Last week, the president took Detroit — and particularly GM and CEO Mary Barra — to task for moving too slowly to build breathing devices for coronavirus victims. Shortly after Trump sent a set of angry tweets, the company announced a deal to partner with a ventilator maker and start production within weeks — with or without the federal contract they had been seeking.
The back-to-back critiques are coming from a president who billed himself as a champion of the industry and welcomed Detroit’s CEOs to the White House within days of his inauguration. He delivered Tuesday on a vow to relax regulations he said were too burdensome by requiring the industry to boost new car fuel efficiency by 1.5 percent per year through 2026. The previous mandate required improvements of roughly 5 percent annually.
While Trump seemingly lumped all auto companies together in his tweet, his fuel standards initiative has fractured the industry.
Ford, BMW AG, Honda Motor Co. and…