No Deal Brexit to Cost UK Auto Sector £9 Billion Per Year on No Deal Brexit

“The impact on the vehicle market would be greater than for the UK economy”…

It’s not only angry Trump voters who are self-destructive, the UK under the Brexit fiasco is about to lose £9 Billion a year due to a conservative Republican-like temper tantrum that will materially hurt middle class workers, as well as society as a whole. (‘Bloody Hell,’ What Does Brexit do to Automakers?, Brexit Automaker Winners, Losers – Predictable and Surprising, Brexit Panic Takes Hold. Auto Industry Urges – Begs? – Negotiators to Avert the Business Killing Worst-Case Scenario)

Our friends from the LMC Automotive consultancy write that the impact of two different Brexit scenarios on light vehicle sales and production in the UK could produce devastating results. Worst case: A no-deal Brexit could cost the UK automobile market some £9 billion (€10 billion) in annual revenue, according to their research. Continue reading

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NADA 2019 Light Vehicle Sales Projected at 16.8 Million on Mobility Companies and Wes Lutz NADA Chair

Wes Lutz in Detroit, October 2018.

The trade group the National Automobile Dealers Association says, “We’re forecasting sales of 16.8 million new cars and light trucks in 2019.” That came from a conference call that AutoInformed participated in. Patrick Manzi, NADA senior economist, says, “this would represent a falloff in sales of about 1.1 percent compared to 2018.” (FCA Auto Dealer Wes Lutz 2018 NADA ChairGutting Consumer Finance Protection Bureau Hurts Auto Biz  and Beware of Self Interest in Mobility Promotion says NADA)

Based on a strong November, new-vehicle sales are expected to reach 17 million units in 2018, which would mark the fourth straight year of U.S. auto sales above 17 million units. (see AutoInformed:Auto Loans – Payments Higher, Subprime Lending Lower. The Federal Reserve Board is likely to raise rates in December 2018. More rate increases are likely during the early half of 2019 and then rates are expected to hold.) Continue reading

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Honda R&D Americas Expanding Raymond Ohio

Honda R&D Americas, Inc. and JobsOhio have announced a “grant partnership supporting a growing, high-tech workforce at Honda R&D Americas’ Ohio Center, icluding the addition of 175 new jobs.”

Workers at the Raymond, Ohio, R&D center – Honda’s second-largest R&D center in the world – are responsible for creating advanced technologies and automobile and powersports products for Honda and Acura customers in North America and global markets. Continue reading

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IndustriALL Pressures Volkswagen Group to Engage with UAW or Else Face Suspension of its Global Contracts on Volkswagen versus NLRB and UAW

“This is not only in violation of US law, but also violates the ‘Declaration on Social Rights and Industrial Relationships at Volkswagen’ signed in June 2002.”

IndustriALL Global Union is calling on German car manufacturer Volkswagen to immediately enter bargaining negotiation with workers at the VW plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee represented by the UAW (workers interviews click here). Three years ago, on 4 December 2015, 70% of the skilled workers at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga voted to be represented by the UAW.

However, instead of entering into bargaining with the union, Volkswagen has repeatedly taken legal action against the vote, including an appeal against the ruling of the National Labor Relations Board during August 2016, which ruled in favor of the UAW. Continue reading

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Renault Board Investigation Backs Ghosn. Governance Measures Stay in Place. Compensation Controversy Ongoing. on French versus Japanese Corporate Governance

The Board of Directors noted that, at this stage, it does not have information concerning Carlos Ghosn’s defense in Japan.

The Board of Directors of Groupe Renault met today in an ordinary session under the Chairmanship of Philippe Lagayette, Lead Independent Director. As part of the agenda, Claude Baland, Senior Advisor in charge of Ethics and Compliance, and Eric Le Grand Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, presented to the Board the current status of the review of the compensation of the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Renault for the years 2015-2018, which was undertaken on November 23, 2018.

Their preliminary conclusion is that the compensation of Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Renault and the conditions under which such compensation was approved followed applicable law as well as the recommendations of the *AFEP-MEDEF. The Board of Directors decided to maintain the current governance measures established on November 20, 2018. Continue reading

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Global Light Vehicle Sales Fall Again in November

Global Light Vehicle (LV) sales fell by 7.3%  year-on-year (YoY) during November, according to consultancy LMC Automotive. The selling rate slipped to 91.2 mn units/year from October’s 92.2 mn units/year. Global sales are now virtually flat in year-to-date (YTD) terms.

The Chinese LV market continues to slow down, “a major source of concern given the importance of this market to global sales.” Other regions are also struggling, with YoY losses in Europe and North America, though selling rates remain robust in North America. Continue reading

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Aston Martin Valkyrie Cosworth V12 Rated at 1000 Horsepower on Aston Martin Valkyrie Cosworth V12 Aston Martin says that a new naturally-aspirated 6.5-liter V12 produces 1000 horsepower  at 10,000 rpm with a maximum rpm of 11,100. Developed in conjunction with longtime technical partner Cosworth, the new 65-degree bank V12 engine is a fully-stressed part of the chassis yet weighs only 206 kg. Aston claims that it is street legal for emission levels,  and – in the subjective auto marketing  realm – durable. It will be heart of the new Valkyrie model when the super sports car appears next year.

The program – it’s claimed – called for a normally aspirated engine. Aston notes, correctly, that turbocharging has come of age and offers significant and widespread benefits, especially in road applications. However, what is arguably the greatest driver’s car of the moment needed an internal combustion engine that is the “pinnacle for performance, excitement and emotion.” Rationalization or reality here? Ultimately a peck of ultra-wealthy buyers will decide. Continue reading

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Making the Budget Deficit Great Again. November at $203 billion. Interest for Debt up $5 Billion on Trump and Republican Budget Deficits.

Outlays for the first two months of fiscal year 2019 were $761 billion, +$115 billion higher than they were during the same period last year CBO estimates.

The federal government ran a deficit of $203 billion in November 2018. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that it was only $64 billion more than the deficit in November 2017. Outlays in November were affected by shifts in the timing of federal payments that otherwise would have been due on a weekend. This increased outlays by $45 billion. If not for those calendar quirks, the deficit would have been $158 billion, a whopping $19 billion more than the deficit in November 2017. The actual deficit in October 2018 was $100 billion – in other words double our U.S. non-money.

Not that it matters according to traditional Republican double-speak. Such gigantic deficits are only a problem if they occur when the Democrats are in power. When Republicans cut taxes for the wealthiest and run up huge deficits it’s – don’t laugh – good for the economy. Worse, the federal budget deficit was $303 billion for the first two months of fiscal year 2019, says CBO. That’s $102 billion more than the deficit recorded during the same period last year. Revenues and outlays were higher, by 3% and, ahem, 18%, respectively, than in October and November 2017. Continue reading

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Ghosn, Kelly and Nissan Motor Corp. Indicted for Violating The Japan Financial Instruments and Exchange Act

AutoInformed on Japanese corporte governance and Nissan

Nissan Motor Co. 119th Ordinary General Meeting of Shareholders June 2018.

Today, Nissan Motor Company’s former Representative Director and Chairman Carlos Ghosn, former Representative Director Greg Kelly and Nissan Motor Corporation were indicted for violating the Japan Financial Instruments and Exchange Act, specifically for making false disclosures in annual securities reports. Ghosn was also re-arrested  because he allegedly did not report deferred compensation for the three years ending March 2018. Prosecutors have 24 days to indict or go to trial. Ghosn will be spending Christmas in an 80-square foot cell in Tokyo.

The latest twist from the financial fates prompted a terse “Nissan takes this situation extremely seriously. Making false disclosures in annual securities reports greatly harms the integrity of Nissan’s public disclosures in the securities markets, and the company expresses its deepest regret.”

Thus – as predicted – this case, besides from revealing the rift between Nissan and its European partner Renault that saved it from bankruptcy, has cast a cold beam of light on Japanese corporate governance – or is that non-governance? – practices. Continue reading

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Auto Loans – Payments Higher, Subprime Lending Lower

New loan amounts achieved a Q3 high of $30,977, up $647 year-over-year.

New and used vehicle payments have reached the highest levels in history as interest rates continue to rise, according to Experian. As a result, there’s an upturn in average credit scores for vehicle financing across the board. This is big business. The total outstanding automotive loan balance reached $1.17 trillion in September.

On the other side of the ledger, the  percentage of subprime loans  – so-called originations – reached the lowest level in 11 years. Experian’s Q3 2018 State of the Automotive Finance Market says that subprime and deep-subprime lending made up 21.19% of the market, down 1.5% from a year ago. Continue reading

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TV Remains News Source for Almost Half of Americans

Playing to the voters, err crowd – or is that mob – in the House Rotunda.

Americans continue to prefer watching the news rather than reading or listening to it. There viewing habits have not  migrated fully to the web. Most U.S. adults who prefer to watch the news use television as their primary news source, according to a new Pew Research Center survey conducted this past summer, among 3,425 U.S. adults who are members of the Center’s “nationally representative American Trends Panel.”

Overall, 47% of Americans prefer watching the news rather than reading or listening to it. That is unchanged from 46% in 2016 and outpaces the 34% who prefer to read the news and 19% who prefer to listen to it – both of which also remain on par with 2016 figures. The portion of readers and listeners who prefer the web has not changed significantly since 2016, when a majority of those who prefer to read their news (59%) named the web as their preferred platform. Continue reading

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Restructuring Storm Building as Ford Announces Senior Retirements in Treasury, Product Development, Manufacturing on Built Ford Proud Ad Campaign - October 2019

The future in North America, maybe. The problem remains that big trucks are not saleable globally so there is no way to hedge this gas-guzzling bet.

Ford Motor Company announced late yesterday the retirements of three long-serving global executives – Kenneth R. Kent, 64, vice president and treasurer; Joe Bakaj, 56, vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe; and Bill Russo, 56, vice president, Manufacturing, Ford of Asia Pacific – effective at the end of the year.

A couple of the exits are noteworthy for signaling that major disruptive actions are about to occur. For example – was Kent responsible for floating the addled-brained idea that Ford Motor would cut its dividend that Ford Family members depend on? Nevertheless, the pressure remains for Ford to cut costs and start once again, yet again on a restructuring plan to increase shareholder value and boost a ~$9 per share price of common. Continue reading

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Brick-Built McLaren in Central London PR Stunt

AutoInformedcom on McLaren Lego PR Stunt - December 2018Who says the British don’t have a sense of humor? When they aren’t busy gushing over an archaic Royal System or working hard to destroy the auto industry and trencherman jobs through BREXIT, a laugh comes forward. (Brexit Panic Takes Hold. Auto Industry Urges – Begs? – Negotiators to Avert the Business Killing Worst-Case Scenario)

Consider that a new McLaren has been spotted during dynamic testing ahead of its introduction in January. The car’s brick-based construction has made it necessary for development to move from McLaren’s usual secret facility near Idiada in Spain to a busy LEGO Store in Central London. Continue reading

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Ford Begins Construction at Michigan Central Station on Ford Begins Construction at Michigan Central Station

The restoration project will bring approximately 2,500 Ford employees to Corktown.

Ford Motor this week begins its renovation of 105-year-old Michigan Central Station in the Corktown neighborhood of Detroit. In this Detroit landmark, Ford seeks to shape the largely unknown, amorphous future of transportation at a time when analysts are questioning whether it can survive the next downturn in the business cycle.

The three-phase project begins with the winterization of the building to dry it out from extensive water damage it sustained over the years, and then stabilizing the structure. Phase two includes replacing mechanical and electrical systems and restoring exterior masonry. Continue reading

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Ford First Automaker to Outline UN Human Rights Issues - Ford Driving Skills for Life for Her - Saudi Arabia

Do you think there are some human rights issues in Saudi Arabia?

Ford Motor Company has announced the completion of a badly named but socially important “saliency assessment,” identifying nine of the most important human rights issues relevant to the company.

Ford claims to be the first automaker to complete this assessment, thought to be key in identifying the issues that are at risk of the most severe negative impact through activities or business relationships. Studies are one thing, of course, corporate actions are another matter entirely. Continue reading

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