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Hyundai to invest $35B in future tech; VW delays Turkey plant over Syria attack

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Hyundai to invest $35B in future tech; VW delays Turkey plant over Syria attack

TOP NEWS

* South Korea's Hyundai Motor Group will invest 41 trillion won, or about $34.65 billion, in future mobility, including self-driving technologies, through 2025, The Korea Herald reported, citing President Moon Jae-in. The country's private and public sectors will invest a combined 60 trillion won, including 2.2 trillion won by Seoul on infrastructure, in a bid to have emission-free cars make up 33% of its market by 2030 and to commercialize flying cars by 2025. The government plans to set up 660 charging stations for hydrogen cars by 2030 and 15,000 charging stations for electric vehicles by 2025.

* Volkswagen AG delayed plans to build a car plant in Turkey due to the country's military operations in northern Syria, a company representative told S&P Global Market Intelligence. "We are observing the situation with great concern," a spokesman for the German carmaker had told the German-language newspaper Handelsblatt, which first broke the news.

CARMAKERS

* Audi AG said it stopped all work on its Pop.Up air taxi, which it co-developed with Airbus, as it is planning to adopt a new strategy for urban air mobility, Automotive News reported. The Volkswagen-owned carmaker said it is reviewing the Pop.Up concept and that it had not yet decided what to do with the project.

* The United Auto Workers will call a meeting to update its local leaders on its progress in wage talks with General Motors Co. on Oct. 17, Reuters reported, citing sources. The sides have not reached a tentative agreement that would end the monthlong strike.

* Renault SA subsidiary SC Automobile Dacia SA has struck an agreement with Austrian utility Verbund AG, which will supply power to the company from a 226-MW wind farm in Casimcea, near the Black Sea coast in Romania.

* Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. said it chose five startups to join its Mobility & Automobile Innovation Lab, or MAIL, program, which will accelerate and scale the startups' tech solutions. The Indian carmaker selected Enmovil, Docketrun, Eyedentify, Xane and SenseGiz for the first round of the MAIL program, which focused on internet-of-things, artificial intelligence and plug-and-play.

ELECTRIC AND AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES

* General Motors, Ford Motor Co., Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, Renault SA Honda Motor Co. Ltd. and other major carmakers are set to trial a blockchain-based vehicle identification system in the U.S. next month that will allow automatic mobility payments, electric vehicle to grid integration, usage-based services, fleet operations, congestion pricing, carbon footprint management and more. The Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative, an international consortium formed to accelerate the adoption of standards in blockchain and distributed ledgers, is developing a proof of concept.

MOBILITY SERVICES

* U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio warned the CEOs of Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. that the committee may take policy decisions on the ride-hailing industry without their input if the companies fail to send representatives to testify at an upcoming congressional hearing. Both Uber and Lyft declined previous invitations to testify at the Oct. 16 hearing, which DeFazio said was "unacceptable," asking the executives to reconsider their stand.

* Uber has cut about 350 jobs, CNBC reported, citing CEO Dara Khosrowshahi's internal email to employees. The layoffs reportedly affect multiple divisions, including Uber Eats, performance marketing segment, advanced technologies group, global rides and platform units. Uber did not immediately respond to S&P Global Market Intelligence's request for comment.

* Uber said it began a two-week pilot for a boat service in Lagos, Nigeria, called UberBOAT, Reuters reported.

* Uber and Brazil's Banco Inter are in discussions to create a financial services partnership, Reuters reported, citing a source familiar with the matter. The partnership could target both Banco Inter's more than 3 million clients and Uber's drivers, although the source declined to comment on the terms of the prospective agreement.

* Daimler AG's South Korean arm said it established the Mercedes-Benz Mobility Korea to develop digitalized customer service and mobility products, The Korea Herald reported. The unit will launch a long-term car rental service, which users can access by visiting showrooms or online.

POLICY, REGULATIONS AND SAFETY

* The U.K.'s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, or SMMT, said one in three auto companies are already cutting jobs as the industry braces for a no-deal Brexit. The SMMT added that the government had already wasted over £500 million on Brexit preparations that will not be useful in the long-term. A no-deal exit from the bloc would see the sector losing £50,000 a minute and facing £5 billion in WTO tariffs for cars and vans alone, the SMMT said.

* Ford announced a recall of its 2019 Ford Ranger vehicles built at its factory in Michigan between Aug. 1 and Sept. 27 over an issue with the model's HVAC blower motor. The recall affects 17,965 units in the U.S. and federal territories as well as 1,544 units in Canada. Faulty vehicles risk the HVAC blower motor overheating, melting, smoking or causing a fire.

AUTO PARTS AND EQUIPMENT

* Continental AG teamed up with consumer goods company 3M to collaborate on infrastructure-to-vehicle interfaces, which helps vehicles assess infrastructure including pavement markings, signs and landmarks, and conspicuity film. The partnership aims to increase safety in autonomous vehicles by creating a high-definition map that recognizes objects in the vehicle's surrounding environment.

AUTOMOTIVE RETAIL

* The U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority said it will ban dealerships and auto finance brokers from receiving commissions linked to interest paid by customers, potentially saving buyers up to £165 million a year, the Financial Times (London) reported. The regulator said the added savings will boost demand and help revive competition in the market.

MOTORCYCLES

* Harley-Davidson Inc. said it stopped production and delivery of its LiveWire electric motorcycles after finding "a non-standard condition during a final quality check," Electrek reported. Customers who already received the motorcycles can still ride them, though Harley asked dealerships and users to only use DC fast-charging until it finishes additional testing and analysis, "which is progressing well."

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Post-Brexit trade deals cover less than 7% of UK's trade in goods

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng fell 0.07% to 26,503.93, and the Nikkei 225 lifted 1.87% to 22,207.21.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 fell 0.30% to 7,191.84, and the Euronext 100 was up 0.50% to 1,095.97.

On the macro front

The Redbook Index for retail sales is due out today.

Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

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