President Trump Turns His Attention to Automakers

F150CNG_2451[5] II

In the first days of the new administration, it seems the auto industry is a big priority. On Monday, President Donald Trump met with more than a dozen CEOs (including those of Ford and Tesla) to promote U.S. manufacturing and jobs, then Tuesday he met with the CEOs of Ford, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and GM to discuss the loosening of environmental regulations to help increase U.S. vehicle production.

This focus lines up with Trump's campaign rhetoric in which he repeatedly mentioned automakers, separately criticizing Ford and GM for their plans to build plants in Mexico. Our friends at Cars.com have a breakdown of the new president's plans and actions, which will be updated as more news breaks.

What does this mean for pickup trucks? The view forward is unclear but there are quite a few pickup trucks currently manufactured in Mexico; those include various models of Ram 1500 and Ram HD, and the GMC Sierra 1500 and Chevrolet Silverado 1500 crew cabs. Toyota is also set to expand their Tacoma production facility in Tijuana sometime in late 2017 or early 2018. 

And for those wondering about the officially announced 2019 Ford Ranger, it will be built in Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant, in Wayne, Michigan.

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Comments

This is great news!!

This is not good news at all...

Great news. Get rid of cafe.

Well this is interesting.

It means a lot more HP/MPG/reliability is coming if its true but also more pollution.

If you are Ford its bad news having actually invested real hard earned and not government/welfare, cant hack it money into the tech to make advanced engines and the aluminum body that were to help meet future CAFE while increasing capabilities and about to invest in midsized trucks.

If you are GM its great news for the fullsize line since they have been lagging in engine development and displacement replacement, and just about everything overall. This could hurt the midsized market and GM has invested heavily in that but bailouts are always available.

If you are Fiat its a mixed bag since you have been straddling the fence with pentastar, ecodiesel and no Dakota...

Environmental regulations on the factories, not the vehicles them selves.

As for the Ford turbo charged engines, or not the cleanest running.
They could use a little work.

Well when they make this new Ranger, hopefully they make it very similar to what the new Colorado is.

The Tacoma, the Frontier and the Honda all barely offer any bed space. 5 foot bed? Some barely have a 6.

If I was to buy mid-size truck I would by no less than six foot bed.

@ TRX-4,

You really do not know the mid-size segment!

I have two Tacoma's both with 6 foot beds, and I see plenty of them around!

President should first focus on GM, Ford and FCA, the three largest auto importers into the U.S. from Canada and Mexico!

GM imported 1,236,000 last year from just Canada and Mexico!

FCA imported 895,000 from the same two nations!

Ford imported 941,000!

Toyota at 815,000!

Nissan at 895,000!

Honda at 669,000!

This site is censoring the word: T r u m p...

@Clint

Get real! CAFE?

CAFE is nothing more than a load of regulations worshiping the idea of the world somehow running out of oil. It's as big a part of the early 1970s as Leisure Suits and bell bottoms.

CAFE is the wrong idea, but we've been forced to observe it for the sake of a bunch of hippy college professors and government bureaucrats for decades at huge expense.

Ten years ago Ford executives started using the language of GREEN. Eco Boost. Yikes. Nobody forced them to do it. Their leadership could have put up a good fight but instead they caved in.

CAFE is toast.

Actually ford took a large 5.9b dollar next to zero interest loan from the government to bail them out but it came on the terms the ford would build more fuel efficient vehicles that the government wanted... so yes they were forced.

I do know the EPA makes it prohibited to work with Carbon Fiber here in the states. A friend has been going to Taiwan while engineering the hood and other parts for the Cadillac cars.Talk about added cost

Try to find Carbon bicycle wheels made in the US, mine are from China..

I do know the EPA makes it prohibited to work with Carbon Fiber here in the states. A friend has been going to Taiwan while engineering the hood and other parts for the Cadillac cars.Talk about added cost

Try to find Carbon bicycle wheels made in the US, mine are from China..

Dave and Ram blows....exactly...costs are too high in the US...labor. Look at the other countries where the US has moved to ....labor is cheaper...profits are then greater....return this labor back to the US...profits will be less but u will see a rise in prices to cover it.

@Oxi: I know the midsize segment very well, thank you. Most dealerships barely carry a 6 foot bed DOUBLE CAB. I don't want just a two-seater Access Cab.

@Joe Smith

Let's try this again.

It isn't the hourly wage that hurts, it's the cost of benefits and pensions. US carmakers have a benefits monkey on their backs.

American workers are the envy of every other country on earth but our regulations and horrible collective bargaining agreements hurt the automakers and the workers.

HAHAHA! I love it ford blew billions of dollars on beer can bodies and v6's that don't really do anything better (sometimes worse) then everyone else's current v8 in MPG and performance. All for nothing HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

@Joe Smith- Agreed. I would happily take much less than $55 an hour to do unskilled, menial work. Hell they could build a plant in my po-dunk town and pay $18 an hour and I would quit where I work now in a heartbeat.

Here Kitty Kitty,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PfS5BUC84Y

@ TRX-4 Tom,

THEN ORDER ONE! Geesh!

Ahh but wait, in Canada we are not sticking our head in the sand, we don't say global warming is a hoax because the reality is science has no other motive than to discover facts. So if CAFE regulations get nixed in the US, Canada will maintain sanity and follow through on our equivalent to CAFE. If population numbers translate to pick up purchases than we purchase 10% of pick ups compared to the pick ups the USA purchases. But we will need to purchase those from countries that will produce better environmental pick ups. Canada does not make pick ups as far as I'm aware. So do you think any of the major pick up builders can afford a 10% loss of sales plus the increased cost of building them only in the US? Be careful what you wish for, you may not be able to afford it. 8 years from now you may be driving only old trucks or if you are lucky maybe for only 4 years.

@Joe Smith

Try reading your comments before you hit the POST button. Sure, we all make mistakes but your last post that called out my clearly stated comment was almost entirely unreadable.

I might even agree with you if I could begin to understand what the bleep you're trying to say. Were you drunk?

For your benefit alone, all I'm saying is that UAW and other autoworkers would be better off with public health benefits, lower union dues, a smaller union hierarchy, and a pension plan that doesn't bust the auto industry.

The biggest problem GM, Ford and Chrysler had during the 1990s and since is the huge pension overhead, which is still a huge challenge for the automakers to bear.

America needs a new approach to paying top industry talent on the shop floor and an elimination of the Chicken Tax.

Battle of the imports, Italy verses England
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEkZPiamlUg

@Oxi: why would I want the most expensive midsize truck, and with the double cab & 6 foot bed and 4x4 might have ( if I'm lucky ) a payload over 1100 pounds?

Pretty sure it's a real narrow truck compared to a Colorado.

I would get almost 300 pounds more payload with a Colorado, and leaf springs that are better designed.

And I could actually get a little bit more gas mileage too, with a Colorado.

But the only good thing about a Tacoma, they still have a manual transmission.

Geesh!

prices will go up on vehicles to pay for the union workers in the states that always want more money, better benefits and less work hours, which is the one of the big reasons they do go to Mexico. Trucks are already too dam expensive...

@TRX4--Bed sizes for the 2017 Colorado are 61.2" to 74.4" with 61.2" as the standard bed size and 74.4" being an option on only the crew cab. Colorado offers a 6 speed manual only in the Base and WT trims with a 4 cylinder extended cab. Toyota offers a 6 speed manual only with the V-6 and not with the I-4 Atkinson cycle. Honda offers only automatic and Frontier offers a 5 speed manual with the I-4 with a 4 x 2 King Cab and 6 speed manual with a 4 x 2 crew cab for 2017. Prior to 2017 you could get a 4 x 4 Frontier with a manual. Tacoma, Frontier, and Colorado/Canyon for the most part come standard with a 5 foot bed and the 6 foot bed as an option on extended cabs. All the compact and midsize trucks years ago had 8 foot beds as well and Pre-Tacomas you could get a 1 ton Hilux. Most dealers will have 5 feet beds available but the 6 foot bed is for the most part a factory order.

As for bringing back more jobs to the US, 20% Tariffs on Mexican imports might do the opposite. More manufacturers are using robots which eventually will make the cost of labor less important. Higher tariffs on imported vehicles might make manufacturers produce more vehicles in the USA but these manufacturers will have more incentive to use more robots to lower costs which would lead to less jobs but more jobs with the specialized skills to operate and maintain these robots. This might be a case to be careful what you wish for.

@Jeff S

robots?

Automation is the future Jeff. Robots don't operate in a vacuum, though. You need technicians to make the robots work. You don't just go to Walmart and buy a robot either.

As the automation improves there will be fewer jobs for the unskilled.

@papa jim--Either you are looking for an argument or you have poor reading comprehension. My exact words "Higher tariffs on imported vehicles might make manufacturers produce more vehicles in the USA but these manufacturers will have more incentive to use more robots to lower costs which would lead to less jobs but more jobs with the specialized skills to operate and maintain these robots. " Notice papa I said that robots would require specialized skill to operate and maintain. I was not talking about robots operating and maintaining robots. The problem is that the more robots that are used the more demand there will be for the specialized training and experience to maintain and operate these robots. There are fewer workers with these skills. More lower skilled workers will be displaced by robots but the demand for higher skilled workers will increase but the net effect will be the loss of more jobs. Where did I state that robots can be bought at Walmart? Where did I state that robots operate in a vacuum? You are looking for an argument where none exists.

More manufacturers are using robots which eventually will make the cost of labor less important.

@Jeff S

Medication. Seriously Jeff!

You take offense at everything I mention lately. I did not take exception to anything you said, but perhaps I should have made reference to your silly comment about the "cost of labor less important."

In a manufacturing business the cost of labor is reflected in every single piece you make. The more pieces, the more it hurts. Labor costs are always and everywhere important.

Less labor needed reduces the amount spent on labor and makes the cost of labor less. The cost of labor is not eliminated but if the number of workers is significantly reduced then labor becomes less significant of a factor as to where to locate a plant. Other factors such as transportation costs, cost and availability of energy, proximity to transportation and infrastructure, proximity to a market, the amount of regulation, and tax incentives to locate a plant in a particular area. If manufacturers are forced to produce only in the USA they will have more incentive to automate sooner.

@papa jim--So are you saying that the less labor used the higher the total cost of labor. The UAW is the union that represents auto workers for Ford, GM, and FICA. Labor cost is always factored into the cost of a product but a reduction of actual labor should decrease the overall labor cost otherwise why automate? I think you have a problem grasping that concept or else you are being argumentative. The reason I brought up rising transportation costs is that is a large cost as well. Maybe you need to read responses carefully before you just respond. I did not say that labor costs are not important, I said labor costs are less of a determining factor in where to manufacturer as manufacturers use more automation. Unless the robots go on strike and demand UAW representation then reduction of labor force reduces labor cost unless the CEO is compensated more for the cost of the labor lost to automation and the overall cost savings of automation. A manufacturer will depreciate robots over a period of time as they do with any plant and equipment costs whereas labor is an expense that is realized when it occurs. Please explain further how the reduction of labor will increase labor costs.

Less labor needed reduces the amount spent on labor and makes the cost of labor less.

@Jeff S

Seriously?



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