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Dongfeng may sell $2.5B Peugeot stake; Lyft Q2 results exceed expectations

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Dongfeng may sell $2.5B Peugeot stake; Lyft Q2 results exceed expectations

TOP NEWS

* Chinese automaker Dongfeng Motor Group Co. Ltd. is considering options for its 12% stake in Peugeot SA, including a potential sale, Bloomberg News reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter. Dongfeng has reportedly held talks with potential advisers in recent weeks to discuss how it could monetize part or all of its estimated $2.5 billion shareholdings in the French carmaker.

* Lyft Inc. posted a narrower-than-expected quarterly net loss as the number of riders grew year over year in the second quarter of 2019. For the three months to June 30, San Francisco-based Lyft said its adjusted net loss was $197.3 million, versus a net loss of $176.5 million in the year-ago period. Analysts expected the company to post a net loss excluding exceptions of $294.0 million for the quarter, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.

CARMAKERS

* In a legal victory for General Motors Co., a U.S. federal judge indefinitely delayed a proposed Jan. 13, 2020, trial in a lawsuit by owners alleging their vehicles lost value because of an ignition-switch defect, which caused 124 deaths and 275 injuries, Reuters reported. U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman said owners in California, Missouri and Texas could not show the fair market value of their vehicles, leading to an absence of evidence, and asked both sides to "revisit the issue of settlement."

* Porsche Automobil Holding SE, the majority shareholder of Volkswagen AG, affirmed its 2019 forecast after reporting €2.38 billion in net income for the first half of 2019, up 25.26% year over year on new investments and an additional stake taken in Volkswagen. Porsche Automobil expects 2019 net income to be between €3.4 billion and €4.4 billion.

* Indian carmaker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. said profit after tax for the first quarter climbed 89.52% year over year to 23.14 billion rupees. Total revenue fell 4% year over year to 132 billion rupees.

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

* Tesla Inc. defended the safety claims it made on Model 3 vehicles in an October 2018 blog post after reports surfaced that the U.S. National Highway Traffic Administration sent CEO Elon Musk a cease-and-desist letter for claiming the Model 3 had the lowest probability of injury of any vehicle tested by the regulator, Reuters reported. Tesla said it did not claim the 5-star rating from the NHTSA made it the "safest vehicle" but that it was striving "to be the safest car ever built."

* Tesla opened over 30 service centers globally to cater to rising demand for its vehicles and services. The electric-car maker opened centers in the U.S., Norway, Czech Republic, Mexico, Germany, France and Poland.

* Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz Energy subsidiary will team up with BAIC Motor Corp. Ltd.'s Beijing Electric Vehicle subsidiary to develop an energy storage system that can recycle electric-vehicle batteries.

* Mitsubishi Motors Corp. teamed up with MC Retail Energy on a low-cost electric-vehicle charging plan set to roll out in select Japanese dealerships in October 2019.

* China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology granted Kandi Electric Vehicles Jiangsu Co. dual production licenses to build pure-electric vehicles. Kandi Jiangsu is a venture owned by Kandi Technologies Group Inc., which builds products and parts for electric vehicles and off-road vehicles, and Chinese carmaker Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd.

AUTONOMOUS AND CONNECTED VEHICLES

* As expected, Tesla hiked prices for its full self-driving software Aug. 16 to $6,000 for pre-orders and $8,000 for orders placed after vehicle delivery, Electrek reported, citing Tesla's email to owners who purchased its Enhanced Autopilot software. New functions include improved ramp navigation, overtaking features, auto-lane changes, auto-park and summon features.

* Chinese self-driving software company Apollo signed German software company Elektrobit Automotive GmbH as its partner for connected software products. Baidu-owned Apollo said it will integrate and equip Elektrobit's EB tresos automotive basic software products with Baidu's Automated Valet Parking project and its in-vehicle computing platform for automated driving.

POLICY, REGULATIONS AND SAFETY

* India's largest automakers, including Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., Tata Motors Ltd. and Mahindra, asked government officials for tax cuts and additional financing for buyers and dealers amid declining sales as the industry braces for new emissions norms, Reuters reported, citing a statement by Arvind Sawant, union minister for heavy industries. The minister said the government will listen and provide a solution soon, without providing a timeline.

* Indonesian President Joko Widodo signed a decree that will provide government support to its electric vehicle industry, Reuters reported, citing the Cabinet Secretariat. The country also set new limits for the number of private cars in Jakarta in a bid to cut the capital's air pollution levels, according to Reuters.

* Honda Motor Co. Ltd.'s Chinese joint venture with Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. Ltd. will recall 222,674 Honda Accord models, Reuters reported, citing China's market regulators. Honda GAC will recall the vehicles to fix the engine's intercooler, which could cause the engine to lose speed, by installing devices to improve the intercooler's airflow rate.

* Ford Motor Co. is recalling 14,135 vehicles that could be missing a manual park release cover. Without this cover, the manual park release lever could be activated, causing the vehicle to move if the electronic park brake is not on. Ford is aware of one report of an accident that occurred while transporting a vehicle during the production process, resulting in vehicle damage.

AUTO PARTS AND EQUIPMENT

* Canadian automotive manufacturing specialist Magna International Inc. affirmed its net income outlook for 2019 but expects sales to fall between $38.9 billion and $41.1 billion, from between $39.1 billion and $41.3 billion. For the quarter ended June 30, adjusted diluted EPS was $1.59, down 4.79% year over year but beating the S&P Global Market Intelligence normalized EPS estimate of $1.54.

AUTOMOTIVE RETAIL

* Brazilian used-car platform Volanty Tecnologia e Serviços Veiculares Ltda. said it received $17.6 million in its latest funding round, led by Japanese tech giant SoftBank and Argentinian venture-seeding company Kaszek. The online car-selling company said it will use the funds to speed up expansion plans, open appraisal centers and hire new staff and executives.

MOTORCYCLES

* Japanese motorcycle-maker Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd. said it expects 2019 net income to drop 5.9% year over year to ¥80 billion on U.S.-China trade frictions, slowing sales in Vietnam and Taiwan and on unfavorable currency translation. The company said net income for the first half of 2019 fell 8.4% to ¥52.2 billion, missing the S&P Global Market Intelligence estimate of ¥55.43 billion.

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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 rose 0.48% to 26,120.77, while the Nikkei 225 was up 0.37% to 20,593.35.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 rose 0.17% to 7,211.10, and the Euronext 100 gained 1.19% to 1,041.22.

On the macro front

The jobless claims report, the Wholesale trade report, the EIA natural gas 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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