|Bid||0.00 x 207000|
|Ask||0.00 x 63200|
|Day's range||140.86 - 144.12|
|52-week range||131.44 - 163.98|
|Beta (3Y monthly)||0.77|
|PE ratio (TTM)||5.78|
|Earnings date||30 Oct 2018|
|Forward dividend & yield||4.86 (3.40%)|
|1y target est||198.76|
(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world embroiled in trade wars. Sign up here. China will follow through with retaliatory measures announced Friday and fight the trade war to the end, in the face of the U.S.’s failure to keep its promises, the state-run People’s Daily wrote in a Saturday editorial.Later, the influential Chinese journalist Hu Xijin said on Twitter that the U.S. is “starting to lose China.”On Friday, Beijing unveiled plans to impose additional tariffs on $75 billion of U.S. goods, including soybeans, automobiles and oil. The nation will “walk the talk” in implementing its third round of retaliatory measures, according to the newspaper.China has been forced into countermeasures by U.S. unilateralism and trade protectionism, the paper said, adding that Washington has been erratic in imposing tariffs on China and has shown “amnesia” in honoring its promises.Trade tensions between the two nations escalated on Friday after President Donald Trump said he’s raising tariffs on Chinese imports in response to the measures announced by Beijing. Anticipation of Trump’s actions, which were foreshadowed by a series of angry tweets, sent global stock markets reeling.Tariffs RisingExisting U.S. duties on $250 billion of Chinese imports will rise to 30% from 25% on Oct. 1, while a planned 10% tariff on a further $300 billion in Chinese goods will jump to 15%, starting with the first tranche on Sept. 1, Trump said in tweets Friday.China’s Ministry of Commerce issued a strongly-worded statement on Saturday saying the U.S. was involved in “unilateral and bullying trade protectionism” that puts the normal international trade order at risk.Trump, for his part, suggested in an overnight tweet that he was looking at the “Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977” in ordering U.S. companies to quit China. “Case closed!” Trump concluded.That measure -- technically, the International Emergency Economic Powers Act -- gives U.S. presidents wide latitude to regulate international commerce at times of national emergencies. It’s unclear how Trump could use the law in the current situation to have U.S. companies bend to his will.Hu, editor-in-chief of the Global Times, a tabloid newspaper controlled by China’s ruling Communist Party, accurately predicted the timing of China’s retaliatory tariffs on Friday.On Saturday, he said China “has ‘lost’ the U.S. already,” citing high tariffs, the ban on telecoms company Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., political hostility, and actions toward Hong Kong and Taiwan. “We’re facing a completely different United States. We have nothing more to lose, while the US is just starting to lose China,” Xu said.While the Global Times doesn’t necessarily reflect the view of Chinese leaders, Hu has said the paper voices opinions that official sources can’t.Hu earlier tweeted that if U.S. automakers heed Trump’s Friday call for “major American companies” to desert China, they would be giving up the market to Japanese and German brands. “Go back to the US, let each American family have 20 cars,” he tweeted, followed by a smiley face.U.S. importers and retailers decried the latest moves by Trump.“These escalating tariffs are the worst economic mistake since the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 -- a decision that catapulted our country into the Great Depression,” Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, said in a statement.(Updates with China’s Commerce Ministry, CTA comment from seventh paragraph.)To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Evelyn Yu in Shanghai at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sam Mamudi at email@example.com, Ros Krasny, Steve GeimannFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Volkswagen AG said Friday it is recalling 679,000 U.S. vehicles sold since 2011 that could roll away because of an electrical issue. VW said a build up of silicate on the shift lever micro switch contacts is to blame. Dealers will install and additional switch and circuit board and disable a micro switch.
Markets have waited all week for Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech at Jackson Hole, and today is the day - he speaks at 1400 GMT. Asian shares inched up and European markets are set to open higher. Currency markets remain focussed on the yuan, which slid as low as 7.0992 per dollar, its weakest since March 2008.
(Bloomberg) -- Volkswagen AG is exploring potential investments in Chinese automotive suppliers as it seeks to secure access to key technology in the world’s largest car market, people familiar with the matter said.Options under discussion include buying equity stakes or forging joint ventures with Chinese suppliers, particularly firms with technology used in electric vehicles, according to the people. VW has been examining several possible targets including Guoxuan High-Tech Co., a battery maker based in China’s Anhui province, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.Shares of Guoxuan High-Tech jumped 6% in Shenzhen trading after Bloomberg reported the talks, more than doubling their gain for the year. The company has a market value of about $2.1 billion. VW was up 0.4% in Frankfurt.Battery technology is a critical area for VW, the world’s biggest automaker, as it seeks to safeguard vast purchasing volumes needed to power the auto industry’s largest push into electric cars, which is led by China. The German carmaker picked China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. as its initial battery provider in the country.The Chinese market will take on a bigger role for VW as both a production hub and research center, Chief Executive Officer Herbert Diess told reporters in April in Shanghai. The company plans to deliver 22 million fully electric vehicles worldwide by 2028, with more than half of them made in China.No final decisions have been made, and there’s no certainty the deliberations will lead to a transaction, the people said. VW is “in talks with different local suppliers for possible cooperation in the future,” the company said in an emailed statement.“The evaluation of our battery supply capacities in China is ongoing and necessary for a high volume of e-mobility production,” VW said.A representative for Guoxuan declined to comment.VW is also considering expanding its three vehicle-making joint ventures in China as part of a strategy review. The company has said it’ll work with partners on mobility offerings and plans to add a smaller electric-car platform specifically for China’s megacities.VW operates ventures with major Chinese carmakers SAIC Motor Corp. and China FAW Group Co. after being one of the first foreign automakers to start business in the country more than three decades ago. It’s also exploring options to acquire a stake in its smallest local partner, Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group Corp., people familiar with the matter said in April.Tesla Said to Agree to Buy Batteries From LG for China FactoryChina’s top three home-grown electric-car battery makers, CATL, BYD Co. and Guoxuan, dominate the market with about 79% of the country’s new-energy vehicle battery installments in the first half, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.Still, they face a risk as the government phases out subsidies that effectively motivated carmakers in China to use locally made batteries. The policy change puts non-Chinese battery makers such as South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd. on an equal footing with their local rivals.By teaming up with VW, Guoxuan can gain additional funding and an endorsement to its brand amid the intensifying competition. The company, which supplies local carmakers including BAIC Motor Corp. and Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd., said in April that it has been talking to a “first-tier international brand” but didn’t share details, citing a confidentiality agreement.(Updates with share moves in third paragraph.)To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Vinicy Chan in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org;Christoph Rauwald in Frankfurt at email@example.com;Haze Fan in Beijing at firstname.lastname@example.org;Steven Yang in Beijing at email@example.com;Tian Ying in Beijing at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Fion Li at email@example.com, ;Anthony Palazzo at firstname.lastname@example.org, ;Emma O'Brien at email@example.com, ;Shiyin Chen at firstname.lastname@example.org, Ben Scent, Ville HeiskanenFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
HyperChange founder and CEO, Galileo Russell explains to Yahoo Finance why he thinks Tesla is should not sell itself to another company.
Volkswagen said on Thursday it was not interested in taking a stake in Tesla, denying a media report that CEO Herbert Diess wanted to buy shares in the U.S. company to access its software and batteries technology. "The speculation about buying a stake in Tesla made by Manager Magazin is without merit," a Volkswagen spokesman said in a written statement to Reuters. Manager Magazin had said Diess meets with Tesla CEO Elon Musk on a regular basis because of the U.S. carmaker's expertise in software and battery cell design, and that Tesla had so far rebuffed Volkswagen's efforts at striking an alliance.
Today, citing German business publication Manager Magazin, Reuters reported that Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess is interested in a stake in Tesla.
(Bloomberg) -- Volkswagen AG denied a report that its chief executive officer would be interested in buying a stake in Tesla Inc., calling it unfounded speculation.A VW spokesman rejected the report by Manager Magazin, which had said VW CEO Herbert Diess would invest in Tesla immediately if he could, citing unidentified managers at the German carmaker. Tesla shares erased a gain of as much as 3.6% before the start of regular trading, trading down 0.7% as of 10:45 a.m. Thursday in New York.Buying a stake in Tesla would undercut Diess’ stated aim to take the electric-car maker head-on. Volkswagen’s namesake brand alone is targeting sales of 1 million battery-powered vehicles by 2025, an executive reiterated earlier Thursday. The Volkswagen group has budgeted at least 30 billion euros ($33 billion) in spending on electric cars. “We see Volkswagen as the company that can stop Tesla, because we have abilities Tesla doesn’t have today,” Diess said in a July 2017 interview with Bloomberg News.This isn’t the first time Volkswagen has denied reported interest in Tesla. Chief Financial Officer Frank Witter said in September that there was “no substance” to a Wall Street Journal report a month earlier that said the company was one of the potential investors bankers had lined up to support Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s short-lived effort to take the carmaker private.(Updates with VW reiterating electric-vehicle sales target in the third paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Christoph Rauwald in Frankfurt at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Craig Trudell at firstname.lastname@example.org;Anthony Palazzo at email@example.comFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Volkswagen AG’s namesake brand expects to lift profit margins over the next few years despite an expensive shift to electric cars and growing economic headwinds in Germany and abroad.VW, in the midst of the auto industry’s most ambitious electric-car push, is sticking with a target of selling 1 million battery vehicles by 2025, Ralf Brandstaetter, the unit’s chief operating officer, told reporters on Thursday. The brand is sticking with a goal of 6% operating-profit margins in 2022, up from 5.2% in the first six months this year.The sales goal, which would move VW well past Tesla Inc., “is the guiding star of our strategy,” Brandstaetter said.Luring buyers toward e-cars -- from tech-savvy youngsters to traditional loyalists -- will be critical for the VW group to turn its 30 billion-euro ($33 billion) spending spree into a success and avoid steep European Union fines for breaching emission limits. Trade woes and recession fears are adding to the urgency and forcing VW to become more efficient after a decade of rising demand.Economic swings are hard to predict and do pose a risk in coming months, Brandstaetter said -- from Brexit’s fallout to persistent tension between the U.S. and China.“We’re monitoring the situation very closely,” he said. But VW’s broad global presence and economies of scale put the manufacturer in a better position than many rivals to cope with economic swings, he said.While the manufacturer’s diesel-emission scandal caused a fundamental crisis, it also “became a catalyst for the transformation of Volkswagen,” Brandstaetter said. That set the stage for the bold plans under way now.VW plans to use its vast scale to produce electric cars at more competitive costs than rivals. The brand, which accounts for about half of the group’s global deliveries, in the past has been bogged down by an unwieldy range of vehicle variants, bloated costs and poor budget discipline.A new brand logo, which will be unveiled next month, can be displayed on car fronts as well as smartphone screens. It was last tweaked six years ago with a more three-dimensional look, and has changed only modestly since the manufacturer’s resurrection after World War II.VW’s electric-car offensive starts with the rollout of the ID. 3 hatchback in Zwickau, Germany, later this year and will be followed by almost 70 more models across the group in the next 10 years. VW has taken desosits for 27,000 vehicles, and the brand’s sales chief, Juergen Stackmann said the number may well reach 30,000 in time for the Frankfurt auto show in September.What Bloomberg Intelligence Says“An initial push through Audi e-tron and Porsche Taycan could transform the company into the new Tesla, a view not yet shared by the market. Dedicated EV platforms should lead to a fundamental change in mix, much-needed scale and a cost advantage.”\-- Michael Dean, BI auto industry analystVW will roll out production of cars based on a new dedicated electric-car platform dubbed MEB, adding sites in China, Czech Republic and the U.S. VW has added 4 billion euros to its planned spending on IT projects as software will play an increasingly important role in future cars.VW shares gained 1.6% to 144.26 euros as of 1:04 p.m. in Frankfurt. The stock is up 3.8% this year.(Updates with sales goal for ID. 3 in third-to-last paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Christoph Rauwald in Frankfurt at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at email@example.com, Tom LavellFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump lashed out at automobile manufacturers who’ve pushed back on his administration’s plan to weaken fuel-efficiency requirements, dismissing them as “politically correct.”“My proposal to the politically correct Automobile Companies would lower the average price of a car to consumers by more than $3000, while at the same time making the cars substantially safer,” Trump said in a tweet on Wednesday. “Engines would run smoother. Very little impact on the environment! Foolish executives!”The tweet was apparently prompted by a compromise that Ford Motor Co., Honda Motor Co., BMW AG and Volkswagen AG have reached with California’s clean-air regulator to bolster the fuel efficiency of autos sold in the U.S. through 2026, defying the Trump administration’s plan. Gavin Newsom, California’s Democratic governor, has called on other automakers to join the pact though none have thus far.August 21, 2019 That deal represents the most clear-cut example of auto industry unease with the Trump administration’s August 2018 proposal to dramatically ease fuel economy and vehicle greenhouse gas emissions standards drafted by the Obama administration, which sought to boost average fuel efficiency to roughly 50 miles per gallon by 2025.The Trump administration instead recommended capping mileage requirements at a 37-mile-per-gallon fleet average after 2020, and revoking California’s authority to regulate tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions, which it’s done in coordination with Washington for several years.Trump regulators have argued that capping fuel economy standards at 2020 levels would lead to less-expensive new cars than under the current rules, allowing consumers to replace their older vehicles with newer, safer ones more rapidly and avoid thousands of traffic fatalities.Experts and EPA career staff have disputed those assertions.Automakers for months have urged the Trump administration to moderate that plan, fearing a lengthy legal battle over California’s regulatory powers would throw the critical standards into uncertainty for years. Those efforts have had little sway so far on the White House, which rejected a plea by 17 carmakers last month to work out a compromise with California.The companies also want to avoid a split market -- with federal mileage requirements in most states and more stringent rules in more than a dozen states that adhere to California’s standards. The states that follow California standards account for more than a third of all U.S. auto sales.“The Legendary Henry Ford and Alfred P. Sloan, the Founders of Ford Motor Company and General Motors, are “rolling over” at the weakness of current car company executives willing to spend more money on a car that is not as safe or good, and cost $3,000 more to consumers,” Trump said later Wednesday in another tweet. “Crazy!”Ford, in a statement Wednesday evening, said the company was “proud to lead the way in taking the right actions for the environment while at the same time protecting consumer affordability and the short- and long-term health of the industry.”(Updates with Ford statement in final paragraph.)\--With assistance from Keith Naughton.To contact the reporter on this story: Ryan Beene in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at email@example.com, Joshua Gallu, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
A federal judge in California on Friday urged the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Volkswagen AG to resolve a civil suit stemming from its Dieselgate emissions scandal. U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco, who earlier had questioned why the agency waited two years to sue the automaker, said he was putting the suit on hold until Oct. 4. The SEC filed a civil suit in March accusing Volkswagen and its former chief executive, Martin Winterkorn, of defrauding investors in U.S. bond offerings.
(Bloomberg) -- Stefan Moeller began this year with an ambitious target: to make his car-rental company Nextmove the biggest Tesla Inc. customer in Germany by adding 100 Model 3s to its fleet. He likened the electric car’s arrival on Europe’s shores to a tsunami washing over a region that’s been slow to embrace battery-powered autos.But the powerful wave Moeller expected has collapsed to a trickle. After weeks of back and forth over unfulfilled repair work and quality issues involving the initial 15 sedans that Tesla delivered -- from scratched bumpers to moisture trapped behind the headlights -- the order of the remaining 85 Model 3s was called off. Tesla also tried to deliver cars that had been previously registered, which would have locked Nextmove out of Germany’s electric-car incentive program and potential tax refunds, Moeller said.“The Model 3 is a fantastic car. Some of our customers totally fell in love with it,” said Moeller, whose Leipzig-based company has more than 300 electric vehicles in its fleet, including 38 Model S and a dozen Model X. “But the organization behind it doesn’t match that. It’s really sobering.”Subpar service could be a barrier to Tesla making more of an impact in Germany, where exacting car owners value how painstakingly their BMWs and Mercedes are cared for just as much as the speed of the Autobahn. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk, who’s famously inimical to Twitter critiques, acknowledged earlier this year that a lack of service centers in Germany was hampering the company’s growth there.Tesla believes Nextmove’s decision to cancel its remaining Model 3 order wasn’t entirely due to quality issues, and was largely influenced by frustration with an unrelated dispute earlier in the year, according to a spokesperson. The carmaker was in the process of making repairs and had provided loaner vehicles to the customer at the time the order was canceled. (Nextmove insists it was Tesla that canceled the order, after the rental-car company demanded an improved process for handovers and fixes.)The Tesla spokesperson blamed the registration issue that Nextmove described on a temporary issue with matching identification numbers to vehicles and said the issue was resolved for impacted customers.Norway WoesPoor service is an issue that’s already plagued Tesla in Norway, Europe’s largest electric-car market per capita. Dented and sloppily painted vehicles have fueled the highest level of complaints per unit among all automakers, according to the nation’s consumer watchdog.In Europe, Tesla is racing against time as more established players wake up to the electric future. The continent is projected to be the world’s second-largest driver of electric cars in the next decade, trailing only China. Customers can already choose between a growing number of battery-powered models from the likes of Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar and Audi.Moeller says Tesla’s issues extend beyond the Model 3. He spent two years waiting for the carmaker to replace a seat in a Model X that was delivered in July 2017 with a hole in it. A Model 3 arrived more recently with a protruding bulge on one tire. Moeller shared with Bloomberg News his email correspondence with Tesla and photos of the blemished vehicles.The Tesla spokesperson said the company’s data doesn’t indicate any unusual vehicle quality issues specific to Germany or anywhere else in the world. The company said there’s a small chance cars are blemished during transport to customers and that it addresses those issues quickly.‘Seriously Worrying’Nextmove isn’t an isolated case. German social-media platforms and online forums are abuzz with customers airing complaints about faulty parts from sensors to suspensions. Many also describe Tesla’s sales organization in the country as unresponsive.“I’m still thrilled by the car, because it’s just so much better than anything I’ve driven before, but the quality of the service and some technical parts are seriously worrying,” Rouven Volk, who said by email that he ordered his Model 3 in February and was slated to take delivery less than a month later.Volk chronicled an odyssey with Tesla that began with a car that couldn’t be handed over because of a defective main display. The company opted to source another Model 3 from its European pool and set a new handover date for a month later. Then, the car had stains on the outside and in the interior, and a cable dangled from where there should have been a light for the back seats. The charging cables and winter tires he ordered were nowhere to be found.The Tesla spokesperson said unhappy customers can return their cars for a full refund up to seven days after purchase. The company’s data shows German customers have largely been satisfied with their vehicles, including the quality and condition of cars upon delivery.“Generally, early-adopter customers forgive unconventional newcomers like Tesla a lot of things,” said Stefan Bratzel, a researcher at the Center of Automotive Management near Cologne. “But the more Tesla enters broader customer segments, the more distribution and service have to function.”Climbing the ChartsSales of the Model 3, Tesla’s most affordable model, helped make the brand the fastest-growing in Germany in the first seven months of the year, according to data from industry watchdog KBA. While 6,816 registrations is still well behind market leaders, Tesla outsold brands including Jaguar and Alfa Romeo.Tesla is in the process of doubling the number of service centers in Germany to 17 locations, with a focus largely on urban areas including Berlin, Hamburg and Munich, according to the company’s website. The carmaker is also branching out into mid-size cities such as Kiel, Ulm and Mannheim, and separately lists 16 retail stores in the country.The brick-and-mortar presence is still a far cry from the sprawling infrastructure that established carmakers have built in Germany over decades. Volkswagen AG, the top-selling automaker in the country, has hundreds of dedicated sales and repair outlets.Then again, Musk is betting the looming shift toward electric cars and digital services will upend the retail and after-sale business. Battery-powered autos have fewer components that are at risk of breaking down. Tesla also plans to expand its fleet of mobile service vehicles by 50% and increase mobile service coverage by fivefold this year in Europe, according to the spokesperson.Rust, ScratchesFor Volk, rust started showing between the front fender and the driver’s door of his Model 3 after about 100 days and 15,000 kilometers, which he attributes to friction of sheet metal that wasn’t properly sloped. Getting a hold of Tesla service personnel has been challenging because some employees familiar with his case have left the company, Volk said.Malte Ahl said in an email he withdrew the purchase contract for his Model 3 in March after Tesla didn’t respond to his concerns about glitches including poor paint quality, scratches on the passenger seat and dysfunctional switches.“I view this way of dealing with the most loyal Tesla fans as unfair and not sustainable,” he wrote in an attached letter addressed to the company’s German unit.(Updates with further Nextmove comment in fifth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Christoph Rauwald in Frankfurt at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at email@example.com, Benedikt Kammel, Craig TrudellFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Skepticism of government regulation is one of the main tenets of economic conservatism, and for the most part is it justified. In one area, however, conservatives need to rethink their position: New research shows that air pollution is much deadlier than previously realized, so they should support greater government efforts to reduce it.Conservatives have long been dubious about the benefits of stricter regulations on air pollution. Whereas they used to find fault with the methodology detailing the harms of pollution, lately they have focused on the negative impact of regulation on jobs:That may be true. But the latest research, using huge data sets and extensive computational analysis, is adding new levels of subtlety to the argument for regulation. Even a modest shift in wind patterns, for example, can send enough pollution into major metropolitan areas to have a measurable impact on mortality.Some of the research findings are mind-bending. One 2011 study found that the introduction of EZ-Pass in New Jersey and Pennsylvania reduced the incidence of premature birth by as much as 9.1% for mothers who lived within 2 kilometers of toll plazas.It’s worth taking a minute to fully absorb this result. There was no improvement in the emissions of the cars involved, nor is there any evidence that fewer cars passed through the toll plazas (in fact, the prospect of EZ-Pass lanes may have lured more drivers). The only difference is that the cars spent slightly less time idling — and that was enough to greatly improve the health of pregnant mothers living nearby. And the study does not address the health of the newborns later in life.Yet the economic benefits from this one measure of improved health on one small segment of the population, according to the study, are estimated at up to $13 million over three years. Extrapolated nationwide, the authors say, the savings could reach $444 million per year.Another study, from 2019, looked at Volkswagen cars that were supposedly “clean” but really weren’t. The authors estimate that roughly 39,000 additional infants had an abnormally low birthweight as a result of the more than 600,000 fake clean diesel cars sold between 2008 and 2015.Worldwide, air pollution is now estimated to reduce life expectancy more than any other single factor — including malaria, AIDS, smoking, and even war. The U.S. may have some of the strictest air standards in the world, but they may not be strict enough.In the late 1990s the Environmental Protection Agency strengthened its standards for air quality. As a result, 11 additional localities, home to more than 10 million Americans, were required to adopt plans to improve their air. Obviously, some plans are better than others, and not all plans are successful. Nonetheless, economists at Arizona State estimated that these new plans reduced dementia cases in the U.S. by 140,000.These new estimates are made possible by the use of big data. The Arizona study used Medicare records to control for differences in behavior, underlying health conditions and health care usage in metropolitan areas that were required to adopt plans and those that just barely avoided having to do so.Given this new information, economic conservatives should be prepared to adjust their positions on regulation. Yes, it’s true that the U.S. already has some of the best air quality in the world. But the damaging effects of particulate matter and other pollutants persist.Acceptance of this conclusion doesn’t require abandoning market principles or surrendering to one-size-fits-all regulation. In the 1990s, the U.S. introduced a cap-and-trade program to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions, while the EU choose a command-and-control approach. The environmental results of the two approaches were roughly the same, yet the annual costs of the U.S. approach were between $1 and $2 billion a year, while the European approach cost roughly $75 billion a year.That suggests a market-based approach could help the U.S. improve health outcomes with minimal damage to the economy. The EZ-Pass study is instructive. Congestion pricing, for example, could reduce automobile emissions, improve traffic and provide funding for additional infrastructure.Instead of attacking all this new research, conservatives should focus on the best way to reduce the pollution it has uncovered. Merely reducing regulations is not effective, politically or policy-wise — especially when there are smarter market-based solutions that improve health without violating conservative principles or impairing economic growth.To contact the author of this story: Karl W. Smith at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Newman at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Karl W. Smith is a former assistant professor of economics at the University of North Carolina's school of government and founder of the blog Modeled Behavior.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Car dealership Lookers Plc on Wednesday posted a steep drop in first-half profit and said it sees higher costs over the next several years, as it carves out a plan to fix some issues it found in its sales practices. The company said it would make a one-time cash investment of about 10 million pounds ($12.06 million) over 2019 and 2020, with annual costs rising thereafter. Lookers said costs would rise by about 3 million pounds per year from 2020 for a plan that will include a review of its past business, establish a revised sales process and put in place new quality checks.
(Bloomberg) -- Nissan Motor Co., BMW AG and Volkswagen AG are among carmakers in talks to bring the electric-car revolution to South Africa, as the nation’s auto-factory floors risk being left behind in the global switch to greener vehicles.The industry is preparing a unified stance on electrification to present to the government by the end of the year, Mike Mabasa, chief executive officer of the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa, or Naamsa, said in an interview.Among the goals is persuading lawmakers to reduce or drop a 23% import tariff on electric vehicles to help ramp up nascent domestic sales, he said. Another is to roll out a charging infrastructure in a country where the state-owned power monopoly is in deep financial crisis.Taking steps to boost the popularity of electric vehicles in South Africa is just one part of the equation. The auto-manufacturing industry makes up about 7% of the country’s economy, according to Naamsa. The sector is one of the more positive aspects of an economy expected to grow at less than 1% for a second consecutive year.“The country needs to move forward and bring new technologies,” said Mike Whitfield, Nissan’s chairman for the southern Africa region. “The rest of the world will move very fast and if we don’t get going we will be left behind.”South Africa has long been a hub for global automaking, attracting plants operated by seven carmakers from Toyota Motor Corp. to Isuzu Motors Ltd. Last year, the manufacturers exported almost 210,000 cars to Europe, where Volkswagen is already retooling factories to only make electric cars. That’s just under a third of all local production and makes up 60% of exports.To date, there are no firm plans for electric-car or hybrid production in South Africa, but the government and industry agreed in 2018 to extend a manufacturing incentive program, creating jobs and enabling models like the BMW X3 sport utility vehicle and Nissan’s Novara pickup to be produced locally.“The electric-vehicle play in South Africa will not be determined by the South African consumer, but by the requirements of export markets,” Martyn Davies, an auto-industry specialist at Deloitte LLP, said by phone from Johannesburg, adding that the weaker rand is also making exports more attractive.The quality of the local plants of BMW, Ford Motor Co and Mercedes-Benz AG are good enough to make retooling quite straightforward, he said, adding that the next product made in South Africa by those automakers could feasibly be electric.Under the terms of the new manufacturing plan, the automakers will have to more than double annual production to as many as 1.4 million vehicles by 2035, and that won’t happen without making electric cars as well as gas or diesel, according to Naamsa’s Mabasa.BMW’s i3 and i8 are two of only three models currently available in the birth country of electric car pioneer Elon Musk, and only 620 units have been sold. Jaguar Land Rover introduced the I-Pace earlier this year, while Nissan is holding off on the launch of the latest Leaf until after an agreement is reached on import tariffs.Elsewhere on the African continent, a plan by Volkswagen to introduce an electric-vehicle in Rwanda stands in contrast to a lack of other developments.Another barrier to an accelerated electric-car boom in South Africa is Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., the power provider that last week reported an annual loss of almost $1.5 billion and requires an $8.8 billion government bailout over the next three years.The utility has been forced to implement intermittent rolling blackouts and is reliant on coal, which is out of step with the environmentally friendly advantages of producing electric cars, Mabasa said. Therefore, the industry paper is likely to lay out a mixture of power sources between Eskom and privately owned renewable energy projects, he said.But the need to turn around Eskom’s financial situation is likely to be of more pressing concern to the government than using it to enable the electric-car industry, Nissan’s Whitfield said.“There is excess capacity, but quite frankly Eskom’s issues have to be addressed or we will have much bigger problems,” Whitfield said.\--With assistance from Prinesha Naidoo.To contact the reporter on this story: John Bowker in Johannesburg at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at email@example.com, Elisabeth Behrmann, John BowkerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump’s plan to freeze U.S. vehicle efficiency standards would result in higher costs for motorists without doing anything to boost highway safety, according to an analysis by Consumer Reports that undermines the administration’s chief talking points in favor of the move.The analysis comes as the White House reviews a final drafted plan for easing vehicle emissions and fuel economy standards, despite escalating pressure from some automakers and California to change course. The administration last year proposed capping fuel economy and tailpipe carbon dioxide emission standards at 2020 levels, instead of allowing them to become stricter each year as under existing regulations. The plan also calls for stripping California of its authority to regulate tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions.The Transportation Department and Environmental Protection Agency argued their proposal would pare the cost of new automobiles and save as many as 1,000 lives annually by spurring motorists to trade in older models for newer, safer vehicles. The agencies estimated the proposal would spare motorists some $2,340 in average new vehicle ownership costs. They combined those forecasts into the name of the measure, dubbed the “Safer Affordable Fuel Efficient Vehicles” -- or SAFE Vehicles -- proposal.But the Consumer Reports analysis counters the administration’s assertions that the plan would reduce traffic fatalities and boost highway safety. Consumer Reports argues instead that “the effects on safety from changes in fuel-economy standards are quite small and likely not statistically different from zero.”That assessment dovetails with concerns raised quietly by EPA officials last year, as the administration prepared to unveil its plan. At the time, EPA regulators repeatedly questioned the underlying safety assumptions, at least once warning that the proposed standards would actually be “detrimental to safety.”Representatives of the EPA and Transportation Department did not immediately respond to emailed requests for comment.The Consumer Reports analysis also paints a starkly different picture of potential costs for drivers, by highlighting the importance of fuel savings -- rather than vehicle purchase prices -- to motorists. Because most new vehicle buyers finance their purchases, they can start feeling the benefits of lower fuel costs right away, the organization says.And those fuel savings, in turn, drive higher consumer spending and more purchases of newer, safer vehicles, said the group, the advocacy arm of the consumer product research and testing not-for-profit that publishes Consumer Reports magazine.“The rollback is like a gas tax because it increases drivers’ fuel costs,” said Consumer Reports, likening the proposed policy change to an additional 63 cents per gallon of gasoline for owners of model year 2026 vehicles over potential costs under existing policy. Over the life of that 2026 automobile, the administration’s policy choice would translate to $3,300 in forgone savings, the analysis found. The owners of trucks and sport utility vehicles would be especially hard hit, according to the assessment.“The last thing the federal government should be doing is burdening consumers with more costs, while thwarting progress in the development of cleaner cars,” said Shannon Baker-Branstetter, a manager of cars and energy policy at Consumer Reports who co-authored the analysis.Consumer Reports compared the administration’s proposal with existing standards enacted by the Obama administration. However, supporters of the effort say it’s unclear automakers will be able to satisfy the Obama-era requirements. They say, the surging popularity of sport-utility vehicles and other trucks has made existing mileage requirements harder to satisfy, while raising the cost of new vehicles and putting them out of reach for many households.The administration has acknowledged a link between its plan and higher fuel consumption, saying its proposal could cause the U.S. to use an extra 500,000 barrels of oil daily.Carmakers have pleaded with administration officials to restart negotiations with California over the standards, arguing the changes could lead to years of uncertainty and a split market in which federal mileage requirements would govern most states, while California-backed rules would apply in states that account for more than a third of U.S. auto sales.Four major automakers said last month they had reached a compromise with California to voluntarily boost fuel efficiency, a move seen aimed at pressuring the administration to shift course.\--With assistance from Ryan Beene.To contact the reporter on this story: Jennifer A. Dlouhy in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at email@example.com, Laurie AsséoFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
* European stocks end higher after volatalile day * Miners, oil stocks, banks top fallers * Bayer and Lanxess gain after divesting chemical park unit * Wall Street off lows after slump at open Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Josephine Mason. Reach her on Messenger to share your thoughts on market moves: rm://firstname.lastname@example.org EUROPE AT THE CLOSE: TURNAROUND WEDNESDAY (1558 GMT) It's been quite a volatile day here in Europe with major indexes struggling to find a floor after a three-day rout that wiped 5.2% off the STOXX Europe 600 index. "At the moment trade talks between the US and China are still scheduled for September and these, along with a meeting of the US Federal Reserve, are likely to be an increasing focus for the market as we move through August," says AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.
* European stocks wipe off late morning gains * STOXX 600 down 0.3%, was up as much as 1.1% earlier * Miners, banks top fallers * Bayer and Lanxess gain after divesting chemical park unit * Wall Street slumps at open Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Josephine Mason. The ESG theme is catching up fast among investors and STOXX's launch of euro ESG 50 index yesterday is the latest evidence of increased push for responsible investment. The index is similar to the Euro STOXX 50 blue-chip index, but excludes some names involved in "controversial weapons", tobacco producers, or have product involvement in thermal coal.
(Bloomberg) -- A recent compromise between four major automakers and California’s clean-air regulator on fuel efficiency had already been rejected by the Trump administration months earlier as not “a productive alternative.”The deal -- which Ford Motor Co., Honda Motor Co., BMW AG and Volkswagen AG announced on July 25 alongside the California Air Resources Board -- eases the pace of annual efficiency improvements required under current Obama-era rules but is tougher than the Trump administration’s proposal to cap mileage requirements at 2020 levels.Key elements of the pact were contained in a November 2018 summary of California’s proposal that was prepared by Environmental Protection Agency staff for Bill Wehrum, then-assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, according to excerpts of the presentation viewed by Bloomberg.CARB spokesman Stanley Young confirmed on Friday that the state had offered the plan to the EPA last November. The previously unreported detail sheds new light on the months-long battle between between Washington and Sacramento over the mileage rules that automakers urged President Donald Trump to re-evaluate during his first weeks in office.“Looking back, it seems that they were never interested in negotiations or discussions,” Young said. He added that the four automakers’ support of California’s compromise “highlights the fact that our proposal is both feasible and realistic.”Relations between EPA and CARB officials have become tense, with each side blaming the other for the breakdown of talks. In a June 20 letter to GOP lawmakers, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said California’s counteroffer hadn’t yet been endorsed by the state’s governor and attorney general when it was presented to EPA. He accused CARB Chairman Mary Nichols of being “unable or unwilling to be a good-faith negotiator.”The Trump administration’s 2018 proposal said capping fuel economy standards at 2020 levels would lead to less-expensive new cars than under the current rules. The agencies argued more-affordable cars would allow consumers to replace their older vehicles with newer, safer ones more rapidly and avoid thousands of traffic fatalities, claims that experts and EPA career staff have disputed.In a Bloomberg TV interview in early February, the EPA’s Wheeler said the state’s proposal suggested “just taking the Obama numbers and stretching that an additional year. And that doesn’t really get to the lives saved or the reducing the price of the automobiles to where we would like it to be.”The White House abandoned discussions with California officials a few weeks later, saying, “Despite the administration’s best efforts to reach a common-sense solution, it is time to acknowledge that CARB has failed to put forward a productive alternative” after the federal proposal was released.The four-company pact with California also highlights a growing chasm between the Trump administration and the auto industry, which after urging the administration to retool Obama-era mileage standards has since pushed back on the resulting plan that recommended capping requirements after 2020.That plan, put forth last year by the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, also proposed stripping California of its authority to regulate automobile greenhouse gas emissions. The state and others have vowed to fight in court to retain that power, and automakers fear that prolonged litigation will roil business plans that depend on predictable fuel economy standards.In June, a group of 17 major carmakers unsuccessfully asked Trump to resume talks with California, saying a pact for unified California-U.S. standards will “enhance our ability to invest and innovate by avoiding an extended period of litigation and instability.”California’s deal with the four carmakers -- and the one pitched to the EPA last fall -- pushes the 2025 efficiency target back to 2026, lowering the pace of gains each year compared to the current rules starting in 2022. Automakers would get more help to reach those targets from additional compliance credits earned by selling electric vehicles, and wouldn’t have to account for carbon emissions by the power plants that generate electricity used by battery-powered cars.“For over a year and a half, the administration expended a serious amount of resources to achieve a workable deal with California,” EPA spokesman Michael Abboud said in an email, adding, “not once did California submit a meaningful alternative.”Dave Cooke, a senior clean-vehicles analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists, said California’s offer contained meaningful concessions.“The fact that this was the deal that EPA called not serious is incredible to me,” he said. “This is a substantial reduction in stringency from the federal program.”To contact the reporter on this story: Ryan Beene in Washington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org, Laurie AsséoFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Britain bought the fewest new cars since 2012 last month, an auto industry body said, blaming political and economic uncertainty as well as consumers' uncertainty about future environmental regulation. New car registrations in July dropped 4.1% year-on-year to 157,198, the lowest number for the month since 2012, while sales for the year to date were 3.5% lower at just over 1.4 million, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said. Sales of diesel-powered cars were down by more than a fifth, while petrol car volumes were stable and electric car sales were up strongly from a low base.
(Bloomberg) -- Everywhere you turn in the transportation industry these days, Toyota Motor Corp. seems to already be there.From batteries and self-driving vehicles to lunar rovers and ride-hailing companies, the world’s second-biggest automaker is on an investment spree, pouring more than $3 billion into deals and partnerships in recent years. Toyota, which reports first-quarter results Friday, is placing bets across the board, mimicking technology investors like SoftBank Group Corp.Toyota, Volkswagen AG and other carmakers face an uncertain future as new technologies and business models ripple through the $2.23 trillion global auto industry. Uber Technologies Inc. has made younger buyers less interested in owning and driving cars, and Tesla Inc.’s success with electric vehicles has spurred bigger rivals to counter with their own products. All told, car sales will be only slightly higher in 2030, while new spending on mobility services will total $1.34 trillion, Accenture predicts.“They are developing by far the most diverse lineup of different mobility products, from personal mobility to luxury cars and various types of shared mobility and commercial vehicles,” said Janet Lewis, an analyst at Macquarie Capital Securities (Japan) Ltd. in Tokyo. “Investors, to the extent that they are invested in the auto sector, generally agree that Toyota is looking like a winner.”Indeed, shareholders are endorsing Toyota’s approach. The automaker’s stock rose 1% on Thursday, leaving it up 10% this year and adding $18.6 billion in market value. That’s better than the Topix index and other Japanese automakers, even amid tepid profit and sales growth. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg predict quarterly operating profit will rise 1.3% to 692 billion yen, while revenue will climb 1.6% to 7.48 trillion yen.Big BetIn addition to investments and partnerships, Toyota’s spends about 1.05 trillion yen ($9.7 billion) a year on research and development.Akio Toyoda, chief executive officer and grandson of the automaker’s founder, has been holding forth at public appearances about Toyota’s transformation into a mobility service provider from a manufacturer.“My true mission is to completely redesign Toyota into a mobility company,” Toyoda said in May, saying the mission is to not just make products that move people around but provide “all kinds of services related to mobility.”Ride-HailingToyota’s strategy is to tie up with the strongest ride-hailing providers in each region and then integrate its hardware and software into their services. Toyota is a major investor in the world’s three top ride-hailing companies: Uber, China’s Didi Chuxing and Southeast Asia’s Grab Holdings Inc.In Japan, the carmaker teamed up with SoftBank — which has poured even more money into the three companies — in yet another mobility service venture called Monet Technologies Inc.The Japanese companies are betting that Monet can evolve into a variety of transportation-related business. For example, they envision meal-delivery vehicles that can prepare food en route to customers, or hospital shuttles that offer medical examinations.Toyota’s rivals aren’t standing still, either. General Motors Co. injected $500 million into Uber rival Lyft Inc. in 2016 while also pursuing its own robotaxi program with the Cruise Automation unit. Daimler AG and BMW AG merged their car-sharing operations this year after buying up several local ride-hailing ventures.ElectrificationWhile Toyota was first out of the gate with the Prius hybrid car, it hasn’t rolled out any mass-market EVs. Like Volkswagen and other major automakers, the Japanese company was biding its time. That will change next year, when Toyota introduces the first of six EV models planned through 2025.To secure enough batteries, Toyota recently stepped up its dealmaking with manufacturers, racing competitors to secure supplies for pure-electric and hybrid vehicles. Volkswagen and Daimler have made tens of billions of dollars in battery investments.In July, the Japanese auto giant made back-to-back battery announcements with China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. and BYD Co. Toyota also is committed to work with suppliers Toshiba Corp., GS Yuasa Corp. and Toyota Industries, as well as long-term partner Panasonic Corp.In Japan, Toyota teamed with Mazda Motor Corp, Suzuki Motor Corp., Subaru Corp. and parts makers to develop a common platform for EVs, betting that a combined effort can save development and production costs.Earlier this year, Toyota’s brought forward its EV sales target by five years. The company now expects to see annual sales of 5.5 million units globally in 2025, compared with a previous timeline of 2030.Fuel CellsToyota placed bets on fuel-cell technology years ago, gambling that hydrogen would replace batteries to store and deliver electricity for cars. So far, the technology’s complexity and high development costs has scared off most rivals. Three years after introducing its Mirai hydrogen car, the model remains a rarity even in Japan.Even so, Toyota is keeping fuel-cell car development alive, with hopes that Chinese interest in hydrogen will create a bigger market for the technology. In April, Toyota said it will work with Chinese truckmaker Beiqi Foton Motor Co. and Beijing SinoHytec Co., an affiliate of Tsinghua University, to develop more commercial vehicles with fuel cells. In July, it struck a similar deal with carmaker China FAW Group Co. and Higer Bus Co. to supply fuel-cell systems.Hybrid CarsAfter keeping its hybrid-car technology in Japan, the U.S. and developed markets for years, Toyota is now seeking to enter new markets. It will supply its hybrid system to Suzuki globally, while Suzuki will sell compact vehicles through Toyota in India and Africa, the carmakers said in March. The pair also will jointly develop a multipurpose vehicle that will be sold in India under both brands.Toyota also may share the hybrid-car engine technology it pioneered with the Prius with Chinese manufacturers, seeking to catch up with rivals in the world’s biggest auto market. Toyota is in advanced talks to license its hybrid system to Chinese carmaker Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd., Bloomberg reported last year.Toyota will benefit if China eases emissions rules so that low-polluting hybrid cars aren’t penalized as much as normal gas guzzlers. Policy makers are now considering rules that would count levels from a super-low emission vehicle as one-fifth of a normal gasoline car, according to a draft of the rules released July 9 by China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.A majority of Toyota’s new partners are Chinese manufacturers because Toyota wants to catch up there with Volkswagen and General Motors in the next decade. China contributed most of Toyota’s growth last year, as well as this year, thanks to new products and its Lexus luxury brand, which benefited from lower government tariffs on auto imports from Japan.Connected CarsAlthough Toyota lags behind General Motors and European rivals, the digital information business has been a central -- yet less visible -- element of its vision for the future.Automobiles are generating more data that can be shared in order to improve safety, monitor road conditions and help passengers. For example, many manufacturers see a future when collisions become rare because autonomous vehicles will be programmed to avoid each other.Toyota is working to have 70% of new cars connected globally by 2020, with almost all of those in the U.S. and Japan. Automakers are already using the cloud to generate revenue through telematics insurance and car-sharing services.Toyota also has talked about using data to alert dealers when cars need servicing, provide information about road and traffic conditions for smart city planning, and inform retailers where their customers are commuting from to allow more targeted marketing.Moon PlansAlthough less relevant for Earthlings, Toyota wants to be the first automaker on the moon. Together with the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Toyota is planning to build a six-wheeled, self-driving transporter that can carry two humans for a distance of 10,000 kilometers. They expect to land a vehicle on Earth’s closest ndaimeighbor in 2029.The rover will use solar arrays and fuel cells to generate and store power. The vehicle will be big enough so the astronauts can take their suits off and live in it while exploring the lunar surface.“Toyoda is determined to shift his company into a mobility company from a conventional hardware-oriented corporation,” said Koji Endo, senior analyst at SBI Securities Co. “It’s yet to be seen if Toyota can win among the competition and rapid changes in the business model, but it seems management is determined to chase this course.”(Updates with Toyota shares in)\--With assistance from Kae Inoue.To contact the reporter on this story: Ma Jie in Tokyo at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at firstname.lastname@example.org, Reed Stevenson, Michael TigheFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.