The Truth About Cars » High Finance http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Mon, 29 Sep 2014 16:40:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » High Finance http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/category/news-blog/high-finance/ NEVS Lays Off 200 In Reorganization Plan http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/nevs-lays-200-reorganization-plan/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/nevs-lays-200-reorganization-plan/#comments Mon, 29 Sep 2014 10:00:21 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=921169 With the Saab name reclaimed by the mothership, a host of financial problems, and no product beyond a 10-year-old platform, what else is left for National Electric Vehicle Sweden to do? If you said, “Tap out,” then you just might see that hand pounding the mat rather quickly. Reuters reports the automaker has laid off […]

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National-Electric-Vehicle-Sweden

With the Saab name reclaimed by the mothership, a host of financial problems, and no product beyond a 10-year-old platform, what else is left for National Electric Vehicle Sweden to do? If you said, “Tap out,” then you just might see that hand pounding the mat rather quickly.

Reuters reports the automaker has laid off 200 workers due to a lack of work as of late, work that likely won’t be coming anytime soon. NEVS says the move was part of its reorganization plan that will be presented at a creditors’ meeting October 8.

Originally, the workers were retained since production ceased in May 2014 in the hope that financing would soon come its way to restart work immediately. The remaining staff will keep the factory in good condition should NEVS secure the needed financing to resume assembly.

At present, the automaker owes kr400 million ($56 million USD) to its creditors, and is allegedly in talks with two unknown firms — speculation says Mahindra is one of them — to gain a financial jumpstart for an electric variant of the 9-3, currently in the prototype phase.

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Lenders Monitor, Control Subprime Nexum Via Connected Vehicle Tech http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/lenders-monitor-control-subprime-nexum-via-connected-vehicle-tech/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/lenders-monitor-control-subprime-nexum-via-connected-vehicle-tech/#comments Fri, 26 Sep 2014 14:00:59 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=920098 In a perverse nexus where connected-vehicle technology, privacy and subprime lending intersect, consumers who fall behind on so much as a single payment, or even stray outside a given teritory, may find their vehicles shutdown by their lender from a digital panopticon. The New York Times reports that some subprime borrowers — a group that […]

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Isis Panopticon Album Cover

In a perverse nexus where connected-vehicle technology, privacy and subprime lending intersect, consumers who fall behind on so much as a single payment, or even stray outside a given teritory, may find their vehicles shutdown by their lender from a digital panopticon.

The New York Times reports that some subprime borrowers — a group that made up a quarter of all new car loans in 2013 — must agree to have a GPS-equipped starter interrupt device installed in the vehicle of a given borrower’s choosing. In turn, the lender can keep track of where its property — and the borrower — is at all times, and with a single tap or click, cut all power to the vehicle if a borrower falls behind on payments.

However, some lenders are choosing to act only days after a missed payment — instead of the 30-day grace period before a borrower is considered in-default — no matter where exactly the vehicle is at the moment of shutdown. This has led to situations where a borrower has been stranded in a bad neighborhood, at the stop light, or, in one case, on the freeway.

Further, some loan agreements include so-called “geo-fences”: a maximum range a subprime borrower can travel before the lender, again, shuts down a vehicle and sends a tow truck to recover the asset. The claim is that a borrower who travels further than the fence allows — such as to their place of employment — may not be able to make good on their payments.

The consequences of using the devices have drawn considerable attention from both consumer lawyers and state regulators. The former argue starter interrupt systems give a lender all the more reason to remotely repossess a vehicle if even a payment is missed by a day, violating state laws on the matter as a result. The latter, in turn, is examining the potential safety hazards for the borrower and other motorists if the devices become defective.

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S&P Raises GM Grade Rating, Investors Lower Share Price http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/sp-raises-gm-grade-rating-investors-lower-share-price/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/sp-raises-gm-grade-rating-investors-lower-share-price/#comments Fri, 26 Sep 2014 13:00:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=920074 Though investors are not happy with General Motors as of late, Standard & Poor’s is, boosting the automaker’s investment-grade rating from BBB- to BB+. Detroit Free Press reports the boost — a year after Moody’s raised GM’s status to investment-grade — reflects the automaker’s return to sustained profitability from strong showings in the United States […]

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GM First Day as a Public Company Celebration

Though investors are not happy with General Motors as of late, Standard & Poor’s is, boosting the automaker’s investment-grade rating from BBB- to BB+.

Detroit Free Press reports the boost — a year after Moody’s raised GM’s status to investment-grade — reflects the automaker’s return to sustained profitability from strong showings in the United States and China. GM’s lending arm, GM Financial, also received an investment-grade rating from S&P.

Alas, investors slapped the automaker with a share price of $32.87 at the closing bell Thursday, the first time shares traded under $33 since April 14. The decline is likely the result of a new round of recalls issued earlier this week, affecting 221,000 Cadillac XTS and Chevrolet Impala models from the 2013 through 2015 model years.

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Fifteen Claimants Receive First Offers From GM Compensation Fund http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/fifteen-claimants-receive-first-offers-gm-compensation-fund/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/fifteen-claimants-receive-first-offers-gm-compensation-fund/#comments Fri, 26 Sep 2014 11:00:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=920026 The compensation fund established by General Motors and managed by attorney Kenneth Feinberg to pay accident and fatality claims linked to a defective ignition switch in a handful of 2003-2007 models has made its first cash offers to 15 claimants. Reuters reports the offers were made verbally earlier this week, and the claims were a […]

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The compensation fund established by General Motors and managed by attorney Kenneth Feinberg to pay accident and fatality claims linked to a defective ignition switch in a handful of 2003-2007 models has made its first cash offers to 15 claimants.

Reuters reports the offers were made verbally earlier this week, and the claims were a mix of accident and fatality cases.

As far as submissions go, 850 claims — including 150 fatality claims — have been filed since the submission window opened August 1. The window will remain open until the end of this year, while claims will be examined for eligibility through the middle of 2015.

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Privacy Concerns By Auto Lenders Shape SEC Asset-Backed Security Rule http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/privacy-concerns-auto-lenders-shape-sec-asset-backed-security-rule/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/privacy-concerns-auto-lenders-shape-sec-asset-backed-security-rule/#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 13:00:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=918546 It took four years, but the Securities and Exchange Commission has put the final touches on a rule regarding asset-backed securities — including auto loans and leases — and what information is given when a company or investor takes on an ABS. Juan Barnett of DC Car Geek reports the work on the rule began […]

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SEC - Securities and Exchange Commission HQ

It took four years, but the Securities and Exchange Commission has put the final touches on a rule regarding asset-backed securities — including auto loans and leases — and what information is given when a company or investor takes on an ABS.

Juan Barnett of DC Car Geek reports the work on the rule began in 2010, re-proposed with the inclusion of Dodd-Frank Act requirements in 2011, and brought up for consideration again earlier this year. Barnett adds that a total of 240 comments — the majority from financial institutions — were submitted to the SEC in the same period.

As far as the automotive finance industry goes, a consortium dubbed Vehicle ABS Sponsors delivered a 97-page comment in 2012, bringing up numerous concerns about the rule.

One concern in particular focused on privacy issues. Were the then-proposed framework to be enacted, the consortium feared competitors from within and outside the ABS market would use the massive amounts of data collected by its members to upend the industry as a whole:

Ordinarily, we would consider someone appropriating our data to be wrongfully taking our private property and harming us in the marketplace. We think it is highly inappropriate for a government-mandated program to permit, and indeed facilitate, this practice.

Earlier this year, SEC Commissioner Michael Piwowar acknowledged those and similar concerns, suggesting those who do participate in the ABS market “simply follow the statute and require disclosure of asset-level data only if such data is necessary for investors to independently perform due diligence.”

Thanks to a rule modification regarding the sharing of loan-level data, both sides of the ABS game — issuers and investors — can use a private database to talk amongst themselves. Previously, the data would have been made readily available through the SEC’s public database, EDGAR.

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Goldman Sachs: Tesla Needs $6B In Capital To Meet “Disruptive” Growth http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/goldman-sachs-tesla-needs-6b-capital-meet-disruptive-growth/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/goldman-sachs-tesla-needs-6b-capital-meet-disruptive-growth/#comments Thu, 25 Sep 2014 10:00:40 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=918314 According to the financial overlords of Goldman Sachs, Tesla would need an $6 billion in capital within the next 11 years should its products become truly disruptive to the automotive industry. Per Bloomberg, Goldman Sachs analyst Patrick Archambault delivered that number to his employer’s clients Wednesday, based on what he believes would be needed should […]

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Tesla HQ

According to the financial overlords of Goldman Sachs, Tesla would need an $6 billion in capital within the next 11 years should its products become truly disruptive to the automotive industry.

Per Bloomberg, Goldman Sachs analyst Patrick Archambault delivered that number to his employer’s clients Wednesday, based on what he believes would be needed should Tesla’s electric lineup prove as popular as the iPhone 6 or Model T. The proclamation knocked the automaker’s shares down 1.7 percent to $259.32 on the trading floor in New York at the final bell.

Though Tesla CEO Elon Musk plans to sell a minimum of 500,000 units per year down the road, Archambault claims the capital needed would push annual production from 1.8 million to 3.2 million units by 2025. Other projects, such as the upcoming Gigafactory battery pack plant in Reno, Nev., would also need some of the projected $6 billion in additional capital. He adds that most of the $6 billion would be distributed from 2017 through 2025.

Meanwhile, Tesla has not given its own forecast for capital spending, according to representative Simon Sproule.

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Hyundai’s Gangnam Style Leads To Partial Strike http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/hyundais-gangnam-style-leads-partial-strike/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/hyundais-gangnam-style-leads-partial-strike/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 13:00:33 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=917626 Due to a Gangnam-style real estate deal in the Gangnam district of Seoul, South Korea, workers at Hyundai and Kia have gone on partial strike for the next few days. Bloomberg reports the unions leading the strike will do so through September 26, while wage talks with the parent company are indefinitely postponed. In turn, […]

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PSY's Gangham Style

Due to a Gangnam-style real estate deal in the Gangnam district of Seoul, South Korea, workers at Hyundai and Kia have gone on partial strike for the next few days.

Bloomberg reports the unions leading the strike will do so through September 26, while wage talks with the parent company are indefinitely postponed. In turn, shares in Hyundai fell 2 percent to close at ₩191,500 ($184 USD) on the Korea Exchange, the lowest since May 2013.

The trigger for the strike was ₩10.6 trillion ($10 billion) real estate deal for property in the Gangnam district of the South Korean capital between Hyundai, Kia and affiliate Hyundai Mobis. The unions claim this move as not only proof Hyundai can pay its workers better, including bonuses — which have been mandated by the country’s supreme court to be a part of a worker’s base pay — but that company chair Chung Mong Moo’s management style leaves a lot to be desired.

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Captives To Face CFPB Oversight http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/captives-face-cfpb-oversight/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/captives-face-cfpb-oversight/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 18:06:16 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=914466 New rules being announced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would mean that the captive finance arms would be subject to oversight from the CFPB. Automotive News reports that the CFPB will now have jurisdiction over “nonbank lenders” that  “make, acquire, or refinance 10,000 or more loans or leases in a year.” This rule would encompass […]

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New rules being announced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would mean that the captive finance arms would be subject to oversight from the CFPB.

Automotive News reports that the CFPB will now have jurisdiction over “nonbank lenders” that  “make, acquire, or refinance 10,000 or more loans or leases in a year.” This rule would encompass virtually all captive finance arms, covering a total of 38 lenders that originate roughly 90 percent of nonbank auto loans and leases.

Until now, the CFPB has not defined its cutoff point for overseeing “larger participants”, which largely included financial institutions. But the new definition brings auto maker finance arms under the CFPBs umbrella, something which has been expected for some time.

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Feinberg: 19 Deaths Thus Far Linked To Faulty GM Ignition http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/feinberg-19-deaths-thus-far-linked-faulty-gm-ignition/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/feinberg-19-deaths-thus-far-linked-faulty-gm-ignition/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 10:00:57 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=913074 Over a month since the first claims were filed by those affected by a defective General Motors ignition switch originally linked to 31 accidents and 13 deaths, compensation administrator and attorney Kenneth Feinberg has found a total of 19 deaths and 31 eligible claims thus far. CNN Money reports 125 death and 320 accident claims […]

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General Motors headquarters in Detroit, Michigan

Over a month since the first claims were filed by those affected by a defective General Motors ignition switch originally linked to 31 accidents and 13 deaths, compensation administrator and attorney Kenneth Feinberg has found a total of 19 deaths and 31 eligible claims thus far.

CNN Money reports 125 death and 320 accident claims have been submitted since the filing period began August 1 of this year. Out of the filings, 31 claims were found eligible, while most remain under review as of this writing. Additionally, less than 12 claims were denied to date.

Aside from the 19 deaths, Feinberg found four of the accident claimants suffered severe injuries — quadriplegia, serious burns, brain damage et al — in crashes tied to the switch, with another eight reporting less severe injuries.

Finally, the majority of the claims filed were tied to young drivers operating their first car when their injuries or fatalities occurred.

As for why the death toll rose in the compensation program, Feinberg noted that his program’s “proximate cause” standard was “easier to satisfy” from a legal standpoint, whereas the GM engineers who reported on the original 13 linked fatalities were doing so from an engineering point-of-view.

Compensation per claim ranges from $20,000 for less serious injuries, to $1 million plus an estimated future earnings potential and $300,000/surviving spouse/dependent for deaths caused by the switch. Those who accept must forego suing the automaker in exchange.

Feinberg’s office will accept claims until the end of 2014, with all claims reviewed by the middle of next year. Approximately 100 claims are filed each week with the office at present.

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US Treasury Begins Second Divestiture Plan Of Ally Stock http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/us-treasury-begins-second-divestiture-plan-ally-stock/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/us-treasury-begins-second-divestiture-plan-ally-stock/#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 12:00:51 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=912722 Ally Financial, the lending artist formerly known as GMAC Financial, inches closer to freedom from government ownership as the United States Treasury begins a second trading plan to shed its shares. Automotive News reports the plan would allow the U.S. Treasury “to continue exiting the investment in a manner that balances speed of exit with […]

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Ally at NYSE

Ally Financial, the lending artist formerly known as GMAC Financial, inches closer to freedom from government ownership as the United States Treasury begins a second trading plan to shed its shares.

Automotive News reports the plan would allow the U.S. Treasury “to continue exiting the investment in a manner that balances speed of exit with maximizing the taxpayer’s return,” according to CFO Charmian Uy.

The first plan saw the Treasury sell 8.9 million shares for $218.7 million in ROI for taxpayers, adding to the $18 billion recovered since the department first took majority ownership at the beginning of the Great Recession six years ago.

At the time, $17.2 billion was given to the floundering lender via the Troubled Asset Relief Program to prevent falling into the same abyss that took Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual and a number of small banks, giving the Treasury 74 percent of the shares then available. Currently, it holds just 13.8 percent — or 66.2 million shares — of Ally common stock, all of which may be sold by the end of 2014.

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Nevada Legislature Deliberates Tesla Tax Package In Special Session http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/nevada-legislature-deliberates-tesla-tax-package-special-session/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/nevada-legislature-deliberates-tesla-tax-package-special-session/#comments Thu, 11 Sep 2014 10:00:24 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=910626 Last week, Tesla and Nevada governor Brian Sandoval jointly announced the automaker would be bringing its Gigafactory to Reno. Now, it’s up to both houses of the state’s legislature to pull it all together with a $1.3 billion tax break. Reuters reports the Nevada Legislature gathered in Carson City for a special session at noon […]

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Tahoe Reno Industrial Center

Last week, Tesla and Nevada governor Brian Sandoval jointly announced the automaker would be bringing its Gigafactory to Reno. Now, it’s up to both houses of the state’s legislature to pull it all together with a $1.3 billion tax break.

Reuters reports the Nevada Legislature gathered in Carson City for a special session at noon Wednesday to hammer the details of the package, which Sandoval believes will spur $100 billion worth of economic benefits for his state during the next two decades at an investment payoff of 80:1.

The package would provide the following for Tesla in exchange for hosting the Gigafactory:

  • $725 million in tax exemptions through 2034
  • $300 million in various tax savings through 2024
  • $120 million in tax credits for meeting the state’s investment threshold of $3.5 billion
  • $75 million in tax credits for up to 6,000 jobs created
  • Reduced utility rates

In turn, Tesla will invest over $37 million into Nevada’s education systems during the next five years, and will bring a total of 25,500 jobs to the state, from construction to indirect employment.

As of this writing, both houses are set to return for a second day of deliberation Thursday morning. Until then, this is the tax break bill as established during Wednesday’s session.

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Edmunds: 2014 SAAR May Best 2006 Peak http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/edmunds-2014-saar-may-best-2006-peak/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/edmunds-2014-saar-may-best-2006-peak/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 11:00:18 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=910034 The surge in United States auto sales last month could push the final figures to a height not seen since 2006 when January 2015 rolls around. According to Automotive News, Edmunds chief economist Lacey Plache said that though the publication is holding at 16.4 million SAAR (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate) for 2014, “there is definite […]

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Couple + Salesman Sign The Contract Of Blood

The surge in United States auto sales last month could push the final figures to a height not seen since 2006 when January 2015 rolls around.

According to Automotive News, Edmunds chief economist Lacey Plache said that though the publication is holding at 16.4 million SAAR (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate) for 2014, “there is definite potential for numbers to hit higher than that.”

At present, the SAAR for 2014 is expected to hit 17.5 million, much higher than the previous peak of 16.6 million in 2006. August’s SAAR was fueled by strong Labor Day sales, which may have dinged September’s SAAR as consumers opted to make their purchases before summer drew to a close.

Meanwhile, Plache expects 2015′s SAAR to fall just short of 17 million, fueled by expiring leases. However, she and Edmunds senior analyst Jessica Caldwell warn a rise in interest rates in 2016 may put a drag on sales. Caldwell adds that automakers’ finance wings could counter this “by subsidizing lower rates.”

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Nissan Declined Stake In Aston Martin As Early As 2012 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/nissan-declined-stake-aston-martin-early-2012/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/nissan-declined-stake-aston-martin-early-2012/#comments Tue, 09 Sep 2014 10:00:27 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=909066 Prior to becoming Aston Martin’s new CEO, former Nissan senior exec Andy Palmer proposed to the automaker to buy a stake in AM, only for Nissan to decline. Reuters reports Palmer brought up the issue Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn in 2012 and 2013, with one insider claiming the company “looked carefully at the proposal” before […]

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Aston Martin Lagonda Prototype

Prior to becoming Aston Martin’s new CEO, former Nissan senior exec Andy Palmer proposed to the automaker to buy a stake in AM, only for Nissan to decline.

Reuters reports Palmer brought up the issue Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn in 2012 and 2013, with one insider claiming the company “looked carefully at the proposal” before rejecting the idea. Said insider declined to explain the proposal or the reasoning behind the rejection, as did a representative for the company.

Meanwhile, Palmer’s new role as AM’s CEO may lead to more cooperation between the premium automaker and Daimler AG, the latter already in possession of a 4 percent stake in the former while also providing engines and electronics to Aston’s offerings. Palmer helped Daimler and Nissan’s Infiniti develop a similar relationship, resulting in a joint-venture on a plant in Mexico, as well as a family of engines to be shared with the Q50 and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

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Sandoval, Musk Announce Tesla Gigafactory To Be Built In Nevada http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/sandoval-musk-announce-tesla-gigafactory-built-nevada/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/sandoval-musk-announce-tesla-gigafactory-built-nevada/#comments Fri, 05 Sep 2014 14:00:17 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=907097 It’s official: Tesla will build its Gigafactory in Nevada pending legislative approval. KOLO-TV reports the battery factory will bring its 6,500 jobs to Reno, along with $100 billion dollars and up to 22,000 jobs over the next two decades. In turn, Governor Brian Sandoval will ask the state for $1.3 billion in tax breaks and […]

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Elon Musk and Brian Sandoval

It’s official: Tesla will build its Gigafactory in Nevada pending legislative approval.

KOLO-TV reports the battery factory will bring its 6,500 jobs to Reno, along with $100 billion dollars and up to 22,000 jobs over the next two decades.

In turn, Governor Brian Sandoval will ask the state for $1.3 billion in tax breaks and incentives at a special legislative session next Wednesday at the earliest. The package is meant to last for 20 years.

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NEVS Gains Creditor Protection, Loses Saab Name http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/nevs-gains-creditor-protection-loses-saab-name/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/nevs-gains-creditor-protection-loses-saab-name/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 13:00:35 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=904905 First, National Electric Vehicle Sweden was going to be taken to district court and forced to file bankruptcy. Then, it was spared. Then, it saw its application for creditor protection denied due to being “vague.” Now? The application has moved forward, but at the price of the Saab name. Autoblog reports NEVS — who owes […]

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First, National Electric Vehicle Sweden was going to be taken to district court and forced to file bankruptcy. Then, it was spared. Then, it saw its application for creditor protection denied due to being “vague.”

Now? The application has moved forward, but at the price of the Saab name.

Autoblog reports NEVS — who owes over 90 creditors kr400 million ($57.56 million USD) — gained protection from the district court in Vänersborg August 29 while the Chinese-owned company continues negotiates with two unknown companies to obtain more funding.

However, the move by the court allowed SAAB AB — whose Viggens birthed many a 99 Turbo and 900S way back when — to pull the naming rights from NEVS. The latter only bought the beleaguered automaker’s physical assets, and had to seek permission from SAAB to use the brand name. Thus, it may now be finally safe to say, “Rest in peace.”

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North Korea Owes Sweden $428M For 1,000 Volvos Swindled In 1974 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/north-korea-owes-sweden-428m-1000-volvos-swindled-1974/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/09/north-korea-owes-sweden-428m-1000-volvos-swindled-1974/#comments Tue, 02 Sep 2014 11:00:34 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=904857 Forty years ago, the North Koreans and the Swedes entered into an agreement where the latter’s socialist and industrialist interests aimed to bring recognition to the former’s regime while filling its pockets from the country’s mining industry. Part of this agreement included 1,000 Volvo 144 GLs, which were meant to be paid in copper and […]

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Stolen Volvos in North Korea

Forty years ago, the North Koreans and the Swedes entered into an agreement where the latter’s socialist and industrialist interests aimed to bring recognition to the former’s regime while filling its pockets from the country’s mining industry. Part of this agreement included 1,000 Volvo 144 GLs, which were meant to be paid in copper and zinc.

But that was 40 years ago.

Newsweek reports North Korea, under Kim Il-sung’s regime, ultimately absconded with the Volvos and other Swedish goods during a Swedish-Korean trade fair in Pyongyang, all within the same year the vehicles were delivered.

Since then, the Swedish Export Credits Guarantee Board has calculated the interest owed on the debt linked to those goods. Total debt after inflation plus interest holds at kr3 billion ($428 million USD).

As for the Volvos, they were ordered for taxi service within the North Korean capital. As of 2008, those cars were not only still running, but, according to photographer and entrepreneur Tor Rauden Källstigen, were treated well:

I think I’ve never been inside such an old car even back home in Sweden. This taxi was very well maintained too, close to mint condition it seemed.

Were Il-sung’s grandson and current ruler, Kim Jong-un, to sell the vehicles at current book value, he would net $2.6 million — or 0.6 percent of the debt — for the trouble.

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Wiedeking Ordered To Stand Trial Over Market Manipulation Charges http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/wiedeking-ordered-stand-trial-market-manipulation-charges/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/wiedeking-ordered-stand-trial-market-manipulation-charges/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 10:00:37 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=901441 Former Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking may be facing jail time in the future if convicted on charges of market manipulation recently revived by a German court. Bloomberg reports the Stuttgart Higher Regional Court ordered both Wiedeking and former Porsche CFO Holger Haerter to stand trial in criminal court over the charges, linked to the failed […]

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Wendelin-Wiedeking

Former Porsche CEO Wendelin Wiedeking may be facing jail time in the future if convicted on charges of market manipulation recently revived by a German court.

Bloomberg reports the Stuttgart Higher Regional Court ordered both Wiedeking and former Porsche CFO Holger Haerter to stand trial in criminal court over the charges, linked to the failed takeover of Volkswagen AG in October of 2008. The court proclaimed it found “numerous indications” of a possible hidden agenda to increase Porsche’s stake in Volkswagen from 74.1 percent to 75 percent “as they could suggest the opposite evaluation by the lower court.”

Both Porsche and attorneys for the two defendants believe the charges to be without merit, especially as they were overturned in a lower court back in April due to lack of sufficient evidence. The regional court, however, states that as far back as 2006, Wiedeking had plans to take over VW in secret.

In addition to the criminal case, a few civil suits are waiting in the wings in Braunschweig, Stuttgart and Hanover. The plaintiffs — investors who believed Porsche had planned to assimilate VW months before the October 2008 takeover attempt — are seeking over €5 billion ($6.6 billion USD) in damages.

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Repossessions, Delinquencies Up As Oustanding Auto Loan Balances Hit All-Time High http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/repossessions-delinquencies-oustanding-auto-loan-balances-hit-time-high/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/repossessions-delinquencies-oustanding-auto-loan-balances-hit-time-high/#comments Thu, 21 Aug 2014 15:49:31 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=897458 The latest Q2 2014 data from Experian was released this week, and key metrics like repossessions, loan delinquencies and outstanding balances have all seen increases. Outstanding balances were up nearly 12 percent, rising to an all-time high of $839.1 billion dollars. 60-day delinquencies were up 7 percent to 0.62 percent in Q2, while 30-day delinquencies […]

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The latest Q2 2014 data from Experian was released this week, and key metrics like repossessions, loan delinquencies and outstanding balances have all seen increases.

Outstanding balances were up nearly 12 percent, rising to an all-time high of $839.1 billion dollars. 60-day delinquencies were up 7 percent to 0.62 percent in Q2, while 30-day delinquencies were up to 2.39 percent up from 2.38 percent year over year. Repossessions were up by 70 percent in the same time period, sitting at 0.62 percent.

Melinda Zabritski, Experian’s senior director of automotive finance, noted that ““The rosy glow of perfect payment performance in the automotive space is beginning to tarnish.” Despite Experian claiming that delinquencies were still at record lows, the total amount of loans that are 60-days delinquent has increased by $859-million, while 30 day delinquent loans have increased by $2.8 billion since Q2 2013.

A report by four analysts from the New York Fed acknowledged that while auto lending was growing rapidly, a sharp increase in subprime lending was due to the fact that this segment had been crippled during the 2008 financial crisis, when credit availability tightened.

Meanwhile, a change in the way FICO scores are calculated could make it easier for buyers to qualify for car loans. A report by Automotive News says that medical debt will be given less weight when calculating medical debts, while partial payment of debts will be taken into greater account. The new scores are also said to benefit those with little credit history, and should be rolled out by fall.

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Ford, Chevrolet Begin Labor Day Battle Weeks Early http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/ford-chevrolet-begin-labor-day-battle-weeks-early/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/ford-chevrolet-begin-labor-day-battle-weeks-early/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 13:00:24 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=895386 Hold onto your wallets: Ford and Chevrolet are getting the jump on Labor Day sales weeks in advance of what most consider the end of the summer season. Automotive News reports the two brands are bringing their A games to the showroom, ranging from 0 percent financing for 72 months across most of their respective […]

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Ford Labor Day Sale 2014

Hold onto your wallets: Ford and Chevrolet are getting the jump on Labor Day sales weeks in advance of what most consider the end of the summer season.

Automotive News reports the two brands are bringing their A games to the showroom, ranging from 0 percent financing for 72 months across most of their respective lines, to Chevrolet offering deferred payments for the first 90 days for select models. Rather than wait until closer to Labor Day, however, Ford launched the first attack back in late July; Chevrolet kicked off its campaign last week.

The end game? Regain lost ground in sales from the first half of 2014. Ford lost 1 percent of its share of the market, dropping to 14.8 percent in comparison to 2013. Meanwhile, Chevrolet fell from 12.9 percent to 12.5 percent in the same period comparison.

Other combatants in the end-of-summer sales battle include Toyota offering 0 percent APR for 60 months on a handful of models, Nissan presenting 0 percent between 36 and 72 months depending on the model chosen, and Dodge giving buyers 90-day deferments on 2014 and 2015 models through Labor Day weekend.

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NEVS “Not Insolvent,” Will Pay When Possible http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/nevs-insolvent-will-pay-possible/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/nevs-insolvent-will-pay-possible/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 10:00:30 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=895298 Remember when Saab’s new parent company was close to being taken to court and forced to declare bankruptcy by one of its suppliers? New information may have helped changed course. Autoblog reports National Electric Vehicle Sweden issued a brief statement proclaiming that while “the company does not have enough liquid cash as today to pay […]

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saab-9-3-aero-sedan-my14-09-1

Remember when Saab’s new parent company was close to being taken to court and forced to declare bankruptcy by one of its suppliers? New information may have helped changed course.

Autoblog reports National Electric Vehicle Sweden issued a brief statement proclaiming that while “the company does not have enough liquid cash as today to pay all outstanding debt,” it is “not insolvent” thanks to having assets larger than its obligations.

The statement also states the supplier — Lado Labs — withdrew its petition to force bankruptcy upon NEVS next month due to not having been paid for testing procedures in February. That said, it doesn’t know when it will be able to pay all of its suppliers.

The funding issues came about when one of NEVS’ shareholders failed to deliver its investment to the company, bringing a halt to manufacturing of the 9-3. NEVS is holding ongoing conversations with two unnamed manufacturers with the aim to restart the line once funding is secured.

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Ally Financial Closer To Freedom Through Upcoming Stake Cut http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/ally-financial-closer-freedom-upcoming-stake-cut/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/ally-financial-closer-freedom-upcoming-stake-cut/#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 11:00:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=893434 Former General Motors lending subsidiary Ally Financial is one step closer from leaving government oversight, thanks to the United States Treasury cutting its stake in the company. Bloomberg reports the Treasury will sell its stake of 75.1 million shares on the open market, the first divestiture since April 2014′s IPO. Though no word on the […]

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Ally Financial

Former General Motors lending subsidiary Ally Financial is one step closer from leaving government oversight, thanks to the United States Treasury cutting its stake in the company.

Bloomberg reports the Treasury will sell its stake of 75.1 million shares on the open market, the first divestiture since April 2014′s IPO. Though no word on the size or timeline regarding the cut was given, Treasury CIO Charmian Uy says the move will be made with “maximum returns for taxpayers” in mind.

Ally representative Gina Proia added that the agency’s stake cut “was another step toward” exiting government ownership under the TARP program, “delivering additional value to shareholders, including the U.S. taxpayer” in so doing.

At its peak, the Treasury owned 74 percent of the lender, with the U.S. investing $17.2 billion and receiving $17.8 billion after asset sales.

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Saab’s Newest Owners Face Bankruptcy Petition In Sweden http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/saabs-newest-owners-face-bankruptcy-petition-sweden/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/saabs-newest-owners-face-bankruptcy-petition-sweden/#comments Wed, 13 Aug 2014 13:00:42 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=889754 Saab’s newest parent company may soon be declared bankrupt by a Swedish court, once again bringing the make toward the grave. The Detroit News reports supplier Labo Test has petitioned the court to declare National Electric Vehicles of Sweden bankrupt after failing to receive kr150,000 ($22,000 USD) since February 2014. The supplier provides testing tools […]

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First_Saab_9-3_pre-production_vehicle

Saab’s newest parent company may soon be declared bankrupt by a Swedish court, once again bringing the make toward the grave.

The Detroit News reports supplier Labo Test has petitioned the court to declare National Electric Vehicles of Sweden bankrupt after failing to receive kr150,000 ($22,000 USD) since February 2014. The supplier provides testing tools to automakers for quality testing of auto parts.

Sveriges Radio adds that CEO Håkan Bodin has no “hard feelings against NEVS,” and would be joyful to receive money owed from the company’s Chinese owners. NEVS communication officer Mikael Östlund, meanwhile, states that though his employer “cannot fully pay any of its suppliers,” NEVS itself is not insolvent.

The bankruptcy hearing, to be held in district court in Vänersborgs, is scheduled for September 8.

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VW Works Council Forces Out Consultants Amid Headcount Reduction Fears http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/vw-works-council-forces-consultants-amid-headcount-reduction-fears/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/vw-works-council-forces-consultants-amid-headcount-reduction-fears/#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 13:00:44 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=889337 Volkswagen AG execs will have to go back to the drawing board to determine where to cut costs after its works council demanded outside consultants be shown the door. Reuters reports last month, CEO Martin Winterkorn informed his employees that he was seeking €5 billion ($6.7 billion USD) in efficiency gains by 2017 so as […]

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VW XL1s

Volkswagen AG execs will have to go back to the drawing board to determine where to cut costs after its works council demanded outside consultants be shown the door.

Reuters reports last month, CEO Martin Winterkorn informed his employees that he was seeking €5 billion ($6.7 billion USD) in efficiency gains by 2017 so as to close the profit gap between his company and its rival automakers. In turn, VW brought aboard consultant group McKinsey to help determine where to find the needed gains. But the pricey consultants were a point of contention with VW’s labor representatives.

The concerns over McKinsey’s presence focused upon fears of potential layoffs at factories in Kassal and Wolfsburg, Germany, where a total of over 65,000 assemble components, transmissions and vehicles. Labor leaders suggested the company focus on cutting both R&D spending and its trimming its bloated model lineup rather than reduce headcount.

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Santander Consumer Receives DOJ Subpoena http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/886161/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/886161/#comments Sat, 09 Aug 2014 15:35:40 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=886161 Following GM Financial’s subpoena from the Department of Justice, Santander Consumer said that it had received a subpoena as well related to “production of documents and communications that, among other things relate to the underwriting and securitization of nonprime auto loans since 2007,”   Reuters is reporting that Santander Consumer is co-operating with the requests. […]

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partner-with-us

Following GM Financial’s subpoena from the Department of Justice, Santander Consumer said that it had received a subpoena as well related to

“production of documents and communications that, among other things relate to the underwriting and securitization of nonprime auto loans since 2007,”

 

Reuters is reporting that Santander Consumer is co-operating with the requests. Santander Consumer is a major lender, with Experian reporting that it ranked 5th in used vehicle loan originations in the first quarter of 2014 and 10th overall. Santander Consumer is also partnered with Chrysler Capital, which is Chrysler’s captive financing arm. When reached for comment, Chrysler was unavailable at the time of publication.

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GM Compensation Fund Receives Nearly 100 Claim Submissions Thus Far http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/gm-compensation-fund-receives-nearly-100-claim-submissions-thus-far/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2014/08/gm-compensation-fund-receives-nearly-100-claim-submissions-thus-far/#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 13:00:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=883633 Last Friday was the first day claims linked to accidents and fatalities related to the ignition switch that kicked-off the 2014 General Motors recall parade could be submitted to the compensation fund set up by GM and Kenneth Feinberg. Thus far, 93 such claims have been submitted. The Detroit News reports around 50 of those […]

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GM RenCen Blue Night

Last Friday was the first day claims linked to accidents and fatalities related to the ignition switch that kicked-off the 2014 General Motors recall parade could be submitted to the compensation fund set up by GM and Kenneth Feinberg. Thus far, 93 such claims have been submitted.

The Detroit News reports around 50 of those claims were submitted on the first day. Deputy administrator Camille S. Biros said most of the claims lacked supporting documents, though she expects the lawyers to submit them soon enough. The majority of the claims were submitted electronically en masse by attorneys representing clients who may have been affected in some way as a result of the defective ignition switch.

Upon being found “substantially complete,” the claims will be decided within 90 to 180 days, depending on complexity (or lack there of) of each claim. GM set aside $400 million for the payouts, though the total payout could be as high as $600 million, with Feinberg repeatedly stressing that there will be no cap on total claims.

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