Political prognosticator 538 gave Trump about a 1 in 3 chance of winning, and luck was with the failed casino owner for a change. So Trump won the electoral college vote and on his coattails the republicans hung on to control of both houses. You’d think the captains of industry, stockholders, and gearheads would be in heaven… Maybe.

Despite the potential repeal of every regulation they despised, the industry that builds all things wheeled does not seem all that pleased. Heck, even the usually nationalist P.M. of VW’s German home state expressed unease with Trump’s threats to slap massive tariffs on competing Mexico. The response was similarly underwhelming in Detroit, and Toyota was none too enthusiastic either.

Why would the manufacturers look a gift horse that would gut the EPA, then soak the  environmental regulations in leaded gas and light them ablaze? Well, the manufacturers had already cut deals with the EPA, and in some cases “sweetheart” deals they were- For example our much vaunted fuel mileage standards are full of loopholes and only about half as tough as Europe’s. So just about every automaker has their compliance all planned out- add a turbo to a smaller engine coupled to an automatic with at least half a dozen gears, plop it down on low rolling resistance tires, and wrap it in an aerodynamic package. Every ones following this plan, and got billions invested to meet the standards… Then this Trump guy and his crazies offer to pull the standards out from under them. And what if they’ll have to source that tiny turboed engine from Mexico? Trump will reward them with a 35% tariff on that Mexican content! No wonder the captains of industry will give Trump the courtesy welcome to Washington, then hope he ignores them.

The stock market was of two minds, with foreign investors dumping american stocks. Then the american investors woke up, and ran american stocks up to even higher levels than they’d previously languished at. Especially inflated were infrastructure stocks, hyped by Trump’s promise of massive infrastructure investment. He didn’t say how he was going to pay for it, his republican henchmen in congress certainly won’t increase taxes to pay for it, and his statement included what sounded like some code words for “toll roads”. Yup, new roads with no new taxes, just a couple buck hit on your credit card every few miles!

For us garden variety gearheads, hopefully Trump’s EPA administrators will certify the 2017 diesel cars and light trucks for sale, once they figure out where the executive washrooms are located and such…

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