Friday, May 11, 2018

The 'Big Three' Blame-Game Two-Step

When you read Automotive News, you're (in effect) reading a publication of the Chamber of Commerce--so don't expect too much objectivity vis-a-vis Trump.

That said, the news that the Big Three are meeting with Trump over car-emissions standards is an interesting read.

American automakers may be on a mission impossible when they visit the White House on Friday. They want to persuade President Donald Trump to cooperate with Jerry Brown, the Democratic governor of California...

California is setting its own emissions standards which are likely to conflict with Federal (Trump Admin) standards.  Since the auto market in California is huge, Detroit is worried; they cannot make two different sets of vehicles--one for California and one for everyone else--so they are sweating.

(My proposal is simple:  make one for 'everyone else' and screw California.  But nevermind....)

...The White House said in a statement on Thursday night that the president looked forward to a productive discussion with the automobile executives, and would listen to their comments on the effect of regulations on their industry and what they are doing to help establish a national standard....

There is one key word in the above, and it's highlighted in red.  GM and Ford would love to blame it all on Trump & Co.  Trump is asking why it's all on the Feds.  See, the automakers love to blame Gummint (and the unions) for increasing the costs of cars.  That's not all wrong--but the automakers can spend a helluvalotta money on silly crap, too.....

Here's the Big Three's propaganda:

...Automakers, parts suppliers and dealers have been wary about the administration’s renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, warning that higher local content requirements could be unworkable and raise vehicle prices....

Translate:  the Big Three like Chinese Communist steel and aluminum prices.  Slave labor is fine with them, and they'll do their damndest to make sure Trump gets tagged with higher car prices.  

This 'emissions' stuff is an integral part of the flim-flam game.  Do you REALLY think that tighter and tighter emissions standards are free?  That the engineering and manufacturing (and warranty) costs of that stuff came from Santa?

This is why the automakers really want to lay it all onto the Feds, just like they want to blame the Feds for "higher prices" for steel and aluminum.  They refuse to cut back on their technology-wars crap to make cars more affordable, of course.  And if you think the techno-wars are expensive (they ARE) wait until you see the price-curve on this stuff:

...General Motors, which plans a ride-sharing fleet of robotaxis for next year, is looking at further business opportunities for self-driving cars, such as custom designs that could be almost unrecognizable from those of today, a top executive said on Thursday....

Because "one-offs" are really cheap to manufacture, ya'know.... and because GM will be paying for the insurance policies on those robot-taxis.  Let's hope that they don't ignore and kill off more pedestrians like that woman in Arizona.

This will be fun to watch.

No comments: