Thursday, 01 October 2020 17:53

The 2020 Election and Auto: Cars.com Compares Each Presidential Candidate's Automotive Policies


A team of experts at Cars.com, a leading digital automotive marketplace and solutions provider, explored the differences in each presidential candidate's platforms and looked into major impacts the upcoming election will have on the automotive market and American consumers.

The full report can be found here.


"The first point people should understand about the auto industry is that vehicles are manufactured for years in essentially the same form based on an enormous upfront investment---vehicle platforms last 6.7 years on average," said Joe Wiesenfelder, executive editor for Cars.com. "Contrast this with a four-year presidential term, and it's hard to accept any claim that a president or nominee has changed, or could change, where automakers conduct final assembly in short order, even though this is where the current candidates are making most of their campaign claims and pledges."


Cars.com discussed potential outcomes covering three main focus areas for the candidates in the upcoming 2020 presidential election.


Three Words Our Country Loves: Made in America


The candidates do not differ much on the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, which replaced the North American Free Trade Agreement under President Donald Trump. However, it will take years to see the final impact on where automakers build their vehicles.


To date, there are few signs that the USMCA is bringing manufacturing back to the U.S. from abroad. Ford went from importing the Ranger mid-size pickup truck to assembling it in the U.S. However, it also opted to cancel the redesigned Focus sedan/hatchback due to tariffs.


"Regardless of campaign pledges, once production begins in a plant, country or hemisphere, relocating that platform is more expensive than most tariffs, penalties or trade restrictions the manufacturer might encounter," said Wiesenfelder. "American parts manufacturing timeframes aren't as long as vehicle platforms, however; if either candidate focuses on lower-tier manufacturing, it is possible we'll see more auto parts plants move to the U.S., as Vice President [Joe] Biden has suggested, referring to domestic auto supply chains."

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