By on June 22, 2016

Faraday Future (, FF) FFZERO1 Concept vehicle at FF's pre-CES reveal event in Las Vegas on Monday, Jan. 4, 2016, Image: Bizuayehu Tesfaye/AP for Faraday Future

A company that still has yet to build its “game-changing” car will need to find another “storyteller.”

That, the UK will finally have an answer to The Clash, and Cadillac has a dogfight with Silicon Valley … after the break.

Faraday Future “storyteller” jumps EV ship, lands in Koreatown

Former Kelley Blue Book and General Motors communication hotshoe James Bell has left supposed electric-vehicle manufacturer Faraday Future after just four months at the Chinese-funded Silicon Valley upstart, where he worked as a contractor. Starting today, Bell is the newly minted Director of Corporate Communications for Kia Motors America.

According to Bell, he’s “lucky for both opportunities” as both have “fascinating brands and product plans” and the move was a “very difficult decision.” But a four-month stint anywhere is pretty short.

As for Faraday Future, it continues to produce more headlines than cars. Keep an eye on this space.

‘Brexit’ vote to commence tomorrow

A referendum that will decide whether Britain stays in or leaves the European Union will commence tomorrow. Polls close at 10 p.m. GMT and first counts are expected just after midnight.

A number of automakers produce vehicles in the UK, including Honda, Nissan/Infiniti, Jaguar/Land Rover, and others. Future trade pacts for those automakers are at stake as they’ve been negotiated between the European Union and other countries.

Expect a final tally and national declaration the morning of Friday, June 24th.

Volkswagen shareholders are pissed, but powerless

Shareholders of Germany’s largest automaker voiced their concerns on Volkswagen’s emissions scandal, executive bonuses, and the company’s financial losses today at Volkswagen Group’s annual shareholder meeting in Hanover, Germany.

Unfortunately, their concerns will likely fall on deaf ears, as just 11 percent of the company’s stock is held by shareholders outside of the Porsche clan, state of Lower Saxony, and the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar.

From the New York Times:

“They have been rewarded for failure,” said Hans-Christoph Hirt, co-head of Hermes EOS, a firm that represents large institutional investors. Addressing the meeting, Mr. Hirt urged shareholders not to re-elect the supervisory board, saying its members were ultimately responsible for a “culture in which the emissions scandal was able to unfold and remain undetected for many years.”

But with outsize influence in the hands of a few large shareholders, top management at the company faced little threat to its authority.

In a sign of dissenters’ lack of clout, a motion to remove Mr. Pötsch as chairman of the annual meeting was rejected by shareholders holding 98.8 percent of the voting shares present. Manfred Klein, a shareholder who argued in favor of the motion, said that Mr. Pötsch had a conflict of interest because he was the chief financial officer during the period when the emissions deceit took place.

Automakers and wireless companies still at odds over spectrum

Automakers, who were granted unfettered and uninterrupted access to wireless spectrum in 1999, are now on the defence as wireless companies look to share the same finite space, reports Automotive News.

Like many things, radio spectrum is finite. As wireless services grow, and are expected to grow six-fold by 2020, wireless carriers and other technology companies want in on automaker spectrum.

As you can expect, automakers are not too pleased.

From Automotive News:

“We’re putting hardware into vehicles based on the current channel configuration,” Lightsey said in an interview. “All of that hardware would have to be changed. That’s obviously a concern.”

Though it might be a case of automakers being greedy.

But critics contend Detroit also wants to provide services already available on smartphones — including entertainment, traffic warnings and mapping.

“The auto industry has been very successful in pitching this as being about our great concern for life and safety, while these guys just want you to stream cat videos and Netflix while you’re in your car,” Harold Feld, senior vice president at the policy group Public Knowledge, said in an interview.

Trust me, Feld. Cadillac CUE is way more distracting than a cat video.

Income inequality, consumer credit defaults could mean not good very bad things later

Instead of pretending to know what I’m talking about when it comes to financial markets and products (for the record, I don’t know anything about financial markets/products), I’ll let Business Insider sum up this bit:

The US consumer is having a tough time of it.

That’s the message from Matthew Mish and Stephen Caprio at UBS, who put out a research report on Tuesday about why US consumer defaults are rising.

The note is full of interesting stats, but the short version of it is that US consumers are struggling to pay their debts, and that is going to have a bigger effect on the bond market than people realize.

“Rising consumer delinquencies are another structural headwind that we believe should place a floor on credit spread tightening and a cap on government bond yields rising,” the note said.

The note also hits on a really interesting big-picture point: The rise of inequality post-financial-crisis is fueling a credit boom that could do damage further down the road.

The argument here is that as the pool of wealth becomes more concentrated, the greater the asymmetry between the haves, who typically want to invest and get a return on their money, and the have nots, who are typically borrowers.

That pushes down the creditworthiness of the average borrower. Add in a low-interest-rate environment, where investors are searching for yield, and you have a problem.

[Image: Bizuayehu Tesfaye/AP for Faraday Future]

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13 Comments on “News Round-up: Faraday ‘Storyteller’ Jumps to Kia, The War in the Air(waves), and ‘Brexit’ Vote Tomorrow...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    These dang hotshoes, moving companies and stomping around.

  • avatar
    RHD

    If Faraday Future ever gets around to selling cars, we can all have our very own Batmobile.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    “The US consumer is having a tough time of it.

    That’s the message from Matthew Mish and Stephen Caprio at UBS, who put out a research report on Tuesday about why US consumer defaults are rising.

    The note is full of interesting stats, but the short version of it is that US consumers are struggling to pay their debts, and that is going to have a bigger effect on the bond market than people realize.

    “Rising consumer delinquencies are another structural headwind that we believe should place a floor on credit spread tightening and a cap on government bond yields rising,” the note said.

    The note also hits on a really interesting big-picture point: The rise of inequality post-financial-crisis is fueling a credit boom that could do damage further down the road.

    The argument here is that as the pool of wealth becomes more concentrated, the greater the asymmetry between the haves, who typically want to invest and get a return on their money, and the have nots, who are typically borrowers.

    That pushes down the creditworthiness of the average borrower. Add in a low-interest-rate environment, where investors are searching for yield, and you have a problem.”

    THE FEDERAL RESERVE, BANK OF JAPAN, BANK OF ENGLAND, PBOC & EUROPEAN CENTRAL BANK JUST BLEW ANOTHER IN A SERIES OF FINANCIAL BUBBLES POST-2008 COLLAPSE TO TRY AND COMBAT STRUCTURAL ECONOMIC EROSION/MALINVESTMENT – AND THIS LED TO A BIGGER BUBBLE/A LARGER MALINVESTMENT/MORE CONSU ER, CORPORATE & GOVERNMENT DEBT THAN THE LAST TIME, AND THIS NEW, LATEST, GREATEST BUBBLE WILL POP WITH EVEN WORSE ADVERSE EFFECTS THAN 2008 (or 80, or 1991 or 2000)?

    Say what???!!!!

    NO $HIT!!!!

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    BUT I THOUGHT DEBT WAS AWESOME BECAUSE IT FINANCES MY EXPERIENCES AND THAT’S WHAT LIFE IS ALL ABOUT NO???

    “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer” is quite true indeed. Dumb people keep getting into more debt and smart people keep investing and increasing their net worth by making wise decisions.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      This (poorly written- it’s Business Insider, the TMZ of the financial world) article essentially states that the rich will suffer because the poor/middle/class/even-upper-middle-class debt serfs are so chock full of debt now that they can’t take on even more debt, no matter how low interest rates go, the non-indebted rent seekers can’t find new sources of positive returns.

      This is a natural outcome – ultimately – of major central banks’ bat$hit insane policies of the last 7 years, whereby nominal AND real yields are negative in Japan, Germany and many parts of Europe now.

  • avatar
    Joss

    The Brits (Civil Service/Foreign Office,) want to step away from the Germanic squeeze. Germany in Europe which they’re playing off against Putin with sneaky backroom deals. And the Southern Germanic, where they’ve stepped away fron the World Bank to China’s Asian bank. The reduction in air carriers was a nod to China.

  • avatar

    KIA is developing the new car Batman

  • avatar
    daviel

    Anyone see that KIA is #1 on the Power initial quality list just out? Last year’s #1, Porsche, is #2; KIA was #2 last year.

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