Gallops Autohaus, India’s leading Dealer Group to Represent BMW in Rajkot

Gallops Autohaus, India’s leading Dealer Group to Represent BMW in Rajkot

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BMW India today announced the launch of its ultramodern BMW Facility NEXT in Rajkot. Gallops Autohaus now represents BMW with a fully-fledged integrated retail and service facility. Based on the latest BMW Facility NEXT concept, the new facility showcases the exclusive range of both new and pre-owned BMW cars. It is located at Gondal Road, Survey No.390. Plot No. 611, Rajkot, Gujarat 360004.

The facility is headed by Mr. Tanuj Pugalia, Dealer Principal, Gallops Autohaus. Gallops Autohaus represents BMW India with sales and service touchpoints in Ahmedabad.

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Tesla’s Musk hints of battery capacity jump ahead of industry event

Tesla’s Musk hints of battery capacity jump ahead of industry event

SEOUL (Reuters) – Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) CEO Elon Musk has suggested the U.S. electric carmaker may be able to mass produce batteries with 50% more energy density in three to four years, which could even enable electric airplanes.

His comments came as speculation is growing about announcements at Tesla’s anticipated “Battery Day” event where it is expected to reveal how it has improved its battery performance.

“400 Wh/kg *with* high cycle life, produced in volume (not just a lab) is not far. Probably 3 to 4 years,” Musk tweeted on Monday in response to a Twitter thread by Sam Korus, an analyst at ARK Investment Management LLC, about why Musk keeps hinting at a Tesla electric plane.

Researchers have said the energy density of Panasonic’s (6752.T) “2170” batteries used in Tesla’s Model 3 is around 260 Wh/kg, meaning a 50% jump from the current energy density which is key to achieving a longer driving range.

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China’s EV maker Nio launches battery leasing service

China’s EV maker Nio launches battery leasing service

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker Nio Inc has launched a battery leasing service that will allow drivers to buy an EV without owning the battery pack – one of the most expensive EV components – thereby lowering the starting price of its cars.

The service, called “battery as a service” (BaaS), entails drivers paying a monthly rental fee for use of the batteries.

The cheapest Nio car after subsidies is now an ES6 sport-utility vehicle (SUV) priced 273,600 yuan ($39,553) without ownership of the battery pack, versus 343,600 yuan including the pack.

“We believe with BaaS, more customers of gasoline cars will consider electric vehicles,” Nio’s chief executive William Li told reporters.

Nio operates 143 battery-swapping stations around China, where drivers can swap spent battery packs for fully charged replacements. Li said Nio was building a new battery-swapping station in China every week and planned to build 300 new stations next year.

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Volkswagen sees Amazon-built ‘industrial cloud’ as future B2B marketplace

Volkswagen sees Amazon-built ‘industrial cloud’ as future B2B marketplace

(Reuters) – Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE), Europe’s largest automaker, is expanding its cloud-based software and data portal, aiming to develop it into an industry-wide marketplace where business customers can buy and sell industrial applications, the company said on Thursday.

VW’s “industrial cloud” was designed in partnership with Amazon Web Services and eventually will link more than 120 VW factories around the world to the automaker’s 1,500 suppliers and their 30,000 plants.

The portal is intended as a place to exchange data and software to help accelerate the digitalization of factory processes from stamping to painting to machinery maintenance, according to Nihar Patel, VW’s executive vice president for strategic core projects.

 VW has opened the portal to the first group of supplier partners, led by Siemens AG. Those partners are expected to contribute software applications to be shared with VW and among themselves, in what the automaker described as “an App Store approach.”

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Bajaj Auto focuses on exports as India battles pandemic

Bajaj Auto focuses on exports as India battles pandemic

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Bajaj Auto (BAJA.NS) is betting that an early recovery from the ravages of COVID-19 in motorcycle sales in its export markets will help it offset pandemic-related disruption at home, its chief financial officer said.

The Indian company, which also sells rickshaws and small commercial vehicles, is already the largest exporter of motorcycles from its domestic market, where sales have been slow to pick up due to local lockdowns.

“All our export markets were also affected but recovery has been better (there) than in India,” Soumen Ray told Reuters in an interview late on Wednesday. “We will continue to remain aggressive on exports.”

Bajaj plans to open an assembly plant in Brazil within 18 months, as well as a design office in Thailand to handle sales for the ASEAN region, and another design office in Europe, Ray said.

Exports make up 40%-45% of group motorcycle sales, Ray said.

This year, however, they have predominated. Between January and June, it exported 664,000 motorcycles while selling 589,000 in India, company data showed.

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Tesla’s Musk approaches a $1.8 billion bonanza

Tesla’s Musk approaches a $1.8 billion bonanza

(Reuters) – Tesla Inc’s blistering stock rally is putting Chief Executive Elon Musk in reach of a payday potentially worth $1.8 billion, his second jackpot from the electric car maker in about two months.

 Fueled by stronger-than-expected car deliveries, shares of Tesla have surged over 40% in the past seven sessions, elevating the company’s market capitalization to $259 billion. More important for Musk’s personal finances, Tesla’s six-month average market capitalization has reached a record $138 billion.Hitting a six-month average market capitalization of $150 billion would trigger the vesting of the second of 12 tranches of options granted to the billionaire to buy Tesla stock as part of his 2018 pay package. In early May, Musk’s first tranche vested after Tesla’s six-month average stock market value reached $100 billion.

Musk has already achieved targets related to Tesla’s financial growth that are also required in order to vest the approaching options tranche.

Each tranche gives Musk the option to buy 1.69 million Tesla shares at $350.02 each. At Tesla’s current stock price of $1,397, Musk would theoretically be able to sell the shares related to the tranche that vested in May and the upcoming tranche for a combined profit of over $3.5 billion, or $1.8 billion per tranche.

Musk’s first tranche was worth about $700 million in May, when it vested, but its value has since increased along with Tesla’s stock price.

Tesla has surged 500% over the past year as the company increased sales of its Model 3 sedan.

Tesla last week reported higher-than-expected second-quarter vehicle deliveries, defying plummeting sales in the wider auto industry as the coronavirus pandemic slammed the global economy.

The solid delivery numbers heightened expectations of a profitable second quarter, which would mark four consecutive profitable quarters, a first for Tesla, and a key hurdle to be added to the S&P 500 index.

Musk, who is also the majority owner and CEO of the SpaceX rocket maker, receives no salary, only the options in his pay package. A full payoff of all tranches would surpass anything previously granted to U.S. executives.

When Tesla unveiled Musk’s pay package, it said he could theoretically reap as much as $55.8 billion if no new shares were issued. However, Tesla has since issued shares to compensate employees, and also sold shares in secondary offers, including a $2 billion stock sale in February.

Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Alden Bentley and David Gregorio

Uber widens taxi app to Japan’s Tokyo but ride-sharing still barred

Uber widens taxi app to Japan’s Tokyo but ride-sharing still barred

TOKYO (Reuters) – Uber Technologies (UBER.N) launched a ride-hailing smartphone application in Tokyo on Friday in partnership with three domestic taxi firms, even as strict regulations block its popular ride-sharing service in Japan.

The taxi-hailing app, already introduced in smaller cities, connects app users to taxis run by Hinomaru Limousine, Tokyo MK Corp and Ecosystem in the Japanese capital.

Uber is not allowed to run its own ride-sharing fleet in Japan as it does in the United States and elsewhere since local regulations ban non-professional drivers from ferrying paying customers.

Eager to build a customer base in the world’s third-biggest economy, Uber has focused on expanding its Uber Eats food delivery service, which has proven popular, particularly amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Didi Mobility Japan, a joint venture of China’s Didi Chuxing and SoftBank Corp, has also introduced a service in Japan to connect customers with taxis.

Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

Coronavirus raises stakes as auto unions ready for a fight

Coronavirus raises stakes as auto unions ready for a fight

PARIS/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – The coronavirus crisis has forced carmakers to speed up layoffs that must be matched with hefty payouts and deft negotiation to retain the support of powerful trade unions vital if Europe’s auto industry is to manage a shift to low-emission vehicles.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and a broader economic slowdown, demand for light vehicles is expected to shrink by 36 million globally by the end of 2022, consultants AlixPartners found.

For this year alone, this is equivalent to a market the size of Europe disappearing, AlixPartners said.

The contraction increases an existing threat to jobs from electric cars, which are quicker and easier to build than those with combustion engines and which have German and French government backing as the countries strive for a green recovery.

“Once the consensus between labour leaders and management has broken down, it is extremely difficult to implement restructuring in Europe,” Stefan Bratzel, a professor at the Centre of Automotive Management in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany, said.

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Germany will require all petrol stations to provide electric car charging

Germany will require all petrol stations to provide electric car charging

The move could provide a significant boost to electric vehicle demand along with the broader stimulus plan which included taxes to penalise ownership of large polluting combustion-engined sports utility vehicles and a 6,000 euro subsidy towards the cost of an electric vehicle.

Germany’s announcement follows a French plan to boost electric car sales announced last week by President Macron.

“It’s a very clear commitment to battery-powered vehicles and establishes electric mobility as a technology of the future,” energy storage specialist The Mobility House, whose investors include Daimler (DAIGn.DE) and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance, said.

“Internationally this puts Germany in the leading group of battery electric vehicle support.”

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‘Enough is enough’: South African opposition leads protests outside U.S. missions

‘Enough is enough’: South African opposition leads protests outside U.S. missions

PRETORIA/JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Demonstrators gathered outside U.S. missions in South African cities on Monday to condemn the killing of George Floyd, the black man whose death in police custody has set off a wave of protests worldwide and ignited a debate about race and justice.

Protesters led by opposition party the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) carried placards saying “Black Lives Matter” and “Black people are not slaves” outside the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria and consulates in Johannesburg and Cape Town.

The leader of the ultra-left EFF, Julius Malema, told a crowd of several hundred protesters outside the embassy that it was important for South Africans to stand in solidarity with African Americans.

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Ford re-evaluates office space in coronavirus world

Ford re-evaluates office space in coronavirus world

DETROIT (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co (F.N) is re-evaluating how much office space it needs for white-collar workers as restrictions put in place during the coronavirus pandemic are eased and employees return to workplaces.

In March, Ford, General Motors Co (GM.N) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCA) (FCHA.MI)(FCAU.N) told salaried employees to work from home to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Ford brought back 12,000 salaried employees last month, and others have been told they can work from home until September, spokeswoman Marisa Bradley said. Given potential workplace changes caused by the outbreak, a facility consolidation the No. 2 U.S. automaker had already launched could accelerate.

“If we know we are going to have a smaller population that’s going to come back to work, we could look at maybe shrinking our footprint,” Bradley said.

U.S. companies are wrestling with who can work from home and how much office space is necessary.

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Nissan warns UK plant ‘unsustainable’ without EU trade deal: BBC

Nissan warns UK plant ‘unsustainable’ without EU trade deal: BBC

LONDON (Reuters) – Nissan’s (7201.T) car manufacturing plant in Sunderland, northern England, which employs 7,000, is “unsustainable” if Britain leaves the European Union without a trade deal, it said on Wednesday.

Ashwani Gupta, the Japanese company’s global chief operating head, told the BBC its commitment to the car plant, the United Kingdom’s largest, could not be maintained if there was no tariff-free access to the bloc.

The EU is the biggest market for the factory, which made just under 350,000 vehicles last year and builds the Qashqai, Juke and Leaf models.

 “You know we are the number one carmaker in the UK and we want to continue. We are committed. Having said that, if we are not getting the current tariffs, it’s not our intention but the business will not be sustainable. That’s what everybody has to understand,” Gupta told the BBC.

The United Kingdom left the EU on Jan. 31 but the main terms of its membership remain in place during a transition period until the end of this year, allowing it time to negotiate a new free trade deal with the bloc. However, the talks are at an impasse.

Continue reading “Nissan warns UK plant ‘unsustainable’ without EU trade deal: BBC”

German auto stimulus to boost VW’s electric push

German auto stimulus to boost VW’s electric push

BERLIN/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany unveiled sweeping incentives for cheap electric cars, providing a boost to Volkswagen’s (VOWG_p.DE) electric push while penalising heavy sports utility vehicles (SUVs) with new staggered taxes for polluting combustion-engined cars.

Buyer incentives for passenger cars, including a lowering of value added tax (VAT) to 16% from 19% were included as part of a 130 billion euro ($145.74 billion) stimulus but analysts said it would not be enough to significantly boost car demand.

“The lowering of VAT will hardly provide an impetus,” said Peter Fuss, a partner at EY, adding that electric cars are still too much of a niche product to lift the overall market.

Germany included a 6,000 euro incentive for battery electric cars costing below 40,000 euros, bringing consumer incentives for electric cars to 9,000 euros once a 3,000 euro manufacturer stipend is included. [nL8N2DH2E8]

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Renault finalises 5 billion euro state-backed loan

Renault finalises 5 billion euro state-backed loan

PARIS (Reuters) – Renault (RENA.PA) finalised on Wednesday a 5 billion euro ($5.60 billion) loan from with the French government, strengthening the carmaker’s finances in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic which has ravaged the auto industry.

Renault said that the credit facility carried a guarantee from the French state – which owns a 15% stake in Renault – of up to 90% of the total amount borrowed.

 Banks BNP Paribas (BNPP.PA), Credit Agricole (CAGR.PA), HSBC France (HSBA.L), Natixis (CNAT.PA) and SocGen (SOGN.PA) were involved in the credit deal.

Renault also said in a statement that the loan would help finance the company’s liquidity requirements.

 The carmaker announced last week plans to cut about 15,000 jobs worldwide, including 4,600 in France, where the company will seek voluntary departures and use retirement schemes.

The announcement sparked weekend protests at some factories, including at Maubeuge in northern France, although Renault’s chairman Jean-Dominique Senard has pledged the site will not be closed.

($1 = 0.8925 euros)

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Matthieu Protard; Editing by Keith Weir and Louise Heavens

Heads of U.S. automakers, other Michigan companies condemn racism, injustice

Heads of U.S. automakers, other Michigan companies condemn racism, injustice

DETROIT, June 3 (Reuters) – Top executives of the Detroit Three automakers and other major Michigan employers on Wednesday condemned racism and injustice in the United States following the death last week of an unarmed black man at the hands of Minneapolis police, carefully joining a charged national debate.

General Motors Co Chief Executive Mary Barra, Ford Motor Co Executive Chairman Bill Ford, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCA) North America Chief Operating Officer Mark Stewart were among the nine executives who called for independent prosecution of those involved in Floyd’s death, and agreed to invest in programs and policies to help transform communities with racial disparities.

“We unequivocally condemn intolerance,” Barra said at the event at Detroit’s municipal office which was livestreamed. “When hatred exists in our house, we will root it out.”

Barra said inclusion would be GM’s guiding principle, and called on GM employees to speak up and tell her what needs to be done. “We want to be part of meaningful, deliberate change,” she said. “We will act.” Barra said earlier this week she will form a new “inclusion advisory board” to advise the company’s top executives.

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Volkswagen India


VOLKSWAGEN, a BRAND that is synonymous to German Engineering, Build Quality and Safety & Fun to drive experiences.

Consistently among Top 3 GLOBAL Auto Manufacturers since more than a decade, having more than 120 production facilities, serving more than 150 countries is just a brief introduction of the Germany base Auto Giant which has more than 300 plus models within the group on sale as on date & produces more than 44000 vehicles every single day GLOBALLY.

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Empty trains, clogged roads: Americans get behind the wheel to avoid transit

Empty trains, clogged roads: Americans get behind the wheel to avoid transit

Several opinion polls show Americans plan to avoid trains and buses as stay-at-home orders ease, with some city dwellers buying a car for the first time. A potential boon to coronavirus-battered automakers, the shift poses a challenge to city planners end environmental goals.

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Ford shuts two U.S. assembly plants due to COVID-19 infections

Ford shuts two U.S. assembly plants due to COVID-19 infections

1 Min Read

DETROIT (Reuters) – Ford Motor Co on Wednesday closed two U.S. assembly plants as the coronavirus pandemic wreaked early havoc with the No. 2 U.S. automaker’s plan to restart North American production and begin making its most profitable vehicles again.

Ford closed its Dearborn, Michigan, plant due to a positive COVID-19 test by one worker, while its Chicago assembly plant was closed due to a parts shortage, Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker said.

Ford declined to say which supplier had the issue, but a person familiar with the matter told Reuters that Lear Corp had closed a plant in Hammond, Indiana. Lear later confirmed in an email that it had closed the plant due to a positive test.

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U.S. auto industry workers return to jobs amid concerns of second virus wave

U.S. auto industry workers return to jobs amid concerns of second virus wave

DETROIT (Reuters) – Factory workers began returning to assembly lines in Michigan on Monday, paving the way to reopen the U.S. auto sector but stoking fears of a second wave of coronavirus infections as strict lockdowns are eased across the country.

With millions of Americans out of work and much of the economy at a virtual standstill, a growing number of states are relaxing tough restrictions on commerce and social life put in place to slow the outbreak.

Some auto suppliers in Michigan, a Midwest industrial powerhouse hard hit by the pandemic and its economic fallout, reopened plants on Monday with skeleton crews to get ready for a resumption of vehicle production next week.

Skilled-trades workers and salaried employees also began returning to auto assembly plants to prepare for the wider restart.

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UK to place all incoming travellers under 14-day quarantine: The Times

UK to place all incoming travellers under 14-day quarantine: The Times

(Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce on Sunday that all travellers coming to the United Kingdom will be quarantined for a fortnight, The Times reported

“Passengers arriving at airports and ports including Britons returning from abroad, will have to self-isolate for 14 days,” the newspaper said, adding that travellers will have to provide the address sat which they will self-isolate on arrival.

Travellers from Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man will be exempt, as will lorry drivers bringing crucial supplies, the report added.

The authorities will carry out spot checks and those found to be breaking the rules are to face fines of up to 1,000 pounds or even deportation, the report added.

According to The Times, travellers will have to fill in a digital form with details of where they plan to self-isolate themselves for the duration of the quarantine.

The measures will help reduce the “transmission of the virus as we move into the next phase of our response,” the report said, citing a government source

The measures are expected to come into force in early June.

Johnson will announce a very limited easing of Britain’s coronavirus lockdown next week, adopting a cautious approach to try to ensure there is no second peak of infections.

Reporting by Aishwarya Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

How Deere, Caterpillar kept plants running during the coronavirus outbreak

How Deere, Caterpillar kept plants running during the coronavirus outbreak

CHICAGO (Reuters) – While Detroit automakers’ unionized auto factories have been idled by the coronavirus pandemic, farm and construction equipment makers Deere (DE.N) and Caterpillar (CAT.N) have won the support of the United Auto Workers and other unions to run their facilities during the pandemic.

As U.S. states begin to lift lockdown orders and companies gear up to restart production, the policies put in place by the two heavy equipment makers offer a template for returning workers to idled factories in other sectors.

Giving employees sick time without penalty, temperature screenings, staggered shifts and hiring a hygiene-auditing firm are some of the measures the two companies have taken to reassure employees to stay on production lines when many union and non-union workers balk at reporting for jobs that could expose them to the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

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Japan tightens rules on foreign stakes in 518 firms, citing national security

Japan tightens rules on foreign stakes in 518 firms, citing national security

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan announced on Friday a list of its firms subject to tighter foreign ownership rules, including majors such as Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) and Sony Corp (6758.T), as the United States and Europe step up scrutiny of industries key to national security.

Japan identified 518 of its roughly 3,800 listed firms as having operations core to national security, making them targets for stringent regulations, a list released by the Ministry of Finance (MOF) showed.

The tighter rules covering foreign investment in a dozen sectors crucial to national security, such as oil, railways, utilities, arms, space, nuclear power, aviation, telecoms and cyber security, take effect from Friday.

Foreign investors buying a stake of 1% or more in Japanese firms in the 12 areas now face pre-screening in principle, compared with the previous threshold of 10%.

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Nissan to extend production halt for most U.S. plants

Nissan to extend production halt for most U.S. plants

(Reuters) – Nissan Motor Co said Thursday it is extending a production halt for most U.S. manufacturing plants in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nissan, which began gradually resuming production operations at its Infiniti powertrain plant in Decherd, Tennessee last week, said it would assess current market demand and supplier readiness before setting a restart date for the remaining plants. Many automakers hope to resume U.S. production starting May 18 after halting operations in late March.

Reporting by David Shepardson, Editing by Franklin Paul

Abbey Thomas, the Seasoned CMO!
Bhimsen Gulabani, Head – Customer Care, Renault India to continue to build Renault’s Customer Focused Journey in India

Bhimsen Gulabani, Head – Customer Care, Renault India to continue to build Renault’s Customer Focused Journey in India

Renault, the number one European brand in India, has a clear objective to grow its presence in India and Renault India continues to be an important part of Groupe Renault’s global expansion plans. With a developing product portfolio, Renault has more than 6 lakh customers in India. Renault has also expanded its network reach to more than 370 sales and 450 service touchpoints.

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FADA successfully concluded the 11th edition of Auto Summit 2020
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Investors build war chests to buy bonds of distressed European companies

Investors build war chests to buy bonds of distressed European companies

LONDON (Reuters) – Years into a bond market bull-run, investors are banking on a brighter future for funds that buy the debt of financially troubled European companies whose bonds are offering meatier returns because they are more risky

With European economic growth expected to be subdued in 2020, and default rates tipped to rise, investors expect an increase in the number of companies that will struggle to service their debt.

That creates an opportunity: to buy the bonds of a troubled company at a deeply discounted price, and make big profits if the company manages to turn itself around and the bond price recovers.

Private equity groups and asset managers are creating so-called special situation funds to identify suitable targets for these high-risk – and potentially high-reward – bets.

“We have seen a significant increase in the number of stressed and distressed European corporates being screened during our team’s discussions,” said Mark Brown, co-head of special situations in Europe at private equity firm KKR.

“We do think we are late-cycle and, as the fund is focused on deploying capital in a cyclical downturn, having capital ready to go makes sense,” he said.

The appeal of distressed debt is enhanced by the fact that a large chunk of the European bond market is offering yields close to or below zero.

KKR last year started fundraising for a third special situation fund and is seeking $1.5 billion.

Elsewhere, JP Morgan Asset Management launched its first ever special situations fund in November, raising just over $1 billion, while private equity firm CVC raised $1.4 billion for a global special situations fund in June.

PIMCO is also fundraising for a special situations fund, said a person familiar with the matter.

Bond prices show markets beginning to price in increased concern that the most troubled European companies will struggle to fund their debt obligations, providing an opportunity for those who specialize in dealing with such situations.

The ratio of European high-yield bonds trading at a spread of more than 1,000 basis points over their respective government benchmarks— one measure of distressed debt — hit 7% at end-2019 compared to 1.4% a year earlier, JP Morgan data showed.


In a slowing economy, most investors will have to look at challenging situations if they want to perform, said Amundi high-yield portfolio manager Marina Cohen.

“There are clearly going to be some opportunities in those types of (distressed) situations in the mid-term.”

Recent examples of such plays include Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA.TA), Britain’s Jaguar Land Rover and French supermarket chain Casino (CASP.PA), all of which found themselves in difficult situations earlier last year before rebounding and raising fresh debt.

Recent performance for distressed debt funds has lagged another favored debt play – lending money to help finance mergers and acquisitions via leveraged buyout funds (LBFs).

LBFs generated an internal rate of return of nearly 14% in the second quarter of 2019, according to the latest data available from the investment software provider eFront, compared to 8.5% for distressed debt funds.

But the volume of money flowing into distressed debt suggests investors see improving prospects there.

Assets under management in European distressed debt — which combine unrealized funds from existing investments and “dry powder” for future investments — hit a record $48.5 billion in June, Preqin data showed.

“They (special funds) have been waiting and watching for a few years now, and we may finally be moving towards an environment where this trade becomes viable,” said White & Case European leveraged finance lawyer Jeremy Duffy.

In one recent example, investors rushed into Jaguar Land Rover’s five-year bond offer in November, with demand so strong that the company had to print another seven-year tranche, raising 800 million euros in total. Jaguar – owned by India’s Tata Motors (TAMO.NS) – offered a yield of 5.875% and 6.875% on the tranches, respectively.

Earlier in 2019, the British carmaker was hit by a $4 billion writedown, a slump in China sales and Brexit worries that forced it to look for alternative funding from bond markets.

Adding to the appeal of distressed debt, European Central Bank stimulus has compressed yields across the European bond market to such an extent that volatility is likely to be quite high in a downturn.

“Wobbles within individual companies are triggering some quite severe selloffs,” said Laura Frost at M&G Investments.

“That presents an opportunity for people like us”.

(GRAPHIC – Bond ‘tourists’ added to Aston Martin’s summer travails: here)

U.S. regulator to review recommendation on Fiat Chrysler’s Jeep complaint against Mahindra

U.S. regulator to review recommendation on Fiat Chrysler’s Jeep complaint against Mahindra

DETROIT (Reuters) – A U.S. regulator said it will review part of a recommendation made last fall that India’s Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd infringed upon the intellectual property rights of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Jeep SUV design.

The International Trade Commission (ITC) on Wednesday said it would review an administrative law judge’s initial determination last November that Mahindra’s Roxor off-road utility vehicle infringed on the “trade dress” of FCA’s Jeep. The judge recommended the commission bar entry of Mahindra vehicles or parts that infringe and issue a cease-and-desist order.

Trade dress consists of the unique characteristics that make a product stand apart and is generally accepted as identified with that product by the public. For example, FCA sees Jeep’s grille and round headlights as distinct to the brand.

The commission, which in September 2018 initially opened its investigation, said on Wednesday it is targeting completion of the inquiry by March 20.

If the ITC recommends a form of remedy, the U.S. Trade Representative would have 60 days to approve, disapprove or take no action on that determination.

Mahindra, which previously has called FCA’s claims without merit, on Thursday welcomed the commission’s review.

“We are optimistic that the ITC will in its review conclude that FCA did not establish previously unclaimed U.S. rights in trade dress and that there was no infringement of either trade dress or registered trademarks,” the company said in an emailed statement.

Mahindra said it has launched its model year 2020 Roxor with what it described as “significant styling changes” and said it would make additional changes if the ITC required it.

FCA was unconcerned the commission will overturn the judge’s initial recommendation.

“Review is a part of the commission process,” the Italian-American automaker said in an emailed statement on Thursday. “Based on the facts and law, FCA US remains confident the administrative law judge’s initial determination of violation by Mahindra will be adopted by the commission.”

The Roxor is assembled in Auburn Hills, north of Detroit, by Mahindra’s North American subsidiary.

Reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit; editing by Jonathan Oatis

Unedited Newswire of Reuters

Fiat Chrysler asks U.S. court to toss out GM racketeering claims: filing

Fiat Chrysler asks U.S. court to toss out GM racketeering claims: filing

Fiat Chrysler’s motion to dismiss GM’s civil racketeering lawsuit was expected. The company has said GM’s lawsuit is baseless and aimed at disrupting the Italian-American automaker’s proposed merger with France’s Peugeot SA (PEUP.PA).

GM general counsel Craig Glidden told reporters in November the FCA-PSA merger had nothing to do with GM’s legal action.

Fiat Chrysler’s arguments were filed on Friday evening in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

In response, GM said it remained confident in the legal underpinnings of its case and will respond in court.

“We are confident in the legal and factual underpinnings of our case, which have already been documented in part through the guilty pleas and admissions of FCA executives made in connection with the government’s ongoing criminal investigation”, GM said in a statement.

GM sued Fiat Chrysler in November charging its rival with bribing officials of the United Auto Workers union in order to gain advantages in 2009 and 2015 labor contracts and have the UAW withhold those terms from GM. Fiat Chrysler’s now deceased Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne sat “at the center” of the schemes, GM charged in its lawsuit.

In its response Friday, Fiat Chrysler rejected GM’s claim that Marchionne tried to force a merger between GM and FCA by agreeing to labor contracts that favored the UAW.

GM failed to show “why Mr. Marchionne would want to saddle FCA and GM with unfavorable CBAs (collective bargaining agreements) if his ultimate goal was to run the merged company (presumably on a profitable basis).”

GM’s accusations relied in part on revelations from an active federal criminal investigation of corruption within the UAW. That investigation began at Fiat Chrysler but has since spread to past and present UAW officials at GM.

In its motion on Friday, Fiat Chrysler said GM’s lawsuit was “fatally flawed” for several reasons.

The lawsuit was filed after a four-year statute of limitations had expired, Fiat Chrysler argued. GM is not a direct victim of wrongdoing by FCA executives or UAW officials related to labor contracts, and so cannot bring a RICO action, FCA argued in its motion.

The UAW is such a large organization, “the notion that FCA seized control of the UAW by virtue of the alleged prohibited payments is implausible on its face,” the FCA brief stated.

Further, Fiat Chrysler argued that GM’s allegations about corrupt contract negotiations should be heard by the National Labor Relations Board, not by a federal court.

Reporting by Joe White; additional reporting by Kanishka Singh; Editing by Sandra Maler, Diane Craft and Grant McCool

Unedited  Newswire by Reuters
Bloomberg plan would make all new U.S. cars electric by 2035

Bloomberg plan would make all new U.S. cars electric by 2035

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic U.S. presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg unveiled a plan on Friday to slash greenhouse gas emissions from transportation by making electric vehicles accessible to even low-income families and improving access to public transit.

Bloomberg, a media billionaire and former mayor of New York City, has long fought to curb emissions, serving recently as a special envoy to the United Nations on climate action.

Other Democratic candidates have included transportation in their climate plans. Bloomberg, who is putting out a suite of climate plans, is the first to issue a specific strategy on transportation, the top U.S. source of greenhouse gases.

 Bloomberg’s plan calls for all new U.S. cars to be electric by 2035, reductions of diesel pollution with electric trucks and buses, improved access to public transit, and the building of high-speed rail.

He wants to offer low and moderate-income communities a “Clean Cars for All” program with rebates for trading in old cars for electric ones.

“We’re looking to turn over the polluting stock faster,” a campaign aide said on condition of anonymity ahead of the plan’s unveiling. The aide said Bloomberg wants to help taxi and ride-share programs to electrify their fleets before 2035.

His plan does not specify where rare earth minerals would come from for the new vehicles.

Bloomberg aims to slash U.S. emissions linked to climate change by 50% by 2030 if he wins the November vote. Cutting emissions from the power sector and buildings are the other major planks of his clean economy plan.

This week Bloomberg, a late entrant into the race, introduced plans to prevent forest fires, directed in part at winning over voters in California, the most populous state, and one of 14 states holding primaries on Super Tuesday, March 3.

While California has struggled to build high-speed rail, another aide said an initial advanced rail project could be less ambitious than the state’s plan, yet still show Americans what many travelers have in other countries. “It might actually be a shorter course,” than current plans in California, he said.

Bloomberg, like other candidates, wants to reverse the policies of Republican President Donald Trump who is slashing rules on environment regulation while boosting output of fossil fuels.

But he is not putting a dollar figure on his climate plans because of the complexity of the issues, a difference from most of the other candidates.

This is an unaltered Newswire from Reuters

“You’re stealing our water”: Germans protest against Tesla gigafactory

“You’re stealing our water”: Germans protest against Tesla gigafactory

BERLIN (Reuters) – Around 250 Germans on Saturday protested in the outskirts of Berlin where electric car startup Tesla is planning to build a gigafactory, saying its construction will endanger water supply and wildlife in the area.

The U.S. carmaker announced plans last November to build its first European car factory in Gruenheide, in the eastern state ofBernd Kutz, a Gruenheide local.

Politicians, unions and industry groups have welcomed the move, saying it will bring jobs to the region, but environmental concerns drove hundreds of locals to the streets on Saturday.

“We are here, we are loud, because Tesla is stealing our water,” protesters called.

Saturday’s protest came after a Brandenburg water association on Thursday warned against “extensive and serious problems with the drinking water supply and wastewater disposal” for the proposed factory.

Anne Bach, a 27-year-old environmental activist, said Tesla’s plans published earlier this month showed it would need more than 300 cubic meters of water per hour which would drain the area’s declining reserves.

“I am not against Tesla … But it’s about the site; in a forest area that is a protected wildlife zone. Is this necessary?” Bach said.

“In such an ecological system like the one here and with the background that climate is changing, I cannot understand why another location was not selected from the beginning,” said Frank Gersdorf, a member of “Citizens’ Initiative Gruenheide against Gigafactory”, a local group that organized Saturday’s protest.

Environmentalist protests in Germany have previously halted and delayed major companies’ plans such RWE’s lignite mining at the Hambach forest, near Cologne, which has become a symbol of the anti-coal protests.

Saturday’s protest, which Gersdorf and Bach said developed spontaneously from a 50-people forest walk demonstration, highlighted the deforestation of around 300 hectares to build the factory and its impact on wildlife, including birds, insects and bats.

People were also protesting against an expected “enormous” increase in traffic on a nearby highway and through the villages.

Next to the protest, on the other side of the street, around 20 people carried banners welcoming Tesla in their village, with children chanting, “We are here, we are loud, because Tesla is building our future.”

Bernd Kutz, a Gruenheide local, said Tesla would bring improvement to the area, create jobs and give chances to young people.

“I am here because I don’t understand those demonstrators who shout and show us the finger,” Kutz said. “Why has it always to be negative?”

Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; editing by Christina Fincher

This is an Unaltered Newswire of Reuters

China’s Great Wall agrees to buy General Motors’ India plant

China’s Great Wall agrees to buy General Motors’ India plant

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Great Wall Motor (601633.SS) has agreed to buy General Motors’ (GM) (GM.N) car plant in India, the companies said on Friday, as the Chinese automaker expands overseas amid slowing domestic demand.

The deal, which is expected to be completed by the second half of 2020, will jumpstart Great Wall’s plans to build and sell cars in India and bring to an end GM’s manufacturing operations in the country.

People aware of the deal told Reuters earlier on Friday that the two companies had agreed on the sale, with one of the sources adding that Great Wall is likely to pay around $250 million to $300 million to acquire the plant.

“The Indian market has great potential, rapid economic growth and a good investment environment. Entering the Indian market is an important step for Great Wall Motors’ global strategy,” Liu Xiangshang, vice president, global strategy at the Chinese automaker said.

Great Wall, one of the biggest sellers of sports-utility vehicles (SUV) in China, plans to enter India with its Haval and electric vehicle brands and will announce detailed plans at the Delhi auto show in February, Liu said in the statement.

Chinese automakers are accelerating plans to build cars in India to combat slowing sales at home and have been encouraged by the initial success of rival SAIC Motor (600104.SS) in the country, sources have told Reuters.Although car sales in India are also stuttering, the market is expected to become the world’s third biggest by 2026, behind China and the United States, according to consultancy LMC Automotive.

However, Fiat Chrysler (FCHA.MI), Ford Motor (F.N) and GM are scaling back in India after battling it out in one of the world’s most competitive markets, which is dominated by smaller, low-cost cars made by Maruti Suzuki (MRTI.NS) and Hyundai Motor (005380.KS).

GM, which stopped selling cars in India at the end of 2017, has already sold its other plant to SAIC, where the Chinese automaker builds cars under its British brand, MG Motor.

Although the American automaker continued to build small cars for export at its plant in Talegaon in Maharashtra state, it has been exploring strategic options for the site, Julian Blissett, senior vice president, GM International Operations said in the statement.

“Our decision to cease production at Talegaon is based on GM’s global strategy and optimization of our manufacturing footprint around the world,” Blissett said, adding that the company will provide support to employees affected by the decision.

Great Wall is expected to upgrade and modify GM’s plant to suit its needs and set up a base for its suppliers, said one of the sources, adding that the automaker expects to begin production within a year.

The plant is expected to have an annual production capacity of about 150,000-160,000 vehicles, the source said.

Reporting by Aditi Shah in New Delhi, additional reporting by Yilei Sun in Beijing; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani, Shri Navaratnam; Kirsten Donovan

This is an Unaltered Newswire by Reuters
GM to revive Hummer name with electric pickups, SUVs: sources
Global joint venture formally established by Mercedes-Benz & Geely 

Global joint venture formally established by Mercedes-Benz & Geely 

U.S. auto safety agency to investigate fatal Tesla crash in California

U.S. auto safety agency to investigate fatal Tesla crash in California

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said earlier this month it had opened an investigation into a 12th Tesla crash that may be tied to the vehicle’s advanced Autopilot driver assistance system after a Tesla Model 3 rear-ended a parked police car in Connecticut.

NHTSA did not say if autopilot was suspected in Sunday’s crash in Gardena in Los Angeles county.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Los Angeles television station KTLA reported the driver exited the 91 Freeway in Gardena, ran a red light and struck a 2006 Honda Civic, killing its two occupants.

The two people inside the Tesla were hospitalized but did not have life-threatening injuries, KTLA reported, citing Los Angeles police.

Autopilot had been engaged in at least three Tesla vehicles that were involved in fatal U.S. crashes since 2016. The National Transportation Safety Board has criticized Autopilot’s lack of safeguards and said in September in its probe of a 2018 Culver City, California Tesla crash that the system’s design “permitted the driver to disengage from the driving task.”

Tesla and NHTSA both advise drivers that they must keep their hands on the steering wheel and pay attention at all times while using Autopilot. Tesla says Autopilot “enables your car to steer, accelerate and brake automatically within its lane,” but does not make the vehicle autonomous.

Some drivers say they are able to keep their hands off the wheel for extended periods when using the system. Last month, U.S. Senator Ed Markey said Tesla should disable Autopilot until it installs new safeguards to prevent drivers from evading system limits that could let them fall asleep.

NHTSA has previously confirmed special crash investigations in a number of Tesla crashes but until earlier this month had not disclosed the total number of crashes under review. NHTSA previously investigated another Tesla crash that it initially suspected of being tied to Autopilot but ruled it out.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Leslie Adler and Grant McCool

 Reuters Newswire unaltered by World Auto Forum
Turkey unveils first fully homemade car in $3.7 billion bet on electric

Turkey unveils first fully homemade car in $3.7 billion bet on electric


ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey unveiled its first fully domestically-produced car on Friday, saying it aimed to eventually produce up to 175,000 a year of the electric vehicle in a project expected to cost 22 billion lira ($3.7 billion) over 13 years.

Erdogan drives a prototype of the electric car, in Gebze, Turkey via AP

The project has been a long-time goal of President Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling AK Party as a demonstration of the country’s growing economic power.

Speaking at the unveiling ceremony, Erdogan said Turkey aimed not only to sell the car domestically but also wanted it to become a global brand, starting with Europe.

“We’re all together witnessing Turkey’s 60-year-old dream become reality,” he said, referring to failed plans in the past to build a fully home-produced car. “When we see this car on roads around the whole world, we will have reached our goal.”

Following his speech, a red SUV model of the car and another grey sedan one were raised onto the stage, sporting the TOGG label of the consortium that is building them.

Erdogan said the charging infrastructure for electric cars would be ready nationwide by 2022.

Turkey is already a big exporter to Europe of cars made domestically by firms such as Ford (F.N), Fiat Chrysler (FCHA.MI), Renault (RENA.PA), Toyota (7203.T) and Hyundai (005380.KS).

The new project, launched in October, will receive state support such as tax breaks, and establish a production facility in the automotive hub of Bursa in northwest Turkey, according to a presidential decision in the country’s Official Gazette.

Five models of the car will be produced, the statement said, adding the government had guaranteed to buy 30,000 of the vehicles by 2035.

Erdogan first revealed plans in November 2017 here to launch a car made entirely in Turkey by 2021.

The consortium, called Turkey’s Automobile Initiative Group (TOGG), was established in mid 2018 by five industrial groups: Anadolu Group, BMC, Kok Group, mobile phone operator Turkcell (TCELL.IS) and Zorlu Holding, the parent of TV maker Vestel (VESTL.IS).

TOGG’s CEO is former Bosch executive Gurcan Karakas and its chief operating officer is Sergio Rocha, former General Motors Korea chief executive. It said it would begin production in 2022 with compact SUVs.

In October, Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) said it had postponed a final decision on whether to build a car plant in Turkey amid international criticism of an October Turkish military operation in Syria.

($1 = 5.9339 liras)

Additional reporting by Ebru Tuncay; Writing by Daren Butler and Ali Kucukgocmen; Editing by Jonathan Spicer and Mark Potter

NewsWire of Reuters and Picture by AP not changed or edited by World Auto Forum

Nissan picks Sakamoto as board candidate after Seki’s resignation

Nissan picks Sakamoto as board candidate after Seki’s resignation

TOKYO (Reuters) – Nissan Motor Co (7201.T) has selected executive officer Hideyuki Sakamoto as a candidate for the board of directors, the company said on Friday, following the surprise resignation of vice-chief operating officer Jun Seki earlier this week.

Sakamoto, who was named an executive officer in June and has been an executive vice president since 2014, is responsible for manufacturing and supply chain management at Japan’s No. 2 automaker. Nissan will hold an extraordinary shareholder meeting on Feb. 18, where his appointment will be among proposals submitted for approval, it said in a press release.

The carmaker did not say whether Sakamoto would take on Seki’s responsibilities.

Nissan needs stability as it braces for its worst annual profit in 11 years amid slumping sales in the United States and China, its biggest markets. The company is also working to repair ties with top shareholder and alliance partner Renault SA (RENA.PA), which deteriorated following the ouster of joint chairman Carlos Ghosn a year ago.

Tesla secures $1.29 billion loan from Chinese banks for Shanghai factory

Tesla secures $1.29 billion loan from Chinese banks for Shanghai factory

(Reuters) – Tesla Inc entered into agreements with lenders in China for a secured term loan facility of up to 9 billion yuan ($1.29 billion), according to a regulatory filing on Thursday.

The electric car maker said it has also signed agreements for an unsecured revolving loan facility of up to 2.25 billion yuan, adding that both the loans will be used for its Shanghai car plant. (

China Construction Bank Corp, Agricultural Bank of China, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China are the lenders, according to the filing.

Besides construction and production at the Shanghai factory, the loan may also be used to repay the 3.5 billion yuan debt due to be repaid on March 4 next year.

The factory, which is Tesla’s first car manufacturing site outside the United States, is the centerpiece of its ambitions to boost sales in the world’s biggest auto market and avoid higher import tariffs imposed on U.S.-made cars.

Reuters reported earlier this week that Tesla and a group of China banks had agreed to a new 10 billion yuan, five-year loan facility for the automaker’s Shanghai car plant, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta

NewsWire of Reuters not changed or edited by World Auto Forum

Dongfeng and PSA extend joint venture despite stake sale to smooth mega-merger

Dongfeng and PSA extend joint venture despite stake sale to smooth mega-merger

BEIJING/PARIS (Reuters) – China’s Dongfeng Motor Group (0489.HK) and Peugeot maker PSA (PEUP.PA) are extending their business cooperation, despite the Chinese company reducing its stake in PSA to help smooth the French carmaker’s merger with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA).

Dongfeng said on Thursday it had agreed with PSA to extend the duration of their joint venture Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobiles (DPCA).

Under the deal, the venture could get the rights to PSA’s new brands in China and will benefit from new technologies and intellectual properties, the Chinese company said.

Continue reading “Dongfeng and PSA extend joint venture despite stake sale to smooth mega-merger”