GM Automaker GM launches thousands of employees and closes six factories, four of them in the United States. Who does Donald Trump anger. But he also brings part of the guilt about the decision, writes the journalist Henrik Böhme in a commentary for Deutsche Welle.
Of course, others are at fault. Of course, the decision made by General Motors (GM), the largest American carmaker, is not about politics. Of course, the main GM chose "to put the wrong people." Of course, GM must give the best to produce cars in China, but it would be good to open a factory in Ohio as soon as possible. That's how Donald Trump sees the world in simple colors and lighting. But not so.
General Motors, a symbol of the US industry, does not make famous brands such as Chevrolet, Cadillac or Buick, in any other shape than the main carmakers in the world. They all face huge changes. It's about installing the classical engine on combustion and switching to alternate machines and autonomous cars (without a driver). There is a simple change, even if all four wheeled cars come out of the ultimate production bands. But to build these new cars, fewer people need. And car companies need to invest enormously to remain competitive under new operating conditions.
This is a similar situation in Volkswagen. And there's the main concern that is the future (except for the solution of the Diesel scandal). And thousands of jobs will disappear in the VW, but in a more socially acceptable way, as is common in Germany. But they're still investing billions in the future. To be more accurate, USD 44 billion will be invested in the next five years in self-driving, self-control, mobility and digitization services. Non-known automatic risk investments are already losing relevance in the context of the new market. VW seems to have learned Dieselgate's bitter episode.
But let's go back to Donald Trump.
Economic Trump's economic inflexible policy seems to be the result, especially the punitive commercial measures against China, its favorite economic enemy. The US economy has increased recently, good news has also become regular from the labor market. Experts have come to the conclusion that the war on customs duties now by Washington and Beijing is mainly damaging to the Chinese, although the US economy takes advantage of it. But to return to the American automotive industry: it seems to be one of the main economic sectors that have suffered the punitive customs duties imposed on imports of steel and aluminum.
Already in the last quarter, GM announced higher production costs of $ 300 million, because the company was forced to pay more on steel and aluminum. Analysts have calculated that the cost increases have already reached a billion dollars. GM and Ford also face a similar situation. If Trump now asks that only the main GM, Mary Barra, is to give the best production in China and to move back to America, then he has no chance of success. The automotive industry focuses globally and usually produces in the markets where it sells. And even if GM did what the president said, the Chinese would instantly impose penalty duties on all GM cars imported by China from the US.
The problem is complicated.
And finally, Mr Presiding Officer should know that many US auto-owned companies are owned by the United States: for example, Toyota or the three major names in the German automotive industry – Volkswagen, Mercedes and BMW. The last product in their factory in Spartanburg (South Carolina) is so many cars they are the largest American car exporter. Heads of the three German concerts are now invited to Ty Gwyn. What does America's president want to talk to? For any penalty customs duties imposed on German car makers, Trump does not want to negotiate with them at all. Mr Diess, Zetsche and Krüger may explain to the President the challenges that the world automobile industry currently faces – and GM is not an exception. Anger does not help There is a reality ahead that the great Donald Trump can not close his eyes. (Source: Deutsche Welle)
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