Once again, we’ve got a bumper crop of turkeys ripe for roasting, and this year, maybe impeachment too! We had the usual strong competitors from VW in the “public relations” category, and Fiat+Mopar again produced the biggest serving of lemons in our quality control “trimmings” category. The “social media misfits” category was again a crowded one, what with past multi-winner Fiat+Mopar’s continued web page ads trying to sell me a big bad Ram pickup, despite all the nasty things I’ve said about them. Ford had a hefty turkey competing in the dead tree media manipulation competition, but a couple instrumented road tests of the Focus RS ultimately escaped and dispatched that bird. With the electronic stop watches now proving the Focus RS no faster than a 2 pedal Golf R, Ford has fattened up a new turkey- They’re presenting me online ads for an EcoSport in Portuguese!
But again this is an unusual year, and despite the ever improving turkey raising ability of the usual suspects involving just about anything with wheels and maybe an engine, one competitor has managed to produce a herd of turkeys to win every single category in this year’s roast. And by some strange accident or theft, that person, despite getting less votes than their opponent, is the president-elect of the United States.
Early on Trump proved he had the turkey’s unique “qualities” of aggression and stupidity, with a vengance! Now any real presidential candidate has a whole team of experts that can tell them what car is built by what maker, where, and why. Failing that, a quick google search would have informed Trump that Ford employs more people and makes more cars in the U.S. than anyone else. And while Ford is investing in a new plant in Mexico, they’re doing a billion dollar sustainability upgrade to the home offices in Dearborn and they’re investing billions more in plants around the U.S., including Michigan Assembly. But eschewing facts like any true turkey, Trump put on a boisterous BS story that Ford was moving out of the U.S., based on the long ago announced and ignored story that Focus production was moving to Mexico. Like a turkey unaware that the only other creatures impressed by his brevado BS are other turkeys, Trump ignored the rest of the story, backed by the terms of Ford’s contract with the UAW, that two new upmarket and better selling products will be built at the plant to replace the Focus. Then to double down on the stupid in true turkey fashion, Trump then blew up an insignificant news story that one Lincoln variant of a Ford Escape’s production was moving to Mexico. Heck, the way Lincoln sales have been going they could move the whole Lincoln line to Mexico and nobody would notice.
Having wounded Ford, Trump must have decided it was time to give some “regulatory relief” to businesses, gearhead and otherwise, in of course a “rollback” to pre-democratic administration regulatory standards. Now given that we seem to alternate between dem and GOP presidential regimes on an 8 year or so cycle, just what democratic administrations regimes regulations is he going to gobble up? And given that regulations tend to have gestation periods measured in decades (ABS heavy truck brakes came in 1975, left a couple years later, and came back in 1996), are all these regulations Obama’s, Bush the Bad’s, Clinton’s, old man Bush’s, Reagan’s, Carter’s, Ford’s, or Nixon’s doing? And even if Trump just gobbles up the regs in the pipeline in the closing days of the Obama administration, many of them like electronic logbooks for truckers have been coming to a boil for decades. Heck, UPS taught me how to use electronic logs over two decades ago… Gets even crazier when Trump talks about “rolling back” exhaust emission standards to legalize “rolling coal”- The manufacturers are already stressed to meet oddball ‘merican emissions standards, and aren’t about to retool to build vehicles for 1990s engines they don’t even build anymore.
But like the unrelenting turkey he is, Trump blusters and “displays”, demanding an end to fuel economy standards and increased coal mining. So here GM has invested a couple billion in the electric Bolt and Volt, Ford has spent a billion plus to bring us efficient Ecoboost engines and aluminum pickup bodies, and even Fiat+Mopar has badge engineered a “Jeep” off the Fiat 500 “stretch” and put a diesel in their half ton pickup… And Trump wants them to eat that investment in hopes we’ll go back to steel and boat anchor engines just to revive the dying coal and oil biz? Not that it’ll help… OPEC has put oil on permanent markdown to all but shut down the Bakken and Permian oilfields, and fracking has dropped natural gas prices so low that no utility even bothers to upgrade coal fired generating plants, never mind build new ones.
And just to make sure he could clinch the top turkey title in every single category, Trump made one last massive stupid full frontal assault on our last category, trade policy. Now granted, we’ve made some questionable deals like NAFTA, but like a 20 year old car the warranty has long ago run out and the maker gone bankrupt, so we’re stick with ’em. That reality matters not to a Turkey in heat (or as much heat as a 70 year old can muster) like Trump- He’s promised to hit Mexico with a 35% tariff and China a 45% tax on everything they sell us! Now “tariff” is just another word for tax, and we’re gonna get to pay that tax on every Mexican and Chinese part our ‘merican, european, or asian car needs, even if the part ain’t been made in ‘merica for decades. Same deal if we buy a ‘merican pickup like GM’s with a 49% Mexican content or a Hecho en Mexico Ram… Just multiply that 35% tax by the Mexican content to see how much more Trump will tax you on these already overpriced “trucks”!
So by record margins, Trump has won every single category of this year’s Turkey Roast. Heck, unlike the presidential race where Trump needed some fine print in the constitution and maybe some help from hacked voting machines to win, Trump is top turkey and most deserving of roasting or at least preemptive impeachment by a landslide! So enjoy this filet o’ Trump, sell off your ‘merican stocks on friday, then stock up on “foreign” parts… This Trump turkey may be gobbling up our economy for a long four years!