Category Archives: Business

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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

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

trucks
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