While fans of electrifying rides got a boost from the box office this week, fans of electrified rides are living in exciting times as well.
Taking a break from our regular legal and business analysis, this post focuses on a different type of industry topic. As a long-time fan of The Fast and the Furious franchise and a lover of all things automotive, I anxiously awaited the release of The Fate of the Furious. How would the series survive without Brian O’Connor (the late Paul Walker) gracing the screen? Could they possibly top the sheer beauty from Furious 7 of a Lykan HyperSport catapulting from skyscraper to skyscraper at the Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi? And what new supercar was I going to fall in love with this time? Sadly, the HyperSport, with its diamond encrusted headlights, remains slightly out of my price range.
For years, we have been reading articles about how teen licensing rates are falling (from 88.6 percent in 1996 to 71.2 percent in 2015). We have also seen much hand wringing about millennials forgoing car ownership in favor of ride sharing. But, recent data suggests that younger generations are buying cars—they just started later than their parents. In fact, millennials accounted for 28% of new car sales last year.
Ahhh, the heady days of 2016. Remember that? 17.6 million vehicles sold in the United States. As reported by Automotive News (and others), Deutsche Bank says those good times may very well be over and the Auto Industry may be in for some financial uncertainty. Analysts Rod Lache, Michael Levine and Robert Salmon released a report recently stating that “Somewhat ominously, today’s market increasingly resembles one we described in ‘A Triple Threat’ (Feb. 20, 2004).”
On March 22, 2017 the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited ruling regarding the legality of structured dismissals of Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases that would make final distributions of estate assets to creditors in a manner that deviates from the Bankruptcy Code’s statutory priority distribution scheme.1 In Czyzewski v. Jevic Holding Corp., the Court held that such a structured dismissal was forbidden, absent the consent of the negatively affected parties. However, the Court did not bar all distributions of estate assets which violate the priority distribution scheme, suggesting that interim distributions that serve a broader Code objective such as enhancing the chances of a successful reorganization might be allowed, meaning that important bankruptcy tools like critical vendor orders and first-day employee wage orders are still viable.