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VW fined €1B for diesel emissions scandal; GM names Dhivya Suryadevara as CFO


* German prosecutors imposed a €1 billion fine on Volkswagen AG regarding its diesel emissions scandal, with the carmaker accepting the fine and saying it will not appeal the decision. Meanwhile, German prosecutors said a parallel probe against senior Volkswagen executives for market manipulation could conclude this year and may not necessarily lead to charges against the officials, Reuters reported.

* General Motors Co. named Dhivya Suryadevara as CFO, effective Sept. 1, succeeding Chuck Stevens who plans to retire March 1, 2019, after over 40 years with the carmaker. Suryadevara has been vice president of corporate finance since July 2017.


* Renault SA CEO Charles Ghosn does not foresee spending the next four years at the company's helm and could resign before his term ends in 2022, the Financial Times reported. Ghosn reportedly said he will remain as the French carmaker's chairman as well as the CEO of Renault's alliance with Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp.. Meanwhile, the French government, which is Renault's largest shareholder with a 15% stake, reportedly is set to vote against Ghosn's remuneration at the company's annual meeting June 15.

* Toyota Motor Corp. will cut the number of its advisers to nine from the current number of about 60 in July, The Mainichi reported, citing sources close to the matter. The exit of advisers, which includes former company presidents Hiroshi Okuda and Katsuaki Watanabe, reportedly follows a request to listed companies by the Tokyo Stock Exchange to reveal the names and responsibilities of their advisers. Meanwhile, the company's shareholders voted to appoint four new directors to its board, and Toyota carried out a number of personnel changes as part of its cost-reduction plan.


* Ford Motor Co. and Daimler AG will disband their automotive fuel cell technology joint venture as both companies bring the development work in-house, Reuters reported. The British Columbia-based entity, the Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation Corp., will cease operations this summer, Ford told Reuters.

* Tesla Inc. said in a filing that CEO Elon Musk bought 72,500 of the electric carmaker's shares in different tranches on June 12-13 at prices ranging from $342.78 to $347.00. The latest purchase of Tesla stock by Musk, who previously bought shares in May at prices ranging between $295.03 to $302.13 in an apparent retort at Tesla short sellers, comes after the company cut its workforce by about 9%.

* Automotive parts maker Magna International Inc. said it will retrofit and scale up the vehicle fleet of Michigan-based self-driving shuttle startup May Mobility Inc. in the run-up to their debut on June 26 in Detroit. Depending on demand, Magna can ramp up May Mobility's shuttles to hundreds and eventually thousands. The startup expects to offer on-demand services for its shuttles by 2019.

* Volkswagen AG's Audi unit announced a collaboration with home energy management systems provider SMA Solar Technology and the Hager Group that will let the luxury carmaker's e-tron electric vehicle to charge via a home Wi-Fi network beside benefiting from variable power tariffs to charge the car when electricity is less expensive.


* Federal prosecutors accused Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and the United Auto Workers union of conspiring to violate U.S. labor laws, Reuters reported, citing a court filing. The U.S. Justice Department said a former executive at the automaker knew that bribes paid to union leaders were designed to facilitate labor negotiations. Meanwhile, the union, which represents blue-collar workers at the Detroit Three automakers' plants, elected Gary Jones as its president, effective June 14.

* Ford Motor Co. issued a recall of about 7,580 of its F-150, Expedition and Lincoln Navigator models of 2018 make due to misaligned welds connecting the vehicle fuel pumps, which can potentially cause a fire. The Detroit automaker said it is calling back another batch of about 1,485 of its F-650 and F-750 vehicles of 2018 make to fix a braking problem, while extending an existing safety recall related to torque converters, to another 27 of its Edge, Fusion and Lincoln MKZ models of 2017-2018 make. Ford said it is not aware of any mishaps due to these issues.

* Kia Motors Corp., General Motors Co.'s South Korea unit GM Korea, Daimler AG and its unit Mercedes-Benz's Korean arms issued voluntary recalls of 213,332 vehicles, covering 11 different models to fix faulty parts, Yonhap News Agency reported, citing a release from the country's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. Among the models, Kia's Grand Carnival minivan reportedly has an air-conditioning problem, while Mercedes-Benz's E 220d Coupe has faulty seatbacks.


* Opel's Rüsselsheim Engineering Center in Germany will begin producing in 2022 four-cylinder petrol engines for all of parent Peugeot SA's brands. The engines, to be introduced across Peugeot vehicles in China, Europe and North America, are more fuel efficient and can be adapted for use with electric motors in hybrid systems.

* Bayerische Motoren Werke AG's BMW Connected software platform entered into an agreement with Chinese tech giant Baidu Inc.'s Internet of Vehicles unit to offer voice control features to BMW customers. The software upgrade enables customers to access vehicle information by voice control, check fuel levels, lock their car doors via remote control, and search for and plan routes and departure times.


* Chinese used-car portal Uxin Ltd. plans to float 38 million American depositary shares, or ADS, at an expected price of $10.5 to $12.5 per share, as part of its U.S. IPO on Nasdaq. The ADS will represent 114 million of Uxin's class A ordinary shares. Uxin founder, Chairman and CEO Kun Dai will own about 46.53% of the company's total voting power after the public offering.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng was down 0.93% to 30,440.17, while the Nikkei 225 fell 0.99% to 22,738.61.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 fell 0.47% to 7,667.60, and the Euronext 100 was down 0.45% to 1,058.74.

On the macro front

The jobless claims report, the retail sales report, the import and export prices report, the business inventories report, the EIA natural gas report, the Fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due out today.

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