By on January 15, 2016

ford-headquarters

Ford will announce plans early this year to build a new plant in Mexico, Reuters reported Thursday. The $1.5 billion plant will produce 350,000 cars annually and could eventually produce the new Focus after production of that car leaves Ford’s Wayne, Michigan plant in 2018.

Ford didn’t comment on the report.

Reuters said Mexican officials with knowledge of the facility confirmed that the plant would be built in the state of San Luis Potosi.

BMW announced in 2014 that it would build a new plant in the Mexican state by 2019, and engine-maker Cummins already has a factory there.

Ford has several facilities in Mexico where it makes cars and trucks including its Fiesta and heavy-duty trucks.

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132 Comments on “Report: Ford Building New Auto Plant in Mexico...”


  • avatar
    thelaine

    UAW + NAFTA = MEXICO

    • 0 avatar
      jeoff

      I think NAFTA alone would be sufficient. Free trade agreements, BS H-1B work visas, etc., American workers cannot compete at a decent wage with the 2nd and 3rd world–throw automation and AI in the mix, and the long-term job outlook for all US workers looks dim.

    • 0 avatar
      Krivka

      Right, so you would rather the UAW not exist and have the jobs go to ‘Murricans in Alabama for the same wages? The UAW and other units exist to help the workers. Of course there are shady people associated with them, but the companies have plenty of goons in the private sector as well as in all levels of government to support their money grabs. If a person in the USA can’t afford the products for sale, even if they are made in Mexico or China, then the economy has failed. It isn’t the UAW destroying the country despite what you may believe.

      • 0 avatar
        thelaine

        That all came from your brain, not my comment.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        there is one significant difference you seem to not get.
        The company is a business and owned.
        The employees are just that…hired workers.
        To not know the basic difference and to attempt to position the employee as important as the company is nonsense.
        Although companies have, can and do misuse and abuse power and employees…there is still that difference.

        And…although it sounds strange to you, unions DO misuse their own members. Unions, like government programs, gain a life and self sustaining goal of their own. The live to be. And their growth becomes the goal.
        They begin to exist for themselves. The power and the money takes control.

        To think not is again…nonsense.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I, for one, think this is great! NAFTA has done more good for Americans than it has done harm and building this assembly plant in Mexico effectively prevents any meddling and interference by the UAW.

      I’m surprised the NLRB hasn’t been called in to action by the UAW to obstruct Ford from doing this.

      Then again, after the last labor negotiations between the UAW and Ford, who didn’t see this coming?

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @The Laine,
      Only the start more jobs from the US and Canada will headed in that direction in the next couple of years

  • avatar
    daro31

    Cars are becoming appliances, and other than car guys that follow sites like TTAC or whose jobs are directly affected by the moves, nobody cares. The average guy doesn’t care where his fridge or stove is made anymore and don’t care about their car anymore iether. Ther is no national pride attached to the BIG 3 anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      Yeah, what’s a few thousand more idle hands to have to feed anyway?

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        GE is selling their Large Appliance division to Haier, a Red Chinese corporation.

        I’ve had real good luck with Haier room airconditioners (refrigerated air) for twelve of our rental units where old folks live, but the American-made airconditioners were three or four times more expensive for the same BTUs.

        So, in the future, if you want to buy a GE washer, dishwasher, refrigerator or glass-top stove, it may say it is a GE but the profits go to Red China.

        Such is the way of the global economy.

      • 0 avatar

        Are you assuming that these jobs would even exist if not in Mexico? These would only be U.S. jobs at U.S. labor costs if U.S. labor was competitive on these types of vehicles.

        At some point, all of these evens out. At one point, the U.S. undercut Europe with cheap labor, initially with slave labor and later with the Irish, Chinese, indentured servants, etc. etc. It used to be Japanese labor was cheap vis a vis U.S. labor. No longer. Auto Workers in Japan make more. Mexican labor has their own union now. Mexian labor rates have risen, and will continue to do so. The wild card? Exchange rates.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      they *do* care inasmuch as they still bitch about how much stuff is made in China, but when it comes time to open their wallets they go “well, this /is/ a bit cheaper…”

      then they get it home and start whining again about how much stuff is made in China.

  • avatar
    Fred

    I just bought a skillet with a French sounding name made in China. Welcome to the global economy.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      I don’t get why; Lodge is made in the US and it’s not like they’re that expensive.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        I’ve got three Lodge pieces and they are great but they don’t work for everything.

        Is there any such thing as a teflon or ceramic coated skilled made in the USA?

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Calphalon has some non-stick cookware made in the US.

          Even All-Clad makes it’s nonstick stuff overseas.

          The problem is that the cheaply made T-Fal omelet pans that are 3 for $19.99 on Amazon have better nonstick properties than pretty much everything. I have a Calphalon nonstick pan that was made in Ohio, but I bust out the cheapy T-Fal to do eggs.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Calphalon knows how to make stuff. Everything I have from them is superior in every way to other brands.

            Especially the Belgian waffle maker.

        • 0 avatar
          turf3

          That’s why you season the cast iron. I have not used a teflon or ceramic coated skillet in decades.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I have seasoned cast iron pans and use them on a regular basis. The cheap a$$ T-Fal pan still does a better job with eggs.

      • 0 avatar
        turf3

        Lodge quality is pi$$ poor. The actual cooking surfaces are so rough, I had to spend a couple of hours with wet-dry paper and a steel block to lap the inside bottom of the pan to sufficient smoothness.

        They have the market for cast iron cookware – a small market compared to all the other alternatives out there – so they have no incentive to improve their casting processes.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          it’s par for the course for sand-cast iron.

          • 0 avatar
            turf3

            I’ve worked with castings for 30 years. There is a wide variety in surface finishes available from sand cast parts, depending on the grades of molding sand used and the process details. Check out the surface finish of a 100 year old cast iron skillet – when all of them were made of cast iron, so there was competition and a poorly made one just wouldn’t sell – vs. a current Lodge or worse yet a cheap Chinese cast iron skillet. If Lodge can sell all the pans they make, why would they invest in more expensive processes or an increased level of process control?

        • 0 avatar
          bikegoesbaa

          I like cast iron cookware and use it often.

          I have several old Wagner and Griswold skillets with very smooth interiors, and several modern Lodge skillets with rough interiors.

          I’ve not observed any difference in their cooking performance or non-stick properties.

      • 0 avatar
        Fred

        I wanted a large SS pan. It’s not something I’m going to use often and I have trouble keeping ci seasoned if I don’t use it often. Besides a 15″ CI stand is 12 pounds.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Did you drive it home in your Pontiac Grand Prix?

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      TTAC: The Truth About Cookware

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Go Ford!

    Go GM!

    Build even more plants/factories in Mexico & China to supply even more vehicles for the U.S. Market!

    ROAR TPP NAFTA & CHINA MOST FAVORED NATION TRADE PACTS!!!

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      I apparently offended Mark Reuss over at GM when I wrote him the other day regarding GM’S continued use of China as a growing source of production for US – MARKET vehicles. I got a long email back about how much GM is doing to add billions to the American economy. For a while, Ford seemed to be doing at least marginally better at producing here, but anymore it almost makes more sense to look at something like Honda or Toyota for a high(er) US contented and assembled in America vehicle. No fan of NAFTA or the TPP here. It isn’t always practicsl, but I do a fair amount of shopping online to look for US made products. With the exception of things like cell phones and computers, I can find clothing, furniture and appliances/housewares made here. I realize I pay more, but would much rather see my friends, neighbors and family employed…

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Your response may have been some sort of pre-drafted template but if you’d be willing I’d like to see this response posted (redacted as you see fit of course).

        • 0 avatar
          dig

          Yep. I would like to see that.

          • 0 avatar
            threeer

            I have it at work and may copy bits of it when I get back from travel. It basically boiled down to him not wanting me to look at the Chinese Envision, Korean/Chinese Spark and Mexican Cruze as being indicative of the overall picture for GM. He mentioned numerous examples of investment and growth in manufacturing here in America with *more to come*. That is not the image, if true, that GM is getting out currently. His response was most assuredly not a form letter…

  • avatar
    slavuta

    I keep it simple in my book – you make it in Mexico, I walk by. You make it in China – I walk by. Consumers have the power over this until of course all of it moves to Mexico. In a span of the last 2 years I personally showed to manufacturers that I don’t buy Mexican and Chinese goods. I spent $4000 on American-built appliances. If all of you will follow, will write to manufacturers, they will stop.

  • avatar
    turf3

    How long will the American public continue to vote for politicians whose policies ship our jobs to foreigners, solely for the enrichment of a tiny segment of the society who already command so much of the society’s wealth that none of their descendants will ever have to work for a living?

    When will Americans wake up to the giant fraud that is “free trade”? Ever since US policy has been to pursue free trade at all expenses, the US middle class has been progressively destroyed. – And the only remedy ever proposed is to make more free trade agreements.

    I am glad I only have to make it through another 15 years or so of working, and I am glad I don’t have children to be concerned about. It is no longer possible for me to be optimistic about the future of the USA.

    • 0 avatar
      threeer

      Sadly, the majority of Americans truly don’t care where their pots, pans or cars are made. Price rules, and cheap is king.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        It’s unfortunate that rabble rousers have done such a great job convincing the poorly educated and intellectually challenged that free trade is not in their country’s best interests.

        • 0 avatar
          turf3

          Since about 1980 it has been the policy of the US government to pursue free trade at all costs. That same period has also experienced the wholesale reduction of the middle class and flat wages in real dollars. How’s that free trade theory worked out?

          Free trade at all costs has become an unexamined axiom – and if anyone challenges it, they are characterized as “poorly educated and intellectually challenged”.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            ” How’s that free trade theory worked out?”

            Purely from my own perspective I believe “that free trade theory” has done more good for more Americans than it has done harm.

            Ditto NAFTA, and ditto TPP if it ever comes to pass and adopted.

            IMO Congress should adopt TPP as the theory of the land, sooner rather than later. There’s money to be made. American business is ready, chomping at the bit.

            Many Americans believe that the economic policies of the current administration have done them more harm than they have done them good, and that includes many accomplished blacks who find themselves now being punished for being successful, as their wealth is being spread around as promised it would be to Joe the Plumber in 2008.

            For a guy who got the Nobel Peace Prize at the start of his first term, we’re now stuck with an even greater number of wars in more places than when he took office.

            I understand that minorities may praise their improvement in lifestyle over the past 7 years, but it came at the trade-off expense of “the wholesale reduction of the middle class and flat wages in real dollars.”

            Someone had to foot the bill of the social-welfare state, money fer nuttin’ and foodstamps for free.

            You guessed it. The middle class did. Not the rich – they redirected their money elsewhere and took their tax breaks up front.

            But this is what the majority in America wanted. This is what the majority in America voted for. Not just once. But twice.

            So this has nothing to do with “poorly educated and intellectually challenged”.

            For those who don’t like this outcome, be the majority in the next voting cycle, and, like Burger King, “have it your way” instead.

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    And people wonder why I don’t buy American cars. GM will slowly move most of it’s production to China, or at least that is my prediction. First the Buick Envision, now the Cadillac CT6 Hybrid. The jobs will be gone, and one day the UAW will be extinct. Considerimg the wage an a UAW worker, it does not surprise me. It’s all about profit. If you can build it in China cheaper, and with fewer employee benefits, it incresses the profit margin. The American car companies are not a non profit organization. Quite the opposite.

    • 0 avatar
      Corollaman

      Does this mean that the transportation costs per vehicle is gonna go up a lot? I mean, it’s already steep coming from Detroit, how much will is go up if it has to travel from China?

    • 0 avatar
      Superdessucke

      I will not buy an American branded car. Definitely not GM. They don’t have any product I like and I am honestly pissed off about the Chinese Buick debacle. I don’t care how they justify that, it is a kick in the balls to the US taxpayer.

      But I will buy an American car. I have one – 2015 Honda Accord Sport. It is awesome, and well built. USA!

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    A Chinese made Buick Envision, Mexican made Chevy Silverado, Chinese made Cadillac CT-6, Mexican made Chevy Cruze Hatchback, Mexican made Ford Focus, etc., etc., in every American garage.

    • 0 avatar
      formula m

      Where was the Mexican government to bail them out 6-7yrs ago. US/CAN paid for them to figure out it’s cheaper to build elsewhere.

      Part of it has to do with the pollution caused by manufacturering. Mexico doesn’t have the same level of environmental laws/agencies as US/Ontario

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        formula m – companies will build where it is the most profitable. Being morally and ethically responsible to the health and welfare of their workers and to the planet is expensive regardless of whether or not they belong to the UAW.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      don’t act like this is anything new; in 1999 I bought a Dodge Ram 2500 which was built in Saltillo. My dad’s 1991 Dodge Spirit R/T was built in Toluca.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    My Sennheiser, AKG, Bose and Audio Tecnica cans are all made in China. we don’t build anything anywhere else any longer.

  • avatar
    Loser

    They just told us Tuesday our Eaton plant is moving to Mexico. Who will be able to buy Mexican products once the only available jobs here will be at McD’s? My son may have to move to Mexico to find a job.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      I’m sorry, L. I agree with you about an economy in which ordinary people no longer have the money to buy things.

      Our uber-rich class can’t bring themselves to remember that the salad days of this country for ALL socioeconomic classes came in the ’50 and ’60s when all Americans made a good living, and therefore consumption boomed.

      At this point, the existential threat of pollution is casting that model into doubt. But on economic grounds alone, the current “I get everything and you shiver in an appliance box” model of today’s America is obviously unsustainable.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I tend to disagree with some of these comments regarding how manufacturing in the US is so important.

    Manufacturing isn’t as representative as it was in the 50s and 60s. Why do you want to bring back lower paying factory jobs? If everything you buy was made in America your standard of living would be much lower, probably similar to China.

    The US is reliant heavily on other areas and industries. The services sector is becoming larger all the time and is by far the largest single contributor to any modern OECD economy.

    The world is transitioning at the moment. We are entering the third phase of industrialisation and we must embrace this or be left behind. Let the Mexicos of the world take on the more labour intensive jobs.

    I don’t hear many people whining about all the jobs lost in agriculture. Agriculture was the first industry to take on mechanisation. Why? Because it was the easiest and most labour intensive.

    Go back one and fifty years ago, the food bill on the average weekly income was 50%. Now it’s down to 10%.

    The same can be said for motor vehicles. How many months does it take to buy a vehicle this day and age compared to the 50s and 60s, even without considering all of the infotainment, safety, FE, etc.

    Are you worse off?? What is unemployment at the moment? Is the standard of living of the average American better now than in the 50s and 60s?

    I do think there are many whiners and scare mongerers who just want to complain and cry with little thought in what they are whining about.

    Let Mexico build Focuses. Look to the future and be flexible, if you can’t achieve this, then you are doomed. You only will have yourselves to blame.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Every American complains about the loss of manufacturing jobs. But, funny thing is, I don’t know any Americans who want to spend all day actually manufacturing something for $20/hour.

      I guess blue collar jobs are critical, so long as other people have them.

      • 0 avatar
        turf3

        Like Pauline Kael said in 1972: “How did Nixon get elected? I don’t know anyone who voted for him!”

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        Manufacturing is important. I tell you one thing. When we were building SR71 we didn’t have materials to build it. CIA secretly bought titanium in USSR. It Soviets only knew that we’re buying it to build a plane that will spy on them… In WWII when we needed tanks and trucks and cannons, we simply asked automakers to build it.

        In case of war today, we don’t have manufacturing facilities, equipment or skills to build things. We don’t have metal because we lost metallurgy. We can’t even make uniform for soldiers because we don’t have textile industry. Our space program relies on Russian components. We can’t even make US passports [in its current form] without a chip that is make only in China.

        And even if we can use an old Ford factory as facility, where do we get machinery and skills? I mean, in case when next war effort will be required

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          slavuta,
          Don’t confuse access to materials and manufacturing. It what you state is true then why isn’t Australia the most technologically advanced nation. We have the materials and commodities to make the new and modern world.

          We have masses of graphine, lithium, titanium, rare earths, aluminium, nickel, steel, gold, gas and on and on.

          Materials technolgy isn’t manufacturing.

          The auto industry is connected to but not directly working with the military industrial complex.

          Look at Israel. Where is it’s auto manufacturers? Where are the Russian auto manufacturers? Yet these two countries manage to have some great military hardware.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          We have some of the best metallurgical research facilities in the world:

          http://phys.org/news/2015-12-exceptionally-strong-lightweight-metal.html

          And thanks to private space technology firms, we’re far ahead of any other country including the Russians.

          youtube.com/watch?v=ANv5UfZsvZQ

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            mcs,
            The US is still the greatest military power. But that was not what my comment was in relation to.

            The military industrial complex has gone the way of many other industries, that is global.

            Really look at the US air to air refuellers. EADs had won a US contract. Boeing jumped up and down and now you still don’t have the capability from those tankers.

            We bought EADS tankers and they work. What country is more than holding it’s own in the Middle East currently with tanking?

            You can have all the technology in the world, but you need to be able to deliver it. In the big scheme of things, tanking in this day and age is not rocket science. But, it’s needed to deliver those rockets.

            Again, the militaries are becoming more like any other private/public institution. Costs are being pared back without the loss of capability.

            Technology alone doesn’t make a military better. You must also have a military that is capable of defending. Many US military (and probably most any other country) contracts are expensive, and what is produced is not necessarily the best possible weapons system for needs.

            Many of the contracts are based on political decisions and vote buying.

            As for metallurgy and materials technology, this is common around the globe. All nations have something they have done.

            The US should be expected to have more due to it’s population, hence money invested.

            It’s money that develops these technologies.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            @big_al

            It wasn’t directed at you. This damned low budget comment system strikes again.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          slavuta – if one looks back at WWI or WWII machinery and weapons were relatively simple. So were assembly processes. It was relatively easy to change processes.

          Currently it would be next to impossible to expect Ford, GM, or FCA to start making tanks or fighter jets unless you went the “Mark 1 Plumbing” ISIS route.

    • 0 avatar
      turf3

      So how has this theory that manufacturing is no longer important, worked out for the American people?

      – Income inequality approaching the late 1800s
      – Old age pensions gone
      – Middle class diminishing every year
      – Personal debt at an all time high
      – Couples who could get by with one job in 1975 now require two; couples who required two jobs then now need to moonlight
      – Gov’t debt and spending deficits at all-time highs and growing

      Of course there are a lot of factors beyond just the offshoring of our wealth creation activities, but it’s one of the big contributors to the mess we’re in.

      The top 10% are doing better than they ever have. I am lucky to be in that group. But I maintain that the health of a society is not measured by how well the best-off are doing, but by how well the lowest half or quarter are doing. I don’t think they are doing so well.

      Once all the high-paid services jobs are used up, the rest of the service economy all the pointy-heads love so much looks a lot like McDonalds, quicky oil change places, cleaning ladies, mall retail, concessions vendors at the stadium, etc. Those people used to have jobs as machinists, assemblers, steel workers, etc. Folks who work as machinists buy houses and cars and send their kids to college. Folks who work in the lower 2/3 of the vaunted “service economy” live at home with Mom and Dad, or with 4 roommates, drive old beaters, and throw their kids onto the welfare system.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Correct. The term I heard several years ago which I think applies is: re-feudalization. A 1% ruling class, 4-9% merchant class, and 90-95% peasant class is the feudal system. Ta da! What has happened in the past eight or nine years?

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        turf3,
        Many of the issues you have mentioned could be changed. The problems you speak of are not caused by the gradual decline of manufacturing or the reduction in manufacturing jobs.

        There are countries around the world which have a realistic minimum wage that is livable.

        But, as I’ve mentioned a few weeks ago on TTAC, people who go out earn a degree have this sense of entitlement. We are teaching our youngsters the wrong information.

        Manufacturing is going the way of agriculture. The process worker will be gone in a decade or two. Factories will be run by managers and technicians.

        Clerical work is going in the same direction.

        New jobs will come, but it will take time for society to realise what jobs will be the future. There will be many job descriptions that don’t exist today. Similar to what we have now. Look at the IT industry and tell me how many in the 50s and 60s would of dreamed of such employment.

        Just keeping people on the factory floor for the sake of it will only promote a less competitive and progressive economy.

        We must change.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    It’s funny (or sad, really) that the Camry has consistently ranked #1 or very close to it for domestic content, in addition to being assembled here, for some years in a row now. It’s kind of neat knowing that my fiance’s car was made either 45 minutes away in Lafayette, or 3 hours away in Kentucky. Civics like mine are made just half an hour away in Greensburg, although unfortunately my specific car is from Canada (no offense to Canuck TTACers!). Other top 10 finishers include the Sienna, Tundra, Avalon, Odyssey, and Ridgeline. The F150 is a top domestic finisher, as are the Lambda triplets and the Corvette and Viper.

    So that combined with its high sales, and staid ‘old faithful’ image more or less make the Camry the 60s Chevy Impala in terms of its place in the market. A good comfortable car for the masses, made in the USA.

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    I used to be against Mexican production. I also used to admire Toyota for their incredible cost control yielding mostly US production, but even they are building a plant in Guanajuato.

    After working and living down there, I actually don’t mind the fact that companies are utilizing their skilled work force. The Mexican government may be a corrupt POS, but their education system has been readying their young for this. Most everywhere you go in the DF, you can get your way through the day by only knowing English. Their engineers are skilled and they’re hungry for the well paying jobs.

    What we should be outraged by is our blind eye to our neighbor’s corruption. They literally have ‘terrorist’ grade organizations operating within their borders that yields in a high loss of innocent lives. Eliminate that, control the pollution and you’ll end up with a better place to live than the USA due to the beautiful landscape, climate and low cost of living. Until that happens, I don’t intend on going back. I’m an outlier in the fact that I experienced violence specific to that BS, but I’d prefer it if me and my neighbors were better armed and protected from the corrupt federales and marines.

    Plus there just is something about latina women. I am dating a half puerto rican and I highly contribute this to how damned good lovers they are.

    Now I’m not a fan of China – I’m sure that has a lot do to with the fact that I haven’t experienced the culture and thusly have a xenophobic outlook on those GD communists.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      We go on about this every once in awhile, but [email protected] Mexico is beautiful. Too bad about the drug wars and violence.

      Hermosillo does an as good or better job of building vehicles than most other manufacturing plants. Like you said, their engineering ranks are growing as well. Ford Mexico, with help from Dearbron, did an excellent job of updating the current U32X.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Likewise I’ve traveled to Mexico for work a number of times and hold both the land and its people in highest regard. My colleagues down there are the most put together, hardest working folks I know. When we go down there I actually feel a bit inadequate about my team to be honest. I hear you on the women as well, a guy I work with ended up meeting quite the seniorita while we were down there last time. I’m happily engaged so it makes no difference, but I enjoy the culture’s more traditional outlook on life, women try harder to look good, and expect to be taken care of by men. Seeing moms walk their kids in uniform out to school warmed my heart.

      Having said that, I’d rather the big 3 be opening these plants in the Midwest than down there, at the end of the day you have to look out for #1. Here in Indiana, Anderson was particularly hard hit since GM left, a ghost of its former self.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        I hear you man. But that will never happen as the Big 2.5 top brass don’t have the balls to rid themselves of the UAW. Even when we will be on par with Mexico in terms of COL, it still will be beneficial to open plants up in that country. Right now US plants have some driven people keeping them cost competitive, but that gap is ever narrowing.

  • avatar

    So here’s the issue: Ford needs to sell a LOT of small vehicles to maintain a high CAFE rating or be faced with HUGE fines. These sales are going to have to be driven by low price, high incentives or both. To achieve the volume required to make small cars profitable, they have to be sold in global markets. That can’t be done at U.S. labor rates. If Ford is forced to build in the U.S., there won’t be any cars built and no jobs anywhere. And Ford will have to eat any CAFE fines.

    There are certain types of vehicles that are sold here and have enough available margin in them to build them here. The only reason Chrysler builds Dart in Belvedere is because they have to based on the agreement with the Feds to finance their FCA merger. That hasn’t worked out very well for FCA.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      So CAFE has a lot of crappy consequences.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Just like the big ticket Ford, FCA, and GM pickups obviously subsidize their small cars, these OEMs would take a smaller loss by simply paying the relatively small CAFE fines, when broken down, per pickup or V8 specialty car, than building small cars at a huge loss.

        Except small cars along with midsize, make these brands relevant, well rounded and full line OEMs. Smaller car sales from them, lead to more fullsize pickup sales.

        Ford, FCA, could easily afford to build all their small cars in the US, while building all their pickups in Mexico, and come out way ahead, since big pickups are very labour intensive, with almost endless combinations of cabs, beds, trim, engines, packages, axles, etc, etc.

        Except fullsize pickups are almost expected to be USA Made and akin to driving around an American Flag. Some assume all are US made.

        Small and midsize car buyers are less concerned where the heck their cars are made. Most don’t give a crap. China for all they care.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Ruggles, what you state is true.

      The primary vehicle that is profitable in the US is the large pickup. This is also now affected by CAFE regulations.

      You can see why the UAW and some in the auto industry are opposed to the removal of the chicken tax. It’s removal will force the US manufacturers to become more competitive. Which is quite hard.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        “You can see why the UAW and some in the auto industry are opposed to the removal of the chicken tax. It’s removal will force the US manufacturers to become more competitive…”

        Yes starting with Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai, Kia, Subaru, VW, etc. These have a dog in the Chicken Tax ‘fight’ more than most others, including BMW, Ford, Audi, Chrysler, Cadillac, etc.

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Why force manufacturers to yake a loss by getting fined or making unprofitable cars? It is insane. Such is the life of a US company at the mercy of government. Consumers, job seekers and taxpayers all pay the price. Government grows and grows. It is an anchor around the neck of economic growth and prosperity.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Yes all these damn choices we wouldn’t otherwise have if OEMs of big thirsty cars/sports cars and big pickups only made big thirsty vehicles. god darn it and the price of small and midsize cars are cheaper and more competitive because of it!

      Double Damn Darn!!

      Point is, to a point, the CAFE fines are small enough that OEMs are free enough to build and sell what they want. And what we want. And what BigTrucksSeries wants. And yes more so than in any other meaningful market on Earth!

      No?

      • 0 avatar
        thelaine

        Why have a government policy that either forces you to produce unprofitable cars or forces you to pay a fine for refusing to produce unprofitable cars?

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Forget about the “why” and just enjoy what we do have. Choices! And for cheap!! Safe, fuel efficient and clean emission too.

          Look at poor BAFO over there, limited to overpriced midsize pickups. Such a travesty. Big government is just part of the package here. Yes you can’t run amok, like in some places where you can’t drink the water, but neither can the next A$$hole!

          Instead, answer why you’re such an ungrateful dude.

          • 0 avatar
            thelaine

            Yeah, don’t ask “why,” just be grateful for what your master allows you. Sounds great. Your concept of waterless people running amok….no idea what you are talking about. There is a middle where stupid or counterproductive regulations are, in fact, questioned.

  • avatar

    RE: “Why have a government policy that either forces you to produce unprofitable cars or forces you to pay a fine for refusing to produce unprofitable cars?”

    Answer: Because somewhere along the line someone decided it might be good for us to not have to import foreign oil and that reduced useage was part of the equation. They also figured out that protecting air quality was a good idea. Other countries have accomplished the same objective by boosting the price of fuel via taxes. We chose CAFE instead. Of course, in this world of relatively high fuel economy and “Drill Baby Drill” the oil producers are on their ass. The low price of oil will lead to a curtailment of production, consumers driving more miles and buying less fuel efficient vehicles, which will cause the price to go back up, re-attracting additional production, etc. etc. etc.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      exactly. CAFE is such a wrong-headed, bass-ackwards way to do it. Punishing automakers for what their customers *choose to buy* is nonsensical. sadly it’s an easier sell to the public than any tax increase.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      “Because somewhere along the line someone decided it might be good for us to not have to import foreign oil and that reduced useage was part of the equation.”

      That “someone” was dead wrong. Consumers should choose. Gas prices will have a huge influence. CAFE just distorts the market and adds cost. CAFE is counterproductive.

      We will soon be exporting oil. North America is awash in oil

      • 0 avatar

        Yea, North America is awash in oil due to Drill Baby Drill, Cafe, and OPEC. You sound like one of those “small government” guys who think markets self regulate. Let Americans go back polluting the air and driving 12 MPG vehicles and some will recall that government is responsible to manage our strategic assets. As it is, we’re still overly dependent on the global market price of oil, something we don’t control and can only influence.

        • 0 avatar
          thelaine

          No Mr. Ruggles, you are wrong. You are responding to the stereotypes you have built in your head, not to any comment I have made. And, like others, you like to make all or nothing statements, which basically amount to accepting a stupid regulation or choking on smog. That is a cartoon world. You don’t live in one, and you should not assume someone else does just because they disagree with you about CAFE.

          We are awash in oil due to private ownership of mineral rights combined with the application of fracking and horizontal drilling by private, profit-seeking companies. They are like auto dealership owners in that respect, except they produce hydrocarbons, to fuel the world economy and the cars that your beloved dealers sell for every gd nickel they can get, even from blind grandmothers. That is the part of the free market you constantly defend. Suck it up make a deal. If you lose, it is your fault because you are ignorant or weak. Or else, start your own dealership. When it comes to dealers, you are all about making money.

          OPEC is responding to what we and Canada have done by competing with us for customers because we are now producing massive amounts of oil and have ever-GROWING reserves.

          I have a clean-burning 2004 Hemi-powered Dodge Ram 1500. It gets 12 miles to the gallon. I freaking love it. Still runs like new, although I have beat the crap out of the exterior. Keep your gddmn hands off of it Ruggles! I bought it from one of your beloved auto dealers. He made a profit, like the oil producers.

          There is no shortage of oil. We are headed for energy independence. CAFE had absolutely nothing to do with it. It just distorts the market and adds cost based on false assumptions, such as “peak oil.”

          Just because it is a government regulation backed by good intentions or has a seemingly logical rationale does not mean it should be defended or is beyond criticism. Nor does it mean that criticism of the regulation leads to polluted air or an insistence of a fantasy of completely free markets. CAFE is bad. It should be killed…and then revived…and then killed again…and then burned…with gasoline.

          • 0 avatar

            RE: “And, like others, you like to make all or nothing statements, which basically amount to accepting a stupid regulation or choking on smog.”

            It seems obvious to most that before we started regulating some of this stuff, we were choking on bad air and suffering from tainted water. Even today, with all of the regulation, we still have issues. All or nothing statements? How about, “Accepting a stupid regulation.”

            RE: “That is a cartoon world. You don’t live in one, and you should not assume someone else does just because they disagree with you about CAFE.”

            Disagree with me about CAFE? Are you sure your reading comprehension is up to snuff? Exactly, what do you think my position is on CAFE?

            RE: “We are awash in oil due to private ownership of mineral rights combined with the application of fracking and horizontal drilling by private, profit-seeking companies. They are like auto dealership owners in that respect, except they produce hydrocarbons, to fuel the world economy and the cars that your beloved dealers sell for every gd nickel they can get, even from blind grandmothers. That is the part of the free market you constantly defend. Suck it up make a deal. If you lose, it is your fault because you are ignorant or weak. Or else, start your own dealership. When it comes to dealers, you are all about making money.”

            You want to argue from a theoretical world. Tell us what exactly works in your world. Do you want to issue protected class cards and instruct business how to treat them? Is that your business model? If so, go for it. Or do you just criticize reality from your theories. You’re free to tell us where your theories are actually in practice. Exactly why is it unreasonable to expect you to show us where your theories work?

            RE: “OPEC is responding to what we and Canada have done by competing with us for customers because we are now producing massive amounts of oil and have ever-GROWING reserves.”

            OPEC is doing what OPEC does. OPEC produces about the same amount of oil today as it did 40 years ago. What is going on now is the same thing that went on in the middle to late 1980s.

            RE: “I have a clean-burning 2004 Hemi-powered Dodge Ram 1500. It gets 12 miles to the gallon. I freaking love it.”

            Congratulations! Knock yourself out.

            RE: “Still runs like new, although I have beat the crap out of the exterior. Keep your gddmn hands off of it Ruggles!”

            Why would I give a rat’s ass what you drive?

            RE: “I bought it from one of your beloved auto dealers. He made a profit, like the oil producers.”

            Good for the dealer, and good for you for paying profit to him/her. Maybe dealers would operate as some kind of public service?

            RE: “There is no shortage of oil.” Did I ever say there was? It is with water, we can have as much as we are willing to pay for.

            RE: “We are headed for energy independence.”

            Maybe we are, maybe we aren’t. Since Obama we are trending in that direction. Natural gas, solar, geo thermal, and some others aren’t fungible. It is our dependence to fungible fuel that makes us dependent on global market price as influenced by others. It makes no difference if we supply all of our own oil as long as we are still subject to the global market price, UNLESS you think the oil companies will sell to us for less than global market price for altruistic or patriotic reasons.

            RE: “CAFE had absolutely nothing to do with it.”

            Actually it did. Without CAFE it is quite likely that consumption would have eaten up the additional production, or made a real dent in it.

            RE: “It just distorts the market and adds cost based on false assumptions, such as “peak oil.””

            Distorts that market? It certainly does. We need the kind of market distortion that minimizes our dependence on the global market price of oil.

            RE: “Just because it is a government regulation backed by good intentions or has a seemingly logical rationale does not mean it should be defended or is beyond criticism.”

            The perfect shouldn’t be the enemy of the good. Nothing is beyond criticism. I never said anything different from that. Our system of government offers us no perfect solutions.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            GENTLEMEN.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            You don’t have to reply to everything or have the last word all the time. It’s okay. Doing so just makes you look petty.

  • avatar

    RE: “Point is, to a point, the CAFE fines are small enough that OEMs are free enough to build and sell what they want. And what we want. And what BigTrucksSeries whats. And yes more so than in any other meaningful market on Earth!”

    Truck buyers are paying higher prices to subsidize the deals on the more fuel efficient vehicles. The best buys these days, new or pre-owned tend to be fuel efficient vehicles. You can “steal” a Prius if you want one.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      I’m not convinced truck buyers are paying more because of the small cars they subsidize. There’s still room for pickup buyers to pay more than they are (and they will pay more, much more), especially on the higher end. Profits are obscene regardless of subsidized small cars.

      I’m one of them that pays more, and don’t mind it. Fullsize trucks are still a terrific value, when you consider all you get, especially if you’re like me and into the bigger, F-250 to F-550, with crank windows and vinyl floors.

      “Value” includes job revenue and virtually indestructible reliability for private or “life style” consumer use, besides insane long term resale.

      • 0 avatar

        The Auto OEMs have built in HUGE markups on trucks and the stuff that’s selling. The dealers aren’t the ones making those markups, although when inventory levels are moderate to tight, dealer margins tend to be higher. Dealers have to buy small vehicles to get the ones they can sell for a profit. Small car values on the pre-owned market also suck. As large as certain truck incentives are, they pale compared to the incentives on small vehicles when expressed as a percentage of MSRP. OEMs are holding back incentive spending on trucks, SUVs, CUVs, etc. while using the money to make deals on the more fuel efficient vehicles. That only adds up one way to me. If you want to steal a truck, new or used, wait until everyone wants to get rid of them.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Forget about the dealer’s poor margins on loser small cars by the Big 2.5. Besides fullsize pickups, their used car lots and service/parts depts (the real reason new car dealers exist) do more than enough raping to subsidize those Big 2.5 small cars.

          • 0 avatar

            Would it feel better to get raped by an OEM than a Dealer?

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Ruggles,
            Are these my ONLY two options? I think I’d prefer to walk, thanks.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Used car lots and service/parts depts are functions of the independent dealer, and lately I’d say 2/3rd of profit is coming out of them. The tide is turning in their favor as mfgs continue to make so much servicing “dealer only” and enable only dealers to sell CPO warranties on shitty product which will fail in certain ways due to complexities. Your options are limited, you must do your own research on the product and find the product choice which allows you to avoid the dealer for service of key components.

            On new product its a different story. The floor price is inflated too high on just about everything vs the real economy which is something dealers can’t do too much about. I can b*tch all I want about the sky high prices on basic stuff such as a Malibu or Fusion, the dealers did not create the economic conditions we now face. Nor did the dealers have much if any say on which product is actually produced and how. Dealers look to make a cut on new product sold, and this cut may vary from holdback + an amount + maybe finance bonus to holy crap we buried her as a certain Buick dealer recently demonstrated.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Of course they move the production of high-volume vehicles. The cost of a new factory has to be amortized across the cost of production; there needs to be a considerable amount of volume in order to bother with the expense of building the factory in the first place.

      CAFE has nothing to do with it. It’s about increasing marginal profit by reducing the cost of some of the inputs, such as labor. Mexico now has the infrastructure to support export manufacturing and has a growing base of its own domestic consumers, so producers of all kinds of goods are taking advantage of it.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    And that will happen again as it did in 2008. Eventually the price of oil will go so low that many small producers will either go out of business or get acquired by bigger competitors then the price will go up and production will increase. Get what you want and need and don’t worry.

    It would be better if the price of oil stabilized but then this has how the market has operated for years. Government intervention is not the answer.

    • 0 avatar

      Energy is a strategic asset. Government has a responsibility to regulate and manage it. Same with water, air quality, etc.

      That said, it WOULD be great if the market price of oil would stay stable, but that isn’t likely to happen.

  • avatar

    RE: “Forget about the dealer’s poor margin on loser small cars by the Big 2.5. Besides fullsize pickups, their used car lots and service/parts depts (the real reason new car dealer exist) do more than enough raping to subsidize those Big 2.5 small cars.”

    Absolutely. Hustle in and take advantage of those dealers on a small car while you can. Those fat cat dealers are netting around 3% on sales.

    For those who want auto manufacturers to compete with their own dealers, despite the agreements the OEMs signed with their partner dealers to warrant the dealer to make a huge investment, there is a hearing tomorrow in Washington DC conducted by the Federal Trade Commission. If you are here you might get a chance to vent your issues. If not there will be others to vent on your behalf. If you’re REALLY interested and can’t drop by the Constitution Center at 8:30AM EST in the morning, you can go to the FTC website and get information on how to watch the live feed. You can either get educated or continue to whine about things you don’t understand.

    As a practical matter, there are places where auto OEMs own there own retail outlets. Canada, Europe, Japan. In Canada, most of the High Line marques are company owned. Japan is a mixed bag. I hear in Europe it is mostly the High Lines. The prices to consumers are higher than in the U.S. Tomorrow there will be a representative from Tesla on a panel as well as someone from Elio Motors. There will be many consumer group reps there as well. Should make for a lively day.

  • avatar

    RE: “Ruggles,
    Are these my ONLY two options? I think I’d prefer to walk, thanks.”

    Yea, if you want a NEW vehicle, you’ll have to buy from either the manufacturer or a dealer. Life’s a bitch, huh. Maybe the government wants to take over auto manufacturing and retail as a public service. Would that make you happy? If you want to promote that idea, or any others you might have, stop by the Constitution Center tomorrow. If you don’t fear being laughed out of the place you can pose your theories. Hell, there might even be some folks there who agree with you. After all, there are some who want the U.S. Post Office to get into the high risk lending business. I think Bernie Sanders and Liz Warren might also be in favor of that. If they can make that work maybe they could make auto manufacturing and retailing work.

  • avatar

    RE: “You don’t have to reply to everything or have the last word all the time. It’s okay. Doing so just makes you look petty.”

    If you say so. I can understand you would prefer not to have anyone call BS on you.

    Feel free to drop by the Constitution Center tomorrow. You might want to make a reservation first. Or you can always tune on to the feed if you want to learn something.

  • avatar

    RE: “Dealers look to make a cut on new product sold, and this cut may vary from holdback + an amount + maybe finance bonus to holy crap we buried her as a certain Buick dealer recently demonstrated.”

    The paperwork posted showed no such thing.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Seriously Ruggles, we’re not f*cking stupid. Edmunds:

      “Now the twist: With the introduction of holdbacks some years ago, most manufacturers inflated the invoice prices for every vehicle by a predetermined amount (2-3 percent of MSRP is typical). The dealer pays that inflated amount when it buys the car from the manufacturer. But later, at predetermined times (usually quarterly), the manufacturer reimburses the dealer for the excess amount. This is the “holdback,” so named because funds are “held back” by the manufacturer and released only after the vehicle is invoiced to the dealership.”

      http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/dealer-holdback/

      You think because most of us can’t see inside your top hat we don’t know whats happening? Its a business, dealers need to make money or they fold. We get it. Your decades of experience and valuable insight aside, if you don’t think “wow that’s kinda dick” when people get buried in junk product its your own affair. But it doesn’t help the case of us thinking wow “some dealers are f*ckwads”.

      • 0 avatar

        RE: “Seriously Ruggles, we’re not f*cking stupid.”

        Depends on how you define stupid. If you don’t understand the wholesale/retail cost structure at your grocery store, you aren’t stupid. When you don’t understand the same thing at your car dealer, same thing. What IS stupid is thinking you understand when you don’t.

        RE: “Edmunds:

        “Now the twist: With the introduction of holdbacks some years ago, most manufacturers inflated the invoice prices for every vehicle by a predetermined amount (2-3 percent of MSRP is typical). The dealer pays that inflated amount when it buys the car from the manufacturer. But later, at predetermined times (usually quarterly), the manufacturer reimburses the dealer for the excess amount. This is the “holdback,” so named because funds are “held back” by the manufacturer and released only after the vehicle is invoiced to the dealership.”

        To start …. some years ago? Try “some decades ago.” ALSO beginning decades ago, the markup over invoice has been steadily reduced. Its a shell game designed to make sure you only think you know the cost structure. One might ask the question, “Why would you even think its your business?” If you want the real information, you can buy yourself a dealership and have all the info. SHould be an easy business, right.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The comment re: holdback is correct. And it’s silly for anyone to imply that holdback doesn’t exist because it doesn’t appear on an invoice — by definition, the monies are “held back” until after the initial sale of the vehicle by the OEM to the dealer, so it doesn’t appear on the invoice by definition.

        I have my doubts that the comment re: an increasing spread between invoice and MSRP is correct. If anything, I would expect that the opposite is true, particularly with some of the domestics.

        • 0 avatar

          RE: “The comment re: holdback is correct. And it’s silly for anyone to imply that holdback doesn’t exist because it doesn’t appear on an invoice — by definition, the monies are “held back” until after the initial sale of the vehicle by the OEM to the dealer, so it doesn’t appear on the invoice by definition.”

          First, who claimed holdback doesn’t exist? Edmunds implied it is something that came along recently. I pointed out it has been around for DECADES. In fact, at least SIX decades.

          Second: Hold Back ABSOLUTELY appears on the invoice.

        • 0 avatar

          RE: “I have my doubts that the comment re: an increasing spread between invoice and MSRP is correct. If anything, I would expect that the opposite is true, particularly with some of the domestics.”

          My quote:

          “ALSO beginning decades ago, the markup over invoice has been steadily reduced.”

          CAFE is part of every calculation auto manufacturers make these days, and certainly a large part of where they locate production. For years we have been talking about various strategies that might be employed when fuel prices are low and production of high CAFE vehicles is needed to mitigate possible fines. Incentives on high fuel economy vehicles today cause reduced residual values, something on the mind of those who’s business has to do with predicting those residual values. As someone who has been involved in leasing for a few decades, I follow this with great interest. Historical perspective comes in handy.

  • avatar

    RE: The “Reply” button –

    It makes no difference if I am on a 4 gig RAM lap top or my 64 GIG RAM desktop at my office, TTAC contains so many popups, graphics, videos, etc. to make smooth and quick loading difficult and scrolling to a particular post more than I have the patience for. Every time you invest in a more capable machine these sites increase their overhead faster so we keep falling behind. If a car dealer was this greedy for revenue the masses would be in maximum wail mode. Not so much here. What gives?

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      It seems to be more a function of Internet connectivity speed than available RAM, although I will admit that I know just enough about computers to be dangerous.

      I will always recommend Adblock.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      there are some Flash ads which are really problematic on this site. any of them with animation (especially that “rocket mortgate” one) causes my laptop’s fan to go full blast.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        Hurr derp… I’m using Firefox w/adblock on a cheap Vostro laptop with XP and everything’s speedy :-D

        What cliff?

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          My guess would be it isn’t the ads that are causing the slow-downs, but whatever they’ve got running in the background that is causing things to slow down.

          I am using an iPad Air/iOS9.2, Sony Vaio/XP laptop, and a Dell XPS 27T/Win8.1 AIO PC and have no problems even when running them simultaneously through my NetGear 5GHz wi-fi router.

  • avatar

    RE: “You think because most of us can’t see inside your top hat we don’t know whats happening?”

    YES!

    RE: “Its a business, dealers need to make money or they fold. We get it.”

    Good!

    RE: “Your decades of experience and valuable insight aside, if you don’t think “wow that’s kinda dick” when people get buried in junk product its your own affair. But it doesn’t help the case of us thinking wow “some dealers are f*ckwads”.”

    When you figure out how to articulate this “thought” I’ll be glad to respond to it.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Information is freely available to those who seek it. The customers you typically deal with may lack the intelligence or drive to see this information but what one must be weary of is hubris.

      I don’t want to put words in your mouth but your continued defense of whatever really happened in Jack’s piece suggests you endorse such behavior. His article’s figures and tone aside, the goal of the salesperson should be to meet the customer’s needs with the product he is selling. I realize there is a grey area where “the right product for the customer is the one I’m selling right now” but one must operate with a set of ethics to a point. I am disgusted by those who prey on the elderly and otherwise slow, if such a thing is all in a days work at the Ruggles shop than fine be a sociopath… but it will catch up with your business. Word travels fast in the internet age.

  • avatar

    RE: “Information is freely available to those who seek it. The customers you typically deal with may lack the intelligence or drive to see this information but what one must be weary of is hubris.”

    Information is a lot easier to obtain than to unpack.

    RE: “I don’t want to put words in your mouth but your continued defense of whatever really happened in Jack’s piece suggests you endorse such behavior.”

    I do NOT endorse the behavior of “journalists” writing hatchet pieces without documentation with the purpose to inflame rather than to report. I endorse the facts.

    I recommend that dealers make what is available mindful of the fact that repeat business is more important than short term. I am also mindful of the fact that consumers don’t typically know what they think. I repeatedly ask groups if they think a 10% gross profit is fair for a dealer to make and I rarely get anyone to say that’s not fair. But let me use $3K instead of 10%, and they’re up in arms.

    RE: “His article’s figures and tone aside, the goal of the salesperson should be to meet the customer’s needs with the product he is selling.”

    If you want to own a business where that is your guiding light, be my guest. It makes it a lot easier if you find a vehicle that the consumer really wants than to try to shoehorn them into something that makes better sense for them but they don’t want. We’re car sales people, not their parents. Besides, lenders typically dictate what consumers can buy based on the amount they will carry. Most consumers have negative trade equity and want more than they can get financed because most have NO CASH to overcome their negative equity.

    RE: “I realize there is a grey area where “the right product for the customer is the one I’m selling right now” but one must operate with a set of ethics to a point. I am disgusted by those who prey on the elderly and otherwise slow, if such a thing is all in a days work at the Ruggles shop than fine be a sociopath… but it will catch up with your business. Word travels fast in the internet age.”

    Word has always traveled fast. Again, if you want to set some kind of standards for little old ladies, etc., and operate a dealership that way, knock yourself out. You can set your own formula since it will be your money. In a Ruggles operation the people you reference will pay profit and be WELL taken care of because their business will be HI VALUE. In fact, they’ll get priority over the mooches any day.


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