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U..S. Wants To Maintain Import Tariff On Korean Pickup Trucks 9
Posted by Michael Karkafiris in Donald Trump, Hyundai, Kia, Korea, KORUS, Reports on 01 9th, 2018

USA and South Korea talks about a new trade deal come at a time of great pressure due to North Korea’s nuclear arms.

President Trump wants to sign a trade deal with South Korea that strikes a balance between his domestic agenda and the need to contain North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, Reuters reports.

Since signing the previous U.S-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) in 2012, the U.S. goods trade deficit with South Korea has doubled. Almost 90 percent of the 2016 shortfall ($27.6 billion) came from the automotive sector, which is an issue expected to be pressed hard during the negotiation.

The talks are led by Assistant U.S. Trade Representative Michael Beeman and the Director General for FTA negotiations at South Korea’s trade ministry Yoo Myung-hee. Yoo confirmed that the U.S. has primarily raised the issue of the automobile sector.

According to sources on both sides, a top priority for the U.S. is to maintain a tariff of 25 percent on imports of Korean pickup trucks and vans, which the existing deal would phase out from 2019. South Korea has also been criticized as discriminating against imports with a range of non-tariff barriers.

The report goes on saying that the two South Korean car makers, Hyundai and Kia, also believe that Washington will push for increasing the current 25,000-vehicle per U.S. car maker shipment to South Korea limit that can enter the country without meeting their domestic industry regulations.

Another source said that the U.S. is interested in South Korea easing its vehicle emissions targets which are viewed as discriminating against vehicles made in the United States.

Michigan Mega-Dealer Nominated As U.S. Ambassador To Morocco 24
Posted by Carscoops Staff in Dealers, Donald Trump, Reports on 11 24th, 2017

David Fischer is one of the biggest car dealers in America. But soon he’s going to embark on a new mission as an ambassador.

Not a goodwill ambassador or a brand ambassador, but an actual emissary of the United States to one of its key allies in North Africa.

Autonews reports that Fischer is being nominated by President Donald Trump to be the next US ambassador in Morocco.

If confirmed, the new job would be a major change for the chairman of The Suburban Collection, which ranked last year as the 15th largest dealership group in the United States with over $2 billion in revenue.

The company operates 52 dealers, mostly in Michigan with some in California, ranging from domestic mass-market brands like Ford and Dodge all the way up to exotic imports like Aston Martin and even Bugatti.

Beyond his role with his family’s chain of dealerships, Fischer is an active philanthropist, a member of the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission, and honorary chairman of the Detroit Auto Show. He was also a major donor to the Trump campaign, giving a reported $250,000 to the president’s inauguration committee.

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Canada Warns Against U.S.’s Proposed NAFTA Changes 22
Posted by Brad Anderson in Canada, Donald Trump, Mexico, NAFTA, Reports on 11 22nd, 2017

Canada is preparing to hit back at proposals made by the U.S. to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

As negotiations between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico continue over the agreement, Plant reports that negotiators for Canada are planning a presentation which will highlight how the proposal could devastate its domestic car industry.

Proposals made by the United States consists of four main parts which could impact the car industry. First, it would require at least half of a car’s parts are from the U.S. to avoid a tariff. From there, the proposal includes increasing the amount of content required from North America, making methods of calculating parts percentages more stringent, and forcing car companies to introduce these changes within a year.

“What they’ve put forward is completely unworkable. It doesn’t even achieve their own goals. We intend to walk them through that in extreme detail,” a Canadian official said.

NAFTA talks are currently being held in Mexico City between officials from the three North American countries.

It is reported that Mexico is working on a counter-offer to the U.S. proposal on the issue of auto parts.


Fu*k Trump Decal Causes Stir In Texas After Sheriff Hints At Disorderly Conduct Charge Against Owner 16
Posted by Michael Gauthier in Donald Trump, Offbeat News, Police, Reports on 11 16th, 2017

Donald Trump’s approval rating is a dismal 38.1 percent and it’s no surprise that much of the country doesn’t like him or his policies.

A couple in Texas decided to vent their frustrations by putting a large decal on the back of their GMC Sierra which stated “F*ck Trump and f*ck you for voting for him.”

Karen Forsenca told Houston’s KPRC 2 that she and her husband have been driving around with the decal on the truck for almost a year and she has received mostly positive feedback.

Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls wasn’t a fan of the decal and posted an image of the truck on Facebook with a message saying “I have received numerous calls regarding the offensive display on this truck as it is often seen along FM 359. If you know who owns this truck or it is yours, I would like to discuss it with you. Our Prosecutor has informed us she would accept Disorderly Conduct charges regarding it, but I feel we could come to an agreement regarding a modification to it.”

In the comments section of the post, Nehls explained a disorderly conduct charge means “(a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly: (1) uses abusive, indecent, profane, or vulgar language in a public place, and the language by its very utterance tends to incite an immediate breach of the peace; (2) makes an offensive gesture or display in a public place, and the gesture or display tends to incite an immediate breach of the peace.”

In essence, Nehls was trying to reach out to the owner of the truck to get them to change the message so it didn’t contain any f-bombs. It seems he was simply seeking a reasonable agreement that would suit all parties without having to get the courts involved.

Despite his efforts, Mike Forsenca told KHOU he has “No plans to take it down, unless he [Sheriff Nehls] can show me where it says that in the law book.” He added, “It’s not coming down until the weather takes it down or I replace it with something else.”

The station also reached out to the Fort Bend County District Attorney who said Nehls didn’t consult him before posting the message and wouldn’t be pursuing charges in the case.

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Why U.S. Car Makers Can’t Get A Break In Japan 7
Posted by Michael Karkafiris in Donald Trump, FCA, Ford, GM, japan, Reports on 11 7th, 2017

The Japanese car market has proven to be a really tough place for U.S. manufacturers, who have claimed that protectionist policies keep them out of the third largest car market in the world but the reality is more complicated than that.

Japanese brands account for 90 percent of the domestic car market in Japan and a big role in this is due to the special relationship between the customer and the dealer. Japanese buyers are used to having a much closer relationship with the dealer compared to the Western standards.

According to a report from the Atlantic, a dealer from a Japanese brand will build a relationship with their customers by bringing demo cars to the customer’s house, offer free car washes for life, handle their insurance policies and remain generally in contact with them, offering a service that’s considered kind of a custom in the country.

This hospitality is what helps the Japanese automakers remain dominant in their home market and is also what baffles American dealers that aren’t used to provide this kind of service.

In the U.S. market the domestic brands remain dominant but with a much smaller share of the pie, with the Big Three -GM, Ford, FCA- making up 45 percent of the market and the Japanese brands accounting for 39 percent. This dynamic contributes in part to the trade imbalance between the U.S. and Japan: last year it was $68.9 billion and a large share of it came from vehicles and from automotive parts ($52.6 billion).

This has long been an issue for politicians, including Trump who said earlier this year that the Japanese “make it impossible to sell cars in Japan”. American carmakers also use the same line of argument, accusing Japan of protectionist policies saying that practices like requiring lengthy car inspections of foreign-made vehicles and prohibiting existing dealers from selling foreign cars have prevented non-domestic car companies from gaining a larger share of the market.

However, protectionism is not the full explanation of why Japanese customers don’t buy foreign cars. For example, there are no import tariffs on cars, whereas the U.S. and EU impose 2.5 percent and 10 percent tariffs.

Instead, the problem lies in large part in the hesitance of American car dealers to invest in the kind of network that Japanese consumers have come to expect. “The way Japanese consumers buy cars is very different,” Deborah Elms, the executive director of the Asian Trade Center said. “Yet the Americans have not invested in a dealer network to break into the market.” Indeed, Ford has pulled out of Japan, where it had sold just 5,000 units annually while GM has only 28 dealerships in the country, managing to sell just 1,000 cars in 2016.

Japanese customers expect to receive services like free maintenance from their dealers and picking up their car for a check-up, performing it and then return it. This sort of dealer network is expensive to develop but also to maintain.

Not all foreign companies though struggle with Japan; imports from EU grew five percent between 2013 and 2016, with 251,115 cars while imports from the U.S. shrank by 15 percent for the same period, to 19,933 cars. Brands like Mercedes and BMW saw their sales growing by 60 percent and 23 percent respectively between 2012 and 2016.

BMW for example decided three years ago to redouble its efforts in the Japanese market, spending $675 million to refurbish its dealer network. “In Japan, everything is about hospitality,” Peter Kronschnabl, the CEO of BMW Group Japan and the chairperson of the European Business Council’s Automotive Committee and the Japan Automobile Importers Association, said. “If you are not into this, it will be very difficult to succeed in the Japanese market.”


Trump Tells Japanese Automakers To Build Cars In The U.S. 6
Posted by Brad Anderson in Donald Trump, japan, Reports on 11 6th, 2017

President Trump has pleaded with Japan to build its vehicles in the United States, perhaps unaware that the country’s leading carmakers already build millions of cars in the U.S.

During his ongoing tour through Asia, Trump suggested that Japan has an unfair advantage on trade with the U.S., citing the lack of American cars sold in Japan, Bloomberg reports.

“Try building your cars in the United States instead of shipping them over. That’s not too much to ask. Is that rude to ask?” he said.

In typical fashion, pundits around the world moved to demonstrate just how many Japanese vehicles are already produced in the U.S., seemingly without the President’s knowledge.

In 2016, Japanese carmakers manufactured almost 4 million vehicles in the U.S. and an additional 4.7 million engines. What’s more, car brands from the Land of the Rising Sun employ around 850,000 U.S. workers and last year, 412,281 cars and trucks from Japanese-branded auto plants were exported from the U.S. last year.

As Jalopnik notes, one only has to look at the extensive list of factories which Japanese automakers currently have in the U.S. to know that they take international production seriously. In fact, Toyota has production facilities in six U.S. states, Honda in four, Nissan in Tennessee and Alabama, Subaru in Indiana and soon, Mazda will have a local manufacturing plant with Toyota.


Trump Administration Pushes Back Vehicle-To-Vehicle Communication Regulations 1
Posted by Michael Gauthier in Donald Trump, Reports, Tech on 11 1st, 2017

A number of automakers have been investing in vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications technology but the life saving system has just suffered a setback.
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Mexican Auto Group Rejects U.S. Proposed NAFTA Changes On Rules Of Origin 20
Posted by Brad Anderson in Donald Trump, Mexico, NAFTA, Reports on 10 20th, 2017

Proposed changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have been rejected by the Mexican Auto Industry Association.
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Mexican Auto Group Rejects U.S. Proposed NAFTA Changes On Rules Of Origin 20
Posted by Brad Anderson in Donald Trump, Mexico, NAFTA, Reports on 10 20th, 2017

Proposed changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have been rejected by the Mexican Auto Industry Association.
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Automakers Concerned With Trump’s NAFTA Proposals 17
Posted by Brad Anderson in Canada, Donald Trump, Mexico, Reports on 10 17th, 2017

A number of carmakers are concerned with President Trump’s proposed changes to the North American Free Trade Agreement.
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Louisiana Sheriff Refuses To Buy Ford’s Police Cars For Supporting NFL Anthem Protests 13
Posted by Michael Gauthier in Donald Trump, Ford, Offbeat News, Police, Police Cars, Reports, USA on 10 13th, 2017

The brouhaha over the NFL protests doesn't show any sign of slowing down as the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office in Louisiana is refusing to buy Ford police vehicles over the company's support of the players right to protest.
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Trump Says Five New Auto Plants Are Coming To The U.S. 29
Posted by Brad Anderson in Donald Trump, Reports on 09 29th, 2017

President Donald Trump says a foreign-owned automaker will soon announce its intention to building five factories in the United States.
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Five States Sue Trump Administration For Delayed Gas-Guzzler Penalties 12
Posted by Brad Anderson in Donald Trump, Reports on 09 12th, 2017

Five U.S. states have sued the federal government over delayed gas-guzzler penalties for automakers who fail to meet fuel-economy standards.
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Environmentalists Call For CAFE Rules Not To Be Changed 8
Posted by Brad Anderson in Donald Trump, EPA, Reports on 09 8th, 2017

Many environmentalists are pleading with President Donald Trump not to roll back fuel economy rules for vehicles put in place by President Obama.
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GM CEO Mary Barra Parts With Trump Administration As Advisory Forum Disbands 17
Posted by Carscoops Staff in Donald Trump, GM, Reports on 08 17th, 2017

General Motors CEO Mary Barra won't be advising Donald Trump any longer – at least not as a member of the President's Strategic and Policy Forum, as the committee has disbanded.
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