July 25, 2021
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Uber to buy logistics company Transplace for $2.25 billion
In 2040, You May Drive a Car That Looks Like This
Michigan man pleads guilty to crashing into, killing bicycle-riding teenager
Lightyear One to be manufactured in Finland by Valmet Automotive
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The scorching hot used car market may finally be cooling off
Chippewa Falls man helps others one bicycle at a time
Penske Automotive Group and Cox Automotive Debut Automated Platform for Retailing Used Vehicles
DC police ask for help to ID vehicle used in shooting death of 6-year-old
EV Stocks Could Fly This Summer
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Uber to buy logistics company Transplace for $2.25 billion In 2040, You May Drive a Car That Looks Like This Michigan man pleads guilty to crashing into, killing bicycle-riding teenager Lightyear One to be manufactured in Finland by Valmet Automotive Vehicle submerged in Colorado pool inspires perfect response from local police The scorching hot used car market may finally be cooling off Chippewa Falls man helps others one bicycle at a time Penske Automotive Group and Cox Automotive Debut Automated Platform for Retailing Used Vehicles DC police ask for help to ID vehicle used in shooting death of 6-year-old EV Stocks Could Fly This Summer
Jul
2021
2

Automakers report 2Q vehicle sales today. Here’s what investors should expect

A Totota dealership is seen in Annapolis, Maryland on May 27, 2021, as many car dealerships across the country are running low on new vehicles as a computer chip shortage has caused production at many vehicle manufactures to nearly stop.

Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images

DETROIT – Sales of new vehicles in the U.S. remain healthy but are showing signs of a slowdown amid concerns about inflation and a global shortage of semiconductor chips that continues to depress auto production and dealer inventory levels.

Analysts estimate automakers sold about 4.5 million vehicles in the U.S. in the second quarter — a 52% to 53% increase compared with a year ago when the coronavirus pandemic caused Americans to shelter in place and temporarily closed auto dealerships. Most major automakers report June and second-quarter sales data on Thursday, except for Ford, which is expected to release its results Friday.

While the sales recovery from the depths of the pandemic is impressive, the pace of sales this year is slowing. Deutsche Bank analyst Emmanuel Rosner expects June’s sales pace to be 15.7 million vehicles, down from 17.1 million vehicles in May and 18.6 million vehicles in April.

The sales pace for any given month measures how many cars the industry would sell for the year if it sold the same amount every month. It’s a main barometer of the industry’s health and consumer demand.

“The sales slow-down likely reflects a lack of availability on dealer lots rather than a decline in consumer demand as automakers struggle to replenish dealer inventories with top models, particularly SUVs and pickup trucks,” Rosner wrote in an investor note.

Sales for every major automaker are expected to be up double digits during the second quarter compared with the same time a year ago, according auto research firms Cox Automotive and Edmunds. But they’re only slightly above the second quarter of 2019.

Something not showing signs of slowing down is sales prices of new vehicles due to tight supplies from the global chip shortage and stronger-than-expected consumer demand throughout the Covid pandemic.

The average transaction price for a new vehicle in June is expected to reach a record $40,206, according to J.D. Power and LMC Automotive. The previous high for any month, $38,539, was set in May, according to the companies.

The higher pricing has led to higher profits for automakers and retailers but has stoked broader concerns about inflation. Consumer spending on new vehicles is expected to reach a second-quarter record of $149.7 billion, up 60.7% from 2020 and up 27.9% from 2019.

“Despite inventory shortages constraining the volume of vehicles sold to consumers, the underlying strength of consumer demand is clear. Consumers are buying more expensive vehicles despite smaller discounts, which is dramatically increasing the profitability of those sales for both manufacturers and retailers,” said Thomas King, president of the data and analytics division at J.D. Power, in a statement.

CNBC’s Michael Bloom contributed to this report.

Jun
2021
17

Joe Biden gifts Boris Johnson a custom-made bicycle and helmet; Here’s how much it costs

US President Joe Biden gifted UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson a custom-built bicycle as a special souvenir for the first meeting between the two heads of state in Cornwall ahead of the G7 summit. According to reports, the special hand-built bicycle was designed as a part of the customary exchange of gifts between the heads and was chosen keeping in mind Johnson’s regular cycling outings in London. 

Biden gift to Johnson

The bike was custom-made by a Philadelphia firm in a record time and at a third of the price. The red and white bike, in the colours of the United Kingdom flag, would otherwise take months to construct. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, owner of Bilenky Cycle Works- Stephen Bilenky was contacted by the US State Department on May 23 with a request to design a custom-made bicycle and a matching helmet for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Operating on a staff of four persons only, Bilenky Cycle Works usually takes up to 18 months to make a custom-made bicycle, however, the order was expedited ahead of the President’s visit to the UK for the G7 summit on June 10. 

‘Controlled chaos’ followed shortly after, as per the owner who began powering to meet the prestigious order. The price of the special hand-made bike stands at a whopping $6,000, however, the budget was only set to $1,500 (£1,060), a third of the minimum price the firm charges. 

Apart from Biden’s gift to Johnson, US First Lady Jill Biden gave Carrie Johnson, UK PM’s newly-wedded wife a leather tote bag made by the wives of American troops, along with a presidential silk scarf.  

 

UK gifts Biden a mural

In a nod to the Black Lives Matter protest, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the other hand gave US President Joe Biden a framed photograph of a British mural featuring 19th-century Black abolitionist Frederick Douglass. The gifted image is painted by Ross Blair and it is a part of a mural trail around Edinburgh, photographed by Melissa Highton, an American-British dual national.

Johnson also gave US First Lady Jill Biden the first edition copy of Daphne du Maurier’s The Apple Tree. Downing Street said in a statement that the choice of the book was to reflect Du Maurier’s Cornish links. 

(Image- Bilenky Cycle Works)

May
2020
5

NJ Drivers Can’t Claim $5,000 Electric Vehicle Rebate Just Yet. Here’s Why

Credit: Karlis Dambrans/Flickr
Gov. Phil Murphy vouched that the rebate would apply to all electric-vehicle purchases or leases dating back to Jan. 17, the day he signed the program into law.

Eric Fierro had been itching to buy an electric vehicle for years. So when New Jersey launched a generous $5,000 rebate program on the cars this month, the teacher and coach at Southern Regional High School was fired up.

“Boom! It’s like, this is what you’ve been waiting for, coach. Let’s go!” he said.

When he went to a local dealership, though, the employees there were confused. First, they told him the program wasn’t up and running yet. Then, they said it was, but he’d have to figure out how to get the money himself.

Originally looking to buy, Fierro settled on leasing a 2019 Chevy Bolt to limit his financial exposure should the rebate fall through.

“I’m anticipating there being a chance that this doesn’t happen,” he said. “I’m hoping that it does. I’m about 50-50 right now, I’d say, that I get the $5,000.”

The problem is that Gov. Phil Murphy trumpeted the rebate program before the state Board of Public Utilities had time to set up how it would work. Asked to clarify the situation on his monthly call-in radio show, Murphy vouched that the rebate would apply to all electric-vehicle purchases or leases dating back to Jan. 17, the day he signed the program into law.

“The rebates will become available in spring, but they’ll be retroactive to any purchases since I signed the bill,” Murphy said. “That will be a mail-in process, so you’ll get the check by mail. Beginning in the summer — I don’t have a specific date — it will be what they call cash on the hood, meaning it’ll be a rebate literally at the point of sale.”

Still in the works

For now, those interested in driving a new electric vehicle will have to take the governor at his word. Asked to confirm the details, a spokesperson for the Board of Public Utilities said they are still in the works.

“Board staff is in the process of developing the program along with the program manager, Center for Sustainable Energy,” said spokesperson Peter Peretzman. “It will then be presented to the Board for consideration and potential approval.”

According to the new law, the rebate will apply to vehicles with a retail price below $55,000 that are registered in New Jersey. How big a credit drivers get will depend on how far their vehicle can travel on a single charge. The state will offer $25 for each mile the car runs on electric power instead of gas, up to a $5,000 cap.

That means cars with 200 miles of electric range or more — such as those offered by Tesla, Chevrolet, Nissan and several other carmakers — would qualify for the maximum amount.

Plug-in hybrid cars are also eligible for the rebate through 2022, although with a median electric-only range of