Penske Purchases Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IndyCar Series

First Up 11/05/19

Beltway Talk Podcast: October Auto Sales Analysis
Charlie Chesbrough, Senior Economist and Senior Director of Industry Insights for Cox Automotive, is back with his reoccurring series of Beltway Talk podcasts analyzing the most recent monthly auto sales reports. In today’s episode, Charlie gives us an overview of October’s numbers, explains why the sales pace may be slowing, and discusses what role incentives played in last month’s results. Listen in and subscribe here. 

Data Battle Moves to Statehouses
Disputes in two state governments highlight a growing controversy in the auto industry over the data that Internet-connected cars can produce and process, reports Automotive News. In Massachusetts, the debate focuses on a proposed amendment to a state "right to repair" law and differences over data access between automakers and aftermarket providers. In California, a broad new privacy law does not explicitly center on the automaker-vs.-aftermarket argument, lawyers for both sides agree. But the law includes mandates for automakers about how they collect and handle vehicle data. Even though the California law passed in 2018, the state is still developing rules for enforcing it. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra's office has until July 1, 2020, to adopt the regulations. Becerra published proposed rules in October, launching a public comment period. Read more here. 

Penske Purchases Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IndyCar Series
Roger Penske is now the fourth owner of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in the track’s 110-year history. According to The Detroit Bureau, Roger Penske is known for making ostentatious moves and he’s added another the list as his newly formed Penske Entertainment Corp. purchased the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar racing series from long-time owners, the Hulman family. The family owned the Speedway for 74 years before agreeing to sell it to Penske for an undisclosed sum. The deal is expected to close sometime in January, Penske said during the press conference announcing the deal. Though the acquisition, Penske is now in charge of the Indianapolis 500 — an event his legendary racing team has won 17 times since its first entry in 1969. Read more here. 

Infiniti Preps 5 New Models
Infiniti plans to launch five new vehicles in the next three years, reports Automotive News. The first of those models, a coupe version of Infiniti's flagship QX50 crossover, will arrive in U.S. dealerships next summer. The QX55, expected to be powered by the same 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine as the QX50, features a sloping roofline inspired by the first-generation FX performance crossover. While the new coupe shares design elements with the QX50, the front fascia is different and sports a new grille design. The QX55 is aimed at customers for "whom utility is still important, but styling is paramount," Product Planning Director Tim Franklin told Automotive News on the sidelines of a press event detailing the product plans. "It's targeted at pre-family [buyers] and singles who are willing to make some compromise on space, for style," Franklin said. Next to arrive will be a redesign of the QX60 crossover, Infiniti's bestselling vehicle. Read more here. 

U.S., China Consider Rolling Back Tariffs as Part of Initial Trade Deal
U.S. and Chinese officials are actively considering rolling back some tariffs to clinch the partial trade deal under negotiation, according to people familiar with the talks. “If there’s a deal, [removing] tariffs will be part of it,” a senior administration official said late Monday. According to The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. and China have agreed in principle to what President Trump has called the first of several phases of an accord to end the dispute that has penalized hundreds of billions of dollars of trade between the two countries. “Both governments have to give to get,” said Myron Brilliant, executive vice president and head of international affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who closely follows the talks. “The two sides are really close to a deal but it will come down to the presidents to make the final call.” The “phase one” pact would include Chinese purchases of American farm goods, rules to deter currency manipulation and some provisions to protect intellectual property and open up Chinese industries to U.S. firms, officials have said. Read more her (subscription required). 

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Here's Some of the Smallest Cars on the Road [USA Today]

Volkswagen Starts Factory Production of Electric Car It Says is 'Accessible to Millions' [CNBC]