Tag Archives: Automobiles and Auto Parts (TRBC)

Waymo joins critics of California’s self-driving data

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FILE PHOTO: Reuters reporter Alexandria Sage steps out of a Waymo self-driving vehicle during a demonstration in Chandler, Arizona, November 29, 2018. Picture taken November 29, 2018. REUTERS/Caitlin O’Hara

(Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Waymo, widely considered the front-runner in self-driving vehicles, on Wednesday joined a growing chorus of dissenters panning a California requirement on reporting test data, as the state released 2019 results.

Waymo tweeted that the metric, called disengagements, is not an accurate or relevant way to measure a company’s technical progress, even though it is widely used to do that.

“The disengagement metric does not provide relevant insights” nor does it distinguish Waymo’s “performance from others in the self-driving space,” the company said.

California requires self-driving companies to provide disengagement data on how often a human driver must intervene to take control from a self-driving system during testing on public roads.

Other self-driving companies, including General Motors Co’s (GM.N) Cruise and California startup Aurora also have criticized the disengagement data.

Reporting by Munsif Vengattil in Bengaluru and Paul Lienert in Detroit; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Richard Chang

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Japan orders tighter immigration procedures after Ghosn flees country

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FILE PHOTO: Carlos Ghosn, President and Chief Executive Officer of Renault, attends the company’s annual shareholders meeting in La Defense business district, near Paris, April 29, 2008. French carmaker Renault sticks to its target of a 2008 operating profit margin of 4.5 percent, despite a weaker dollar and pound and a faster than forecast rise in raw material prices, Ghosn told the annual general meeting. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan ordered stricter immigration procedures on Sunday in response to the daring escape of ousted Nissan Motor Co (7201.T) boss Carlos Ghosn, the first official response to an episode that has rocked the nation’s legal system.

“I have instructed the Immigration Services Agency to coordinate with related agencies to further tighten departure procedures,” Justice Minister Masako Mori said in a statement.

Ghosn’s “apparently illegal” departure was very regrettable, she said, promising a thorough investigation to uncover truth and adding that there was no record of his leaving Japan.

Mori said that Ghosn’s skipping bail cannot be justified and that the court has revoked his bail. Ghosn is facing four charges of financial irregularities from his time at Japan’s No. 2 carmaker, all of which he denies.

Ghosn became an international fugitive after he revealed on Tuesday he had fled to Lebanon to escape what he called a “rigged” justice system in Japan, where he faces charges relating to alleged financial crimes.

Tokyo prosecutors, in a separate statement, sought to justify Japan’s criminal-justice system, where long detention times before indictment and questioning without lawyers have been criticized as “hostage justice” meant to extract confessions.

Japan’s legal system guarantees all defendants a prompt, open and fair trial, the prosecutors said, defending Ghosn’s more than 100 days of detention on the grounds that he “had an extensive domestic and overseas network and that he could deploy his considerable influence to conceal evidence.”

Reporting by Tim Kelly and Junko Fujita.; Writing by Junko Fujita and William Mallard; Editing by Gerry Doyle

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Tesla begins promoting China-made Mannequin three with autopilot perform

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FILE PHOTO: A Tesla Mannequin three automotive is displayed throughout a media preview on the Auto China 2018 motor present in Beijing, China April 25, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – U.S. electrical car maker Tesla (TSLA.O) on Friday began promoting its China-made Mannequin three with an autopilot perform priced from 355,800 yuan ($50,310), making it the corporate’s least expensive mannequin on sale within the nation, the official web site confirmed.

It suspended web site gross sales of a inexpensive variant of the identical mannequin, missing an autopilot perform, it had beforehand supplied at 328,000 yuan ($46,389).

Tesla didn’t reply to an e-mailed request for remark.

The corporate shocked buyers with a quarterly revenue that despatched its shares hovering this week, but it surely has but to show that it may be persistently worthwhile whereas managing the beginning of manufacturing on the Shanghai plant.

Billionaire Elon Musk’s flagship firm has began trial runs at its new $2 billion China manufacturing facility forward of schedule, it mentioned on Wednesday, because it races to achieve an bold goal of an annualised manufacturing charge of 500,000 automobiles by end-2019.

The corporate has obtained the certificates it must manufacture within the nation, however analysts contend that uncertainties round labour and suppliers will make it a problem to start out mass manufacturing.

Tesla can be within the strategy of acquiring a key certification wanted to promote China-made vehicles within the nation, it instructed native media, although it’s unclear when the federal government will grant it gross sales clearance.

The U.S.-made Mannequin three has up to now fared properly in China, the world’s greatest automotive market. Gross sales probably surged greater than three fold to 10,542 vehicles within the quarter ended Sept. 30, in accordance with analysis agency LMC Automotive.

Reporting by Yilei Solar in Beijing and Brenda Goh in Shanghai; Modifying by Clarence Fernandez

Our Requirements:The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.

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Trump heaps one other 5% tariff on Chinese language items in newest tit-for-tat escalation

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WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday lashed again at a brand new spherical of Chinese language tariffs by heaping a further 5% obligation on some $550 billion in focused Chinese language items within the newest tit-for-tat commerce struggle escalation by the world’s two largest economies.

FILE PHOTO: Containers are seen on the Yangshan Deep Water Port in Shanghai, China August 6, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Tune

Trump’s transfer, introduced on Twitter, got here hours after China unveiled retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion value of U.S. items, prompting the president earlier within the day to demand U.S. firms transfer their operations out of China.

The intensifying U.S.-China commerce struggle stoked market fears that the worldwide financial system will tip into recession, sending U.S. shares right into a tailspin, with the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC down 3%, and the S&P 500 .SPX down 2.6%.

U.S. Treasury yields additionally declined as buyers sought safe-haven property, and crude oil, focused for the primary time by Chinese language tariffs, fell sharply.

Trump’s tariff response was introduced after markets closed on Friday, leaving doubtlessly extra injury for subsequent week.

“Sadly, previous Administrations have allowed China to get to this point forward of Truthful and Balanced Commerce that it has grow to be an awesome burden to the American Taxpayer,” Trump stated on Twitter. “As President, I can not enable this to occur!”

He stated america would increase its present tariffs on $250 billion value of Chinese language imports to 30% from the present 25% starting on Oct. 1, the 70th anniversary of the founding of the communist Folks’s Republic of China.

On the similar time, Trump introduced a rise in deliberate tariffs on the remaining $300 billion value of Chinese language items to 15% from 10%. The US will start imposing these tariffs on some merchandise beginning Sept. 1, however tariffs on about half of these items have been delayed till Dec. 15.

The U.S. Commerce Consultant’s workplace confirmed the efficient dates, however stated it will conduct a public remark interval earlier than imposing the 30% tariff price on Oct. 1.

U.S. enterprise teams reacted angrily to the brand new tariff hike.

“It’s inconceivable for companies to plan for the longer term in any such surroundings. The administration’s strategy clearly isn’t working, and the reply isn’t extra taxes on American companies and customers. The place does this finish?” stated David French, a senior vp for the Nationwide Retail Federation.

Trump is because of meet leaders of the G7 main economies at a summit this weekend in France, the place commerce tensions will likely be among the many hottest dialogue subjects.

ABRUPT RESPONSE

The president’s announcement, which adopted an Oval Workplace assembly along with his advisers, suits a sample of swift retaliation because the commerce dispute with China began greater than a 12 months in the past.

“He determined he wished to reply. He was given a couple of totally different choices on issues he may do and finally that was what he determined,” a senior White Home official stated.

“He’s not taking these things calmly, however he’s in a high quality temper and looking out ahead to the G7.”

One other individual conversant in the matter stated officers needed to scramble to provide you with choices after Trump caught them offguard with tweets promising a response within the afternoon.

Since taking workplace in 2017, Trump has demanded that China make sweeping modifications to its financial insurance policies to finish theft and compelled transfers of American mental property, curb industrial subsidies, open its markets to American firms and enhance purchases of U.S. items.

China denies Trump’s accusations of unfair commerce practices and has resisted concessions to Washington.

“We don’t want China and, frankly, could be much better off with out them. The huge quantities of cash made and stolen by China from america, 12 months after 12 months, for many years, will and should STOP,” Trump tweeted on Friday morning.

“Our nice American firms are hereby ordered to instantly begin on the lookout for an alternative choice to China, together with bringing your firms HOME and making your merchandise within the USA.”

It’s unclear what authorized authority Trump would be capable of use to compel U.S. firms to shut operations in China or cease sourcing merchandise from the nation. Specialists stated he may invoke the Worldwide Emergency Financial Powers Act used prior to now for sanctions on Iran and North Korea, or reduce offending firms out of federal procurement contracts..

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce rebuffed Trump’s name, urging “continued, constructive engagement.”

“Time is of the essence. We don’t need to see an additional deterioration of U.S.-China relations,” Myron Sensible, govt vp and head of the enterprise group’s worldwide affairs, stated in a press release.

Trump additionally stated he was ordering shippers together with FedEx (FDX.N). Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O), UPS (UPS.N) and the U.S. Postal Service to go looking out and refuse all deliveries of the opioid fentanyl to america.

China’s Commerce Ministry stated that on Sept. 1 and Dec. 15 it’s going to impose extra tariffs of 5% or 10% on a complete of 5,078 merchandise originating from america and reinstitute tariffs of 25% on vehicles and 5% on auto components suspended final December as U.S.-China commerce talks accelerated.

It was unclear whether or not a brand new spherical of talks anticipated in September would go forward.

China Every day, an official English-language each day usually utilized by Beijing to speak its message to the remainder of the world, stated China’s tariff record is the results of “prudent calculation”.

“With the U.S. continuing at full throttle with its beggar-thy-neighbor coverage, China has no alternative however to battle again to guard its core nationwide and financial pursuits,” it stated in an editorial on Saturday.

“China has taken the countermeasures in order that U.S. decision-makers get up and scent the espresso. And recognize that till Washington follows the Osaka consensus, there will be no deal.”

AGRICULTURE, AUTO SECTORS HIT

The rising financial influence of the commerce dispute was a key cause behind the U.S. Federal Reserve’s transfer to chop rates of interest final month for the primary time in additional than a decade.

“The president’s commerce struggle threatens to push the financial system right into a ditch,” stated Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “The president is hoping that the Federal Reserve will … bail him out, but when he continues to pursue the struggle, the Fed gained’t be as much as the duty.”

Amongst U.S. items focused by Beijing’s newest duties have been soybeans, which will likely be hit with an additional 5% tariff beginning Sept. 1. China may also tag beef and pork from america with an additional 10% tariff, in addition to ethanol with a further 10% obligation from December 15.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping pose for a photograph forward of their bilateral assembly in the course of the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, June 29, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Picture/File Picture

Though the Trump administration has rolled out assist to farmers stung by China’s tariffs, there’s rising frustration in America’s agricultural belt, a key political constituency for Trump as he heads into his 2020 re-election marketing campaign.

“The view from a lot of farm nation is bleak and anger is boiling over. With bankruptcies and delinquencies rising and costs falling, the frustration with the dearth of progress towards a deal is rising,” the bipartisan Farmers for Free Commerce group stated in a press release.

Reporting by Judy Hua, Min Zhang, Se Younger Lee, Stella Qiu, Hallie Gu and Dominique Patton in BEIJING, Yilei Solar and Winni Zhou in SHANGHAI, David Lawder, David Shepardson, Doina Chiacu, Jeff Mason, Steve Holland in WASHINGTON and Koh Gui Qing in New York; Extra reporting by Jason Lange, Andrea Shalal and Humeyra Pamuk in WASHINGTON and Tom Polansek and Julie Ingwersen in Chicago; Writing by Paul Simao; Modifying by Alison Williams, Howard Goller and Sonya Hepinstall

Our Requirements:The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.

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How a shadow banking disaster despatched India’s autos sector right into a tailspin

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MUMBAI (Reuters) – Sudhir Gharpure and his gross sales crew sat chatting at an enormous Maruti Suzuki (MRTI.NS) dealership on the outskirts of Mumbai some two hours after its doorways have been opened on a current Saturday morning – not a single buyer was in sight.

FILE PHOTO: A employee adjusts the windscreen wipers of a parked automobile at a Maruti Suzuki stockyard on the outskirts of the western Indian metropolis of Ahmedabad September 1, 2011. REUTERS/Amit Dave/File Picture

“There was near 15-20 bookings every day, however now we’re all the way down to 3-5 on good days,” stated Gharpure, the final supervisor on the dealership.

Gharpure’s expertise is just not an remoted one. Throughout India dealerships are being pushed out of enterprise and the Indian auto sector goes by its greatest stoop in almost twenty years. Passenger car gross sales fell for eight straight months till June, and in Might gross sales dropped 20.55% – the sharpest recorded fall in 18 years.

Preliminary knowledge signifies passenger car gross sales might have plunged as a lot as 30 % in July. The stoop in India, together with a simultaneous slide in Chinese language auto gross sales, is a blow for automakers wrestling with increased prices pushed by extra stringent emission norms and a push to develop electrical automobiles.

Not like in China, the place the plunge in automobiles gross sales has been prompted largely by new emissions guidelines, India has seen a mixture of elements which have mixed to erode demand for vehicles.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 2016 ban on high-value financial institution notes, increased tax charges below a brand new items and providers tax regime, a increase of ride-sharing companies similar to Uber and Ola, and a weak rural financial system have all performed a job.

However many sellers and automakers agree it’s a deepening liquidity crunch amongst India’s shadow banks that has been the most important single think about an auto gross sales collapse, which some worry might result in greater than 1,000,000 job losses.

Non-banking finance firms (NBFCs), or shadow banks, have dramatically slashed lending following the collapse of one of many greatest, IL&FS, in late 2018.

IL&FS, or Infrastructure Leasing & Monetary Companies Ltd, was a behemoth in shadow banking and its defaults and unraveling, amid fraud allegations, have dried up funding for rivals and led to a surge of their borrowing prices.

Non-bank or shadow banking companies generate credit score exterior conventional lenders, by means similar to collective funding autos, broker-dealers or funds that put money into bonds and cash markets.

In India, NBFCs have in recent times helped fund almost 55-60% of business autos each new and used, 30% of passenger automobiles and almost 65% of the two-wheelers within the nation, in response to ranking company ICRA.

To worsen issues, the stress within the autos market has additionally prompted banks to start trimming their publicity to the sector.

“The automobile doesn’t promote, it’s the finance that sells,” stated R. Vijayaraghavan, a senior advertising and marketing guide on the similar Mumbai dealership. “At present the finance is just not promoting, so the automobiles will not be promoting.”

PROBLEMS AMPLIFIED

Some 286 dealerships have shut down within the final 18 months throughout India as rising prices for stock administration have made companies unviable, in response to the Federation of Vehicle Sellers Affiliation (FADA), a foyer group of auto sellers.

“The slowdown within the (NBFC) sector has dragged down car gross sales development,” stated A.M. Karthik, monetary sector head at ICRA. “Now the auto slowdown is turning into extra seen because the liquidity squeeze continues.”

Automakers together with Maruti Suzuki (MRTI.NS), Tata Motors (TAMO.NS), and Mahindra & Mahindra (MAHM.NS) are feeling the warmth and have both lower manufacturing or quickly closed crops to right mounting shares.

In keeping with FADA knowledge, passenger car inventories now stand at 50-60 days up from round 45 days earlier, whereas these of two-wheelers are even increased at 80-90 days. For business autos, stock ranges vary between 45 and 50 days.

“We’re asking sellers to keep up a list of 21 days, which is sort of half of the present ranges,” stated Ashish Kale, president of FADA.

No less than 4 sellers from totally different manufacturers stated, nonetheless, there was little scope to scale back inventories as automakers have been pushing them to purchase inventory regardless of there being no demand even with heavy discounting and different sops on supply.

Whereas 70-75% of automobile gross sales have been beforehand financed in-house by NBFC or financial institution brokers sitting at a dealership, that has fallen to about 50%, say sellers, as patrons battle to qualify below extra stringent lending norms put in place by lenders which are below stress to shore up their books.

Furthermore, as many NBFCs usually lent to much less creditworthy shoppers, banks are reticent to hurry in to fill the void, as they themselves battle to deal with an current pile of about $150 billion in unhealthy loans.

“The banking sector is definitely one of many elements that has affected the expansion of the business,” stated R.C. Bhargava, chair of Maruti Suzuki, noting rates of interest for automobile patrons have gone up within the final 12 months regardless of the central financial institution chopping charges.

EARLY RECOVERY UNLIKELY

With the autos sector using greater than 35 million individuals instantly and not directly, and contributing greater than 7% to India’s GDP and accounting for 49% of its manufacturing GDP, the fallout from the autos stoop is big and presents an enormous problem to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s authorities because it begins its second time period.

Your complete provide chain, from car producers to element makers, are bleeding amid the stoop.

“I’ve been making my funds for the final 30 years and the lenders know me,” stated Adarsh Gupta, the director of finance at Autolite (India), a element manufacturing agency. “However even a two-day delay has individuals crying that I’ll default.

“I too need to pay, however due to the autumn in cashflows I’m dealing with short-term points and due to that it’s tough to get extra financing. That is the vicious cycle we’re in.”

Kale, the FADA president, stated on Sunday the commerce physique estimated that dealerships had collectively already lower round 7-8% of their workforce, or round 200,000 jobs nationwide.

“Many of the cuts which have occurred are in front-end gross sales jobs but when this continues, then even the technical jobs might be affected as a result of if we’re promoting much less then we may even service much less,” he stated.

Nonetheless, automakers are hopeful of a restoration within the months forward, helped by the September-December festive season that historically sees a surge in client spending.

“One can solely want that issues enhance sooner somewhat than later. With festive demand beginning to seep by, we should always begin seeing a gradual enchancment in gross sales,” stated P.B. Balaji, group CFO at Tata Motors.

Analysts are extra skeptical although, and say with out car financing turning into cheaper and simpler the possibilities for which are low. With no silver lining in sight, analysts worry unhealthy money owed might mount within the auto sector, forcing banks to additional cut back their publicity.

“We see market costs and gross sales coming down so there could also be points,” stated a high official on the Indian Banks’ Affiliation. “We might see a spillover by way of unhealthy loans for the general sector, however we’re going to wait and watch.”

Sellers stated they have been hopeful of tiding over the present downturn because the broader development story for India stays intact, however there might be much more ache earlier than a restoration kicks in.

“The long run goes to be multi-brand automobile showrooms,” stated advertising and marketing guide Vijayaraghavan. “That’s the solely manner for dealerships to outlive going ahead as overhead prices have to be shared.”

Further reporting by Derek Francis in BANGALORE; and Aftab Ahmed and Aditi Shah in NEW DELHI; Enhancing by Euan Rocha and Alex Richardson

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Nissan desires Renault to cut back stake to revive Renault-FCA deal talks: WSJ

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FILE PHOTO: The logos of automobile producers Renault and Nissan are seen in entrance of dealerships of the businesses in Reims, France, July 9, 2019. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

(Reuters) – Carmakers Nissan Motor Co (7201.T) and Renault SA (RENA.PA) are attempting to succeed in a deal to reshape their international alliance, in hopes of reviving Renault’s merger talks with Italy’s Fiat Chrysler Cars NV (FCHA.MI), the Wall Avenue Journal reported on Friday, citing emails and folks briefed on the talks.

Nissan desires Renault to cut back its 43.4% stake within the Japanese auto firm, in line with emails reviewed by WSJ.

The discussions, that are at an early stage, began quickly after the potential deal between Renault and FCA collapsed, the report added. Talks might prolong till the top of the 12 months.

The negotiations might result in an preliminary memorandum of understanding on restructuring as early as September, the Journal reported, citing emails.

Nissan and FCA stated that they had no touch upon the WSJ report. Renault was not instantly out there for a remark.

FCA stated in June that it had deserted its $35 billion merger supply for Renault, blaming French politics for scuttling the deal. The French authorities owns a 15% stake in Renault.

Reuters had reported in June {that a} revival of the collapsed merger plans of FCA and Renault might hinge on the French carmaker chopping its stake in Nissan.

Reporting by Rishika Chatterjee and Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Enhancing by Sandra Maler

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U.S., Mexico resume talks to avert tariffs as deadline approaches

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(Reuters) – U.S. and Mexican negotiators resumed migration talks on Friday to try to avert a potential trade war that could hurt both countries’ economies and rattle investors already nervous about Washington’s escalating battle with China.

FILE PHOTO: Trucks are seen arriving at a border customs control to cross into U.S. at the World Trade Bridge in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico June 5, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

U.S. President Donald Trump shook global markets, Mexican officials and his fellow Republicans in Congress last week by threatening 5% tariffs on Mexican imports starting on Monday if Mexico did not do more to stem an increase in migrants heading for the U.S. southern border.

Here’s a snapshot of latest developments on Friday:

– President Donald Trump said in a tweet that there was a “good chance” the United States would be able to reach a deal with Mexico. But he added: “If we are unable to make the deal, Mexico will begin paying Tariffs at the 5% level on Monday!”

– Mexico’s peso, which has been battered by fears of a trade war with its biggest market, strengthened more than 0.5% against the dollar after the tweet.

– The White House said the United States is on track to implement the tariffs on Mexican goods on Monday. “Our position is still the same and we’re moving forward with the tariffs. They’ll go into effect on Monday,” , White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters.

– Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the United States on Friday of “unbridled economic egoism” and said Washington’s tactics would lead to trade wars and “maybe not just trade wars.” Chinese President Xi Jinping, speaking at the same event, called on world powers to protect the global multilateral trade system.

– U.S. officials officially granted Chinese exporters two more weeks to get their products into the United States before increasing tariffs on those items, according to a U.S. government notice posted online on Friday.

– Global equities rose on the prospect that central banks, including the U.S. Federal Reserve, would loosen monetary policy to offset trade frictions and the threat of global recession, while news the United States would give China more time to avoid a tariff hike added to market optimism.

– Economists say the trade disputes could damage key supply lines and pinch consumers at a time when the global economic expansion that followed the 2008 financial crisis has started to sour and the risk of recession has risen.

Compiled by Susan Thomas; Editing by Howard Goller

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BMW and Jaguar Land Rover to jointly develop electric car parts

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) – BMW and Jaguar Land Rover on Wednesday said they will jointly develop electric motors, transmissions and power electronics, unveiling yet another industry alliance designed to lower the costs of developing electric cars.

Both carmakers are under pressure to roll out zero-emission vehicles to meet stringent anti-pollution rules, but have struggled to maintain profit margins faced with the rising costs of making electric, connected and autonomous cars.

“Together, we have the opportunity to cater more effectively for customer needs by shortening development time and bringing vehicles and state-of-the-art technologies more rapidly to market,” said BMW board member Klaus Froehlich.

BMW and Jaguar Land Rover said they will save costs through shared development, production planning and joint purchasing of electric car components. Both companies will produce electric drivetrains in their own manufacturing facilities, BMW said.

The BMW Jaguar Land Rover pact comes as rivals FiatChrysler and Renault explore a $35 billion tie-up of the Italian-American and French carmaking groups.

Nick Rogers, Jaguar Land Rover’s engineering director said, “We’ve proven we can build world beating electric cars but now we need to scale the technology to support the next generation of Jaguar and Land Rover products.”

BMW was in talks with rival Daimler about developing electric car components but was also in discussions with Jaguar Land Rover, a company it once owned, to explore an alliance on engines.

BMW already has a deal to supply an 8 cylinder engine to Jaguar Land Rover.

Carmakers are increasingly open to sharing electric car parts because the technology is expensive and because customers no longer buy a car based on what engine a vehicle has.

“Carmakers are much less precious about sharing electric car technology because it is much harder to create product differentiation with electric car tech. They all accelerate fast, and everybody can do quality and ride and handling,” according to Carl-Peter Forster a former chief executive of Tata Motors and a former BMW executive.

Slideshow (2 Images)

Jaguar Land Rover is still run by former BMW managers, including Ralf Speth the company’s chief executive who spent 20 years at BMW prior to joining JLR, and Wolfgang Ziebart, the engineer who oversaw Jaguar’s iPace electric car program, who is a former head of research and development at BMW.

Jaguar Land Rover said it would redouble efforts to cut costs after it posted a $4 billion loss earlier this year, hit by a downturn in demand for sports utility vehicles in China and a regulatory clampdown on diesel emissions.

BMW bought Britain’s Rover Group, which included the Jaguar and Land Rover brands, for 800 million pounds in 1994 only to sell Jaguar Land Rover to Ford in March 2000 for $2.7 billion. In 2008 India’s Tata Group bought Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford for $2.3 billion.

Reporting by Edward Taylor, editing by Riham Alkousaa, Thomas Escritt and Alexandra Hudson

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U.S. rejects bid by Tesla for tariff exemption for Model 3 ‘brain’

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FILE PHOTO: A 2018 Tesla Model 3 electric vehicle is shown in this photo illustration taken in Cardiff, California, U.S., June 1, 2018. Picture taken June 1, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. trade officials rejected Tesla Inc’s bid for relief from President Donald Trump’s 25 percent tariffs on the Chinese-made computer “brain” of its Model 3 electric vehicle, one of more than 1,000 product denials linked to China’s industrial development plans.

According to documents filed by U.S. Trade Representative’s office (USTR) and reviewed by Reuters, Tesla’s and other tariff exclusion requests for Chinese-made products from aircraft parts to biotechnology instruments were all denied because they were deemed “strategically important” to the “Made in China 2025” program.

Tesla did not return requests for comment. Tesla has a separate pending tariff exclusion request for duties on the Chinese-made Model 3 Center Screen.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli

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Slowing manufacturing hiring may point to fraying U.S. expansion

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NEW YORK (Reuters) – The longest streak of U.S. factory hiring in a quarter century came to an unexpected end last month, and a clouded outlook for important manufacturing sectors like autos may impede a quick rebound, undermining a key plank of U.S. President Donald Trump’s economic agenda.

FILE PHOTO: A line worker installs the front seats on the flex line at Nissan Motor Co’s automobile manufacturing plant in Smyrna, Tennessee, U.S., August 23, 2018. REUTERS/William DeShazer/File Photo

That sector lost 6,000 jobs in March, the Labor Department said on Friday, ending a 19-month streak of gains that started in August 2017 and had it extended one more month would have become the longest uninterrupted expansion of factory employment since the mid-1980s.

As it stands, the just-ended run was the longest since a comparable streak from August 1993 through February 1995 and saw the generation of 410,000 U.S. factory jobs. By comparison, that earlier run during Democrat Bill Clinton’s presidency produced 526,000 new manufacturing positions. A 20-month streak back in the early 1980s generated 1.34 million production jobs.

Today, companies that produce cars, construction equipment and other manufactured goods account for 12 percent of an economy that in July marks 10 years of expansion, the longest on record. Back in the 1990s, manufacturing’s share of the economy was around 16 percent and it was closer to 20 percent in the early 1980s.

Trump campaigned on rebuilding the sector and his ability to create high-paying American manufacturing jobs, partly by pushing other countries for more favorable terms of trade.

For a graphic on U.S. manufacturing employment, see – tmsnrt.rs/2CYWCQt

Overall, though, the March jobs report was upbeat.

It showed U.S. employment growth in March accelerating from a 17-month low, signaling that February’s sharp pullback was more likely an anomaly rather than a sign of an impending economic slowdown. Nonfarm payrolls rose by 196,000 jobs for the month, while economists polled by Reuters forecast gains of 180,000 jobs.

Last month’s unexpected slowdown in factory hiring – economists polled by Reuters had forecast a gain of 10,000 jobs – may signal that slower consumer and business spending as well as softening auto sales may curtail manufacturing job growth going forward. Another possibility is that factories are finding trouble finding and retaining willing workers.

Weakness in the auto sector bears watching. Manufacturers in that area have announced thousands of job cuts to deal with slowing sales that have led to an inventory bloat. So far this year auto manufacturers and suppliers have unveiled plans to cut 15,887 jobs, according to data on Thursday from Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc, an outplacement consultancy.

Yet some companies that are hiring in that sector report labor shortages in their regions.

Shawn Hendrix, president of Nissen Chemitec America Inc, which supplies parts for Honda and Subaru cars, said he is not seeing an industry slowdown. He is having trouble finding people to fill jobs at his London, Ohio, factory.

“We are hiring – in our area in central Ohio almost all manufacturers I know are hiring,” Hendrix said. But it’s hard to find workers willing to commit to long-term jobs: some quit after two days of orientation. “If we don’t develop a pipeline with our educators it’s going to be very difficult to sustain manufacturing,” he said.

It is possible that the figure for March is a blip. The Institute for Supply Management said on Monday that its index of national factory activity rose to a reading of 55.3 in March from 54.2 in February, which had marked the lowest level since November 2016.

Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Dan Burns and Andrea Ricci

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