VWAGY - Volkswagen AG

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  • Climate Protesters From Paris to New York Rally to Save Planet
    Bloomberg

    Climate Protesters From Paris to New York Rally to Save Planet

    (Bloomberg) -- Tens of thousands of people around the world demonstrated to demand action on climate change as a global movement backed by 16-year-old environmental activist Greta Thunberg got under way Friday.Students skipped school and workers walked off jobs to participate in the rallies. In a central Sydney park, protesters held up homemade signs with slogans such as “You’re Burning our Future” and “There Is No Planet B.” In Berlin, demonstrators gathered by the landmark Brandenburg Gate, just a few steps from where Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government hammered out a 54 billion-euro ($60 billion) climate-protection package.Thousands gathered in New York, Toronto, Johannesburg, Warsaw and many more cities around the globe -- eager to add their voices to a movement fueled by youthful angst about rising temperatures.“This is about the future of our planet,” said Laura Lazzarin, an Italian national living in Berlin who joined demonstrators near the Brandenburg Gate. “We can’t go on like this, and politicians must realize that.”GlobalClimateStrike in London are urging political leaders to take action on the climate crisis CoveringClimateNow pic.twitter.com/2uCxa7jBLp— Bloomberg TicToc (@tictoc) September 20, 2019 Protesters joining the Global Climate Strike movement want governments to treat global warming as an emergency, slash subsidies for fossil fuels, and switch economies to 100% renewable energy as soon as possible. They’re part of a worldwide series of demonstrations that organizers say will take place in 150 countries on Friday and on Sept. 27.“As we deal with devastating climate breakdown and hurtle towards dangerous tipping points, young people are calling on millions of us across the planet to disrupt business as usual by joining the global climate strikes,” according to a statement on the organizers’ website.The movement has taken hold in Europe, where climate has been catapulted to the top of the political agenda. The European Union should walk away from fossil fuels, the bloc’s energy chief told Bloomberg TV this week after a record spike in oil prices. A total of 93% of Europeans see global warming as a serious problem, according to a recent survey by the European Commission.In front of the Brandenburg Gate, three protesters dressed in black stood on top of melting ice blocks with nooses around their necks as hundreds of people gathered around them, carrying home-made placards, blowing whistles and chanting “We are here, we are loud, because you’re stealing our future.”In Paris demonstrators -- a large number of whom were students -- marched from Place de la Nation, carrying placards with slogans like “our house is on fire” and “time to act.”In Poland, home to 33 of the EU’s 50 most polluted cities, more than 60 climate protests were held Friday. At the biggest gathering in Warsaw, more than a thousand demonstrators called for the government to curb its dependence on coal, which is burned to produce more than 80% of the country’s electricity.PrayforAmazon. We should stop buying the beef that's being imported from Brazil to Hong Kong."Climate activists gathered in Hong Kong, demanding world leaders to address global warming ClimateStrike GlobalClimateStrike pic.twitter.com/xfA2Gk0llB— Bloomberg TicToc (@tictoc) September 20, 2019 “The government is doing too little and this needs to be changed,” said Dionizy Debski, a high school student from Warsaw.Click here for TicToc’s ongoing coverage of the global climate protestsThe movement -- inspired by the braided Swedish teenager Thunberg who started weekly school walkouts last year -- has gone global, drawing parallels with other protests like the Civil Rights struggle and anti-apartheid demonstrations.Friday’s protests come ahead of United Nations events, including the first Youth Climate Summit on Saturday and the Climate Action Summit of government, corporate and other leaders on Sept. 23 in New York. Thunberg, who founded the “Fridays for Future” protest group, captured media attention by sailing across the Atlantic to address the youth event, rather than traveling by plane -- doing her bit to cap emissions.The climate campaign has spurred some companies into action. Germany’s Volkswagen AG, the world’s biggest automaker, pledged to make more electric cars and become climate-neutral by 2050.Amazon.com Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos vowed Thursday to wean his company off fossil fuels by 2030. He also announced the formation of a new organization -- the Climate Pledge -- amid a steady drumbeat of criticism from activists and his own employees over Amazon’s dependence on fossil fuels.GlobalClimateStrike rally.Protesters are urging leaders to address global warming and put an end to the age of fossil fuels CoveringClimateNow pic.twitter.com/jGfAI7Bnse— Bloomberg TicToc (@tictoc) September 20, 2019 Despite that pledge, Amazon employees around the world walked off the job on Friday, in offices from Poland to South Africa and Ireland.In Seattle, hundreds of workers, joined by colleagues from Google and other tech companies, rallied in front of the biospheres at the heart of Amazon’s headquarters.Weston Fribley, an employee and organizer of Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, said Bezos’s pledge was “just the beginning.” The plans, he said, “must be implemented.” He also repeated the group’s call for Amazon to end its sales to fossil fuel companies.On Thursday, Alphabet Inc. Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai made his own announcement, saying Google had agreed to buy 1.6 gigawatts of wind and solar power, describing it as a record purchase of renewable energy by a single company.Google Makes Biggest Clean Energy Purchase Ever by a CompanyIn Australia, the campaign has the backing of high-profile business leaders such as the billionaire co-founder of enterprise software company Atlassian Corp., Mike Cannon-Brookes. Atlassian was among hundreds of Australian employers, including law firm Slater & Gordon Ltd. and real-estate portal Domain Holdings Australia Ltd., that allowed workers to take time off to attend the rallies.The call to action has resonated across Europe, which has suffered from increasing bouts of drought and wildfires, and in Australia -- the world’s driest inhabited continent that derives the bulk of its energy from burning coal.For all the support the campaign is deriving, however, there are pockets of opposition. In Germany, the far-right AfD party slammed the government’s climate measures, citing escalating costs. Merkel’s government is “mercilessly squeezing its citizens for an ideology,” its co-leader Alice Weidel said in a Twitter post.(Updates with Amazon workers protest.)\--With assistance from Maciej Martewicz, Helene Fouquet and Matt Day.To contact the reporters on this story: Bruce Einhorn in Hong Kong at beinhorn1@bloomberg.net;Thuy Ong in Sydney at hong35@bloomberg.net;Stefan Nicola in Berlin at snicola2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at cthomas16@bloomberg.net, Vidya Root, Eric PfannerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Merkel Seals $60 Billion Deal in New Attempt at Climate Targets
    Bloomberg

    Merkel Seals $60 Billion Deal in New Attempt at Climate Targets

    (Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Germany has pledged a 54 billion euros ($60 billion) program to put its climate target back on track without abandoning its long-standing policy of zero deficit spending.The landmark package worth more than Germany’s 2009 economic stimulus plan following the financial crisis, gradually increases automotive fuel prices and taxes air travel, while cutting costs for trains. It also introduces carbon allowances for transportation and provides incentives for people to junk old furnaces.The deal gives Chancellor Angela Merkel something to showcase at a UN climate conference next week, partially alleviates investor concerns that swelling expenditures could increase debt, and at least temporarily breathes some fresh life into an otherwise fragile coalition. Yet critics say the measures could be too little too late to make the 2030 target of slashing greenhouse gas emissions by 55%.Environmental groups and opposition politicians agreed that the carbon price set was far too low to really have an impact.Johannes Teyssen, Chief Executive Officer of power utility EON SE, agreed."It’s good news that there’ll be a price for carbon dioxide in heating and transport," said Teyssen, who is shifting EON away from power generation to concentrate on network solutions like electric car charging services. "But costs under 35 euros per ton will have little steering effect."Speaking at a press conference to detail the plan, Merkel said the measures were a compromise between what science required to slow climate change and what the population would be willing to support.“We’ve created numerous incentives, so that people can behave in a more environmentally responsible way,” said Merkel.The 65-year-old physicist-turned-politician insisted the plan wouldn’t require the government to raise more debt. The costs for incentives such as promoting electric vehicles and upgrading older furnaces will be balanced by income from carbon-dioxide certificates. The deal was reached after more than 16 hours of overnight negotiations that began Thursday evening in Berlin."We’re sticking by the black zero," she said in reference to her administrations long-standing policy of a zero deficit spending.The measures could shake up Germany’s transport sector, an industry that includes automotive giants like Volkswagen AG and Lufthansa AG, Europe’s biggest airline. On electric cars, the government said it wants to see the number of those vehicles rise to 10 million. It also wants to attract battery cell factories to Germany, breaking an all-Asian stranglehold on supply from LG Chem, Samsung SDI and CATL.The cabinet wants to make flying more expensive with changes to ticket price laws to restrict the number of ultra-low fairs. Higher prices could benefit Lufthansa, analysts have said, as the airline struggles to compete in a pan-European war for market share. When Germany raised the cost of flying in 2011, Ryanair retreated from the country’s market, allowing Lufthansa to claw back customers.Germany’s leaders were under pressure to seal a deal, with the country falling far short of its climate goals. Tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered to march in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and around 500 other locations across Germany as part of the Fridays for Future movement. Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said the demonstrations have been a “wake-up call.”But the plan was also criticized for its incremental approach in other areas. Automotive fuels would initially rise by only 0.03 euro per liter, while oil-fired furnaces can be sold for another six years.Merkel has faced a series of protests this year demanding action to stem emissions, and the Green party has surged in the polls as the impact of global warming becomes increasingly tangible, with forests fires more frequent and droughts causing the Rhine river to recede.Some of the SPD leaders had indicated they would push for the party to leave Merkel’s coalition if the government didn’t agree on substantial climate measures.(Adds detail, context throughout.)\--With assistance from Tom Lavell, Patrick Donahue and Chris Reiter.To contact the reporters on this story: Brian Parkin in Berlin at bparkin@bloomberg.net;Arne Delfs in Berlin at adelfs@bloomberg.net;William Wilkes in Frankfurt at wwilkes1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at cthomas16@bloomberg.net, Raymond Colitt, Iain RogersFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Toyota (TM) to Invest $243 Million in Brazilian Facility
    Zacks

    Toyota (TM) to Invest $243 Million in Brazilian Facility

    Expansion of the Sorocaba facility in Sao Paulo state of Brazil is a prudent investment decision for Toyota (TM).

  • Reuters

    Germany to raise incentives for buying electric cars - climate policy document

    The German government will raise incentives for buying electric cars under its new climate plan, as well as raising road tolls for trucks from 2023 and pumping money into rail operator Deutsche Bahn, a climate policy document seen by Reuters showed.

  • Reuters

    Navistar to build new truck plant in Texas, aims to boost margins

    U.S. truck maker Navistar International Corp said on Thursday it will invest more than $250 million in a new, more efficient truck plant in San Antonio, Texas, that will produce three different sized trucks and create around 600 jobs. The new plant follows an announcement from Navistar in June that it would invest $125 million in its Huntsville, Alabama, engine plant as part of an alliance with German truck maker Traton. Navistar will make Class 6, Class 7 and Class 8 trucks on the same production line in San Antonio.

  • Volkswagen, Porsche to recall around 227,000 cars over airbag, seatbelt issues: report
    Reuters

    Volkswagen, Porsche to recall around 227,000 cars over airbag, seatbelt issues: report

    Volkswagen and Porsche have to recall around 227,000 cars due to problems with airbags and seatbelt pre-tensioners, Germany's Stuttgarter Zeitung said on Thursday. The newspaper said the Tiguan, Sharan and CC models built in 2015 as well as Porsche 911, Boxter, Cayman und Panamera models from 2015 and 2016. It cited Germany's KBA federal motor authority as saying the cars needed an update to the software of the airbag control units.

  • Bloomberg

    Germany is Having an Existential Crisis About Cars

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- America’s automakers hit rock bottom with the public when their executives went to Washington in 2008 to beg for a bailout — in corporate jets.Now it’s the German car industry’s turn to suffer an image crisis and, as with General Motors Co. and Chrysler a decade ago, it couldn’t be happening at a less auspicious moment. Amid trade wars and plunging China sales, the number of cars rolling off Germany’s production lines has dropped by 12% this year and exports by 14%. European auto sales fell 3% in the first eight months of 2019.(1) With demand expected to remain weak for a couple of years, the German parts supplier Continental AG isn’t ruling out cuts to working hours and jobs.It’s a bad time to be having a public relations crisis too, but that is what’s happening in the country that invented the internal combustion engine. This month’s Frankfurt Motor Show was meant to give Germany’s mighty auto industry a platform to show off its expensive plans to build more electric vehicles.Instead, many international carmakers chose to stay away (some to save money) and Karl-Thomas Neumann, the ex-boss of Opel/Vauxhall, declared the event a “huge fail.” Compounding the misery, Daimler AG’s Mercedes, BMW AG and Volkswagen AG were upstaged by climate protesters who accused them of not doing enough to end their addiction to diesel and gasoline engines.Things had already got off to an ugly start. On the eve of the show four pedestrians were struck and killed by a sport utility vehicle in Berlin, prompting a fierce debate about the “social utility” of these gas-guzzling, tank-like cars. Featuring a picture of a Porsche SUV on its cover this week, Der Spiegel magazine declared a “new object of hate.” I’ve written before about the industry’s dependence on very profitable SUVs and the risk of a backlash.Meanwhile, the organization that one might usually expect to defend the German car giants — the VDA lobby group — was preoccupied with the abrupt resignation of its president, Bernhard Mattes. This fueled speculation that the industry was unhappy about its loss of political influence and increasing stigmatization.The German car industry provides more than 800,000 jobs in the country and it accounts for a big chunk of its manufacturing production and exports. Past governments fought hard to protect their industry crown jewel from troublesome regulations. That’s no longer always the case.First, the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal made it unwise for politicians to go easy on companies that put profits above public health. And second, Germans have become alarmed by climate change and the industry’s role in that. The average emissions of new vehicles sold(3) climbed for the second year in a row last year, in part because of SUV sales. That’s one reason why Germany is set to miss its 2020 carbon pollution reduction targets. Passenger cars account for about 11% of its greenhouse gas emissions.(2)Stringent European Union emission targets, and massive fines for non-compliance, have been put in place already. A German federal government led by the Greens (not unimaginable given the party’s poll surge) would be tougher still. After the deadly accident in Berlin, there were calls to ban SUVs from cities.The average age of a new car buyer in Germany has climbed to 53, suggesting that the industry may be looking at a difficult future. Yet claims that Germans have fallen out of love with the automobile feel overblown. They still bought about 3.4 million new vehicles last year, pretty decent by historic standards. About 95% of them had a combustion engine. More than one-quarter were SUVs. Nor does the government have any desire to kill its golden goose. Earlier this year officials rejected attempts by campaigners to mandate a speed limit on the autobahn.With this contradiction between the public’s anxiety about climate change and its fondness for big vehicles, it’s not surprising that the government and carmakers are struggling to keep everyone happy. Riding a bike and car-sharing have become a genuine alternative in cities such as Berlin. But for those who still feel they need a car, electric vehicles tend to be more expensive and their driving range can be limited (for now, at least). The climate package the German government is due to announce on Friday will doubtless try to address this by including more incentives for electric vehicles and infrastructure.As the industry wrestles with such epochal challenges, it helps that Germany’s automakers have all recently appointed new bosses. They’re far from united, however, on how aggressively to abandon the combustion engine. Volkswagen is going “all-in” on battery cars (it’s targeting 40% of electric sales by 2030), while BMW is more cautious. The latter thinks hydrogen fuel-cells might have a future, though VW isn’t a fan.Yet even VW plans to use the profit from selling large SUVs such as its three-row “Atlas” to fund investments in green alternatives.At last week’s show in Frankfurt, electric vehicles like the Porsche Taycan and Volkswagen ID3 sat alongside gas-guzzling monsters like the BMW X6 and Mercedes AMG GLE Coupe. With the climate crisis intensifying, the industry’s split personality is getting more incongruous and indefensible by the day.(1) It's not all bad - the German market has actually expanded slightly so far this year.(2) In terms of grams of CO2 per km(3) See hereTo contact the senior editor responsible for Bloomberg Opinion’s editorials: David Shipley at davidshipley@bloomberg.net, .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.

  • Merkel Has One More Crisis to Fight Before She Leaves the Stage
    Bloomberg

    Merkel Has One More Crisis to Fight Before She Leaves the Stage

    (Bloomberg) -- Angela Merkel stood in front of Greenland’s melting icebergs in a fire engine-red parka and appealed to world leaders to step up their fight against climate change.Back in 2007, that image earned her a reputation as the “climate chancellor.” Since then, she has kept the euro area together through the debt crisis and offered refuge to a million migrants despite widespread opposition. But global carbon emissions are still climbing  and Merkel’s government has fallen way short of its own climate goals.Massive climate protests in Germany and a surge in support for the Greens this year show that failure risks becoming a stain on her legacy. On Friday, the physicist-turned-politician has a chance to put things right when her cabinet meets to discuss measures worth tens of billions of euros aimed at capping runaway emissions from cars, planes, and furnaces.It’s a bit of a revival for Merkel, who late last year stepped down from her party leadership and announced she wouldn’t seek a fifth term when her mandate expires in 2021. Since then her government has been drifting, bogged down by infighting and demoralized by sliding approval ratings.The climate issue has re-energized the chancellor. For weeks she’s been laying the groundwork for the climate package, reverting to the moralistic campaigning characteristic of the daughter of a Protestant pastor. Germans must be prepared to pay a price for what has become a challenge for humanity, goes her message.“Germany is an industrial nation, we’ve emitted a lot of C02 and thereby contributed to global warming,” she said in a podcast last week.When she speaks at the UN Climate Summit in New York on Sept. 23, she wants to tell the world that Germany and its chancellor are back at the forefront in fighting global climate change. But her plans are meeting skepticism at home. Bild, the country’s largest newspaper, this week called her pending climate measures a “bogus package,” arguing that she had lost credibility by announcing grand schemes and then not delivering. Merkel, who was environment minister under Chancellor Helmut Kohl in the mid-1990s, herself acknowledged that she was slow to act in the past, hesitating to back new technologies. At heart, the chancellor is a cautious pragmatist, and corporate interests and opinion polls matter. Growing up in the former communist East, she witnessed the failings of a centrally-planned economy and is unwilling to wield a heavy government hand and to impose transformational change on German industry.Read more:  Germany Inc. Waits on Merkel’s CO2 Plan: Here’s What’s at Stake Now too, the challenge for Merkel is how to balance calls for more aggressive action from the public and her junior coalition partner, the Social Democrats, with the need to ensure Germany’s competitiveness at a time when its export-led economy is already being battered by a global trade war.Businesses already face the highest corporate tax rates in the OECD and the second-highest energy costs worldwide, says Elmar Degenhart, chief executive officer at Continental AG, the car parts maker.“Not good conditions for our deep, technological restructuring: for more climate protection, more security, comfort and digitalization,” Degenhart said.Merkel’s laissez-faire pragmatism have been most notable in her dealings with the all-powerful German car industry. In 2013 she stepped out in defense of iconic car labels such as BMW, Audi and VW by thwarted EU plans limiting CO2 emissions that would have hit their bigger luxury cars particularly hard. Even during the so-called VW Diesel-gate scandal, Merkel was reluctant to introduce tougher rules.Read more: Merkel’s Party Aims to Protect Budget Legacy From Climate PlanWhen car makers like VW subsequently rolled out ambitious e-mobility plans, government efforts to provide the necessary charging stations were half-hearted, leaving Merkel far behind her target of putting one million electric cars on the streets by 2020.On nuclear energy, Merkel zigzagged, first extending the phaseout time of nuclear plants by up to 14 years only to reverse her decision in the wake of Fukushima disaster and order the immediate shutdown of older nuclear plants and later phasing out of nuclear energy in Germany by 2022. In another sign of wavering, Merkel first discredited the FridaysForFuture movement, suggesting it could be the result of a Russian cyber warfare campaign.“This is the moment when Merkel must overcome her cautiousness, listen to the youth in her country instead of corporate executives,” said Jennifer Morgan, executive director of Greenpeace International. “A zero carbon target in two decades would address the climate emergency and set up Germany’s economy for the future.”There are concrete choices Merkel will have to take. Does she want to impose faster-acting carbon taxes or simply extend the Emissions Trading System, which lets companies buy or sell their carbon allowances, to transport and heating? The decision could benefit electricity producers and makers of electric products, while punishing companies that can’t easily cut C02 emissions.One area where consensus is emerging is the need to tax air travel more, while making trains cheaper.Read more:  Merkel Offers to Help Germany’s Carmakers With ‘Herculean Task’For now, Merkel’s focus on the environment seems to have had some impact on voter opinion, at least judging by the latest polls. The CDU, which trailed the Green Party by three percentage points in a June survey by Forsa polling company, now leads by the same margin.Still, critics say Merkel’s latest push for the climate may be too little too late. With her junior coalition partner, the Social Democrats, mulling whether to leave the governing coalition as early as December, there would be no time to draft appropriate legislation much less to see it through Congress.“The coalition is coming up with a plan but it will probably live only as long as the current government,” Christian Egenhofer, a researcher at the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels. “The real momentum will be gained only when a new government comes to power and implements new laws.”This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 220 news outlets to highlight climate change.\--With assistance from Ewa Krukowska and Christoph Rauwald.To contact the authors of this story: Arne Delfs in Berlin at adelfs@bloomberg.netRaymond Colitt in Berlin at rcolitt@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Ben Sills at bsills@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    California Vows Fight as Trump Takes Aim at Clean-Car Authority

    (Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump said he will revoke California’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from autos, his latest clash with the state that threatens to plunge the auto industry into protracted legal uncertainty.“This is the fight of a lifetime for us. We have to win this and I believe we will,” California Air Resources Board Chairman Mary Nichols said during a defiant press conference after Trump’s announcement Wednesday.Trump’s decision, announced on Twitter, adds to his long-running disputes with liberal California. As he began a two-day fundraising trip in the state Tuesday, Trump derided its homeless crisis while calling out the “tremendous taxes” its property owners pay. That comes on top of his criticism of the state’s management of immigration, forest fires and water policy.California, a heavily Democratic state that’s home to one in eight Americans, has filed more than 50 lawsuits and other protests over the president’s actions.Taking away California’s clean-car authority upends fuel-economy rules negotiated with the auto industry by President Barack Obama. Trump said his administration’s replacement efficiency standards, which are being finalized by federal agencies for cars built after 2020, will lead to greater vehicle production by reducing the cost of new vehicles.“Many more cars will be produced under the new and uniform standard, meaning significantly more JOBS, JOBS, JOBS! Automakers should seize this opportunity because without this alternative to California, you will be out of business,” Trump said in a tweet.Legal experts said the Trump administration may have a tough time defending a suit. A waiver has never been revoked in the 50-year-history of the Clean Air Act, said Julia Stein, a University of California at Los Angeles environmental law expert.“Ironically, even though the administration insists that it will be creating ‘one national standard’ by revoking California’s waiver, it will actually be doing the opposite,” Stein wrote in a blog post Thursday.California officials including Governor Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a press conference that the state has received roughly 100 waivers to combat air pollution and they would defend the one underpinning its vehicle rules.“This is such a pivotal moment in the history of climate change,” Newsom said, citing statistics on the role of transportation in greenhouse gas emissions. “This is our legacy moment.”With some 35 million vehicles in the state, and the transportation sector’s role as the top contributor of greenhouse gas emissions, Becerra said California’s ability to combat vehicle greenhouse gas emissions is critical to the state’s clean-air goals.“Our message to those who claim to support states rights: don’t trample on ours,” Becerra said. “Doing so would be an attempt to undo the progress we’ve made over the past decades.”Under Trump’s plan, the Environmental Protection Agency will revoke the so-called waiver underpinning the state’s ability to set tailpipe greenhouse-gas emissions standards that are more stringent, as well as the state’s electric vehicle sales mandate. The Transportation Department meanwhile will assert that the California rules are preempted by federal fuel-economy standards administered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao have a “major policy announcement” planned at the EPA’s headquarters Thursday morning, the agency said in a statement following Trump’s tweet.Why Trump Attacks California’s Anti-Pollution Powers: QuickTakeDave Schwietert, interim president of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, said the group will review the action and the still-pending federal emissions and fuel-economy standards for 2021 to 2026 to evaluate how they effect its member companies, employees and consumers.Predictable emissions and fuel economy standards are vital for automakers because as they plan production and model offerings several years in the future.“Automakers support year-over-year increases in fuel economy standards that align with marketplace realities, and we support one national program as the best path to preserve good auto jobs, keep new vehicles affordable for more Americans and avoid a marketplace with different standards,” Schwietert said in a statement.The move will shatter a nearly decade-long regulatory arrangement between NHTSA, EPA and the California Air Resources Board that has allowed automakers to satisfy fuel economy and efficiency standards administered by each agency with a single fleet of vehicles that can be sold nationwide.“Our viewpoint is that we want one national fleet” standard for fuel economy and emissions, said Art St. Cyr, vice president of auto operations at American Honda Morot Co. “We don’t want to have a split fleet.”Trump’s move “is bad for California and it’s bad for the country,” said California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein. “Revoking California’s authority will lead not only to more pollution, it will cost consumers billions of dollars a year in increased fuel consumption.”California’s Weak Case in Emissions War With Trump: Noah FeldmanThe Trump administration in August 2018 proposed stripping California’s authority as part of its broader plan to slash federal emissions and fuel-economy requirements enacted by the Obama administration.The plan initially recommended capping requirements after 2020 at a 37 mile-per-gallon fleet average, instead of rising each year to roughly 50 mpg. U.S. officials have since signaled that the final rule may require small annual improvements, but at levels far less than required under the current standards. Separating the attack on California’s authority allows that piece of the rule to proceed while federal agencies continue to finalize the new replacement requirements.CARB announced in July an accord with the Ford Motor Co., Honda Motor Co., BMW AG and Volkswagen AG on compromise tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions regulations, drawing Trump’s ire.The carmakers agreed with the state’s clean-air regulator to boost the fuel efficiency of autos sold in the U.S through 2026.Earlier this month, Trump’s Justice Department opened an antitrust probe into the deal.Free-market groups that have been pushing the administration to roll back the standard cheered the move while environmentalists decried it.“Withdrawing the California waiver is great news for car buyers and drivers. The rapid increase in new car prices should slow down, which means more people will be able to afford to buy a new car,” said Myron Ebell, a director at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, who is one of the main proponents of revoking California’s waiver. “The decision also restores our federalist system. With the waiver, California was for practical purposes put in charge of deciding what kinds of cars people across the nation can buy.”Paul Cort, an attorney for the environmental group Earthjustice, said “It’s bad enough the administration won’t take any meaningful action to clean our air or fight the warming climate that threatens us all; now they want to prevent California and other states from filling that gap.”\--With assistance from Keith Naughton and Andrew Harris.To contact the reporters on this story: Ryan Beene in Washington at rbeene@bloomberg.net;Ari Natter in Washington at anatter5@bloomberg.net;Jennifer A. Dlouhy in Washington at jdlouhy1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at jmorgan97@bloomberg.net, Elizabeth WassermanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • California Has a Weak Case in Emissions Fight With Trump
    Bloomberg

    California Has a Weak Case in Emissions Fight With Trump

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- The Trump administration is gearing up for its next big legal fight, taking on California’s long-established authority to set vehicle emission standards for new cars. Because the state is so large, this effectively creates national miles-per-gallon targets for any manufacturer selling vehicles in the U.S. Trump would like to take this power away from California and set lower national MPG standards.The question is, can he do it? Or is this just another example of presidential overreach in an administration that specializes in going too far?The answer turns out to be more complicated than you might think. California’s practices do have a strong basis in a federal law created to let the state fight smog. Yet California may have gone beyond this original mandate and become a regulator acting on par with the federal government — a strange deviation from the norms of U.S. federalism. The issue may eventually make its way to the Supreme Court, and with its current conservative majority, the court could very well decide in favor of Trump.The origin of California’s unusual powers goes back to the Clean Air Act of 1963. The law gives the Environmental Protection Agency authority to set emission standards, and bars states and local governments from setting standards of their own. But Section 209 allows California to apply for a waiver from that ban to allow it to set its own emission standards. The EPA is required to grant California’s waiver unless it finds that California doesn’t need the standards “to meet compelling and extraordinary conditions” or that California was “arbitrary and capricious in its finding that its standards are, in the aggregate, at least as protective of public health and welfare as applicable federal standards.”The reason California got this special treatment back in 1963 was that Congress recognized that the terrible smog in Southern California was largely a product of vehicle emissions. The idea was that California could clean up its air by requiring things like catalytic converters and “check engine” systems to limit tailpipe emissions.It worked, more or less, and California’s skies got somewhat cleaner. And because California was and remains such a huge auto market, manufacturers came to treat the California standards as their de facto requirements for the whole country.The Trump administration is targeting California’s power because of a fight over a proposed EPA rule that reduces 2026 mileage targets of 51 MPG established under the Obama administration. After the Trump administration proposed lowering the standard to 37 MPG, California signed a separate deal with Ford, Honda, Volkswagen, and BMW in which the automakers said they would aim to meet the original target.As far as California is concerned, it’s still simply limiting carbon dioxide emissions and attempting to fight smog … but it’s doing so by setting mileage standards. The Trump administration is poised to argue that California has used its waiver to get into the business of regulating carmakers generally — not just to keep the skies clear over California. Effectively, the Trump demonstration says, California is competing with the EPA as a policymaker setting national standards.If you care about climate change, you might think that’s perfectly fine, especially because California can only set standards that are tougher than the federal government’s, not weaker.But from the standpoint of government design, it’s pretty strange that one state can thwart the will of the executive branch. The governor of California represents Californians; the U.S. president represents the entire country. Even if you don’t like Trump’s policies, you should be willing to admit that he’s the elected president.The technical name for a situation where one state has special powers is “asymmetrical federalism.” The Clean Air Act waiver is one of those highly unusual cases where the U.S. Congress has given asymmetrical powers to one state. Lots of other states have pledged to follow California’s standards; but they don’t have the same legal authority to set standards of their own.When conservative courts come to consider whether California’s mileage standards go too far, expect them to analyze the issue against the backdrop of federalism. Sure, conservatives like states’ rights. But they may not like the idea that one state out of all the others has the capacity to compete with the federal government to make policy. And frankly, if it were not for the environmental twist, many liberal judges would also be skeptical of a state pushing the boundaries of its unique powers.The legal fight is just getting started, and it will take years to wend its way through the courts. If Donald Trump isn’t re-elected, the whole issue will probably go away. If he is, however, we are very likely to see a lengthy fight over federalism, the environment, and just how unique California really is.To contact the author of this story: Noah Feldman at nfeldman7@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Sarah Green Carmichael at sgreencarmic@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Noah Feldman is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is a professor of law at Harvard University and was a clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice David Souter. His books include “The Three Lives of James Madison: Genius, Partisan, President.” For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters

    UPDATE 5-Trump and California go to war over clean cars

    U.S. President Donald Trump and the state of California went to war on Wednesday over who should set the standards in the United States for vehicle emissions and electric cars, foreshadowing a legal battle over environmental policy issues that will affect the auto industry and consumers. Trump confirmed he would revoke California's authority to require automakers to build cleaner vehicles than federal requirements demand. Trump tweeted that vehicles would be "far less expensive" and "substantially SAFER" - claims California officials rejected.

  • European Car Sales Plunge, Deepening Industry Woes
    Bloomberg

    European Car Sales Plunge, Deepening Industry Woes

    (Bloomberg) -- European car sales fell sharply in August, deepening the woes of an industry battling sluggish demand in key markets and the challenge of rolling out electric vehicles.Registrations dropped 8.4%, the steepest monthly decline this year, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association. The fall was partly due to exceptionally high growth a year earlier as manufacturers rushed out models ahead of tough new emissions-testing rules. Volkswagen AG shares lost 0.4% in early trading in Frankfurt and BMW AG was 0.3% lower.In addition to the risk of a recession in Germany, carmakers are also facing a slowdown in the Chinese car market. European sales over the year to date are down 3.2% and the continent’s five biggest markets all contracted in August, with Spain and France posting the biggest slowdowns. The drop last month brought registrations down to 1.04 million units.Nissan Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV saw the biggest slowdown in August sales at 47.5% and 26.5% respectively.The industry’s predicament took center stage at the Frankfurt auto show, where thousands of protesters demanded political and industry action to combat climate change. The head of Germany’s auto lobby group also unexpectedly announced his resignation last week.Carmakers at the show displayed their new electric models, which will become crucial in coming months as the companies race to meet new European carbon-dioxide emissions rules. Carlos Tavares, head of the ACEA and chief executive officer of Groupe PSA, last week called for more charging infrastructure to encourage consumers to buy the vehicles.After the August 2018 boost, auto sales dropped dramatically overall and have failed to pick up since, with the association forecasting a 1% drop for the year.While the ongoing issues in the car industry are hitting Germany in particular, there are signs of weakness in manufacturing across Europe. Euro-area economic growth is forecast to slow to 1.1% this year from 1.9% in 2018, which would be its worst performance in six years.The weakness in industry hasn’t had a dramatic impact on the labor market so far. If that changes, and unemployment starts to rise, that would mark a step up in the seriousness of the slowdown. It would also further hurt car sales as consumers rein in big-ticket purchases.Europe’s July sales increase, one of only two monthly gains in 12 months, was almost entirely down to Central European countries, the association said. Only Germany showed positive growth that month among Western European countries.(Adds shares in second paragraph.)\--With assistance from Fergal O'Brien.To contact the reporter on this story: Oliver Sachgau in Munich at osachgau@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tara Patel at tpatel2@bloomberg.net, John BowkerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters

    UPDATE 2-Trump to bar California from setting vehicle emission rules -sources

    The Trump administration will announce as early as Wednesday it is revoking California’s authority to set its own greenhouse gas and vehicle fuel efficiency standards and barring all states from setting such rules, two auto industry officials said on Tuesday. The move is sure to spark legal challenges over issues including states' rights and climate change that administration officials say could ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Trump met with senior officials last Thursday and agreed to greenlight the plan to bar California from setting tailpipe emission standards or requiring zero emission vehicles, Reuters reported last week.

  • Will Purdue’s Bankruptcy Engulf Its Owners?
    Bloomberg

    Will Purdue’s Bankruptcy Engulf Its Owners?

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- The bankruptcy of Purdue Pharma LP lays bare a distinction that the internet is making it more and more difficult to maintain: that between a company and the people who own or founded it.The Sackler family owns Purdue Pharma, the maker of the opioid OxyContin, which has contributed to a crisis that has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans. There are numerous charges and more than 2,000 lawsuits against the company and its owners, and some recent joint settlements. The company has now declared bankruptcy, and wants to give control of Purdue to a trust run by the states, cities and counties that have filed suit against it.But what about the personal fortune of the Sacklers, estimated at $13 billion or more? Under traditional corporate theory, there is a clear distinction between the assets of the corporation and those of the owners. The limited liability company can go under, but the assets of the company owners are safe — just as, say, holding shares of Volkswagen in your mutual fund did not expose you to any personal liability for the automaker’s actions in falsifying emissions data.It turns out that this distinction is harder to uphold, if only in the eyes of the public, when a single family owns and runs a company. Last week New York State alleged that the Sackler family drained at least $1 billion from Purdue for the purpose of avoiding penalties against the corporation and thus shielding its wealth. If it looks like the Sackler family was trying to avoid legal penalties and fines, there will be strong political pressure, possibly backed by public opinion, to go after those additional funds.More generally, if a company is endangered by lawsuits, and the suits are not settled, its owners have a rationale to extract money from the company and stash it far away. But doing so will elicit a legal and public response, and the distinction between the personal and the corporate will not always be respected.Consider the Federal Trade Commission’s recent settlement with Facebook, under which some of founder Mark Zuckerberg’s personal assets are potentially on the line if Facebook does not respect its privacy agreements with the federal government. Some FTC commissioners suggested harsher treatment yet for Zuckerberg’s personal assets.Or, to give another example, Senator Elizabeth Warren has been promoting the notion of personal criminal liability for corporate CEOs if the firms engage in wrongdoing. Her bill would extend corporate liability beyond the company itself, and of course most CEOs of major companies are also shareholders to some extent. Maybe the goal is to punish these individuals in their roles as executives rather than as shareholders. But such penalties would blur these distinctions in the mind of the public — and eventually, perhaps, under the law.So how does the internet matter in all this? First, social media is very effective at drumming up outrage, and negative news seems to have a longer lifespan than positive news. The media’s pre-existing negative bias has been amplified, creating further animosity against any actual or supposed corporate villain.More important, social media personalizes agency — in effect, making it easier to accuse particular individuals of wrongdoing. Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and the Koch brothers all have images or iconic photos that can be put into a social media post, amplifying any attack on their respective companies. It is harder to vilify Exxon, in part because hardly anyone can name its CEO (Darren Woods, since 2017), who in any case did not create the current version of the company. Putting the Exxon logo on your vituperative social media post just doesn’t have the same impact. With Bill Gates having stepped down as Microsoft CEO in 2000, it is harder to vilify that company as well.This personalization of corporate evil has become a bigger issue in part because many prominent tech companies are currently led by their founders, and also because the number of publicly traded companies has been falling, which means there are fewer truly anonymous corporations. It’s not hard to imagine a future in which the most important decision a new company makes is how personalized it wants to be. A well-known founder can spark interest in the company and its products, and help to attract talent. At the same time, a personalized company is potentially a much greater target.The more human identities and feelings are part of the equation, however, the harder it will be to keep the classic distinction between a corporation and its owners. As the era of personalization evolves, it will inevitably engulf that most impersonal of entities — the corporation.(Corrects second paragraph to say that hundreds of thousands of deaths have resulted from the opioid crisis, not the opioid OxyContin, in article published Sept. 16.)To contact the author of this story: Tyler Cowen at tcowen2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Newman at mnewman43@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tyler Cowen is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is a professor of economics at George Mason University and writes for the blog Marginal Revolution. His books include "Big Business: A Love Letter to an American Anti-Hero."For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters

    Indian tax panel unlikely to favour tax rate cut for auto sector -sources

    India's goods and services tax (GST) panel is unlikely to approve lowering the tax for the auto and allied components sector this week, as a study has warned of major revenue losses, two government officials said. A government study, attached to the agenda of a Sept. 20 GST panel meeting, has said the total annual revenue loss could be as much as 500 billion rupees ($6.95 billion), if the panel decided to lower tax rates for the auto sector to 18% from 28%. Meanwhile, state officials in Kerala, Punjab and West Bengal say they are also opposed to any cut in tax rates in the autos sector, or even consumer goods, because of lacklustre tax collections this fiscal year.

  • GM Strike Is the Right Idea in the Wrong Place
    Bloomberg

    GM Strike Is the Right Idea in the Wrong Place

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- The United Auto Workers union has gone on strike against General Motors Co., demanding much higher pay, more benefits, more job security and a greater share of profits. One analysis suggested that the work stoppage could cost the auto manufacturer $50 million a day in lost earnings. But there might be another, bigger cost for GM and its workers if the strike drags on.On the positive side, the GM work stoppage, the first in 12 years, has the potential to help revitalize a moribund U.S. labor movement. In recent years there has been a spate of strikes in the country, but they look small in historical context:The iconic nature of the current struggle makes it a potent symbol. It was a 1945 UAW strike against GM that resulted in the so-called Treaty of Detroit in 1950, which resulted in the generous packages of pay and benefits that defined good manufacturing jobs in the postwar U.S. The U.S. has largely shifted to service jobs, but a UAW victory against GM could inspire service workers to organize as well. That would be a step toward rebuilding the American middle class.But there are several reasons why a strike against GM might not be the most effective way to kick off a reborn labor movement. The nature of the industry, the evolution of the global economy since 1950, and the pressures of climate change mean that even if the walkout ends in victory over GM’s management, the UAW strike might end up backfiring.Internationally competitive export industries are not ideal for the kind of aggressive bargaining the UAW is engaging in. When the U.S. was practically the entire market for GM’s cars after World War II, management could accommodate labor’s demands simply by lowering profits, raising prices and increasing wages and benefits without hurting sales. But now, even if Ford joins whatever deal GM eventually reaches with its union, U.S. manufacturers are facing a global market and a slew of overseas competitors.Today, GM isn’t even close to being the world’s biggest auto manufacturer, producing fewer than 7 million vehicles in 2018 compared to more than 10 million at Toyota and Volkswagen. In terms of worldwide revenue, Ford and GM come in fourth and fifth, respectively:At their U.S. factories, these foreign companies generally pay workers substantially less than GM and Ford. Auto workers in Germany and South Korea earn more, but have higher productivity that more than makes up for it. Notably, German unions have often pursued a policy of wage restraint, agreeing to hold down pay increases so that their employers can gain market share. GM and Ford are thus facing an uphill battle against rivals that can produce and sell cars more cheaply.Government policy could help shield GM and Ford from some of that competition. The U.S. could enact high tariffs to protect its markets, and it could mandate that foreign companies use unionized workers (though the latter is highly unlikely to happen unless Democrats win a lot of elections).But even then, there would be international competition to think about. GM now sells more cars and earns more revenue in China than it does in the U.S. Overseas markets have been the main source of growth for American car companies in recent years, with no growth in U.S. vehicle sales in the past four years. And in those crucial overseas markets, GM and Ford are competing with Toyota, Volkswagen and the rest, and tariffs won’t help. Export subsidies might do some good, but other governments can match those.The UAW’s demands could thus force U.S. automakers’ costs to levels that will render GM and Ford uncompetitive in their most important markets. That would lead to loss of market share, resulting in more plant closings and fewer jobs. When the next recession comes, a weakened GM could struggle to survive or even require a bailout like the one needed in the 2008-09 financial crisis.The demands of the global environment may be a negative for GM as well. With anxiety over climate change rising, various presidential candidates are proposing bold plans to switch the U.S. entirely over to electric vehicles within a short space of time. That would upend GM’s core business and make many of its factories obsolete. For GM and Ford to survive in a new green-energy world, they would have to very quickly retool to make electric vehicles. Higher labor costs and pension commitments could make that retooling much more difficult.Although the UAW strike may be inspiring for some, and may have positive consequences for the American labor movement, it may end up being a self-destructive move for GM workers themselves. The UAW should abandon the confrontational approach that worked in 1950 for the more cooperative, pragmatic strategy employed by its counterparts in Germany. It’s in the vast domestic service sector, which is less subject to foreign competition, where unions hold much more promise for wringing big concessions from management.To contact the author of this story: Noah Smith at nsmith150@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Greiff at jgreiff@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Noah Smith is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He was an assistant professor of finance at Stony Brook University, and he blogs at Noahpinion.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Volkswagen agrees to Australian settlement over diesel cheating
    Reuters

    Volkswagen agrees to Australian settlement over diesel cheating

    Volkswagen said on Monday it had agreed to pay up to A$127 million ($87.3 million) to settle lawsuits brought on behalf of thousands of Australian customers caught up in its global diesel emissions cheating scandal. The German automaker said it would pay about A$1,400 each to owners of affected Volkswagen, Audi and Skoda EA189 diesel vehicles who opted into the lawsuit. "This is a significant step toward fully resolving the diesel lawsuits in Australia," a Sydney-based Volkswagen spokesman said in an emailed statement.

  • BMW engine development expert Duesmann set to become Audi chief in April: report
    Reuters

    BMW engine development expert Duesmann set to become Audi chief in April: report

    BMW's engine development and purchasing expert, Markus Duesmann, is set to become the CEO of Volkswagen's Audi premium brand, after BMW dropped its opposition to his early departure, a German newspaper reported on Saturday. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung cited a person with knowledge of the appointment as saying Duesmann will start as Audi chief on April 1.

  • Bloomberg

    Michael Bennet Makes First His Ad Buy: Campaign Update

    (Bloomberg) -- Michael Bennet, who didn’t make the cut for Thursday’s Democratic debate in Houston, is taking to the airwaves in Iowa with his first media buy of the campaign.The presidential candidate and Colorado senator reserved at least $32,891 in the Des Moines and Ceder Rapids markets, according to Advertising Analytics, which tracks political advertising. The ads are slated to air starting Tuesday.Bennet failed to meet either requirement set by the Democratic National Committee for making the debate stages. The 10 candidates who participated had at least 130,000 unique donors and reached 2% in four national polls. Bennet will need to reach those marks by Oct. 1 to make the cut for the next round, scheduled to begin Oct. 15 in Westerville, Ohio.Spending on ads can boost a candidate’s standing in the polls, but they’re expensive. Billionaire Tom Steyer, who qualified for the October debate after entering the race in July, has spent about $14.3 million on broadcast and cable spots. That’s four times the amount Bennet’s campaign has raised.Democrats Set Next Debate for Oct. 15 in Ohio (2:36 p.m.)The Democratic National Committee announced Friday that the fourth debate of presidential candidates will take place Oct. 15, possibly with a second night on Oct. 16, depending on how many candidates qualify.The forum at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, will be co-hosted by the New York Times and CNN. Eleven candidates have already met the criteria: the 10 who participated in the third debate on Thursday, along with billionaire Tom Steyer, who only qualified recently.To qualify for the debate, candidates must receive at least 2% support in four approved polls conducted nationally or in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. They must also raise money from a minimum of 130,000 unique donors, including 400 contributors in each of at least 20 states by Oct. 1.The October debate will be moderated by CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Erin Burnett and Marc Lacey from the Times. The format has not yet been announced. -- Ryan Teague BeckwithHarris Asks for Inquiry into Probe of Carmakers (11:44 a.m.)Senator Kamala Harris asked the Justice Department’s internal watchdog to investigate the legal underpinnings of an antitrust probe into four automakers that agreed to meet compromise tailpipe emissions targets offered by California regulators.In a letter to the department’s inspector general released Friday by her office, the California Democrat and presidential candidate said the antitrust inquiry “raises serious concerns about whether federal law enforcement is being used to coerce” the companies into abandoning efforts to produce lower-emitting vehicles. The probe also raises questions about whether the Justice Department is being used for political purposes, she wrote.At issue is a July agreement by Ford Motor Co., Honda Motor Co., BMW AG and Volkswagen AG to meet future vehicle greenhouse gas emissions targets offered by California regulators that are more stringent than under a rollback proposed by the Trump administration but easier than rules adopted by the Obama administration in effect today.Harris’ request comes after other congressional Democrats have vowed to scrutinize the probe, revealed last week. The House Judiciary committee on Monday said it planned to hold hearings and request documents from the White House and Justice Department related to the antitrust probe. -- Ryan BeeneCastro Denies Slap at Biden’s Memory Was Unfair (8:02 a.m.)Julian Castro said he has no regrets about questioning former Vice President Joe Biden’s memory during the 2020 Democratic presidential debate in Houston on Thursday -- a moment that drew boos from the crowd.“I wouldn’t do it differently,“ the former Housing and Urban Development secretary told CNN in an interview early Friday. “That was not a personal attack, this was about a disagreement over what the vice president said regarding health-care policy.“Castro, a former Obama administration colleague of Biden’s, argued during the debate that his health-care proposal was better than Biden’s because people who qualified would automatically be enrolled, rather than having to opt in to Biden’s Medicare plan.“They wouldn’t have a buy in,” Castro said during the debate.When Biden shot back, “They do not have to buy in,” Castro pounced. “Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago?” he said. “You’re forgetting that?”Castro defended his comments in his CNN interview, saying it’s necessary to highlight the policy differences between Democratic presidential contenders. “The vice president has been around for a long time,“ he said. “When we’re up there, we’re up there to debate.“ -- Kathleen MillerCOMING UPElizabeth Warren will appear Saturday at the Massachusetts Democratic Convention in Springfield.Biden will speak Sunday at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, to commemorate the 56th anniversary of a bombing that killed four girls and injured 22 other people.On Monday, Biden, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, Tulsi Gabbard, Pete Buttigieg and Bill DeBlasio will attend the Galivants Ferry Stump in South Carolina.Also on Monday, Warren will speak at a rally in New York City’s Washington Square Park.Many candidates will appear at the LGBTQ Presidential Forum in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Friday. Contenders who have confirmed they will attend are: Biden, Cory Booker, Buttigieg, Castro, Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Klobuchar, Joe Sestak, Warren and Marianne Williamson.\--With assistance from Kathleen Miller, Ryan Beene and Ryan Teague Beckwith.To contact the reporter on this story: Bill Allison in Washington DC at ballison14@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Wendy Benjaminson at wbenjaminson@bloomberg.net, Steve GeimannFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • VW CEO shifts strategy from empire building to efficiency
    Reuters

    VW CEO shifts strategy from empire building to efficiency

    Volkswagen has abandoned its decades-old obsession with empire building and no-expense-spared engineering to free up resources for the development and mass production of electric cars, its CEO Herbert Diess told Reuters. A global clampdown on toxic exhaust fumes has triggered a new wave of consolidation in the auto industry as carmakers look for ways to slash development costs for low-emission and self-driving technologies. While rivals such as FiatChrysler and Renault explore a $35 billion deal to bulk up, Volkswagen is taking the opposite approach: slimming down.

  • General Motors Recalls 3.4M Vehicles to Fix Brake Problem
    Zacks

    General Motors Recalls 3.4M Vehicles to Fix Brake Problem

    To fix brake problem, General Motors (GM) is working on a corrective action involving reprograming of the Electronic Brake Control Module with a new calibration.

  • Auto Stock Roundup: Ford's Europe Electric Plans, General Motors' Deal With Google
    Zacks

    Auto Stock Roundup: Ford's Europe Electric Plans, General Motors' Deal With Google

    While Ford (F) unveils lineup for EVs in Europe, General Motors (GM) collaborates with tech giant Alphabet to roll out in-vehicle technology.

  • Financial Times

    Carmakers face electric crunch time in race to hit CO2 targets

    Hours before the Frankfurt Motor Show flung open its doors to the press on Tuesday, the chief executive of Volkswagen was locked in debate with Tina Velo, a well-known environmental activist. “Demonising the car is not going to help,” Herbert Diess said during the robust hour-long exchange. The new electric cars on display, from the Porsche Taycan to the Opel Corsa-e, drew crowds — but they will also need to attract a significant number of buyers if manufacturers are to avoid punitive fines.

  • Tesla Gets Support from Rivals: Are Bears Listening?
    Market Realist

    Tesla Gets Support from Rivals: Are Bears Listening?

    Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess has shared optimistic views on Tesla (TSLA), and Volvo has heaped praise on Tesla’s energy efficiency.