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4 hours ago, TS7 said:

Kscarbel there may be, that person just does not fit the PC world that the Leaders of Ford and GM live in today. 

Got that right..Hackett's claim to fame?...he is a "cerebral thinker"!

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    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-ford-motor-southamerica-heavytruck/ford-exiting-heavy-truck-business-in-south-america-idUSKCN1Q82EB

That's a disappointment.  While I don't believe there is any chance we will ever see the Ford-Otosan commercial trucks in the U.S., I thought the Brazilian-built medium duty Cargo would have been a great addition to Ford's North American commercial truck line-up.  A Cargo with the new 7.3L gas engine would have been competitive with GM and Isuzu LCF's.  In any event, Ford pulling out of Brazil is hardly a surprise.      

Edited by RoadwayR

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1 hour ago, RoadwayR said:

This doesn't surprise me a bit. For one you have Hackett, who is clueless about commercial trucks and South America.

On the other hand, you have Brazil's economy in the basement for several years now and a government that is clueless on how to turn it around. Due to the latter, none of the truckmakers including VW are making any money now.

On the other hand, remember that Ford made Ford-Otosan the head of Ford global commercial truck sales some time ago. With that decision, Ford was telling Ford Brasil (it's own unit 100%) that they had to do more, or it might be the end.

When Ford put the Ford-Otosan go-getters in charge, Ford invested heavily in Turkey with Otosan and now you have the world class F-MAX.

And, Ford invested heavily in the world's largest heavy truck market - China - with partner JMC to produce China market variants of both the Cargo and F-MAX.

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Ford to cut products, jobs in South American shakeup

Michael Martinez, Automotive News  /  February 19, 2019

Ford is ending production of a number of vehicles at its Sao Bernardo do Campo plant in Brazil and cut a "significant" amount of workers there as it attempts to save its floundering South American operations.

Ford said Tuesday it will exit the commercial heavy-duty truck business in South America after it stops building its Cargo commercial truck lineup at the Brazil plant this year.

Ford will also end production and sales of the F-4000 and F-350 pickups and Fiesta subcompact sedan in South America.

The actions will result in a $460 million charge that will mostly be recorded in 2019, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. About $360 million of that will be for "separation and termination payments for employees, dealers, and suppliers," according to the filing.

The Brazil plant employs nearly 2,800 workers.

It's unclear if the facility will close or receive new products.

"Ford is committed to the South American region by building a sustainable and profitable business with strengthened product offerings, outstanding customer experience, and a leaner more agile business model," Ford of South America President Lyle Watters said in a statement.

Ford said it considered selling its heavy-duty truck business as well as partnering to help reduce losses, but ultimately decided that there was no way to make money [in Brazil].

"We know this action will have a major impact on our employees in Sao Bernardo, and we will be working closely with all our stakeholders on the next steps," Watters said. "Working closely with our dealers and suppliers, Ford will continue to provide support for our customers with warranty, parts and service."

Ford has been reviewing its South America business for months under CEO Jim Hackett's broad, $11 billion reorganization of the company.

Ford lost $678 million in South America last year.

In recent months, Ford said, it has reduced salaried and administrative costs in South America by more than 20 percent.

It is also sharing product development costs as part of a partnership with Volkswagen Group to build edium-duty [mid-size?] pickups in South America and other regions.

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Ford to Exit Commercial Truck Business in South America

Maria Armental, Wall Street Journal  /  February 19, 2019

Ford intends to stop making commercial trucks in South America and focus there on the more popular midsize pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles, the company said Tuesday.

Ford is under pressure to improve its international operations after incurring losses at all of those units in 2018, including $678 million in South America.

On Tuesday, Ford said it would end production this year at Brazil's São Bernardo do Campo assembly plant, ending sales in South America of Cargo, F-4000 and F-350 trucks once inventories are cleared.

Sales of the Fiesta small car in South America also will end, according to Ford. It previously said it plans to end U.S. sales of the Fiesta and Focus compact car, amid weaker demand for smaller vehicles.

Ford had said it was exploring alternatives for the São Bernardo do Campo plant, including a possible sale, but said Tuesday the business "would have required significant capital investments to meet market needs and increasing regulatory costs with no viable path to profitability."

It estimated it would book about $460 million in charges before taxes, with roughly $360 million going to workers, dealers and suppliers.

The company plans to continue to do business in the region, but "we're going to play to our strengths in South America," Ford Global Markets President Jim Farley has said.

Ford, which is also winding down sales of the Focus in Argentina, has been cutting costs in South America, including reducing employee ranks by more than 20% over the past few months.

The South American market also has weighed on General Motors, which has said it is taking steps to improve results in the region. GM continues to be unprofitable in South America despite years of restructuring, and is in discussions with its unions, government officials and dealers on a turnaround effort, the company has said.

"The business climate there remains a challenge, particularly in Brazil and Argentina, our largest markets in the region," GM Chief Executive Mary Barra said last month. "This is driving unacceptable losses that need to be addressed."

 

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Ford Brazil in better times.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ford announces 6 new truck models and production of the 400,000th Cargo in Brazil

June 16, 2015

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Ford investigating possible problems with fuel economy, emissions tests

Joe White, Reuters  /  February 21, 2019

DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. said on Thursday it had hired outside experts to investigate its vehicle fuel economy and testing procedures after employees raised concerns, and did not know whether it would have to correct data given to regulators or consumers.

The investigation and concerns involving Ford's testing processes do not involve the use of so-called defeat devices -- hardware and software designed deliberately to deceive government emissions tests, Kimberly Pittel, Ford's group vice president for sustainability, environment and safety engineering, told Reuters on Thursday.

The automaker since last fall has been investigating concerns raised by employees that incorrect calculations were used to translate test results into the mileage and emissions data submitted to regulators, Pittel said.

Ford said it was evaluating changes to the process it uses to develop fuel economy and emissions figures, "including engineering, technical and governance components."

Ford has hired the Sidley, Austin law firm to lead an independent investigation into possible discrepancies in calculations used to produce emissions and fuel economy figures, Pittel said. The company is using an independent laboratory to conduct testing.

U.S. and California regulators have been cracking down on automakers for emissions cheating following revelations in 2015 that German automaker Volkswagen Group had used defeat devices to make models equipped with diesel engines appear to comply with emissions standards when they emitted far more pollution than allowed in real-world driving.

"We have voluntarily shared this information" with the EPA and the California Air Resources Board, Pittel said. Ford notified the agencies this week, she said.

The EPA said in a statement on Thursday that information from Ford's investigation is "too incomplete for EPA to reach any conclusions. We take the potential issues seriously and are following up with the company to fully understand the circumstances behind this disclosure."

The investigation has started with testing of the 2019 Ranger pickup truck, and the company expects data back next week, Pittel said.

Pittel said it was not clear what impact the review will have on advertised mileage or fuel economy data submitted to regulators, nor is it clear how many vehicles could be affected if Ford is required to revise the data.

"We are going to go where the investigation takes us," she said.

Ford has been embarrassed in the past by errors in fuel economy claims. In 2013, the automaker cut by 7 mpg the claimed fuel economy for its C-Max hybrid model following complaints that real-world mileage did not match the claimed fuel economy. In 2014, Ford lowered fuel economy ratings for six other models and offered compensation to customers.

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One or more people blew the whistle on Ford and now the automaker is in PR damage control mode. With Ford's deep pockets and "relationships", it can bury this better and faster than others.

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Henry Ford III joins Ford Foundation board

Sherri Welch, Crain’s Detroit Business  /  February 22, 2019

DETROIT -- To signal its ongoing commitment to Detroit and Michigan, the New York-based Ford Foundation Board of Trustees has named a member of the Ford family to its board for the first time in 43 years.

Henry Ford III, 38, manager of corporate strategy at Ford Motor Co., has been elected to a six-year term on the foundation's board.

Ford is the great-grandson of Edsel Ford, who created the Ford Foundation in 1936. The younger Ford is the first family member to sit on the foundation's board since his grandfather, Henry Ford II, resigned in 1976 after 33 years of service as president, chair, and a trustee.

Henry Ford II created the modern Ford Foundation, guiding it on a deliberate process of becoming independent. Under his leadership, it shifted to an international mission, expanded its board beyond the Ford family and moved to New York City in 1953.

Michigan controversy

Fast forward to 2006. Then-Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox launched an investigation of the foundation, alleging it had ignored the Ford family's philanthropic wishes by reducing support for Michigan charities.

His investigation came amid sizable commitments made by the foundation in Detroit. Between 2005 and 2007, the Ford Foundation committed $2 million to the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy's RiverWalk project, $5 million to the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan for neighborhood development along the city's east riverfront and $8 million in grants and low-cost loans to ShoreBank Enterprise Detroit to spur new economic development in Detroit.

In the spring of 2007, it committed $25 million to the first round of funding to create the New Economy Initative, a $100 million economic development initiative led by foundations.

'Grand bargain'

In 2014, under the direction of current President Darren Walker, the foundation stepped up its investments in southeastern Michigan with a $125 million commitment to the "Grand Bargain" that shored up Detroit pension funds, helping the city to emerge from bankruptcy and protecting the collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Including the $12.5 million annual payment it makes to fulfill that pledge, it makes more than $30 million in grants in metro Detroit each year.

"Henry has been an advocate for these efforts, and I am delighted he will bring his dedication to social justice to his board service," Walker said in a release.

"Although we were established to be an independent institution, our recent efforts in southeastern Michigan have marked a reconnection with the Ford family, coming full circle with Henry's election to our board."

Re-engagement in Detroit

Ford's appointment to the foundation's board builds on other moves the foundation has made to re-engage with Detroit in recent years.

In 2015, it held its first meeting in Detroit since 1948, and in 2017 it opened an office in Detroit and named Detroit native Kevin Ryan to manage it as it began focusing on reforming the school system, investing in affordable housing and equitable development and support of neighborhood-based organizations.

Prior to joining Ford Motor Co. in 2006, Henry Ford III taught middle school and high school math and history after a role with Boston-based Carney, Sandoe and Associates, recruiting new teachers and helping to place them in schools across the country.

He currently serves on the advisory boards of Henry Ford College in Dearborn, Mich., and Bridging Communities in Detroit, The Henry Ford, Operation Hope and Neighborhood Villages, a nonprofit group he helped start to work with community-based organizations to increase the accessibility of early child care for all families.

Ford III said in a statement that he's eager and honored to help shepherd the foundation his family created more than 80 years ago.

"The foundation's commitment to ending inequality and building a fair and inclusive economy is more critical today than ever before, and it is impossible to overstate its role in reinvigorating the city of Detroit," he said.

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I'll believe it when a I see a drop down side window!

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Bill Ford: Mustang-inspired electric crossover 'going to go like hell'

Michael Martinez, Automotive News  /  February 25, 2019

When Ford Motor Co. was attempting to dethrone Ferrari on the racetrack at Le Mans, then-President Henry Ford II had one directive for his drivers: "Go like hell."

More than a half-century later, Hank the Deuce's nephew called on that phrase to help define the company's first battery-electric crossover, due out next year.

Speaking Monday at the Crain's Detroit Business Newsmaker of the Year luncheon, Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford said the Mustang-inspired vehicle "is going to go like hell."

The callback to that phrase isn't an accident. It underscores a change in strategy for how Ford views its EVs. The company's early forays into electrification included now-discontinued vehicles such as the Focus Electric and C-Max plug-in hybrid that were known more for their fuel economy than performance capabilities.

"When we first started talking about electrification, there was this thought that there had to be a trade-off: It was either going to be green and boring and no fun, or really exciting but burn a lot of fossil fuels," Ford said. "Electrification has come to the point that you can do both."

The vehicle will have a range of more than 300 miles. Production was originally slated for Flat Rock, Mich., near Detroit, but Ford last year decided instead to build the vehicle in Mexico.

Ford has created a dedicated business unit, dubbed Team Edison, to handle production of its EVs. The team is based in Corktown, a Detroit neighborhood where the automaker is spending roughly $740 million to rehab an old train station.

The station, abandoned for decades, will become the centerpiece of a new campus the company will use to woo young talent. The renovation is expected to take four years.

Ford said Monday he'd like to fill the building with a mix of suppliers, software developers, tech startups and — potentially — other automakers.

Ford last month announced the beginning of a global alliance with Volkswagen Group that will include collaborating on pickups and commercial vans. The two sides are also discussing electric and autonomous vehicle development.

Ford said VW, in theory, could lease space in the building.

"It could be them," he said. "Anybody who wants to come down and be part of this ecosystem, we'd love it."

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8 hours ago, RoadwayR said:

Back to Brazil, things are going great for Traton:

https://www.reuters.com/article/volkswagen-traton-results/vws-traton-gets-2018-profit-boost-from-brazil-higher-sales-idUSL5N20K3VC

Probably be even better with Ford out of the picture. 

 

for sure!

As I posted on another site in response to why Ford gave up on heavy trucks in Brazil-make that  South America...

"Like I said-"political /economic climate"  Country was in the tank.  But don't you think the decision was easy for Hackett?  Short term objectives are always the easiest. Was there excess capacity in that current market?  I guess so.   Ford unfortunately blinked first."

 

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Ford Bronco Prototype Spied Testing in Detroit

Andrew Wendler, Car & Driver  /  February 28, 2019

Short wheelbase, aggressive tires, and lifted suspension point to Bronco rather than Ranger.

  • We are fairly certain you're looking at images of the upcoming Ford Bronco, based on the shape and size of this vehicle spotted in Detroit.

  • The new Bronco will be based on the Ranger pickup, and that's definitely the Ranger cab under there.

  • This is likely only the first in what should be a wave of teaser images and speculation expected in the next few months.

Whenever photos of prototype vehicles and test mules surface, speculation is never far behind. That's certainly the case for this Ford mule that our spy photogs snagged today near Ford HQ in Dearborn. When the photos first started circulating, the general scuttlebutt was that the vehicle in question pegged as the forthcoming Ford Courier, a small, car-based pickup slated to slot in beneath the Ranger. But although the mule shown here may appear that tiny to the untrained eye, the large aggressive tires, high ride height, appearance of the frame—check the mounting point of the trailer hitch—and size of the Club Cab swing door, along with the shape of the glass in it, all say otherwise. Finally, if you concede that a license plate is 12 inches wide, this vehicle is roughly the same width as the current Ford Ranger. Given that, we think it is a mule for the forthcoming Ford Bronco, most likely a short-wheelbase two-door version.

Look, we know the new Bronco is going to be Ranger based, and these images clearly show a Ranger cab with a small rear bed and cap, which is very likely a cobbled-together piece intended simply for prototype mules. (Note the deep indentation around the fuel filler indicating artificially swollen bodywork for camouflage and/or convenience purposes.) Although that last detail leans toward the pickup side of the equation, a wheelbase that short would be pointless and potentially dangerous in a pickup.

Additionally, it's important to remember that the Bronco will likely be based on the next-generation Ranger platform, so what we are seeing here is very likely doing double duty as an R&D mule for both vehicles, i.e., the new Bronco and the next-gen Ranger. The idea is that the Bronco, now rumored to be coming as a 2021 model, will make its debut on a fresh frame (rumors also persist of a new V-6 engine), and the next-generation Ranger will switch to the new frame and suspension when it is updated a year or two down the line.

In essence, the bodywork isn't the smoking gun here anyhow; it's the short wheelbase and tall ride height that point to a new vehicle, leading us to believe that this is the first of many Bronco teasers to come our way in the next few months.

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I can't buy a Ford Everest in North America, because the automaker wants to sell this instead ???

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That looks so awesome!.................. hahahaha 🤣

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another parking lot chariot for the soccer moms ?

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There are discussions of these photos on some Ford enthusiast websites, and the consensus is that the vehicle is a chassis development mule, and the modified Ranger body components are just used to make it drive-able.  The Bronco will look nothing like that.    

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6 hours ago, RoadwayR said:

There are discussions of these photos on some Ford enthusiast websites, and the consensus is that the vehicle is a chassis development mule, and the modified Ranger body components are just used to make it drive-able.  The Bronco will look nothing like that.    

All true. But the upcoming Bronco is surely not going to be a "Bronco", and I would have liked to purchase a Ford Everest irregardless of the Bronco endeavor.

If Ford launched a vehicle that looks like the 1977 Bronco, except with modern components (alike ICON), the automaker would struggle to meet order demand.

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Ford Expects Health-Care Costs to Top $1 Billion in 2020

Bloomberg  /  March 12, 2019

Ford expects the cost of health insurance for its 56,000 hourly workers in the U.S. to top $1 billion for the first time next year, according to a person familiar with the situation, highlighting a growing expense for automakers even as car sales slow.

Those mounting health-care costs represent a potential sticking point in this year’s contract talks between the United Auto Workers and the three U.S. automakers that tried and failed four years ago to address an expanding outlay that threatens profits and jobs. At Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, the tab for health insurance topped $2 billion in 2015 and has only grown since.

Bargaining negotiations get underway this summer on contracts that expire in September with each of the three automakers. Some experts say divisive issues including cost-sharing for health care benefits may lead to striking.

The UAW must balance its protection of benefits with the need to keep workers on the job at a time when GM is shuttering five North American factories and Ford is slashing shifts and cutting jobs as part of an $11 billion restructuring. Although the three automakers remain profitable, they are bracing for a slowdown that could become a recession while spending billions to prepare for a future dominated by electric and self-driving cars.

Hard-Won Benefit

Nationwide, health expenditures are projected to grow by 5.5 percent annually from 2018 to 2027, more than twice the rate of inflation, according to a new study by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. But unionized auto workers enjoy some of the most generous medical coverage plans in the country and have been spared premium increases.

The UAW sees that as a hard-won benefit that helps make up for concessions to automakers in other areas. But automakers view these gold-plated worker plans as a growing burden that puts them at a disadvantage against rivals with non-unionized factories.

“We’re returning to major concession negotiations in the auto industry,” said Gary Chaison, professor emeritus of industrial relations at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. “The major manufacturers are saying: Give us a reason for why we should expand in the U.S. as opposed to China or India or somewhere else.”

Thin Contributions

With little or no co-pays or deductibles, UAW members contribute just 3 percent to their health-care coverage, compared with 30 percent by Ford’s salaried workers, said the person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified revealing internal data. Without changes, the growth in health-care costs over the life of the next contract would be the equivalent of a $3 hourly wage increase, the person said.

In the U.S., workers with health insurance contribute an average of 18 percent of the premium for single coverage and 29 percent of the premium for family coverage, according to a study last year by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Health-care coverage has been sacrosanct at the UAW, which gave up wages and jobs in 2009 to help keep the automakers afloat but didn’t give back medical benefits. “The union has fought hard in the darkest of economic times to ensure its members remain protected,” said Harley Shaiken, labor relations professor at the University of California at Berkeley. “It’s not a rhetorical commitment. It is a substantive commitment at the bargaining table.”

In 2015, when then-UAW President Dennis Williams proposed creating a health care co-op that leveraged the buying power of almost 140,000 UAW members working for Detroit automakers, workers soundly rejected it, fearing it would erode their benefits. That’s why labor analysts expect health care to be a flashpoint in negotiations for the contracts.

‘Cadillac’ Tax

As the union gathers in Detroit this week to map out its bargaining strategy for this summer’s contract talks, it has made retaining and expanding health-care benefits a top priority. The union said it will seek to eliminate disparities in coverage, which have left newer workers with less-generous coverage than veterans. It also is looking to reduce co-pays on prescription drugs and avoid any “cost shifting” from companies, according to the bargaining resolutions prepared for the convention.

Looming over the talks is a provision in the Affordable Care Act -- also known as Obamacare -- that will tax so-called “Cadillac” health care plans like the UAW’s at 40 percent starting in 2022. That cost would be crippling for the automakers and its workers, both sides say. But finding a way around that will be tricky.

Labor experts say neither side is eager to make concessions, which could bode ill for the negotiations.

“I don’t think any of the Big Three can absorb that cost, so they’re going to want more cost sharing,” Wheaton said. “But I can see the UAW saying, we’ve given up so much money on other things and we’ve tried to claw back some of that, and now you’re saying we need to make up for a 40 percent hit on health care. I think you’re talking strike.”

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$17,857  At 2080 straight time hours per year that is 8.58 per hour.  

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Bill Ford: We 'fit together' with VW

Bloomberg  /  March 13, 2019

Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG, which have been in talks to team up on electric and autonomous vehicles, make for good partners because both recognize the extent of the challenges ahead, according to Bill Ford, executive chairman of the U.S. automaker.

"We fit together geographically really well, product line-wise, we fit together well," Bill Ford, the great-grandson of founder Henry Ford, said Tuesday at the CERAWeek energy conference in Houston. "We both came to the same realization that as big as our balance sheets are, no company can do this alone."

Talks between Ford and VW are still at an early stage, Ford said, but there's been promising progress made in building on the partnership the two companies solidified in January to jointly produce commercial vehicles. The U.S. and German automakers have established a framework for VW to invest in Ford's autonomous vehicle partner Argo AI, people familiar with the negotiations have said. The companies also are considering joining forces on electric cars.

"We're really in the early days of exploring what the possibilities could be," Ford said. "We have some clear ideas of where we want to go with it and they do, too."

VW CEO Herbert Diess said separately Tuesday that his company is in " very good talks" with Ford on expanding their commercial-vehicle collaboration to include autonomous vehicles. Ford also is considering using VW's electric-car platform, dubbed MEB, in Europe and China, Diess said.

"The supertanker is picking up speed," Diess said in a speech at VW's annual earnings press conference. "We are aligning Volkswagen with e-mobility like no other company in our industry."

Such a deal could help position Ford for a future where electric and self-driving cars will help address problems including urban congestion and pollution, Bill Ford said. He said he's attempting to reposition the 115-year-old company for the dramatic changes that are coming, which could include selling fewer cars and developing new forms of mobility such as electric scooters.

"I'd like Ford to be around another 100 years, and if that's going to happen, it's clear that we really have to branch off into new directions to try to solve some of these problems," Ford said. "It's hard because our current business model is providing all the earnings and cash flow that fund a lot of this change. So we have to do both really well. If we don't make great cars and trucks today that people want, guess what? There is no tomorrow."

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I wonder what Henry would say?  3-way partnership, his company, VW, Argo.  Probably spinning in his grave.

However, Henry can take solace from Bill's great insight and wisdom: "If we don't make great cars and trucks today that people want, guess what? There is no tomorrow."  And in the mean time we got that important train station thing going on.

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Along with GM and Wright.

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