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Nissan set for ¥2.42B fine; Canada sues VW for emissions rules breach

TOP NEWS

* Japan's Securities and Exchange Surveillance Commission recommended that the Financial Services Agency fine Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. ¥2.42 billion for false financial reporting. The carmaker said it does not plan to challenge the decision, which accused it of misreporting income from fiscal 2005 through 2017.

* Volkswagen is facing multiple counts of vehicle emissions violations in Canada after it allegedly imported cars that were not compliant with the country's standards. The Canadian government said it has filed at least 60 counts of contravening the Canadian Environmental Protection Act of 1999 against the German carmaker.

CARMAKERS

* General Motors Co. agreed to loan electric truck startup Lordstown Motors Corp. $40 million to help it buy the carmaker's shuttered Lordstown assembly plant in Ohio, The Business Journal reported, citing legal documents. The loan agreement follows the sale of the facility to the electric truck startup Nov. 7.

* Ford Motor Co.'s China arm expects its full-year loss before interest and taxes in 2019 to be about half of 2018's figure, Reuters reported, citing a meeting with analysts and investors. In October, Ford lowered its full-year guidance on higher costs and lower volumes in China.

* Audi parent Volkswagen AG and China's SAIC Motor Corp. Ltd. invited parts-makers to bid to supply an Audi A7L they plan to build, Bloomberg News reported, citing a document they posted on the website of China Bidding and Purchasing Network.

* Volkswagen's India unit will have 69 nonproduction days in 2020, up from its originally planned 53 as it continues restructuring initiatives, The Times of India reported, citing an internal planning calendar and a spokesperson. Škoda Auto Volkswagen India will also discontinue its India-only Ameo sedan from early 2020 and reduce its annual capacity by 7,000 vehicles.

* Honda Motor Co. Ltd.'s Indian arm unveiled a version of its City sedan that complies with the country's stricter BS-VI emissions rules, The Economic Times (India) reported, citing a statement. The vehicle will retail for between 991,000 and 1.43 million rupees, the report said.

ELECTRIC VEHICLES

* Indonesia is working with Chinese battery-makers Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. and GEM Co. Ltd. to open electric-vehicle battery factories by 2023, Reuters reported, citing Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan.

* Peugeot SA will offer electrified versions of all new and retooled gasoline models in China from 2020, Automotive News reported. The carmaker operates in China through Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobile, its joint venture with local carmaker Dongfeng Motor Group Co. Ltd.

* Germany saw electric-vehicle registrations climb to 57,533 vehicles in November, surpassing Norway's 56,893 to become the largest electric-car market in Europe, Bloomberg News reported.

AUTONOMOUS AND CONNECTED VEHICLES

* Daimler AG-owned Mercedes-Benz and Bosch launched their automated ride-hailing pilot project in San Jose, Calif.

MOBILITY SERVICES

* Uber Technologies Inc. is nearing a deal to buy Foresight AI Inc., a Silicon Valley-based startup that specializes in artificial intelligence and robotics, The Information reported, citing a person who has reportedly worked at Uber and has direct knowledge of the pending deal. If completed, the potential deal would boost Uber's robo-taxi development efforts and would mark the company's second acquisition in 2019 following its purchase of Mighty AI Inc. in June.

POLICY, REGULATION AND SAFETY

* U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he can guarantee that Nissan's plant in Sunderland will stay open after Brexit, Automotive News reported. The carmaker has said it could leave the U.K. in the event of a no-deal Brexit, but Johnson said "It's absolutely vital ... we protect Nissan Motors, we make sure people continue to want to invest in our country."

AUTO PARTS AND EQUIPMENT

* Valeo SA's shares fell 4.8% after the parts-maker laid out its financial targets for the 2020-2022 period ahead of its investor day. Valeo said it aims for organic sales growth to outperform global automotive industry production by about five percentage points. It also plans to increase its EBITDA margin to more than 15% and double its free cash flow generation to between €1.3 billion and €1.5 billion. Separately, CEO Jacques Aschenbroich said he believes the slump in China's automotive market has bottomed out, the Financial Times reported. Aschenbroich said China "is clearly picking up again" and added that he is more concerned with Europe's tightening regulations and rising costs putting jobs at risk.

* Toyota Motor Corp. and Denso Corp. announced a joint venture focused on developing in-vehicle semiconductors that will be established in April 2020. The venture, which will be called Mirise Technologies and led by Denso executive Yoshifumi Kato, will be 51% owned by Denso and have about 500 employees.

AUTOMOTIVE RETAIL

* Tata Motors Ltd. sold 89,671 vehicles worldwide in November, down 15% year over year.

Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng was down 0.22% to 26,436.62, and the Nikkei 225 decreased 0.09% to 23,410.19.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 decreased 0.93% to 7,166.27, and the Euronext 100 decreased 1.04% to 1,111.47.

On the macro front

The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, Productivity and Costs and Redbook 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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