VW is Looking at Carving Out Lamborghini and Ducati

First Up 11/17/20

Beltway Talk Podcast: Georgia's On Her Mind

Following our eventful 2020 election cycle, AIADA’s Vice President of Government Relations calls into the Beltway Talk studio to discuss the results. D.C. veteran Rachel Robinson breaks down the surprises she saw in the House, what remains to be decided in the Senate, and how the outcome of the presidential race could impact auto dealers. With all eyes on Georgia, Robinson, a Peach State native, walks you through the ins and outs of our political landscape and gives you an insider’s perspective of what the next four years may hold. Listen here, and subscribe to future episodes wherever you get your podcasts. 

VW is Looking at Carving Out Lamborghini and Ducati

Volkswagen Group is looking into potentially carving out its Lamborghini supercar and Ducati motorbike brands, as the automaker seeks to streamline its operations and focus on mass-producing electric cars, reports Automotive News. "We are working on our Italian legal structure," CEO Herbert Diess said, referring to Lamborghini, Ducati and design studio Italdesign. Lamborghini, Ducati, and Italdesign will be folded into a structure that would allow VW to act if a decision is made to change ownership, Diess said on Monday in a presentation to analysts. "We are, let’s say, bringing it into a legal structure where we could act," Diess said, adding that no decisions on divestments have been made. “It’s probably a bit of a slower process," he said, but "it's on our agenda." Read more here (Source: Automotive News). 

U.S. Upgrades Safety Probe Into Nearly 159,000 Tesla Vehicles

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said on Monday it was expanding a probe into nearly 159,000 Tesla Model S and Model X vehicles, upgrading it to an engineering analysis, a step required before it can seek to compel recalls. Reuters reports that the auto safety regulator had opened a preliminary evaluation in June over touchscreen failures. NHTSA said the failure can result in the loss of rear-camera image display when in reverse and reduced rear visibility when backing up, and can impact defogging ability, and audible chimes relating to driver assistance system Autopilot and turn signals. The probe now covers 2012-2018 model year Tesla Model S and 2016-2018 Model X vehicles. The preliminary investigation covered 63,000 Tesla Model S cars. NHTSA said the failure does not affect vehicle-control systems. Read more here (Source: Reuters). 

Biden Holds Joint Meeting with Union Leaders and CEOs of Major Retail, Auto, and Tech Companies

President-elect Joe Biden hosted a joint meeting Monday with labor union leaders and the chief executives of major tech, retail, and auto companies, reports CNBC. The business leaders at the virtual meeting were General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Microsoft president and CEO Satya Nadella, Target chairman, and chief executive Brian Cornell and Sonia Syngal, CEO of Gap. Biden said later that he told the CEOs, “I want you to know I’m a union guy,” adding “that’s not anti-business.” Labor leaders present for the meeting were AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka; Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union; Rory Gamble, president of the United Auto Workers; Lee Saunders, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and Marc Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. The event marked the first time that Biden as president-elect has formally convened business and labor leaders to discuss his economic recovery agenda. Read more here (Source: CNBC). 

Retail Sales Seen Posting Sixth Consecutive Monthly Gain in October

U.S. shoppers likely boosted their buying in October for the sixth month in a row, as retailers pushed an early start to the holiday shopping season with heavy promotions. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal estimate that retail sales increased a seasonally adjusted 0.5% in October from a month earlier. That would mark a slowdown from September, when sales rose 1.9%, but would still represent a strong gain by historical comparison. “It looks like retailers are working really hard to get an early start to the holiday season,” said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities. He noted consumers have responded to the coronavirus pandemic’s effects by increasing their spending on goods like new cars and home fitness equipment while cutting back on in-person services that involve proximity to other people, like movie theaters, manicures, and air travel. Read more here (Source: The Wall Street Journal). 

Around the Web

Hyundai Says It Has a Fix for the Odor in Some 2020  Palisades [Car and Driver]

New Honda Legend Due by Spring, Though U.S. Launch Unlikely [MotorAuthority]

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is the 2021 MotorTrend Car of the Year [MotorTrend]

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Can't Fit in a Porsche Taycan [Autoblog]

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