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Volkswagen Tallies 10,000 Pre-Orders for New ID.3 EV

Golf-sized battery-electric debuting in Frankfurt this fall.

by on May.10, 2019

Volkswagen accepted 10,000 pre-orders for the new ID.3 electric vehicle in 24 hours.

Just days after Volkswagen revealed its accepting pre-orders for its new ID.3 battery electric hatchback, the automaker claims it has more than 10,000 pre-orders for the new EV. VW sales chief Jurgen Stackman revealed the news in a tweet.

The company started taking deposits of 1,000 euros on Wednesday for the all-new battery-electric entry. It got its name for being the third variant in VW’s ID. line-up of electric vehicles.

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The new battery electric hatchback will cost about $33,500, and European deliveries will begin midyear 2020. Volkswagen will officially unveil the new Golf-sized EV at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. At that time, pre-orders will be confirmed as orders. (more…)

Subaru Reports FY2019 Loss as Sales Fall, Incentives Rise

U.S. sales remain strong, but incentives jump.

by on May.10, 2019

Subaru is set to set a seventh consecutive annual sales record due to the new Ascent.

Subaru Corp. saw its operating profit fall 48.5% to 195.5 billion yen, or $1.76 billion in 2019. The drop came as a result of falling sales in its home market, higher incentives to move its vehicles and a jump in warranty costs.

The Japanese automaker’s net income slid 33% to 147.81 billion yen, or $1.33 billion, while revenue fell 2.2% to 3.16 trillion yen, $28.51 billion, for fiscal year 2019.

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The company’s financials were hurt in a variety of ways, such as worldwide wholesale volume falling 6.3% to 1 million units. Additionally, Subaru suffered to due quality problems at its plant in Gunma, which was forced to shut down for nearly two weeks. (more…)

Rolls-Royce Celebrates 115th Year With Bespoke Phantom Auction

Sotheby's to handle charity auction.

by on May.09, 2019

Rolls-Royce is honoring its 115th birthday with a bespoke red Phantom that will be auctioned off for charity by Sotheby's.

Rolls-Royce marks its 115thbirthday this year. To celebrate the occasion, the quintessentially British luxury carmaker is looking to do something special.

It’s teaming with RM Sotheby’s to raise money for charity. The two top names in luxury and wealth threw a party complete with a five-course dinner at Sotheby’s newly redesigned 90,000--square-foot New York City headquarters to announce plans build a one-off, bespoke 2020 Rolls-Royce Phantom to be auctioned off this fall exclusively on Sotheby’s online auction service.

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“While Roll-Royce motor cars have a history of crossing the block at RM Sotheby’s, tonight we are looking to the future of the brand,” said Martin Fritsches, president and CEO of Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Americas.  (more…)

Toyota Earnings Fall as U.S. Market Softens

Executives say more cost cuts coming.

by on May.08, 2019

Akio Toyota, Toyota's chairman, said the company needed to implement changes more quickly to restore profits to acceptable levels.

Toyota’s full-year financial results were a mixed bag for 2019 with operating profit inching up 2.8% due to improved sales, tighter cost controls and lower incentives in the U.S. market.

Operating profit increased to $21.66 billion, or 2.40 trillion yen, in the automaker’s fiscal full year ended March 31, Toyota said on Wednesday. However, the money hitting the Japanese automaker’s bottom line fell 25% to $16.96 billion, or 1.88 trillion yen.

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The hits to the bottom line were driven lower by special losses on equity securities that compared against robust results the year before that were artificially inflated by a windfall U.S. income tax gain. Toyota’s revenue increased 2.9% to $272.78 billion, or 30.23 trillion yen. (more…)

Honda Takes Q4 Loss, Sees Full-Year Profits Fall 42%

Automaker changing its vehicle development process.

by on May.08, 2019

Honda CEO Takahiro Hachigo said the company lost money in the fourth quarter.

Honda Motor Co. sold more vehicles during first quarter of 2019 than it did during the same period last year, yet reported a $118 million loss, or 13 billion yen, for its fiscal fourth quarter, the company reported.

The Japanese automaker cited unfavorable exchange rates, income tax expenses and other costs as the reasons for the quarterly loss. It reported a 107.7 billion yen profit during Q4 2018.

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For the full fiscal year, the company reported a profit of $5.5 billion, or 610.3 billion yen, which is down 42% due largely to a lost tax break in the U.S. (more…)

GM’s Cruise Unit Gets Additional $1.15B in New Funding

T. Rowe Price leads new round of funding.

by on May.07, 2019

GM's Cruise self-driving car unit received a new round of funding: $1.15 billion led by T. Rowe Price.

Producing self-driving vehicles requires a lot of money and, perhaps, even more faith. It would seem investors have both when it comes to this part of the automotive industry as General Motors’ Cruise outfit has secured $1.15 billion in new equity.

Cruise officials revealed Tuesday that T. Rowe Price and a group of existing investors put down $1.15 billion in new equity, pushing the self-driving vehicle unit’s value to $19 billion.

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As a result, GM’s shares jumped as much as 2.1% to $38.89 in morning trading on the heels of the announcement. The new funding includes GM, Japan’s SoftBank Vision Fund and Honda Motor Co Ltd., and should provide Cruise the cash it needs to launch vehicles by the end of 2019. (more…)

New Corvette Stalling Sales of the New Corvette

Fans waiting for the mid-engine C8, slowing C7 sales.

by on May.06, 2019

General Motors is adding a second shift and more than 400 hourly jobs at its Bowling Green (Kentucky) Assembly plant in preparation for the C8 Corvette.

The new Corvette is the best ever — and no one wants one.

Well, perhaps not no one, but with the news confirming that the eighth-generation, mid-engine ’Vette is due to arrive later this year, sale of the America’s sports car are fading even faster than they have for the past few years.

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Corvette sales hit their high-water mark at about 37,000 in the U.S. in 2006. (more…)

Senators Pushing Legislation to Protect EV Battery Minerals

Republicans push for battery protection as Trump cuts price incentives.

by on May.06, 2019

A group of U.S. senators developed new legislation designed to protect the mining of minerals needed for EV batteries.

A group of U.S. Senators are banding together to help the growth of electric vehicle sales in the United States, but it’s not the group you’re thinking of.

Yes, several senators, led by Michigan’s Debbie Stabenow, are attempting to reinstate the federal tax credits for electric vehicles. However, there is another group of largely Republican lawmakers looking to find ways of ensuring the raw materials needed for batteries and other components are available in the U.S.

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Sens. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Joe Manchin, D-W. Va., Martha McSally, R-Ariz., and Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, have banded together to introduce the American Mineral Security Act to boost domestic production of “critical minerals” that are often imported from China to make electric car batteries.  (more…)

Volkswagen AG Meets Q1 Expectations Despite $1.2B Charge

Sport-utility profits carry automaker during the quarter.

by on May.02, 2019

Volkswagen rode the sales of its highly profitable SUV line-up to a strong Q1 earnings result.

Despite taking a $1.2 billion charge to account for the continuing fallout from its emissions scandal, Volkswagen AG hit its target for first-quarter earnings before interest and taxes of $4.4 billion.

Sales revenue of the Volkswagen Group rose 3.1% year-on-year to EUR 60 billion in the first three months of the current fiscal year.

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“The Volkswagen Group is once again off to a good start this year,” said Frank Witter, chief financial officer of Volkswagen AG. The sales revenue performance and earnings growth in the first three months of the current fiscal year are encouraging.”  (more…)

Tesla Looking to Raise More Than $2 Billion

Company using a mix of stock and new debt to get cash.

by on May.02, 2019

Tesla is looking to add to its cash reserves to ensure the Model Y hits the market early next year.

Less than two weeks after saying Tesla likely would not seek to raise more money even though the time was right, CEO Elon Musk led the charge to raise $2.3 billion to bolster the California-based EV maker’s cash reserves.

The company launched issues of new shares and debt worth about $2.3 billion on Thursday, with Musk adding $10 million of his own as investors and analysts wondered how the company would be able to meet all of its goals without the extra cash.

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In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the EV maker said it plans to raise $650 million through new shares and tap the debt markets for an additional $1.35 billion. The underwriters have the option to buy an additional 15% of each offering, which would bring the total to $2.3 billion. (more…)