Fiat Chrysler’s Mike Manley watched legendary CEO Sergio Marchionne dealing with President Trump in 2017 during two sets of meetings with key auto leaders. POTUS and titan Marchionne got along great; both old school deal-makers. There was a lot of respect between the two leaders. There’s no doubt Mike Manley took heed of Sergio Marchionne’s approach when he took over as CEO of Fiat Chrysler in 2018.
(Via CNBC) […] The automaker says it will hire 6,500 workers and invest $4.5 billion by adding a new assembly plant in Detroit and boosting production at five existing factories.
CEO Mike Manley said expanding in Detroit is a logical decision given the company’s facilities in the area and the desire to produce Jeeps in the U.S. “We’re an American brand. We’re proud of that within the Jeep brand,” he said in a statement.
Executives have made it clear for months that the company would be expanding Jeep production, including converting an idled engine plant in Detroit into a full-time final assembly plant.
Fiat Chrysler will spend $1.6 billion converting the Mack Avenue Engine Complex into the final assembly plant for next generation Jeep Grand Cherokee and an all-new three-row, full-size Jeep SUV. The move will create 3,850 new jobs.
The company will also be adding production of two all-new Jeep models, the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, two models Manley believes will help fill a hole in the brand’s portfolio when it comes to large SUVs. While most of the models will be sold in the U.S., Manley is looking at the production from a global viewpoint.
“All of these vehicles will be opened up for our export markets,” he said. (read more)
There’s a massive shifting of manufacturing in the auto-industry taking place, and President Donald Trump is at the center of it. The USMCA trade agreement is the newly constructed Trump fulcrum underneath the structure of all auto manufacturing. POTUS Trump has shifted the location of this fulcrum through auto-tariffs; and the final determinations therein are still ongoing.
At the end of last year POTUS invited the EU auto executives to the White House. No doubt Trump, the executive businessman, was seeking to understand their position on how the EU crew will comply with a 75% USMCA rule of origin…. and feel-them-out over what leverage he could apply (tariff threshold) to enhance their manufacturing relocation decision.
With a current tariff at 2.5% the EU won’t move anything just pay the duty; however at 10% or higher the EU manufacturers might move engine building or transmission building to North America etc to get inside the rules of origin threshold.
Throughout all of 2018 President Trump was exploring the Mercedes, VW and BMW perspectives while Angela Merkel was gnashing her teeth.
President/Businessman Trump has been diligently working through a process to establish high-wage U.S. manufacturing workers. From day one the president has been in apex predator mode. The combination of USMCA rules and tariff possibilities are like blood in the water surrounding: Dr. Dieter Zetsche (Mercedes), Dr. Herbert Diess (VW), and Dr. Nicholas Peter (BMW); while Trump simply asked questions.
Mike Manley the new CEO and steward of Fiat Chrysler wants nothing to do with a scenario where President Trump becomes adverse to his corporate objectives. Manley ain’t about to get in the water with an apex business predator as president. He knows the value in keeping U.S. economic policy aligned with his corporate interests.
Meanwhile, consumer confidence surged in February; bouncing back for the first time in four months. A sign that Americans have worked through the consistent media nay-saying, and shrugged off the government shutdown doomsday predictions and worries about a so-called media fabricated ‘recession‘.
The consumer confidence index exceeded all expectations climbing to 131.4 this month from a revised 121.7 in January, the Conference Board said Tuesday.