Category: High Finance

By on April 16, 2016

JD Power

J.D. Power and Associates is planning to put more of your possessions under the microscope, now that they’ve taken on new ownership in a deal worth $1.1 billion.

Best known for its vehicle quality ratings, J.D. Power, a unit of McGraw Hill Financial Inc., was snapped up yesterday by London-based XIO Group, according to Reuters (via Automotive News).

The investment firm muscled out a competing private equity firm to land the cash deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter of this year. XIO Group has a strong footprint in China, where it is linked to many high-powered investors. Read More >

By on April 12, 2016

Ferrari-488-GTB-1

Sergio Marchionne, wearer of many hats, appears poised to don yet another cappello.

Following the departure of former Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo, who high-tailed it in 2014 due to clashes with Marchionne over company strategy, Bloomberg is reporting that current Ferrari CEO Amedeo Felisa is planning to retire after the nomination of a new board of directors, expected sometime this week.

Felisa does plan to stay as a board member, but this change will leave the role of CEO vacant … and we all know how much Sergio loves to be the Big Boss of Things. Read More >

By on April 9, 2016

Jeep Wranglers Coming Down The Line In Toledo

A group of Jeep fans wants Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne to make a Sophie’s Choice-style decision to save their beloved offroader.

To avoid the destruction of the storied brand at the hands of its parent company, FCA must cast it loose, the group states in a strongly-worded Change.org petition.

“As owners and fans of Jeep vehicles, we are calling on Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to separate Jeep from FCA’s stable of failing brands and debt,” the petition states. “We urge FCA to execute a spinoff to save Jeep.”

Read More >

By on April 7, 2016

bratwurst

Sometimes, stereotypes exist for a reason.

Things got heated yesterday at a Daimler AG shareholders meeting in Germany, where a fight broke out over lengthy, plump sausages, Bloomberg has reported.

This, despite the fact the lucky shareholders were told they’d be receiving the biggest dividend in the company’s history — 3.25 euros ($3.70) per share. You’d think the windfall would have tempered flare-ups, but you’d be wrong.

Read More >

By on March 23, 2016

17FordF250XLT

Ford is doing so well, you’d be a damn fool to ever think of not investing in Ford, says Ford.

That, hiring a crop of cranky old people paid off for Dodge, Kentucky joins the let’s-sue-Volkswagen party, Honda gets a Hoosier boost, and ethanol continues to suck … after the break!

Read More >

By on March 17, 2016

2016 Ford Explorer

Millennials are buying Ford SUVs like it’s going out of style, no doubt dismaying the friends who like to lecture people about their lifestyle on Facebook.

That, Chevrolet offers a voyeur package for its full-side pickup, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles grabs a stack of cash with both hands, Mercedes-Benz gives its midsize SUV the AMG treatment, and two more automakers eye the Formula E grid … after the break!

Read More >

By on March 14, 2016

Elio Motors 2016 NAIAS, Image: © 2016 Ronnie Schreiber/The Truth About Cars

In a move that has already generated criticism from disappointed deposit holders, Elio Motors announced that production of its enclosed tandem three-wheelers will be delayed, yet again, to an undisclosed date sometime in 2017.

In a statement issued on Friday, Elio Motors said, “the bulk of the consumer launch will have to be moved into 2017 at a date to be determined, as the company continues to seek additional funding.”

Ironically, that delay was made public as the company appeared to make progress towards getting at least some vehicles built in Shreveport later this year. Founded in 2009, Elio had previously announced production dates of 2014 and more recently the end of 2016. Read More >

By on March 12, 2016

2016 NAIAS Ford Stand

Ford Motor Company has decided it wants to do more than just sell cars and trucks.

On March 11, the automaker announced the creation of a new business subsidiary in the hopes of becoming a leader in the field of mobility services.

Ford Smart Mobility LLC will be headed by former Steelcase CEO Jim Hackett, who will leave Ford’s board of directors in order to take on the new position.

Ford joins a growing list of automotive rivals looking to diversify their operations by investing in the emerging field, the most prominent aspect of which is ride-sharing and ride-hailing services.

Read More >

By on March 11, 2016

Subaru BRZ STI Performance Concept

Subaru, worried that it might be losing its coolness, could be planning to rebel against its new-found mainstream image.

That, Big Battery picks up steam, Tesla’s stock turbulence continues to amaze, NASCAR wants Millennials to watch a race, and Porsche thanks its lucky stars for SUVs … after the break!

Read More >

By on March 1, 2016

eliostock2

(Caveat: I know nothing at all about stocks, bonds or other financial instruments.)

After automotive startup Elio Motors raised approximately $17 million dollars in a Reg-A+ stock offering the company crowdsourced from small investors via StartEngine, it said its shares would be listed on the OTCQX exchange to provide those investors with liquidity.

It’s probably too early to call Elio another Tesla (whose own market capitalization probably exceeds its actual value), and I don’t know how many of those investors are going to sell their stock so soon. But, if they did, they would have more than doubled their money in less than two weeks as of Monday’s close. Read More >

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