By on January 16, 2017

BMW Manufacturing plant

After being warned against producing vehicles in Mexico, German automakers are not scrambling to re-think their production plans.

In an interview with the German publication Bild, President-elect Trump issued a now-familiar warning to the country’s manufacturers — essentially, any vehicles imported into the U.S. from Mexico will face a 35 percent tax.

The Germans, for the most part, aren’t buying it. Meanwhile, the country’s economy minister saw Trump’s remarks as an opportunity to engage in some not-so-friendly automotive ribbing.

“If you want to build cars in the world, then I wish you all the best. You can build cars for the United States, but for every car that comes to the USA, you will pay 35 percent tax,” Trump told Bild (via Reuters), before singling out an automaker with future Mexican plans.

“I would tell BMW that if you are building a factory in Mexico and plan to sell cars to the USA, without a 35 percent tax, then you can forget that.”

Trump’s latest warning comes after similar remarks to U.S. and Japanese manufacturers. BMW plans to build the next-generation 3 Series at a Mexican plant starting in 2019. The facility, not yet built, carries a $1 billion price tag.

However, unlike Ford, which recently kiboshed plans for a $1.6 million facility south of the border, BMW isn’t about to be swayed by threats.

“Trump’s comments aren’t really a surprise,” Peter Schwarzenbauer, head of BMW’s Mini and Rolls-Royce brand, told media at a Munich press conference today, according to Bloomberg. Schwarzenbauer said he saw “no reason” to pull a U-turn on the company’s plans.

German auto industry association VDA president Matthias Wissman took a similar tone, stating, “We take the comments seriously, but it remains to be seen if and how the announcements will be implemented by the U.S. administration.” The industry head said he anticipates pushback from U.S. Congress on any tariff proposal, given the long-term consequences of such a move.

While industry types kept things civil, the government was having none of that. In the same Bild report, German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said the U.S. should focus less on attacking the competition, and more on building cars that people might actually want to buy.

Oh no he didn’t!

No doubt, German automakers are playing the waiting game while keeping an eye out for concrete policy from the incoming administration. Meanwhile, BMW already plans to boost production at its Spartanburg, South Carolina SUV plant to 450,000 vehicles per year, up from 411,000 last year.

[Image: BMW Manufacturing Co.]

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171 Comments on “Trump Angers the Germans; BMW Won’t Pull a Ford With Its Mexican Plant...”


  • avatar
    el scotto

    UH, wouldn’t a 35% tax on Mexican made goods be a NAFTA violation? Wouldn’t supply chains be disrupted if NAFTA is repealed?

    • 0 avatar
      notwhoithink

      Well, Trump hasn’t yet figured out that while there is a such a thing as a “bully pulpit”, in order to make effective use of it you need to actually have some teeth. He can’t unilaterally leverage a 35% tariff, he needs congress to do it or he needs to pull out of or renegotiate some treaties. And while he has promised to do the latter, that’s not something that you can do at the push of a button. There are many, many moving parts with well-payed lobbyists and potential unintended consequences that must be analyzed. Trump has yet to understand that he hasn’t been elected CEO to unilaterally do whatever he wants.

      And why all the hate towards Mexico? Why isn’t he getting up in arms about auto makers building factories in any other country? Why isn’t he up in arms over Canada’s moves to increase auto production? Why no complaints about rumors that Civic production may shift to Japan instead of the U.S.?

      • 0 avatar
        OldandSlow

        The public shaming and threats are basically “hot air” aimed towards his fan base. That said, if Congress gets involved and votes for a Brexit from NAFTA, then where the road to protected trade leads isn’t going to be pretty.

        • 0 avatar
          notwhoithink

          I agree with both statements. But I don’t think that Congress is about to let him pull out of trade agreements like that. There are too many rich corporations with well-paid lobbyists who would be opposed to it. Of course Trump could still win there, blaming it on “the swamp”. Meanwhile, nearly every economist on the planet will be speaking out against what he wants to do.

        • 0 avatar
          Ol Shel

          This is exactly it. He’s REALITY TV PERSONALITY. He knows how to create an illusion.

          There will be a non-stop show of things he’s “done” for the poorly educated base, while the elite economic class walks away with the public’s money.

          We deserve this, though. We’ve lost interest in having a Democracy; we think it’s too much work to pay attention and to vote.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Democracy is rule by the mob, which is what we’re seeing.

          • 0 avatar
            probert

            @28-Cars-Later No, it’s not rule by mob. This may be how Trump and his crew see it, but they will be quite surprised. There are laws, the constitution, and 3 branches of government. Dysfunctional as it all may be, it all does still exist.

            It should be noted though, that the US is a Constitutional Republic, and if a pure Democracy, Clinton got 3,000,000 more votes. So much for the mob.

          • 0 avatar
            Trucky McTruckface

            “There will be a non-stop show of things he’s “done” for the poorly educated base, while the elite economic class walks away with the public’s money.”

            Stop complaining about the Obama administration already, the man leaves office Friday.

            “We deserve this, though. We’ve lost interest in having a Democracy; we think it’s too much work to pay attention and vote.”

            Boo hoo. My candidate lost because the system is broken and the voters are stupid. Like you wouldn’t be gloating and mocking the other side if things went the other way.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            https://www.monticello.org/site/jefferson/democracy-nothing-more-mob-rule

            “It should be noted though, that the US is a Constitutional Republic”

            I completely agree, but within this structure we are seeing what amounts to mob rule in political populism among the key states.

            “Clinton got 3,000,000 more votes. So much for the mob.”

            There are somewhere over 11 million illegal immigrants within CONUS borders. If only 30% of that total voted illegally, there is your “majority”.

            Whats truly sad is we got to the point of an boisterous 80s tabloid favorite and reality TV show star businessman and a absolute traitor to the republic, who engaged in a criminal conspiracy to even win a party nomination, and is guilty of breaking dozens of Federal statutes just since 2008 ***without any charges***, as “candidates”.

            “There were 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. in 2014, a total unchanged from 2009 and accounting for 3.5% of the nation’s population. ”

            http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/
            2016/11/03/5-facts-about-illegal-immigration-in-the-u-s/

            “In summary, an estimated 11.4 million unauthorized immigrants were living in the United States in January 2012 compared to 11.5 million in January 2011”

            https://www.dhs.gov/sites/default/files/
            publications/
            Unauthorized%20Immigrant%20
            Population%20Estimates%20in%20the
            %20US%20January%202012_0.pdf

      • 0 avatar
        Whatnext

        No doubt because Canada and Japan (as well as Europe) pay comparable wages to the USA and have similar environmental regulations. The original FTA (Canada-USA) made much more sense than expanding it to Mexico, which was the odd man out in terms of labour costs, environmental regs, corruption etc. If Trump were smart he would call his tarrifs environmental levies, and impose them on countries that pollute with abandon (China etc). It would achieve the same goals and leave environmentalists spluttering their lattes.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        re: “Why isn’t he up in arms over Canada”

        Because Canadians buys as many US-made cars as Americans buy Canadian-made cars. It would hurt the US as much as it would Canada.

        Canadian auto plants are located close to the border, with suppliers on both sides. Hurting Canadian plants would hurt US suppliers. Blocking Canadian suppliers would idle most Big 3 US plant. It’s a big interconnected network, and has been for a hundred years.

        Anyone who’s studied basic economics (freshwater, saltwater, doesn’t matter) understands that it’s a mutually-beneficial relationship. A 35% tariff would make US brands less competitive in Canada, improving sales of non-US cars.

        • 0 avatar
          April S

          Could it be he is OK doing trade with the Canadiens because they are mostly white.

        • 0 avatar
          jerseydevil200

          its cause Canada is perceived as white and Mexico is perceived as non-white.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          re: “Because Canadians buys as many US-made cars as Americans buy Canadian-made cars. It would hurt the US as much as it would Canada.”

          Actually Mexicans (in Mexico) buy a lot of US-made and Mexico-made, US cars, especially of the pickup truck variety, including Nissan and Toyota.

          Mexico also drains (imports in) up to a million US-made and Mexico-made (but US-sold) used pickups, creating a need for new pickups to replenish lost US pickup inventory, as well as keeping used pickup prices high.

          Mexicans buy a lot of new Nissans and VW cars too. Lots of shared suppliers all around, on both sides of the border.

      • 0 avatar
        asapuntz

        Everyone feel better now?

        https://www.nbcnews.com/business/autos/amp/trump-now-threatening-automakers-canada-germany-n707531

      • 0 avatar
        Giltibo

        Actually, notwhoithink, some production of the Civic may temporarily shift to Japan… to liberate some of the NA capacity to build SUVs that are in large demand. For example, the production of the MDX is shifting from Alabama to Ohio. It is only a case of using the available capacity of the existing plants internationally instead of building new ones (for example that’s why the Civic Hatchback is built in Swindon, England)

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      NAFTA as we know it is on its way out, but it won’t be gone right away. Auto mfgs and suppliers would be wise to start relocating back into the US during the lull.

      This was my favorite line thought, per Guardian: “Asked what Trump could do to make sure German customers bought more American cars, [German deputy chancellor and minister for the economy] Gabriel said: “Build better cars.””

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/16/germany-hits-back-at-trump-criticism-of-refugee-policy-and-bmw-tariff-threat

      What a hoot. Your cars have been lease fodder junk for twenty years. Zee Germans, you are fake cars!

      I also see a boon long term for JLR, Trump will negotiate a favorable UK trade deal, probably a favorable Canadian deal, but very possibly pull out of EU ones and certainly end NAFTA for Mexico.

      • 0 avatar
        VoGo

        A lot of people have very different and very high expectations of the new administration. Will make for interesting times.

        At what point will MAGA become the new ‘Hope and Change’?

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?

          • 0 avatar
            mtmmo

            Well played.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            28CL,
            I don’t quite understand your question. My only point is that Trump has tweeted and stated many promises, many of which are contradictory. He just signaled health ‘insurance for everybody’ but also recently asked Congress to repeal ACA immediately. How do you square these?

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            Health Insurance For Everybody, does not definitionally have to be quite as cluelessly implemented as Obamacare.

            Of course, Trump did seem to publicly boast about how he too, would crawl down the lobbyhole of low deductibles for routine care. AKA, car insurance that covers gas, and homeowners insurance that cover remodeling. Both with a $2 deductible. So it’s not like hair color seems to do much better than skin color wrt promoting even the most rudimentary understanding of what one is tweeting and/or telepromting about.

        • 0 avatar
          probert

          Well, my only joy here is that I know I’m screwed, and those with high hopes will only find out later. See you on the other side.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I was responding to your second point. I have no idea what this man is going to do next. I suppose he’s quite serious about his populism and thinks he can do Obamacare better? I’d much prefer him to turn his rage against GMO and adopt the food laws which ban poisons in US market food. Then in a deal with those vampires, I would allow them to export everything they sell now to the third world. You won’t see results for some time but eventually fewer people would fall ill.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            He has no idea what he is going to do next. He just tweets what he thinks his base wants to hear. And they want contradictory things. They want cheap state-sponsored health care (provided that black and brown people don’t have access) and low taxes. They want high-paying blue-collar jobs and union-busting. They want tariffs and cheap prices. He has no policy agenda of his own, just a pretty well-calibrated ear for a certain segment of voters. He won’t start making sense until and unless his voters are making sense. And the only policy follow-through we’ll get is from other personnel in his administration, which will be standard-issue Republican stuff, and which will fulfill some goals (repeal Obamacare) but not others (insure everybody).

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “which will be standard-issue Republican stuff, and which will fulfill some goals (repeal Obamacare) but not others (insure everybody).”

            None of that addresses the reality of finite medical resources. Obamacare was an attempt to greatly expand Medicaid welfare and give access to those limited resources without actually expanding those resources (also to buy another generation of voters as one might argue). Anyone older than twelve could see this would drive up costs, and the only real group who benefits are the mega hospital networks (like HCA). I read at the time it was also meant to be a stealth bailout of “big health” which may or may not have been true, but there was no way it could have ever worked as advertised.

            I never cared for the Prius when I first saw it roll down a lane in 2004, but I have come now to see the genius of the hybrid approach. The US road infrastructure is mostly poorly designed and maintained (local and highway). Depending on where you live, the set up of stop lights may be logical, illogical, or somewhere in between (esp in regions with corrupt fiefdom style townships). Fixing all of that requires more money and time than to develop a vehicle which from a fuel standpoint, can mitigate the reality. Health is no different, we have a healthcare system which can realistically treat X patient capacity at a time. How many of those ailments can be easily prevented through disuse of toxic chemicals in food and limitation of HFCS in drinks? Look at what Europe and Canada allow in consumables and adopt their “lists”. This isn’t rocket science.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            You are right about one thing: other countries use resources far more effectively. Many of them cover everyone in the country on less money per capita than we spend on government coverage (Medicare + Medicaid + Obamacare subsidies + federal benefits) alone. I know there’s a way to do that here. I think we are even ingenious enough to do it without killing the good features of our system (innovation and cutting-edge research).

            I think the way to do it is to start with baseline insurance for everyone that is offered through private insurers, but regulated like a public utility. Obamacare sort of got a bit of the way there, but is hamstrung because it excludes the lowest-cost portion of the population — those who are now insured through employer policies. Germany and Switzerland use an approach like this.

            Then, on top of the baseline, allow people to buy whatever they want in addition, whether more insurance or direct fee-for-service. Some countries reject this because it’s “better medicine for the rich” but I think it’s vital to protect medical innovation.

        • 0 avatar
          sutherland555

          VoGo Holy crap….I’m an idiot. I literally just figured what MAGA stands for after seeing it so many times in various comment boards.

      • 0 avatar
        notwhoithink

        “Auto mfgs and suppliers would be wise to start relocating back into the US during the lull.”

        It’s not going to happen. They’re in Mexico (or other parts of the world, for other industries) because it allows them to keep prices competitive while still making money. If they move back to the US then production costs go up dramatically, making their products either uncompetitive on price, requiring further reductions in quality, or pricing them out of reach for the lowest end of the market. If they tack on a 35% tariff (which Trump can’t do without Congress helping) then the manufacturer will do the math and decide whether it makes sense to build in Mexico for the world, and pay the tariffs on only the subset or cars heading to the US or to build in the US for the world and pay a premium on production for every car.

        There’s no way to slice his protectionism plan that makes it actually achieve what he wants, i.e., create more American manufacturing jobs at home.

        Then look at tech jobs. He wants to cut back H1-B visas because some companies use them to undercut the wages of local workers. Not all of them, but some of them. OK, so now it’s harder for multi-billion dollar multinationals to import lower-wage workers. If cost is really a factor, how hard would it be to shift more of their work offshore to their existing facilities in other countries? Look at IBM for example, they have 450,000 employees worldwide and only about 75,000 in the US, and every year they’re shifting more of those jobs overseas as well. What’s he going to do, charge a 35% tariff on every kilobyte of data sent between their Bangalore and Armonk offices?

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          “If they move back to the US then production costs go up dramatically”

          If the President-elect makes it more expensive to stay in Mexico they will either do a cost benefit analysis and move back or shift Mexican parts production to some other region not affected currently (i.e. Asia).

          “If they tack on a 35% tariff (which Trump can’t do without Congress helping) then the manufacturer will do the math and decide whether it makes sense to build in Mexico for the world, and pay the tariffs on only the subset or cars heading to the US or to build in the US for the world and pay a premium on production for every car.”

          I agree with this, but in the case of USDM majority intended product it will become cost prohibitive which is the point. If 80% of product produced is cost prohibitive for US export (i.e. Ram pickup) when do I relent and move its production back?

          ” He wants to cut back H1-B visas because some companies use them to undercut the wages of local workers. Not all of them, but some of them.”

          I can tell you what I learned about H1-Bs. You can pay them less and treat them like indentured servants, but there is a fair amount of paperwork involved with sponsorship and its a PITA. However you can bring them in as contractors from a firm who is handling the PITA aspect and they still undercut regular contractors. So you’re still saving money and when salaried can force them to work crazy hours without the fuss of sponsorship. Personally, I’d be loathe to hire one. By and large, f*** them.

          “If cost is really a factor, how hard would it be to shift more of their work offshore to their existing facilities in other countries?”

          Only the largest multinationals can really take advantage of such a thing, but if this was what they wanted to do they could have done it in the first place and never hired H1-Bs. You hire H1-Bs so you can actually supervise them, and ensure work is done to your spec. If you’ve never dealt with off-shored code you wouldn’t understand (it is frequently terrible).

          “What’s he going to do, charge a 35% tariff on every kilobyte of data sent between their Bangalore and Armonk offices?”

          Why not something to this effect, except instead of by data it works by number of offshored contractors?

          • 0 avatar
            notwhoithink

            “I agree with this, but in the case of USDM majority intended product it will become cost prohibitive which is the point. If 80% of product produced is cost prohibitive for US export (i.e. Ram pickup) when do I relent and move its production back?”

            The point is that moving production back to the US also makes it cost prohibitive. I suppose the difference in the case of the Ram pickup is that instead of having an MSRP of $40k that you can quickly negotiate down to $30k it will have an MSRP of $40k that you can’t negotiate on at all.

            “Why not something to this effect, except instead of by data it works by number of offshored contractors?”

            Because I’m not talking about offshored contractors. I’m talking about hiring more company employees who work in other countries, not about outsourcing your software development to Tata and Wipro. Those clowns don’t care about quality because they are grist mills for junior devs with no skills. They know if they screw up there’s another customer around the corner looking to save money.

            “Only the largest multinationals can really take advantage of such a thing, but if this was what they wanted to do they could have done it in the first place and never hired H1-Bs. ”

            Again, look at IBM. That’s what they’ve been doing for over a decade. Look at Microsoft, Intel, Apple, and nearly every other player in the tech sector. They’re all international. They all have campuses outside of the US and have had them for years. They do it because they can’t get 100% of the talent that they need here at home, so they spread it around. If they have more difficulty getting that talent here in the US then they’ll just shift that work to other campuses in other countries. Hell, Microsoft could move their entire Redmond campus (or one of the Seattle buildings) to Vancouver with relatively little impact.

        • 0 avatar
          April S

          Trump should lead the way by having that overpriced crap with his name on it made in the United States.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        “Build Better Cars”

        Beat me to it BUT in the context of Europe NOT the USA, does GM have anything remotely competitive to BMW, Mercedes etc.

        #putinspotus spews so mush bullsh!t that no one knows truth from fiction. It has been reported that he (cheetoman) favours the breakup of the EU.
        Ever wonder why?
        Coincidentally, Putin loves that idea.
        Wonder why?

    • 0 avatar
      GS 455

      Sigmar Gabriel shouldn’t get into a pissing contest with Mr. Trump (for obvious reasons).

  • avatar
    deanst

    BMW And Mercedes already produce more cars in the U.S. (as a percent of their sales) than the Detroit 3, so any new tax universally applied would help them more than others. Of course to Trump it is all in the negotiation – any theoretical change in their plans could be sold as a win, and he would move on to his next victim.

    Will Ivanka be hit with a 35% tax on her imported clothing line?

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Good points. The real issue for BMW is one of public relations in the US. I doubt they want to reinforce for potential buyers that their 3-series if being manufactured in Mexico. I bet you’ll soon see a major announcement from BMW, endorsed by Trump, trumpeting their recent decision to increase US production from 411K vehicles annually to 450K.

      • 0 avatar
        notwhoithink

        ” I bet you’ll soon see a major announcement from BMW, endorsed by Trump, trumpeting their recent decision to increase US production from 411K vehicles annually to 450K.”

        That seems to be the exact opposite of what everyone is saying now.

        • 0 avatar
          ElSnuggles

          Considering that the majority of Trump’s supporters couldn’t afford a BMW, I suspect that the folks in Munich have weighed their options on a hard line with Trump and decided that the potential impact would be less than the cost to change their plant plans.

          Trump’s entire approach is untenable from the beginning. What about all the plants in the world outside of the US that have been making cars for years elsewhere. Do they get a tax too?

          • 0 avatar
            Trucky McTruckface

            “Considering that the majority of Trump’s supporters couldn’t afford a BMW…”

            Way to generalize there. Classy.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Those same supporters drive around in 40K crew cabs and the 2 Series now starts at 33K. This is not the BMW of old.

            “Trump’s entire approach is untenable from the beginning. What about all the plants in the world outside of the US that have been making cars for years elsewhere. Do they get a tax too?”

            There used to be a thing called tariffs, and in many countries without tariffs there is a thing called VAT on imports and usually locally produced goods as well. I can’t read his mind but my guess is he will make an example of the failed state of Mexico to encourage more auto mfg investment in the US. Whether this later translates to new tariffs on imports from traditional exporters remains to be seen.

            The more interesting thing to watch will be how he deals with Mexico as it’s currency continues to descend, and how he will successfully deal with the large swathe of alien invaders within the borders. The Clinton Administration’s NAFTA experiment has completely failed as was predicted at the time. Mexico is still a failed [narco] state while Americans who previously had decent work are now wards of the state. Who benefits? only one, the corporations. I suspect long term Mexico is going to turn into Havana 1958.

          • 0 avatar
            notwhoithink

            @Trucky:

            “Way to generalize there. Classy.”

            While it was a bit of a cheap shot, if you look at who Trump is talking to with these threats against auto manufacturers it is largely unemployed/underemployed manufacturing workers who feel shafted because so much of “American” manufacturing has shipped overseas. I doubt that too many people in that demographic were cross-shopping BMWs in the first place. Maybe they could afford one if they really wanted one, but they’re not the people that BMW is selling to.

            And yes, there are plenty of well-off people who voted Trump. But I suspect that a fair number of them were similar to my well-off relatives who voted for the R or voted against the H rather than someone who was motivated by Trump’s messaging.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            “There used to be a thing called tariffs.”

            And most of them are gone, because people realized they had no effect except to make everyone poorer.

            Mexico has major problems, but it’s not a “failed state” and its economy has grown substantially since NAFTA. As has that of the US. There has been major dislocation, poorly handled, in a few sectors, but for the most part the deal has been good for both countries (and for Canada). But it was obvious from the beginning that the dislocation would happen and we should have had a plan to deal with it.

          • 0 avatar
            George B

            ElSnuggles, it doesn’t cost that much to buy an entry level or used BMW or Mercedes. However, considering the geographic distribution of Trump supporters outside major cities, the real limitation is the lack of dealers, specialized mechanics, and parts for vehicles that require more maintenance than average. Some brands actively try to sell to US customers outside of cities and others don’t.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2014/10/19/is-mexico-a-failed-state/

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

            http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/world-report/articles/2016-02-04/rogue-regimes-and-failed-states-will-challenge-the-next-president

            This is from 2010 but its good:

            https://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20100405_mexico_and_failed_state_revisited

            “for the most part the deal has been good for both countries (and for Canada)”

            I can’t speak for Canada or Mexico, but as has been previously demonstrated even in inflation adjusted terms automobiles have largely remained the same cost. However what is not accounted for is the amount of decontenting or labor cost savings to the mfg along with any technological breakthroughs between now and then. What is also not being accounted for is the huge drag on the US economy not having able bodied people in the workforce creates, which has helped contribute to the continued decline of wages making what are the same priced goods less affordable in 2010s wage terms (not to mention social costs).

            “But it was obvious from the beginning that the dislocation would happen and we should have had a plan to deal with it.”

            I think you oversimplify things but based on the inaction since about 1995 my guess is there were no real White House level contingency plans (I have no doubt there are Pentagon war/defense plans but this isn’t the same thing).

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            28-Cars-Later, you need to get your “facts” straight.

            VAT is a multi-level sales tax levied on goods and services – both domestic and imported. It has nothing to do with tariffs or trade. It’s trade impact, in fact, is neutral.

            NAFTA is a Republican deal, not a Democrat one. It was negotiated by the Bush (41) administration, and only passed the Senate because Republicans voted for it 34-12 (Democratic senators were almost evenly split).

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            It has been studied intensively post election. Trump supporters are mostly uneducated (grade 12 or lower) white males in their mid 40’s liviing in smaller (50k or less) towns or rurally and in areas with poor ethnic integration. They are predominantly employed middle class with a fear that things were better in the past.

    • 0 avatar
      luismx5

      @28-days-later. Why so much hate towards Mexico? Did somebody ever did something wrong with you? I know there are Mexicans that you see in the streets and you probably hate them because they are different than you. But we are not all like that. There are Mexicans that are honest hard working people.

      And if you see Mexico going towards a 1958 Havana, I see United States becoming a 1939 Germany with all the racism and bigotry your new leader promotes.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “if you see Mexico going towards a 1958 Havana, I see United States becoming a 1939 Germany with all the racism and bigotry your new leader promotes.”

        Sir I don’t know you but this sounds foolish, almost child like. The Cuba reference relates to the fact the nation was full of very poor people who had been subjugated by foreign powers both formally and informally for decades. In 1958, both La Cosa Nostra and US corporations owned many, if not nearly all, of the assets on the island. Then in 1959 came the revolution and foreign interests lost everything. Not exactly the same but there are distinct parallels, the most different factor in Mexico vs Cuba 1958 is the presence of the Cartels.

        “So what’s the solution? Short of a revolution in Mexico, there isn’t one.”

        This is a good article on the subject:

        http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2014/10/19/is-mexico-a-failed-state/

        • 0 avatar
          luismx5

          Know I see the context more clearly. Indeed we need a revolution, our politicians have been plundering the country for decades. We are a wealthy nation, and we could be wealthier.

          I am worried about my country with your new president, because boasting about 5,000 new jobs vs a working universe of 128,000,000 workers means nothing. In the end I don’t think nobody will benefit from building a wall, as history has taught us.

          And yes, @SSJeep, VW´s where badly made, but people here ran away from American cars wich are not of the best quality. The american cars in my household (2013 Jeep, and 2006 CTS, Opel Vectra, and Opel Astra (Opel owned by GM) where the most unreliable cars we ever had. Not bad, but with the most amount of failures.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “I am worried about my country with your new president, because boasting about 5,000 new jobs vs a working universe of 128,000,000 workers means nothing.”

            I completely agree, and I don’t believe even 50,000 is going to have a reversal effect. Trump’s job is going to be to find use for all of those excess citizens, although the bigger issue is worldwide, there is a huge excess of humanity.

        • 0 avatar
          schmitt trigger

          28-Cars-Later
          I’m going to ask the same question: Why so much hate against Mexico?

          You want Mexico to fall into a 1958-style communist dictatorship? REALLY?

          Look how much trouble and grief Cuba gave the US foreign policy over the past 45 years. And Cuba only has 1/10 Mexico’s population and although geographically close to the US, it is still separated by water.

          Imagine the problem of having a hostile neighbor with a border spanning thousand and thousands of miles.

      • 0 avatar

        @luismx5

        What’s the deal with the anti-mexico fervor. Let’s not confuse that with pro-American fervor.

        Read the Book The Next 100 Years by George Friedman. He predicts Mexico is the biggest threat to the US, never mind Russia, China, North Korea, Iran.

        One of his predictions, another cold war with Russia, looks like it may have begun recently. I think his predictions are reasonable.

    • 0 avatar
      SSJeep

      More importantly deanst – who would possibly want to buy a BMW that is Hecho en Mexico? I personally would stay far, far away. VW assembles just about every car except the Passat in Mexico, and if that is any example, any buyers of Mexican made BMWs should be ready to spend A LOT of time in the shop…

      • 0 avatar
        Charliej

        I bought a Mexican made Chrysler PT Cruiser in 2005. I drove it for ten years with very few problems. One water pump replacement and one front wheel bearing replacement. Ignorant comments like yours are common from ignorant Trump supporters.

        • 0 avatar
          Sceptic

          Liberals are so angry, lol! Many a Trump voter are proud owners of Mexico made cars! Having affordable well made vehicles imported into the US is Ok with most people. As long as it’s level playing field for all manufacturers. What is your problem? Stop the hate.

        • 0 avatar
          SSJeep

          @Charliej – yet another post with political assumptions about others. It seems people cannot have a conversation with each other anymore without spewing hateful political vitrol. And that is truly sad. Personally, I am a centrist and did not overly support either candidate.

          As to your qualifications for commenting on a car site, well, you bought a PT Cruiser… and you would be the only PT Cruiser owner I have heard of that has a trouble-free PT Cruiser.

    • 0 avatar
      NN

      Ironically, the BMW X5 and X6 are also some of the most successful car exports from the USA, as South Carolina is the sole global production point for those models. They are both quite popular in China and Europe.

  • avatar
    ajla

    youtu.be/9cgrEA6eQ_g

    BMW versus Trump. I don’t know who to root for.

    • 0 avatar
      countymountie

      Germans haven’t been too successful in wars against the U.S. so my money’s on Trump. When the dust settles the Germans can play the Chamberlain tune and proclaim “peace for our time”

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Finally someone realizes that the way you deal with a second-grade bully is to hit him back.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Everything you need to know about life is encapsulated in A Christmas Story.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      BMW expanded production to Spartanburg and later Mexico in order to screw its German unions, this is right?

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        That had something to do with it, and so did currency exchange rates at the time. Back in the strong euro days North American production looked ridiculously cheap to German companies. Now the situation is a bit different, especially for the US, where the dollar marches upward a little bit for every bad headline about the future of the EU.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I agree.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Siting factories in major markets is an effective means of reducing currency and political risks.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Tell that to the Mexican Peso, has more than halved since 2009 vs USD.

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

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            28CL,
            My point was that companies site factories in the markets they sell into to reduce risks like you mention. It doesn’t mean that currencies stop fluctuating, only that earnings are less at risk from that fluctuation.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I agree, I would only add Mexico is used as surrogate for the USDM instead of just building in the US. What I argued above is I believe Mexico is becoming Havana 1958 and many of those firm’s assets could be at real risk vs the relative stability of this nation.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            28CL,
            I’ve spent a lot of time in Mexico the past few years. Too much time, frankly. I see a stable country with a lot to overcome, but a lot of things going their way. I know the headlines are full of cartels and murder and poverty, and these are terrible scourges.

            But what I saw in Mexico City was a strong middle class full of well educated, hard working people. They are literally taking their country from the 19th century to the 21st century in a generation. Not an easy lift, but I didn’t have concern about a coup.

            Mexico is imperfect, but nothing like Cuba, Venezuela or much of the middle east.

            Just one man’s observations.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @28: never thought of that comparison before. But Mexico in many ways is starting to look like a ‘failed state’ ripe for some sort of revolution.

  • avatar
    TDIandThen....

    Translation: this is a 20-year investment and you are a four year wrinkle, maybe less. We will keep talking to and buying our Congresspeople, and good luck with your twitter thing, Trump.

  • avatar

    “However, unlike Ford, which recently kiboshed plans for a $1.6 million facility south of the border, BMW isn’t about to be swayed by threats.”

    Errr…..

    That was $1.6 Billion with a “B”.
    you are off by an order of magnitude or so.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Last I heard, BMW exports more cars from the US (by value) than any other automaker including what remains of the Big 3 domestics. Also seems to me that a few more good paying jobs in Mexico might put a damper on the job stealing/welfare grabbing illegal immigration that Trump supporters are so concerned about.

  • avatar
    MeJ

    My neck keeps getting sore from shaking my head every time Trump opens his mouth.
    Trump being elected always reminds me of the YouTube video where the soldiers give the chimp an AK-47 and then run for their lives realizing what a mistake that was.

    • 0 avatar
      mtmmo

      Don’t you worry my little snowflake as Trumpcare will provide everyone suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome a free neck brace and safety pin. That’ll get you through the next 8 years.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Trumpcare will proclaim loudly that it’s going to provide everyone with a free neck brace while actually taking away lots of the neck braces people already have.

        But in fairness it’s hard to see how that works from your content farm in St. Petersburg, so I don’t blame you for not knowing it.

      • 0 avatar
        MeJ

        Relax redneck. I’m not even American. So go f**k yourself.

        • 0 avatar
          sco

          @mtmmo:

          if you dont have anything else to say, please dont say anything at all

          • 0 avatar
            mtmmo

            *YAWN* Misplaced your safety pin?

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            And now the safety pin as a symbol the alt right feels compelled to attack. Why you ask?

            Let’s recall the purpose of the safety pin: as a signal to people who worry that their freedoms are threatened that the person with a safety pin is sympathetic to the American values of freedom of expression, religion and press.

            And while the alt right is the first to rush to buy the latest AR to protect their freedoms, they are overwhelmed with fear of a simple safety pin. So they hate and they attack. Because that’s what they do.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @vogo – they have to go with “safety pin” since #putinspotus has negated commie, red, and pinko as an insult levied against the left. I’m pretty sure fascist and socialist are no longer available either. Thanks Cheeto in Chief.

  • avatar
    probert

    Love to say it, but America does make a car that the rest of the world covets; it’s called Tesla, It is the largest selling luxury car in Europe. They will be adding at least 6500 more permanent jobs this year, in the good old US of A.

    Of course, even though it is a remarkable vehicle, from a remarkable American company, it reviled by many in America. This is why we can’t have nice things.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      Tesla is reviled because we pay for their competitiveness whether we buy their products or not.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Not sure I’d call the Tesla remarkable???

      I’ll wait until the series 3 hits and Tesla gains wider exposure. Right now you have too many wingnut owners (no different from say a 911 or Camaro or Mustang owner) who gloss over any real issues a vehicle might have.

      Tesla does a few cool things but right now they seem like the automotive version of Steve Jobs era Apple.

  • avatar
    Tstag

    The EU will simply retaliate. I’m fairly sure US car makers build cars in Mexico which they export to Europe. Expect a 35 percent tax on such cars to help EU car makers fund their own Mexican exports to the US. The EU is still the largest trading block in the world. Does Donald really want to pick a fight with it?

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    It’s funny, every Presidnt touts their legislative goals, but whenever Trump does it, its met with “he’s too stupid to know it has to pass Congress first!”

    Trump does have some unilateral powers to raise tariffs for a short period of time, as well as create new trade treaties through Congress.

    • 0 avatar
      notwhoithink

      “Trump does have some unilateral powers to raise tariffs for a short period of time, as well as create new trade treaties through Congress.”

      If he has to go through Congress to make it happen then it’s not a unilateral power.

      And as far as “he’s too stupid to know it has to pass Congress first!”, the problem for Trump is that his Republican-led Congress is and will be largely opposed to many of the things that Trump is threatening to do. Take repealing the ACA for example: Trump has said all along he wants to repeal it on day one. The Republicans in Congress have been talking about repealing it for the past 6+ years. Yet they’re still fighting about whether, how, and when it should be repealed. Given that some Republicans in Congress have already spoken out publicly against the idea of tariffs, I think that at best we should expect that Trump would face an uphill battle on this issue. I have yet to hear a single congressperon say anything in the affirmative about Trump’s tariff threats.

      • 0 avatar
        jacob_coulter

        The President can impose tariffs of up to 15 percent for 150 days without Congress, so yes he does have some unilateral powers.

        And obviously he can also renegotiate NAFTA with many Rust Belt Democrats giving him support. Do Democrats that have been getting union support since forever really want to go back to their district and say they saved NAFTA?

        It sure seems like the people that actually do this for a living like investors and currency traders are taking his threats very seriously, with the Mexican Peso crashing.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          The voluntary import quota system started in 1980’s has added at least 1,000 dollars to the cost of every vehicle purchased in the USA. Import costs rose and the “domestics” increased their prices to capitalize on the tariff. It has cost consumers billions.

          Adding tariffs to any imported product regardless of the badge will just increase the costs to consumers.

          Any destabilization of markets will do more harm than good to the USA.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Japanese automakers *voluntarily* raised the price of their import cars by loading them up with “options” (forced basically), while not raising MSRP (other than inflation). Base strippers were a little harder to get, but attainable. In other words, they needed to make every import *count*.

            So American car buyers weren’t exactly losing out.

            The import quota led the way and inspired Lexus, Infiniti and Acura.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    The other side of this coin is that Trump’s speeches may resonate in his supporters’ minds, and those of other citizens, and make it look traitorous to purchase a car not made in the U.S, as it sort of was in previous decades.

    I tell people all the time about VIN codes and how the first character typically indicates where the car was built. But imagine if this became common knowledge…if the Trump Administration launched a campaign that was a catcher version of “If the VIN doesn’t start with a 1, 4 or 5…don’t buy it.” That could do some damage just on the consumer side and make people not want to buy those cars.

    Then again, I think people with lower budgets will find that their choices become limited at that point, and people with some amount of money are just going to buy the S-Class or Sierra Denali (made in Mexico) that they’d been planning anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I’d likely be supportive of a campaign asking consumers to show a preference for domestically produced products.

      I’d also like to see the origin section of the Monroney be more prominent and descriptive and have the FTC beef up origin labeling rules.

      But, I guess picking a new corporation every week and sabre-rattling is a strategy too.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        “I’d likely be supportive of a campaign asking consumers to show a preference for domestically produced products.”

        I would, too. All else equal, this liberal would prefer to purchase a car made in the USA to one made elsewhere. For example, I’m pretty sure Ford makes the non-hybrid Fusion both in Flat Rock, MI and in Hermosillo, Mexico. If I were buying a new Fusion, I’d look for one of the American-assembled ones.

        I do think that a Trump-originated pro-USA campaign would be quite a bit more hostile than that, though. Per his usual style, rather than encouraging people to buy domestically-assembled products, his campaign would explicitly shame and berate them for *not* doing so.

        • 0 avatar
          notwhoithink

          “I do think that a Trump-originated pro-USA campaign would be quite a bit more hostile than that, though. Per his usual style, rather than encouraging people to buy domestically-assembled products, his campaign would explicitly shame and berate them for *not* doing so.”

          Yes. I can just imagine coming out of the local Kroger to my Hermosillo-assembled Fusion only to find it has been vandalized for not having been assembled in the USA. Sounds like a real hoot.

          And yes, I would prefer to buy American when it makes sense, as I have always wanted to do. But over the last 20 years I’ve had a Honda (built in Canada), an Acura (built in Ohio), a VW (build in Mexico), and two Fords (Dearbron and Mexico).

          • 0 avatar
            sco

            Americans dont need either political party to remind them of the virtues of buying American, they can do it right now, all on their own. They can demand American-manufactured and assembled products, even if they cost more, and refuse to buy less expensive foreign-made goods of similar quality. Just on principle.

            They could. They wont. That’s all you need to know right there.

          • 0 avatar
            OldManPants

            Buying only 100% American-made would pretty much limit us to food, artisanal cabinetry and vinyl products.

            Oops, scratch the vinyl stuff… we would have imported the commodity chemicals.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            Ironically the most American vehicles in the USA are Japanese. #1 Camry #2 Sienna #3 Accord (IIRC)

  • avatar
    DougD

    Both the BMW plant and the now-cancelled Ford plant were going into the city of San Luis Potosi. It’s in central Mexico, and being away from the border and the coast it’s relatively quiet. Been there a couple of times for work and it does not remotely seem like a failed state. Decisions requiring billions of dollars are not going to change because of a single tweet.

  • avatar
    jimmy2x

    I realize that it costs a lot of money to moderate a site. TTAC has been one of my favorite stops each day. There are plenty of websites that political junkies can go to in order to satisfy their blow-hard troll daily fixes. If TTAC continues to allow this type of crap, I’m out.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Jimmy2x – “Trump Angers the Germans” is a political story.

    • 0 avatar
      tedward

      Ttac always gets a little bit sideways immediately after a presidential election. Then the supporters of The (most recent) Chosen One have to face a blatant error or exposed lack of influence on the part of their (most recent) savior.

      Trump is only slightly unique in that he’s blatantly over-promising by pledging contradictory outcomes. Even my most ardent trump supporter friends will readily admit that he’s basically the drunk regular at the bar who can’t help but either agree with our pick a fight with everyone who arrives after him. They just think it’s funny and not to be taken at face value.

      On the brighter side, it’s much better in terms of the quality of tone than it’s been in the past. It’s also way worse almost everywhere else. The only escape is to ignore political news, but that leaves one ignorant and is a huge civics fail.

      The usual reality check, Congress and the courts, will turn Trump grey and emasculated him before too long. Just like every other potus. The danger zone question is, “how will he react to this?” No one in their right mind can predict that outcome with certainty, which is something new in my lifetime.

    • 0 avatar
      DougD

      Maybe we should follow Obama’s suggestion and have a “TTAC Argue With A Real Person Picnic”.

      Spread your blanket out, have a sandwich, get into it with someone who disagrees with you on healthcare.

      If things escalate as fast as they do on these posts we probably won’t have much of an online discussing in the following weeks until everyone gets out of the hospital.

  • avatar
    April S

    It’s been tough to keep count but has The Orange One complained about those Jeep Renegades imported from Melfi, Italy yet?

  • avatar
    mtmmo

    Don’t worry in due time you’ll start to adjust to your Trump Derangement Syndrome. As for your racist views that’s likely buried in your DNA.

    • 0 avatar
      sco

      see jimmy2x above

    • 0 avatar
      April S

      The only adjustment I’ve need to make is being extra careful where I go. Some of my LGBT brothers and sisters have already been assaulted by local yahoos embolden by Trump.

      Same goes for my State’s Legislature gunning for Trans folks with their so-called Bathroom Bills.

      2017 is going to be one tough year.

      • 0 avatar
        mtmmo

        Based on the way you’ve conducted yourself on these boards you probably should be extra careful as most Americans don’t like people who go around spewing anti-Semitic statements. It’s quite offensive. As far as the bathroom issues goes it’s only an issue for one very small community who happens to suffer from incredibly high rates of mental illness. When you have suicide rates >40% that’s a clear indication something is wrong and that no bathroom policy can fix. Thankfully distinguished John Hopkins psychiatrist Dr Paul McHugh is making some breakthroughs by treating trans folks as a mental illness. To date he’s been able to significantly decrease the number of suicides in both pre & post opp trans persons by treating the individual as having a severe mental illness. As a result 2017 is likely going to be a great year for them.

        • 0 avatar
          April S

          Your accusation that I am prejudice doesn’t mean much considering your denigration and devaluing Trans people as “mentally ill”. It is your prejudice that proves your charge against me to be spurious at best.

          BTW, since the 1970’s McHugh has proven time and time again his bias against LGBT people. He is the reason they are passing laws to ban so-called “reparative therapy”.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    Funny, I find them both to be correct.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    Funny, I find them both to be correct.

    1) Trump is right, BMW making cars in Mexico to sell in the U.S. is a German company taking advantage of NAFTA, i.e. dishonest.
    2) Trump is right, Merkel did open the floodgates by refusing to consider protecting Germany from migrants, now they’re ruined.

    3) Merkel is right, American cars aren’t good (in terms of design), and we should make better cars. (but that’s not a Trump problem, that’s a GM/Ford/Chrysler problem
    4) Merkel is right, America (not Trump) started the whole refugee crisis when we destroyed Libya and turned it into a disaster.

    They’re both right.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @jimmyy –
      1. Dishonest? Nope. Perfectly legal.
      2. Why does Germany need protection from immigrants? Please explain.
      3. US domestic badges have marginal appeal in Europe.
      4. Libya is just one more case of failed foreign policy. Dubya Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld’s hard on for Hussein was what caused most of the problems we see. They refused to believe their intelligence agencies so chose to interpret raw data ignoring experts. Wow. That sounds familiar.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    Besides Toyota and Ram, GM should be “warned” more than any automaker. Some 300,000 crew cab pickups a year “Hecho en Mexico” selling in the US for around $50,000 each? 35% is still well into the billions.

  • avatar
    vaujot

    As the article mentioned, BMW Group produces more than 400,000 cars per year in the US. Which is close to their US sales. Meanwhile, GM appears to be selling more vehicles in the US than they make there (14% more sold than produced, according to a German press article).
    Given that all BMW X3, X4, X5 and X6 are made in Spartanburg, they’re probably the biggest exporter of US-made cars to Germany right now (as mentioned above by stingray65).
    Seems that Trump has chosen the wrong German car manufacturer to pick on.

  • avatar
    ect

    Now, now, schmitt trigger, don’t judge too hastily. He gets intense competition from mtmmo….

  • avatar
    russification

    the only people who are going to have money left to buy cars are where governments have space on their balance sheets to widen out consumer borrowing. that would be the asia region. and before they have sucked all the water out of the ground to support non performing housing capacity expansion, they’ll need to painstakingly groom those taxpayers and borrowers to the finer qualities of stealing money with a generous upfront advance on their development. the game hasn’t gotten old yet, but they are sure cycling through at a faster clip.

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