Archive for the ‘Financials’ Category

Bipartisan Group Looks to Create New EV Tax Credits

The new plan calls for 400,000 more credits per automaker.

by on Apr.10, 2019

Michigan Senator Gary Peters is one of a group of legislators sponsoring the Driving America Forward Act.

Just weeks after President Donald Trump announced to the dismay of automakers and environmentalists he plans to eliminate all electric vehicle tax credits, a bipartisan group of lawmakers will introduce a bill to put new ones in place.

The group’s bill, named the Driving America Forward Act, will expand the electric vehicle tax credit by 400,000 vehicles per manufacturer. This would be an immediate boost to Tesla and General Motors, which have already blown through 200,000 of the top tier credits. Their vehicles are now only eligible for a $3,750 credit, and that will drop by half by the end of the year.

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The bill is sponsored by Democratic Sens. Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters, Republican Sens. Lamar Alexander and Susan Collins and Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee, Reuters reported. If passed, it could boost electric vehicle sales, which would be a nice reward for automakers that have committed tens of billions of dollars to meet rising global emissions requirements. (more…)

Ford Shakes Up Senior Management Ranks – Again

Move meant to help “accelerate” its “transformation.”

by on Apr.10, 2019

Joe Hinrichs and Jim Farley shown together during the launch of the Ford Shelby GT 350.

Ford is shaking up key elements of its top management team, the automaker announced on Wednesday morning, a move it says will “accelerate” the changes that began with the appointment of Jim Hackett as CEO two years ago, with an emphasis on “smart vehicles for a smart world.”

The changes will see Hackett’s two top lieutenants, Jim Farley and Joe Hinrichs, take on broader responsibilities. At the same time, Ford’s highest-ranking woman, Marcy Klevorn, will retire from her post as head of mobility services after 36 years with the automaker.

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“In the past two years, we have made tangible progress in improving the fitness of our business, overhauled our regional strategies, created a winning product portfolio, and are working to transform Ford to succeed in an era of profound change and disruption,” CEO Jim Hackett said. “With this strong foundation in place for our auto and mobility businesses, we can now accelerate our transformation.”

(more…)

Daimler Expects Acquisition Will Speed Up Launch of Self-Driving Trucks

Level 2 rigs to debut this year, with Level 4 trucks to follow.

by on Mar.29, 2019

Michael Fleming, CEO of Torc Robotics, (left) and Roger Nielsen, CEO of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, in front of the Torc headquarters in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Daimler Trucks, the parent of brands like Freightliner, has purchased a majority stake in Virginia-based Torc Robotics, a move it expects will help it speed up the commercialization of automated trucking.

No price tag for the deal was announced but Daimler board member Martin Daum said Torc will now be closely integrated into the German company’s broader push to develop self-driving vehicles, including both trucks and passenger cars. Torc, however, will focus specifically on the truck side of its program.

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“For our customers and our economy, (the) potential for autonomous driving is tremendous,” said Daum, during a media teleconference on Friday morning. (more…)

Smart Looks to be on the Chopping Block at Daimler AG — Again

Plans to make it a battery-electric may not save it due to lack of profits.

by on Mar.26, 2019

Incoming Daimler AG Chief Ola Källenius doesn't have any emotional tie to the Smart brand.

After being reportedly on the chopping block several times during its existence, it appears Daimler AG’s Smart brand is once again considered to be endangered and could be cut by the end of this year because it’s a money loser.

According to a report from the German newspaper Handelsblatt, soon-to-retire Daimler Chairman Dieter Zetsche is a big supporter of the microcar line-up and basically the primary reason for its continued existence.

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His successor, Ola Källenius, doesn’t feel the same level of commitment to the small car. Further, the brand’s new leader, Kartrin Adt, hasn’t been able to put together a plan that will make the brand profitable.  (more…)

“Boutique” EV Company, Now Named Canoo, Plans to Market by Subscription Only

Former Evelozcity, wants to change the way cars are designed, built and marketed.

by on Mar.26, 2019

Canoo's leadership team is looking to change the way electric vehicles are built and bought.

In a market crowded with wannabe battery-car manufacturers, Los Angeles-based Canoo hopes to create a niche for itself with what’s its describing as a vehicle using “minimalist design that maximizes interior space.”

“Boutique” start-up Canoo is trying to to pitch itself as the alternative to conventional automotive manufacturers, as well as some of its new EV competitors, among other things by “Liberating you from the tyranny of auto ownership.” That translates into offering its planned products only through a subscription service.

Electrifying News!

Originally known as Evelozcity, Canoo has yet to show any of the vehicles it’s planning to bring to market, something that might raise questions about the start-up’s viability. But to gain at least a little credibility, the company has announced it is hiring three battery-car veterans from BMW and rival EV wannabe Faraday Future. (more…)

Ford Replacing CFO Shanks with Amazon Veteran

Numerous other changes announced by Detroit automaker.

by on Mar.21, 2019

A 42-year Ford veteran, CFO Bob Shanks had previously signaled his plan to retire.

Ford veteran Bob Shanks is stepping down, with his replacement as chief financial officer coming in from the online community.

The well-regarded Shanks, who spent 42 years at the Detroit automaker, will hand over the ledger to Tim Stone who has been serving as CFO of social media venture Snap. The 52-year-old Stone previously spent two decades at Amazon.

Breaking News!

“Bob will leave a remarkable 42-year legacy at Ford,” the automaker’s CEO Jim Hackett said. “As a CFO, he’s been relentless in driving for results and pushing the company to greater heights. Bob’s leadership was integral to Ford’s comeback during the great recession, and he has been an invaluable partner as we transform Ford to succeed in the next era.”

(more…)

BMW Warns Profits Will Fall in 2019 After Tough 2018

A disorderly Brexit could impact German automaker's bottom line.

by on Mar.20, 2019

The BMW Group warned that profits would be down again in 2019, and at higher levels than 2018.

BMW Group officials are predicting that this year will be tougher than last year and plans to implement a more than $13 billion plan to cut costs and improve efficiency by 2022 to offset technology development investments and currency costs.

The company saw profits drop 7.9% in 2018 and expects that to rise to 10% this year. As a result, it’s looking to improve efficiency levels and find ways to cut costs as Brexit issues are likely to make for a bumpy ride for European-based automakers.

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Additionally, the need to plow more money into electric vehicle and autonomous vehicle development is driving the $13.6 billion, or 12 billion euros, plan to trim expenses. However, BMW officials admit it’s an aggressive response to only a potential problem. (more…)

SEC Says Musk’s Response to Lawsuit “Borders on the Ridiculous”

Regulators tell court Tesla CEO failed to clear a single tweet with automaker per settlement.

by on Mar.19, 2019

Tesla CEO Elon Musk shown during last week's unveiling of the new Model Y.

Federal regulators have shot back at Tesla CEO Elon Musk in their battle over a contempt-of-court lawsuit, claiming the 47-year-old executive’s legal argument “borders on the ridiculous.”

The case stems from a tweet Musk filed last month declaring that Tesla would produce 500,000 vehicles this year. The Securities and Exchange Commission considered that “material” guidance which, under terms of a separate case last year, required the CEO to first get the approval of the company. But, the SEC said in a new filing, Musk has not cleared a single tweet with Tesla as he had agreed to.

Breaking News!

The lawsuit is being heard by U.S. Judge Alison Nathan who could hold Musk in contempt and levy fine or other forms of punishment. The Tesla executive was already forced to relinquish his post as chairman and could now be removed as the automaker’s chief executive officer.

(more…)

SEC Suing VW, former CEO, for ”Massive Fraud” in Emissions Cheating Scandal

Lawsuit "legally and factually flawed," the automaker responds.

by on Mar.15, 2019

Former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn faces legal problems in Germany, as well as the U.S.

Volkswagen’s ongoing efforts to end a scandal triggered by its cheating on diesel emissions testing just took a turn for the worse, the Securities and Exchange Commission accusing both the automaker and former CEO Martin Winterkorn of committing a “massive fraud” on U.S. investors.

The automaker has acknowledged it used “defeat devices” to rig its diesel engines to illegally pass emissions tests and has so far laid out over $30 billion in fines and settlements. It is still facing other legal headaches, including a separate lawsuit by investors and ongoing investigations in Europe, one resulting in the arrest and jailing of the former CEO of its Audi subsidiary. But it responded to the latest challenge by declaring the SEC lawsuit “legally and factually flawed.”

Breaking News!

The SEC lawsuit, filed in San Francisco, claims the automaker and former CEO Winterkorn concealed the depth of the scandal – and the potential penalties – from both investors and federal regulators. The Thursday complaint noted that in the year before the cheating was discovered and publicized by the EPA Volkswagen issued $13 billion in bonds and securities in the U.S. Those value of those financial devices were directly impacted once the carmaker’s subterfuge was revealed.

(more…)

VW Drafts Plan to Cut 7,000 Workers in Europe

Automaker looking to offset rising EV development costs.

by on Mar.14, 2019

Volkswagen AG COO Ralf Brandstaetter said the company will be cutting thousands of jobs in Europe.

Following in the footsteps of some American automakers, Volkswagen AG is preparing to trim costs by eliminating thousands of jobs in face of a slowing European economy, and profits across the industry begin to slip while the high cost of shifting to electric vehicles and self-driving cars adds up.

The German carmaker said Wednesday it will eliminate as many as 7,000 positions – with measures including early retirement and not filling vacant positions – to achieve an annual profit gain of 5.9 billion euros $6.7 billion starting in 2023.

Business News!

GM recently cut 4,000 white-collar job and plans to close five plants while Ford is in the midst of an $11 billion restructuring plan that will include cutting a slew of salaried personnel, the announced closure of its plant in Brazil, resulting 2,700 losing their jobs. (more…)

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