Ford CEO Expresses Interest In Working With Trump; Says Less Regulation Is Key To Saving U.S. Jobs

Tyler Durden's picture

With Carrier setting the precedent for what future negotiations with the Trump administration may look like, Ford CEO Mark Fields has come forward to layout potential policy changes that would be important to preserving auto jobs in the United States.  Not surprisingly, per an interview with Bloomberg, Fields' opening "ask" focused on less restrictive fuel economy standards, new currency-manipulation rules to promote free and fair trade and corporate tax reform.

Ford Motor Co. was a target of Donald Trump’s criticism on the campaign trail for building cars in Mexico, and now that Trump will be president, Ford said it’s willing to work with him to keep jobs in the U.S. -- provided Trump puts the right policies in place, according to the automaker’s chief executive officer.

 

“We will be very clear in the things we’d like to see,” Mark Fields said in an exclusive interview Friday at Bloomberg offices in Southfield, Michigan.

 

Among them, according to Fields: currency-manipulation rules to promote free and fair trade, tax reform and safety guidelines for autonomous vehicles.

 

Fields said that Ford plans to lobby the new president to soften U.S. and state fuel-economy rules. They hurt profits by forcing automakers to build more electric cars and hybrids than are warranted by customer demand, he said.

 

“In 2008, there were 12 electrified vehicles offered in the U.S. market and it represented 2.3 percent of the industry,” Fields said in the interview. “Fast forward to 2016, there’s 55 models, and year to date it’s 2.8 percent.”

Of course, Ford was a frequent target of Trump's during the 2016 campaigning cycle after they announced plans to move their small car production to a new facility in Mexico.  That said, Fields noted that Trump's policies "in terms of his economic policies, whether it’s tax reform or otherwise" have already gone a long way toward influencing Ford's decision to maintain the production of the Lincoln MKC at a plant in Louisville, KY.  

After the Nov. 8 election, Trump phoned Executive Chairman Bill Ford to discuss the carmaker’s plan to move manufacture of the Lincoln MKC sport utility vehicle to Mexico from a plant in Louisville, Kentucky, Fields said. The discussion helped convince Ford to keep building the Lincoln in the U.S.

 

Trump influenced the decision “because of what he’s talking about in terms of his economic policies, whether it’s tax reform or otherwise,” Fields said.

Ford CEO

 

As our readers are certainly aware, North American auto OEMs and their tier 2 suppliers have been in a race to move auto production across borders to low-cost countries (LCCs) for the past couple of decades as soaring wages, pension and OPEB obligations, high taxes and punitive regulations have made production in the U.S. all but impossible.  

Of course, the groundwork for the shift of auto production to Mexico was laid with the passage of NAFTA in 1993 by former President Bill Clinton (a fairly inconvenient fact that Hillary probably regrets pretty heavily right now).  Since then, Mexico has been a huge beneficiary of automotive plant relocations with offsetting closures coming from the U.S. and Canada.  A recent chart from the Wall Street Journal, perfectly illustrates the transition of production capacity to our southern neighbor.     

Mexico Production Share

 

Meanwhile, with wages that are a fraction of those paid in the U.S. and an accommodative regulatory structure, it's no surprise that the U.S. has lost a substantial number of automotive manufacturing jobs to Mexico.

Ford is scheduled to open a new $1.6 billion small-car assembly factory in San Luis Potosí in 2018 and hire 2,800 workers. People familiar with the matter say Ford will produce its Focus there, which is currently built in Michigan.

 

A contract reviewed by The Wall Street Journal puts factory wages at the facility at about $1.15 to $2.30 per hour, on par with what other auto-assembly plants currently pay in the region. The move to Mexico will yield cost savings of about $1,300 per vehicle, or about $300 million a year, according to manufacturing experts familiar with the Detroit car maker’s finances.

Wage Divide

 

And while Trump continues to engage in meaningful conversations with company CEOs that have already yielded positive results for Midwest manufacturing employees, here is another look back to just a few short months ago to when Obama said it was all impossible (well, impossible absent a "magic wand" anyway).  Enjoy.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
order66's picture

Why do we need jobs when we're already at full employment?

Oh, right. BLS. Forgot.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Here they come, lining up around the corner for their piece of the corporate welfare pie.

Get a job Make some (US) jobs you bums.

localsavage's picture

It will be interesting to see if the MSM treats those full employment figures the with the same glee under Trump as they did Obama.  I am not holding my breath.

847328_3527's picture

Moar jobs?

 

That has to be raycist!

OregonGrown's picture

DOES THIS MEAN WE ALL NOW HAVE TO WORK?

 

/s

mary mary's picture

Blogging in the basement does not count as working.  Only bringing home actual MONEY counts as working.  :-)

X_in_Sweden's picture
X_in_Sweden (not verified) Cognitive Dissonance Dec 4, 2016 12:05 AM

Yepp, "Here ((( they ))) come, lining up around the corner for their piece of the corporate welfare pie."

There. I fixed it for you C_O_.

I suspected Mike Fields wasn't related to W.C..

So I looked him up:

"Fields was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Gerald S. Fields, a purchasing manager, and Elinor Fields.[2] Fields is of Romanian Jewish and Russian Jewish descent,[3] and the Fields family's original name was Finkelman.[4] ".

((( Mark Fields ))) , .....another 1 to the list.

Are you folks......... beginning to connect....... the dots .......yet?

debtor of last resort's picture

You want to sell cars in the US? You wanna take? You need to BRING motherfucker. Jobs, respect, whatever.

You do the talk, you do the walk.

Cynicles's picture

Less Regulation Is Key To Saving U.S. Jobs

Cluster_Frak's picture

Whatever Ford is up to I bet it is anti-environement, anti-American worker. The sneaky cunt is sucking cock to spread some disease.

Ed Jobb's picture

Wait - what? A politician calling for less red tape?

Send that Trump to Aus for a visit so he can bitch-slap some sense into our morons please.

847328_3527's picture

Red tape is forcing hundreds if not thousands of health care workers to retire since they cannot afford all the new reporting rules.

 

This means even higher costs for us patients.

DEMIZEN's picture

vast unsold car lots can already bee seen from space. We need an ifrastructure that will support driverless navigation. but then again how many jobs will be lost due to autonomous driving?

 

it is time to get real.  Sure i am all for deregulation, but how will that affect price levels, white neighborhoods, big banks, pensions, social structures..?

 

Are we ready?  I am. 

 

 

 

Fathead Slim's picture
Fathead Slim (not verified) DEMIZEN Dec 3, 2016 6:33 PM

WTF does "driverless navigation have to do with anything and how does driving for ourselves destroy jobs? Are you as full of shit as that post makes you appear to be?

DEMIZEN's picture

I am saying that autonomous cars reduce jobs.

unattended driverless tehnology requires only about 20% or less of current fleet to transport the same amount of people.  use multipliers to to reduce the number mechanichs, gas stations you need. Autonomous cars dont use traffic lights or traffic signs but communicate with intersections via wirelless or FM. Autonomous cars dont need traffic police or parking meters or parking officers.  they need less DMV officers, Less traffic lanes, less towing, less street repairs.

how hard is to picture these facts?

Look I hear here fellas complain about a bubble in car loans.  But without that bubble the market value of new cars would drop bellow the production costs and lay off  the fuck out of workers employed by ford.  You cant have a cake and eat it at the same time.. There is no free lunch.

You cant create jobs out of thin air, because you will have people going to work pretending to work and government pretending to pay them. We will end up like fucking soviet union..  you get my point?

 

mary mary's picture

Like I keep saying, robots will replace many human workers.  If you want your kids to have jobs, have fewer kids.  Get your sperm frozen and then get a vasectomy.  Modern science.

YourAverageJoe's picture

I look forward to the day we get Star Trek transporters.

DEMIZEN's picture

I heard the same sentence back in early 90s talking about faxing via cell phones. Ten years laters everybody had touch screen phones and video conferencing was  normal.

TrustbutVerify's picture

Let's all cheer, "Yea. America!" Then ask yourself and ANY of your friends where their clothes are made and whether they make ANY effort to buy goods made in the USA and if they avoid foreign made goods. Enough with the false enthusiasm by you, the lazy American.

mary mary's picture

Buy clothes?  Yes, from the second-hand thrift stores, like Goodwill...

johansen's picture

The only way to keep jobs and manufacturing in the united states is to tax imports according to the difference in foreign wages paid. Say there are 34 man hours of labor per car, in Mexico that's 78$. In the USA, that's $20/hr plus pension, health insurance, so double that to $40 an hour times 34 hours is $1360. Minus $74 for Mexico wages, no pension, no health insurance means ~$1300 savings. So you need to tax the import vehicle at an additional 1300$ per vehicle. anything less will not provide the intended effect.

 

only by raising tarrifs above the wage difference will keep manufacturing jobs from leaving the united states for the land of the free.

 

better yet keep jobs here by taxing industrial robots according to their labor savings at full net labor cost. /sarc

Berspankme's picture

They have been papering over these losses by offering longer term loans on cars to make them "affordable" even for waitresses and bartenders that replaced our auto and mfg jobs. But that doesn't last forever and now the working man's back is to the wall. And by the way Obama is a fucking asswipe. A cunt, worthless as titties on a boar pig. Him and his Peter Pansy friends think we should all ride bicycles. Fucker is such a light weight pseudo intellectual(in his mind). Uh uh uh what's he got a magic wand? Fuck you you fucking child- he's got common sense

mary mary's picture

The Dot-com meltdown.

Then the "liar-loan"/"tranche"/"mortgage-derivatives" meltdown. 

Then the Great Recession.

Next the auto industry "cars for nothing and your chicks for free" meltdown. 

Then Round Two of the Great Recession, putting the Great Recession in the Guiness Book of Records as the longest "Recession" in Human History.

mary mary's picture

"The Great Recession" because Congress passed a law that makes saying "we are in a Depression" hate-speech.

The same law also makes saying "Russians are not the ones stealing from me" hate-speech.

The same law also makes saying someone is "fat" hate-speech.  Even if his Body Mass Index says "obese".

mary mary's picture

Exactly. 

However, I believe that, in general, a multiplier less than 2.5 is risky for the business.  A 2.5 multiplier means that if the employee is paid $20/hr, the employer needs to set prices at levels that at which it would receive $50/hr (gross) for that employee.

For example, the Carrier factory in Indiana, with 1,000 employees, would need to sell 20$/hr * 2.5 * 40hr/wk *52wk/yr *1,000 employeees = $104,000,000/yr of air conditioners.

Of course, I hope those employees get good enough to increase those sales by 50%, so they can justify getting paid $30/hr.

Fathead Slim's picture
Fathead Slim (not verified) Dec 3, 2016 6:38 PM

Aside from Bloomberg's bullshit and the WSJ crap included in this piece, dismantling regulations is key to restoring any semblance of an industrial base here. Getting rid of most of the federal registry of regulations and firing 98% of federal employees would be a fair start.

YourAverageJoe's picture

When your $65,000+ truck has to have "exhaust fluid" in order to get down the road, you know regulation has run amok.

mary mary's picture

There is nothing worse than an attack of exhaust fluid.  :^)

navy62802's picture

Trump is America's secret weapon.

Hey Assholes's picture

Well, how about an across the board de-regulation and tax cuts, and by virtue of firing all those regulatory bureaucrats, cut government spending.

Murray Rothbard would be happily spinning in his grave if Trump did that.

Catullus's picture

Just get rid of the CAFE standards. The EPA just made it up anyway. Do it Day 2

angry_dad's picture
angry_dad (not verified) Catullus Dec 3, 2016 7:08 PM

in spite of the cafe standards, my ten year old cars get the same mileage as the 2017's on the showroom floors

only the prices have increased.

heresy101's picture

CAFE standards are passe'. Electric vehicles have reached a point where they are a game changer. While GM may lose $9000 per vehicle in the short term (as Toyota did with the Prius, which is now hugely profitable), the long term shows the virtual end of the IC engine cars. A Bolt will go 238 miles per charge. Probably 90% of commuters will travel less than is in a day and a daily recharge is no big deal. As electric energy becomes more renewable (solar, wind, geothermal, etc), more people will adopt EVs for environmental reasons. Cost savings will acrue because of less maintenance for electric motors in cars. The problem for car companies will be the longevity of cars will increase to 20-30 years, even though the batteries may have to be replaced in that time frame.

A revolution in cars is coming and it is not related to self-driving cars!!!

DEMIZEN's picture

It depends. Batteries still need iprovement in terms of storage, safety and charge times. The large part of a problem is also the fuel infrastructure, that is a lot of 40 amp car plugs. I see a mix of electric and larger, natural gas vehicles. again, safety is still a concern and needs further development.  But agree, in long term, IC will lose.

angry_dad's picture
angry_dad (not verified) Dec 3, 2016 7:06 PM

Obama lied to this worker and dead PBS correspondent.

History shows he didn't do anything to help workers.

the black middle class took the brunt of his econnomic  incompetance as they have lost a generation's worth of wealth, employment , and progess while he gave the banksters on wall street  $16 TRILLION for nothing.

Only bank lives matter to this dunce.

gregga777's picture

Bucking Ofama was absolutely best President in American history for the unproductive, parasitic, bloodsucking, thieving banking and Con Street scumbags. For everyone else he was the worst possible President in American history.

gregga777's picture

The ENTIRE underlying reason that conporations overwhelmingly embrace Globalization is that it enables them to practice naked, predatory Capitalism in poor, weak countries which would violate all existing Developed Market laws, rules, regulations, ethical standards and best practices.

Conporations employ slave labor including children. Conporations violate sustainable forestry practices by clear cutting vast swaths of forests. Conporations expose workers, including young children, to extremely hazardous and dangerous working conditions including toxic substances. Conporations overfish the territorial waters of desperately poor nations.

And when caught in the act the Conporation pretends to be shocked. The Conporation claims, "We know nothing!" It's all very deliberately based on cold calculations of pure profits versus loss of human life and environmental destruction.

A fundamental tenet of human nature is that the "haves" always seek to feed off of and dominate the "have nots". Historically predatory Capitalists paid starvation wages for workers doing dangerous and unhealthy jobs. A few examples:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phossy_jaw
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_disasters_in_Great_Britain_and_I...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phossy_jaw

That wasn't the government doing that though they did nothing to protect the workers lives or to improve their real wages. It was rich, predatory Capitalist factory owners that were behind such appalling working conditions. But, at their request, the government did use their military and police forces to violently suppress worker strikes.

Universally Conporations want to return the world to the worst practices of naked, predatory Capitalism. That is ENTIRELY what Globalization is all about.

Dr. Ed's picture

Regulations are usually there for good or necessary reasons. Good luck removing some but beware of fallouts.

mary mary's picture

Some regulations are good.  Regulations which protect safety and the environment.  Regulations which protect customers and investors against fraud.

Some regulations are bad.  "Equal Opportunity" requirements for employeers to "tilt the playing field" by NOT hiring the most responsible people.

Best to bring the factories back to the USA and keep the good regulations.

Worst to leave the factories in third-world countries which have no regulations at all.

yellowsub's picture

There's already no regulations for loans to buy  new cars...   

 

General Titus's picture

Pat Buchanan warned back during his 92, 96, and 2000 campaigns that the (un)Free Trade agreements would destroy our economy, how right he was.

Politico: Trump Is Pat Buchanan With Better Timing

By Jeff Greenfield – Politico.com

Illustration by Brian Stauffer

The presidency of George H.W. Bush was in trouble. Headed into the 1992 election year, the glow from the swift and decisive victory in the Gulf War—a victory that had pushed Bush’s approval ratings to 90 percent—had faded. While a recession had technically ended in March of 1991, unemployment was stuck at 7 percent, and the rut was felt deeply in New England. When I went to New Hampshire late that year to cover the presidential race, every store in a once-thriving Manchester shopping mall was shuttered; only the unemployment office and the welfare office were open. The advertisements that filled local newspapers were not for products or stores; they announced foreclosure auctions.

Into this state strode 53-year-old Pat Buchanan, a cheerfully pugnacious conservative who had spent his adult life shuffling between the political world—speechwriter for Richard Nixon, communications director for Ronald Reagan—and the media, where he wrote columns and was a frequent face on TV shows ranging from the McLaughlin Group to Crossfire to The Capital Gang. He came to announce a primary challenge to Bush:

He would take on his own party’s incumbent, attacking from the right. Go back to it now and what’s striking is how much his message, delivered on December 10, 1991, in Concord, offered a remarkable preview not so much of that year’s race, but of what would drive the appeal of Donald Trump in 2016.

Buchanan warned that the United States was losing its stature as the first among nations amid challenges to American economic dominance, a softening of our identity and a growing fondness for multinational institutions. “We must not trade in our sovereignty for a cushioned seat at the head table of anyone’s new world order,” he warned. He questioned whether America should really keep paying for its allies’ defense. He railed against the effects of globalization, proclaiming that “our Western heritage is going to be handed down to future generations, not dumped onto some landfill called multiculturalism.” He called for “a new patriotism, where Americans begin to put the needs of Americans first.” He called for “a new nationalism.”

“When I read the speech recently,” Buchanan told me in an interview, “I was astonished” at the parallels. “There’s just an awful lot there.”

If you’re looking for the roots of Trump’s political message, you can find yourself remembering the story of the blind men who describe what an elephant is like by touching different parts of the beast’s body (“It’s a rope,” “a tree branch,” “a wall.”). There’s a dose of Ross Perot, the billionaire businessman who declared himself free from the taint of elective politics. There’s the anti-elitist scorn of George Wallace, not to mention several spoonfuls of Wallace’s racial and ethnic resentment. There’s the rallying of the forgotten captured by Louisiana’s Huey Long back in the 1930s.

To a remarkable extent, just about all of the themes of Trump’s campaign can be found in Buchanan’s insurgent primary run in 1992.

But to a remarkable extent, just about all of the themes of Trump’s campaign can be found in Buchanan’s insurgent primary run a quarter-century ago: the grievances, legitimate and otherwise; the dark portrait of a nation whose culture and sovereignty are threatened from without and within; the sense that the elites of both parties have turned their backs on hard-working loyal, traditional Americans. The limits of that campaign—and the success of Trump’s, in seizing the nomination of a major political party—are a measure of just how much our politics have changed in the past 25 years.

For those of us covering the New Hampshire primary, most of the focus was on the Democratic side, as Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton built an early lead, and then had to confront charges of draft evasion and extramarital romps. But it gradually became clear that Buchanan’s campaign was catching fire in the economically depressed Granite State. Conservatives who had never forgiven Bush for breaking his “read my lips, no new taxes” promise rallied to Buchanan; reporters would gather in the watering holes in Manchester and exchange stories about the growing size of his crowds. As even People magazine noted, Bush backers soon grew “concerned that the combative Buchanan could embarrass the President just enough to throw their carefully scripted coronation plans into disarray.”

The fears of the Bush camp were well founded. Buchanan didn’t win the primary, and in the end he didn’t come close to winning the race, but his 37 percent of the vote in New Hampshire was enough to give the president a black eye—the New York Times called it “a jarring political message” that carried “many ominous signs for Mr. Bush.” It was enough to give Buchanan a prime-time convention speaking slot. He then used the national stage to warn, ominously, of both a “religious war” raging in America and a “cultural war.” Bush lost in November, but Buchanan stayed in the game as a polemicist-politician. At his high point, four years later, Buchanan would go on to win the New Hampshire primary, albeit with just 27 percent against a divided field. In that campaign, he gleefully identified himself with anti-establishment revolt, proclaiming in Nashua: “They hear the shouts of the peasants from over the hill. All the knights and barons will be riding into the castle pulling up the drawbridge in a minute. All the peasants are coming with pitchforks.” A silver pitchfork, given to him by his campaign aides, still hangs in his office today.

In recalling his New Hampshire visits of 1992, Buchanan today remembers his political appeal in the context of the consequences of hard times that still seems to resonate in this year’s campaign: “Broken families, guys out of work, spousal abuse … you saw all this back then. I was astonished when Trump picked up on this. He’s talking about towns hurt, jobs lost. And he’s running a conservative populist, nationalist, America-first campaign.”

Why did Trump succeed in leading a hostile takeover of the Republican Party, when Buchanan’s efforts came up so short in 1992?

So, why did Trump succeed in leading a hostile takeover of the Republican Party, when Buchanan’s efforts came up so short in 1992? One overriding reason is that the times have indeed changed. When Buchanan warned of globalism and intervention, the successful Gulf War and the Christmas Day 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union weakened that argument. If there really was a “new world order,” America was unquestionably in charge. Today, with memories of the disastrous second Iraq War, China rising and Russia asserting itself again, anti-interventionism is a lot stronger argument. Immigration, too, is an issue far more powerful today. “Back then, there were maybe 3-4 million illegal immigrants,” Buchanan says. “Today, there are maybe 12 million.”

Perhaps the most startling parallel between Buchanan and Trump is the argument of bipartisan betrayal: They both used their pulpit to excoriate elites in both parties for leaving more vulnerable, working-class Americans behind. And on that front, the country has changed profoundly. The central American promise—that our children would live better than we live—has been thrown into grave doubt, at least for those who are part of “the white working class.” Some 5 million manufacturing jobs have been lost since the start of the millennium; incomes for the average factory worker have been stagnant for just about all of the 21st century.

“Those issues started maturing,” Buchanan now says. “Now we’ve lost 55,000 factories. … When those consequences came rolling in, all of a sudden you’ve got an angry country. We were out there warning what was coming. Now, on trade and intervention, America sees what’s come.”

But there’s one other major change that has made Trump’s message far more potent than Buchanan’s: the speed at which a powerful, even divisive idea can travel from one like-minded individual to another. “If Buchanan had had social media he might have done a lot better,” argues Ron Kaufman, a longtime ally of the Bush family, who has spent a lifetime as a Republican operative. “Back then in ’92, people wouldn’t have been hearing about it every 15 minutes. There was no Breitbart, no Politico.”

The rise of talk radio, cable networks and an online echo chamber for political discourse has changed the game for people with an outsider message, whether on the left or the right. Longtime Democratic operative Joe Trippi, who turned the Howard Dean campaign into an online fundraising behemoth in 2004, says: “I think one of the things we have all underestimated is how connected underground networks are these days—from Occupy Wall Street to white supremacists to conspiracy aficionados. … So if a Pat Buchanan came along today, it’s much easier to roll over a party.”

The kinds of attacks Buchanan leveled, alone, at his own Republican Party have become normal political chatter on the right these days, amplified enormously by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and company. Today, an outright majority of Republicans say they believe their leaders have betrayed them, by not fighting harder against President Obama and the left…

http://buchanan.org/blog/politico-trump-pat-buchanan-better-timing-125682

Hurricane Baby's picture

Ford: Where Finding a Job is Job 1

Youri Carma's picture

Ford going ahead with moving small car production to Mexico: CEO
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-ford-ceo-idUSKBN13A2LK

gigaweb's picture

Grammar police:  "...Fields has come forward to layout potential policy changes" should be "...forward to lay out potential policy changes."

A layout is a thing, not an action.  When I lay something out for you, I "lay out," not "layout" - layout is not a verb.

Bopper09's picture

Expresses interest?  Who the fuck are you?  How about, 'I hope Trump makes a good deal with me so I'm allowed to sell another fucking vehicle here in the U.S. without a 35% tax'.

 

Dark Daze's picture
Dark Daze (not verified) Dec 4, 2016 10:21 AM

Oh yes, sure. Less regulation really helped the American banking sector, didn't it? What this fucking worm is really saying is 'let us do whatever we want with the environment, let us pay our workers any wage that we deem fair( in Mexico they get $3.00/hour), let us get rid of workplace safety, unions, health care and everything else, and we will stay', to which I say: FUCK YOU AND THE HORSE YOU RODE IN ON.