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  • Sat, Oct. 22, 10:42 AM
    • While Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) may have grabbed some headlines this week for its ambitious goals with autonomous driving (SAE level 5), the technology is being widely discussed across industries as a potential future reality.
    • At a real estate conference in New York this week, a panel member called autonomous vehicles the biggest tech news concerning real estate in the last ten years. Some see a future reversal of urbanization trends in a development that could have significant investment implications.
    • City planners and architects are already thinking of next-gen design. A paper titled "Beyond Google's Cute Car" (.pdf version) is a good example of how cities are being reimagined.
    • Then there's this from the man who designed the 2015 Ford Mustang. "The next 10 years in this business is going to be the biggest change and challenge since the turn of the last century when cars took over for horses," said Ford design chief Moray Callum. Ford (NYSE:F) aims to have a high-volume, fully autonomous SAE level 4-capable vehicle in commercial operation in 2021.
    • Self-driving car development is a topic of discussion on FedEx (NYSE:FDX), UPS (NYSE:UPS), Lyft (Private:LYFT), Uber (Private:UBER), Hertz Global (NYSE:HTZ), Google (GOOGL, GOOG), Avis Budget (NASDAQ:CAR), Domino's Pizza (NYSE:DPZ) and Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA). Earnings season is just heating up, but a host of companies -- including OTCPK:TMOAF, OTCPK:DDAIF, OTCPK:VOLVY, MXIM, CPRT,  WBC, GNTX  and XLNX -- have already talked up the trend on their conference calls. GM reports earnings this week and will update on any self-driving Chevy Bolt plans.
    • Looking ahead, insurance companies, chipmakers, truckers and cybersecurity firms (NYSEARCA:HACK) will be firmly in the self-driving conversation.
    • So who has a profitable trade idea off of the evolution of cars?
    | Sat, Oct. 22, 10:42 AM | 209 Comments
  • Thu, Oct. 20, 8:28 AM
    • Shares of Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) are lower in early trading after the company announced it is loading all new cars with self-driving hardware.
    • Elon Musk told reporters last night that he envisions that by the end of 2017 a Tesla vehicle will be able to drive from Los Angeles to New York without the driver touching the wheel. He also said the software system will be built by Tesla and run off of Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) chips.
    • Tesla's timetable is aggressive in relation to the stated plans of some rivals. Earlier this year, Ford (NYSE:F) said it aims to bring a high-volume, fully autonomous vehicle to the ride sharing industry by 2021, while Nissan has a target of 2020 for "commercially viable" autonomous models. General Motors (NYSE:GM) already has a pre-production Bolt EV out in the wild, but hasn't set a specific timetable for a fully autonomous version.
    • Google (GOOG, GOOGL) is the company that has posted the most information about the challenges of the self-driving car initiative. A scan of Google's monthly reports is not a bad way to catch up on the burgeoning technology.
    • Previously: Tesla announces all vehicles to be loaded with self-driving hardware (Oct. 19)
    • TSLA -1.74% premarket to $200.01.
    | Thu, Oct. 20, 8:28 AM | 269 Comments
  • Wed, Oct. 19, 11:35 AM
    • The focus on Apple's (AAPL -0.2%) influence in the automobile sector has shifted away from straight manufacturing to ways the tech company could integrate software, information systems, or automated driving capabilities into next-gen models.
    • The recent developments with Project Titan also raise the stakes on which automakers strike a significant partnership with Apple if the venture makes it past 2017 (the reported AAPL deadline).
    • While many auto industry watchers think major automakers won't convert to the Apple ecosystem across their portfolio, high-end "Applefied" models are seen as a realistic possibility.
    • "A luxury automobile with 'Apple Inside'? That could be hit, and a profitable one yet," writes Los Angeles Times columnist Michael Hiltzik.
    • SA contributor Bret Kenwell also dug into the Project Titan issue earlier this week.
    • Previously: Bloomberg: Apple scales down automotive strategy, plans to build car postponed (Oct. 17)
    | Wed, Oct. 19, 11:35 AM | 65 Comments
  • Tue, Oct. 18, 2:30 PM
    • Ford (F -0.7%) says it will halt production at one of the two plants that makes F-150 trucks for a week,
    • The company is also shutting down a facility in Louisville that makes Escapes and Lincoln MKC SUVs for two of the next three weeks.
    • In addition, Ford is closing two plants in Mexico that manufacture passenger cars.
    • Last week, Ford idled a plant in Michigan that is used to produce Mustangs.
    • The plant developments didn't lead to any change in Ford's financial guidance.
    | Tue, Oct. 18, 2:30 PM | 40 Comments
  • Fri, Oct. 14, 7:33 AM
    • Ford (NYSE:F) car registrations -0.7% to 108,303 units in September, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association.
    • Overall EU +EFTA registrations +7.2% Y/Y to 1,455,810 units in September on broad gains across the continent. Registrations were up 9% in Germany and 17% in Italy.
    • Ford market share: 7.2% vs. 7.8% a year ago.
    • Ford YTD registrations +4.3%.
    • EAMA release (.pdf)
    | Fri, Oct. 14, 7:33 AM | 4 Comments
  • Thu, Oct. 13, 8:04 AM
    • Ford Motor (NYSE:F) declares $0.15/share quarterly dividend, in line with previous.
    • Forward yield 5.02%
    • Payable Dec. 1; for shareholders of record Oct. 27; ex-div Oct. 25.
    | Thu, Oct. 13, 8:04 AM | 68 Comments
  • Tue, Oct. 11, 7:18 AM
    • Ford (NYSE:F) reports sales in China increased 24% in September to 109,277 vehicles as the company's JVs continue on their hot streak in the nation.
    • The Changan Ford Automobiles JV generated sales of 84,335 vehicles, while the Jiangling Motor JV contributed sales of 23,416 vehicles.
    • The Ford Focus had a strong month with sales up 43% Y/Y to top 20K.
    • Sales have just started for the new Kuga SUV and the new flagship Lincoln Continental will hit dealer lots later in the quarter.
    • Ford China YTD sales +11% to 880,000 units.
    | Tue, Oct. 11, 7:18 AM | 6 Comments
  • Mon, Oct. 10, 5:12 PM
    • Ford (NYSE:F) says it is shutting its Mustang factory in Michigan for a week after U.S. sales for the model suffered a 32% drop last month, in a potential sign of growing weakness in the U.S. auto market.
    • Ford idled the factory in Flat Rock, which employs 3,702 workers and makes Mustangs and Lincoln Continentals, and will resume production Oct. 17; under the automaker’s labor agreement, workers will be paid during the shutdown.
    • Mustang was outsold last month by the Chevrolet Camaro for the first time since October 2014 on the strength of incentives that more than tripled last month to $3,409 per car, compared with an average discount of $2,602 on the Mustang, according to J.D. Power.
    | Mon, Oct. 10, 5:12 PM | 78 Comments
  • Mon, Oct. 10, 4:45 PM
    • A development to watch in the automobile industry is the reaction to the vote last week in Germany by the Bundesrat to ban vehicles powered by gas and diesel by 2030.
    • The non-binding resolution will place more pressure on the European Commission to promote zero-emission mobility, even with the long time frame in place.
    • The relative ease with which the 16 German states on the council came to pass the measure could explain the very strong electrification push recently out of Volkswagen (OTCPK:VLKAY), Mercedes-Benz (OTCPK:DDAIF), and BMW (OTCPK:BMWYY).
    • Other automakers including Ford (NYSE:F), General Motors (NYSE:GM), Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA), and Toyota (NYSE:TM) will also keep a watch on the efforts in Europe to cut out ICE models.
    | Mon, Oct. 10, 4:45 PM | 267 Comments
  • Tue, Oct. 4, 2:35 PM
    • An official with the UAW confirms to the Detroit Free Press that Ford (F +0.7%) plans to bring back the Bronco model and manufacture the rugged SUV at a plant in Michigan.
    • Rumors of a Bronco return have been circulating around Detroit for almost a year.
    • Earlier this month, Ford CEO Mark Fields hinted at an exciting U.S.-based product announcement as part of his defense of the company moving some production to Mexico.
    • There hasn't been an official announcement from Ford on its Bronco plans.
    | Tue, Oct. 4, 2:35 PM | 59 Comments
  • Mon, Oct. 3, 3:54 PM
    • Several major automakers posted lower sales in September in another sign that a peak in demand may have been reached. Ford (NYSE:F), Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE:FCAU), and Volkswagen (OTCPK:VLKAY) all saw volume drops, while Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY), Toyota (NYSE:TM), and Subaru (OTCPK:FUJHY) gained some market share during the month.
    • Once again, pickup sales were strong in the U.S. Ram pickups stood out with a 29% increase over last year's mark.
    • Average transaction prices rose by about 2.5% in September, according to an estimate from Kelley Blue Book.
    • The industry could still have a record year if demand is strong in Q4, although some analysts are warning on the impact of the higher level of discounting on profit.
    | Mon, Oct. 3, 3:54 PM | 7 Comments
  • Mon, Oct. 3, 11:32 AM
    • The NHTSA says it opened two new probes into Ford (F +0.6%) SUVs and cars over safety issues.
    • 380K 2011-2013 Ford Edge SUVs are being looked at due to reports of door ajar warnings going off unexpectedly. Door latch issues have been the cause for several Ford recalls over the last two year.
    • 262K 2010 Ford Fusion cars are being investigated to check on reports of power steering problems.
    | Mon, Oct. 3, 11:32 AM | 3 Comments
  • Mon, Oct. 3, 9:32 AM
    • A higher mix of Super Duty sales helped Ford (F -0.4%) improve its average sale price during September amid broad drops in volume numbers.
    • Sales growth by brand: Ford -8.1% to 195,650 units, Lincoln +1.3% to 8,797 units.
    • Sales growth by model: Ford Fiesta -40% to 4,230; Ford Fusion -18% to 20,570; Ford C-MAX -27% to 1,428; Ford Mustang -32% to 6,429; Ford F-Series -3% to 62,160; Ford Explorer -12% to 16,667; Ford Transit +6% to 10,799; Lincoln MKX +9% to 2,322; Lincoln MKC +2% to 2,086.
    • Sales to daily rental companies fell 36% during the month.
    • Ford's average transaction price +3.2% Y/Y to $38,095. (per KBB).
    • Previously: Ford September U.S. sales: -7.7% (Oct. 3)
    | Mon, Oct. 3, 9:32 AM | 26 Comments
  • Mon, Oct. 3, 9:24 AM
    • Ford (NYSE:F) unit sales -7.7% to 204,447. Kelley Blue Book estimated a drop of 8.7% during the month.
    • Passenger car sales -21% to 50,553 units.
    • SUV sales -3% to 67,496 units.
    • Truck sales -2% to 86,398 units.
    • YTD U.S. sales +0.8% to 1,988,456 units.
    • Shares of Ford are +0.08% premarket to $12.08.
    | Mon, Oct. 3, 9:24 AM | 23 Comments
  • Thu, Sep. 29, 10:39 AM
    • Ford (F) appoints Rajendra Rao to be the chief executive officer of Ford Smart Mobility.
    • The subsidiary is tasked with building out Ford's emerging mobility services business through innovation and by acting as an incubator.
    • Rao handled digital business innovation at 3M previously. He will report to Ford Smart Mobility Chairman Jim Hackett in his new role.
    • "Ford Smart Mobility is a significant growth opportunity for Ford,” says Hackett.
    • Source: Press Release
    | Thu, Sep. 29, 10:39 AM | 9 Comments
  • Wed, Sep. 28, 10:53 AM
    • Ford (F -0.1%) recalls about 74K Focus cars in the U.S. and Canada to address a potential issue with hatches opening. The automaker plans to update hatchback interior release software to require two separate actions from a driver when the car is moving under 4 mph.
    • The recall action covers certain 2013-2017 Focus cars with manual transmission.
    • Ford press release
    | Wed, Sep. 28, 10:53 AM | 25 Comments