What Did Trump Win in Tariff Spat With Ford?

© Wikimedia Commons

By Paul Ausick, 24/7 Wall St.

As he's done on many occasions over nearly two years, President Trump on Sunday declared victory in a battle he had already lost. In a Sunday morning tweet, he claimed that his tariffs on imports from China now made it possible for Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) to build its Focus model in the United States rather than importing the cars from China.

That would be good news for U.S. manufacturing if it bore any resemblance to the facts.

Here's Trump's Sunday morning declaration of victory:

Ford's North American product communications manager Mike Levine responded with the facts:

Ford announced in April that it would stop building all passenger cars except the Mustang in the United States. In May the company stopped building Focus sedans in Michigan and announced a plan to limit its future Focus vehicle to the new Focus Active, a crossover wagon, and import the finished vehicles from China. The new model was not expected to be available to U.S. buyers until late summer 2019, according to a report in Car and Driver.

Ford estimated that it would sell fewer than 50,000 of the new model in the United States, not enough to make economic sense for building them in this country, but enough to make it worthwhile to import them. Two weeks ago, Ford announced that the Trump tariffs had shattered the economic case for importing the cars and that the vehicle would not be sold in the United States after all.

Through the first eight months of 2018, Ford has sold a told of 75,101 Focus vehicles, a drop of 9.1% year over year. In August the company sold 10,910 units, down 30% year over year.

Auto market economist Jon Gabrielson told the Detroit Free Press:

This is further evidence that neither the president nor his trade representatives have any clue of the complexities of global supply chains. This forces Ford to forfeit the sales they would have had if they could continue to import that low-volume niche vehicle.

The Michigan plant where the Focus had been built has been converted to build Ford's new 2019 Ranger midsize pickup truck. The company sold more than 81,000 F-Series pickups in August alone, more than year-to-date sales of the Focus model and nearly double the monthly sales of all its Ford-branded passenger cars.

Ford, like Apple, has been targeted by Trump in his trade war with China. Apple has complained about the impact of tariffs on small electronic devices like its AirPods but has not indicated that it plans to bring more manufacturing back to the United States than what it promised to do ($350 billion investment) a year ago.

General Motors has petitioned the Trump administration for a waiver from the 25% tariff on its Buick Envision SUV. Every Envision the company sells is manufactured in China and imported into the United States.

U.S. carmakers export about 250,000 vehicles a year to China and import about 50,000. So much winning.


|Featured Content_$type=three$c=3$l=0$m=0$s=hide$rm=0


Accessories,1,Auto Insurance,1,Auto Show,82,Autos,42,Barn Finds,1,Buying,1,Car Shows,1,Car Tech,8,Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles,1,Chicago Auto Show,4,Classic Cars,106,Consumer Electronics Show,5,Customs & Classics,2,Detroit Auto Show,7,Driving,6,Enthusiasts,313,Featured,12,Features,1,Frankfurt Motor Show,3,Fuel Economy,2,Gearheads,1,Geneva Motor Show,17,Hot Rod Power Tour,1,Imports,1,Just For Fun,2,Los Angeles Auto Show,16,Maintenance,6,Motorcycles,297,Motorsports,3,Muscle Cars,4,Muscle Cars & Hot Rods,3,New Bikes,2,New Car Deals,1,New York Auto Show,5,News,489,Ownership,116,Paris Motor Show,5,Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance,2,Premium,1,Recalls,4,Research,214,Reviews,117,SEMA Show,5,Shanghai Auto Show,8,Sports and Exotics,5,Sports Cars,12,Supercars,14,Tech,1,Tokyo Motor Show,8,Trucks,1,
Automotive Magazine: What Did Trump Win in Tariff Spat With Ford?
What Did Trump Win in Tariff Spat With Ford?
Automotive Magazine
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Read More Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS PREMIUM CONTENT IS LOCKED STEP 1: Share. STEP 2: Click the link you shared to unlock Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy