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Archive for the ‘NAFTA’ Category

Tenneco Buys Federal-Mogul for $5.4 Billion

Company will split into two publicly traded entities next year.

by on Apr.11, 2018

Billionaire Carl Icahn sold Federal-Mogul to Tenneco Inc. for $5.4 billion.

Federal-Mogul, a century old supplier of automotive component with a storied past, is being sold to Tenneco Inc. as part of a deal valued at $5.4 billion.

In recent years, Federal-Mogul – owned by Wall Street financier Carl Icahn – has gone through multiple re-organizations but has maintained its core businesses of powertrain products aftermarket parts even as it struggled to pay its debts.

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Icahn Enterprises will get $800 million in cash and 29.5 million shares of Tenneco stock. Tenneco will assume Federal-Mogul’s debt. The Lake Forest, Illinois-based auto parts maker said Tuesday that it will split the company into two parts, both to be traded publicly. (more…)

All-New Lexus ES Bound for Beijing Motor Show

New model meant to "radically transform the concept of comfort for luxury consumers."

by on Apr.11, 2018

Lexus is pushing even further with the "spindle grille" design on the next ES sedan.

We’ve barely gotten past the New York Auto Show but halfway around the world, automakers are getting ready for the season’s next big event. That includes Lexus, which has dropped a partial teaser of what appears to be the next generation ES model.

While many folks think of the ES as a fairly base-level vehicle, Lexus clearly has more upscale ambitions for a model whose name, after all, is short for “Executive Sedan.” And while Toyota’s luxury brand isn’t saying much about what it will be showing in China, it appears buyers have something to look forward to.

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The new ES, Lexus hints, “aims to radically transform the concept of comfort for luxury consumers all over the world.” That may explain why the brand saved the new model for Beijing where luxury buyers have, indeed, become some of the world’s most demanding.

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Ford Unveils Five New Models for Chinese Market

Company makes big product push in world's largest market.

by on Apr.10, 2018

Ford officials show off the new Focus that is part of five new midsize cars the maker plans to debut in China.

The Chinese market is too large and too important for Ford Motor Co. to ignore so the company is planning to launch five new midsize models this year in a bid to boost its fortunes in the world’s biggest market.

The new models will go on later this year Ford representatives said this week after company unveiled them at an event in Chongqing, the base of its principal partner in China, Changan Ford.

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The unveiling also comes ahead of Auto China 2018 in Beijing, which has become one of the world’s most important auto shows. (more…)

Ford Offers a First Look of its Next-Generation “Global” Focus

U.S. model remains under wraps.

by on Apr.10, 2018

Ford shows off the European line-up of the next-gen Focus. We'll have to wait to see U.S. versions.

Ford is lifting the kimono to give us a first look at its next-generation “global” Focus line-up – but it says it won’t reveal the U.S.-specific model until shortly before it goes on sale later next year.

The next version of the compact model will be offered in a range of body styles and trim levels, while adding a variety of tech features, including the new Ford CoPilot360 driver assistance suite. Expect roomier and more comfortable interiors, the automaker says, while adding that the next-gen Focus will feature new gas and diesel engines, as well as a new suspension.

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“We’re evolving our successful One Ford strategy to find new ways to create a sporty-looking small car our customers will love,” said Jim Farley, president of Global Markets. “We’ll tailor which cars in the Focus line-up we offer in markets around the world to ensure we best meet customers’ different needs and preferences.”

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Mexico’s Auto Exports to US Rise 7.5 Percent in March

Nearly 70% of exports go to the U.S.

by on Apr.09, 2018

Mexico's top trade official Ildefonso Guajardo said recently he believed NAFTA talks could be done by May.

With the Trump Administration struggling to gain concessions in ongoing North American Free Trade Agreement talks and on the cusp of a trade war with China, the news that Mexico’s auto imports into the U.S. rose 7.5% may only serve to complicate matters.

One of the provisions Trump wanted in a revised NAFTA was fewer exports from Mexico into the U.S. President Trump was also heavily critical of automakers that built vehicles in Mexico and shipped them here, at one point threatening to tax them.

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The jump in exports comes despite a production drop of 10.9% in March compared with year-ago figures, auto industry group AMIA said.  (more…)

Ford Recalls 350,000 Trucks, SUVs and Mustangs

Automaker issues two recalls for transmission problems.

by on Apr.06, 2018

The 2018 Ford F-150 is subject to a recall due to a problem that results in the truck being in a different gear than the driver selected.

Ford announced it is recalling more than 350,000 F-Series trucks and Expeditions in the U.S., Canada and Mexico due to a potentially unseated transmission gear shift cable clip, which cause the vehicle to be in a different gear than is shown.

The action covers the 2018 F-150 pickup and Expedition large SUV with 10-speed automatic transmissions as well as 2018 F-650 and F-750 trucks with six-speed transmissions.

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The problem stems from a clip that locks the gear shift cable to the transmission that may not be fully seated. The partially seated clip or a clip that becomes dislodged may allow the transmission to be in a gear that is different from the gear shift position selected by the driver, the automaker says. (more…)

Daimler Remains Committed to Diesel Engine Use

Shareholders express concerns about continued investment.

by on Apr.05, 2018

Daimler AG's Dieter Zetsche attempted to assuage concerns of investors about the future of diesel engines.

Daimler AG management insists the diesel engine has bright future, but the company’s shareholders are growing more skeptical and are raising questions about whether they should remain part of the company’s product portfolio in the face of stringent, new emission standards.

Shareholders, mainly representatives of investment funds holding shares of Daimler AG, raised questions about whether, in the aftermath of the scandal around the cheating on the emissions tests used by Volkswagen, it was wise for Daimler and Mercedes-Benz to continue investing in diesel technology.

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The question, coming during a meeting in Germany from German shareholders, indicate how the fallout from the “Dieselgate” scandal continues to impact a technology that up until VW’s troubles emerged in 2015 was the pride of the German auto industry. (more…)

Daimler’s Zetsche Talks About Future With New Investor

Geely's Li Khufu is Daimler's largest investor, which may foster new deals.

by on Apr.05, 2018

Daimler AG's Dieter Zetsche discusses the company's future during its annual shareholders meeting.

Daimler AG continues to enjoy record success even as it spends heavily on new investments to prepare the company to meet future challenges in an auto industry that is changing quickly and dramatically even as it adjusts to new shareholders.

Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche also moved quickly at the beginning of the company’s annual shareholders meeting in Berlin to head off questions about the investment of Li Shufu, the Chinese entrepreneur who recently acquired approximately 10% of Daimler’s shares.

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“I’d like to start by saying our talks with Li Shufu have been very positive,” Zetsche said. “He wants to have a long-term investment with Daimler and he supports our successful strategy,” said Zetsche, adding that future collaboration with Li Shufu’s automotive empire, which includes Geely, the Chinese company he founded, and Volvo, is a possibility. (more…)

Trump Trade Disputes Put Automakers in Crosshairs

U.S. auto buyers could face substantially higher prices; industry profits could tumble.

by on Apr.04, 2018

President Donald Trump could be hearing rumbles from the auto industry over his trade policies.

Wall Street investors aren’t the only ones growing worried about Pres. Donald Trump’s increasingly aggressive actions on international trade. Finding themselves in the crosshairs of a potential trade war, automakers are also sounding the alarm.

“We are not in a trade war with China, that war was lost many years ago by the foolish, or incompetent, people who represented the U.S.,” the president tweeted this week, ahead of announcing $50 billion in tariffs on Chinese-made goods. The move quickly was mirrored by tariffs announced by China.

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The tit-for-tat trade battle could lead to serious problems for a number of industries, including aerospace, agriculture and chip manufacturers – as well as the auto industry. Carmakers are also fretting over the president’s increasingly confrontational tone over NAFTA, trade with Europe and new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.

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NAFTA on Ropes Again After Trump Tweets

President continues to threaten end of trade deal in tweets.

by on Apr.03, 2018

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, left, talks with Canada's Chrystia Freelander and Mexico's Ildefonso Guajardo, both right.

Even more than some relief on fuel-economy standards, carmakers have said over and over again they want to settle the issues around the North American Free Trade Agreement.

However, President Donald Trump threatened to discard the agreement in a series of Easter weekend tweets in which he accused Mexico of doing “very little” to stop the flow of people across the U.S. border. He also renewed his attack on U.S. immigration policies, including DACA, the program that would allow immigrants brought to the U.S. as children an opportunity to become U.S. citizens.

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Trump once again demanded the Mexico pay for the border wall that Republican led Congress declined of fund in full and threatened to target the North American Free Trade Agreement in retaliation for Mexico’s failure to stop migrants from Central America to the Southern of the United States. (more…)