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Ford could cut over 20,000 jobs; China Evergrande in dispute with Faraday Future

TOP NEWS

* Ford Motor Co. notified its approximately 70,000 employees that they will face unspecified job cuts as part of the U.S. carmaker's $11 billion multiyear restructuring plan, Bloomberg News reported, citing Ford spokeswoman Karen Hampton. More than 20,000 jobs from Ford's global workforce of 202,000 are estimated to go, the news outlet reported, citing Morgan Stanley. However, the carmaker did not confirm how many jobs will be cut, or whether it will involve involuntary separations, Bloomberg added.

* China's Evergrande Health Industry Group Ltd. said the CEO of electric car startup Faraday Future began arbitration proceedings against the China Evergrande Group unit to nullify Evergrande's HK$6.75 billion purchase of a 45% stake in Faraday. Evergrande said Jia Yueting, co-founder and CEO of Faraday, cited an alleged nonpayment of US$700 million toward the joint venture set up as part of the deal as the reason for the litigation. Evergrande's Hong Kong-listed shares were halted Oct. 4 and resumed trading earlier Oct. 8. It has engaged a team of international lawyers via Season Smart, holding company of the 45% stake in Faraday.

CARMAKERS

* Daimler AG CFO Bodo Uebber will step down from his post when his term ends in December 2019, according to a release. The German carmaker did not disclose a reason for Uebber's planned departure. Uebber is leaving ahead of the company's proposed reorganization, which will see Mercedes-Benz, Daimler Truck and Daimler Mobility operate as legally independent divisions under the Daimler group.

* General Motors Co. filed a federal lawsuit with the U.S. District Court in Detroit against Johnson Controls International PLC over the parts supplier's alleged failure to cover costs to the tune of over $28 million related to warranty claims on Johnson-supplied batteries on GM cars, the Detroit Free Press reported. The Johnson Controls-supplied batteries were allegedly fitted in at least 34 of GM's Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac model year 2014-2016 vehicles. Johnson Controls reportedly said in a release to the newspaper that the company "fully complied" with all its contractual obligations and plans to "defend the case vigorously."

* Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV will recall, beginning before 2018-end, about 18,000 Jeep Wrangler SUVs in the U.S. to fix a defective weld in the frames of some of the vehicles, Bloomberg News reported, citing a dealer notice on a Wrangler owner's forum. The issue, which affects about 4% of the recalled vehicles, reportedly could "cause a vehicle crash without prior warning." A Fiat Chrysler spokesman confirmed the recall but said the carmaker is not aware of any accidents or casualties from the fault, Bloomberg reported.

ELECTRIC AND AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES

* Hedge fund manager David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital said Tesla Inc. could end up like Lehman Brothers did in 2008, CNBC reported. Einhorn reportedly wrote in an Oct. 5 investor letter that Tesla CEO Elon Musk, like Lehman Brothers, "threatened short sellers, refused to raise capital (it even bought back stock), and management publicly suggested it would go private." Einhorn reportedly forecasts a "large revenue and earnings disappointment" in the electric-car maker's fourth quarter. "Like Lehman, we think the deception is about to catch up to TSLA," the hedge fund executive added. Tesla did not immediately respond to CNBC's request for comment.

* Tesla Inc. said its flagship Model 3 sedan's long-range rear-wheel drive variant achieved the lowest probability of injury of all cars ever tested by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Tesla, whose Model S and Model X cars hold the second- and third-lowest probabilities of an injury during previous traffic safety administration crash tests, expected similar results from other Model 3 versions like the dual-motor vehicles.

* Toyota Motor Corp. will pilot in fiscal 2019 a self-driving, single-seat electric vehicle system in the Japanese city of Tsukuba to ferry passengers, especially the elderly, from their homes to the nearest bus stop, the Nikkei Asian Review reported. The project is in association with the University of Tsukuba and the local government and will run until fiscal 2022. Japanese companies NEC and Mitsubishi Electric also could join the project, the Nikkei reported.

POLICY, REGULATIONS AND SAFETY

* Jaguar Land Rover Ltd., beginning Oct. 29, will recall 16,022 vehicles in South Korea to fix defective components, Yonhap News Agency reported, citing the country's transport ministry. The affected models, which include the Jaguar XF sedan, Jaguar XJ sedan, Discovery 4, Range Rover and Range Rover Sports SUVs, were discovered to have faulty diesel engine crankshafts that could ignite and cause power shutdowns while the car is being driven, the report said.

* Zhengzhou Nissan Automobile Co. Ltd., a unit of Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.'s joint venture with Dongfeng Motor Group Co. Ltd. called Dongfeng Motor Co. Ltd., will recall 36,929 vehicles from Oct. 12, Xinhua reported, citing China's State Administration for Market Regulation. Zhengzhou Nissan will reportedly recall 26,941 Dongfeng Fengdu MX6 2015-2016 models, made Jan. 16, 2015-July 18 over faulty vacuum booster hoses. It will recall 9,988 NV200 2016, Dongfeng Fengdu MX6 and Nissan Navara 2017 models, made March 1, 2017-July 27, 2017, to fix defective mechanical key ignition switches, Xinhua reported.

AUTO PARTS AND EQUIPMENT

* Daimler AG began building a new electric vehicle battery site 7 miles from its Tuscaloosa, Ala., car plant as part of the German carmaker's network of eight global battery facilities for its EQ brand. Daimler also announced the beginning of work on a new consolidation center in Woodstock, Ala., comprising a body parts preparation area, an assembly parts preparation area and an empties storage space, to be ready in 2019. The carmaker's first Mercedes-Benz GLE model, based on a new SUV platform, rolled off the Tuscaloosa site, where Daimler's $1 billion investment in 2017 was intended to create over 600 new jobs in the state.

AUTOMOTIVE RETAIL

* General Motors Co.'s China sales dropped 14.9% year over year to 835,934 vehicles in the third quarter ended September due to "softening" local demand and amid "a technology changeover" at its Buick brand. GM delivered 2,680,330 units in China, down 2.5% year over year, in the first nine months of the year.

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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 was down 1.39% to 26,202.57.

In Europe as of midday, the FTSE 100 slipped 0.56% to 7,277.39 and the Euronext 100 slipped 0.74% to 1,031.23.

On the macro front

The TD Ameritrade Investor Movement Index 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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