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Judge asks VW, SEC to settle fraud suit; Colorado passes zero-emission standard

TOP NEWS

* California district judge Charles Breyer urged Volkswagen AG to settle its civil suit with the U.S. SEC and that he would put the lawsuit on hold until Oct. 4 in hopes that the parties can resolve the case, Reuters reported. In July, Breyer questioned why the SEC waited to file the lawsuit, which accused VW and its former CEO Martin Winterkorn of defrauding investors, in 2019, four years after Volkswagen's dieselgate scandal.

* Colorado approved a zero-emission vehicle standard aimed at accelerating the availability of electric vehicles, the state's Air Quality Control Commission said. Under the new regulation, electric vehicles must account for at least 5% of an automaker's lineup in Colorado by 2023 and at least 6% by 2025, a move that could help put 1 million electric vehicles on Colorado roads by 2030.

CARMAKERS

* Bayerische Motoren Werke AG's new CEO Oliver Zipse asked staff to find new ways to close the sales gap between it and Daimler AG-owned rival Mercedes-Benz, Reuters reported, citing an internal email. According to Zipse's email, the luxury carmaker, which is planning to launch new models, can benefit from its ability to build electric and combustion-engined cars on the same production line, allowing it to scale up or slow down the production of electric cars in line with demand.

* Italian sports-car maker Ferrari NV will expand sales of the company's street-legal cars, but will not try to chase Volkswagen-owned rival Porsche's annual sales volume, Reuters reported, citing Ferrari Chairman John Elkann.

* Japanese carmaker Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. renewed its partnership with Yokohama City to continue collaboration with the city's businesses and the development of projects focused on sustainability and community-building. Nissan will also build a brand experience space in the Japanese city to display new technologies for customers.

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

* German car rental firm Nextmove said it canceled its €5 million order for 85 Tesla Inc. Model 3 vehicles after the pair failed to resolve a quality dispute, Reuters reported, citing statements from both companies. Nextmove turned down further deliveries after the first 15 were reportedly found with paint defects, scratches, faulty wiring and wheels, and condensation in the headlights, although Tesla said Nextmove's decision was " largely influenced by their frustration with an unrelated dispute from earlier in the year."

* Tesla increased prices for the performance version of its Model 3 by $1,000 to $55,990, Electrek reported. The electric-car maker, which plans to keep hiking prices as its self-driving software improves, also raised the price of its long-range Model Y, slated to begin production in fall 2020, to $48,000, the report added.

* Silicon Valley-based Drako Motors unveiled the Drako GTE, an electric supercar that runs on four motors generating 900 kW of power and featuring a top speed of 206 mph and an onboard charger. The Drako GTE will retail for $1.25 million, the carmaker said.

AUTONOMOUS AND CONNECTED VEHICLES

* Russian internet giant Yandex said it could increase its self-driving fleet to 1,000 vehicles within two years, as it plans to test 100 autonomous vehicles on roads by 2019-end, Reuters reported, citing Dmitry Polishchuk, the head of Yandex's self-driving car unit.

MOBILITY SERVICES

* Uber Technologies Inc. named Melinda Roylett its new U.K. head, about a month before the ride-hailing app's London license is up for renewal. Earlier this month, reports surfaced that the California-based company only expects a short-term operating license of either 15 months or 18 months, instead of the full five-year operating license, after Transport for London alleged that the company "demonstrate[d] a lack of corporate responsibility."

POLICY, REGULATIONS AND SAFETY

* Former United Auto Workers vice president and ex-General Motors Co. board member Joe Ashton allegedly helped orchestrate a bribery scheme within the union from which he received $550,000 in kickbacks and bribes, The Detroit News reported, citing sources. Prosecutors have not publicly identified Ashton but four sources reportedly familiar with the investigation identified him as "Union Official 1," an unidentified senior union official accused of conspiring to demand and receive bribes in exchange for steering multimillion-dollar contracts to vendors.

AUTO PARTS AND EQUIPMENT

* Automotive lighting company HELLA GmbH & Co. KGaA named Carl-Peter Forster, former CEO of Peugeot SA-owned Opel, as chairman of its shareholders' committee and former Bayer CFO Klaus Kühn as chairman of its supervisory board. Forster will replace Manfred Wennemer, while Kühn is replacing Michael Hoffmann-Becking.

COMMERCIAL VEHICLES

* Chinese electric-vehicle maker BYD Co. Ltd. is considering acquiring U.K.-based bus maker Wrightbus Ltd. as the latter attempts to secure more funding and save about 1,400 jobs in Northern Ireland, The Telegraph reported, citing sources.

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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 grew 2.17% to 26,291.84, and the Nikkei 225 was up 0.71% to 20,563.16.

In Europe, as of midday, the FTSE 100 was up 1% to 7,188.07, and Euronext 100 had climbed 1.11% to 1,042.75.

On the macro front

The E-Commerce Retail Sales report 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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