General Motors and Google are teaming up to install the tech giant's voice assistant and apps, including Google Maps, into GM vehicles beginning in 2021. The partnership, announced Thursday, marks a significant milestone for both the automotive and tech industries as the sectors continue to converge in attempt to better integrate into cars to appease consumers who've grown accustomed to using technology in their homes and on their phones.
NISSAN SCANDAL GROWS
In an embarrassing twist in an ongoing corruption scandal, Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa has acknowledged he was overpaid to the tune of tens of millions of yen. The payments were the result of an equity remuneration scheme run by Nissan that, said Saikawa, was "created under the leadership of (Carlos) Ghosn."
In a new twist, Christina Murray, an American lawyer promoted to vice president of internal audit and compliance in April, was spearheading a companywide probe into misconduct following the arrest of former Chairman Carlos Ghosn last November on charges of financial wrongdoing.
Nissan's chairman of the board said CEO Hiroto Saikawa will step down Sept. 16 and that Nissan COO Yasuhiro Yamauchi will serve as acting chief executive while the company seeks a full-time boss. The chairman, Yasushi Kimura, said the company hopes to make a decision on his successor by the end of October.
Source: The Detroit Bureau and Automotive News
VOLVO SUCCESSFULLY PIVOTS TO SUVS, OUT-PACING MARKET
During a very fallow product period that came before Volvo's introduction of its XC90 crossover SUV, questions about the brand's survival were everywhere. After all, in an industry as hotly competitive as the global auto industry, it is difficult to go a single year without any new products, lot less five or 10. But somehow Volvo managed to survive that dreary portion of its history, a multi-year period in which it leveraged the relative financial security of its then-new Chinese ownership to assemble a platform and product plan that was heavy in crossover SUVs. And that product plan has led to growth that is outpacing the U.S. market year-to-date.
KERRIGAN 2ND QUARTER TRENDS
Improvement in dealership earnings steadies blue sky value
Despite a decline in new vehicle sales, average dealership earnings slightly rose for the first time in four years, which drove an increase in blue sky value.
Publics' stock price appreciation portends future acquisitions
After a decline in acquisitions in the first half of 2019, the publics are expected to increase their capital allocation to US dealership acquisitions in the second half of 2019 due to their strong earnings performance and rising stock prices.
Lower interest rates support an active buy/sell market
Blue sky value is...