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UAW workers approve FCA wage deal; Renault board said to pick VW exec for CEO

TOP NEWS

* United Auto Workers members approved a new four-year labor contract with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, ending monthslong contract negotiations between the union and the Detroit Big 3. The FCA contract includes $9,000 per full-time member signing bonus, wage increases and boosts the automaker's U.S. investment to $9 billion.

* Renault SA's board chose Luca de Meo, the CEO of Volkswagen AG's Spanish brand Seat, as its recommendation for the carmaker's next chief executive, Automotive News reported, citing Agence France-Presse and Les Echos. The executive previously denied reports that he could take the spot in November.

CARMAKERS

* Toyota Motor Corp.'s North American CEO Jim Lentz will retire April 1, 2020, and will be replaced by COO Tetsuo Ogawa.

* Ferrari NV signed a new credit facility for €350 million of unsecured committed revolving credit loans with a group of 12 banks. The new credit facility has a five-year tenor with two further one-year extension options.

ELECTRIC AND AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES

* The European Commission cleared Daimler AG and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. Ltd.'s 50/50 electric car joint venture under the Smart brand. The EU's approval came nearly nine months after Germany's Daimler sold 50% of its stake in its Smart brand of electric cars to China's Geely, paving the way for the creation of the joint venture. The two companies will commence sales of the new generation of Smart cars in 2022.

* Volvo Cars CEO Hakan Samuelsson expects half of its global sales to come from fully electric vehicles by 2025, with the other half consisting of hybrids, Automotive News reported. The executive, who plans to make the Zhejiang Geely-owned Swedish carmaker climate-neutral by 2040, added that electric vehicles will account for about 10% of its global sales in two years.

* German luxury-car maker Porsche has made a "significant investment" in self-driving technology developer Aeva Inc. The California-based startup, which develops LIDAR sensors for autonomous vehicles, said the investment expands its partnership with another Volkswagen-owned brand, Audi.

* Bayerische Motoren Werke AG will launch Android Auto vehicle infotainment system in mid-2020. The service allows customers to integrate their media, messaging, schedules and appointments into their vehicle and access Google Assistant from the vehicle's dashboard. Separately, BMW published some artificial intelligence algorithms used in its operations on an open-source platform for developers to use and improve the code.

MOBILITY SERVICES

* Dan Ammann, head of General Motors Co.'s self-driving unit Cruise, said the current transportation system is "broken" and that its autonomous ride-sharing service will be "superior to the status quo in every way."

POLICY, REGULATION AND SAFETY

* The European Commission said it will propose new legislation, called the Climate Law, in March 2020 aimed at cutting transportation emissions by 90% by 2050. The proposal aims to cut transportation emissions by encouraging multimodal transport, smart traffic management systems and new-energy vehicles. The Commission, which could also set new targets for the auto sector, added that it will launch "a strategy for sustainable and smart mobility in 2020," which will include the end of fossil-fuel subsidies in anticipation of 13 million zero- and low-emission vehicles on European roads by 2025.

* The European Automobile Manufacturers' Association named Fiat Chrysler CEO Michael Manley as its president, effective January 2020. Manley replaces Peugeot SA CEO Carlos Tavares, who served as president from 2018.

* The French government is willing to support tie-ups and mergers between auto suppliers and parts-makers by funding advisers and supporting and providing consulting work in some cases, Bloomberg News reported, citing Thomas Courbe, the head of the finance ministry overseeing industrial policy.

AUTOMOTIVE RETAIL

* The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said it expects the country's auto sales to decline 2% to 25.31 million vehicles in 2020, a third consecutive year of sales decline, Reuters reported. The trade group also repeated its prediction of an 8% sales drop in the country to 26 million vehicles in 2019.

* China's auto aftermarket revenue is set to hit 1.435 trillion yuan in 2020, Gasgoo reported, citing information given at a forum hosted by the China Machinery Industry Federation.

* Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. and India's Federal Bank signed a memorandum of understanding to develop dealer and auto retail financing services for customers.

COMMERCIAL VEHICLES

* Volkswagen-owned Scania said it received an order for 450 buses from Côte d'Ivoire's Ministry of Transport and the Abidjan Transport Co.

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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 increased 1.31% to 26,994.14, while the Nikkei 225 was up 0.14% to 23,424.81.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 increased by 0.49% to 7,251.27, and the Euronext 100 increased by 0.04% to 1,123.59.

On the macro front

The jobless claims report, the PPI-FD report, EIA natural gas report, the Fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due 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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