Nissan Board Has No Plans to Ask CEO Saikawa to Resign, Report Says

First Up 09/06/19

Beltway Talk: Special Report – August Auto Sales Analysis
Charlie Chesbrough, Senior Economist and Senior Director of Industry Insights for Cox Automotive, is back on Beltway Talk to kick off a reoccurring series of podcasts analyzing the most recent monthly auto sales reports.
In today's episode, Charlie gives us an overview of August's numbers, explains why Subaru and Toyota dealers have reason to be happy, and breaks down how both hurricane Dorian and upcoming UAW negotiations may impact future sales reports. Click here to listen and subscribe. 

Nissan Board Has No Plans to Ask CEO Saikawa to Resign, Report Says
Nissan is not currently considering asking embattled CEO Hiroto Saikawa to resign, two people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Friday, a day after he admitted to being overpaid in violation of internal procedures. An internal investigation found that Saikawa and other executives had received improper compensation, Reuters reported on Thursday, raising doubts about Saikawa's pledge to improve governance in the wake of former Chairman Carlos Ghosn's arrest last year for alleged financial misconduct. "It's not going to happen. I don't think it will," one of the sources said when asked if Saikawa could resign to take responsibility for the alleged misconduct. Saikawa apologized on Thursday and vowed to return any improperly paid funds as he admitted to Japanese reporters that he had wrongly received stock-related compensation under "a scheme of the Ghosn era." Read more here. 

Shift to Electric Vehicles Will Radically Change Auto Factories
The flood of electric vehicles rolling out over the next decade will have many fewer parts and assemblies than today's gas-powered cars and trucks, reports The Detroit News. And that will radically change the auto factory floor, with fewer jobs and the real possibility that the batteries and electric motors that power the new vehicles could be sourced offshore. Fully electric cars don't have multi-speed transmissions, radiators, fuel injectors, gas tanks, valvetrains or exhaust systems, to name just a few differences. While conventional drivetrains have as many as 2,000 parts, electric drivetrains can have fewer than 20. The prospect has caused enough anxiety at the United Auto Workers union that it issued a nearly 40-page report this year on the "implications" of electric vehicles, and how to address them. "There's going to be an absolute shift in jobs in manufacturing," said Sam Abuelsamid, the principal analyst at Navigant Research who focuses on mobility. "A lot of the individual small components that go into vehicles today, especially in engines, a lot of that stuff is going to go away." Read more here. 

Barra and Trump Are Silent on the Topic of Their White House Meeting
General Motors CEO Mary Barra met with President Donald Trump on Thursday afternoon at the White House, but neither side of the meeting provided any details, reports The Detroit Free Press. Barra, leaving the White House, said only, "We had a productive and valuable meeting,” according to CNBC. The two had plenty to talk about, from GM's closure of assembly plants and current UAW talks to California's fuel economy deal with four other automakers and the carmaker's footprint in China, the world's largest auto market. GM has been a periodic target of angry tweets from the president, most recently last week when he erroneously slammed the company for having "moved major plants to China." GM this year has closed its Lordstown Assembly Plant in Ohio and two transmission plants, and Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly is scheduled to idle in January — though that is subject to contract negotiations with the UAW now underway. Read more here. 

Trump Administration Expedites Challenge to California on Auto Emissions Rules
The Trump administration is pressing regulators to accelerate the rollout of new tailpipe-emission rules, an attempt to strike back at California for cutting a side deal with several auto makers to set standards that are tougher than those proposed by the administration, according to people familiar with the White House’s plans. According to The Wall Street Journal, as part of that effort, officials could move within the next few days to curb California’s influence on the car industry, say these people and others familiar with the administration’s thinking. That could be a more aggressive attempt to end its longstanding authority to set its own emissions rules or threats to dissuade auto makers from collaborating further with the state, these people say. The White House has been proposing to ease requirements originally set under the Obama administration. The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation are overseeing the rule-making process. Read more here (subscription required). 

Wells Fargo: Stanford Takes on Southern Cal
The second week of the season brings a matchup between the premier private universities in Southern California and Northern California, which have close ties to two of America's iconic industries-Hollywood and Silicon Valley. We explore how California led the nation and much of the world into the information age, and look at the ongoing disruption and innovation emanating from two of the most creative and dynamic regions in the world. Read the full commentary here.

Around the Web

Why Volkswagen Discontinued the Beetle – Its Most Famous Car [CNBC

Lotus Rises From the Dead with a 2K Horsepower Electric Sports Car [MarketWatch]

Jeep Goes Way Off Road in Churning Surf of Hurricane Dorian [Autoblog]

The 10 Awesome Cars That Owners Keep Longer Than Others [Gear Patrol]