Managing Automotive

News, knowledge, and insights for the automotive industry.

Managing Automotive
Industry Interests
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Uber, Daimler strike partnership for self-driving cars

Daimler AG, the manufacturer of Mercedes-Benz, has struck an agreement with Uber Technologies Inc. to include the German company’s self-driving vehicles on its ride-hailing network in the “coming years.” The two companies offered few specifics about the deal, and while details have been agreed, they could change depending on how the self-driving market evolves. It’s not clear when exactly the autonomous cars will be available or the financial terms between them. 

[Detroit News]

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Industry Interests
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GM, Honda team up on fuel cell systems

General Motors Co. and Honda Motor Co. Ltd. equally split $85 million in investment to expand their fuel-cell partnership into a new manufacturing venture in southeast Michigan, the companies announced. Fuel Cell System Manufacturing LLC — the auto industry’s first joint venture for fuel-cell manufacturing — will operate inside GM’s battery pack assembly plant in Brownstown Township. The companies plan to mass-produce a hydrogen fuel-cell system to be used in vehicles starting around 2020. 

[Detroit News]

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Industry Interests, Litigation
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Litigator of the Week: An Exceptional Carve-Out in VW Litigation

Arent Fox partner Russell McRory led the team that negotiated an exceptional carve-out settlement on behalf of Volkswagen dealer, Palisades Volkswagen, within the nationwide VW dealer diesel scandal class action settlement – the largest ever of its kind.  On January 23 the court approved a modified settlement carving out Palisades’ claims from the class action settlement regarding the diesel scandal. This is a win not just for Palisades, but for all VW dealers holding non-diesel related claims against VW.

As a result of this great win, Russell was named "Litigator of the Week" by The AmLaw's Litigation Daily.

 

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Industry Interests
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Dealers are scrambling every which way amid a recall of over 60 million Takata airbags, and consumers need to ask some very pointed questions

For people in the market for a used car, the “certified pre-owned” designation has long been the gold standard, an indication that a qualified mechanic has vouched for the car and that a buyer can expect a vehicle that is — hopefully — almost as good as new.

But the Takata airbag recall, which is the biggest in history, has upended all of that. Now the certified designation — known in the auto trade as C.P.O. — will no longer necessarily have the same meaning. For one thing, last month the Federal Trade Commission made it easier for cars to be billed as “certified,” even if they were under recall and hadn’t been fixed yet.

[New York Times]

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Industry Interests
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German carmakers warn U.S. against launching trade curbs

German automakers warned the United States would suffer significant economic damage from imposing trade curbs, after the new presidential administration put renewed pressure on U.S. carmakers to build more vehicles at home. Trump has already signed an order withdrawing the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact and has vowed to re-open the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that includes the United States, Canada and Mexico. The new president reinforced his election theme of boosting U.S. manufacturing jobs when he met with the top executives of General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. 

[Reuters]

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Litigation
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Arent Fox Negotiates Exceptional Carve-Out Settlement on Behalf of Volkswagen Dealer

New York, NY – Arent Fox LLP is pleased to announce that the firm negotiated an exceptional carve-out on behalf of Volkswagen dealer Palisades Volkswagen in a nationwide VW dealer diesel scandal class action settlement – the largest ever of its kind.

On January 23 the court approved a modified settlement carving out Palisades’ claims from the class action settlement regarding the diesel scandal. This is a win not just for Palisades, but for all VW dealers holding non-diesel related claims against VW.
 

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Industry Interests
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Glut of used cars drives down prices

All those years of rising U.S. auto sales are starting to work against carmakers. A glut of used vehicles has started to depress prices. That trend will intensify as Americans will return 3.36 million leased cars and trucks this year, another jump after a 33 percent surge in 2016, according to J.D. Power.

[Detroit News]

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Industry Interests
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Toyota adding 400 Indiana jobs in $600M answer to Trump

Toyota Motor Corp. will invest $600 million and add 400 jobs at an assembly plant in Princeton, Indiana. The investment is part of a $10 billion spending plan over the next five years that the carmaker announced earlier this month to expand and modernize its U.S. factories, according to a company statement. The expansion in Indiana will boost production of the Highlander, Toyota’s second-best-selling sport utility vehicle in the U.S., by 40,000 units a year.

[Detroit News]

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Industry Interests
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Ford to launch Omnicraft parts brand for all vehicles

Ford Motor Co. said it is launching a new Omnicraft parts brand that will allow its dealers to provide parts and service to vehicles made by other automakers. The first new Ford Customer Service Division brand in 50 years, Omnicraft aims to help Ford and Lincoln dealers grow sales, Ford says. The Dearborn automaker said it will give owners of other makes to buy competitively priced and quality parts and have their vehicles serviced at Ford dealerships.

[Detroit News]

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Industry Interests
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GOP Says CFPB’s Auto-Lending Rule May Violate Federal Law

Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday released a report alleging Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray violated federal law in releasing rules for regulating the auto-lending market, which comes amid an intensifying battle over Cordray's future.

The report, the third in a series the Republican majority on the House Financial Services Committee has released blasting the process behind the CFPB’s so-called "larger participant rule" for the auto-lending market, found Cordray ignored the advice of bureau counsel and failed to reopen the comment period on the rule after it closed in order to allow comments on the specific firms that would be covered by the regulation.

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ABOUT ARENT FOX LLP

Arent Fox LLP, founded in 1942, is internationally recognized in core practice areas where business and government intersect. With more than 350 lawyers, the firm provides strategic legal counsel and multidisciplinary solutions to clients that range from Fortune 500 corporations to trade associations. The firm has offices in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.