Category Archives: Automobile Industry

GM Say Tariffs are Bad for Business and Bad for People

General Motors explained to the US Commerce Department that broad tariffs such as the

Fábrica de General Motors en Rosario. Photo courtesy Baglieto.

kind the Trump administration is threatening to impose, could “lead to a smaller GM, a reduced presence at home and abroad for this iconic American Company, and risk is less-not more- U.S. jobs.” GM is the country’s largest automaker.

Back in May the Trump administration started an investigation to see if imported vehicles are a threat to U.S. national security. President Trump as many times stated that he would be happy to place a 20 percent import tariff on vehicles.

GM produces some of its cars overseas now for the U.S. market, including in Canada and Mexico. GM warned that tariffs could dampen sales and raise prices. Even if the company decided not to pass on their higher costs to consumers, this “could still lead to less investment, fewer jobs and lower wages for our employees. The carry-on effect of less investment and a smaller workforce could delay breakthrough technologies,” GM said.

The company employees about 110,000 people throughout the United States in 47 manufacturing plants. It purchases tens of billions of dollars’ worth of car parts from US suppliers annually. They have invested more than $22 billion in US manufacturing infrastructure since 2009.

The overbroad and steep application of import tariffs on our trading partners risks isolating U.S. businesses like GM from the global market that helps to preserve and grow our strength here at home,” GM said.

Also filing comments in opposition to the Tariffs was Toyota Motor Corp. They said that tariffs would, “threaten U.S. manufacturing, jobs, exports, and economic prosperity.”

VW Sales Rise Despite Emissions Scandal

As the Volkswagen emissions scandal deepens the seemingly embattled car company still posts increased car sales.

This past week US regulators announced that 800,000 additional VW cars have been found to have concealed their true emissions data through the use of tampered devices. Yet October sales figures are up by 0.24 percent over October last year for the same time period, with 30,387 additional cars sold.

Volkswagen thanked their customers for “their patience and loyalty.”

“Volkswagen is committed to making things right and actively working to restore trust,” said Mark McNabb, Volkswagen America’s CEO.

2009–2011 Volkswagen Golf (5K) 118TSI Comfortline 5-door hatchback
2009–2011 Volkswagen Golf (5K) 118TSI Comfortline 5-door hatchback

VW Jettas and Beetles suffered the most this year with sales falling by 41.5 percent and 34.1 percent respectively. VW’s Golf line however had 40.2 percent increased sales compared to October last year.

The German-based car company sacked the CEO who was aware of the deception, hired a new CEO, and apologized to its customers. The new report from the environmental regulators seemed to say that VW used the emission-concealing software many more times than was previously known.

“It’s the intentional deceit that bothers consumers and Volkswagen hasn’t laid out its plan for how it is going to fix this. They need to lay out a plan before they can begin to turn the corner,” said Michelle Krebs senior analyst for AutoTrader.com.

Ford Moving Small Car Assembly Off-Shore

Underscoring the difficulty US automakers have making fuel-efficient cars stateside, Ford Motor Co, announced it will be moving its Focus compact cars and C-Max hybrids out of its Michigan Assembly Plant near Detroit. The move is scheduled for 2018.

The announcement has placed worry about the long-term viability of what is one of Ford’s largest US manufacturing plants. It also casts a pall over a meeting, scheduled for just a few days from now, between Ford executives and heads of the United Auto Workers Union to forge a new labor agreement. It is expected that the UAW will ask for higher wages and keeping the status quo on healthcare. Ford has proposed cuts in healthcare benefits to trim expenses.

The company did not announce where production of the Focus and C-Max will move to. Mexico is a possibility since less than three months ago Ford said it was planning to spend $2.5 billion on transmission and engine plants in Mexico. The company also has assembly plants in Mexico which build midsize Fusion sedans and small Fiestas.

Kristina Adamski, spokeswoman for Ford, said that all decisions Ford makes is based on the necessity to keep the company competitive.

“We actively are pursuing future vehicle alternatives to produce at Michigan Assembly and will discuss this issue with United Auto Workers leadership as part of the upcoming negotiations,” she said.

Sonnenfeld of EMBraer Paper Goods: Inspiration from Elio Motors and Others

Vice President of Sales at EMBraer Paper Goods, Beth Sonnenfeld, would like to see her paper goods company become more visionary, trying to achieve great things, like those envisioned by Elio Motors.

Thinking big is one of the qualities Paul Elio is known for, and which inspires Sonnenfeld. Elio has said that: “After five years of sales, we can reduce total US gas consumption by nearly half a percent.” He knows that in order to achieve this kind of gas savings he will need to produce a quarter of a million cars each year, and admits that this is “a big number.” Yet he is not deterred.

Sonnenfeld is thinking big as well, for the sake of EMBraer Paper Goods and the environment too. She is striving to bring her company to the cutting edge of recycling and reuse of paper goods in her industry. She stresses that already a large percentage of the products they sell are made from recycled materials, and every year they are adding to that number. EMBraer Paper Goods, according to Sonnenfeld, is also looking to encourage the after-use product to return to their factory. They are anticipating the launching of a plan to offer reimbursements for the return of the used paper goods after. EMBraer Paper Goods hopes to one day supply large bags to place the used paper goods to be returned to the company for a deposit refund. Sonnenfeld hopes this will encourage recycling, and attract customers who care about the environment but still want to benefit from the convenience of paper goods.

Elio Motors, Paul Elio, and Beth Sonnenfeld, EMBraer Paper Goods, are changing the world by thinking big.

 

China Car Company Opening Head Office in Texas

 

All-Terrain Vehicle Maker Hisun Moving Headquarters to Texas
All-Terrain Vehicle Maker Hisun Moving Headquarters to Texas

Hisun Motors Corporation, China-based manufacturer of utility-terrain and all-terrain vehicles, announced it will be opening a new North American headquarters in McKinney, Texas. It is expected that eventually 80 corporate workers will be employed there.

Hisun plans to move into the building recently acquired by the McKinney Economic Development Corporation from Emerson Process Management Regulator Technologies.  Emerson moved its regional headquarters in September to a $25 million facility also in McKinney.

Mayor of McKinney, Brian Loughmiller said that the city has had several economic wins which is a result of the city’s efforts to recruit international business.

Jim Wehmeier, president and CEO of the McKinney Economic Development Corporation, said that Hisun will fit perfectly into the McKinney business culture.

“They are a rapidly growing international company that is well respected both in the United States and abroad and we look forward to a long and successful business relationship with them,” Wehmeier said, in a written statement. “McKinney will continue to look for more opportunities to grow and support Hisun as economic development is a central component to our city’s strategic plan.”