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Old January 5th, 2017, 07:56 PM
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JSoko JSoko is offline

 

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Thumbs up Ford's Truck Trumps Mexico

On its first day back from the holidays, America's auto industry began with a Mexican standoff and ended with Tesla just being off.

Ford Motor Co. announced early on Tuesday it was scrapping plans to build a new plant in Mexico, apparently under pressure from President-elect Donald Trump. The PEOTUS then turned his signature industrial-policy-by-tweet on General Motors Co., threatening them over shipping Mexican-made Chevy Cruze cars back home (GM largely refuted that here).

Meanwhile, after the market closed on Tuesday, Tesla Motors Inc. reported it missed its (reduced) guidance for vehicle deliveries in 2016. The stock fell in after-hours trading, as some were clearly caught by surprise -- a reaction that, let's face it, is itself a bit surprising at this point. In any case, a timely tour of the Gigafactory scheduled for Wednesday will no doubt snap the market's attention back away from those pesky number thingies.

What links these stories is Ford's other announcement on Tuesday morning, which got a bit lost in the shuffle; namely, its plans to electrify some of its marquee models -- including the F-150 pickup truck.

Rather than a battery-only version or even a plug-in hybrid model, Ford is committing merely to a basic hybrid version of the F-150 by 2020 -- more Priusizing than Teslarizing it. So we aren't about to see Ford's trucks vanish from gasoline stations anytime soon.

But this is still a big deal.

The F-Series is America's biggest-selling vehicle and represents one of every three full-size pickups sold, according to data compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence.

Also, pickups are archetypal gas guzzlers, and gas guzzlers are doing really well right now because of cheap gasoline. And even as Trump lobs Twitter-bombs at the car-makers' foreign factories, his administration also looks likely to ease up on fuel-efficiency standards.


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Last edited by JSoko; January 5th, 2017 at 08:01 PM.


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