Sergio CONFIRMED as Trump's 'Favorite' Auto Exec, Hackett and Barra DESTROYED
Ten automotive executives met with President Donald Trump this week, hoping to find ways to increase domestic production and mitigate the coming changes to corporate fuel economy regulations. The meeting, held in the White House’s Roosevelt Room, included General Motors’ Mary Barra, Ford’s Jim Hackett and Fiat Chrysler’s Sergio Marchionne. While a large portion of the event was spent discussing the administration’s attempt to roll back established fuel economy rules, Trump was focused on returning manufacturing jobs to the United States.
The president noted that FCA’s decision to spend $1 billion in order to expand truck assembly in Michigan made Marchionne more appealing than his contemporaries. “Right now, he is my favorite person in the room,” Trump said.
Presumably, Barra and Hackett were only slightly injured by the president’s endorsement. Sergio is probably a lot of people’s favorite, and his Italian swagger and charming candidness are totally undeniable. Think about which of those three you’d want to talk about cars with over drinks if you have any doubts.
However, Trump’s praise wasn’t the result of Marchionne being a far cooler customer than his square peers. It was because FCA is taking truck production out of Mexico and putting it back into the U.S. Earlier this year, Fiat Chrysler announced it would invest over $1 billion to update and expand the company’s Warren Truck Plant in Michigan. Expected to create around 2,500 American jobs, the deal would move heavy duty Ram production out of Mexico by 2020.
The facility will also build the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, with Ram 1500 production shifting fully to Sterling Heights. Jeep assembly stands to see investment, with cash going toward production of the new Jeep Wrangler pickup in Toledo, Ohio. The decision has made Sergio fairly popular in the Midwest.
Following FCA’s January investment announcement, Macomb County executive Mark Hackel said the area was “extremely grateful for FCA and Sergio making that commitment … I can’t wait to give him a big hug at the auto show.”
Mexico’s Saltillo truck assembly plant will soon be repurposed to produce vehicles for global markets. Quoted by Reuters, Marchionne reiterated that plan before his meeting with the president. “I think we have to redirect the Mexican production to a global market,” he said. “I think there are things we can do but it’s part of a longer-term plan.”
Sergio also said he agreed with the White House’s efforts to revise vehicle fuel-efficiency rules to account for the growing popularity of larger vehicles. He hoped for an “agreed way forward” on the matter, likely referencing the issue with California, and claimed to support most of the U.S. proposals for automotive rules under the North American Free Trade Agreement.
NAFTA wasn’t the primary topic of the meeting, however — fuel was. The general agreement among automakers, according to the Detroit Free Press, was that they were in favor of softer fueling standards. However, nobody seemed interested in fighting with California and allied states who want to maintain Obama-era standards. Carmakers said they would prefer a cohesive national standard, if possible.
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- Max So GM will be making TESLAS in the future. YEA They really shouldn’t be taking cues from Elon musk. Tesla is just about to be over.
- Malcolm It's not that commenters attack Tesla, musk has brought it on the company. The delivery of the first semi was half loaded in 70 degree weather hauling potato chips for frito lay. No company underutilizes their loads like this. Musk shouted at the world "look at us". Freightliners e-cascads has been delivering loads for 6-8 months before Tesla delivered one semi. What commenters are asking "What's the actual usable range when in say Leadville when its blowing snow and -20F outside with a full trailer?
- Funky D I despise Google for a whole host of reasons. So why on earth would I willing spend a large amount of $ on a car that will force Google spyware on me.The only connectivity to the world I will put up with is through my phone, which at least gives me the option of turning it off or disconnecting it from the car should I choose to.No CarPlay, no sale.
- William I think it's important to understand the factors that made GM as big as it once was and would like to be today. Let's roll back to 1965, or even before that. GM was the biggest of the Big Three. It's main competition was Ford and Chrysler, as well as it's own 5 brands competing with themselves. The import competition was all but non existent. Volkswagen was the most popular imported cars at the time. So GM had its successful 5 brands, and very little competition compared to today's market. GM was big, huge in fact. It was diversified into many other lines of business, from trains to information data processing (EDS). Again GM was huge. But being huge didn't make it better. There are many examples of GM not building the best cars they could, it's no surprise that they were building cars to maximize their profits, not to be the best built cars on the road, the closest brand to achieve that status was Cadillac. Anyone who owned a Cadillac knew it could have been a much higher level of quality than it was. It had a higher level of engineering and design features compared to it's competition. But as my Godfather used to say "how good is good?" Being as good as your competitors, isn't being as good as you could be. So, today GM does not hold 50% of the automotive market as it once did, and because of a multitude of reasons it never will again. No matter how much it improves it's quality, market value and dealer network, based on competition alone it can't have a 50% market share again. It has only 3 of its original 5 brands, and there are too many strong competitors taking pieces of the market share. So that says it's playing in a different game, therfore there's a whole new normal to use as a baseline than before. GM has to continue downsizing to fit into today's market. It can still be big, but in a different game and scale. The new normal will never be the same scale it once was as compared to the now "worlds" automotive industry. Just like how the US railroad industry had to reinvent its self to meet the changing transportation industry, and IBM has had to reinvent its self to play in the ever changing Information Technology industry it finds it's self in. IBM was once the industry leader, now it has to scale it's self down to remain in the industry it created. GM is in the same place that the railroads, IBM and other big companies like AT&T and Standard Oil have found themselves in. It seems like being the industry leader is always followed by having to reinvent it's self to just remain viable. It's part of the business cycle. GM, it's time you accept your fate, not dead, but not huge either.
- Tassos The Euro spec Taurus is the US spec Ford FUSION.Very few buyers care to see it here. FOrd has stopped making the Fusion long agoWake us when you have some interesting news to report.
Yesterday: TTAC readers hate Sergio. "Can't get anyone to buy his failed car company, makes crap products, stupid furriner, yadda yadda yadda." Beat. TTAC reports that Trump says he likes Sergio. Today: TTAC readers love Sergio. "Smartest guy in the auto business, great product line, would have a beer with him, MAGA." Ridiculous.