Hyundai Finally Pulls the Wraps Off 2022 Tucson

First Up 09/15/20

Hyundai Finally Pulls the Wraps Off 2022 Tucson

Like a classic fan dancer, Hyundai has been teasing the debut of the 2022 Tucson for some months. Now the new SUV finally reveals the latest take on the Korean carmaker’s “Sensuous Sportiness” design language, reports The Detroit Bureau. Hyundai has a lot riding on the launch of the new SUV considering Tucson is its global best-seller. But there’s more to the 2022 model than just a sportier design. The new ute offers a variety of new features, including a 10.35-inch floating touchscreen. But the big news from a powertrain position is that the new model will offer both hybrid and plug-in hybrid options, along with a conventional, 2.5-liter gas engine. “We are thrilled to introduce the all-new Tucson, the latest model in Hyundai’s SUV transformation,” Thomas Schemera, executive vice president and head of the Product Division at Hyundai Motor Group, said ahead of the fourth-generation SUV’s Monday unveiling. “This exciting vehicle sets a new benchmark for innovation in its segment, delivering an impressive blend of design, technology, packaging and performance.” Read more here (Source: The Detroit Bureau). 

Subaru Faces Lawsuit Over Alleged Acceleration Defect in Certain Vehicles

Subaru is facing a federal lawsuit over alleged defects that may cause "sudden unintended acceleration" in certain Legacy, Forester, and Outback models, according to documents filed this month with the U.S. District Court in Southern California. Automotive News reports that the vehicles affected by the alleged defects are the Subaru Legacy midsize car from 2015 to 2019 model years, the Forester compact crossover from 2012 to 2018 and the Outback midsize crossover from 2015 to 2019. The lawsuit seeks class-action status. The suit alleges the Controller Area Network — or CAN bus, which allows microcontrollers and devices to communicate with each other's applications without a host computer — contains a software protocol flaw that prevents the electronic throttle control system from operating properly. It also claims the automaker's brake override system is "faulty and does not work as intended," according to the court document filed Sept. 4. Read more here (Source: Automotive News). 

FCA, PSA Amend Merger Agreement Due to COVID-19

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV shareholders will see a smaller-than-expected dividend ahead of the Italian American automaker's merger with French rival Groupe PSA because the COVID-19 pandemic has placed pressure on financial liquidity, reports The Detroit News. The boards of both companies have agreed to amend their combination agreement reached last December in order to preserve the 50-50 balance and the economic value of the combined entity, which will be known as Stellantis, FCA and PSA said Monday in a joint statement. The deal still is expected to close during the first quarter of 2021. Fiat Chrysler will distribute a $3.4 billion dividend to shareholders ahead of the merger instead of the previously agreed $6.5 billion. PSA, however, will delay the distribution of its 46% stake in auto supplier Faurecia until after the deal closes. Shareholders of both companies will receive 23% distributions in Faurecia. Read more here (Source: The Detroit News). 

Trump and Biden Both Boast About Creating Auto Industry Jobs, But Differ on How

With the U.S. election barely seven weeks away, both major party candidates have stepped up the in-person campaigning, putting a focus on Michigan. NBC News reports that as the heart of the U.S. auto industry, both candidates used visits last week to promote their records and lay out their positions on automotive policies, with an emphasis on boosting production and increasing jobs. But beyond those basics, the Republican president and his Democratic challenger differ in how they want to get there — and on plenty of other issues impacting the auto industry, including trade and the environment. Critics took aim at some of the claims made by both candidates during their recent trip. Trump, for one, has actually seen few new auto plants open in the U.S. since taking office. Some plants, such as the big GM assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio, have closed. Questions were raised about Biden’s jobs plan, meanwhile, notably the new corporate taxes and an “offshoring penalty surtax” designed to bring manufacturing and jobs back from abroad. Read more here (Source: NBC News). 

Ex-Nissan Exec Kelly Takes Stand, Calls Ghosn 'Extraordinary Executive'

Greg Kelly, the American former Nissan executive accused of helping Carlos Ghosn hide tens of millions of dollars in deferred compensation, denied the charges as the closely watched financial misconduct trial began in Tokyo on Monday. According to Automotive News, Kelly said his work on Ghosn’s pay package was strictly legal and called his ex-boss an “extraordinary executive” who needed to be retained for the company’s benefit. Kelly went on trial nearly two years after being arrested in Japan. He denied violating the law and said his actions simply revolved around legal ways to keep Ghosn from jumping to a competitor. Proceedings at the Tokyo District Court began the same day Kelly turned 64. “This was all in the best interests of Nissan,” said Kelly, dressed in a dark suit and red tie and wearing a mask to guard against the coronavirus. “I was not involved in a criminal conspiracy.” Read more here (Source: Automotive News). 

Second Quarter 2020 Blue Sky Report® Shows Rebound

The auto retail buy/sell market rebounded dramatically in the second quarter of 2020, leading to the first half of 2020 surpassing the first half of 2019, as reported in the recently released Second Quarter 2020 Blue Sky Report® by Kerrigan Advisors. Valuations are at historic highs and dealership earnings are tracking to record levels. The rise in dealership profits this summer, an increase in sellers coming to market, stronger buyer demand and access to low cost acquisition financing are driving a high level of buy/sell activity. The Blue Sky Report® is the leading industry publication analyzing the auto retail buy/sell market and includes franchise blue sky multiples and trends impacting dealership valuations. Read a preview of The Blue Sky Report® here.  

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