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Inside this issue
U.S. Reviews Allegations that German Automakers Colluded, Report Says
Toyota Set to Sell Long-Range, Fast-Charging Electric Cars in 2022
GM Net Income Drops 42% in Second Quarter to $1.66B
More U.S. Cars Are Being Made in Mexico
Consumers Pretty Good at Self-Evaluating Trade-Ins
Top Stories
U.S. Reviews Allegations that German Automakers Colluded, Report Says

U.S. Justice Department officials are looking into allegations that German automakers colluded on technology, strategy and parts to gain an advantage over rivals, according to a person familiar with the matter, though there’s no indication that the department has opened a formal investigation.

The European Commission and Germany’s cartel office said Saturday they have received information about possible collusion and are studying the matter.
Source: Automotive News

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Toyota Set to Sell Long-Range, Fast-Charging Electric Cars in 2022

Toyota Motor Corp is working on an electric car powered by a new type of battery that significantly increases driving range and reduces charging time, aiming to begin sales in 2022. Toyota's new electric car, to be built on an all-new platform, will use all-solid-state batteries, allowing it to be recharged in just a few minutes, the newspaper said, without citing sources.

By contrast, current electric vehicles (EVs), which use lithium-ion batteries, need 20-30 minutes to recharge even with fast chargers and typically have a range of just 300-400 kilometers (185-250 miles). Toyota has decided to sell the new model in Japan as early as 2022.
Source: Reuters

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GM Net Income Drops 42% in Second Quarter to $1.66B

General Motors Co. on Tuesday reported net income of $1.66 billion in the second quarter, down 42 percent from a year ago, primarily driven by a $770 million loss from discontinued European operations.

But the automaker, which has plans to sell its European operations to French automaker PSA Group by the end of the year, said net income from continuing operations that do not include Europe totaled $2.4 billion in the quarter. That’s down 11.3 percent on a comparable basis from the same three months a year ago.

The company said its earnings per share totaled $1.60. When factoring in special items totaling about $650 million including GM International Operations restructuring, an ignition switch legal charge and charges related to deconsolidating business in Venezuela, GM’s earnings per share totaled $1.89. That beat analyst estimates of $1.69 a share. A year ago, earnings per share totaled $1.81, or $1.86 a share when factoring in special items.
Source: The Detroit News

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More U.S. Cars Are Being Made in Mexico

The “Made in Mexico” label has become more plentiful on American car lots this year, even as auto makers pressured by President Donald Trump kicked off the year with promises to create more jobs in the U.S.

A move by auto makers to produce some popular sport-utility models in Mexican factories helped spur a 16% increase in production of light vehicles in Mexico during the first six months of the year compared with the same period in 2016. At the same time, tepid sales of sedans held down production in the U.S. and Canada, according to new data posted by WardsAuto.com.
Source: WSJ

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Consumers Pretty Good at Self-Evaluating Trade-Ins

Turns out, people who follow the guidelines are pretty accurate, Flores says today. He is the general manager of Autotrader’s Trade-In Marketplace, which oversees the online tool, now called Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer. About 4.2 million people this year are expected to use the tool that typically is on dealer websites, Flores says.

The aim of the DIY valuators is to alleviate a big pain point of a vehicle transaction: the trade-in process. One survey places it last in satisfaction scoring, with many customers voicing skepticism over how dealers determine trade-in values and often thinking they’re being lowballed. (Many times, they’re not, but it’s a case of perception trumping reality.)

To allay such disagreement and discontent, “a dealer should leverage a third-party validator, such as Kelley or one of our competitors, instead of using the traditional, ‘Let me figure it out,’” Flores tells WardsAuto.
Source: WardsAuto

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Quotable
"Ultimately, our compliance is based on what consumers buy, not what they buy in a study or in a public opinion poll. Consumers value fuel economy, but sometimes they aren’t willing to pay more for fuel-efficient technology especially with today’s low gas prices. And that’s a challenge for us and the government."

    -- Gloria Bergquist, vice president of communications and public affairs for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Automotive News, July 24
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