By on November 16, 2016

Mark-Fields (Image: Ford)

There’s something about billions of dollars in investment and carefully planned long-term product strategies that make it hard for an automaker to turn on a dime in the face of a threat.

Ford Motor Company CEO Mark Fields says his company has no plans to reverse course on its goal of boosting production of cars and components in Mexico, even after President-elect Trump’s promise of a 35-percent tariff on vehicles crossing the Rio Grande.

It’s a game of chicken Ford intents to win.

Speaking after an address at the Los Angeles Auto Show last night, Fields said it’s full steam ahead on the automaker’s Mexico plans. Saying he feels that such a tariff would negatively impact the U.S. economy, Fields implied that Trump’s election promise won’t amount to much.

“A tariff like that would be imposed on the entire auto sector, and that could have a huge impact on the U.S. economy,” Fields said, according to Automotive News. “I continue to be convinced that the right policies will prevail. I think we all share the same objective, which is a healthy and vibrant U.S. economy.”

Certainly, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles share a similar strategy, and aren’t in the mood to change it. Earlier this year, Ford invested $1.6 billion to build a Mexican small car assembly plant (where the U.S. market Focus will eventually find a home). A year earlier, the Blue Oval dropped another $2.5 billion on engine and transmissions plants south of the border.

Despite the acrimony between Fields and Trump during the campaign period, the CEO claims Ford is in “constant contact” with the president-elect’s transition team. Fields claims he wishes the new administration well.

There’s plenty of speculation surrounding what the election of Trump means for environmental standards, including CAFE targets, but Ford isn’t paying it much mind. If the 54.5 mile-per-gallon CAFE target does indeed get a haircut, the automaker claims it hasn’t any plans to dial back on its development of electric vehicle technology. The market for such vehicles is far bigger than just the U.S., said Fields.

“When you look globally at European regulations and China regulations it’s really driving toward electrification,” he said.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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93 Comments on “Don’t Expect Us to Backpedal on Mexico Plans: Ford CEO...”


  • avatar
    jjster6

    If Trump carries out his promises I feel they will have many unintended consequences that will do extreme damage to the US economy. Unfortunately most of his supporters can’t seem to tell the difference between change caused by shifting technology and change caused by political agendas (not that anyone completely understands that).

    Please commence the bashing of my opinion…

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “caused by shifting technology”

      Please expand on this point.

      • 0 avatar
        mike1dog

        He’s talking about automation, I assume. In newer plants, it’s common to see huge areas with no workers in sight, just long lines of robots adding pieces or welding panels as the cars file by them.

        • 0 avatar
          2manycars

          Automation will likely spell the end of most unskilled and semi-skilled jobs. Anyone entering the job market today thinking they’ll spend their working lives working on a production line, in a warehouse, driving a truck, driving a cab… well, good luck with that.

          In the 1950s and 1960s America was prosperous and self-sufficient in terms of manufacturing because the war left most of the rest of the world crawling out of the ruins. The U.S. wound up with a huge number of what was at the time the most modern factories in the world that could now be converted from war production to producing consumer goods. (I’ve seen this referred to as “FDR’s stimulus plan” – goading the Japanese into attacking us.) People had money in their pockets from years of war-related jobs but few items to spend it on due to wartime rationing. This fueled a strong peacetime consumer economy. Existing computers were huge, expensive, and crude; no threat to manufacturing jobs. Advanced electronic brains and robots were the province of science fiction. (I know of this from personal experience. Youngsters can read about it in the history books.)

          Fast forward into the far future of the 21st century and FDR’s stimulus plan has long since run its course. The rest of the world has caught up (or will soon) and at least for now is willing to work cheaper. Automation and robotics is becoming more sophisticated at an accelerated rate, and the writing is on the wall for many more jobs to disappear forever in the not too distant future.

          Sure, I’d love to see the country get back to post-war levels of prosperity but I don’t see a path. Conditions and technology are radically different today.

          (Also if you look at the way Trump operates, in any deal he will generally lead with an off-the-wall crazy first offer and then settle for something more reasonable which is what he really had in mind in the first place.)

      • 0 avatar
        jjster6

        Technology now allows global supply chains in places like China, where massive scale up of manufacturing is possible to supply a global market. 20 years ago when we relied on phone calls and faxes that just wasn’t possible.

        Trump can put a tariff on items from China, which will up the prices for Americans. Unlikely it would move the production location however. The tariff would still be cheaper than moving production to serve only the US market. With the tariff on Chinese goods, the Chinese would buy Airbus airplanes instead of Boeing, and Siemens circuit making equipment instead of Applied Materials.

        So the US is unlikely to gain on the work of making electronic devices, probably going to have to spend more on buying electronic devices, and lose out on selling high tech items like airplanes and chip making equipment. Trump can say he put a tariff on Chinese goods, and collect a little money for the Treasury, but overall damage US productivity.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Tariffs on China would just move some production to Vietnam, Laos, and (now) Myanmar. There is no way production of most of that stuff could be profitable in the US or any other country with first-world labor costs. Would you pay $25 for the plastic trinket that’s now $7.99 at Wal-Mart? No, you just wouldn’t buy it. That’s the price of our standard of living.

          • 0 avatar
            vvk

            This is not necessarily true. Many would pay for quality and in many cases the price would be lower. We are to the point where well made goods are simply not offered.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            There is a flip side which vvk touches on, the $7.99 plastic trinket is worth about $1.00 to $1.50 in terms of materials and overall value. Certainly it would not sell at $25, but a trinket actually worth $7.99 in materials and value might. However China et al is simply not going to produce it for you as it is not in their best interest (which is full tilt production for its large population). By allowing the production of inferior goods we have allowed trillions to be eliminated from the US economy, both in wages but also owner equity.

          • 0 avatar
            threeer

            Maybe not $25, but given that the income gap between China and the US is closing (or at least getting smaller) and there are still significant shipping costs (not to mention ongoing quality concerns), if it costs 10-15% more to produce here, then I’d be perfectly happy to pay that difference (so now maybe it costs $9.25)…especially if it meant more of my neighbors and family were working.

      • 0 avatar
        Ol Shel

        Take fracking, for instance.

        Trump’s coal-country supporters believe he’ll bring back coal jobs n’it wuz accounta Obummer’s communist reg-you-lations that they’s outta work.

        An’ he’s a Muslim!

        But, the reality is that coal is being put out of business by natural gas, because it’s cheaper. The ‘free markets’ they’re told to worship resulted in the loss of their jobs and the decline of their communities.

        But, they can’t accept those facts, because they feel actual fear for themselves and their families, Fear makes rational thought virtually impossible. Those in fear will gladly follow the man who tells them that he will make them safe, and bring back their coal jobs, despite a mountain-top removal’s worth of factual evidence against him.

        They can’t hear the complex message that the other candidate is going to provide retraining for those who lost their jobs to natural gas, because that required higher-order thinking, and they’re too frightened and angry for that.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          Well it certainly didn’t help when the “other candidate” jovially said that they’d all be out of a job, regardless of whether this was followed up with a promise of work in other sectors. That was just a plain dumb move.

          Your open disdain for lower income white working class voters is especially poignant given that this dismissal and denigration is precisely what cost Hilldog the election. Nice job!

          • 0 avatar
            Old Man Pants

            “Your open disdain for lower income white working class..”

            Probably trying hide his own roots. Writes like it.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @gtemnykh
            Now helicopter money is the new buzzword for the ” new economy” as there will be very little work available and charity will be the main money spinner

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Here are some facts.

          “The EPA proposal sets a different carbon reduction threshold for each state based on feasibility, cost and current pollution levels, to help achieve a 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions nationally by 2030.

          To reach their respective goals, each state can choose from a multitude of options, including regional cap and trade networks, investments in renewable energy and building smart grid technology.

          And, yes, they could phase out some existing coal plants.

          Experts noted, though, that the goals are phased in gradually and can be met without stopping many plants from burning coal, even in states heavily reliant on fossil fuels.

          “We’re going to see a shakeout of older and smaller coal plants, the least efficient ones anyway,” said Dallas Burtraw, associate director of the Resources for the Future Center for Climate and Electricity Policy, an energy think tank funded by government, nonprofits and energy companies. “The ones that remain will have a high level of environmental controls and will run relatively efficiently with a high utilization rate.””

          http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2014/aug/14/fact-checks-obama-coal-rules-carbon-politics/

        • 0 avatar
          kosmo

          Excellent!

          The best way to have your point of view thoughtfully considered is to start by marginalizing the opposing viewpoint.

          Or not.

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            He speaks the truth. Coal has lost 20% of the power generation market to natural gas(mostly) and renewables. The decline continues, largely because coal is no longer cost competitive.

            There was a time when natgas cost more than $10/mcf. Oversupply (of which fracking became a part) brought this to below $3. Coal just can’t compete.

      • 0 avatar
        ect

        BLS data shows that US manufacturing output (in constant $) has virtually doubled since NAFTA was signed. It’s gone up every year since 2009. In the same period, direct manufacturing employment fell by 1/3. As others have observed, stuff is now made largely by machine rather than by armies of factory workers.

        A century ago, technology wiped out millions of jobs in agriculture and more than replaced them with jobs in the industrial sector. Since 1992, technology has wiped out millions of manufacturing jobs and more than replaced them with jobs in IT and other services.

        In the new economy, US companies completely dominate – think of businesses like Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, etc. These companies are delivering services that didn’t exist 25 years ago – and they employ or support the jobs of millions of Americans.

        That’s part of what shifting technology is about.

    • 0 avatar
      VW16v

      Rolling back emission standards could hurt those auto makers that have already put in the capital for those changes.

    • 0 avatar
      Willyam

      Observation from Oil-fueled flyover country: The coal issue. There wasn’t really a war on coal, per se. Market forces made it cheaper to use Natural Gas as a fuel to generate energy, but it “appeared” as though the industry was being gutted by hostile environmental policies to voters. The real culprit? Fracking technology (unintentional double entendre).

    • 0 avatar
      tylanner

      I would just make one change.

      “If Trump COULD carry out his promises…they would have many irreversible consequences that will do extreme damage to the US economy”

      Nearly ever single policy change he supports will be met with steadfast resistance from the congress/states/populace, all commensurate with his general lack of care and thoughtfulness regarding “THE GLOBAL ECONOMY/SWAMP”

      • 0 avatar
        jjster6

        I agree there will be a lot of push back, but at the same time there is a lot the President can do on his own. I’m pretty sure he can end NAFTA without Congress (on which I hope I am wrong). I hope many of his ideas are successfully resisted, but at the same time I fear what he can do. I really hope you are correct and more thoughtful, cooler heads prevail.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          “I’m pretty sure he can end NAFTA without Congress (on which I hope I am wrong).”

          Good luck to him on that one…corporations can afford an entire army of lawyers. If anyone knows that, it’s Trump.

          • 0 avatar
            forzablu

            If I remember HS civics correctly — the Executive Branch needs a supermajority of the Senate to enter into treaties with foreign nations; I would think the same applies to ending said treaties.

        • 0 avatar
          jjster6

          @ forzablu

          I believe you are correct about entering treaties, but I believe the President can exit them himself. At least Donald Trump thinks so. I surely hope I am wrong and his power has more checks on it that even he thinks it has.

        • 0 avatar
          DaPlugg

          In article 2205 of NAFTA it says a country can withdraw at any time, it doesnt specify who has that power i would guess that depends on domestic policy

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Why should they? How many things did Trump say during the election that he has already backpedaled on? (My favorite is the wailing and gnashing of teeth by the Christian Right when he said that gay marriage is settled law.)

  • avatar
    vvk

    > A tariff like that would be imposed on the entire auto sector, and that could have a huge impact on the U.S. economy

    Assumption is the mother of all ****ups.

    However, everything will change if CAFE is abolished. The Wall Street Journal quotes John Mashburn, a Trump senior policy adviser as saying:

    The Trump Administration will complete a comprehensive review of all federal regulations. This includes a review of the fuel economy and emissions standards to make sure they are not harming consumers or American workers.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Trump can’t abolish CAFE by himself; it’s legislation. He can change the way averages are calculated and lower the standards to some degree, and he probably will if the people he’s putting in charge of environmental issues (all fossil-fuel industry) are any indication.

    • 0 avatar
      notwhoithink

      The point was that regardless of how a Trump administration might neuter environmental regulations, Ford (and FCA and GM) all sell in a global market. If they don’t have to meet strict environmental standards in the US but still face tightening standards elsewhere in the world then they will continue to invest in cleaner technology. And that cleaner technology, while not being mandated in the United States, would still represent a competitive selling point as more consumers take environmental concerns in account in their automotive purchases.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    “Ford intents to win.”

    Intends.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      I once saw this quote hanging in a high school JROTC classroom:

      “Positive Attitude, Except Change.”

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Lol, in Korea we foreign teachers found a big binder which the teachers were using in many of the classrooms. On the front:

        COMMUICATION

        Summed up our issues nicely.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          I had a friend who taught English in Japan, Corey. She found that the students could recite every last grammatical rule, and diagram sentences to a fare-thee-well…but were useless when it came to expressing themselves.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I was teaching younger kids, so a lot of them weren’t even close to fluent. But the older Korean teachers I worked with who were in their 30s had a hard time speaking English conversationally. Teaching grammar pieces was fine because that was conducted largely in Korean. But often they could not keep up with the English speakers when we got into a conversation, and speaking much too quickly. They’d get lost. Had to keep it at slower, more simple sentences. No slang! We use too much slang.

            One thing I noticed as a difference, English speakers take much subject matter for granted while they’re speaking – causing lots of indirect dialogue. Many things go as unsaid as the conversation flows. We don’t talk about things directly enough for outside non-native speakers to understand. As friends, we’re excessively casual in language as well, which makes it worse.

            Koreans seem to mention things specifically and are very direct. Hence they might tell you “You should lose a little weight.” after they give you a hug.

  • avatar
    Steve_S

    Wouldn’t it be in Trumps best interest to improve economic conditions in Mexico therefore fewer people from Mexico would want to illegally cross the border in the hopes of a better life?

    So shouldn’t it be encouraged to build XYZ in Mexico?

    • 0 avatar
      vvk

      No and no. FYI, Mexico is a whole different country. Their economic conditions is their internal affair, not something the US President should be working on.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Mexico isn’t “fixable” by any other country, anyway. If countries were easily fixable like that, North Korea would no longer be a problem.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        The US government should be looking out for US interests. US interests include economic conditions in other countries, for two reasons: 1) improving markets for US exports and 2) managing potential waves of migration. We haven’t had net in-migration from Mexico in quite a few years, but starting to aggressively ignore the economy there would be a good way to bring it back.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          This was the argument behind NAFTA and it blew up in our face. No thanks! Mexico is as poor as ever, and we continue to lose jobs to them. Rexnord in Indianapolis just announced a relocation of the current 300 worker operation here down to Monterrey.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Hey now you won’t have to suffer any more Pence-ism of Indiana!

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            “Mexico is as poor as ever”

            No, it’s not. Real GDP per capita in Mexico as a whole has increased by about a third in the NAFTA era, even despite the drug wars causing a couple of high-economic-activity areas to largely collapse.

            Again, the single greatest effect for us of tanking Mexico’s economy again would be to bring massive numbers of people back across our border in search of work.

          • 0 avatar
            luismx5

            Poor as ever? Things have been hard on our country, but we are still the 11th largest economy on the planet. There is money, to bad the corrupt governments take it all.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Okay I agree “poor as ever” was incorrect. But it’s still poor enough that this continued fantasy of “hey lets just give them enough of our jobs to equalize things” is absolute lunacy and you know it.

            “Again, the single greatest effect for us of tanking Mexico’s economy again would be to bring massive numbers of people back across our border in search of work.”

            I think that’s what the wall is for (not trying to be a jerk).

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            It’s not a matter of “giving them our jobs.” Economics isn’t a zero-sum game. Create markets, and more jobs follow.

            When a factory moves to Mexico, that’s usually a sign that without the availability of cheaper labor the factory would have closed altogether, without any replacement. Costs to move production are not trivial and companies typically do so only out of necessity. For example, Ford and VW are building small cars in Mexico because they could not make a profit building them here or in Germany.

            If we wrecked the Mexican economy, not only would we have more Mexican migrants competing for jobs here, we’d also have fewer total jobs for everyone to compete for.

            “I think that’s what the wall is for.”

            Most migrants wouldn’t be stopped by the wall because they come across legally, as tourists or students, and then overstay. The wall is much more a symbol than an actual border security measure.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            “When a factory moves to Mexico, that’s usually a sign that without the availability of cheaper labor the factory would have closed altogether, without any replacement. ”

            This is patently false in many cases, and proven over and over again. In both recent cases locally (Carrier and Rexnord) both companies were profitable as far as I’m aware. In the Carrier case the union made some pretty serious concessions to save the company money (they said they needed the equivalent of $65 million in savings to match the sweet deal in Mexico, they had already gotten $25 million in concessions).

            No I think the issue is aggressive shareholder driven, where it’s all about EBITDA growth at all cost. Anything to please the ravenous shareholders and make sure they get their cut. In good fiscal quarters, more often than not it’s not infrastructure investments being made with the profits but simply bigger dividends to shareholders. And again, when these heavy cost cutting measures come through and the company has another “fantastic” fiscal quarter, shareholders get their very nice dividends and management gets to put another quarter of “positive growth” in their cap. Now, I do not have an easy answer to what is basically capitalism doing its thing. What I can say is that people here locally are getting shafted big time, and have been for a long time. So it’s not NAFTA per se that is what is driving this, but its existence is certainly providing a easy route for companies to take to cut costs massively and please shareholders.

            I think if you lived closer to where this all was happening rather than in the “city on a hill” on the coast (Seattle, right?) , you might be more sympathetic to the workers that this is happening to.

          • 0 avatar
            Ol Shel

            “The wall” is a simplistic idea meant to manipulate the the poorly educated.

            Do you want to pay for a wall in the middle of the desert where nobody tries to cross because they’d die of thirst and exposure?

            If you’re a Trump supporter, you do, because you care more about your emotions than you do about facts.

            The facts are that immigrants are here because conservatives who run businesses here want them here. Other facts include: deportations up under Obama. More border patrol staff than ever under Obama. Immigration down under Obama. More immigrants leaving than coming in under Obama.

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            NAFTA has been good for the US overall, albeit to a lesser extent than Canada or Mexico (the impact is usually greater in the smaller economies within a trade area than in the larger ones).

            A fact of trade pacts is that the benefits get distributed widely, while the losers tend to be clustered (and therefore much more visible).

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            It’s true that I live somewhere (yes, Seattle) where manufacturing is mostly in a highly specialized sector (aircraft) that has been largely unaffected by these moves abroad, because people in low-labor-cost countries don’t have the knowledge to build cutting-edge aircraft. (Although Boeing did move a factory to South Carolina to bust the union.)

            And certainly plenty of business leaders put one quarter’s EBITDA above all else, including community cost and benefit.

            But I don’t think that trying to cut off trade with Mexico (or China, or Vietnam) is going to solve any of those problems, especially not over the long run. What will solve them is reducing the labor cost disparity. There are quite a few pieces to that, especially because we don’t want to reduce our own living standards in doing so, but one of the biggest pieces is regulatory leverage. We can get that only through trade agreements.

            And living in Seattle shows me another side of the coin: many thousands of jobs here are directly connected to trade. We export billions of dollars of software, consulting services, and cloud services to East Asia annually. Start a trade war with China and you will put thousands of Seattleites out of work.

            Continued edits: I’m not managing to get everything across in this comment. I have the deepest sympathy for people whose jobs are shipped abroad, and I think we should be doing everything we can to help them, up to and including making it more painful to go abroad from a tax perspective. I just don’t think that cutting off trade will help them.

    • 0 avatar
      pdl2dmtl

      This has to be the best (sarcasm) comment of the day.
      Wouldn’t the welfare and wellbeing of the Mexican people be a major focus of the Mexican government?

      • 0 avatar
        jjster6

        Yes, the welfare of the Mexican people should be the primary concern of the Mexican government. But also remember that in foreign relations and trade, one side does not have to win at the expense of the other. It is very possible for both sides to be better off.

        Think about Banana’s. Canadians like Banana’s but they don’t grow well in Canada. Mexican’s like Maple Syrup but Maple Syrup production is difficult in Mexico. Canada could produce their own Banana’s in green houses (at a very high cost) and Mexico could produce maple syrup in cooled growing conditions, again at a very high cost. Or they could trade and both could have more bananas and maple syrup by doing what is efficient in each country instead of trying to do it by themselves.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      We can’t nation-build in Mexico. But we can enact policies that are mindful of the fact that for better or worse, their economy is intertwined with ours, and thus seek to improve things there. If anyone realizes that, it’s Donald Trump. Problem is, too many of his hardcore supporters are too busy being know-nothings to either realize or accept that.

      Personally, I’d like to see us do more to help them deal with their drug production issue. Hey, if there’s anything we know how to do, it’s blow s**t up.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      “improve economic conditions in Mexico”

      That was one of the selling point of NAFTA in the 90s. Worked so well /sarc.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        It did work, actually, 28…

        http://www.tradingeconomics.com/mexico/gdp

        Not saying that NAFTA was an economic panacea, or that it couldn’t be improved on, but in the context of geopolitics, I’d say it’s better to have a Mexico that’s progressing economically versus one that’s a basket case.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2016/06/actually_mexico_is_very_close_to_a_failed_state.html

          https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/24/ug-president-jose-mujica-apologizes-for-calling-mexico-a-failed-state

    • 0 avatar
      whitworth

      Mexico’s kleptocracy is not our problem.

      We shouldn’t be shipping jobs there in order to stop illegal immigration. That sounds like blackmail to me. Why don’t we give some tanks to ISIS so they don’t need to use suicide bombers anymore.

      How about instead we simply stop illegal immigration with actual border enforcement and worry about our own economy?

      nah, let’s destroy manufacturing in this country, build up Mexico and hopefully less will come over here.

  • avatar

    … And what will happen when Trump is ousted after maybe just one term? Will Ford have to rethink production strategies once more?

    • 0 avatar
      Richard Chen

      Nope. Trade agreements with other countries combined with low labor costs means automakers will continue to build plants in Mexico.

      “Mexican automotive exports benefit from 44 free trade agreements with other nations. By contrast, the U.S. has signed free trade agreements with 20 countries, according to the office of the United States Trade Representative.”

      http://www.autonews.com/article/20160919/GLOBAL/309199968/nafta%3A-free-trade-with-uneven-effects

  • avatar
    sutherland555

    My understanding is that Ford is moving production of low margin/slow selling vehicles to Mexico and replacing them with higher margin/good selling vehicles in US plants. That makes total business sense. Like every other business, they want to make money on their products. If it’s a low margin product, they either have to sell a lot of them to compensate for the low margin or increase the margin.

    Ford may be an American based company but they are global company with global sales & products and therefore have global plans. American workers and the American economy are a large factor in their decision making process but it can’t be the only factor.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      You are very correct.

      This is what many Luddite Trump supporters must be aware of.

      If the US (read Trump) screws around with global trade with limitations placed on imports going to the US you will find US companies will be replaced in those countries.

      As I’ve pointed out, the US doesn’t have the economic leverage it once had (over 50% of the global economy) there are plenty of countries/businesses that can fill any void left bt the US.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Great lead pic..the Miami Mullet really looks like a classic car salesman.

  • avatar
    gasser

    There are no more gigantic American companies. They are all multinationals now. They are more interested in their corporate well-being than in social policy in the United States.
    The promise of NAFTA was that low skilled jobs would move offshore while higher skilled jobs would migrate to the United States. Our students would receive such fine education and training that they would take these higher skilled jobs. Meanwhile NAFTA has bankrupted many local school districts because of rampant local unemployment. Consequently teachers have been fired, class sizes have increased, the school year has been cut short, school buses have stopped running. It does not seem like a formula to provide a more highly educated workforce.

  • avatar
    ajla

    Enjoy getting singled out for inspection and audit by every Federal agency.

  • avatar
    whitworth

    I honestly think one of the main catalysts for Trump winning the Rust Belt was Ford relocating small car production into Mexico.

    Had Ford waited until after the election to have announced that, you may have seen a different result for the Presidency.

    • 0 avatar
      notwhoithink

      It’s called the Rust Belt for a reason, and it’s not because jobs may be lost in the future (though not in this specific instance). It’s because all of the manufacturing jobs, particularly those related to the steel industry, have been going away. One announcement doesn’t make or break the rust belt.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Ford wins either way. They needed an excuse to cease small car sales in the US. GM, Ram and Toyota would have no choice but to build all their pickups in the US.

    Ford could continue to build small cars in Mexico for Mexico and global market, and of course, laxed global standards/emissions.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      DenverMike,
      I do think US companies will be at a disadvantage. US companies will find it harder to operate in foreign countries.

      This will leave the average American paying more for local product and reduced exports to earn money for the US economy.

      Add to this American companies will not be given as many favours in foreign countries.

      Many countries manufacture “Rust Belt” goods and motor vehicles. Blue collar jobs are becoming scarcer due to technology. This tech is also available to all.

      The average American’s standard of living will decline.

      The US doesn’t have as much clout as it used to.

      To make “America Great Again” the US must realise it has to play ball with others.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Of course Trump’s crack pipe ideas would have much negative blowback but Ford is right, telling him where to stick it. Trump isn’t gonna run Ford for them. Then it’d for sure go bankrupt.

    • 0 avatar
      Whatnext

      Until the next oil price peak (yes, it will happen) and then US factories will be stuck manufacturing only slow selling gas hogs and the Mexicans won’t be able to keep up with demand for small cars.

      • 0 avatar
        Ol Shel

        Yeah, but that’s when the massive transfer of public wealth bails out the auto industry. It’s a win-win for the elites, and precisely why they lobby and pay Senators to deregulate their industries.

        Big profits during the bubble, and a big windfall when it collapses and they’re bailed out because they’re too big to fail.

        Just like the banks.

        • 0 avatar
          Old Man Pants

          Shel, please tell me you don’t have a silver ponytail.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          A major share of pickup, SUV and other larger vehicle buyers are fleet and those rich enough to not care how high fuel prices climb and or gotta have big vehicles regardless, including HDs. Of the regular private buyers of full size pickups that can get by with a Corolla most of the time, how many would you say use the truck for a long commute to the office? Think about it.

          No, Big 3 automakers need to keep supplying the US big vehicles for now, even if there’s not a real backup plan. Besides, what keeps small vehicles unprofitable for the Big 3 is lack of adequate volume. So where do you think most Big 3, big vehicle buyers would go if they had to go to small vehicles suddenly? Over to Kia, VW, Toyota and such only, or mostly? Small cars aren’t exactly rocket science.

  • avatar
    TomHend

    We are couth here at TTAC.

    Read what they are posting at Zero Hedge about Ford for a chuckle:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-16/terrified-ford-ceo-blasts-huge-impact-automotive-import-tariffs

    • 0 avatar
      brenschluss

      The most important things that have virtually disappeared over the past year may be common sense, courtesy, and decency.

      Wingnuts on both the right and the left have won the internet; the feelings and emotions of desperate people have taken over public discourse, and anyone who’s willing to consider and adapt is now either a sh*tlord, or a libtard, or worse. Unsubtle and emotionally incompetent people have always existed, but now they’ve been given a voice and legitimized by a polarization that may only exist thanks to the virulence and opportunism of a popular media zeitgeist that feeds back on itself as culture becomes ever less able to process nuance.

      Maybe the solution is to just turn off everything, and see who can still feed themselves.

    • 0 avatar
      jimmyy

      From ZeroHedge … there is truth in this one.

      The bigger danger to Ford is the fact that their cars suck donkey balls. Putting a 35% tariff on a donkey-ball-sucking car is an act of mercy, akin to shooting a lame horse.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    Personally, I think Mark Fields is done. Washed up. What a fool. Gets in a shootout with the president elect. Trump is loved in red states, which are the same states where Fords sell well. Fords don’t do well in blue states. Imagine the lost sales. Fire Fields.

    • 0 avatar
      Old Man Pants

      Entrenched Ford/Chev/Ram loyalty is vastly stronger than the ephemeral fripperies of ruling class hissy fits.

      And your servile cowering to the political thug du jour is very Munich.

    • 0 avatar

      The article clearly states that GM and Chrysler have the same outlook. So, since we’re into generalizations here, does that mean the red states simply can’t buy any new cars at all now?

      Stop being dramatic, people outside of the automotive sector don’t care enough about what Mark Fields is saying to pay any attention to him or stop buying their cars.

  • avatar
    WildcatMatt

    In our new post-fact world, I actually think Trump could simply say that he raised the tariff without actually doing anything and people would accept it, regardless of truth or fact-checking.

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