By on December 3, 2016

Mark-Fields (Image: Ford)

Ford Motor Company CEO Mark Fields doesn’t have kind words for the Environmental Protection Agency’s surprise decision to keep long-term fuel economy targets in place.

A mid-term review of corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) targets set in 2012 kicked off earlier this year, but the timing of the agency’s recent decision to maintain the 54.5 mile-per-gallon goal reeks of politics, Fields claims.

For automakers, reaching 54.5 mpg means extra costs. To avoid this, Ford is prepared to turn to its election campaign sparring partner — President-elect Donald Trump — for help.

The election saw no limit to the acrimony between Trump and Ford, but that was then, and there’s money at stake now. In a Friday interview with Bloomberg, Fields made it clear he wants Trump to pull levers in Ford’s favor.

“We will be very clear in the things we’d like to see,” Fields said.

The Trump wish list includes currency-manipulation rules (in the interest of fair trade), tax reform and safety rules for autonomous vehicles, but there’s something else Ford is prepared to lobby for: lowering that pesky CAFE target.

The timing of the EPA’s decision is widely seen as a political move, and Field’s doesn’t see it any other way. The review began this past spring, and a final determination wasn’t required until April 1, 2018. Even with the technological advancements seen since 2012, the regulators behind CAFE predict an industry-wide fuel economy average of 50.8 miles per gallon by 2025, meaning added pressure on automakers to go the extra mile.

Fields claims the decision disrupted the review.

“What happened was through eleventh-hour politics, it short-circuited a data-driven development of regulations,” he said. Fields promises to lobby Trump to lower federal and state fuel economy targets.

The extra mileage mandated by the EPA means automakers will likely fill the gap with money-losing electric cars and pricey hybrids. General Motors expects to lose $9,000 on every Chevrolet Bolt, so it’s not a recipe for profit. While Ford has plans to expand its EV offerings, it does so tentatively.

“In 2008, there were 12 electrified vehicles offered in the U.S. market and it represented 2.3 percent of the industry,” Fields said. “Fast forward to 2016, there’s 55 models, and year to date it’s 2.8 percent.”

“At the end of the day, you’ve got to have customers, so obviously, there would be pressure on the business if there’s not a market,” he claimed.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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155 Comments on “Ford Miffed by EPA’s ‘Eleventh-Hour Politics,’ Turns to Trump for Help...”


  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Ford is so phucking hypocritical when it comes to Trump, it’s sickening.

    Ford apparently wants all the benefits of preferential treatment by the Executive Branch (protect us from regulations, Mr. President!), but no potentially adverse consequences from new or revised trade rules.

    Sickening.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      I think they are being realistic. There’s a good possibility that they can make a side deal, bypassing the EPA. They owe it to their shareholders to explore that possibility.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        I definitely think a “you keep jobs in the US in exchange for a neutered EPA or CAFE rollback” type deal is something that is going to happen.

        • 0 avatar
          Middle-Aged Miata Man

          It would be interesting to see a P&L analysis of Ford’s anticipated losses from mandatory 54.5 mpg CAFE, versus what it would lose paying UAW wages to build Fiestas.

        • 0 avatar
          sarcheer

          It’ll be a phony gesture like Carrier. CAFE will get rolled back and in exchange, Ford will keep a fraction of the jobs from one facility from moving, never having intended to move those jobs in the first place…

          Expect to see a lot of companies who want preferential treatment to announce imminent factory moves, only for President Trump to “save” them by essentially paying for them from the public coffers. Its a win-win for the two parties involved. The President gets to claim he saved some jobs and the companies get carte blanche when it comes to regulation gutting.

          • 0 avatar
            Whittaker

            How was Carrier phony?
            Honest question.

          • 0 avatar
            thornmark

            see Solyndra Scandal
            Solyndra: Politics infused Obama energy programs via the Washington Post
            https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/specialreports/solyndra-scandal/

            “It’s not about the people; it’s politics,” said Sterio, who remains jobless and at risk of losing her home. “We all feel betrayed.”

            Since the failure of the company, Obama’s entire $80 billion clean-
            technology program has begun to look like a political liability for an administration about to enter a bruising reelection campaign.

            Meant to create jobs and cut reliance on foreign oil, Obama’s green-technology program was infused with politics at every level, The Washington Post found in an analysis of thousands of memos, company records and internal ­e-mails. Political considerations were raised repeatedly by company investors, Energy Department bureaucrats and White House officials.

            The records, some previously unreported, show that when warned that financial disaster might lie ahead, the administration remained steadfast in its support for Solyndra.

            The documents reviewed by The Post, which began examining the clean-technology program a year ago, provide a detailed look inside the day-to-day workings of the upper levels of the Obama administration. They also give an unprecedented glimpse into high-level maneuvering by politically connected clean-technology investors.”
            They show that as Solyndra tottered, officials discussed the political fallout from its troubles, the “optics” in Washington and the impact that the company’s failure could have on the president’s prospects for a second term. Rarely, if ever, was there discussion of the impact that Solyndra’s collapse would have on laid-off workers or on the development of clean-
            energy technology.
            “What’s so troubling is that politics seems to be the dominant factor,” said Ryan Alexander, president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan watchdog group. “They’re not talking about what the taxpayers are losing; they’re not talking about the failure of the technology, whether we bet on the wrong horse. What they are talking about is ‘How are we going to manage this politically?’ ”
            https://www.washingtonpost.com/solyndra-politics-infused-obama-energy-programs/2011/12/14/gIQA4HllHP_story.html?utm_term=.5a0ac9f9b3d8

        • 0 avatar
          rpol35

          (The “Prove your humanity” log on exercises are gettin’ more difficult!)

          ajla & heavy handle nailed it; that’s how business works and I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of that approach after 1/20/2017.

      • 0 avatar
        redliner

        “Owe it to their shareholders” is the catch all euphemism for, “Let’s be selfish and put dollars ahead of people no matter who we have to figuratively run over.”

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          Glad you said it. While there are some nonsense regulations, the reality is that our vehicles would not be as safe, clean, and efficient as they are now if it was left to the manufacturers. Trump is going to gut the very mechanism that gave us our clan safe cars.

          The Industrial revolution mentality has not changed by the passage of time. Forced regulation is what fostered the change. So, while there may be a token amount of manufacturing kept in the US, those workers are going to be used and abused.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      DW, Ford is giving the President-elect leverage to possibly modify their plans to move further production to Mexico.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      DeadWeight,
      Hypocritical does best describe Ford’s position.

      Looking at Ford’s slipping performance (financial) in the past 12 months and Ford’s, current Toyota’esque pricing I do wonder if Ford has really given much or enough thought regarding the future.

      Ford has been fully aware for sometime now regarding ALL regulatory changes.

      It seems Ford is slow to adapt and expects the government to change the rules to suit them. What about the manufacturers that can meet CAFE? Is Ford’s expectations fair.

      Is Ford above and beyond its competition?

      In the end Trump will need to advise Ford to pull its head in, stop whining.

      It seems whiners are going to make America great again. Not ingenuity or innovation, business and people with balls will make America Great.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      “Ford is so phucking hypocritical when it comes to Trump, it’s sickening.”

      When it comes to Trump? How about every single aspect of their existence?

      Look at how they claimed over and over that they didn’t take government money yet took almost $6 billion from the Department of Energy?

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Kind of weird how first GM comes out and attacks the federal government, and now we have Ford doing it. It’s as if there was a coordinated effort by the giant corporations to bite the hand that feeds it billions of dollars in handouts.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Perhaps they see a partner they can finally do business with, until now they have just absorbed the stupid which hurts their businesses.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        Interesting point. Except that if you look at Ford’s stock performance and market cap, there have been two highs historically. In the late 90’s (Clinton administration) and in the recent 8 years. Coincidence? Not really, US business typically does better under Democratic administrations.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Dot com bubble and printing press, the latter of which will mostly likely result in either a new currency or the loss of reserve currency status in our lifetimes.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Except that Ford isn’t a dot com, and the (false) alt right accusations of the Fed running a printing press have nothing to do with the President, but keep trying, 28.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I can’t find a historic chart for Ford, but here is the Dow Jones. From Dec 1994 to its peak in Dec 1999 it rose from 6,192 to 15,418 to then fell to 10,142 by Sept 2002, right in line with the dot com bubble but not as severe since dot com stocks were mostly not included in the index at the time. The entire market followed the bubble to some degree.

            http://www.macrotrends.net/1319/dow-jones-100-year-historical-chart

            “The dot-com bubble (also known as the dot-com boom, the tech bubble, the Internet bubble, the dot-com collapse, and the information technology bubble[1]) was a historic speculative bubble covering roughly ***1995–2001 during which stock markets in industrialized nations saw their equity value rise rapidly from growth in the Internet sector and related fields***.[2] While the latter part was a boom and bust cycle, the Internet boom is sometimes meant to refer to the steady commercial growth of the Internet with the advent of the World Wide Web, as exemplified by the first release of the Mosaic web browser in 1993, and continuing through the 1990s.”

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dot-com_bubble

            Additional: The 1997 ASEAN crisis played a role in blowing the bubble as oil fell to its lowest level in decades as a result. Prior to the current zombie economy, all economic growth back to the late 19th Century was predicated on oil prices.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1997_Asian_financial_crisis

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al From 'Murica

          “Coincidence? Not really, WALL STREET typically does better under Democratic administrations.”

          There, fixed it. There is a subtle difference there.

  • avatar
    Whittaker

    “We’re going to win so much. You’re going to get tired of winning. you’re going to say, ‘Please Mr. President, I have a headache. Please, don’t win so much. This is getting terrible.’ And I’m going to say, ‘No, we have to make America great again.’ You’re gonna say, ‘Please.’ I said, ‘Nope, nope. We’re gonna keep winning.’
    _____Donald Trump

    Mr. Fields is adapting to the reality of a Trump administration.
    The rules are changing. The game is different.
    Maybe not better, but different.

  • avatar
    dwford

    I’m assuming that to meet even the 50.8mpg number, some cars will just have to have hybrid as the default powertrain.

    You know the automakers are hitting some kind of fuel economy wall when Ford puts cylinder deactivation on a 3 cylinder motor.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      dwford,
      I agree. I also believe gasoline engines are nearing their zenith. Ford realises this. Ford is finding out the investment vs return is getting harder.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    Safety and fuel saving technology costs money to include in automobiles. That necessarily raises the selling price if the manufacturer is to survive. If people can’t afford safer, more fuel efficient vehicles, they will hang onto their old ones longer. We are already seeing the impact of new car prices in terms of longer and longer car loans. Is the future one where a personal automobile is out of reach unless you are in the 1% or are assigned one as a job perk?

    I also think we have reached the point where the technology to save a gallon of gas costs more than the gallon. After you reach 30 mpg, there isn’t much left to save. A fraction of not much is damned little.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Cars keep getting cheaper as a % of income and in real dollar terms. And car sales are at historical highs.

      So both your points are wrong.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al From 'Murica

        Yet the average age of cars on the road continues to climb so one of you is wrong.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        VoGo,
        I think you”ll find most reduction in vehicle manufacturing costs was born by improvement in manufacturing, ie, robotics, design and testing (computers again), outsourcing to foreign nations, etc. This has affected all industries, not just vehicle manufacturing.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Big Al,
          The main source of reduced costs for carmakers results from IT systems that streamline platform development and make platforms so much more flexible.

          It used to take 5 years to develop a single vehicle. Now it takes around 2 years, and then you can spin off CUV, coupe and upscale versions for low additional effort.

      • 0 avatar
        raph

        “Cars keep getting cheaper as a % of income and in real dollar terms”

        It seems to be holding steady or up-ticking a bit. In 1970 the average cost of a car was around 62% of the average wage. In 2015 it was 64% of the average wage (of course these are averages and not medians which might be more in line with most people’s anecdotal experience that cars are just getting expensive as hell).

        I think the real arse kicker has been housing and probably the associated costs with that biting into income that could be spent on a car

        Well for lower middle income and upper lower income. Used to be anybody making more than 70k a year didn’t suffer nearly as much from utilities and housing.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        “Cars keep getting cheaper as a % of income and in real dollar terms. And car sales are at historical highs.

        So both your points are wrong.”

        Citation needed.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Kendahl,
      FE does cost.

      Did Ford best invest it money in the best technologies wisely?

  • avatar
    probert

    Car Salesman meets Used Car Salesman

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    Trump is a dealmaker. This is always how this was going to go down. Trump needs to keep the jobs here or face electoral wrath in 4 years. All of the automakers would love to sell more larger vehicles without the need for expensive tech and gimmicks under the hood because Americans prefer larger vehicles. Win for the Automaker, Win for Trump’s PR folks.

    The real question isn’t if this is going to happen or not, the question is will the Trump administration be content to “stop the bleeding” and accept pledges to not move any more jobs out of the US in exchange for CAFE rollbacks or will he require some of that production be returned back to the US before the rollback. Remember Carrier had the plant built so he could play hardball in which case this becomes a tougher deal complicated by potential changes in NAFTA, tax breaks for building plants in the US, and potential massive changes to the US regulatory and tax environment as a whole.

    The rules may very well be changing however so it is natural the automakers would want to try to steer those rules.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      And having said all that, I still see the automaker with the most to lose here as Tesla with the fallout from a Trump administration. While the model S may very well sell without subsidies the 3 may very well not.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        No. By the time the 3 comes out, Tesla will have sold 200K cars cumulatively, burning through the tax rebate.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al From 'Murica

          So the bolt will have the rebate and the 3 will not? They may find themselves in the awkward position of supporting the elimination of the credit. Either way, you would have to really want the Teala. Some will but looking at the 2 I may buy the bolt over the 3 if they were priced the same. With 7500 on the hood it is a no brainer (and I may be in the 200plus mile eve market soon).

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Right. Tesla’s claim will be that the 3 is a luxury vehicle – it competes with the 335 and C300, not with a subcompact “appliance” like the Bolt.

            Time will tell.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            I give the Bolt a huge plus for actually existing in the physical universe.

        • 0 avatar
          shaker

          “No. By the time the 3 comes out, Tesla will have sold 200K cars cumulatively.”

          Then they’ll have to threaten to move production to Mexico if Trump doesn’t re-institute it. :-)

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            So you think T-Rump will still be in his 2nd term by then?

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            If he turns out to be a good President (which I doubt), *I* might even vote for him.

            But that would require him to be transparent at a level that I believe to be against his core personality.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al From 'Murica

            “Then they’ll have to threaten to move production to Mexico if Trump doesn’t re-institute it. :-)”

            Nice. They’ll have to move it anyway once California leaves the union to a NAFTA country.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    So the EPA takes it easy on Ford and they stop sending jobs away to Mexico, one hand washes the other?

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al From 'Murica

      Exactly. This should surprise nobody.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      People that like the results will call it “dealmaking” or “good negotiating”. People that don’t like the results will call it “cronyism” or “picking the winners”.

      In this particular case, if it lets me keep my displacement, I’ll call it dealmaking.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al From 'Murica

        If one side defines “winners” as Ford and the other as Solyndra, well…

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Solyndra, Solyndra, Solyndra. News flash, if the government is in the business of investing in companies, then some will win, some will lose. The federal government has a record of success any private equity firm would envy.

          And besides, the costs of Solyndra are less than 1% of the costs of ridding Iraq of WMDs, so pick your poison. Time to grow up and move on from this alt right propaganda already.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            Nothing can ever exculpate Solyndra and all related startups from having been publicly backed by a political coterie headed by a Nearly Black Man.

            You just do that to Americans.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al From 'Murica

            Again, I went to Iraq and Afghanistan as late as 2015 ALL UNDER OBAMA!!! He has now had troops in both places LONGER THAN BUSH! Funny thing too, Iraq was pretty stable when I left in 2010. At what point do Obama’s policies and failures begin to get credit (or blame) for the snatching of defeat from victory (or at least not defeat). He could have left it all alone after 2010. There was precedent after all we did the same in South Vietnam. Just cut the ties and be done. But he didn’t. The mess is now as much his as Bush’s. I hope Trump does a better job.

          • 0 avatar
            Whittaker

            “The federal government has a record of success any private equity firm would envy.”

            Oh my.
            The implications of this statement.
            The kind of government this belief logically suggests.

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            “Solyndra” was a good-sized failure, and involved “green” technology, so it will be a touchstone for the right until the Sun itself is a burnt-out cinder.

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            “There was precedent after all we did the same in South Vietnam. Just cut the ties and be done. But he didn’t. The mess is now as much his as Bush’s. I hope Trump does a better job.”

            We’re dealing with radical Islam now. Elements of that faith will always oppose the “infidels” rather than moderate in their views. We’ll have to see how The Donald handles that mess; reality will hit him in a few weeks.

            I recently bought L.L. Bean sweatshirts that were made in Vietnam; I don’t believe that the Vietnamese are holding grudges.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al From 'Murica

            “We’re dealing with radical Islam now. Elements of that faith will always oppose the “infidels” rather than moderate in their views.”

            Can’t have your cake and eat it too. In 2010 we walked away from Iraq. If they were that sort of threat this was a strategic blunder. Furthermore if this is the case then Bush’s worldview would have to be more realistic than Obama.

            Don’t misread that, I don’t think Iraq was a great idea but I don’t think the President has improved the situation there.

  • avatar
    mtmmo

    Finally we have a President who stands up for American workers. As a Democrat who initially pinched his nose and voted for Trump I’m really starting to like him. I hope he makes thousands of deals over the next eight years as this country desperately needs it.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Yes, let’s give credit where it is due. 1,000 manufacturing jobs in Indiana were saved. That’s so much more important then 15,000,000 jobs added to our economy in the last 7 years.

      Fact: the US economy in the last 7 years added 6,000 jobs every single day. But the “liberal leaning MSM’ is fixated on 1,000 jobs.

      • 0 avatar
        April S

        And it turns out it is only 800 jobs. And that only came about due to a $7,000,000 tax break/bribe by the state of Indiana.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al From 'Murica

          And so what on the tax breaks. We have the highest damned corporate income tax in the industrialized world. If we were competitive in the first place you wouldn’t need the tax breaks.

          Look, someone once said “elections have consequences”. Well, things are changing.

          • 0 avatar
            April S

            Welfare for poor folks = bad

            Welfare for corporations = good

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            April,
            You will encounter people who consider themselves right wingers.

            I have found many of these so called right leaning types to be the most Socialist. They generally support suppresive socialist protection of industry at the expense of the populace.

            They generally are selfish elitist who want special rules to prop themselves up via the destruction of freedom in business.

          • 0 avatar
            SC5door

            The tax breaks were given by Mike Pence on the backs of Indiana residents. The deal wasn’t under Trump.

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          $700-800 per job us actually quite cheap. Much cheaper than state tax breaks that companies typically get. Sounds like a good deal.

          Vogo – why can’t both get credit. Or can you not praise anything g the Trump administration does? You complain about Conservatives who never accepted or gave any credit to Obama. Don’t be inconsistent.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Yay! Trump (actually Pence, but who cares) saves 800 jobs.

            That’s almost .0000006% of what Obama’s done.

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            “The tax breaks were given by Mike Pence on the backs of Indiana residents. The deal wasn’t under Trump.”

            Mike Pence remains governor to ink the deal.

            Trump just needs 49 more to play ball.

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            “Yay! Trump (actually Pence, but who cares) saves 800 jobs.

            That’s almost .0000006% of what Obama’s done.”

            Yea and they’re not even sworn in yet. Amazing what can get done when you actually know what you’re doing and are not a glorified SJW.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            Mmmm… Jewish Women, Single or otherwise.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al From 'Murica

        That economy has left a ton of people behind and what are those jobs? Wages have remained pretty static and many of those jobs bring no benefits. They don’t replace the manufacturing jobs that built the middle class that have been decimated. Obviously middle America agrees with me here.

      • 0 avatar
        whitworth

        Less people are in the workforce now than there were 8 years ago.

        Also millions of more on food stamps.

        But somehow we’re supposed to pretend the economy is doing great right now. Apparently voters disagreed.

        • 0 avatar
          sarcheer

          Yah, its called Baby Boomers retiring.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          “Apparently voters disagreed”

          Um, newsflash: 2.3 million more people voted for Hillary.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          There are 95 million+ American in the working age group (18 to 56) who are not working and are not counted in terms of the unemployment rate (U3) as they’re not actively seeking work and/or became discouraged (i.e. sent out thousands of resumes without hearing back/could get McJob with college degree but $8-$11 hour is not enough; in fairness, this is a very barbell shaped jobs recovery with low-wage service sector workers gaining a disproportionate % of jobs created in Obama terms, as well as top 10% of income earners in professional services doing better – middle-class job seekers were froze out in terms of gains/losses).

          In a nation of 312 million people, with 244 million being of working age, the fact that 95 million+ such working age individuals are either not seeking work or were seeking work but are now discouraged (gave up after trying to gain employment) – is nothing short of mind-blowing.

          This is not unique to the United States at present, since huge %s of working age individuals are not working in many western (and likely eastern) European nations (including many that are member states of the EU).

          I’m not sure if he’s correct, but Hawking recently opined that a further 45% of U.S. and western European jobs will be replaced by automation within 20 years, give or take, as artificial intelligence progresses rapidly and advanced algorithms reach deep into and displace even now-solid middle class information workers, and that as high a percentage as 77% of CHINESE jobs will be replaced by automation, as a result of automation (mostly advanced robotics displacing even more manufacturing and assembly jobs).

          At any rate, again, the fact that 95 million Americans of working age, out of a 244 million working-age pool, are unemployed and may have quit actively looking for employment, is nothing short of CRISIS TERRITORY.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Every company I talk to is desperate to hire for skilled positions that pay well, and cannot find workers in the US willing to get those skills and work hard.

            It doesn’t feel realistic to expect the federal government to fix lazy. Many of these people would rather vote for a race-baiting, wall-building, genital groping, Muslim-evicting con artist than set their alarm clocks for 6AM.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Can you cite precisely what jobs, with concomitant levels of pay, that those employers can’t fill?

            We’re in a min-boom in metro-Detroit, with seasoned engineers in somewhat short supply, as an example, yet even in this atmosphere, many of the claims made by manufacturers are really an attempt to put political pressure on to expand H1B and similar programs (see Silicon Valley, also), in order to allow employers to gain additional leverage in checking or drive down wages/benefits.

            To add insult to injury, regardless as to whether H1B and similar programs are vastly expanded, what happens when the inevitable downturn part of the business cycle kicks in, and these jobs (their pool/availability) declines, what then?

          • 0 avatar
            shaker

            “Every company I talk to is desperate to hire for skilled positions that pay well, and cannot find workers in the US willing to get those skills and work hard.”

            These (urban/suburban) jobs are being filled by H1B visa holders, while the unemployed of Pennsyltucky wait for the coal mines to re-open.

            Edit: That was a bit harsh, but I will say that when the steel industry (where I worked in the ’70s) went belly-up, I attended community college (night classes) to get a 2-year degree, and after 15 years at my new job, I finally ended up back in what became the new “middle class”. I was fortunate to work for a good company, but I certainly added value to their enterprise.

            Edit 2: Before you “shoot this messenger”, don’t forget that the shareholders of these companies are demanding income, so the companies are hiring non-citizens, as opposed to offering training programs for unemployed Americans. The federal government is the only place to turn for education assistance, and these programs are being crippled by the opposition- maybe to fulfill the promise that Mitch McConnell made.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            DeadWeight,
            You comment illustrates why we need numbers for the Employed, not Unemployed.

            I have read that the Chinese over the past decade have lost 30 million manufacturing jobs. So this makes many of Trumps comment baseless or factless.

            The Chinese seem better able to adopt new technologies in industry than the US.

            Trumps attempts of forcing jobs to remain in the US will only reduce the competitiveness of US business. The US will lose out in the end …… What’s occurring now in the US occurred in Europe over 100 years ago.

            What caused this?

            The US industrialising. The US must learn to compete or it will be left behind and Trump is going to accelerate this decline.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        “Fact: the US economy in the last 7 years added 6,000 jobs every single day.”

        Citation needed.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Citation: http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/CES0000000001

          Divide 15 million jobs by 2,500 days.

          You’re welcome, Silvyy

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            Wow…Even the Clinton News Network disputes your fictitious claim.

            http://money.cnn.com/2016/01/13/news/economy/obama-jobs-state-of-the-union/

            So, yea, twist and spin so you can sleep at night. Whatever makes you feel better. Reality isn’t always roses and kittens…

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      The casino that is the stock market demands suppressed wages and benefits, increased automation and outsourcing, and increased “investment” from forcing retirement plans to invest in said casino to keep the economy from imploding. They cry that they need 5% (or more) growth to prosper (which is unsustainable), while the money in this country continues its upward flow.

      Any attempt to reverse this trend (without addressing Wall Street) will result in another failed attempt in “trickle-down” economics, which will fail spectacularly once again, and leave the Democrats to attempt a reversal (which will look pretty much like the last 8 years).

      The stock market needs to be reduced as the primary economic engine in this country – an alternate system of investment, insulated from high-speed trading, based on the actual value of an enterprise, their fair compensation of employees, their environmental stewardship (basically, an ethical, self-regulating entity that requires little government oversight).

      Of course, this system would require business ethics and customer loyalty (and willingness to pay more for their products) to work – basically, a reversal of the forces that have resulted in the greed-based system that leaves the middle class behind, with the remaining poor fighting the wealthy for resources, and the elected government alternating extreme ideologies between the two.

      If this smacks of “planning”, then so be it – it’s time to wise up before the whole house of cards comes tumbling down.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        The elevation in equity shares prices over the last 8 years is disproportionately the result of (keep up, Keynesians who support both a Ben Bernanke & Janet Yellen Fed):

        Federal Reserve (and other central banks) expand their glance sheets by a factor of 8x to 10x buying government bonds directly (NapalM or indirectly (U.S. & Europe). (QE1, QE2, QE3, and QEx in Japan & Europe

        They buy these bonds no matter how low yield is.

        These actions lower real interest rates for corporations and governments to zero-bound or lower (zero interest rate or negative interest rates, particularly if adjusted for inflation – 1.7% yield on 10 year US Treasury is effectively 0% yield post-inflation, and in Europe and Japan, it’s deeply negative return).

        Corporations borrow as much money as they can.

        Instead of expanding production facilities, adding new equipment/machjnery/tooling (capex) and adding new workers in commensurate fashion as past business cycle rebounds…

        …Corporations allocate a hugely (and record high % of borrowed monies towards share repurchase programs…

        …making senior executives with stock-compensation packages filthy rich….(see stock vesting compensation for upper management at Fortune 500 companies)…

        …even as real wages for most workers (and particularly the bottom 80%) remain stagnant or enter decline in real and (even nominal) terms…

        = Obamanomics

        • 0 avatar
          OldManPants

          Barry wouldn’t understand what you just wrote any more than I. But I do understand rapacious, cutthroat sociopaths.

          And I fail to see how their behavior will change under an admin run by one of their own kind.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          DW,
          I was following until the last word, which just illustrates that you don’t believe that the Fed is independent. Which is kind of sad.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            The Fed Reserve has rarely been independent.

            One example in which it did act independently was during the 1978-1981 period.

            In Obama’s case, he was truly a favorite of Silicon Valley (more so than any president previously) & the financial sector (no banker went to jail or was even prosecuted under Obama/Eric Holder’s tenure).

            Janet Yellen hails from San Francisco, right down the road from Palo Alto & Mountainview, and was his nominee to succeed Bernanke.

            History has already recorded and factually established that the “Obama Recovery” saw the greatest concentration of wealth inequality grow at the fastest pace since that of the 1920s and 1930s, when Monopolies & Robber Barons roamed the land.

            There were some very good things that Obama did; throwing money scattershot at Wall Street & Big Tech, while failing to end too-big-to-fail policy as applied to financial firms, were not on that list.

            Cliff notes: The top 10% of wage earners did well under Obama’s management* (he was very involved in structuring the type of recovery that was fashioned), the top 5% of wage earners did better, the top 1% better still – but the top 0.05% really saw their wealth skyrocket, raking in historic, nosebleed-inducing, incredible gains (largely in part to the the Federal Reserve policyholder QE I highlighted above).

            Only the naive believe that the Federal Reserved is truly independent from corporate and bank sponsored presidents.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            DW,
            Now I’m really confused. First they said he was a socialist. Or even communist. Then he overstepped the bounds of his office. Then he was too week. He should never have been involved in Libya, Syria, etc. Wait, no he was too ineffectual.

            He shouldn’t have stimulated the economy. Actually, he didn’t do enough.

            Obamacare sucks. Anyone with a preexisting condition should be banned for life from health insurance.

            He’s obviously in the pocket of special interests. He’s the President for minorities, not the rest of us.

            Now, he only cares about Wall Street and Silicon Valley.

            Can we all just agree that he’s the darkest president ever, at least measured by skin color? That would seem to unite all his critics.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            “he’s the darkest president ever, at least measured by skin color”

            But at least he ain’t no woman! We put the ki-bosh on *that*!

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I don’t know who “they” are.

            I am unsure as to whether you’re claiming I share the views of this “they.”

            Factually, the U.S. has a mixed economy, and always has since its inception (when slavery subsidized agricultural production); the older the U.S. became, the more mixed the economy has become and the greater the mashup between government policies and corporate interests has become (Eisenhower warned the nation of the danger of the growth of these trends during his farewell address, at the time coining the phrase “Military-Industrial-Complex”).

            The U.S. Gov’t, through its politicians, now subsidizes defense, finance, tech, agriculture and pharma more than most other industries (these are the “winners” more predominantly).

            Japan, Germany, South Korea, and obviously, China, just to name a few nations, have even higher levels of state-planning and subsidization than the U.S., but the U.S., with Presidents such as Obama at the helm, is quickly catching up to even Japan & Germany.

            Whether one views this as good or bad trend, all thing considered and on balance, depends on one’s personal views.

            There is no doubt that both Silicon Valley & Wall Street LOVED Obama and showered him with lofty praise, as he helped make it rain on Manhattan & Palo Alto (often and deeply at the expense of “flyover country,” with some notable exceptions set in motion by the prior [failed] Bush Administration, namely being the auto manufacturer/supplier bailouts (Obama had to do this, as did Bush; we would have had a longer, much deeper, systemically more perilous downturn had these’bailouts not happened).

            The end result of Obama’s 8 years, however, can be expressed by a geographic map of county-by-county voting across the continental United States. Trump won counties and states (deep blue) that Obama won twice, and Trump gained votes of middle class and working class whites who voted for Obama once and even twice). The top 10% of wage earners did well under the Obama “recovery” (an asset-inflation based one, predominately relying on a great reliance on inflation in values of financial-,stock and real estate assets, as well as another technology-Silicon Valley v2.0 boom), the top 1% did even better, and the the top 0.1% and 0.05% did HISTORICALLY well, while the bottom 80% fared rather poorly (absinthe bottom 70% arguably lost both wealth, purchasing power and now make less real income than they did prior to 2007) – ***There’s an open question as to how much of these trends are fairly and directly the result of Obama’s policies versus macro trends (I personally believe that Obama could have dramatically re-jiggered his policies to stem the massive rise in the huge growth in wealth inequality, which was hugely the result of Federal Reserve interest rate and asset purchase operations).

          • 0 avatar


            “he’s the darkest president ever, at least measured by skin color”

            But at least he ain’t no woman! We put the ki-bosh on *that*!”

            I don’t want to interrupt anyone’s virtue signalling circle jerk so I’ll simply point out that perpetually imputing evil motives to one’s political opponents by assuming that they are bigots is akin to the person who sees every problem as a nail because the only tool they have is a hammer.

            When you call basically decent folks racists and sexists they’re not likely to vote for your candidate.

            It’s almost humorous. It seems that the Americans right of center think that most of the country is made up of decent people. I disagree politically with the Democrats but I have an impossible time imagining that they would nominate a monster because our adversarial political system involves a lot of vetting. The American left, however, acts as though they think that that every conservative or libertarian is hiding a KKK sheet in their closet. It appears that they think half of the country is made up of monsters.

            The older I get, the more I’m persuaded that leftism is a religion. Like all religions, it has its creeds and its heresies.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            Well, I know T-Rump is pro-woman. He love grabbin’ dey snatch!

            And he has his own African-American. So he’s cool by me!

  • avatar
    whitworth

    Of course these standards will be tossed out, they’re completely unrealistic. They’re bad for the auto companies, bad for consumers, and bad for crash safety.

    But the EPA bureaucrats want to take a parting shot on their way out. I guess Trump will once again look like a savior for American jobs and will win over the auto workers.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      The MPG number for the new CAFE standards was already bogus.

      It was calculated using an old method,which comes up with higher numbers than the current EPA rating system. It is NOT a real world 50MPG. In the real world, it’s more like 35-40MPG – which is what midsized sedans already can do.

      Obama and the car manufacturers must picked that number to impress the greenies who don’t pay attention, and but the improvements in efficiency we’ve seen over the last few years suggest that they put a program of fairly realistic continuous amount if steady improvement behind the wishy-washy headline number.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        The EPA’s 52.5 mpg unadjusted requirement translates to about 37 combined on the current sticker. Current midsized sedans not only don’t already do that, they don’t even come close to doing that. The Camry is rated at 36.6 mpg and the Accord at 41.1 mpg.

        The only vehicle with a conventional powertrain currently sold in the US that meets that requirement is the Mitsubishi Mirage, all three cylinders of it.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          The Accord, Sonata, Fusion and Camry hybrids make it just fine, drive as well as non-hybrids and cost about $3K extra, which is recouped over the life of the vehicle in reduced fuel costs.

          This really isn’t that hard: it just requires the will to do it, which Honda and Toyota have demonstrated repeatedly, while Ford, GM and FCA just hire lobbyists to cover their failures.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    This story seems to offer some insight into the 2016 election results:

    Obama Policies – Lets seriously raise CAFE to force automakers to make unprofitable green cars to save the environment. And if they still manage to make a profit selling SUVS and trucks, lets force automakers to pay the highest income taxes in the world – including on income earned and already taxed outside the US. But to make sure they don’t sell many pickups or use any dirty energy to make vehicles, lets regulate coal out of business and do everything possible to stop fracking and gas/oil pipelines so that cheap carbon-based fuels get so expensive we can keep heavily subsidized renewable energy from going out of business. Finally, just in case there still might be a trifle of profits left over, lets mandate that high priced health care plans be provided to low value employees.

    H. Clinton Campaign promise – I want to continue the Obama Policies that have created such dynamic growth in the US economy.

    Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin voters: If I want to have a job I better vote for Trump who actually understands that businesses need to earn profits to employ people.

    • 0 avatar
      kosmo

      Beautiful!

    • 0 avatar
      sarcheer

      Oil/gas and coal are incredibly heavily subsidized by the federal and state governments. Far, far, FAR in excess of whats has been provided to jump start our renewable energy sector.

      • 0 avatar
        Master Baiter

        “Oil/gas and coal are incredibly heavily subsidized by the federal and state governments.”

        This old canard just won’t die. Fossil fuels actually earn a profit, some, but not all of which is taxed. By that definition, I’m receiving a “subsidy” because the government doesn’t confiscate ALL my income.

        I’m sorry, but your Daily Kos talking point won’t fly with me.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          Sorry that The Truth is so tough on you, masturbater.

          Maybe try another site?

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          @Master Baiter:

          That canard won’t die, because it’s true:
          http://www.skepticalscience.com/carbon-the-huge-overlooked-fossil-fuel-subsidy.html

          • 0 avatar
            stingray65

            Fossil fuel subsidies are mostly “depreciation” deductions that every industry gets and consumption subsidies for certain sectors such as the military and farmers (who don’t pay the pump taxes) and low income households (that get discounted energy). Oil companies average 45% taxes on their income, while renewables typically don’t have any taxable income. When subsidies are adjusted for amount of energy produced, renewables average 20+ times higher subsidies per BTU. See links below.

            http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2013/11/13/renewables-get-25-times-the-subsidy-that-fossil-fuels-do/#6fdfdaebd373

            http://www.forbes.com/sites/drillinginfo/2016/02/22/debunking-myths-about-federal-oil-gas-subsidies/2/#1fad836b2185

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    Honda and Toyota are able to build world class quality vehicles in the USA. However, Detroit is building unreliable junk in Mexico. How does that work? That is why I support my fellow working Americans with Toyota and Honda purchases. Secondly, I also gain since I purchase a superior product.

  • avatar
    nickoo

    Bend the knee!

    EVs are coming and they are coming fast, there are better ways to reduce gasoline usage which incentivize EVs, plug in hybrids, and regular hybrids, including partnering with Tesla to flesh out the supercharger network and striking a deal to open it to other OEMs, extending the EV rebates, etc. Fact is, with plug in hybrids, hitting 54 MPG on the EPA cycle is easy, and as battery costs continue to come down, it will continue to become more affordable. The prius is one of the most reliable cars in history and manages to get 50+ MPG in real driving as it is, and they really aren’t any more expensive than a normal car, that’s what 4 generations of development can do.

  • avatar
    kosmo

    Premature implementation of these rules can only be seen as a partisan move by an ADMINISTRATIVE agency, which is charged — in theory — with developing regulations based on laws passed by congress.

    I’m all for clean air and water, but EPA has gotten WAY too big for their britches.

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    They should shut down the EPA; level the building and plant flowers in its place.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Yet another Trumpster advocating attack on the Federal government.

      But he likes pansies.

    • 0 avatar
      golden2husky

      Master Baiter, the building the EPA occupies is named after your Right Wing hero, Ronald Reagan. Still want to level it? Can’t have that, now can we?

      You should be grateful for the EPA. Recall carbs, open crankcase ventilation systems, gas fumes in the summer, stinky exhaust fumes? Go to a busy marina in the summer to see what our highways would smell like if it were not for the EPA. you know, that agency started by the Nixon Administration.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Hi, we’re Ford, we don’t have a viable electric vehicle and our hybrids have been zinged for not delivering the advertised mileage, can you please change the rules for us? PLEASE.

  • avatar
    mtmmo

    It’ll be interesting to see how many years it’ll take President Trump to fix all of the problems Obama’s policies have caused. I look forward to President Trump reigning in the EPA and purging the State Dept. Until then I’ll enjoy watching my investments continue to go up, up, up. Thank you President Trump.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Right! This unemployment at 4.6%, minimal inflation, budget deficit under control and lack of war is prime territory for swamp drainage. Who needs NATO, or nuclear non-proliferation, or respect for people who aren’t white men? Let’s get back to being great and winning!

      Oh, and by the way, how did your stocks do since Obama was elected? Mine doubled.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Keep living in your bubble, like Hillary’s advisors.

        See my post above about low wages, multiple-job holders (due, in part, to low wages and minimum benefits), and :

        ” 95 million+ Americans in the working age group (18 to 56) who are not working and are not counted in terms of the unemployment rate (U3) as they’re not actively seeking work and/or became discouraged (i.e. sent out thousands of resumes without hearing back/could get McJob with college degree but $8-$11 hour is not enough; in fairness, this is a very barbell shaped jobs recovery with low-wage service sector workers gaining a disproportionate % of jobs created in Obama terms, as well as top 10% of income earners in professional services doing better – middle-class job seekers were froze out in terms of gains/losses).

        In a nation of 312 million people, with 244 million being of working age, the fact that 95 million+ such working age individuals are either not seeking work or are not seeking work but are now discouraged (gave up after trying to gain employment) – is nothing short of mind-blowing (and is set to rise with further automation) and puts us in crisis mode.”

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al From 'Murica

        In fairness, NATO was founded to keep the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact from moving into Western Europe so from a purely technical perspective, it would no longer be needed.

        Now from a practical perspective yes, we need to provide a counter to Russian aggression in the former Eastern Bloc, however I routinely participate in NATO exercises and Love him or Hate him, Trump is correct that NATO needs to undergo some serious changes. They still operate like the Red Army is going to come storming through the Fulda Gap at any time. The world changed and they didn’t.

  • avatar
    shaker

    If the Carrier “deal” is any indication, the Trump Bubble will pop a lot sooner than people think.

    But we’ll need a strong press to uncover these shady deals for the markets to know that they’re even more ephemeral than the stock market itself – in which case the rats will jump ship very quickly.

    I intend to support my local newspaper and a national one to keep this administration as brightly lit as possible.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Whether you supported Trump or not at this time it is a moot point. President Elect Trump has hot even taken office and many are judging his presidency and predicting doom and gloom. I did not vote for Mr. Trump but I am willing to withhold judgement until he has officially taken the office and had a chance to actually have a chance to do something. Why criticize Mark Fields for trying to negotiate on the EPA mandates. President Elect Trump has stated that he is willing to negotiate to get the best deal for America and Ford is asking for a rescission or revision of the upcoming EPA standards. If the best deal for the American worker is to keep more jobs in the USA and Mark Fields wants to get the best deal for Ford and its shareholders then it is reasonable for Mr. Fields to open negotiations to come up with more realistic EPA standards while benefiting the consumer and the US worker and taxpayer. I am not a fan of many Ford’s products or decisions but if I were representing Ford I would be compelled to do everything that I could to represent Ford and its stockholders interests. This would be true for GM, FCA, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mercedes, BMW, and any other manufacturer.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    It is the duty of the press and media to expose any shady dealings including any shady dealings if any with Carrier. The problem with most of the media is there is biased on the left and the right. The main media has been more than willing to hide the indiscretions and questionable practices of the Clinton Foundation and the Clintons’ pay for play practices that have made them multi-millionaires. The press and media should be responsible for reporting any and all improprieties of President Trump and any conflicts of interest with Trump and his business. It is much harder for anyone in public office to hide things with Wikileaks and other non-traditional sources.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    What are the 55 currently-available “electrified models” and how is it that they add up to 2.8% of the overall vehicle market? Are we talking about hybrids like Ford’s own as well as the Prius and others as well as pure EVs? Exactly what cars and how much market does each carry?

  • avatar
    OldManPants

    BTW, congrats on using “miffed”, one of my favorite words. Others are spume, albedo and prolix. Anyone else collect faves?

  • avatar
    carveman

    ” Here at this site, Solyndra expects to make enough solar panels each year to generate 500 megawatts of electricity. And over the lifetime of this expanded facility, that could be like replacing as many as eight coal-fired power plants”

    BHO

  • avatar
    mtmmo

    Obama releases terrorists from GITMO. That’s his legacy. Trump isn’t even in office and he’s already saving jobs. I can see why Ford and other companies are lining up to do business with Trump. That’s what happens when you elect someone who is qualified to run the country. CEO’s see this and want to jump on board.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    So wading past all the politics in the comments, what I take from all this is:
    1. This actually equates to 37 real world MPG.
    2. They have many years to get there, and already have the technology.
    3. The rules are no surprise to anyone because they were already in place.

    Yep, “whining” sounds like the right word.

    Ford makes a fine hybrid powertrain. They know how to build aluminum bodies. It wouldn’t kill them to make a serious engineering effort on an EV. This ain’t rocket science.

    As far as impact on buyers: Up-front sales prices will be higher. Buyers who can do math will look at true cost of ownership and see they come out ahead. Buyers who can’t do math will be boned, per usual, paying even more profitable prices than before on the used-car side of the lot.

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