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Renault in strategic review; Democrats plan to phase out gas-fueled cars by 2040

TOP NEWS

* Renault SA's interim CEO Clotilde Delbos told analysts that the French carmaker will look for new partners and has started a strategic review "with nothing off the table," Reuters reported. Delbos reportedly said the carmaker will also discuss its dividend policy, hinting at what could be its first dividend cut since 2011. Renault reported a 1.6% year-over-year fall in revenue to €11.30 billion for the third quarter as the loss of the Iranian market due to international sanctions and the global slowdown in automobile sales took a toll.

* U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer unveiled a $454 billion plan to phase out gas-powered internal combustion engine vehicles by 2040, Bloomberg News reported. Schumer said if Democrats win control of the Senate in 2020, consumers would receive a "substantial" cash voucher to use for trade-ins to domestically produced electric, hybrid or hydrogen vehicles. The proposal also allocates $45 billion in implementation funds for states and $17 billion to produce cleaner vehicles.

CARMAKERS

* Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. is exploring options for its two European plants, including a possible sale, amid an industry shift to EVs and declining sales in the region, Bloomberg News reported, citing sources familiar with the matter. The Japanese automaker is reportedly trying to court potential buyers in the U.K. and Spain. Sources told the news wire that facilities could also be sold to Chinese carmakers as no final decisions have been made.

* The fate of the tentative deal between General Motors Co. and United Auto Workers will be sealed Oct. 25 as striking workers at GM factories in the U.S. finish voting on a proposed four-year contract that could end a 39-day strike that has cost the automaker over $2 billion, Reuters reported.

* Bayerische Motoren Werke AG CEO Oliver Zipse said he told U.S. trade representatives, including Robert Lighthizer, that a global trade war will hit jobs in South Carolina, which houses BMW's largest factory and exports about 70% of its vehicles worldwide, Reuters reported. Should trade frictions drag on, BMW's Spartanburg plant will be forced to reduce production, Zipse said.

* Porsche said it signed a strategic partnership with German software giant SAP to develop digital solutions involving artificial intelligence and software architecture.

ELECTRIC AND AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES

* Tesla Inc. short sellers lost $1.36 billion after the California automaker's stock jumped amid strong third-quarter earnings, according to an S3 Analytics report. Shares of Tesla were up 17.08% at $298.21 the afternoon after it reported third-quarter earnings that beat analysts' expectations. Tesla became the most valuable U.S. automaker as the company's market cap surged to $53.73 billion as of Oct. 24, surpassing General Motors' market cap of $51.18 billion, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data.

* Tesla started selling Model 3 vehicles produced at its Shanghai gigafactory, Reuters reported, citing Tesla's Chinese website. The electric-car maker's best-selling vehicle will retail for 355,800 yuan with the Autopilot software.

MOBILITY SERVICES

* Lyft Inc. said it will provide nonemergency medical transportation services to Medicaid-enrolled patients in Georgia, Michigan, Tennessee, Virginia and Missouri. Lyft first partnered with the government healthcare program in Arizona.

* SoftBank-backed vehicle subscription startup Fair will cut 40% of its workforce, resulting in hundreds of layoffs as the company tries to address profitability issues, the Financial Times (London) reported, citing sources and a memo to employees. Fair, which partners with Uber Technologies Inc. on vehicle leasing operations, will slash even executive jobs, with CFO Tyler Painter set to be let go.

POLICY, REGULATIONS AND SAFETY

* The European Union's Court of Justice ruled that France "systematically and persistently" exceeded the annual limit value for nitrogen dioxide, a polluting gas from diesel vehicles, since Jan. 1, 2010. French Ecology Minister Elisabeth Borne said in a statement that "the government is determined to quickly and lastingly improve air quality" and is working on a mobility law to promote ride-sharing and stricter pollution control laws, Bloomberg News reported.

* Japanese carmaker Subaru Corp. is recalling over 466,000 vehicles in the U.S. over faulty engine computers that could cause short-circuiting and blown fuses, potentially stalling a vehicle and increasing the risk of a crash. The recall, which begins Dec. 13, will also fix faulty ventilation valves that can cause debris to enter the engine, causing power loss.

* Jaguar Land Rover joined The International Automotive Task Force, a group of auto companies that develops and sets best practices for the industry's supply chain and quality management, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. JLR joined the group as the official designate of its parent company Tata Motors Ltd.

AUTO PARTS AND EQUIPMENT

* French tire-maker Michelin SCA confirmed its guidance for 2019 of growth in its operating income and free cash flow of more than €1.45 billion. Michelin said that its nine-month sales dipped 0.8% year over year in the same release, but did not specify any amount.

* Auto seats and systems-maker Lear Corp. said third-quarter adjusted EPS dropped to $3.54, down 13.45% year over year but still beating the Market Intelligence estimate of $3.17. Sales for the period dipped 1% to $4.8 billion on lower production volumes and currency effects.

* French auto supplier Valeo SA said sales in the third quarter grew 8% year over year to €4.77 billion, but added that the United Auto Workers' strike against General Motors has led to a one-time cost of about €160 million in sales and €50 million in operating profit margin.

COMMERCIAL VEHICLES

* The United Auto Workers reached a tentative deal with AB Volvo (publ)-owned Mack Trucks and suspended its two-week strike.

* Daimler AG plans to make all its trucks and buses carbon-neutral by 2039. The German carmaker said it is developing electric and hydrogen-based series production vehicles set to be rolled out by 2020 in Europe, Japan and the NAFTA region. Daimler added that it plans to make all its European plants carbon-neutral by 2022.

MOTORCYCLES

* Aston Martin Lagonda Global Holdings PLC said it will team up with motorcycle-maker Brough Superior to develop a performance motorcycle, designed by Aston Martin's Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman and Brough Superior's CEO Thierry Henriette.

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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 was down 0.49% to 26,667.39, and the Nikkei 225 rose 0.22% to 22,799.81.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 slipped 0.56% to 7,287.66, and the Euronext 100 down 0.45% to 1,094.03.

On the macro front

The consumer sentiment report, the Baker-Hughes Rig Count report and the Treasury budget 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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