Category Archives: news analysis

Volkswagen Joins Ford by Investing in Argo AI

Citing improved competitiveness, cost and capital efficiencies, as well as quicker time to a yet unknown, nebulous market, Volkswagen CEO Dr. Herbert Diess and Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett shared a stage for a discussion about a move that could make or break one or both companies. The alliance, which covers collaborations outside of Volkswagen and Ford’s joint investments in Argo AI, does not entail cross-ownership between the two companies and is independent from the investment into Argo AI. Continue reading

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Fourth of July 2019 – Time to Rid Ourselves of Despots Again

Some – but not enough of us – are marching once again in the spirit of 1776. We need once again to rid ourselves of what has evolved into a ruling class of our own home-grown tyrants, bigots, racists and traitors who collude with other oppressive, anti-American governments. We have progressed from 2.5 million people to more than 325 million with a gross domestic product of more than $19 trillion – an unimaginable number of teabags for a protest not to clutter Boston Harbor, but the halls of Congress today. Continue reading

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Traffic Jam – Record 48.9m Independence Day Travel

Overall travel volume for the holiday is expected to rise 4.1% over last year, with an additional 1.9 million people planning road trips and other vacations to celebrate America’s birthday. Continue reading

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The Asian Party is Over for Automakers

No doubt this hurts Asia-based automakers , but the  VW Group, Daimler Group, BMW Group and General Motors – are clearly endangered, because the region accounts for a significant share of their global volume. Continue reading

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California Air Resources Board Has Airport Shuttles Transitioning to Zero-Emission Technology by 2035

With almost 1,000 airport shuttles in operation, the regulation is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 500,000 metric tons, with a beneficial economic impact for shuttle fleets owners of an estimated $30 million in reduced fuel and maintenance costs. CARB is also developing a proposal that would achieve additional emission reductions by requiring zero-emission airport ground equipment. Continue reading

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First Half of 2019 to Deliver Lowest US Retail Sales Since 2013

“The decline in new sales have been disappointing, but it’s important not to overlook the effect of growth in the used-vehicle market,” King said. “Used sales at franchised dealers are expected to increase by nearly 9% through the first half. Most significant for retailers is the greater profit opportunity due to higher front-end gross and F&I income earned compared with new vehicles. Overall combined new and used retailer profits through the first half are on pace to reach $23.4 billion, up 3.7% from last year. Shifting away from the traditional focus on volumes, 2019 remains on target to be one of the best years recorded.” Continue reading

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Nissan Shareholders Elect 7 Independent Directors Out of 11

The new board of directors comprises 11 individuals, seven of whom are independent outside directors. Power appears to be evenly split between Renault and Nissan despite Nissan’s and the Japanese government’s interest in asserting more control. Renault, which owns 43% of Nissan and the French government, which owns 15% of Renault, are pushing for a merger. Paper organization charts are not always how business is conducted in mega, joint venture corporations. So, it will take some time to see how this works out as the Ghosn matter proceeds through the Japanese “legal” system. Continue reading

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FAA Issues Waiver for Drones with Parachutes, New Supersonic Rulemaking, 737 Max Modifications Still Stalled

This remains to be seen at the beleaguered agency that appears to be too close to the aircraft industry as the ongoing Boeing 737 Max software modifications needed to prevent additional fatalities appears to be stalled. Continue reading

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Trump Backs Down on Mexican Import Taxes. Declares Victory by Solving His Self-Created Crisis for American Workers

Automakers, farmers, the equity markets and his normally sycophantic Republican party were all protesting the reckless move. Thus adding  to the need to reverse the very course that Trump had set. Continue reading

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Renault Returns the Nissan Abstinence Vote Favor

This after the French government asked for more time to study the FCA Renault merger when it learned that Nissan intended to abstain from a vote that would allow it to go forward. Continue reading

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Luxury Vehicles No Longer Have Panache?

“A closer look, however, reveals that Premium share actually suffered two consecutive years of decline recently,” Chan notes. The £1Billion questions are: will this drop continue and should Premium segment players be worried? Continue reading

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Trump Tariffs on Mexico – Job Destroying Taxes on Workers

Ultimately, prices on models imported from Mexico could increase by $8500. Factoring in parts for assembly in the US, the average price of all vehicles sold in the US could rise by as much as $2,500-3,000. the substantial increase could lower sales by 500,000-1.5 million units annually. Continue reading

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Renault Board Confirms Expenses Improperly Used by Ghosn

Several expenses incurred by RNBV for a total of ~€11 million include questionable air travel expenses for Mr. Ghosn; other expenses incurred for Mr. Ghosn; and gifts to non-profit organizations. Continue reading

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Renault’s Board of Directors Continue FCA Merger Study

The proposed combination would create a global automaker, pre-eminent in terms of revenue, volumes, profitability and technology, benefiting the companies’ respective shareholders and stakeholders, according to FCA. Continue reading

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Groupe Renault Board Meeting Now on FCA Merger Bid

Based on FCA and Groupe Renault’s 2018 global sales, the combined company would be #4 in North America, #2 in EMEA and #1 in Latin America and would have the increased resources necessary to grow its footprint in the APAC region. On a simple aggregated basis of 2018 results, the combined company’s annual revenues would be nearly €170 billion with operating profit of more than €10 billion and net profit of more than €8 billion. Continue reading

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