect if some Jeep will have good volumes Marchionne may choose use ITA plant to improove capacity utilization and help ITA unions-which are hard on him

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “American cars are often seen as cheesy and excessive.”

            They are and that’s what we love about them, Europeans not so much

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @Lie4me,
            ““American cars are often seen as cheesy and excessive.”

            They are and that’s what we love about them, Europeans not so much”

            Hmmm……so how many “American” cars are actually really “American”?

            Not many. Lots are based on Euro cars.

            It seems to me that your comment holds little credence, and yet again you display your ignorance regarding the automotive industry and market.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            I didn’t write the statement, Pch101 did. I was agreeing with him

            Do you not know how to follow a conversation in a blog thread?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Lou,Pch, romismak, Calvin – When low volume, niche autos are sold in a foreign zone and DO NOT have strong sales of 100% same/exact products back at home either (CURRENT EURO FORDS/GMs), that can be a problem..

            ..that’s even if FREE of tariffs, with ZERO design/engineering changes for that foreign market’s emissions and safely regulations (CURRENT EURO FORDS/GMs).

            But when said foreign/niche autos have strong sales/profits of the exact/same cars back at home, it’s like PRINTING MONEY. Their biggest expense would sailing them across, but as long as you’re shipping thousands at a time (of various models, and even various brands), economies of scales come into play.

            Small import pickups are a bit of a different niche. They don’t have large profit margins to begin with. They may never recover the costs of nationalizing foreign crash safety and emissions, for marginal/few added sales.

            Europeans are used to paying more for autos, so exchange rates wouldn’t harm US OEMs. You Canadians willingly fork over lots higher MSRPs too.

            Most Europeans don’t have to want USA vehicles. Europe is a huge market and not everyone’s an automatic hater of everything. To most European countries, every car sold there is an “import”.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            There’s a small problem with your theory — Europeans don’t want these cars.

            It’s hard to “print money” when almost nobody’s spending it.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Your market “expertise” only stretches so far. So how can you get ins!de all their heads, millions of Europeans, to know either way. I know you’d rather drive a boring Passat than forced into a Mustang, Escape, Wrangler, Liberty, Cherokee, Colorado, etc, but not everyone, everywhere is like you.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            These are the same kind of arguments made by the small truck jihadists around here.

            If you believe that automakers don’t have knowledge and experience in this area, then you’re not paying attention.

            There are also decades’ worth of historical data that give us a pretty good idea of what different markets want and don’t want.

            And the price of gas, CO2 taxes, etc. are what they are. They aren’t a secret. If you had to pay $6-8 dollars for a gallon of gas, then you might have different preferences, too.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Despite crazy EU fuel prices, not every car sold there gets 80 mpg, diesel. Nor do they have very long commutes. It must be a miracle cars like Land Rover, Jag, BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Volvo, etc, sell there. Most are quite the pigs at the pump.

            And whodda thunk new Mustangs would ever go up for sale there. Certainly you in all your wisdom never saw that one coming if asked just a few years ago. Is this b/c YOU would NEVER own one??

            You can’t automatically poo poo everything you yourself don’t like. Or you must be a HUGE fanboy of the Rockstar David Hasslehoff if you agree with Europeans on everything.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            You may have noticed that the effort to create a global Mustang is oriented around a turbo 4-cylinder. And that move has become necessary because American purchases of the car have declined, which puts the nameplate into jeopardy.

            Selling gas guzzlers in Germany requires cars that will do well in the luxury company car market. And again, long story short, GM and Ford don’t fare well with luxury company cars. You might want to go research that.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            What we cons!der “luxury” are just normal, everyday cars in Europe, if not taxis and cop cars. Again, it wouldn’t matter if US vehicles don’t set all of Europe on fire. But having new US vehicles of all kinds, widely available in all of Europe, would be a fairly unpres!dented event, in modern times. And at a time when US vehicles are very competitive with the best Europe has to offer. The Europeanization of US cars has been happening for decades. Maybe even gearing up for a TAKEOVER!!!

            But even the next Raptor and Ford GT are definitely feeling the effect. Watch the Raptor outsell the M3 in Germany! It’s already beat the C6 Corvette.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            DenverMike, why are you so sure there’s a market for American cars in Europe when there are reams and reams statistics and market research that says the opposite?

            If you were running a car company would you want to spend millions to find out that you were wrong and everyone else was right? Sometimes betting on the longshot works, but most of the time, no

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            I mentioned the German company car market because if you understood it, then you would know perfectly well why it is very difficult for anyone that isn’t BMW, Daimler or VAG to move a lot of product. Again, if you want to have an opinion about this that is worth a damn, then you really need to understand how the luxury car market is markedly different from the US.

            And again, it’s also odd to talk about the Detroit automakers as if they have no presence in Europe.

            Ford has been doing business and building cars in Europe since before WWII.

            GM is there, too. It has Opel and Vauxhall.

            And of course, the third Detroit automaker is FIAT. I’m pretty sure that everyone knows where FIAT comes from.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            I am sure Denvermike is right a F 350 Dually LWB would be a piece of cake around the Amalfi Coast and a breeze to park in Rome

  • avatar
    wmba

    This article is a bit garbled compared to the Reuters report yesterday. It has been parsed too far to make much sense.

    http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSL6N0V626420150127?irpc=932

  • avatar
    Fred

    Personally I’d sure like to get my hands on a proper A4 Avant, especially with the new MLB platform and manual transmission. It doesn’t even have to be brown.

  • avatar

    Nice, but if this is talking about the trans-pacific partnership agreement, there is a lot more going on than cars. Copyright is a huge one. Like generic drugs ? Targeted as well. Patent is effected as well.

    The part about how a company can sue a State is also true. There’s a lot not to like here-state power is diminished as corporate power is increased.

    Back to cars…

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I just can’t get with the styling on current MB products. The front doesn’t work for me, and the rear is usually too fiddled with.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      The arc of the swoosh on the side of the CLA gets me every time. There’s just something awkward about the way it goes down at the back.

      On a utilitarian vehicle, I could get used to it. But the CLA is not that.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I do think a FTA between the EU and US will be good for all on both sides.

    The good thing is it will free up the US from unnecessary and anti competitive regulations as well. It will do the same on the other side of the Atlantic.

    What the US needs to achieve is a trade deal with the Pacific nations.

    What’s needed is the removal of the trade unions in these types of negotiations as they seem to be anti progressive in economics.

    EU farmers are more protected than US farmers by a long shot. I do think the EU should look closely at how much protection farmers are offered.

  • avatar
    John

    As the picture demonstrates, Mercedes Benz continues to be in awe of Flavor Flav.

  • avatar

    A large general agreement like this isn’t needed to sort out non-tarriff barriers for cars. And according to standard figures such non-tarriff barriers as exist are numerically unimportant but often very contentious. I don’t see any real citizen demand for this. The car companies could sort out their differences by committee. The other part of this deal, using arbitration to resolve state-business disputes is anti-democratic as it allows national law to be over-ridden by arbitrators – imagine six blokes from KPMG deciding that the right to bear arms was causing their client to lose money and offering the American state the choice of providing compensation or striking the law down. Equivalent judgements are already limiting small states like Australia from regulating tobacco.
    The agreement won’t mean exciting cars for either EU or US buyers, just streamlined regs and a tiny decrease in costs. It’s not worth the trouble.

  • avatar

    I had a look at some EU reliability surveys. While Honda and other Japanese cars do well, Ford and Opel’s placings are very respectable, especially taking their prices into account.


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