Mark Fields, CEO of Ford Motor Company, is cozying up to Donald Trump more than any other car manufacturing executive. Fields is part of Trump’s automotive council, which includes Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors, and Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler.
Fields has been shooting his mouth off this week, telling anyone who will listen — specifically The Donald — that the CAFE regulations put in place just prior to the end of the Obama administration by the EPA will cost 1 million jobs if they are not rolled back. Fields is obviously angling to get those rules changed so Ford can build more high profit F 150s and SUVs and fewer low profit sedans.
Over at AutoBlog, this story has gotten quite a few comments, the best of which comes from someone identified as JSH, who says, “Let’s check the math:
- GM has a total of 216,000 employees (2015)
- Ford has a total of 199,000 employees (2015)
- Fiat Chrysler has a total of 78,000 employees (2014)
How does increasing fuel economy standards eliminate more than twice the number of people employed by the 3 US automakers combined?”
That’s an excellent question. Clearly, Mark Fields is lumping together everybody who works for an automotive supplier, people in the banks who finance new car purchases, sales representatives, the drivers who deliver new cars to dealerships, and the cleaners who take out the trash in America’s automobile showrooms at night.
Field’s main point is that government regulations force people to buy vehicles they don’t want — a familiar cry from industry executives who have opposed all government regulations from seat belts to air bags to crash worthiness to emissions standards. All of them have been used to prove that regulations hurt the aut0 business, despite the US car market being red hot for two years in a row.
Fields really is over the top with his complaints, however. He brags that Ford is committing $4.5 billion to clean car and mobility technology over the next 10 years. Big deal. That’s less than half what Hyundai/Kia has committed to in half that time and far less than most of the competition, with the possible exception of Mitsubishi and Suzuki. Fields’ position, besides being grossly exaggerated, ignores the fact that his company needs to sell vehicles in markets other than the United States and that most other countries have emissions and fuel economy standards that are far more rigorous than what the EPA requires.
What really sticks in Fields’ craw is the California Air Resources Board and its much tougher standards. He would like to see Trump trump CARB and force them to roll back their mandates to match those in effect nationally. Trump is quite likely to do precisely that, setting up a fight to the death with the Golden State. Break out the popcorn. This is going to be epic.
Source and photo credit: AutoBlog