Category Archives: Business

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The Driverless Future Isn't Disrupting Industries and Jobs… Yet

car vending machine
John Stuart Mill once said that “[e]very great movement must experience three stages: Ridicule, discussion, adoption”. What matters to modern industry stakeholders isn’t how they approach each of these stages, but how actively they evaluate each “great movement” before it becomes a disruption they can’t overcome. Disruption isn’t some type of sudden event that occurs … Continue reading this entry

As Detroit Auto Show Approaches, Auto Fans Await the Big Reveals

supercars
Each year, the Detroit Auto Show includes spectacular “reveals” by automakers- new vehicles, concept cars, and new advances in technology.  This year is shaping up to include some exciting new releases for fans of the next big thing in the auto industry.… Continue reading this entry

Chinese Auto Sales Continue Longest Slump in Decades

The Chinese automotive industry is suffering its first sustained downturn in at least two decades.  As previewed in our July update, sales in China started to turn over the summer.  After a 4.8% increase in June, sales fell by 4% in July and 3.8% in August.  In September, vehicle sales fell by 11.6%, with SUVs, … Continue reading this entry

2018 Legal Trends for In-House Counsel

supply chain
As part of Foley & Lardner LLP’s ongoing mission to ensure that clients are prepared for dynamic changes in the current legal landscape, the firm recently presented the Association of Corporate Counsel – Michigan and Foley & Lardner LLP 2018 Legal Trends for In-House Counsel Program.… Continue reading this entry

GM's Planned Cuts Require Action by Its Suppliers

Workforce
In the face of what General Motors’ CEO Mary Barra calls a “fast-changing market,” this week General Motors announced its plans to end the production of certain vehicles, reduce its North American work force by more than 10%, and idle five plants in the United States and Canada. General Motors also announced that it plans … Continue reading this entry

Solving the U.S.-China Trade Deficit with Chinese IPOs

stock price
The U.S.-China trade deficit, which last year totaled $376 billion, has become the center of an ongoing trade war between the two nations.  A series of reciprocal and ratcheting tariffs have escalated these tensions, rapidly shifting which manufacturing sectors are profitable and which are not under the ever-unfolding tariff regime.  However, a September Initial Public … Continue reading this entry

Navigating Peaks and Valleys: The OESA’s Industry Outlook Panel

sales
The Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA) celebrated its 20th Annual Conference this week in suburban Detroit under the theme: “Transom Innovate Lead.” And while this year’s discussion that occurred the day after Election Day was dominated by trade and tariff concerns as well as discussions of talent strategies, leadership and technology, the afternoon session included … Continue reading this entry

The Impact of a No-Deal Brexit Outcome

Brexit
On October 17, 2018, politicians expected to finalize Brexit terms at a 24-hour summit of European Union leaders in Brussels.  Had things gone to plan, a special one-off meeting in November was all that remained to sign the final Brexit deal between the European Union and the United Kingdom.  But the October summit fell apart.  … Continue reading this entry

Commuter Options Rapidly Changing: Should You Sell Your Car?

bike sharing
The way people get to work is rapidly changing in cities around the country. With many cities experiencing issues with lack of parking and increased parking prices, new ways to commute to work are providing a solution. Commuting used to involve a few options: drive, bike, if you own one, or maybe walk if your … Continue reading this entry

Why Detroit and Silicon Valley Should Combine Their Autonomous Vehicle Pursuits

Detroit
From Blade Runner to the Jetsons, autonomous vehicles have been a mainstay in movies set in the future.  With Detroit and Silicon Valley leading the charge, these depictions will soon be reality in the not too distant future.  While the Big Three in Detroit and the tech giants on the West Coast started out as … Continue reading this entry

Automotive Industry Forum Preview: As the Auto Industry Transforms, It Grapples with Issues of Cybersecurity, IP & Connectivity

tariffs
By guest author Gregg Wirth of the Legal Executive Institute. The American automotive industry in no longer making your father’s Oldsmobile — not by a long shot. Today, pushed by evolving consumer behaviors, transformative technologies, and global market pressures, the automobile industry has entered a new industrial revolution where ingenuity and opportunity coalesce, and the tools of … Continue reading this entry

Ford, Baidu LOI Further Evidences Continued International Automotive Collaboration

Mobility
In June, Baidu, Inc., China’s largest search and internet-related service provider, and Ford Motor (China) Ltd. signed a Letter of Intent to expand their strategic partnership.… Continue reading this entry

Force Majeure Best Practices – Hurricane Florence Edition

hurricane
The threat presented by Hurricane Florence has forced government officials to order South Carolina residents to evacuate hurricane zones. Safety should always be the No. 1 priority for the millions of individuals and families affected by the storm. The mandatory evacuation and closure of many businesses and schools in the area has shut down a … Continue reading this entry

Vehicle Subscription Plans Gaining More Attention, Scrutiny

Consumers are familiar with the two traditional options for vehicle ownership—buy a car, or lease a car.  However, a new option has been emerging in recent years: vehicle subscriptions.  A vehicle subscription includes a set monthly payment for a certain period of time- as short as a day or two or as long as several … Continue reading this entry

Forecasting the North American Sales and Production Footprint in Uncertain Times

sales
The Center for Automotive Research (CAR)’s annual Management Briefing Seminars are being held this week in Traverse City, Michigan.  Tuesday’s sessions included an annual highlight of the conference: a detailed update and outlook on “Forecasting the North American Sales and Production Footprint in Uncertain Times,” presented by a panel of leading automotive forecasters, analysts and … Continue reading this entry

Serial Market Disruption: Ford Looks to Detroit’s Railroad Past to Lead the Way in Transportation Innovation

Michigan Central Station
After weeks of speculation and rumors, the Ford Motor Company announced its purchase and plan to invest over $1 billion into the Michigan Central rail depot in Detroit’s historic Corktown neighborhood.  Made public 115 years to the day after Henry Ford signed the company’s articles of association, Ford plans the investment to mark a new … Continue reading this entry

Autonomous Co-Pilot: How GM Plans to Revolutionize Consumer Use of Autonomous Driving Technology While Keeping You Focused at the Wheel

connected cars
In the competition amongst automobile manufacturers to knock autonomous driving out-of-the-park, Cadillac is next up to the plate.  Recently – rolling-out its newest autonomous driving technology – General Motors (“GM”) announced, beginning in 2020, “semi-autonomous” driving will be available in all Cadillac models.  Dubbed “Super Cruise,” the technology is GM’s latest attempt to capture some … Continue reading this entry

Jumpstarting the Competition: General Motors and Honda Partner on Next-Generation Electric Vehicle Batteries

EV Battery
Mirroring Kevin Durant joining forces with his direct competition, the Golden State Warriors, Honda and General Motors (“the companies”) have teamed up – working together on next-generation electric vehicle (“EV”) batteries – to take on the ultra-competitive EV market.  Specifically, the multiyear partnership consists of Honda buying battery modules based on the next generation GM … Continue reading this entry

Michigan Doubles Down on Mobility and Announces a new Eight Million Dollar Grant Program

infrastructure
Michigan, the cradle of the American automotive industry, has made no secret of its desire to remain an industry leader in mobility as the industry continues to evolve.  On May 30, 2018, Michigan announced a new $8 Million Michigan Mobility Challenge grant that would be available to fund new mobility projects across the state.  The … Continue reading this entry

Recent Enforcement Actions Demonstrate Multinational Automotive Companies Should Conduct Risk Assessments

multinational enforcement
Regulators within the Trump administration have sent a loud message that should concern all multinational automotive companies: laws governing international activities continue to be the subject of intense enforcement activity, leading to record fines in such areas as U.S. economic sanctions administered by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), export controls (the International Traffic … Continue reading this entry

Senate Votes to Roll Back Auto Industry Lending Guidance from Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

On April 18, the Senate narrowly passed a resolution to roll back certain guidance issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2013 pertaining to auto lending.  As previously written about on a Foley & Lardner LLP blog, the CFPB issued the specific guidance through a bulletin regarding compliance with fair lending requirements for auto … Continue reading this entry

Autonomous Vehicles and Ride Sharing Will Reshape Our Buildings, Our Cities, and Our Lives

parking in cities
When the first automobile hit roadways in the early 1900s, developers, planners, and city officials had to completely re-think the design and planning of cityscapes, both new and old. The era of narrow streets, communities defined by walking distance or streetcar line, and short-distance commuting gave way to massive boulevards, interstate highways, and the rise … Continue reading this entry

Pickups and Crossover SUVs Celebrate Banner Year While Total U.S. Car Sales Dip Slightly in 2017

SUV sales
The U.S. auto industry closed out December to reach a third straight year of over 17 million cars sold.  Overall, however, car sales were 1.8% lower in 2017 than in 2016, ending a 7 year streak of increasing auto sales.  Taking a closer look at the numbers reveals several bright spots:… Continue reading this entry

Vending Machines for Cars?  Automated Car Vending Expanding Around the Globe

car vending machine
U.S. Automaker Ford and Chinese e-commerce and technology company Alibaba are teaming up to test a new system of direct-to-consumer auto sales … via a fully automated car vending machine.  In January 2018, Alibaba plans to open two car vending machines, controlled by an app.  Alibaba hopes the vending machines expand its online car sales … Continue reading this entry