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Ford, GM preparing for potential downturn; China threatens to suspend Didi


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Ford, GM preparing for potential downturn; China threatens to suspend Didi


* General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. are preparing for a potential downturn and said they have a cash buffer of $18 billion and $20 billion, respectively, in case the trade war between the U.S. and China leads to global recession, Reuters reported, citing GM CFO Dhivya Suryadevara and Ford's North American finance head Matt Fields at JP Morgan Auto Conference in New York.

* Shanghai's transportation commission fined ride-hailing services Didi Chuxing Technology Co. Ltd. and Meituan Dianping 200,000 yuan and 30,000 yuan, respectively, for using unlicensed vehicles and threatened to suspend the services if they continued to flout regulations. The transportation watchdog said it fined Didi 5.5 million yuan and Meituan 1.47 million yuan following an earlier assessment of the industry in July, Reuters reported, citing the commission's WeChat account.


* Honda Motor Co. Ltd. will discontinue production of automobiles, particularly its Honda HR-V SUVs, in Argentina from 2020 to focus on motorcycle production. The Japanese company said it has "given due consideration to the optimal production structure in the South American region and decided to discontinue production of HR-V" at its subsidiary, Honda Motor de Argentina SA.

* Volkswagen AG-owned Audi AG's American arm named Daniel Weissland president, effective Sept. 1. Weissland will take over Audi of America from Cian O'Brien, the current interim president and COO.

* German carmaker Porsche AG issued €1 billion of green Schuldschein, which the Volkswagen Group unit plans to use to refinance sustainable projects like the Porsche Taycan vehicle. A Schuldschein is a traditional German floating- or fixed-rate debt instrument with a typical maturity of two to 10 years.


* Investors short-selling Tesla Inc. stock have gained about $2.75 billion in 2019, Bloomberg News reported, citing an Aug. 9 study by S3 Partners.

* Bayerische Motoren Werke AG has received 45,000 preorders for its all-electric Mini Cooper SE, Electrek reported, citing German magazine Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung. The carmaker expects to begin producing the vehicle in November at its plant in Oxford, England.

* Jaguar Land Rover Automotive PLC is offering a $3,000 discount to Tesla owners if they buy JLR's all-electric I-Pace, Electrek reported. The Tata Motors Ltd.-owned carmaker, which introduced the I-Pace in 2018, said the additional $3,000 incentive to Tesla owners would take the total discount to $15,000, bringing down the I-Pace's base price to $54,500.


* Singapore's GrabTaxi Holdings Pte Ltd. and Indonesia's PT Go-Jek Indonesia could face stricter fare laws, the Nikkei Asian Review reported, citing recent legislation by countries that are aiming to curb overcharging. Singapore recently passed a bill that could allow regulators to curb high pricing on ride-hailing apps, while Indonesia set maximum and minimum fares for app-requested motorcycle rides.

* Uber Technologies Inc. named Thomas Ranese global vice president for marketing. Ranese most recently worked for Google and founded the search engine's Brand Studio.


* German auto-parts maker Continental AG said its tech arm developed a combined camera system that can simultaneously monitor the driver and the external traffic situation. The system will help self-driving systems to determine if the driver is distracted or attentive and whether or not it is safe to hand over control to the driver, Continental said.

* Advance Auto Parts Inc. narrowed its full-year outlook for sales as its reported adjusted diluted EPS grew 1.5% year over year to $2, missing the S&P Global Market Intelligence normalized EPS estimate of $2.21. The auto parts retailer said it expects sales to fall between $9.65 billion and $9.75 billion versus the previous range of $9.65 billion and $9.8 billion. Net income for the 12 weeks ended July 13 dropped 1.4% year over year to $144.1 million.

* Drivetrain-components maker Nexteer Automotive Group Ltd. said net income for the first half of 2019 fell to $131 million, down from $200 million in the prior-year period and below the Market Intelligence mean consensus estimate of $178 million. Sales fell 10% year over year to $1.83 billion.

* Private equity firm Roark Capital could auction or sell off its Driven Brands Inc. auto care and repair services brand for up to $2 billion, Bloomberg News reported, citing sources. Roark is still in discussions with advisers but could launch a sale or auction in the fourth quarter of 2019.


* Volkswagen AG's namesake brand sold 489,000 vehicles worldwide in July, down 3.3% year on weakened demand across its different markets. In Europe, VW sold 148,100 automobiles, down 8.8% year over year on new emissions norms, while North American deliveries fell 4.1% to 48,200 vehicles. Deliveries in China grew 2% to 228,000 automobiles.

* U.K.-based dealership Lookers PLC said it will invest £10 million through 2020 to restructure as it expects costs to increase by £3 million per year beginning 2020, Reuters reported. The U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority is investigating Lookers for "control issues" in its sales practices, the report added.

* Mohamed Yousuf Naghi Motors LLC acquired Al Jazirah Vehicles Agencies' Ford and Lincoln dealership in the western and southern regions of Saudi Arabia for an undisclosed amount, Reuters reported, citing Mohamed Yousuf Naghi Motors' legal adviser.

* The U.K.'s used-car sales fell to 2,034,236 vehicles in the second quarter, down 2.8% year over year, according to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

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The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng ticked 0.08% higher to 25,302.28, while the Nikkei 225 gained 0.98% to 20,655.13.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 fell 0.97% to 7,180.47, and the Euronext 100 dropped 1.25% to 1,028.66.

On the macro front

The U.S. import and export prices report, the Atlanta Fed business inflation expectations report, and the U.S. Energy Information Administration petroleum status report are 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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