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.”
Offering consumers similar towing power to their competitors’ large-size trucks, GMC released their latest midsize truck as an attractive alternative.
Truck buyers will see the 2015 Canyon go on sale in the third quarter of 2014 together with
a Chevrolet variety called the Colorado. Both models will have a maximum towing power of 6,700 pounds (3,039 kilograms), the highest in its class. General Motors is unveiling their new trucks one day before the North American International Auto Show which is opening on Monday, January 13, in Detroit.
The Canyon enlarges the number of GM truck choices to be the largest number of pickups by any other US-based company. GM already has a heavy-duty truck on their line-up; the new models are meant to compete with Toyota’s Tacoma, a large truck. GM has not yet released the price of their new models, but in general full-size trucks are priced about 46% higher than their midsize counterparts.
“Not everyone needs full-size capability, but they also deserve strength and true truck attributes that come in larger models,” Tony DiSalle, vice president of GMC marketing, said. “The Canyon will offer all the capability with confidence and GMC’s signature refinement that complements active lifestyles.”
Last Sunday night Kia, the Korean car company, introduced its fifth in a series of videos featuring a trio of happy hamsters tooling around in Kia cars. This particular video shows us the loveable, if overweight hamsters (well, they are not overweight for hamsters, unless you think a hamster 6 feet tall and weighing in at about 250 pounds is overweight-but for hamsters they look just fine) getting into shape for an upcoming premiere. Take a look below and decide if you think a hamster should be as thin as these get by the end of their exercise regime.
The real question here is not if you think the rodents over do the workout, but if Kia is spending its advertising budget prudently. The data shows the answer to this question is a resounding yes. Sales have doubled during the past five years since Kia launched its furry creatures into the marketplace to sell their cars. And, as it turns out, for not that much money, really.
Let’s do some comparisons with other car makers and their ad budgets. Kia spent $4.3 billion in the past five years, or about 2.6 percent of revenue. Sounds like a lot of money, right? Wrong. General Motors spent, $24.2 billion, 3.5 percent of revenue, and Ford Motor coughed up $19.9 billion, about 3 percent of revenue. And honestly, which ads will you remember, the traditional Ford ads with cars whizzing through beautiful, but boring landscapes, or three giant hamsters under hairdryers clinching their ‘dos.
Due to on-going tensions between North and South Korea, CEO of GM Dan Akerson said last month that the US-based car manufacturer is considering moving output away from this important production center.
Last week Akerson addressed a meeting with GM Korea’s union leader in Detroit, saying GM is not planning on leaving Korea, but will need to discuss his labor problems with South Korea’s president Park Geun-hye when she visits the US this week.
“We are upset by his remarks. We did not go all the way to the U.S. to hear that,” Choi Jong-hak, Korea’s union leader said.
Choi added that Akerson’s original statements on the possibility of a change in venue for GM’s facilities was an empty threat meant to calm down the union before talks commence on a possible restructuring of production systems.
“GM cannot withdraw from South Korea. We have technology to make good cars and our wages are only about one third of those in the United States and Europe,” Choi remarked.
Americans are beginning to wake up to the new financial reality and starting to adjust their lifestyles. We can see this in the new American automotive trend towards compact cars. In results from consumer surveys, more people are planning to buy compacts within the next 6 months. General Motors, Hyundai, Toyota, and Ford are all adding overtime shifts to their compact car productions lines.
Scott Fink, the president of the New Port Richey Hyundai dealership near Tampa Florida said, “As the Elantras come in, 9 out of 10 of them are pre-sold.” According to Fink, customers who are buying compact cars are trying to lower their debts and to improve their cash flow.
The price of a new compact starts at $16,500 and they can get between 30-40 miles per gallon. The best selling cars are the Chevrolet Cruze, the Toyota Corolla and the Hyundai Elantra.
Genral Motors Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Joel Ewanick said that “the buyers are completely different than the ones we have seen before.” They are more interested in economy. GM has sold 147,620 compacts from January to the end of July. Toyota has sold 154,324 Corolla’s in the same 7 months.
In May, Chevrolet four cylinder cars including Malibu, Equinox and Cruze comprised over half (fifty one percent) of all Chevrolet retail sales. This is a raise of thirty six percent over last year’s May compact car retail sales.
The recession is here to stay for at least a few years and money-wise people are starting to be more conservative with their budgets, in order to keep solvent in these financially tough times.