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October 17, 2017 FacebookTwitterFlickrRSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
Inside this issue
Carmakers Rattled by Trump NAFTA Demands
Mercedes Maker Eyes Revamp, Paving Way for Possible Spinoff
Nissan Gets New U.S. Sales Boss; Meunier Takes Infiniti Role
Ford Faces 'Significant Work' Before Autonomous Vehicles Become Reality, Argo AI Exec Says
Toyota's AI Could Soon Check Your Face to See You're Sleepy or Stressed
Top Stories
Carmakers Rattled by Trump NAFTA Demands

Automakers are raising concerns about the future of the North American Free Trade Agreement after the Trump administration proposed increasing the required percentage of domestic parts in cars to qualify for duty-free treatment.

The proposal, which emerged in talks with Canada and Mexico in Washington over the weekend, calls for increasing — from 62.5 percent to 85 percent — the minimum percentage of parts that have to made in the U.S., Canada or Mexico in order to escape tariffs. The administration has also proposed instituting a new requirement that 50 percent of parts must come from the U.S. directly.

Jennifer Thomas, vice president of federal affairs at the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which lobbies for automakers, said the proposal is not likely to have its intended effect of increasing U.S. jobs.

“This is an onerous proposal that is unprecedented, especially with the domestic content requirement,” she said. “We strongly believe this is going to have an adverse effect. It’s going to lead to a decrease in production, a decline in jobs and an increase in cost to consumers. A lot of companies are going to forgo the NAFTA benefit and just pay the tariff, so you’ll see a shift in production to other locations.”
Source: The Detroit News

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Mercedes Maker Eyes Revamp, Paving Way for Possible Spinoff

Daimler divides into three registered companies as it faces growing competition from Silicon Valley over self-driving cars

Daimler AG has decided that less is more. After months of study, the automotive company that owns the Mercedes-Benz car brand said Monday it is taking preparatory steps to reorganize, consolidating its five business divisions into three separate registered companies. The company said the move would give the units greater entrepreneurial freedom and “better utilize the potential for growth and earnings” in their respective markets.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

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Nissan Gets New U.S. Sales Boss; Meunier Takes Infiniti Role

Dan Mohnke, the Nissan vice president in charge of accelerating efforts to improve the brand's U.S. performance, has been named Nissan’s top U.S. sales and marketing executive. Mohnke, a former Saturn executive who came to Nissan in 2006, takes the place of Christian Meunier as senior vice president of U.S. sales, marketing and operations. Meunier has been promoted to a newly created post at Infiniti: global division vice president, with responsibility for global marketing and sales at the luxury brand.
Source: Automotive News

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Ford Faces 'Significant Work' Before Autonomous Vehicles Become Reality, Argo AI Exec Says

Argo AI, a Pittsburgh artificial intelligence company backed by Ford, has grown from about two dozen employees a year ago to nearly 200. But Bryan Salesky, Argo AI's CEO, said much work remains before it can help Ford bring an autonomous car to market in 2021. Ford announced in February it would invest $1 billion over five years and become a majority stakeholder in the company, which specializes in robotics and virtual driver systems.
Source: Automotive News

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Toyota's AI Could Soon Check Your Face to See You're Sleepy or Stressed

Driving sleepy? Hungry? Toyota will be highlighting an array of experimental technologies aimed at improving safety and anticipating drivers’ desires at the Tokyo Motor Show later this month. Toyota Motor Corp. manager Makoto Okabe told reporters Monday that the use of artificial intelligence means cars may get to know drivers as human beings by analyzing their facial expressions, driving habits and social media use.
Source: The Associated Press

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Quotable
"Whoever aims for sustainable competitiveness and profitability must continuously evolve and adapt to rapidly changing surroundings—technologically, culturally and also structurally."

    -- Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche commenting on its plan to restructure the company, The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 16

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