|Bid||13.34 x 2200|
|Ask||13.35 x 900|
|Day's Range||13.25 - 13.38|
|52 Week Range||12.11 - 18.41|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||1.70|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||5.76|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.73 (5.24%)|
|1y Target Est||N/A|
(Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. may only need to wait until Tuesday to get early clues about its chances of success in the biggest tax case in recent history.The iPhone maker has been arguing its case at the European Union’s General Court to topple a record 13 billion-euro ($14.3 billion) EU tax order. This week the same panel of judges will deliver a ruling on two smaller but related challenges by Starbucks Corp. and a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV unit.They’re the first in a series of cases to come to a decision as companies rail against EU Competition chief Margrethe Vestager’s five-year crackdown on allegedly unfair tax deals.While the facts of the various appeals differ, Tuesday’s decisions “should have a far-reaching impact, both on the other pending cases and going forward,” said Howard Liebman, a tax partner at law firm Jones Day in Brussels, who isn’t involved in the disputes.The judges’ stance will “presumably establish some precedent as to how far the court is willing to allow the commission to extend its approach of judging tax regimes -– and individual tax rulings –- in the context of a state-aids analysis,” he said.Vestager’s ProbesAppeals have been piling up at the EU courts since state-aid investigators started work in 2013 to unearth what they deem to be the most problematic examples of otherwise legal individual tax agreements doled out to companies by countries. The judges’ verdicts could empower or halt Vestager’s probes, which are now centering on fiscal deals done by Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc.Starbucks and Fiat were targeted on the same day in 2015 by a similar EU order to pay back about 30 million euros each over their tax arrangements in the Netherlands and Luxembourg respectively.The commission accused Luxembourg and the Netherlands of granting so-called tax rulings to the companies that backed “artificial and complex methods” to calculate their taxable profits that didn’t reflect “economic reality.”The EU said at the time the companies did this by setting prices for products and services sold between units -- called transfer prices -- that didn’t reflect market conditions.“As a result, most of the profits of Starbucks’ coffee roasting company are shifted abroad, where they are also not taxed, and Fiat’s financing company only paid taxes on underestimated profits,” said in a 2015 statement.Back TaxesLuxembourg has since also been ordered to recoup 250 million euros from Amazon.com and 120 million euros in back taxes from energy utility Engie SA, France’s former natural-gas monopoly, previously known as GDF Suez.In the Apple case, the EU said Ireland illegally slashed the iPhone maker’s tax bill between 2003-2014, a finding the company and Irish officials don’t accept.The EU alleged that “Apple paid essentially no tax on earnings in Europe” and “sought headlines by quoting tiny numbers, but this public campaign ignores the taxes Apple pays all across the world,” Apple attorney Daniel Beard said at last week’s hearing.The Dutch finance ministry said it had nothing to add to previous statements criticizing the EU’s approach. Fiat Chrysler, Starbucks, Apple and the commission declined to comment, as did the Luxembourg and Irish finance ministries. EU nations ordered to claw back the allegedly illegal tax aid have accused the commission of overreaching itself by using state aid law to attack individual fiscal arrangements that dated back many years. A key question for the commission in the cases is whether its argument that these tax rulings were selective and unfair stands up in court.“The commission did not identify a single instance where a taxpayer was treated less favorably than Apple,” Paul Gallagher, a lawyer for Ireland, told the judges in the court hearings last week.Luxembourg, which has so far faced the brunt of the EU’s decisions, has attacked the “arbitrary nature” of the commission’s approach which creates “complete legal uncertainty,” their lawyer Denis Waelbroeck said in a court hearing about Fiat’s case last year. Ireland and Luxembourg have supported each other in their respective appeals.The nation was among the first EU countries to be singled out in 2014 over its tax practices, when a group of investigative reporters published thousands of pages from secret arrangements between the tiny nation and companies including Walt Disney Co., Microsoft Corp.’s Skype and PepsiCo Inc. The so-called LuxLeaks publications have been used by EU regulators in their deliberations and EU officials further expanded their probes by seeking new information to find more “outliers” among these tax deals.Still, in a first in the EU’s continued crackdown on “outliers” among these otherwise legal tax rulings, the commission last year closed its probe into the fiscal deal between McDonald’s Corp. and Luxembourg, finding there was no violation of state aid laws.The cases are T-636/16 - Starbucks and Starbucks Manufacturing Emea v. Commission, T-755/15 - Luxembourg v. Commission, T-759/15 - Fiat Chrysler Finance Europe v. Commission, T-760/15 - Netherlands v. Commission,(Updates with more on Luxleaks revelations and McDonald’s probe in last two paragraphs.)\--With assistance from Peter Flanagan, Daniele Lepido and Ruben Munsterman.To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Bodoni in Luxembourg at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at firstname.lastname@example.orgFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Europe's second-highest court will rule on Sept. 24 whether Starbucks Corp has to pay up to 30 million euros ($33 million) in Dutch back taxes and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV a similar amount to Luxembourg. Both cases are part of European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager's crackdown on unlawful tax breaks offered by EU countries to multinationals that have drawn criticism for using the bloc's state aid rules to assess tax strategies commonly used by many companies. The judgments from the Luxembourg-based General Court could determine the scope of Vestager's drive in the coming years and whether she will open more cases.
Fiat Chrysler will set up an experimental fleet of up to 700 electric cars to test vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology, which allows power grids to use energy stored in car batteries to face demand during peak hours. FCA is taking its first steps into electric mobility as the Italian-American carmaker moves on from its failed $35 billion bid to merge with France's Renault, a pioneer in electric vehicles. FCA on Thursday signed an agreement with Italy's national grid operator Terna to jointly test a technology enabling electric vehicles to interact with the grid, through charging infrastructure.
Having selected her prospective team of commissioners, Mrs von der Leyen now needs another rubber stamp from MEPs to form her commission (the vote is in late October). In years gone by, the parliament’s dominant centre-right and socialist parties sewed up the confirmation hearings, ensuring that their own candidates would be immune from being dumped.
(Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. and Ireland’s court room clash with the European Commission finally lived up to its billing as the world’s biggest tax case.A two-day hearing into their appeal of the EU’s record 13 billion-euro ($14.4 billion) tax bill heated up on Wednesday as Apple rebutted claims that Irish units at the center of its fight are just “phantoms” and Ireland hit back at regulators for saying the country would willingly forgo one-fifth of its corporate tax takings.Ireland is the victim of "wholly unjustified criticism of its tax system and its approach" from the EU in "the biggest state aid case ever," said Paul Gallagher, the government’s lawyer, in closing arguments of an EU General Court hearing in Luxembourg.EU officials "have not produced to this court a single example of Apple being preferred to anyone else" and Irish tax law didn’t require Apple to pay any more.Apple and Ireland are battling the European Commission’s 2016 order that ruled illegal a tax deal that saw the company channel sales through two Irish units. The iPhone maker is the biggest target of EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager’s crusade against corporate tax deals that allow big firms to reduce their fiscal burden.Irish BranchesThe five-judge panel homed in on the exact functioning of the Irish branches that allowed Apple revenues to be covered by a national tax deal labeled as illegal by regulators.The EU asserts the units received selective tax treatment that allowed Apple to allocate all sales profits to two companies that “existed only on paper.” Apple attempted to show that each business wasn’t a ghost while saying strategic decisions over products and sales were made elsewhere and profits should also be taxed elsewhere.“This wasn’t some kind of shell company, this was a company doing things in the U.S.,” Apple’s lawyer Daniel Beard responded, citing one of the firms. He said that no critical decisions on intellectual property were made in Ireland.Marc van der Woude, a Dutch judge and the court’s vice-president, had quizzed the EU’s lawyer late Tuesday on what evidence the European Commission had to show whether the Apple units determined strategy or drew up business plans.The business "looks like a phantom company,” he said at one point. Other judges dug into details of how the branches were run and how the Irish government determined that the revenue should be taxed there.The EU’s lawyer Richard Lyal sought to dismiss Apple’s arguments that the revenue at stake should have been taxed in the U.S. where its products are developed."Apple should not now pretend" that its Irish units "make all that money but that only a tiny proportion of it should be attributed to Ireland," he told the court. "All arguments as to tax being paid in the U.S. are completely irrelevant."Amazon, AlphabetA court ruling, likely to take months, could empower or halt Vestager’s tax probes into complicated corporate structures used by many American technology firms. The EU has also scrutinized fiscal deals done by Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc. and may draft new rules to net digital companies’ revenue.The first hints of how the Apple case may turn out will come from a pair of rulings scheduled for Sept. 24.The General Court will rule on whether the EU was right to demand unpaid taxes from Starbucks Corp. and a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV unit. Those judgments could set an important precedent on how far the EU can question tax decisions national governments make on how companies should be treated.To contact the reporters on this story: Aoife White in Luxembourg at email@example.com;Stephanie Bodoni in Luxembourg at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at email@example.com, Peter Chapman, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
With around 48,000 workers picketing at General Motors' factories, this marks the first major stoppage at the company in the last 12 years.
Tesla (TSLA) stock has tanked over 26% year-to-date as of September 17. Let's look at some catalysts that could help it make a turnaround.
Automaker stocks have seen mixed performances in September. While Ford, General Motors, Tesla, and Fiat Chrysler have risen, Ferrari has declined.
General Motors was hit with its first strike since 2007 — which could cost the largest U.S. carmaker $10s of millions per day, analysts said.
GM strike 2019 news is spreading following a walk out of 50,000 United Auto Workers (UAW) members on Sunday night.Source: Katherine Welles / Shutterstock.com The strike against General Motors (NYSE:GM) comes as it negotiates with workers that are part of the UAW union. These members are negotiating for higher pay, better benefits and more job security.The GM strike 2019 is the result of the two groups not being able to come to terms on a deal. GM says that it is offering higher pay and better profit sharing. However, it appears that the UAW wasn't happy with the offer.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsThe GM strike 2019 is the largest that has happened since 2007 when UAW members spoke out against pay and benefits then too. GM and UAW are meeting again today, but it's unknown if they will reach an agreement this time around, reports CNNBusiness."The fight more is for the future. The middle class has been eroding. We've been losing, losing. We've been making concessions for the past three contracts…" Celso Duque, a GM employee, told Fox Business. "The main issue isn't that they're building in Mexico. The issue is that they're building in Mexico and then shipping the cars up here to sell." * 7 Tech Stocks You Should Avoid Now It's worth noting that the GM strike 2019 is important for more than just GM. UAW members also work at Ford (NYSE:F) and Fiat Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU). Whatever happens here could affect negotiations with those two companies further down the line.GM stock was down 4% as of noon Monday. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Recession-Resistant Services Stocks to Buy * 7 Hot Penny Stocks to Consider Now * 7 Tech Stocks You Should Avoid Now As of this writing, William White did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.The post GM Strike 2019: 50,000 Auto Workers Walk Out appeared first on InvestorPlace.
(Bloomberg) -- Elliott Management Corp. has built a stake in CNH Industrial NV in a bid for constructive engagement with the truck and tractor maker controlled by Italy’s Agnelli family, according to people familiar with the matter.Elliott, run by billionaire Paul Singer, sees value-creation potential in CNH’s plan to separate the Iveco truck business from its more profitable agricultural machine unit, the people said.The U.S. activist investor, known for its shareholder battles at companies like Telecom Italia SpA and AT&T Inc., bought below 3% of CNH earlier this year, according to the people, who asked not to be named because the holding isn’t public.The stake is valued at around 400 million euros ($440 million) at current market prices.CNH rose as much as 3.8% in Milan and traded up 0.5%, at 10.23 euros, at 4:41 p.m. local time.The investment firm has held constructive talks with CNH’s management and its main shareholder, the people said.Representatives for CNH and Elliott declined to comment. A spokesman for Exor NV, the Agnelli family holding which owns 29% of CNH and 42% of its voting rights, also declined to comment.Marchionne StyleCNH is seeking to replicate a strategy used by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne: unlock value by separating businesses which investors rate at different levels.The Dutch-registered CNH earlier this month unveiled a plan to split its business into two separately listed companies, with agricultural equipment on one side and commercial vehicles on the other.The idea of separating CNH’s truck business from the more profitable tractor unit has been under consideration for years. Last year, then-Chief Executive Officer Richard Tobin said he’d consider spinning off Iveco after further strengthening CNH’s balance sheet.Tobin was a close aide of Marchionne, who championed separating businesses in the interest of shareholders. His strategy helped raise the value of the Fiat empire more than 10-fold during his tenure, with spinoffs of Fiat Industrial SpA, which later became CNH, and super-car maker Ferrari NV. Marchionne died last year.CNH Industrial was created in 2013 through the merger of Iveco producer Fiat Industrial with the CNH agricultural and construction-equipment division.(Updates with share reaction in fourth paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Daniele Lepido in Milan at firstname.lastname@example.org;Tommaso Ebhardt in Milan at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org, Jerrold Colten, Ben ScentFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
In the electric pickup truck market, legacy automakers Ford and GM are set to take on established electric vehicle maker Tesla and startups such as Rivian.
Legendary fund manager Li Lu (who Charlie Munger backed) once said, 'The biggest investment risk is not the volatility...
News last week that the United States and China would resume negotiations next month sent stocks sharply higher. Astute investors may grow tired from watching markets go up or down on hope alone. Even without any solid trade terms, anticipation of a resolution is powerful enough to move stocks. The automotive sector is a beneficiary of the two countries backing down from tariffs. Currently, China is imposing tariffs on the U.S. with Ford (NYSE:F) most likely to feel the impact.Yet the trade war is not the only reason for investors to buy automotive stocks. Valuations are compelling and some of these companies reward investors with rich dividends.There are seven automotive stocks that investors should buy.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips Automotive Stocks to Buy: Ford (F)Source: FotograFFF / Shutterstock.com Since peaking at $10.50 in July, Ford stock fell steadily and recently found a bottom at around $8.75. The company reported a weak quarter but the stock's drop increased its dividend yield to 6.3%. Ford is not without issues. It is recalling 482,520 vehicles in the U.S. because the mechanism that controls how seat backs recline may have been improperly assembled. This news is not a setback: The company is acknowledging a problem and fixing it.In July, the decline in automotive sales in China fell by just 4.3%. But with Ford still losing money in the region, the slowing decline is welcome news. In Q2, Ford said that it saw signs of stability in its business in China. Overall earnings before interest and taxes increased by 19%, supported by a broad-based improvement in market factors led by China, North America and Europe. In China, consolidated revenue grew 48% year-over-year driven by higher volumes of Ford's Lincoln model. Additional initiatives that enhanced capabilities and stronger ties with joint venture partners will lead to stronger performance in the region. * 10 Stocks to Sell in Market-Cursed September Ford stock is worth over $11 if, using a five-year revenue exit model, investors assume revenue growing 1%-3% annually. Similarly, analysts have an average price target of $11.36. This target is achievable if Ford's revenue rebounds in the quarters ahead. General Motors (GM)Source: Linda Parton / Shutterstock.com General Motors (NYSE:GM) shares may have bottomed recently below $36, as it trades currently in the $39 range. Investors flocked to the stock when trade tensions eased. The company reported Q2 results Aug. 1 and included a reaffirmed full-year earnings per share guidance of $6.50-$7.00 for the year. In the period, North American year-over-year results improved, led by growing truck sales. Average transaction prices and crossover delivers rose. Later this quarter, the start of the deliveries of the Silverado with an optional all-new Duramax turbo-diesel engine opens a new chapter in good fuel economy. And the unveiling of the 2020 Corvette Stingray to an audience of 300,000 should excite sports car enthusiasts.GM's Cadillac is in high demand, too. It sold more than 111,000 vehicles globally in the last quarter. It launched a new XT6 seven-passenger model in China and the U.S., giving it an edge over its competition in the high-growth, luxury SUV segment.To align its workforce to demand, GM has jobs for every employee affected by the restructuring. So far, around 1,700 of the 2,800 employees accepted a transfer to plants that support the company's growth segments. So, as the economic slowdown in China gets resolved, GM is in a good position to capture more market share while operating more profitably.GM shares trade at fair value but the stock has a dividend yielding 3.9%. Honda (HMC)Source: Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com Honda (NYSE:HMC) shares bottomed at $23 in August and traded recently at $24.85. Valuations for HMC are even more compelling than for either F or GM stock. HMC stock has a dividend yielding 3.3% and a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.9. Last month, sales were at levels not seen in the company's history. It also set multiple all-time monthly records. Truck sales and passenger car sales lifted total sales to 173,993, up 17.6% year-over-year. All segments performed well, including the CR-V, Passport, Accord and Civic. Even sales of the tiny-but-gas-efficient Fit grew 58% year-over-year.In the first quarter, Honda reported a 0.7% drop year-over-year in revenue. Profits fell due to higher selling, general and administrative costs. Despite the weak quarter, higher research and development spending along with renewed demand should drive sales higher in the quarters ahead. On the balance sheet, higher operating margins from the motorcycle, financial services and automobile business should ensure that Honda meets full-year guidance. * 7 Safe Dividend Stocks for Investors to Buy Right Now Honda shares have a modest upside but also pays a 3.3% dividend yield that will keep investors happy. Cost reductions and favorable raw material pricing will also help the company meet its full-year 2020 targets. Fiat Chrysler (FCAU)Source: bondvit / Shutterstock.com Fiat Chrysler (NYSE:FCAU) shares may not have the same quality levels as a Ford or Honda, but investors are happy with the company's prospects. The stock bottomed close to $12, trading recently just below $14. With a trailing P/E of 6, this stock is among the cheapest. If investors decide the stock is worth a valuation closer to its peers, then the stock might even get to the Wall Street average price target of $19.73.FCAU stock is still enjoying a rally fueled by speculation the company is holding talks with Renault to merge. On paper, merging the two firms makes sense because a bigger company could compete more effectively. It could share costs and technology with Renault. Electric vehicle and autonomous vehicle development between the two firms would prevent the two from falling behind. Fundamentally, neither firm should be kept independent in the name of being a national asset. Both auto firms need a bigger resource pool to compete as global players. A merger should result in a better return on capital.On the charts, FCAU stock is at the cusp of breaking out of a year-long downtrend. A definitive merger would send the stock back to yearly highs. Toyota (TM)Source: josefkubes / Shutterstock.com Close to a 52-week high, Toyota (NYSE:TM) is not an ideal deep-value play. But at a trailing P/E of 8 and with a dividend yielding 3.3%, TM stock may still reward patient investors. In August, the company reported strong 12.3% growth on a volume basis, posting sales of 218,403 units. This is the best-ever August. Hybrid sales increased 68.3% in the Toyota division and 44.2% for the Lexus division, suggesting that investors benefit from the company's diversification from gas-powered vehicles.As the popularity of cars falls, Toyota is bucking the trend by reporting a 15.2% increase in Corolla sales. Highlander sales rose 21.7% while RAV4 sales were up 17.2%.Just as Ford paired with Volkswagen in a joint venture and Fiat may merge with Renault, Toyota and Suzuki invested in each other. Toyota is buying a 5% stake in Suzuki while Suzuki will buy $453 million of TM stock. The companies will share costs related to the development of new technologies, and primarily, self-driving cars. * The 8 Worst Stocks to Buy Before the Trade Turmoil Cools Off In its first-quarter earnings call, Toyota said it will address staff redundancies in the U.S. It will also reduce redundancy in accounting. To increase profit margin above the 8% level by the fiscal year 2021, it will increase the SUV/truck ratio. So long as customers demand such vehicle types, Toyota will adjust its product mix to meet their needs. Navistar (NAV)Source: Casimiro PT / Shutterstock.com Navistar (NYSE:NAV) is not technically a car company. As a truck supplier, its strong Q3 report and analyst price target that is 22% above the recent $25.35 closing price are two reasons to consider this stock.Navistar reported revenue growing 17% year-over-year, led by a 25% increase in truck revenue. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, debt and amortization rose 22% to $266 million. The adjusted EBITDA margin rose 8.7%, up from 8.4% last year. The company provided volume guidance for 2019 and 2020. While Class 6/7 and Class 8 units are both up in 2019, it will drop in 2020. Still, the company reaffirmed revenue of $11.3 billion -$11.8 billion.Importantly, Navistar's days sales inventory on-hand is on the decline. The normal range, established since 2014, is 80 days - 120 days. In July, it was at 85 days. The balance sheet remains strong, with manufacturing cash balance at $1.12 billion. It faces no debt maturities until the year 2025 when $1.6 billion is due.NAV stock does not offer a dividend but Wall Street forecasts upside through the three recent "hold" ratings and one "buy" posted by analysts. Similarly, investors may input assumptions in a five-year discounted cash flow growth exit model to arrive at a higher fair value target. Ferrari (RACE)Source: Kharchenko Olena / Shutterstock.com With a market capitalization of $37 billion, Ferrari (NYSE:RACE) is similarly sized to Ford but almost half the size of GM. Although the stock does not pay a dividend,it is growing at a healthy pace.In the second quarter, Ferrari reported total shipments growing 8.4% year-over-year to 2,671 units. Revenue rose 6.8%, adjusted EBITDA was up 8.7% to $346 million and the EBITDA margin was 32%. The company benefited from an increase in V8 models shipped, offset by a drop in V12 models falling by a few units. Geographically, sales to China rose due to a decision to speed up client deliveries ahead of new emission regulations.Ferrari confirmed its guidance will approach the high end of the range on all metrics. Volume increase for the 488 Pista and 488 Pista Spider, Portofino and the 812 Superfast is driving demand for cars and spare parts. Higher sponsorship levels from Formula 1 racing activities is likely contributing favorably to the full-year results.Ferrari does not need a dividend to increase shareholder value. It has a $1.65 billion multi-year share buyback program and will buy back $220.1 million in the second half of 2019. In the first half of the year, it bought back $165.5 million worth of shares.RACE stock is the most expensive of the stocks discussed, with a P/E of 34 times. But it earned that valuation. Its clientele is buying more units, driving revenue higher.As of this writing, Chris Lau held shares of F. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Stocks to Sell in Market-Cursed September * 7 of the Worst IPO Stocks in 2019 * 7 Best Stocks That Crushed It This Earnings Season The post 7 Automotive Stocks to Buy Now appeared first on InvestorPlace.
Although automakers’ stocks posted mixed performance figures in July, they slumped in August. So far in September, they have been recovering.
For almost a year, Hiroto Saikawa defied gravity. Against expectations, Nissan’s chief executive survived the ousting of Carlos Ghosn, a damning corporate governance probe, accusations that he signed ...
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The resignation of Hiroto Saikawa, chief executive of Nissan Motor Co. gives the embattled Japanese carmaker a much needed opportunity to clean decks and move on.Ever since the shock arrest of the company’s chairman Carlos Ghosn almost a year ago, the Japanese auto giant has been in permanent crisis mode and ties with its French alliance partner Renault SA have frayed. To steer it through that period Nissan needed a leader with deft political skills who embodied a clean break with the Ghosn era. Saikawa – a Ghosn appointee – wasn’t it.The report that Nissan published concurrently on Monday, detailing allegations of financial misconduct by Ghosn, makes for grim reading (Ghosn denies wrongdoing). Yet Saikawa could never distance himself fully from an era during which Nissan paid lip service to principles of good corporate governance.Revelations that Saikawa too was overpaid improperly were an unacceptable reminder of the allegations that led to Ghosn’s downfall, even if the amounts were smaller and Saikawa says he was unaware of the payments. He isn’t accused of misconduct.That the Nissan CEO seemed to revel in Ghosn’s ousting – so much so that it sparked claims of a palace coup – made it much harder to restore a basis of trust with Renault. In fairness, Renault didn’t help by pushing subsequently for a full-blown merger with Nissan that was unwanted by the Japanese, and then secretly discussed a tie-up with Italy’s Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.Meanwhile, Nissan’s recent financial performance under Saikawa has been nothing short of disastrous. Profit is in free fall, the company has lost ground in the vital U.S. market and it has been forced to slash production and jobs.His departure will spark hopes that Nissan can finally mend ties with Renault and do something about the destruction of shareholder value at both companies in recent months. In time perhaps the French side will be able to revive merger talks with Fiat; that deal has strategic and financial merit even if it remains dicey politically. Renault agreeing to cut its 43% Nissan stake might be a good place to start. Nissan holds only 15% of Renault, an imbalance that has fueled the tensions between them. First things first, though. Saikawa’s successor, whose identity Renault will have a say in, must put Nissan’s own house in order. That’s a sentiment Renault chairman Jean-Dominique Senard appears to share.At a time of unprecedented upheaval in the car industry, Nissan can’t afford to be distracted by in-house politics. If change at the top lets executives focus on the business of making and selling cars, so much the better.To contact the author of this story: Chris Bryant at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Bryant is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies. He previously worked for the Financial Times.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Today, GM's CEO is set to meet with President Trump. Let’s see what's transpired in the last few days that has investors looking forward to this meeting.