Honda is planning to close its only car factory in the UK, EU says it will fight back in a trade war with the United States, Carlos Ghosn is ready for the trial, General Motors puts money where the SUVs are and McLaren stands by its anti-SUV mindset . All this and more in The Morning Shift Tuesday, February 19, 2019.
1. Gear: Honda Plans to Finish Production in the UK
We're now in a month away from the UK leaving the EU, and Honda just happened to confirm a 2021 expiration date at its only UK car factory in Swindon – along with the loss of up to 3,500 jobs,  according to Reuters. But Reuters reports that Honda said the decision is definitely not entirely related to Brexit, despite the practical timing.
Instead, Honda said the closure is more about the company not doing so well in Europe and wants to focus on producing cars where it sells most of them. Here's more, from Reuters:
But the time of the announcement, just 38 days before Brexit, comes amidst deeper Japanese business problems investing in the UK after it leaves the EU.
"This decision was not informed by Brexit," said Honda's CEO Takahiro Hachigo.
"We had to consider the increase of electrified vehicles and the different speeds at which electric vehicles will be picked up in North America and Europe."
Honda, building its Civic car in the UK and Turkey, said it would stop making the model in both countries. The announcement comes closer to two weeks after the second Japanese car manufacturer Nissan reversed its decision to build a new SUV in the UK.
The Swindon plant is a major part of car manufacturing in the UK, with Reuters reporting that it is responsible for 10 percent of cars built in the country. In 2018, the story Swindon built built 160,000 cars.
It makes the conclusion "a devastating decision for Swindon and Britain", tells the story, British business minister Greg Clark and Reuters reports that the country's largest union, Unite, said it would fight to keep the production facility open .
2. Gear: The European Union says it will be rendered if the US charges tariffs on imported vehicles
In several happy developments around the world, the EU said it would not only sit back and take it if the US charges tariffs on imported vehicles. And remember: We, the consumers, ultimately pay the cost of taxes, tariffs and trade warfare.
Reuters reports that a confidential report from the US Commerce Department sent to President Donald Trump recently could make room for He adds up to 25 percent tariffs on imported cars and parts by designating a national security threat. Because the report is not public, Reuters reports that exporters such as Germany, Japan and South Korea do not know what's coming.
But while the story said that Trump promised the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, he would not impose tariffs for the time and Juncker said he believes it, the EU seems ready to oppose if it does not as planned.
"Trump gave me a word that there will be no car prices at the moment. I see this commitment as something you can trust," Juncker told the German daily Stuttgarter Zeitung in an interview. He did not indicate when Trump made the promise.
Juncker added if Trump claimed tariffs on European cars, the EU would still respond immediately and not feel obliged to stick to its promise to buy more soybeans and liquid gas from the United States.
Bloomberg quoted the Ifo Institute by reporting that 25 percent tariffs could reduce German exports to the US by 50 percent, and total European exports by 7.7 percent. Here's more from Bloomberg:  The car dispute follows US tariffs on European imports of steel and aluminum, brought with the same national security justification. The block retaliated orders of 2.8 billion euros of US imports, ranging from Harley-Davidson Inc. motorcycles to Levi Strauss & Co. jeans.
U.S. Tariffs on European cars will mark a significant increase in transatlantic tensions because the value of EU car exports to the US market is about 10 times greater than the block's steel and aluminum exports. As a result, European retaliation measures will target a greater amount of US exports to Europe.
A 25 percent US tax on foreign cars will add 10,000 euros to the sticker price of European vehicles imported to the country, according to the commission. It will especially affect German brands such as Volkswagen, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz.
Bloomberg reports that a 25 percent tariff will add 10,000 euros, or $ 11,300 at current exchange rates, to the sticker of imported European vehicles, according to the European Commission.
3. Gear: Ghosn Gets Ready for Trial
Carlos Ghosn is still unlocked over the company's allegations of financial default from November, . He was denied a citizen under his former legal team. With a trial version coming up this year and the potential to get up to 10 years in prison, Bloomberg reports, he overhaules his legal composition and gets ready for a fight.
Ghosn, who previously led Renault  and was a leader of both Nissan and Mitsubishi, was imprisoned for alleged misunderstanding of Nissan. The problem caused a lot of strain on the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, but Renault, who held Ghosn as CEO long after Nissan and Mitsubishi dropped him, even alleged recently found evidence of financial error .
However, for Ghosn, it is time for the legal battle. Bloomberg reports that with a legal system in Japan that has a 99 percent conviction rate to him, Ghosn has completely reworked his legal team last week, including adding a leading lawyer named "The Razor."
He replaced a group led by former local prosecutor Motonari Otsuru with a guarded by Junichiro Hironaka, who is known for aggressive tactics defending high-profile clients as a former senior bureaucrat accused of corruption. Hironaka will hold its first press conference as Ghosn's lawyer on Wednesday.
"Likewise, it was wrong because he is not the kind of lawyer who will take a fighting attitude towards the prosecutors and probably could not maintain a relationship of trust with Ghosn," said Nobuo Gohara, a lawyer and former charges in Japan. "Hironaka is the type of lawyer who will thoroughly fight the charges of the prosecutors."
Ghosn's defense group includes Takashi Takano, who represented a member of the Aum Shinrikyo cult behind the Sarin gas attack in Tokyo in 1995.
A Tokyo-based defense lawyer quoted by Bloomberg, Nobuko Otsuki, called Takano and Hironaka  "all-stars."
4. Gear: GM invests $ 36 million in future SUV production in Michigan
Most of the general Motors production news lately has been about how many plants it closes and works it cuts down, but Detroit Free Press reports that The company puts $ 36 million into its Lansing Delta Township facility in Michigan ] for its future crossover and SUV production.
It's all right with GM's idea to "invest in the future" – or at least the present, since crossovers and SUVs are what people want right now.
The Lansing Delta Township pl ant builds both the Chevrolet Traverse and Buick Enclave SUV, and Freep reports that opened in 2006, it is GM's latest facility and has about 2,600 employees. The plant has also been the recipient of many GM investments over the years, according to Freep:
The investment comes as GM idles at five of its other factories in North America this year and has inflicted 6,200 jobs as part of a restructuring plan that contained elimination a total of 8,000 white collar jobs, through buyouts, contractor cuts and involuntary dismissal.
UAW rewarded the investment.
"The membership of the UAW Local 602 is under the leadership of the UAW Region 1D Director Gerald Kariem and You applaud this investment on behalf of the entire workforce and society," said UAW Vice President Terry Dittes in a statement. "Delta Township builds world-class Chevy Traverse and Buick Enclave. We at UAW look forward to more investments like this from General Motors, so they can build where they sell. "
Since 2009, GM has invested more than $ 600 million in the plant. In 2015, GM said it would invest $ 5.4 billion in US plant improvements over the next three years.
GM CEO Mary Barra called Traverse and Enclave key products in the company's "growing crossover portfolio" and said that the investment will help "prepare the facility for future crossover production."
5. Gear: McLaren will resist
You know how in The Terminator films, the fraction of the human population, are fighting against the inevitable robot roof, called "Resistance"? Well, McLaren is the resistance in the automotive industry and continues to struggle against the inevitable takeover of crossovers and SUVs.
While Lamborghini, Aston Martin and Ferrari all have entered the attack on SUVs and their mass appeal, and while Bugatti is debating his place in this world, McLaren has not yet cracked. It said it would not make an SUV at the beginning of last year, in September last year, and again this month.
From Automotive News:
Despite the fact that market pressure was put on the McLaren brand will remain a holdout.
"I can easily answer that and say no," said Mark Roberts, director of design operations for McLaren Automotive. "We really live on the ultimate driving experience. For us, it does not compromise. An SUV does not allow us to deliver on it. It is not an uncompromising vehicle."
McLaren is the resistance. For so long, it remains to be seen.
Conversely: Former Daytona 500 winners
It's mid-February, which means there were a handful of different Daytona 500 winners on a given day this time of year. On February 19, 1978, 19659009] 1984, 1989,
1995 and 2006, NASCAR's greatest race went to Bobby Allison, Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip, Sterling Marlin  and Jimmie Johnson.
Neutral: Do you think the McLaren will give in?
If so, how long will it be?