Says Ford Ranger Beats Jeep Cherokee in American-Made Index

First Up 06/23/20 Says Ford Ranger Beats Jeep Cherokee in American-Made Index

The Ford Ranger knocked the Jeep Cherokee out of the top spot, and Tesla made its debut in's 2020 American-Made Index. The Detroit Free Press reports that the annual survey results, released Tuesday, rank new vehicles that "contribute most to the U.S. economy" through U.S. factory jobs, manufacturing plants, and parts sourcing, according to a news release. Tesla, with its factory in Fremont, California,  captures the No. 3 and 4 spots, respectively, with its Model S and Model 3, and No. 9 with its Model X. Honda has spots 5, 6 and 7 with its Odyssey, Ridgeline, and Passport, all made in Lincoln, Alabama. And General Motors has two vehicles, both Chevrolets, in the top 10, the Corvette (Bowling Green, Kentucky) at No. 8 and the Colorado pickup (Wentzville, Missouri) in the final spot. Read more here. 

DOJ Defends Auto Industry Probe Ahead of House Inquiry on Enforcement

Automotive News reports that the U.S. Justice Department denied politics played a role in its decision last year to open an antitrust investigation of four automakers that reached an agreement with California on fuel-efficiency standards. The department said it had a legitimate legal basis to believe that the companies – Volkswagen Group, BMW AG, Honda Motor Co. and Ford Motor Co. – violated antitrust laws, according to a June 19 letter to U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.). “We share the view that political interference from outside the Department must never govern law enforcement efforts,” according to the letter obtained by Bloomberg News. “This inquiry was, based on the information known to it at the time, entirely reasonable.” The letter is the first detailed explanation about why the Trump administration opened the investigation. The inquiry, which was closed six months later, was widely criticized as motivated by the administration’s clash with the automakers over national standards on tailpipe emissions. Read more here. 

Nevada to Join Other States in Adopting California Zero Emission Vehicle Rules

Nevada's governor said on Monday his state plans to adopt California's zero emission vehicle mandate and tailpipe emissions rules even as the Trump administration has moved to strip states of the right to implement such requirements. According to Automotive News, Nevada will be the latest state to adopt California's low-and zero-emission vehicle rules following similar announcements by Washington in March and Minnesota and New Mexico in September. Gov. Steve Sisolak said the "new regulations will not require anyone to give up their current vehicle or choose one that does not work for their lifestyle or business needs." California’s vehicle emissions rules, which are more stringent than rules advocated by the Environmental Protection Agency under President Donald Trump, are currently followed by states accounting for more than 40 percent of U.S. vehicle sales. In September, a group of 23 states sued to block the Trump administration from undoing California’s authority to set strict car pollution rules and require more electric cars. Read more here. 

Global Economy Shows Signs of Pulling Out of Its Slump

The global economy is gradually starting to pull out of its stall as lockdowns ease, according to surveys of purchasing managers, with output contracting at a slower pace in much of Europe and Asia this month, and in some instances expanding, reports The Wall Street Journal. The improvement, albeit tentative, is most visible in countries that issued stringent stay-at-home rules, where economic activity fell sharply in March, April, and May. The lifting of many of those restrictions appears to have led to a stronger rebound in June, with data firm IHS Markit’s composite Purchasing Managers Index for France rising to 51.3 in June from 32.1 in May, indicating an expansion in private sector activity for the first time since February. A level below 50.0 points to a decline in activity, while a reading above that mark points to an increase. Read more here. 

Toyota Sweeps Annual OEM-Supplier Relations Study

Toyota dominates the 20th annual North American Automotive OEM-Supplier Working Relations Index Study released today, with representatives of Tier 1 suppliers ranking the Japanese automaker No.1 in all 22 variables on the index. According to WardsAuto, Toyota improved its 2019 score by nine points while Fiat Chrysler gained 10 yet finished fifth among the six U.S. and Japanese automakers covered in the study. Ford held fourth place with a two-point gain while second-ranked Honda slipped 18 points, General Motors dropped 14 and Nissan tumbled eight points to fall behind FCA and into last place. “With the unprecedented challenges now facing the automotive industry, the OEMs will be leaning more heavily than ever on their suppliers,” says Dave Andrea (below), principal in Plante Moran’s Strategy and Automotive & Mobility Consulting Practice, which conducted the study. “The study shows that Toyota knows how to work most collaboratively with its suppliers, is well trusted and therefore is well prepared to face these challenges.” Read more here. 

Around the Web

What If Mazda Built a MX-5 Miata Wagon? It'd Look Like This [MotorTrend]

Jaguar Could Replace 2 of Its Slow-Selling Sedans with a Compact Hatchback [Autoblog] 

Apple Announces Car Key for Wirelessly Unlocking Your Car with an iPhone [The Verge]

Range Rover Turns 50 [USA Today]