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BMW warns of €500M tariff hit on FY'19 profit; China September sales fall 11.6%

TOP NEWS

* Bayerische Motoren Werke AG expects to record an impact of up to €500 million on its 2019 earnings if the U.S. and China continue to impose tariffs, Reuters reported, citing German magazine Automobilwoche. Nicolas Peter, CFO of the German automaker, reportedly told the magazine that U.S.-China trade tensions have already caused an earnings impact of nearly €300 million due to reduced exports of SUVs from BMW's Spartanburg, S.C., plant to China. In September, the company cut its profit forecast for full year 2018, citing supply restrictions linked to a new emissions testing standard in Europe as well as unfavorable trade and foreign exchange conditions.

* The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said September sales in the country dropped for the third straight month, by 11.6% year over year to 2.39 million units, Reuters reported. The industry body reportedly cited a tepid economy, coupled with deleveraging risks and more stringent pollution norms, as reasons for the decline. Meanwhile, China's Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. Ltd. posted a 6.24% year-over-year rise in monthly sales of 198,034 vehicles, and a 7.58% year-over-year rise in September production levels to 193,675 vehicles.

CARMAKERS

* Jaguar Land Rover Ltd. arranged $1 billion of syndicated loans "in the last few weeks" to fund the British luxury-car maker's capital expenditure plans, The Economic Times (India) reported, quoting a spokesperson for JLR parent Tata Motors Ltd. The loans reportedly could be priced 150 to 170 basis points over the six-month dollar-denominated London Interbank Offered Rate. Standard Chartered, BNP, Axis Bank and Credit Agricole are among the half-dozen banks that helped secure the six-year maturity loans, the newspaper reported, citing sources.

* Japanese automaker Suzuki Motor Corp. plans to cease diesel car sales in Europe by the end of 2018, while peer Mitsubishi Motors Corp. aims to follow suit in the U.K. and Germany, the Nikkei Asian Review reported. Mitsubishi could extend the withdrawal to France and other markets, but it will continue selling diesel-powered pickup trucks. Mazda Motor Corp. remains the sole Japanese automaker to sell diesel cars in Europe after similar rollbacks by Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. and Toyota Motor Corp.

* FAW-Volkswagen, the Chinese joint venture between China FAW Group Corp. and Volkswagen AG's, stopped producing VW's Audi Q5 model from Oct. 9, Gasgoo reported, citing local media accounts.

ELECTRIC AND AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES

* Tesla Inc. said all of its vehicles now have full self-driving capability, with the latest units of the electric-car maker's Model S and Model X cars already equipped with the new hardware. However, Tesla will conduct "millions of miles of real-world driving" to fine-tune the system, during which time cars with the new hardware will not have certain features available in other Tesla cars, such as automatic emergency braking, collision warning, lane holding and active cruise control. Tesla will enable these features over the air following validation tests.

* Tesla Inc. customers have until Oct. 15 to purchase one of its electric vehicles and still receive the full federal tax credit. The California-based automaker posted on its website that all orders placed by Oct. 15 will be delivered by the end of the year and are eligible for the $7,500 EV tax credit that starts phasing out once a manufacturer sells 200,000 electric vehicles.

* Hyundai Motor Co. will sign a memorandum of understanding Oct. 16 with France's Air Liquide SA and ENGIE SA to install "enough" hydrogen fuel-cell charging stations in France for both passenger and commercial vehicles by 2025, Yonhap News Agency reported, citing a Hyundai release. The South Korean automaker reportedly intends to ship 5,000 fuel-cell electric vehicles to France by that year.

* Toyota Motor Corp. formed a new zero-emission vehicles, or ZEV, unit, to oversee major operations of such vehicles from their development to production, The Mainichi reported, citing a Toyota release. The unit, based on the automaker's EV business planning team, will reportedly be directly headed by Toyota President Akio Toyoda. Toyota set up a ZEV facility in the week of Oct. 8 with 200 engineers to handle the development, parts procurement and preparation for mass production of electric and fuel-cell vehicles, the newspaper reported, according to sources familiar with the matter.

* Tesla Inc. opened a two-level, 50-stall electric vehicle charging station at Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong, the largest public Tesla charging facility in Asia, in a bid to cope with tumbling sales in the region after Hong Kong cut subsidies on EV sales, Bloomberg News reported. The U.S. electric-car maker sold just 40 vehicles from April 2017 to February 2018, compared with 2,939 in March 2017 alone, the last month before the subsidy cut.

POLICY, REGULATIONS AND SAFETY

* Maros Sefcovic, energy vice president at the European Commission, said four groups have plans to build a Tesla Inc.-like Gigafactory in Europe with help from the EU's Horizon 2020 research fund, the Financial Times reported. The European Investment Bank's European Fund for Strategic Investment reportedly is available to co-fund "the billions of euros" required for building such sites. The Horizon 2020 fund has also allocated €200 million for battery projects and another €800 million for financing demonstration facilities, the newspaper reported.

* The Center for Auto Safety said it is asking Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp.'s U.S. arms to recall about 2.9 million vehicles after more than 220 consumer complaints were submitted over noncollision fires. The Washington, D.C.-based consumer advocacy group is demanding the recall of all 2011-2014 editions of the Kia Sorento, Kia Optima, Hyundai Sonata and Hyundai Santa Fe, as well as 2010-2015 editions of the Kia Soul.

* Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. put off 2019-2020 pay negotiations with its U.K. staff, scheduled to begin in the autumn of 2018, until 2019 when the Japanese carmaker hopes to have a "better clarity on the future business outlook" amid the ongoing Brexit negotiations, Reuters reported, quoting a Nissan spokesman. Nissan was previously reported to be slashing "hundreds" of jobs at Britain's biggest car factory in Sunderland as it flagged "serious implications for [the] British industry" in the event of a hard Brexit.

* The U.K. government's decision to cut subsidies for hybrid vehicles drew criticism from a range of automotive industry groups and companies. Mike Hawes, CEO of The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said it is "astounding that just three months after publishing its ambitious vision for a zero emissions future, government has slashed the very incentive that offers" the best chance to get there. Mitsubishi Motors Corp.'s U.K. unit said the subsidy cut is "somewhat premature" as "the charging network is nowhere near evolved enough to support widespread full EV use," while the National Franchised Dealers Association called the cuts "extremely disappointing."

* A proposal from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration aims to legalize adaptive headlights in the U.S. Toyota Motor Corp. petitioned the NHTSA in 2013 to allow automakers to equip their vehicles with adaptive driving beam systems, which provide more illumination without causing glare to other vehicles. The vehicle switches automatically from the upper headlight beam to the lower beam when approaching an oncoming vehicle, according to the NHTSA's notice of proposed rulemaking.

AUTO PARTS AND EQUIPMENT

* Bayerische Motoren Werke AG and its Mini unit issued a recall, due to begin Nov. 12, for 3,501 plug-in hybrids and electric cars over potentially faulty TurboCord portable charging cables, CNET reported. The cables, which reportedly could overheat and present a fire hazard, concern the 2018 BMW 330e, the 2018-2019 BMW 530e and 740Le, and the 2018 Mini Countryman SE AII4 PHEV models, among others.

* Japanese tire-maker Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. adopted a policy for the procurement of sustainable natural rubber, which it plans to promote throughout its supply chain.

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The day ahead

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

In Asia, Hang Seng dropped 1.38% to 25,445.06, while the Nikkei 225 fell 1.87% to 22,271.30.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 shed 0.06% to 6,991.79, and the Euronext 100 dropped 0.38% to 985.06.

On the macro front

The retail sales report, the Empire State Manufacturing Survey and the business inventories 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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