R&T – Chrysler experimented with turbine powered cars from 1953 to 1988, and the highlight of the program was a fleet of more than 50 bronze colored cars they built in 1963. One went on a whirlwind tour of the globe. That car, as one might imagine, is the one that had the craziest tales to tell. Like the afternoon it spent giving the president of Mexico a ride, powered entirely by tequila.
Fox News – Chinese automaker Great Wall Motor Co Ltd is considering building an auto plant in two Mexican states hit by U.S. President Donald Trump’s drive to make American companies invest at home. Great Wall Motor, which describes itself as China’s largest SUV and pickup manufacturer, is interested in building a plant in Nuevo Leon in northern Mexico or the central state of San Luis Potosi, three people familiar with the matter said.
Financial Times – Carlos Slim’s Giant Motors will begin manufacturing cars in Mexico in a joint venture with China’s JAC Motors as they focus on the Latin market. Two Chinese-designed and largely Chinese-manufactured sport utility vehicles will be launched as the new venture aims to cash in on Mexico’s booming domestic car market.
WSJ – Mexico’s share of North American light-vehicle production topped 20% in the first two months of 2017, gaining regional share from the U.S. and Canada as the amount of popular pickups and SUVs made south of the border sharply increased. The development heightens the stakes as auto makers await potential changes in trade rules by the Trump administration.
CNBC – Renault-Nissan has no plans to move production out of Mexico despite speculation that the anticipated revision of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) could slap tariffs on trade between the U.S. and Mexico.
By Jude Webber / Financial Times
Ildefonso Guajardo, Mexico’s economy minister, will meet executives from Ford and General Motors in Detroit on Friday, today, as well as officials from two auto-parts companies with plants in Detroit and Mexico, as part of a visit designed to talk up the benefits of Nafta.
Guajardo, who was part of the team that negotiated the North American Free Trade Agreement that took effect in 1994, will also address the Detroit Economic Club on the subject of US-Mexican bilateral relations, relations between the state of Michigan and Mexico and the current situation and future of the free-trade pact.
A statement did not say whom the minister would meet or name the car-parts companies.
President Donald Trump has vowed to revamp Nafta, saying the current deal is not in the US’ interests.
U.S. Commerce secretary Wilbur Ross has suggested talks could focus on rules of origin and dispute resolution mechanisms. Trump has vowed to pull the US out of Nafta unless he can get a better deal.
Ford Mexico CEO Gabriel Lopez said at a company event in Mexico City Thursday that it’s going ahead with plans to expand two of its plants — an engine plant in Chihuahua and a transmission plant in Irapuato.
Mexico News Daily – A made-in-Mexico electric vehicle designed by Giant Motors — part of Carlos Slim’s financial conglomerate Inbursa — could hit the roads in a year’s time. The electric vehicle will be manufactured through a collaboration with Moldex, a subsidiary of the world’s largest bakery, Bimbo, and the Monterrey Institute of Technology (ITESM).
Automotive News – Daimler and Nissan Motor are re-examining the scope of collaboration at their planned Mexican factory that’s set to make Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti cars. Daimer and Nissan are building a $1 billion plant together in Aguascalientes that’s scheduled to start rolling out Nissan Infiniti luxury models this year, and Mercedes compact vehicles starting in 2018.
LAT – It was supposed to be a victory party. Carmakers from across the globe had planned to celebrate their head-spinning boom in Mexico at the Automotive Logistics conference held in Mexico City this week. Then Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election. In the span of weeks, Trump has issued threats and hints at trade policies that could jeopardize two decades of growth for Mexico’s auto manufacturing sector.
India Times – Mexico announced a 4.4 billion peso ($212 million) deal to assemble Chinese cars in Hidalgo on Wednesday. The deal between Mexico’s Giant Motors Latinoamerica and Chinese state-owned automaker JAC Motors envisions a plant in Ciudad Sahagun that will be producing two SUV models in the second half of this year.
NBC -The increasingly contentious battle between the Trump administration and Mexico could lead to some significant collateral damage, most notably to car makers and car buyers.
Reuters – Ford Motor Co (F.N) on Thursday reported a fourth-quarter loss, reflecting pension accounting and writedowns for abandoning a planned factory in Mexico, and reaffirmed its forecast that profits for 2017 would be lower.
Detroit Free Press – Automakers used to complain their economic and technological importance were under appreciated, but after having been singled out by President Trump over their foreign operations, car companies already praying for a return to anonymity. Given the attention President Trump’s stream of consciousness auto analysis receives, a reality check is in order.
Automotive News – Forecasting firm LMC Automotive expects automakers will continue to invest in Mexico over the next four years despite tariff threats and social media shaming from President-elect Donald Trump. The study said production south of the border for Detroit’s three automakers will increase through 2020, while production in both Canada and the U.S. is expected to fall.
Bloomberg – German carmakers pushed back Donald Trump’s threats of import duties on the autos they make in Mexico, pointing to extensive production expansion in the U.S. in recent years.
AS-COA – The booming auto sector makes Mexico the seventh-largest car producer in the world and the top one in Latin America. It’s also the world’s fourth-biggest vehicle exporter, as well as the sixth-largest largest auto parts producer, making $85 billion worth in 2015. All in all, the auto industry accounts for about 3.2 percent of the country’s GDP.
Reuters -Welcome to San Luis Potosi, home to the Ford plant that never was. What workers remain are now charged with taking apart the plant and packing up. Contractor Fernando Rosales says everything changed when Ford decided to scrap its plans for a $1.6 billion car plant.
Bloomberg – Ford Motor Co. is working on a plan to compensate parts makers that were preparing to supply the plant the company canceled last week and will return the land to the government of Mexico, an executive said.
CNN – BMW is sticking with plans to open a new factory in Mexico in 2019 despite warnings from president-elect Donald Trump that he will slap a border tax on cars imported from the country. The German automaker’s head of sales and marketing, Ian Robertson, said the company is “absolutely” committed to the factory.