Trump Calls Auto Execs ‘Foolish’ Over Emission Rules

Today, in a tweet, US President Donald Trump called automobile company executives “foolish.” While Ford and GM are in the green, Tesla is down.

Mohit Oberoi, CFA - Author

Aug. 21 2019, Updated 1:51 p.m. ET

uploads///trump targets auto companies

Today, in a tweet, US President Donald Trump called automobile company executives “foolish.” While Ford and General Motors are in the green today, Tesla is trading with a negative bias.

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Trump calls auto execs “foolish”

President Trump tweeted, “My proposal to the politically correct Automobile Companies would lower the average price of a car to consumers by more than $3000, while at the same time making the cars substantially safer. Engines would run smoother. Very little impact on the environment! Foolish executives!”

The president has had a rough relationship with automakers. Previously, he targeted Ford Motor Company (F) and General Motors (GM) for shifting production overseas. Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk was part of Trump’s economic advisory council. However, he quit after Trump pulled out of the Paris climate deal.

Background of Trump’s proposal

President Trump has sought to ease the emission standards that were set under Obama’s presidency. The Trump administration has pursued deregulation to boost the US economy. Generally, companies prefer fewer regulations, but in this case, auto companies aren’t really interested in easing emission standards. Instead, they’re keen to join in on California’s emission plan, whose standards are stringent compared to Trump’s proposal.

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Electric vehicle

Automotive companies are doubling down on their efforts to boost their electric fleets. Currently, electric vehicles account for a minuscule percentage of total vehicle sales. However, electric vehicle sales have been rising steadily. At the same time, internal combustion engine vehicle sales have been falling. Electronic vehicle maker Tesla frequently mocks gasoline cars.

Many auto execs see electric cars as the future. Last month, Ford released a video of its F-150 all-electric prototype. The company has also partnered with Volkswagen for electric and autonomous vehicles. General Motors has a partnership with Honda Motors. Trump sees auto executives as “foolish.” These execs also need to keep in mind the public sentiment, which is leaning toward a greener environment.

Price action

Ford and General Motors are in the green today. However, Tesla is trading at a loss. Walmart is suing Tesla for the alleged fires in the solar panels at its stores. The news seems to be weighing heavily on Tesla stock today. Ford and General Motors are in the green this year. However, Tesla is trading with a year-to-date loss.


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