Chairman’s Blog: Mike’s Message Bad Trade Policy Is the Worst Kind of Sequel

First Up 03/17/23

Chairman’s Blog: Mike’s Message
Bad Trade Policy Is the Worst Kind of Sequel

Chairman Mike DeSilva is back with a new blog post. In it he writes that America’s love affair with sequels is no secret, and that appreciation for a follow-up extends well beyond cineplexes. Society seems to cycle through recognizable patterns, reflected in everything from the stock market to politics. People are drawn to a familiar storyline, which might help explain why eight U.S. presidents have shared a last name, and a family tree, with another president. Is this American love of legacies and sequels a bad thing? Well, in the case of The Godfather II, I’d argue absolutely not. But in light of the rising, and familiar, protectionism happening on Capitol Hill today? Yeah, we have a problem. American business is under attack from Congress and the White House on a variety of fronts, from President Biden’s pro-union agenda, to proposed new taxes on corporations, to, of course, unwarranted legislation aimed directly at our trading partners. Click here for the full blog post.

Mazda Names Former North America Chief Masahiro Moro as Next CEO

Mazda Motor Corp. has appointed Masahiro Moro, a long-time veteran of its critical North American operations, to be the automaker's next CEO as the company navigates a tricky transition to electrification. Automotive News reports, Moro, who was chairman of Mazda Motor of America before becoming head of the company's administrative division in 2021, will take the post in June, pending approval at the company's annual shareholders' meeting. Moro takes over from Akira Marumoto, who has served as president and CEO since 2018. Marumoto will become a senior advisor. Kiyotaka Shobuda will remain as chairman. Moro was promoted partly for his success at reforming the U.S. dealer network while in the U.S. and for rebuilding the profitability of Mazda's business there, Marumoto said at a news conference on Friday. Moro said boosting sales per outlet in the U.S. is a key target in the automaker’s most important market and said the arrival of two new large-size crossovers will power a U.S. surge. The management shuffle also promotes current North America boss Jeffrey Guyton to become Mazda's global finance chief and a member of the parent company's board. Click here for the full story.

Audi: Decision on New U.S. Plant Will Come This Year

Audi will decide this year whether it needs to build a production facility in the United States to take full advantage of the electric vehicle tax subsidies contained in the Inflation Reduction Act, the premium brand's CEO said Thursday. Speaking from Germany during Audi's annual press conference with global media, CEO Markus Duesmann said the brand is actively studying whether to expand its production footprint into the U.S. and will make a decision soon, reports Automotive News. "The United States is an extremely important market for us," Duesmann told journalists through an interpreter on an online broadcast. "We have considered to expand capacities, but the decision has not been taken yet." As for the Inflation Reduction Act, Duesmann said "you cannot ignore it as a company, and it has to be a wake-up call. And the European Union also have to find an answer to this, but it must be a nonprotectionist answer. We are really closely observing [its impact] in the market; it seems to be a very positive development, so the decisions will be [made] this year." Click here for the full story.

You Can Now Buy Genesis EVs in More States, But Still Not All States

Genesis continues to take bold steps towards electrification. After announcing the arrival of the Electrified GV70 SUV in the U.S., the automaker is expanding the sales of its three EVs to more states, including Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Previously, only customers in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Utah, and Washington state were able to purchase or lease the Genesis GV60, Electrified G80, and Electrified GV70, reports Motortrend. While there are a lot of states missing on this list, the luxury automaker now sells its EVs in three of the top four markets in the U.S. for electric cars. More importantly, Genesis is keeping its promise to deliver an all-electric lineup by 2030, and the GV60, Electrified G80, and Electrified GV70 are just the beginning. "We are pleased to now be offering our award-winning lineup of electric vehicles to a much broader audience of American customers," said Claudia Márquez, chief operating officer of Genesis Motor North America. Click here for the full story.

Ferrari Roma Spider Combines Soft Top Fun with a 612 HP Twin-Turbo V8

Ferrari is living the “new sweet life” with the all-new 2024 Roma Spider, which has been unveiled at an exclusive event in Marrakesh. Billed as a “contemporary take on the chic, pleasure-seeking Italian lifestyle of the 1950’s and 60’s,” the convertible follows in the footsteps of the coupe but adopts some innovations of its own, reports Carscoops. There’s no better place to start than the soft top, which can be lowered in 13.5 seconds at speeds up to 37 mph. Given the car comes from the Prancing Horse, the top offers “extensive personalization options that include sophisticated, bespoke fabrics and contrasting stitching.” Interestingly, it’s the first front-engined Ferrari spider to use a fabric top since the 365 GTS4 from 1969. Ferrari goes on to say the model has a “body-color band running across the base of the roof that divides the carbon fiber active spoiler from the roof and rear screen, creating a seamlessly integrated tonneau cover. When the soft top is lowered, the active spoiler visually connects with the rear bench and head rests.” Click here to watch a video. Click here to learn more about the 2024 Roma Spider.

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Around the Web

Q&A: Karim Habib, Kia EVP & Head of Kia Global Design [The Detroit Bureau]

U.S. Government Commits $2.5 Billion to Grow EV Charging Infrastructure [Carscoops}

Bugatti Spends Up to 700 Hours Per Car on Paint Alone [Carscoops]

These 10 Vehicles Have the Biggest Markups at 20% and More [Fox News]