Archive for the ‘Investors’ Category

German Prosecutors Charger Former VW CEO Winterkorn with Fraud

Lawyers charge four other executives as well.

by on Apr.15, 2019

Former VW CEO Martin Winterkorn was charged by German prosecutors with fraud related to the diesel emissions scandal.

Former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn was charged with fraud on Monday by German prosecutors for his role in the automaker’s diesel emissions testing scandal. The scandal came to light in 2015.

“Former Chief Executive Dr. Martin Winterkorn is being charged with a particularly serious case of fraud, a violation of the law against unfair competition and breach of fiduciary trust,” the prosecutors’ office said in a statement.

Legal News!

Prosecutors also said that Winterkorn and four other managers faced charges, but did not give the names of the other four or say whether they were still employed by Volkswagen. Winterkorn’s lawyer, Felix Doerr, declined to comment, saying he had not seen all of the paperwork, according to Reuters. (more…)

Fiat Chrysler Confidently Pays First-Ever Dividend

Payout marks optimism about rest of 2019 performance.

by on Apr.15, 2019

Fiat Chairman John Elkann told shareholders at the FCA annual meeting that he expected strong results in 2019.

The top executives of Fiat Chrysler Automobile N.V. delivered an upbeat assessment of the company’s future prospects during the company annual shareholder meeting in Amsterdam, agreeing to pay a dividend to shareholders for the first time since Fiat took effective control of the Chrysler Group in 2009 and brought it out of bankruptcy.

In the first shareholders gathering since the death of Sergio Marchionne, FCA’s longtime chief executive, it fell to John Elkann, Fiat’s chairman, to deliver an optimistic forecast for 2019 despite the drop in the company’s business in North America and the slowdown in the sales of Jeep, which has emerged as the company’s principal brand.

Global News!

Elkann, the representative of the founding Agnelli family, which has run Fiat for more than 100 years, told investors the Italo-American group was ready to play a part in the “new and exciting” era for the auto industry. (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.

Breaking News!

“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…)

Fiat Chrysler Settles False Filings Antitrust Lawsuit

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

by on Apr.05, 2019

Fiat Chrysler reached a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department about filing false sales reports. The terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

The U.S. Justice Department and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV reached a settlement in an antitrust lawsuit about claims the automaker forced dealers to report false sales numbers, hoping to bolster the company’s stock price.

Those allegations spurred a separate federal investigation to determine if information filed with the  Securities and Exchange Commission gave shareholders an overly rosy impression of FCA’s financial situation. Those investigations are ongoing, FCA said. The settlement terms are confidential.

Business News!

The lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Chicago in January 2016, alleged racketeering, violations of antitrust laws and breach of contract. FCA twice won dismissal of the racketeering claim, but the rest of the charges are headed to trial this year, Bloomberg reported. (more…)

Judge Tells Tesla CEO Musk and SEC to Work it Out

Nathan tells both sides to put their "reasonableness pants" on.

by on Apr.04, 2019

Tesla CEO Elon Musk emphasized his distaste for the SEC during an interview on "60 Minutes."

The much-awaited courtroom showdown between Tesla CEO Elon Musk and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission never materialized as the two sides were told to make nice and work it out in the next two weeks.

Judge Alison Nathan instructed the “combatants” to renegotiate and clarify parts of a 2018 settlement agreement that mandated stricter oversight of Musk’s use of social media, particularly Twitter. The two sides were in court because the SEC believes Musk violated the terms of the deal, which cost Tesla and Musk $40 million, and he should be found in contempt.

Legal News!

“Put your reasonableness pants on,” Nathan told both sides during a hearing in New York on Thursday. (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.

News You Can Trust!

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

GM Could Earn Close to $1B in Profit from Today’s Lyft IPO

Future for GM/Lyft alliance uncertain, however.

by on Mar.29, 2019

Lyft founders Logan Green, left, and John Zimmer, right, with GM President Dan Ammann after inking a $500M partnership, which jumped another $500M.

General Motors could turn a large investment into an even bigger profit if the IPO of the nation’s second-largest ride-sharing service goes off as planned today.

On Thursday, Lyft announced it was targeting $72 a share for its public debut. At that price, GM’s 18.6 million Class A shares would be worth more than $1.3 billion, a big increase over the $500 million it originally invested in Lyft back in January 2016.

Business News!

The question is whether the Detroit automaker will take the money and run or continue to work with Lyft. When it announced its investment more than three years ago, GM indicated it saw an opportunity to not just provide products to Lyft drivers but also to use the service as a test bed for the autonomous vehicles it was developing. But it now appears to be shifting focus to Maven, a service that could soon become a major Lyft competitor. (more…)

Fiat Chrysler Attracting Another French Suitor: Renault

Peugeot family expressed interest recently.

by on Mar.29, 2019

Could another sign change be in Fiat Chrysler's future?

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. is apparently being pursued by not one, but now possibly two French automakers.

Reports have the Agnelli clan turning down an overture from Peugeot but Renault S.A., which also is still trying to re-organize its alliance with Nissan in the wake of Carlos Ghosn’s legal troubles and abrupt ouster, is also interested in pursuing a tie with FCA, according to an article Financial Times.

News You Can Trust!

A deal could give FCA better options to solve its problems with technology where it lags larger rivals and help strengthen its position in Asia. The prospect of becoming part of an $80 billion global group could be tempting for FCA Chairman John Elkann. (more…)

Geely Gets Smart with Daimler

Automakers form 50-50 venture to produce electric smarts.

by on Mar.29, 2019

Daimler and Geely executives celebrate the signing of their new deal.

Just as Daimler AG’s Smart division appeared to be on the outs with the support of Ola Kallenius, the incoming chairman and CEO, the company’s largest shareholder, Geely, swooped in and saved the oft-near death quirky brand.

In recent weeks, its been reported – including by TheDetroitBureau.com – when current Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche retires shortly, the primary supporter of the Smart brand would no longer be around to protect the underwhelming product line and soon-to-be-top-dog Kallenius, who isn’t a fan, was ready to kill the vehicle.

Business News!

However, the company’s top shareholder, Chinese automaker Geely Motors, which bought a nearly 10% stake last year, jumped in at the last minute to save Smart by forming a new 50-50 joint venture between the two companies to produce the tiny EV in China. (more…)

Volvo Raises $677M With New Bond Issue

Automaker taps debt markets again instead of IPO.

by on Mar.26, 2019

Volvo Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson said that trade tensions between the U.S. and China as well as the EU were one reason to halt its IPO last year.

More than half a year removed from squelching a run at a stock market listing, Volvo Cars raised 600 million euros, or $677 million, with a new bond issue on Tuesday.

The new issue is the second in the last year for the Swedish/Chinese automaker, which is owned by China’s Geely, as it looks to find ways to fund its ongoing development of battery-electric cars and self-driving vehicles.

Business News!

Volvo said on the Tuesday the bond would mature in April 2024, pay a fixed coupon of 2.125% and have an issue price was 99.625, equating to a yield of 2.205% and a Euro mid-swap of 215 basis points. The settlement was expected to be April 2, and the bonds would be listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, Volvo said. (more…)

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