Ford Lobbies Biden Admin to Ease Ban on Chinese Electric Vehicle Parts

Ford is urging the Treasury Department to ease restrictions placed on electric car parts sourced from China and other “entities of concern” to ensure more of its vehicles can qualify for the consumer tax credits included in the Democrats’ massive climate spending bill, Reuters reported Friday.

The Democrats’ $430 billion climate package, which President Joe Biden signed into law in August, prevents the $7,500 consumer tax credits from applying to new electric vehicles (EVs) if their battery materials were produced or assembled by a “foreign entity of concern” such as China. Ford is claiming that the restrictions, which were aimed at taking EV supply chains out of Chinese hands, are too strict and will not allow enough consumers to reap the benefits of the tax credit, according to Reuters.

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Report: Large Economic Incentives Like Those in Tennessee Increasing Exponentially

Billion-dollar economic incentives, including the one that Tennessee gave to Ford for its plan to build a $5.6 billion electric truck plant outside Memphis, are increasing across the country, according to a new report from The Center for Economic Accountability.

And while fewer economic incentives have been awarded during the past two years, the average amounts of those incentives have increased significantly even in inflation-adjusted funds.

While the Tennessee Legislature approved $884 million in incentives toward Ford’s Blue Oval City in a special session last fall, the overall incentive package for the project is expected to exceed $1 billion.

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Ford May Let Go One-Fourth of Salaried Michigan Employees to Pay for Electric Vehicle Transition

Less than two months after announcing it would apply $134 million of taxpayer dollars for retooling two Michigan plants, news reports this week surfaced that revealed Ford Motor Company would lay off approximately 8,000 salary workers.

According to Bloomburg reporting, the job cuts are part of the automaker’s effort to liberate $3 billion of corporate operational costs from the its internal combustion engine business. The company would then transfer savings garnered from the layoffs to build electric Ford F-150 Lightning and Ranger pickups at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, a new Mustang coupe at Flat Rock Assembly Plant, and a $35 million Ford Customer Service Division packaging facility in Monroe.

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Ford to Invest $2 Billion, Create 3,200 Jobs in Michigan

Ford Motor Company says it will spend $3.7 billion across three Midwestern states to create more than 6,200 new union jobs. 

The United Auto Workers and Ford say they will convert nearly 3,000 temporary UAW-Ford workers to permanent full-time status and provide all hourly employees healthcare benefits on the first day at work.

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Report: Michigan Might Spend $135 Million on Ford Subsidy

The state of Michigan could invest up to $135 million in new auto and electric vehicle (EV) plants for Ford Motor Company.

The news follows Stellantis NV choosing Kokomo, Ind., as the site for a $2.5 billion EV battery manufacturing plant that could employ 1,400 people, passing over locations around the Motor City.

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Virginia Receives $384,736 as Part of $19.2 Million Settlement with Ford over Deceptive Marketing

Virginia will receive $384,736.40 as its share of a multi-state $19.2 million settlement with Ford over false advertising of fuel economy of 2013–2014 C-Max hybrid cars and the capacity of 2011–2014 Super Duty pickup trucks.

“Virginians should be able to trust car manufacturers’ information as advertised about their vehicles,” Attorney General Jason Miyares said in a Tuesday press release. “Ford exaggerated the C-Max hybrids’ fuel efficiency and Super Duty trucks’ payload capacity, misleading Virginia consumers. A key component of my office is protecting Virginia consumers, and I’m pleased we were able to reach a fair agreement with Ford.”

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Tennessee Has Given Out Six FastTrack Incentive Grants of $1 Million or Greater So Far in 2022

Tennessee allocated six incentive grants worth at least $1 million to companies this year who are either building new facilities or expanding facilities in the state.

The incentives come through the state’s FastTrack grant program, which are state grants sent to local governments for specific infrastructure improvements or to companies to help offset the costs of expanding existing facilities or moving into the state with the goal of increasing the number of full-time jobs and the average wages of jobs available in an area.

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Ford Reports Devastating Losses Thanks to Electric Vehicle Gamble

Major U.S. automaker Ford blamed its sizable investment in electric vehicle (EV) company Rivian for its dramatic revenue decline in the first quarter of 2022.

Ford reported revenue of $34.5 billion between January and March, a 5% decline relative to the same period in 2021, and a net loss of $3.1 billion, according to the company’s earnings report released Wednesday. The Detroit automaker said its large investment in Rivian accounted for $5.4 billion in losses during the first quarter.

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Commentary: President Biden Sides Against Union Rank-and-File

While rank-and-file union members embraced President Trump, virtually every major union endorsed Joe Biden. A quietly issued Labor Department regulation helps explain this disconnect. President Biden has put union leaders first — even at the expense of union members.

Late last year, the Labor Department rescinded Trump Administration union transparency regulations. These regulations would have required union trust funds — like apprenticeship funds and strike funds — to disclose their receipts and expenditures.

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Commentary: Unions Aligning with America First

After intense negotiations, the United Auto Workers secured a new agreement with Ford, General Motors, and their suppliers that effectively prohibits a vaccine mandate for employees by requiring only “voluntary” disclosure of vaccination status for union members. This hard-won validation for workers points to a larger opportunity for the America First movement and organized labor to acknowledge that they are natural allies.

On critical issues ranging from medical privacy to border security and foreign trade, the emerging populist and nationalist consensus of the New Right creates an obvious home for unionized Americans. The America First cause can, in turn, help revitalize private-sector unions and guarantee a more prosperous society for our country, with a stronger middle class through a better diffusion of economic and political power.

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Special Session Legislation Increases Safeguards Related to COVID-19, but Some Legislators Say Concessions for Big Business and the Federal Government Leave Tennesseans Unequally Protected

The legislation that emerged in Saturday’s early morning hours from the three days of the 112th Tennessee General Assembly’s Third Extraordinary Session provided a number of safeguards against COVID-19 mandates, but some legislators say concessions to accommodate big business and funding from the federal government also resulted in unequal protection for some Tennesseans against COVID mandates.

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Tennessee Representative Terri Lynn Weaver Talks Voting No on Ford and What Her Constituents Really Want

Wednesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Tennessee State Representative Terri Lynn Weaver to the newsmakers line to explain her no vote on the Blue Oval City project and what her constituents want.

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Commentary: Tennessee Legislature Must Pass Big COVID Test in ‘Special Session’

The red state/blue state dichotomy is not simple.

Nowhere is that more apparent than Tennessee where—despite having one of the most conservative electorates in the country—the leadership has been passive at best in responding to the wishes of their supporters during these days of great crisis.

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Tennessee State Representatives Grills and Zachary Propose Bill that Would Provide Unemployment Benefits to Workers Who Quit over Vaccine Mandates

Tennessee lawmakers in the General Assembly introduced a bill Friday that would ensure that Tennesseans who quit their jobs over vaccine mandates receive unemployment benefits. Representative Rusty Grills (R-Newbern) is sponsoring the bill while Representative Jason Zachary (R-Knoxville) signed on as a co-sponsor.

Currently, voluntarily quitting a job typically disqualifies someone from receiving unemployment. In some cases, the vaccine requirements, including from President Biden, include a weekly COVID-19 testing option.

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Tennessee Approves $884M in Funding, Creates Board for $6B Ford Project

The Tennessee Legislature finished its special session on Ford’s $5.6 billion electric truck project Wednesday by approving $884 million in spending and creating a Megasite Authority of West Tennessee board to oversee operations.

“This is the largest single economic investment in rural Tennessee’s history,” Gov. Bill Lee said. “… It is, most importantly, a win for western Tennessee’s workforce.”

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Grant Henry and Andy Ogles Talk Historical Patterns of Large Corporations Taking Advantage of Tennessee Tax Money

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Andy Ogles and Grant Henry in studio to examine past examples of corporations receiving big grants to come to Tennessee that failed.

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Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles Describes the Process of Bringing Corporations into the State

Tuesday morning on the Tennessee Star Report, host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles in studio to give examples of the process of bringing out of state corporations into Tennessee.

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Michigan Missing Out on Ford’s Joint $11.4B Electric Vehicle Factories in Tennessee, Kentucky

Despite Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s claim that Michigan is the future of electric vehicles (EVs), Ford Motor Company and battery maker SK Innovation announced plans to build three new plants in Kentucky and Tennessee.

The new plants, which will host production of electric vehicles and advanced lithium-ion batteries by 2025, will cost roughly $11.4 billion to build and create a projected 11,000 jobs.

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Tennessee to Develop New Technical Training Program to Pair with New Ford Manufacturing Plant

The state of Tennessee will develop a new Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT)  in partnership with a new Ford electric vehicle and battery plant.

Specifically, the new TCAT program will be located at at the Memphis Regional Megasite and will provide students with education and training designed in conjunction with Ford.

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Big Three Automakers Reinstate Mask Mandates for All Workers

America’s largest automobile manufacturers, along with United Auto Workers (UAW), will require all employees to wear masks again starting Wednesday.

The decision was made by a COVID-19 task force comprised of health officials from UAW, Ford, General Motors and Stellantis, which manufactures Dodge and Chrysler vehicles. All workers, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, have to wear masks at plants, office buildings, and warehouses, UAW announced in a statement Tuesday.

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Gov. DeWine Discusses Ohio COVID Updates

Governor Mike DeWine discussed programs Wednesday aimed at helping Ohio deal with COVID.

In an emailed press release, DeWine’s office announced the creation of a new demographic dashboard which will allow those interested to break down COVID cases by race and ethnicity, as well as age and county. DeWine said the “dashboard will help better track health inequities and disparities” and that “this data will also help put critical decisions into context for policymakers.”

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Free Admission to the Country Music Hall of Fame December 15

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is pleased to partner with the Ford Motor Company Fund for the museum’s 11th Ford Community Day, on Sunday, December 15. Museum admission will be FREE from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. next Sunday, as a way to say “thank you” to the Middle Tennessee community and to reward lucky out-of-town visitors. Tours of Hatch Show Print and Historic RCA Studio B will also be free and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

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Detroit Auto Show, and Industry, Prepare for Transition

The auto industry gathered in Detroit on Sunday, on the eve of the last winter edition of North America’s premiere auto show, as carmakers grapple with a contracting market and uncertainty in the year ahead. Concerns over the health of the global economy and a US-China trade war loomed over…

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On WKRN’s This Week With Bob Mueller, Steve Gill Says ‘Phil Bredesen Is Not A Centrist’

Tennessee Star Political Editor Steve Gill  was a guest on WKRN’s This Week With Bob Mueller and chatted with Bob about how Phil Bredesen would vote if elected to the Senate and how contrary to popular belief, he was not a “centrist.” Gill commented, “I don’t believe Phil Bredesen at all. …

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