Speaking to the Detroit News about the presidential candidate’s continued criticism of the automaker’s plan, Bill Johnson, the UAW plant chairman for the factory that is at the center of the switch, revealed the still-secret vehicles that the compact Focus and hybrid C-Max models are making way for.
Johnson told the newspaper that “Trump needs to get his facts straight,” and said that other automakers have already shifted less profitable small car manufacturing south of the border.
“We hate to see the products go to Mexico, but with the Ranger and the Bronco coming to Michigan Assembly that absolutely secures the future for our people a lot more than the Focus does,” he said.
The federal government imposes average fuel efficiency ratings on car manufactures. Those ratings – so far – do not apply to trucks or SUVs. Trucks and SUVs are what America increasingly want. Auto makers, nevertheless, are required to continue to improve average fuel efficiency.
The only way to do this is to make cars small and light. The reality is that the amount of energy that can be extracted from gasoline has physical limits. Americans aren’t inclined to spend big bucks for small and light cars so the prices must be kept low. You do that by decreasing the cost of labor for the small, light, cheap cars and freeing up the more costly production for more expensive, greater revenue producing trucks and SUVs.
If cars mandated by the US government were built in America, they would be too expensive to sell. Trucks and SUVs manufactured in the US are marketable, however. Basically this is the only way auto makers can meet the demands of both the market and the government.
I am forced to ask myself again: Is Trump ignorant of these facts or does he just think we are?