Donald Trump has found a new target for his Twitter ire: the global automotive industry.
The US President yesterday mounted a series of attacks on car makers for snubbing his plan to roll back Obama-era fuel efficiency rules, singling out Ford for instead siding with a California state deal which proposes stricter emissions standards.
He said the firm’s founder, Henry Ford, would be “very disappointed if he saw his modern-day descendants wanting to build a much more expensive car, that is far less safe and doesn’t work as well, because execs don’t want to fight California regulators”.
“The Legendary Henry Ford and Alfred P. Sloan, the Founders of Ford Motor Company and General Motors, are “rolling over” at the weakness of current car company executives willing to spend more money on a car that is not as safe or good, and cost $3,000 more to consumers. Crazy!”
Ford, the second-biggest car maker in the US, is one of four automotive giants to strike a voluntary deal with California on emissions rules, defying Trump’s bid to strip the state of its right to fight climate change by setting its own standards.
The other car makers to snub the President are Honda, BMW and Volkswagen.
Ford said it is focused on protecting both the environment and the affordability of its cars. “This agreement with California provides regulatory stability while reducing CO2 more than complying with two different standards,” it said.
There is no evidence that existing fuel economy rules would degrade vehicle performance.
California attorney general Xavier Becerra said Trump’s proposed rules would create an extra 540m metric tonnes of greenhouse gases and other harms. “This doesn’t look like a better alternative to us,” he said.
The White House has called on car makers not to back California, while the Democrats have written to them to urge that they back the so-called sunshine state.