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FCA open to Renault merger; Trump says auto tariffs 'never off the table'

TOP NEWS

* Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV CEO Mike Manley said the Italian-American carmaker is open to revisiting merger talks with Renault SA as the French company works to reduce its stake in Nissan Motor Co. Ltd., the Financial Times (London) reported. Manley's comments to the newspaper came shortly after The Wall Street Journal reported that Renault is planning to cut its 43.4% stake in Nissan in order to get the Japanese carmaker to "consider that an agreement with FCA would be acceptable."

* U.S. President Donald Trump said "auto tariffs are never off the table" and that he will keep using them to improve the U.S. trade deals, Reuters reported. "If I don't get what we want, I'll put auto tariffs. ... If I don't get what I want, I'll have no choice but maybe to do that. But so far they've been very good," Trump said.

CARMAKERS

* Suzuki Motor Corp. missed market expectations as it recorded a 53% decline in fiscal first-quarter net income due to lower output in Japan as it improves its testing processes and falling demand in India, its biggest market. Despite the poor quarter, the Japanese carmaker affirmed its full fiscal year outlook of an 11.9% year over year rise in net income to ¥200 billion, or ¥433.54 per share. It, however, added that the forecast was affirmed because "the outlook is unclear" at the moment and would revise forecast at a later date.

* Subaru Corp. saw profits for the first quarter of fiscal 2020 surge 40.1% year over year to ¥66.46 billion, beating the Market Intelligence estimate of ¥45.8 billion on stronger SUV demand in the U.S. The Japanese carmaker maintained its fiscal 2020 guidance of a 43% year-over-year increase in operating income to ¥260 billion.

* Ferrari NV CEO Louis Camilleri said an expected less-favorable second half of 2019 prompted the automaker to confirm rather than raise its full-year guidance after second-quarter results surpassed expectations. Camilleri said the retirement of certain models, changes in currency, decreased volumes in China and increased investments contributed to the decision.

ELECTRIC AND AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES

* General Motors Co. is willing to cooperate with other automakers to develop electric vehicles, the company's CEO said. GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra said the company is open to working with other carmakers and has an existing relationship with Honda Motor Co. Ltd. to develop battery technology and electric vehicle components.

* Tesla Inc. made unlimited Supercharging available for its Model S and Model X vehicles, weeks after the electric-car maker decided to remove the feature after it proved to be unsustainable.

* Tata Motors Ltd. will install 300 electric-vehicle fast-charge stations in the Indian cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad by 2020. The carmaker will team up with another Tata unit, Tata Power, to install the stations at dealerships and retail outlets.

* Chinese ride-hailing app Didi Chuxing Technology Co. Ltd. spun off its self-driving unit, which will be led by its chief technology officer Zhang Bo. The new company will use Didi's resources and technology to team up with other carmakers and industry players to develop self-driving technology.

MOBILITY SERVICES

* London's transport regulator could issue Uber Technologies Inc. a short-term operating license for either 15 months or 18 months, instead of a full five-year operating license, Sky News reported, citing sources. In June 2018, Uber received a 15-month probationary license to operate in London after failing to secure a five-year license in 2017.

POLICY, REGULATIONS AND SAFETY

* Sales of cars by Japanese companies fell in July in South Korea amid the boycott of Japanese products, Reuters reported, citing South Korean industry data. Toyota sales plunged 32% year over year, while Honda sales dropped 34% year over year.

* The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it will continue its investigation into cracks detected on the rear lower control arm of Nissan's model year 2013 to 2018 Nissan Altima despite the carmaker's initiative to fix the fault. In January 2018, the Japanese carmaker implemented design changes to improve the durability of the lower control arm following reports of cracking on vehicles.

* Ford Motor Co.'s Chinese arm said it is recalling 44,333 Explorer vehicles after the imported cars have been found with defects that could reduce steering control, Xinhua News reported, citing the State Administration for Market Regulation.

AUTO PARTS AND EQUIPMENT

* Japanese auto-parts maker Denso Corp. denied accusations by The Korea Fair Trade Commission, or KFTC, that the company and three other Japanese parts-makers rigged bids on parts supplied to South Korean carmakers. Denso, Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Hitachi and Diamond Electric were jointly fined 9.2 billion South Korean won. Denso said it already stopped selling the products the KFTC accused it of price-rigging. Mitsubishi Electric said it received the KFTC's ruling and will begin a series of compliance measures before it issues a response later on.

MOTORCYCLES

* India's Hero MotoCorp Ltd. said it will launch a home delivery service for its motorcycles in Mumbai, Bengaluru and Noida, before expanding the service to 25 more cities in the country. Customers can access the service through Hero's e-commerce website.

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The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng dropped 2.85% to 26,151.32, while the Nikkei 225 shed 1.74% to 20,720.29.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 fell 2.18% to 7,245.47, and the Euronext 100 lost 2.19% to 1,028.29.

On the macro front

The US Services purchasing managers' index, the Institute for Supply Management non-manufacturing index and the TD Ameritrade investor movement index 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.

The Daily Dose is updated as of 8 a.m. ET. Some external links may require a subscription. Links are current as of publication time, and we are not responsible if those links are unavailable later.