2018 Cars and Trucks with the Lowest Ownership Costs

First Up 02/08/18

Lawmakers Press Trump Administration on NAFTA Dispute Resolution 
Lawmakers from both parties urged President Donald Trump’s top negotiator in talks over the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to maintain dispute-resolution mechanisms that have been a central part of the 24-year-old pact, reports The Wall Street Journal. The dispute-arbitration systems embedded in Nafta have been a flashpoint in the talks, where Mr. Trump’s administration has questioned the mechanisms, saying they undermine U.S. sovereignty by allowing the parties to avoid the domestic courts. The dispute-resolution issue is one of several that have concerned lawmakers who have companies or farms in their districts that have benefited from the export markets NAFTA has created and want to preserve the beneficial parts of the trade pact. For more, click here

Automotive M&A is Growing in Value and Volume
2017 was another strong year for the automotive sector and related mergers and acquisitions activity, thanks in large part to positive macroeconomic factors and the continued development of emerging automotive technologies, reports Automotive News. The value of automotive M&A activity rose 30 percent last year to $53.2 billion while the number of transactions rose 2.6 percent to 598, according to an annual report by PwC. The new automotive ecosystem in which traditional manufacturers and suppliers collaborate and integrate with established and emerging technology companies continues to mature as buyers across these sectors leverage strong balance sheets, relatively low borrowing costs, and eager outside investors in order to participate in the race toward the development and full-scale market adoption of environmentally friendly autonomous and connected vehicles. Read more here

Tesla Posts Record $675M Quarterly Loss
Tesla Inc. lost a record $675 million for the fourth quarter of 2017, but said Wednesday it is on track to meet the most recent production goal for the critical Model 3 sedan that has been delayed several times. According to The Detroit News, the day after Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk launched a red Tesla Roadster into space, the Silicon Valley maker of electric vehicles reported the latest loss, which topped the $619 million deficit that Tesla reported in November. Tesla has been under intense scrunity since its 5,000-per-week production goal for the Model 3 was pushed back in November from the end of 2017 to late in the first quarter of 2018 – and most recently, to the end of June. The company said Wednesday it remains on target to hit that June goal. For more, click here

The Big Payback: 2018 Cars and Trucks with the Lowest Ownership Costs
While all but the wealthiest car buyers will consider a new vehicle’s sticker price before signing on the dotted line, the most astute shoppers will work diligently to winnow down this figure as much as possible through careful negotiations. That's an admirable undertaking, but if a new-vehicle buyer isn’t careful about the long-term ownership expenses involved, what seemed like an initial bargain can become a big money-loser over time. According to Forbes, Kelley Blue Book has just issued its annual 5-Year Cost to Own Awards that identify the cheapest rides to own in each of 22 separate vehicle categories. Forbes is featuring the models in this slideshow. Among individual brands, automakers, Hyundai was cited as having the lowest overall ownership costs among mainstream makes for 2018. Read more at Forbes here

Porsche Doubles Green Car Investment to $7.4B
Porsche will double spending on greener vehicles as competition in the electrified-vehicle space grows, reports Automotive News. Spending on electromobility will be increased to more than 6 billion euros ($7.4 billion) by 2022 from 3 billion, CEO Oliver Blume said in a statement. The investment covers 3 billion euros spending on material assets, and 3 billion in development costs, Porsche said. About 500 million euros of the investment will be used to develop variants of the Mission E battery-powered sports car, which debuts next year, Porsche said without giving details of the variants. The Mission E is expected to be sold with a range of performance versions. Porsche development chief Michael Steiner said last November that the production Mission E might be offered with different electric ranges so customers looking for a sportier dimension could avoid a dramatically heavy drive, and instead stop more frequently to recharge. For more, click here

Wells Fargo Dealer Services Changes Name to Wells Fargo Auto
On January 25, 2018, Wells Fargo announced that it will change the name of its auto lending division to Wells Fargo Auto. The new name reinforces the company’s commitment to helping both dealer and consumer customers succeed financially. Read more here.

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Audi SQ8 Spied [MotorTrend]

Bugatti Loyalty Maintenance Program Provides Up to 15 Years of Care [MotorAuthority]

Here's How Jay Leno's Car Detailer Recommends You Clean Your Ride [Jalopnik]

Kia Sportage First Spy Shots [Autoblog]