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Toyota, Mazda Plan $1.6B US Plant in EV Partnership

Japanese automakers Toyota Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp. said Friday they plan to spend $1.6 billion to set up a joint-venture auto manufacturing plant in the U.S. — a move that will create up to 4,000 jobs and drew praise from President Donald Trump.

The plant will have an annual production capacity of about 300,000 vehicles, and will produce Toyota Corollas for the North American market. Mazda will make cross-over models there that it plans to introduce to that market, both sides said.

The companies will split the cost for the plant equally.

Toyota said that it changed its plan to make Corollas at a plant in Guanajuato, Mexico, now under construction, and instead will produce Tacoma pickups there.

Trump had criticized Toyota for taking auto production and jobs to Mexico. With the investment, both automakers can hope to prove their good American corporate citizenship and appease the Trump administration’s concerns about jobs moving overseas.

On Friday morning, however, Trump praised the plan on Twitter.

The companies will also work together on various advanced auto technology, such as electric vehicles, safety features and connected cars, as well as products that they could supply each other, they said.

Toyota will also acquire 31,928,500 shares of common stock newly issued by Mazda through a third-party allotment, which will amount to a 5.05 percent stake in Mazda, valued at 50 billion yen ($455 million).

Mazda, which makes the Miata roadster, will acquire 50 billion yen worth of Toyota shares, the equivalent of a 0.25 percent stake. The investment deal is expected to be final by October, the companies said.

Toyota President Akio Toyoda praised Mazda as a great partner.

“It has also sparked Toyota’s competitive spirit, increasing our sense of not wanting to be bested by Mazda. This is a partnership in which those who are passionate about cars will work together to make ever-better cars,” he said.

The companies said their collaboration will respect their mutual independence and equality. Toyota already provides hybrid technology to Mazda, which makes compact cars for Toyota at its Mexico plant.

The sheer cost of the plant also makes a partnership logical, as it boosts cost-efficiency and economies of scale. Working together on green and other auto technology also makes sense as the segment becomes increasingly competitive due to concerns about global warming, the environment and safety.

“Given the massive level of competition in the industry, partnerships are no longer a surprise,” said Akshay Anand, an executive analyst at Kelley Blue Book.

Politics are another incentive.

“The new presidential administration has made it clear investments in the U.S. are a top priority, and this plant may be another nod to that mindset,” Anand said.

Mazda President Masamichi Kogai said he hoped that the partnership will help energize the industry, by nurturing more car fans, as rivals come together for the shared goals of innovation and fostering talent and leadership.

Japanese rival Nissan Motor Co. is allied with Renault SA of France and Mitsubishi Motors Corp., and is the global leader in electric vehicles. Nissan-Renault became the top automaker in world vehicles sales for the first time in the first half of this year — underscoring how alliances can propel such groups into powerful leading positions.

Toyota is vying for the spot of No. 1 automaker in global vehicle sales against Nissan-Renault and Volkswagen AG of Germany, as the industry gradually consolidates.

The tie-up with Mazda, although still limited, marks the latest addition to Toyota’s sprawling empire, which includes Japanese truck maker Hino Motors and minicar maker Daihatsu Motor Co. It is also the top shareholder in Fuji Heavy Industries, the maker of Subaru cars.

In the past, Toyota, which makes the Prius hybrid, Camry sedan and Lexus luxury models, was not overly bullish on electric vehicles, noting the limited cruise range of the technology. But recent breakthroughs in batteries allow for longer travel per charge.

Mazda, based in Hiroshima, Japan, used to have a powerful partner in Dearborn-based Ford Motor Co., which bought 25 percent of Mazda in 1979, and raised it to 33.4 percent in 1996. But Ford began cutting ties in 2008, and has shed its stake in Mazda.

Also Friday, Toyota reported its April-June profit was 613.0 billion yen ($5.6 billion), up 11 percent from 552.4 billion yen a year earlier. Quarterly sales rose 7 percent to 7.05 trillion yen ($64 billion), as vehicle sales improved around the world, including in the U.S., Europe and Japan.

Toyota sold 2.2 million vehicles for the quarter, an improvement of 42,000 vehicles on-year, and stuck to its earlier projection for global vehicle sales for the fiscal year at 10.25 million vehicles.

Toyota also raised its fiscal full year profit forecast through March 2018 to 1.75 trillion yen ($16 billion), higher than its earlier forecast of 1.5 trillion yen ($14 billion). But that’s still lower than the 1.8 trillion yen earned in the previous fiscal year.

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Major Clothing Line Hurls Insult at Trump Supporters

author/kim-smith/

Apparently, taking on Trump is not enough and now the company feels compelled to insult Trump’s supporters, some of whom are no doubt Patagonia consumers.

Managing Director at FTI Consulting Steve Everley called out Chouinard for his remarks, and the company’s hypocrisy, on Twitter

Alienating a significant portion of their customers doesn’t appear to be a big concern to the company, but maybe it should be. Insulting Trump and his supporters didn’t work out so well for Macy’s, GrubHub or Nordsrom.

One thing is certain — if these liberal and progressive companies hate Trump, he must be doing something right.

Share this story on Facebook and Twitter to spread the word about Patagonia’s founder calling Trump supporters “rednecks.”

Trump’s Brilliant Idea for the Border Wall

Trump’s Brilliant Idea for the Border US President Donald Trump has told supporters that his proposed wall along the border with Mexico could have solar panels fixed to it.

Addressing a rally in Iowa, he said the panels would provide cheap energy and help to pay for the controversial wall.

He suggested the plan was his own, saying: “Pretty good imagination, right? Good? My idea.”

During his campaign, Mr Trump pledged to build a wall along the Mexican border to stop illegal immigration and drug trafficking.
Read more at http://trumptrainnews.com/articles/trumps-brilliant-idea-for-border-wall#gsT11Zc0py3u8Wfe.99

This Map Shows the Hourly Wage You Need to Afford an Apartment in Your State

by Tom Cahill

A new report shows that skyrocketing rent prices have put basic living arrangements out of reach in nearly every state for most low-income workers.

In order to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment in the U.S., workers on average need to earn at least $20.30 an hour, according to 2016 data from the National Low-Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC). That’s roughly $13 more per hour than the federal minimum wage, and roughly $5 per hour more than the average national $15.42 hourly wage earned by renters last year.

Even a one-bedroom apartment is out of reach for minimum wage earners today at Fair Market Rent (FMR) levels. FMR is the metric that the Department of Housing and Urban Development uses to determine standard payments for housing choice vouchers, rent ceilings for the HOME rental assistance program, and rents at Section 8 housing developments when contracts are up for renewal.

The NLIHC estimates that a worker earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour needed to work an average of 90 hours per week to afford even just a one-bedroom apartment in 2016. The number of hours needed to afford a two-bedroom apartment jumps to 112 hours of minimum wage work.

Fair market rent varies by state. But after looking at the average cost of rents throughout the U.S., and comparing that side-by-side with the Area Median Income (AMI) of each state, the NLIHC estimated that the average rental wage needed to afford rent for a two-bedroom apartment hovered over a little over $20.30 an hour.

However, because the average renter’s wage is actually just $15.42 an hour, this means that rent needs to be, on average, $802 a month or less in order to qualify as affordable. This means each worker would need 1.3 minimum wage jobs in order to make rent for a modest two-bedroom unit.

The NLIHC’s 2016″Out of Reach” report estimated the wages needed for rent in each state by classifying “affordable” rent as being no more than 30 percent of a worker’s monthly take-home pay.

Puerto Rico, West Virginia, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Ohio ranked as the most affordable places to live, while Hawaii, Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia, and New York ranked among the most expensive places for renters.

The two maps below show how many hours in each state a minimum wage earner needs to work in each state in order to pay for a one-bedroom apartment, and the hourly wage needed to afford a two-bedroom apartment in each state.

Trump Is Finally Putting a Stop to it All, Will Revoke This Major Obama Rule

Lawyers with the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed to change the federal government’s position on environmental regulations, which the Obama administration had legally defended against challenges from the oil and natural gas industry and several state governments.

“Trump is clearing out the political shenanigans from the Obama administration,” Christopher Guith, a vice president for energy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Regulatory kudzo such as the EPA Methane Rule, the Clean Power Plan, the Waters of The United States, and the last minute monument designations are certainly being reviewed right now. The previous administration just threw everything they could at the wall to cater to their environmentalist base after Trump won the election.”

Trump’s Department of the Interior and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) reviewed the rules as part of a White House directive to cut back on burdensome regulations, the attorneys explained.

Environmentalists are already furious about the government’s reversal.

“Many environmental advocates felt that the 2015 rule was already too lenient, but the Trump administration’s latest action could be even more worrisome to fracking opponents,” states the environmentalist blog Ecowatch.

Green groups largely got their way under the Obama administration when they attempted to prevent drilling on public lands.

“Even if it meant an advantage for the economy, the trade deficit, or U.S. jobs the Obama administration took steps to keep-it-in-the-ground,” Guith noted. “Under Trump we at least have an energy policy that is conducive to job creation and ultimately American competitiveness.”

Studies find that the removal of drilling restrictions on federal lands and water could create 2.7 million energy jobs, while another 1.8 million could be created by encouraging fracking. Such a regulatory change would add $663 billion to the economy annually for the next 30 years.

“Trump is setting the stage and creating the pathway forward to start unwinding some of the most restrictive energy policies in the history,” Guith said. “The way the Dakota Access Pipeline and other energy projects were treated was a lot like the ways banana republics treat companies. The law didn’t matter, the politics did.”

Congress has been working with Trump to repeal several major last-minute Obama regulations. Trump ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to consider repealing Obama’s Clean Water Rule, Clean Power Plan, and several other major environmental regulations, for example.

“Keystone XL was the other poster-child for this,” Guith said. “It got drawn out for six or seven years and had to effectively go through the process twice. The Obama administration just waited for TransCanada to quit. This was a shovel ready project financed privately which would have created thousands of high paying organized labor jobs in several states and Obama sat on his hands because of environmentalists.”

Kroger & company to fill 10,000 positions after meeting with President Trump


American companies are very happy with President Donald Trump Kroger just accounted it would hire 10,000 people this year. President Trump met with a dozen American manufacturers at the White House on Monday, pledging to slash regulations and cut corporate taxes to stimulate growth and jobs in the United States.

From Reuters:

Supermarket operator Kroger Co said on Monday it would fill 10,000 positions this year, joining a list of companies that have publicized routine hiring plans as President Donald Trump puts pressure on companies to employ more U.S. workers.

The number of permanent jobs being filled this year, however, is lower than last year’s hiring and represents about 2 percent of Kroger’s total workforce.

Kroger had about 431,000 full- and part-time employees as of Jan. 30, 2016. The company hired more than 12,000 workers in 2016.