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Japanese Surge Reveals Broader Jump in Auto Imports

Rising numbers from Japan, Mexico, Korea, China challenge Trump 

by on Apr.20, 2018

Demand for the latest version of Nissan's Rogue has contributed to an increase in imports from Japan.

When Toyota and Mazda open a new assembly plant in Alabama in 2021, it will become the latest in a growing array of automotive plants Japanese manufacturers have set up in the U.S. since the mid-1980s – yet despite investing billions in their American operations, Japanese manufacturers have also been increasing exports to the U.S. from their home market factories.

The number of Japanese-made vehicles imported into the U.S. rose almost 10% during the first quarter of 2018. And Japan wasn’t alone.  Auto imports, as a whole have actually been on the rise, whether from Korea, Europe or Mexico, the latter country shipping about 7.5% more vehicles to the U.S. in March than the year before – despite Pres. Donald Trump’s high-profile push to bring more auto production back to the States.

Trade News!

“Japan sends us million and millions of cars, and we tax them virtually not at all. And we don’t send so much product because we have trade barriers and lots of other things,” the president complained during a news conference this week while standing alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

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FCA Investing $1b, as Ram HD Pickup Moved From Mexico to Michigan

Move to create 2,500 new jobs.

by on Jan.12, 2018

Like its competitors, FCA has been pushing rapidly up-market with its pickups, the 2018 Ram 2500 Tungsten model shown here.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles plans to invest $1 billion in a suburban Detroit assembly plant that will take over production of the Ram heavy-duty pickup in 2020. The truck currently is assembled in a Mexican factory that will be “repurposed” for another global product, FCA said.

The shift to the Warren Truck Assembly Plant will result in the creation of 2,500 new U.S. jobs, according to FCA. Separately, the Euro-American automaker announced plans to pay $2,000 bonuses to 60,000 U.S. hourly and salaried employees this coming spring.

Industry News!

“These announcements reflect our ongoing commitment to our U.S. manufacturing footprint and the dedicated employees who have contributed to FCA’s success,” said FCA Chief Executive Office Sergio Marchionne. “It is only proper that our employees share in the savings generated by tax reform and that we openly acknowledge the resulting improvement in the U.S. business environment by investing in our industrial footprint accordingly.”

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GM Investing $1b in US Plants, Adding or Saving 7,000 Jobs

Plan in the works before election, maker emphasizes.

by on Jan.17, 2017

GM has already invested $21 bil in its U.S. plants since 2010, adding 6,000 manufacturing jobs.

General Motors has confirmed widespread reports on Tuesday that it would invest another $1 billion in its U.S. manufacturing operations, but significantly increased the number of American jobs it plans to add.

The factory project will result in the creation or retention of 1,500 jobs, while another 450 jobs will be returned to the U.S. as GM transfers back production of axles from a plant in Mexico. In addition, the automaker will add 5,000 more jobs in finance and advanced technology “over the next few years,” it said in a Tuesday morning announcement.

Breaking News!

“As the U.S. manufacturing base increases its competitiveness, we are able to further increase our investment, resulting in more jobs for America and better results for our owners,”  said GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. “The U.S. is our home market and we are committed to growth that is good for our employees, dealers, and suppliers and supports our continued effort to drive shareholder value.”

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GM Investing $1b in U.S. Plants – Stresses Move Not Driven by Trump

New move to add or retain 1,000 jobs.

by on Jan.17, 2017

CEO Mary Barra said last week that GM will not alter investments to please the new president.

General Motors is expected to announce a $1 billion investment in its U.S. factories on Tuesday, a move that will allow the nation’s largest automaker to create or retain about 1,000 American jobs, according to several sources. Specific details about where the investment will be targeted have not been disclosed yet.

The announcement will come exactly two weeks after President-elect Donald Trump threatened to impose a “big border tax” on GM for importing the hatchback version of its compact Chevrolet Cruze model from Mexico. And it follows other investment U.S. announcements made this month by cross-town rivals Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

Setting the Record Straight!

But GM sources stressed that the new investment by the automaker was not driven by the incoming president’s threats – a position echoed by GM General Counsel Craig Glidden in a story by the Wall Street Journal.

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Scrubbing NAFTA Could Cost More Than 30,000 U.S. Auto Jobs

Workers, consumers could lose, not win, say experts, new study.

by on Jan.12, 2017

President-elect Donald Trump's opposition to NAFTA could have unexpected consequences.

If President-elect Donald J. Trump moves ahead with plans to derail the North American Free Trade Agreement, it could significantly impact the U.S. auto industry, but not in the way the incoming Commander-in-Chief had promised, according to a new study by the Center for Automotive Research.

After entering the presidential race in 2015, then-candidate Trump began targeting NAFTA as a major factor behind the loss of American manufacturing jobs. He has repeatedly called out automakers, including Ford, General Motors and Toyota, for importing Mexican-made vehicles, and threatened to either end or modify the trade deal or, alternatively, to enact a 35% tariff on goods brought in from the country.

News Now!

“Counter to the incoming Trump Administration’s goal of creating manufacturing jobs the withdrawal from NAFTA or the implementation of punitive tariffs could result in the loss of 31,000 U.S. jobs,” said CAR, a highly respected automotive research firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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Trump Attacks GM Over Mexican-Made Chevy Cruze

Detroit maker fires back at latest attack on auto imports.

by on Jan.03, 2017

The President-Elect shifts his focus to GM.

After spending much of his initial campaign taking shots at Ford Motor Co. for its plan to shift small car production to Mexico, President-Elect Donald Trump is now taking a poke at General Motors for importing the Chevrolet Cruze from a plant south of the border.

“Make in U.S.A. or pay big border tax,” the businessman-turned politician declared in a tweet, slamming GM for “sending Mexican-made model of Chevy Cruze to U.S. car dealers-tax free across border.” The president-elect has proposed dismantling or revising the North American Free Trade Agreement and hitting Mexican imports with as much as a 35% tariff – though he has notably made no public indication of plans to return production of his own clothing lines – some made in Mexico – back to the U.S.

Breaking News!

For its part, General Motors quickly responded to the Trump attack by noting that all of the Chevrolet Cruze sedans sold on the American market are produced in the U.S. A small number of Cruze hatchbacks recently began being imported from Mexico.

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