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Trump Supporters Show Their Sexist Side

Bikers put their true colors on display at Trump rally.

by on Aug.13, 2018

President Donald Trump hosted a rally of Bikers for Trump at his Bedminster, New Jersey, country club.

It wasn’t just the rumble of nearly 200 motorcycles that raised eyebrows at the normally sedate Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, over the weekend.

The attire of the attendees at the Bikers for Trump rally – invited by Trump himself – appeared to be normal biker fare and that’s the reason for the increased scrutiny.

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Aside from an inordinate amount of leather, bandanas and other stereotypical biker accoutrements, many of the attendees at the rowdy rally wore patches with sexist and other offensive sayings. (more…)

Trump Wants Boycott of Harley-Davidson

President tweets support of motorcycle boycott.

by on Aug.13, 2018

President Donald Trump has once again turn his focus on Harley-Davidson, with support of a boycott of the American motorcycle maker.

President Donald Trump is attempting to rally Harley-Davidson owners to boycott the company if it moves any of its production overseas.

In a tweet, Trump said that “many” Harley owners were going to boycott the company. The company earned the president’s ire after it announced plans to build some motorcycles at overseas locations to avoid the steel tariffs put in place by the Trump administration as well as the retaliatory taxes enacted by the European Union in responses.

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The company said it would lose as much as $100 million annually due to the move, which would raise the price of the motorcycle by more than $2,200. It also noted that all bikes sold in the U.S. are made in the U.S. (more…)

California Thumbs Nose at Trump on Clean Air Standard

State plans to adhere to Obama-era rules.

by on Aug.10, 2018

California plans to stay with its tougher, Obama-era fuel economy and emissions standards.

The California Air Resources Board has come out swinging in its battle with over clean-air and fuel efficiency standards.

CARB, which will bear the burden of any clash with the administration, re-affirmed its commitment to the standards set in place by an agreement between the State of California and the Obama administration to ensure that cars and light-duty trucks for model years 2021–25 continue to meet standards that protect public health, save consumers money, and fight climate change.

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“Dirty, gas guzzling vehicles are a direct assault on public health and foreclose our ability to rein in air pollution and greenhouse gases,” said CARB Chair Mary D. Nichols in a statement. “California will take all actions to ensure that the smart standards we developed in partnership with the auto industry to cut greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles stay in place.” (more…)

China Locks Down American-Made Mercedes SUVs

Brake problems cited, but move comes as trade war heats up.

by on Aug.10, 2018

China has placed a hold on U.S.-built Mercedes-Benz SUVs due to a "problem" with the rear brakes.

Chinese customs agents are holding up a shipment of American-made Mercedes-Benz SUVs, ostensibly due to technical issues, but the timing of the move raises questions, coming just as the trade war between the U.S. and China heats up.

Following a move by President Donald Trump to impose new tariffs on Chinese goods, the Asian giant responded with its own new duties, including an additional 25% tariff on vehicles made in the U.S. That move will impact not only products from Detroit manufacturers such as Ford and General Motors but also European carmakers with U.S. assembly operations such as Mercedes’ parent Daimler AG.

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According to the Chinese, two Mercedes models, GLE and GLS SUVs produced between May 4 and June 12 of this year, are being help up at the port in Shanghai due what customs authorities have described as a “safety risk.” (more…)

SEC Amps Up Investigation of Tesla After Musk’s Buyout Tweet

Moving to "Private" mode.

by on Aug.09, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk's tweets about taking the company private and having the funding to do it has the SEC's attention.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is ramping up its investigation of Tesla Inc. in light of CEO Elon Musk’s recent tweets about taking the company private at $420 a share.

More precisely, they are interested in his assertion that he already has the funding in place. According to a Bloomberg report, the SEC’s San Francisco office was already investigating the company and the recent round of tweets escalated its interest.

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Though it is not illegal for company officials to use to promote Tesla, talking about potential buyout prices and issuing other proclamations that could artificially alter the California-based EV maker’s stock price could be reason for an investigation and ultimately charges. (more…)

China Retaliates; New Tariffs Hit U.S. Auto Exports, Jobs

BMW, Mercedes, Ford, other makers could be hard hit, forced to cut American production.

by on Aug.09, 2018

The BMW X5 is the #1-selling American-made vehicle in the Chinese market.

The auto industry has found itself at Ground Zero as the U.S. and China escalate their trade war.

After the latest move by the Trump Administration to target Chinese imports, the Beijing government has announced it will strike back with 25% tariffs on $16 billion in imported U.S. goods. China previously enacted new duties on $34 billion worth of goods, bringing the total to $50 billion. And with the White House threatening to add another $200 billion to the U.S. list, the trade war could escalate rapidly.

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The latest round sees the Chinese Ministry of Commerce placing an additional 25% duty on a list of American products that includes coal, crude oil and metal scrap, as well as automobiles and motorcycles. A number of automakers could be hit hard by the new sanctions, including Ford Motor Co., Mercedes-Benz and BMW.

(more…)

GM Hopes for Compromise in Looming CAFE Clash

Consistency is key for product development.

by on Aug.07, 2018

General Motors President Dan Ammann said the automaker is hoping government policy on fuel economy will help foster innovation.

Despite the uncertainty, General Motors is hoping the unfolding debate over fuel economy triggered by the administration of President Donald Trump will lead to an outcome that can foster innovation.

Ammann acknowledged as he fielded questions from reporters after an appearance at the Billington Cybersecurity Automotive Summit in Detroit that the proposal by the administration to freeze fuel-economy standards has created challenges.

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“We’re obviously in a long-cycle business,” said Ammann, who was careful not to endorse the administration’s proposal, which also challenges the state of California’s ability to set its own fuel-economy and emission rules for automakers.  (more…)

Trade Officials Say New NAFTA Could be Done by End of August

Talks are moving along with some urgency.

by on Aug.06, 2018

Chrystia Freeland, Canada's top NAFTA negotiator, said the talks between Mexico and the U.S. aren't exclusionary, but necessary.

Canadian trade officials renewed their desires to get a quicker resolution to the long-negotiated North American Free Trade Agreement between Canada, Mexico and the United States.

Initially expected to take less than six months, the talks are closing in on one year in length but have been often delayed by demands from the Trump administration — mandates the trading partners have been unwilling to meet.

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However, with the latest delay in the rearview mirror, Mexico’s presidential election in early July, the three sides have been hurriedly talking to get the deal done. (more…)

GM Pushing to Get Tariff Exclusion for China-Made Envision SUV

If successful, it would eliminate a 25% price hike.

by on Aug.03, 2018

The Buick Envision is caught in the new tariff wars as its built in China and sold in the U.S.

The tariffs implemented by the Trump administration on China are having a negative impact on several American companies, specifically General Motors. However, the company is looking to find a way around them.

GM’s Buick Envision is built in China and, as such, is subject to hefty levy when entering the country, but the company is in talks with Trump’s trade representatives to get an exemption on the popular midsize sport-utility that accounts for nearly 20% of the brand’s U.S. sales.

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GM said in a statement that it filed the request on July 30 with the U.S. Trade Representative. An official notice was posted on Thursday on the regulations.gov website, which is tracking requests for exclusions from the so-called Section 301 tariff on certain imported goods from China, according to Reuters. (more…)

GM Adds Trump Trade Rep to Head Global Public Policy

Eissenstat joins automaker immediately.

by on Aug.02, 2018

Former Trump deputy Everett Eissenstat has moved on to GM at vice president of Global Public Policy.

General Motors has recruited a veteran of the Trump administration with broad experience on trade issues to serve as senior vice president of Global Public Policy.

Everett Eissenstat will assume his new effective immediately and he will report to GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra, GM said.

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Eissenstat, 55, had been with the Trump White House as Deputy Assistant to the President for International Economic Affairs and Deputy Director of the National Economic Council from June 2017 to July 2018. Jointly appointed to the National Security Council and the National Economic Council.  (more…)