Category Archives: Business

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Automakers Try to Compete With Tech Companies

automaker
Why do we need Android Auto or Apple Carplay?  Why are our vehicles’ infotainment systems not just built with Android and/or iOS software?  These questions ran through my mind as I was reading a recent story from Quartz.com pointing out that tech companies have enough cash to buy most of the auto industry.  Think about … Continue reading this entry

Impact of Tax Reform on Public Company Executive Compensation

tax reform
As you probably know, both the House and Senate have passed tax reform bills. Whether the two bills will be able to be harmonized and passed into law remains to be seen. Both bills include changes that will have a significant impact on a public company’s ability to deduct compensation paid to top executives in … Continue reading this entry

SUV Sales Again Carrying the Auto Industry

SUV sales
If it seems like déjà vu, it’s not just you: SUVs are again leading the charge on new vehicle sales.  Buoyed by low gas prices and growing millennial families, SUV sales have increased by 6 percent from 2016 to 2017 (through October)—even though the overall car market has declined by 2 percent during the same … Continue reading this entry

Automotive Supplier Industry Experts Convene in Detroit and Share 2018 Outlook

The Original Equipment Suppliers Association (OESA) held its 19th Annual Conference this week in suburban Detroit under the theme:  “The Industry’s New Landscape.”  And while much of the day was devoted to autonomous vehicle developments and the potential negative impacts on the industry’s North American competitiveness that would result from substantial changes to NAFTA, the … Continue reading this entry

Brexit: “The Natives are restless and seem desirous of fighting”

Brexit
This is the sixth in an ongoing series of blog posts by Foley & Lardner LLP on the implications of the June 23, 2016 voter referendum in the United Kingdom (“UK”) to exit the European Union (“EU”) (“Brexit”).[1]  This current article recounts recent developments, the current status of Brexit and the very difficult days, months, … Continue reading this entry

FAST Act Recall Pilot Program Gets Underway in Maryland

Recall
One of the more bedeviling problems for the automotive industry (and for manufacturers in general) is how to alert consumers to pending recalls, and getting consumers to comply with those recalls.  According to NHTSA, only 70% of recalled vehicles are repaired, even though such recalls are frequently safety-sensitive and repairs are free to consumers.… Continue reading this entry

Using Biometric Timekeeping? Be Aware of Potential Compliance Risks

biometric
Human resources professionals could certainly be excused for feeling frustrated with the fact that every technological advance improving business operations comes with new legal landmines to manage. For example, increased connectivity has greatly enhanced productivity opportunities.  But at the same time, it has created new challenges with data management and integrity, off-the-clock work risks, and … Continue reading this entry

From Vacuums to Electric Cars: How Dyson Should Fit Into the Auto Industry by 2020

electric cars
A few weeks ago, another player threw its hat into the ring of outsiders hoping to bring electric cars to the masses.  Dyson, famous for its vacuums and other consumer products, announced that it has begun work on its own battery-powered electric car, aiming for a 2020 release.  While this move seems out of left … Continue reading this entry

GM Announces Plan to Introduce 20 New Electric Vehicles by 2023

electric vehicles
On Monday, General Motors announced plans to execute on its commitment to a future with “zero emissions, zero congestion and zero crashes.” Two new all-electric vehicles (based on learnings from the Bolt) will be introduced over the next 18 months, part of a whopping 20 new all-electric models that will launch by 2023.  In addition, GM … Continue reading this entry

Fewer Diesel Options Available for 2018 Light Duty Vehicles

Diesel
Consumer options for light duty diesel vehicles are expected to be slimmer next year.   The U.S. Department of Energy and EPA released its preliminary 2018 Fuel Economy Guide, which lists just 11 light duty diesel vehicles, with 21 models from five manufacturers represented.  In contrast, the 2017 guide listed 28 models from eight manufacturers.  This … Continue reading this entry

Is this the end of the Internal Combustion Engine?

internal combustion engine
Recently, my 16-year-old son jumped into my car to drive it.  It was his first time driving my car.  My car does not have keyless ignition.  He hopped in the driver’s seat, threw the keys into the cup holder and asked “where is the button”?  He quite literally had no idea that some cars require … Continue reading this entry

New Ownership Model Accelerates Adoption of Electric Vehicles

While recent innovations in batteries have been driving down the cost of electric vehicles, electric vehicles still initially cost a premium over their gasoline-powered counterparts, even with the assistance of large tax subsidies.  However, the real savings come over time as the electricity required for recharging a vehicle’s battery is less expensive than a tank … Continue reading this entry

Stout Issues Third Annual Warranty and Recall Report

recall
By Guest Authors:  Neil Steinkamp and Robert Levine of Stout Risius Ross, LLC Massive automotive recalls continue to grab headlines and raise concerns industry-wide. Recalls of light vehicles topped 50 million units in 2016, representing the third consecutive year of elevated – and record setting – automotive recall activity. Stout’s third annual Automotive Warranty & Recall Report provides a … Continue reading this entry

Auto 2.0 Is More Than Just About the Automobile – From Shuttles to Logistics and More

autonomous vehicles
The introduction of near autonomous vehicles to public roadways is set to completely revolutionize the way humans and goods navigate cityscapes in the coming years. Although Tesla’s autopilot feature has become the early pioneer, the Detroit Three, Google, Apple, Amazon, Uber, Lyft, and other manufacturers and suppliers are quickly making up ground. Meanwhile, in the … Continue reading this entry

Is Outdated Information on Your Website Putting Your Company at Risk?

With all of the attention given to upgrading cybersecurity, it can be easy to forget that outdated content on a company’s website also can be a source of risk. Nearly all automotive company websites include information regarding the company and its products. These are representations that the company is making to the world and, in … Continue reading this entry

The North American Market: Sales and Production Footprint – “The Sky Is Not Falling”

center for automotive research
The Center for Automotive Research (CAR)’s annual Management Briefing Seminars kicked off on Monday in Traverse City, Michigan. Tuesday’s sessions included a detailed update and outlook on “The North American Market: Sales and Production Footprint,” presented by a panel of leading automotive forecasters, analysts and suppliers. The subtitle to this otherwise sterile title could have … Continue reading this entry

Sub-Prime Auto Loan Delinquencies Continue to Rise, but Experts Provide Divergent Views of Impact

Nearly one year ago, we wrote about auto loan delinquencies’ potential impact on the automotive industry. Now, car sales are falling and auto loan delinquencies are making headlines again, with a growing number of subprime loans falling into default. UBS reports that subprime default rates are reaching levels consistent with those just prior to the … Continue reading this entry

STRONGER Patents Act of 2017 Disadvantages Domestic Manufacturers

In late June, Senators Coons, Cotton, Durbin, and Hirono introduced the STRONGER Patents Act of 2017.  The Act includes provisions that seek to heavily change the inter partes review and post-grant review processes.  However, Sec. 108, which focuses on patent infringement, is the portion that may have the largest effect on hurting domestic automotive companies … Continue reading this entry

The Sharing Economy: Ride Sharing Provides Unique Challenges to Automotive Manufacturers Going Forward

A recent study published by AlixPartners estimates that for each car-sharing vehicle on the road, 32 personal vehicle purchases do not occur, which to date has resulted in 500,000 missed vehicle sales for automotive manufacturers. AlixPartners estimates that by 2020, automakers will miss out on an additional 1.2 million vehicle sales as a result of … Continue reading this entry

The 2017 Automotive Mergers and Acquisitions Outlook

Overview As we stand here in early 2017, we are further away from the all-time high in valuations and deal activity that we witnessed in 2015; but despite signs that the extended expansion cycle for the industry may be plateauing, automotive appears poised to remain a leading sector for M&A activity through 2017. Prognostics for … Continue reading this entry

Fans Rejoice: The Fate of the Furious Delivers

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 … Continue reading this entry