* Volkswagen AG-owned Porsche AG expects to match 2017 sales of 246,375 vehicles despite "a number of significant challenges" in the fourth quarter, primarily following the implementation of the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure, or WLTP, emissions standards and as the German sports-car maker decided to drop diesel models from its portfolio. For the first nine months of 2018, Porsche delivered 196,562 vehicles, an increase of 6% year over year from 185,898 cars.
* Bayerische Motoren Werke AG's September sales fell 0.8% year over year to 237,781 vehicles due to the disruption caused by the introduction of the WLTP rules. The German carmaker, which said "virtually all" of its models are WLTP-certified at present, sold 14,559 electric cars in the month. The 35% year-over-year increase in EV sales in September, and a 40% uptick year-to-date, will help BMW achieve its 2018 target of 140,000 electric vehicle sales, the company said.
* Volkswagen AG's Czech unit Škoda Auto reported a fall of 16% year over year in September sales of 94,800 cars worldwide due to a delay in implementing the WLTP emissions norms. The Škoda Octavia remains its top-selling model. Another VW Group brand, SEAT, also posted a fall in September sales, with deliveries down 20.6% year over year at 31,600 vehicles.
ELECTRIC AND AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES
* Renault SA announced three e-mobility agreements with Electricité de France SA, TOTAL SA and Enel SpA. EDF inked pacts with the French carmaker, as well as with Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.'s unit Nissan International SA and Valeo SA, centered on smart charging and battery technology as the French utility aims to operate 75,000 charging points in France, the U.K., Italy and Belgium by 2022. Renault also will partner with Enel on an EV smart charging pilot in Italy. Renault added it will launch, in the first half of 2019, a smartphone app called ZE Smart Charge in collaboration with Total and electric vehicle charging app developer Jedlix BV
* Tesla Inc., its CEO, Elon Musk and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission made a joint filing in support of their securities fraud settlement, saying the terms were in the "best interest of investors." In September, Musk agreed to resign as chairman as part of the settlement of a lawsuit the SEC brought against him. However, in an Oct. 4 tweet, Musk mocked the SEC, calling it the "Shortseller Enrichment Commission."
* DENSO Corp. bought a 2% equity stake in Japanese embedded software firm eSOL Co. Ltd. to develop automated driving software. The two companies expect to create advanced electronic platforms through a technology adviser arrangement and personnel exchange, maker of the auto parts said.
POLICY, REGULATIONS AND SAFETY
* The U.K. government will cut subsidies for hybrid vehicles grouped under category 1, having CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km and a zero-emission range of 70 miles, to £3,500 from £4,500, while doing away with such grants altogether for lower-range category 2 and category 3 hybrids. The regulation comes into force Nov. 9, but the government might push up the date if sales are "higher than expected."
* Bayerische Motoren Werke AG could consider expanding its recall program in South Korea from the German carmaker's 520d sedan, which is tied to a series of fire incidents, to the 118d sedan and other models, Yonhap News Agency reported, citing an ongoing probe by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. "The government has asked BMW to clarify why it ruled out the 118d in the ongoing recall," a ministry official reportedly said.
* Slashing transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. Northeast and mid-Atlantic could cost about $25 billion over the next decade or so, but the region would start to see net financial savings due to lower fuel costs by 2037, M.J. Bradley & Associates said in a report. Including financial and environmental net benefits, the total cumulative social benefits from the emissions reductions could range from $311 billion to $383 billion, according to the report, which was funded by the Union of Concerned Scientists.
* Toyota Motor Corp. said it is issuing a safety recall of about 700 2019 C-HR vehicles distributed in the U.S. due to faulty bearing bolts that can become loose while driving. The Japanese carmaker said one or more rear-axle bearing bolts on certain vehicles may not have been tightened sufficiently during the manufacturing process, which could damage the rear brake components or cause the rear wheels to detach.
AUTO PARTS AND EQUIPMENT
* Faurecia's third-quarter sales of €4.01 billion, up 8.3% year over year from €3.79 billion, beat an S&P Global Market Intelligence-compiled mean consensus of analysts' estimates of €3.95 billion. The French auto-parts maker also reiterated its fiscal 2018 forecast.
* Duke Energy Carolinas LLC plans to roll out a three-year pilot program that will evaluate the benefits and costs of large-scale electric vehicle charging infrastructure in South Carolina. The Duke Energy Corp. subsidiary filed an application with the Public Service Commission of South Carolina for approval of its proposed electric transportation pilot and to defer related cost recovery until its next general rate case.
* The venture capital fund of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance, called Alliance Ventures, said it led a $5 million series A investment round in the U.S. mobility data platform Coord, which intends to use the financing for expansion into new geographies and for offering a product that enables enterprise clients to optimize the use of transportation infrastructures such as roads, curbs and parking lots. Trucks, Urban.Us, DB Ventures, Joshua Schachter and Alphabet Inc.'s Sidewalk Labs also participated in the funding round, Alliance Ventures said.
* SAIC Motor Corp. Ltd posted an 8.2% year-over-year decline in sales of 610,734 cars in September. The Chinese automaker's three joint ventures, SAIC-GM, SAIC-VW and SAIC-GM-Wuling, all recorded monthly dips in sales.
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng climbed 2.12% to 25,801.49, and the Nikkei 225 increased 0.46% to 22,694.66.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.86% to 7,066.94, and the Euronext 100 was up 0.55% to 995.60.
On the macro front
The import and export prices report, the consumer sentiment report and the Baker-Hughes Rig Count 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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