Tariffs on 'Mexican Cars' Are Just Taxes on American Consumers

First Up 04/09/19

Tariffs on 'Mexican Cars' Are Just Taxes on American Consumers
Mexico is arguably our most important trading partner for the automotive market, both for fully-assembled vehicles and, even more importantly, for parts to go into vehicles assembled in the U.S., writes Cox Automotive’s Jonathan Smoke in an editorial for The Hill. By placing a new tariff on the flow of vehicles and parts between Mexico and the U.S., we are taxing American consumers on some of the most popular vehicles sold in the U.S., like the Chevrolet Silverado and Equinox, Ram trucks, GMC Sierra and Terrain, Jeep Compass and Dodge Journey. Even without a new tariff, the threats to close the border are already leading to disruption and delay in the shipment of goods across the border. By disrupting the supply chains related to our most important trading partner, the Trump administration is ensuring that we see a decline in new vehicle sales. Those declines will inevitably lead to job losses related to manufacturing, distribution, finance, sales, and ancillary businesses as a result of the industry now having to contend with much lower volumes. Read more here.  

Delays at U.S.-Mexico Border Crossing Hit Autos, Trucks Still Lining Up
Long delays at the U.S.-Mexico border crossing for goods destined for American plants and consumers are hitting the U.S. auto industry, and the gridlock reduced by half the number of northbound trucks that crossed the entry point last week, reports Reuters. Washington’s decision to move some 750 agents from commercial to immigration duties to handle a surge in families seeking asylum in the United States has triggered the delays at crucial ports on a border that handle $1.7 billion in daily trade. The North American auto industry is highly integrated and many car parts cross the border several times before they are finally installed on a vehicle. Seventeen hours before the crossing to El Paso even opened on Monday morning, trucks were already lining up in Ciudad Juarez to avoid the fate of some 7,500 trailers that failed to cross last week, said Manuel Sotelo, vice president at the Mexican National Chamber of Freight Transport’s north division. Read more here. 

Toyota's Plan: All Pickups on 1 Platform
Toyota's next-generation full-size Tundra and midsize Tacoma pickups will share a common platform — internally called F1 — that the Japanese automaker plans to spread to all of its pickups globally, Automotive News has learned. The strategy closely mimics that used by Toyota in recent years with its unibody Toyota New Global Architecture, which allows it to build a range of models including the Corolla compact sedan, Avalon large car and RAV4 compact crossover using common parts on a single platform for greater efficiency. Current-generation Tundras and Tacomas are built in sequence on a shared assembly line in south San Antonio, while the Tacoma is also assembled at a pair of plants in Mexico. Sources within Toyota say development of the shared-platform pickups is near completion and could be introduced as early as next year for 2021 models. Details of what the shared platform will mean, in terms of design or potential features, remains unknown. Read more here. 

Nissan's Ghosn Says in a Video That He's Innocent and a Victim of Conspiracy
Ousted Nissan Motor boss Carlos Ghosn said he was innocent of all the charges against him and was the victim of a conspiracy, according to a video recorded before his arrest last week and broadcast by his lawyers on Tuesday. CNBC reports that prosecutors took the highly unusual step of re-arresting Ghosn last week on fresh allegations that he used company funds to enrich himself to the tune of $5 million. The once-feted executive had been out on $9 million bail for 30 days, during which he recorded the video screened by his lawyers on Tuesday. In the video, shown to reporters in Tokyo, the former Nissan Motor Co chairman said he was the victim of selfish rivals bent on derailing a closer alliance between the Japanese automaker and French partner Renault SA. “This is a conspiracy ... this is not about greed or dictatorship, this is about a plot, this about a conspiracy, this is about a backstabbing,” Ghosn said in the video. Read more here.

Why You Should Fill Up on Gas on Monday Mornings
Want to save money at the pump? Fill up on Monday morning on your way to work, reports USA Today. That's the advice of GasBuddy, the fuel-savings app that tracks real-time data from more than 150,000 gas stations throughout the country. In a study provided exclusively to USA TODAY, GasBuddy assessed the best day to fill up and the worst day to fill up nationwide and in each state. While Monday is the best day on average nationwide to fill up, Friday is the worst day. "Very early in the week, when gas stations are generally a little bit quieter traffic-wise, is a great time to fill up," said Patrick DeHaan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy. "We generally see more volatility and higher prices later in the week." On Mondays, some prices tick upward in the afternoon, so it's often a good idea to fill up in the morning. On Fridays, prices often spike in part because some stations are seeking to make more money ahead of weekend trips. Read more here.

Smart Technology Sets the Pace for Accelerating Sales
Your service drive is rife with profitable opportunities to sell customers cars, as long as you know how to find them and communicate them in the right way. AIADA’s April AutoTalk features Kendall Billman, AutoAlert Senior VP. Listen on  Tuesday, April 16th at 2:00 p.m. EDT as Kendall discusses: 

  • Service drive sales and Smart Technology helps you predict, and even drive customer behavior 

  • Use the service drive to re-engage customers and convert new prospects 

  • Leverage geo-framing technology to deliver targeted ads at the right time

To register, click here.

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