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  • Today, 12:03 PM
    • An all-star team of business leaders has been named to an advisory board that will talk to Donald Trump during his administration.
    • The President's Strategic and Policy Forum will be chaired by Blackstone (NYSE:BX) CEO Stephen Schwarzman. Other members include General Motors (NYSE:GM) CEO Mary Barra, JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon, Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) CEO Doug McMillon, Disney (NYSE:DIS) CEO Bob Iger and former Boeing (NYSE:BA) CEO Jim McNerney.
    • The impressive list is a bit short of Silicon Valley leaders, while hedge fund managers are completely MIA.
    • The group is scheduled to meet for the first time in early February.
    | Today, 12:03 PM | 44 Comments
  • Yesterday, 9:49 AM
    • General Motors (GM +2.5%) reports U.S. sales gains across all brands in November.
    • Retail sales were up 7.9% to 197,609 units during the month.
    • Sales by brand: Chevrolet +8% to 169,675 units; GMC +14% to 49,113; Buick +16% to 18,530; Cadillac +15% at 15,236 units.
    • Model standsouts included Checy Colorado +39% to 8,669 units, Chevy Malibu +72% to 18,577 units, Chevy Tahoe +31% to 9,433 units, GMC Sierra +14% to 18,900 units, and Buick Encore +40% to 7,162 units. Even the electric Volt showed some muscle with 28% sales growth to 2,531 units.
    • TrueCar estimates on GM: Average transaction price +1.7% Y/Y to $36,774. Incentive spending +12.7% to $4,305 per unit.
    • Previously: General Motors higher after U.S. sales beat estimates (Dec. 1)
    | Yesterday, 9:49 AM | 12 Comments
  • Yesterday, 9:42 AM
    • General Motors (NYSE:GM) unit sales +10.2% to 252,644 units to eclipse the estimates posted by research firms. There were two extra selling days this year in November which impacted the comparison.
    • "We gained profitable retail share, commercial and small business deliveries were strong and we commanded the industry’s best average transaction prices," noted top GM sales exec Kurt McNeil.
    • GM ended the month with 87 days supply vs. 84 days at the end of October.
    • Shares of GM +1.85% to $35.17.
    | Yesterday, 9:42 AM | 3 Comments
  • Wed, Nov. 30, 5:35 PM
    • General Motors (NYSE:GM) stands to lose $8K-$9K on every Chevrolet Bolt it sells when the all-electric subcompact starts rolling out, Bloomberg reports, shedding light on the lack of profitability of electric cars in the U.S.
    • California and nine other states that make up a combined 30% of the U.S. market mandate that automakers sell some non-polluting vehicles if they want to do business there, which goes a long way to explaining why money-losing zero-emissions models from more than 10 brands are on the roads, with more on the way.
    • The industry is willing to take the hit on a small scale now but things could get dicey over the next decade or so, as the states’ rules are set to tighten so that zero-emission vehicles will have to rise to an estimated 15.4% of sales by 2025, ~5x the current level.
    • A California law ordering greenhouse-gas emissions to be 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 would require ZEVs, plug-in hybrids or fuel-cell cars to comprise 40% of sales, up from ~3% now.
    | Wed, Nov. 30, 5:35 PM | 34 Comments
  • Tue, Nov. 29, 11:52 AM
    • Elaine Chao is the pick of Donald Trump to be the Secretary of Transportation, according to numerous media outlets.
    • Chao served in the cabinets of Bush 41 and Bush 43. Early analysis is that she may be a known quantiy to the Detroit Three (GM, F, FCAU) who worked closely with her on a post-9/11 task force and broadly during the Bush years.
    • The big picture: There's been some concern over the impact of the Trump administration for EV sellers such as Tesla Motors (TSLA -1.9%), Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY) and Toyota (TM +0.7%) -- although the $7.5K federal tax break is already set to expire when automakers cross over the 200K U.S. EV sale mark. Federal fuel efficiency targets could be rolled back after Trump takes office, although some industry watchers think manufacturers are too far along in their EV, ridesharing and mobility projects to put the genie back in the bottle.
    | Tue, Nov. 29, 11:52 AM | 42 Comments
  • Tue, Nov. 29, 7:44 AM
    • TrueCar estimates new automobile sales rose 3.6% in November. On an adjusted day basis, the forecasts falls to a 4.7% drop in sales for the month due to the two fewer selling days.
    • GM (NYSE:GM) sales for November are expected to increase 11.2% (unadjusted) to give it an 18.7% market share vs. 17.4% last year. Volkswagen (OTCPK:VLKAY), which is starting to lap its emissions scandal period, is expected to post a 4% gain for the month.
    • The research firm says average incentive spending was up 13% Y/Y to $3,475 per unit. The only automaker without an increase in incentive spending during the month was Daimler (OTCPK:DDAIF), accordintg to TrueCar.
    • "The early launch of Black Friday sales events is helping offset declines in fleet sales this month, as the retail sales environment remains strong for new car sales,” notes TrueCar analyst Eric Lyman.
    • Previously: U.S. auto sales forecast to set a record in November (Nov. 25)
    | Tue, Nov. 29, 7:44 AM | 3 Comments
  • Mon, Nov. 28, 5:38 PM
    • General Motors' (NYSE:GM) plan to halt semi-autonomous vehicles with unresponsive motorists draws concerns from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which urges GM to ensure safety for the company's upcoming "Super Cruise" system feature that will slowly bring vehicles to a stop when motorists fail to retake control of the wheel.
    • The NHTSA letter, which approved GM's automatic activation of hazard lights in the slow-halt situation, is the U.S. government's latest effort to ramp up oversight for self-driving cars that are not governed by current regulations.
    • GM has delayed Super Cruise, previously set to debut on a Cadillac car this year, until 2017.
    | Mon, Nov. 28, 5:38 PM | 2 Comments
  • Fri, Nov. 25, 9:46 AM
    • U.S. automobile sales are expected to increase 4.2% to a record 1.37M units in November, according to a forecast from Kelley Blue Book. The previous high for the month was 1.32M units.
    • This November includes two extra selling days than last year which provides an obvious boost. A high level of promotions around the Black Friday weekend is also seen as a sales driver.
    • KBB's forecast by automaker: General Motors (NYSE:GM) +8.6% to 249K, Toyota (NYSE:TM) +2.9% to 195K, Ford (NYSE:F) +0.1% to 187K, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE:FCAU) -4.5% to 168K, Honda (NYSE:HMC) +9.1% to 126K, Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY) +8.3% to 116K, Hyundai-Kia (OTC:HYMLF) +7.0% to 113K, Subaru (OTCPK:FUJHY) +15.0% to 53K, Volkswagen (OTCPK:VLKAY) +5.5% to 47.5K.
    • Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) isn't running up the volume quite yet to make the KBB list, but that is expected to change in 2017.
    | Fri, Nov. 25, 9:46 AM | 125 Comments
  • Wed, Nov. 23, 2:17 PM
    • Cadillac (GM +0.3%) is delaying the start of a controversial new retail strategy for its dealerships, amid criticism from dealers who say the program is tedious and costly for big-volume operators and could compel smaller dealers to give up their Cadillac franchises, WSJ reports.
    • Cadillac reportedly is pushing back implementation of the plan to April from Jan. 1, which already had been postponed from a fall start date.
    • Some state dealership associations have criticized the plan as a strategy to shrink Cadillac’s dealership network, which is 3x bigger than most luxury brands despite Cadillac’s smaller market share.
    | Wed, Nov. 23, 2:17 PM | 3 Comments
  • Mon, Nov. 21, 11:53 AM
    • General Motors (GM +0.7%) says it will sell the Chevrolet Silverado and Colorado pickup lines in China next year,
    • The company showcased the two truck models at the Guangzhou Auto Show last week.
    • The Trump administration's position on trade and tariffs could have some bearing on how far GM goes with the program.
    • Previously: GM China sales +5.7% in October (Nov. 4)
    | Mon, Nov. 21, 11:53 AM | 7 Comments
  • Mon, Nov. 21, 7:14 AM
    • General Motors (NYSE:GM) CEO Mary Barra tells Automotive News that the automaker plans to stay tight on incentive spending and fleet deliveries as it focuses on profitability over volume growth and market share. She is also in agreement that demand in the U.S. is levelling out.
    • "We do believe that we're at a plateau. So to be able to stay at a 17 million, or above -- anywhere where the first two digits are 17 is a good market -- we want to continue to seize that," notes Barra.
    • GM's YTD U.S. sales are up 1.0% to 1,998,990 units through the first ten months of the year.
    | Mon, Nov. 21, 7:14 AM | 4 Comments
  • Fri, Nov. 18, 10:39 AM
    • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE:FCAU) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) are teaming up to sell cars online, according to Reuters. Consumers will still finalize their car purchases at a dealership.
    • The initiative will start off in Italy with the Fiat 500, Fiat Panda and Fiat 500L.
    • "The time has arrived to give consumers a new, more efficient and transparent way to choose a new vehicle," says Fiat's top exec in Italy.
    • Though the Fiat-Amazon tie-up isn't necessarily groundbreaking, it's still another crack in the dealership model that could have implications down the road.
    • Related automobile sector stocks: GM, F, TM, HMC, OTCPK:NSANY, TSLA, OTCPK:VLKAY, OTCPK:DDAIF, OTC:HYMLF, OTCPK:BMWYY, TTM, TSLA, AN, KMX, SONC.
    • Previously: Amazon launches automotive research portal, Amazon Vehicles (Aug. 25)
    | Fri, Nov. 18, 10:39 AM | 63 Comments
  • Thu, Nov. 17, 1:06 PM
    • The Chevrolet Bolt EV was named the 2017 Green Car of the Year at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
    • The Bolt beat out the BMW 330e, Chrysler Pacifica, Kia Optima and the Toyota Prius Prime for the distinction.
    • Earlier this week, the Bolt was the surprise winner of Motor Trend's Car of the Year. The publication raved about its road test of the EV model and noted it easily made the promised 238 miles of range.
    • "Simply put, it’s twice the car for half the price of a BMW i3," said one of the judges.
    • The Bolt is expected to be a halo vehicle for General Motors (NYSE:GM) and not a gigantic volume leader.
    | Thu, Nov. 17, 1:06 PM | 7 Comments
  • Thu, Nov. 17, 9:31 AM
    • Opel (NYSE:GM) car registrations +2.6% to 70,520 units in October, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association.
    • Overall EU registrations -0.02% Y/Y to 1,104,506 units in October on broad gains on mixed results across nations. Registrations were up 9% in Italy and 4% in Spain, but fell almost 6% in Germany and were down 4% in France. YTD registrations are up 7.2% to 12.348502M.
    • Opel market share: 6.2% vs. 6.0% a year ago.
    • Opel YTD registrations +6.2%.
    • Results include the Opel, Chevrolet and other GM brands.
    • EAMA release (.pdf)
    | Thu, Nov. 17, 9:31 AM
  • Wed, Nov. 16, 10:45 AM
    • Opel is unlikely to reach profitability this year for General Motors (GM -0.6%), according to its top exec,
    • "The exit from Russia was really painful. Brexit is yet another issue to deal with and that is why the path toward breakeven is difficult for us," said Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann.
    • The company lost ~$142M before taxes in Europe during Q3 after showing a profit in Q2.
    | Wed, Nov. 16, 10:45 AM | 1 Comment
  • Wed, Nov. 16, 9:52 AM
    • The Los Angeles Auto Show is off and running this week, with technology companies stealing some of the early headlines.
    • Samsung (OTC:SSNLF) got the ball rolling with its huge acquisition of Harman (NYSE:HAR), while Amazon dazzled many by showcasing its connected-car Blue Link technology that uses the AI-heavy Alexa in Hyundai cars.
    • Ride sharing platforms are on display, led by BMW's Reach Now program which is a potential Uber (Private:UBER) X competitor.
    • Edmunds.com may have sent a bit of shock wave through the auto retailer sector by demonstrating its advanced messaging platform that uses Facebook Messenger to help direct buyers to cars.
    • Then there is Olli which is the first self-driving vehicle to use IBM (NYSE:IBM) Watson as its brains.
    • There are plenty of new models on display at the Staples Center - including the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Volkswagen e-Golf, Land Rover Discover, Porsche Panamera and Mazda CX-5. The first look at the Jaguar all-electric I-Pace SUV is one of the more talked about introductions.
    • The all-electric Chevy Bolt and Tesla Model X mobile design studio will also be making an appearance in LA. Expect some updates on both as the GM vs. Tesla war starts to get ratcheted up.
    • Related automobile sector stocks: GM, F, TM, FCAU, HMC, OTCPK:NSANY, TSLA, OTCPK:VLKAY, OTCPK:DDAIF, OTC:HYMLF, OTCPK:BMWYY, TTM, TSLA, AN, KMX, SONC.
    | Wed, Nov. 16, 9:52 AM | 111 Comments