Editorial: This Isn’t The Time For Biden’s ‘Buy American’
Two weeks ago, President Joe Biden announced during the State of the Union that federal infrastructure projects will, going forward, be required to use all American-made construction materials. Applause resounded throughout the divided chamber.
And why not? Nobody ever wins an election - especially when it’s not an election year - by promising to buy more foreign-made goods.
Opinion: Political Stunts Remain as Tiresome as Ever
Earlier this week, we covered legislation introduced in Wyoming that would ban the sale of EVs in that state.
BMW Boss Claims American Politics Won’t Change EV Strategy
Last week, BMW Group CEO Oliver Zipse reportedly claimed that political agendas would not influence its electrification plans. Though the entire discussion was prompted by exactly that, forcing the automaker to address supply chain logistics that likely prohibited it from qualifying for the United States' rejiggered EV subsidy scheme.
FIA Bans F1 Drivers From Making Political Statements
The FIA is reportedly putting an end to any independently-led political activism within Formula 1 and any other motorsport it currently oversees. While this could be a blessing to those tired of witnessing the likes of Sir Lewis Carl Davidson Hamilton constantly pushing environmental issues before his multi-million dollar F1 car is loaded onto the sixth cargo plane of the season, it seems likely that organizers will still allow the kind of activism that they’re in broad alignment with.
QOTD: What Automotive-Related Policy Would You Like the Next Congress to Pursue?
The midterm elections were yesterday, and I'm thinking about politics. You probably are, too.
Remember That Boris Johnson Was Once a Car Reviewer
One of the bigger pieces of geopolitical news this week involves Boris Johnson. The U.K. prime minister is stepping down.
Crypto Meme Not Yet Confirmed as NASCAR Sponsor
NASCAR driver Brandon Brown — he of the “Let’s Go Brandon” fame — has secured sponsorship from cryptocurrency meme coin LGB.coin.io for his 2022 Xfinity Series ride.
However, there’s one problem — NASCAR has yet to approve it.
Opinion: Toyota's Political Giving Encourages the Big Lie
A report from Axios shows that Toyota has given $55,000 to 37 Republican politicians who objected to the certification of Joe Biden’s election as president of the United States.
That’s about a quarter of the number of GOP pols who voted against certifying Biden’s win.
Rare Rides: The 2012 Maybach 57 S Coupe by Xenatec, as Ordered by Muammar Gaddafi
Today’s Rare Ride is a custom-built version of an already-exclusive car. Originally a large sedan, Xenatec’s 57 S coupe was built only in the single digits.
And this particular example was ordered by a dictator.
Pardon Me, Did I Do Something Wrong?
Among those receiving a Presidential pardon included Anthony Levandowski and Elliott Broidy. Trump’s largesse was noted in a story on Autoblog that appeared earlier today.
Automotive Politics: A Tale of Two Industries?
Politics have corrupted just about everything under the sun over the last few years. Practically everything is political in 2020 and if you have an opinion about that, it had better be the correct one and sanctioned by your preferred party. After all, having an approved take is far more important that an accurate one. But what of the automotive industry? Where do the carmakers fall on the supposedly important spectrum?
Well, we know that the UAW predictably endorsed Joe Biden for president way back in spring. But those heading the companies distributing union members’ paychecks quite literally came to Donald Trump in 2017 to ask that he take it easy on them. Obama-era regulations had made efficiency mandates so strict, that automakers had become convinced they’d be unable to meet them in the years ahead. While Trump’s relationship with the industry often runs hot and cold, he pushed for a fueling rollback that placed federal authorities at odds with California and kicked off a regulatory conflict of epic proportions.
Assuming Biden wins the election, those stringent emissions mandates will undoubtedly come back into play — surrounded on all sides by his climate and environmental justice proposal, which makes a federal investment of $1.7 trillion over the next 10 years. While automotive exclusives are hesitant to share their regulatory fears with the general public, especially as they attempt to put on the greenest face possible for marketing purposes, there are real concerns that the U.S. could embrace policies similar to Europe. That could force a change of course for a few companies and complicate the overall trajectory for the U.S. market.
Rare Rides: The 1971 Tatra 2-603 II, East Germany's Stasi Transport
Today’s Rare Ride has a checkered history, as it served as quiet shuttle for secret police and terrorist spies alike. Let’s find out more about this rear-engine Czechoslovakian V8 luxury car.
Everyone Who's Not a Shareholder Is Reportedly Angry Over GM's Decision to Slash Jobs
The big news this week is General Motors’ decision to cull its lineup, closing plants and sacking about 15 percent of its North American workforce in the process. According to Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra, GM’s official reasons for doing so are all part of its grand plan to transition to a company focused on electric vehicles and self-driving cars.
While we harbor a vague suspicion that the automaker is actually trying to prepare itself for an incoming economic downturn, leaving itself with plenty of financial wiggle room, GM currently enjoys relatively healthy profits (thank you, truck sales) and a lofty share price. In fact, GM shares rose nearly 5 percent after it announced the shuttering of several plants in the U.S. and Canada, cutting as many as 14,800 jobs.
Unfortunately, GM’s investors seem to be the only group that’s pleased with the decision. Everyone else appears to be absolutely furious.
Daimler's Works Council Claims Company Is Being 'Infiltrated by Nazis'
On Wednesday, Daimler’s German workers union publicly expressed concerns that neo-Nazis are trying to organize within the automaker’s ranks. While it did not specify which political groups were involved, it named several individuals from the Untertürkheim Mercedes-Benz plant in southern Germany and described the overall situation as “not acceptable.”
The works council believes Nazis are currently using Zentrum Automobil, an alternative labor union formed in 2009, as a base of operations to infiltrate the factory and placed several of its members on its board. “The Untertürkheim plant now appears in the media as a reservoir for neo-Nazis and a center of right-wing extremist activities,” explained members opposing the supposed infiltration.
That’s not great publicity for a German automaker with a rich history dating back through the Second World War. However, if the last year has taught us anything, it’s that the term “Nazi” currently gets thrown around more than a frisbee at a picnic. Are the claims valid?