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General Motors, union reach deal; Ford unveils 12,000 EV charging stations

TOP NEWS

* The United Auto Workers and General Motors Co. proposed a new four-year labor contract on Oct. 16 that will now pass to a broader swath of union members for approval, according to the union. The UAW GM National Council will decide whether to continue the monthlong strike of more than 48,000 GM workers that began Sept. 16. The UAW said in a statement the proposal represents "major" gains for union members.

* Ford Motor Co. unveiled its North American public charging network, the FordPass Charging Network, comprising 35,000 plugs across 12,000 sites. North America's largest public EV charging network will be made available from 2020 when the carmaker will launch its first electric car. The carmaker teamed up with Volkswagen AG's Electrify America for DC fast chargers and is working with Greenlots to bring multiple charging providers to join the network. It also partnered with Amazon Home Services to offer installation services for in-home charging stalls for owners.

CARMAKERS

* Bulgaria and Serbia will join Romania in attempting to convince Volkswagen AG to build its €1.3 billion plant in their respective countries, Automotive News reported, citing Bulgarian Automotive Cluster board member Rosen Plevneliev and the Serbian Chamber of Commerce head Marko Cadez. The countries initiated talks with Volkswagen after it postponed plans to build a car plant in Turkey due to the country's military operations in northern Syria. Bulgaria said it is prepared to double subsidies to €260 million and build infrastructure for electric cars.

* Peugeot SA's Citroën brand will hire Vincent Cobee, Mitsubishi Motors Corp.'s former production head, to replace Linda Jackson as its CEO, Automotive News reported, citing sources. The French carmaker named Lisa Mark as the chief marketing officer and vice president of its North American arm. The group, which is planning to reenter the region more than 20 years after its exit, did not specify when it will relaunch its North American brand.

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

* China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology granted Tesla Inc. a certificate to start production in the country anytime, Reuters reported. Separately, the State Grid Corp of China's branch in Shanghai said Tesla's factory in the city is already connected to its electricity grid and will increase power eightfold when the factory reaches full capacity, Bloomberg News reported.

* Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. Ltd.-owned Volvo Cars said all new models will be electrified, starting with the XC40 Recharge, the first car in its Recharge line. The carmaker said it plans to lower its per-car CO2 emissions by 40% by 2025. Volvo, which previously said it plans for electric cars to comprise 50% of its sales by 2025, will also cut 25% of its CO2 emissions from its supply chain and operations.

* Dongfeng Peugeot Citroën, a China-based venture between local carmaker Dongfeng Motor Group Co. Ltd. and France's Peugeot, will unveil four new models, two of which will be new-energy vehicles, at the Guangzhou Auto Show in November, Gasgoo reported.

* South Korea's LG Chem Ltd. expects electric vehicles to account for about 15% of global vehicle sales by 2024, Reuters reported, citing CEO Kim Jong-hyun. The battery-maker also expects battery costs to drop to $100 per kWh by 2025 from $200 in 2015, pushing vehicle costs down.

* Toyota Motor Corp. said it will unveil an ultra-compact battery-electric vehicle, which will seat two and have a 100-kilometer range, during the Tokyo Motor Show.

MOBILITY SERVICES

* Uber Technologies Inc. will team up with French startup Cityscoot to add 4,000 electric mopeds to its transport options in Paris. Users can book Cityscoot mopeds directly from the Uber app for 29 eurocents per minute.

* Wisconsin-based taxi service Green Cab Madison said it teamed up with mobility company Zerology to form a 40-vehicle fleet of Tesla Model 3s, which riders can request through the Green Cab mobile app, NBC's WMTV reported. The service, which operates in Madison city, said the fleet will begin operations Oct. 23.

POLICY, REGULATIONS AND SAFETY

* The U.S. road safety watchdog fined Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV $79 million for failing to meet 2017 fuel economy requirements, Reuters reported. Fiat Chrysler is one of 13 major carmakers who did not meet fuel standards and did not buy credits to reach it, the report said. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said carmakers are failing to comply with 2018 and 2019 standards and "potential penalties on automakers, which are passed along to consumers, are expected to continue to increase."

* The NHTSA said it will propose "significant updates and upgrades" to its vehicle safety rating program in 2020. The industry body said it will update its New Car Assessment Program to introduce market-based incentives that will help carmakers invest in more safety technologies and make it harder to earn a 5-star safety rating by introducing new technologies, testing procedures and testing dummies.

AUTO PARTS AND EQUIPMENT

* France's Faurecia S.E. said sales for the third-quarter grew 4.3% year over year to €4.19 billion. However, after excluding currency effects and sales of Clarion, the company's sales slumped 3.7% year over year with the General Motors strike knocking sales down by €23 million.

AUTOMOTIVE RETAIL

* Fiat Chrysler sold 200,200 vehicles in Europe in the third quarter, with September sales growing 12.8% year over year to 69,500 vehicles. The Fiat brand saw sales grow 10.8% during the quarter to about 49,000 vehicles, while its Jeep brand sold 40,200 vehicles. FCA's Lancia brand reported a sales increase of 34.9% to 11,000 vehicles.

COMMERCIAL VEHICLES

* Peugeot's commercial vehicle arm said it will start releasing electrified versions of its compact vans, with its whole lineup set to be electrified by 2021.

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The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng jumped 0.69% to 26,848.49, while the Nikkei 225 dropped 0.09% to 22,451.86.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 increased 0.58% to 7,209.21, and the Euronext 100 decreased 0.60% to 1,098.22.

On the macro front

The housing starts report, the jobless claims report, the Philadelphia Fed business outlook survey, the industrial production report, the EIA natural gas report, the EIA petroleum status report, the Fed balance sheet and the money supply 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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