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Seat Tarraco PHEV SUV will be showcased at IAA

Mon, 09/02/2019 - 17:58
Seat Tarraco PHEV SUV will be showcased at IAA

Spanish Volkswagen subsidiary Seat has announced that it will soon introduce a plug-in hybrid variant of the Tarraco SUV model.

According to the announcement, the Tarraco model outfitted with a plug-in hybrid drive will be called the Seat Tarraco FR PHEV. The vehicle -- a petrol-electric SUV -- will be premiered by Seat at the upcoming IAA event.

The orders for the soon-to-be-introduced Seat Tarraco FR PHEV will likely be opened in early 2020. The cost of the vehicle has not been quoted yet.

Going by the details shared by Seat, the plug-in powertrain of the Tarraco FR PHEV comes mainly from Volkswagen’s Passat GTE, but with a higher system power. For comparison, the Passat GTE has 160 kW system output, whereas the Tarraco FR PHEV will have 180 kW system output.

Due to the high system output of the Tarraco FR PHEV, Seat has opted for a sportier design for the vehicle. With regard to the technical data, Seat has revealed that the PHEV will be equipped with a 13 kWh battery pack, an 85 kW electric motor, and a petrol engine with 110 kW power output. The high-voltage accumulator of the vehicle will have a capacity of 13 kWh.

The expected WLTP driving range of the Tarraco PHEV is nearly 50 km. However, the exact figures of the PHEV’s range have not been officially disclosed by Seat because the vehicle has not yet been homologated.

Business: Auto SectorCompanies: VolkswagenSeatRegion: EuropeSpainGeneral: FeaturedTNMProduct Launch

New Compact SUV ES3 Coming from Chinese Electric Automaker Nio

Mon, 09/02/2019 - 06:52
New Compact SUV ES3 Coming from Chinese Electric Automaker Nio

Chinese electric car startup Nio is planning to introduce a new model before the end of 2019. The new model, marking the company’s third vehicle, will be another electric SUV called the ‘ES3.’

According to Nio, the forthcoming ES3 model will be a five-seater compact e-SUV. It is based on the same platform as Nio’s two bigger electric SUVs -- the ES8 and the ES6 -- which will be produced by the company in collaboration with JAC Motor.

The series production of the ES3 compact e-SUV is scheduled to commence at a Beijing factory in the second half of 2020. The target production for the ES3 by Nio for 2020 is 80,000 units, which will subsequently be increased to 150,000 units in 2021.

The technical specifications of the upcoming Nio ES6 e-SUV have not yet been officially disclosed. Nonetheless, reports from China have suggested that the vehicle will have a driving range equal to or more than the 500 km (NEDC) range of the ES6 model. The reported driving range of the ES3 evidently comes against the backdrop of the fact that the ES3 will be smaller and lighter than the ES6, despite the same platform.

Meanwhile, Nio has announced that the ES3 will be positioned as a high-end product above the standard market segment for compact SUVs. The compact SUV segment in China typically ends at approximately 200,000 yuan.

Business: Auto SectorCompanies: NIORegion: ChinaGeneral: FeaturedTNM

Linde buys 10 percent stake in Green hydrogen producer Hydrospider

Sat, 08/31/2019 - 17:39
Linde buys 10 percent stake in Green hydrogen producer Hydrospider

The Irish-domiciled industrial gases group Linde has revealed in a recent announcement that it has acquired a 10% stake in Swiss ‘green’ hydrogen producer and supplier Hydrospider AG. The move reaffirms the fact that Linde is committed to hydrogen mobility.

Hydrospider is equally owned by H2 Energy and Alpiq. The two companies have sold 5% of their stake each in Hydrospider to Linde. As such, H2 Energy and Alpiq now have a 45% stake each in Hydrospider.

Hydrospider is currently constructing the first commercial hydrogen production plant in Switzerland. The plant, located in Gösgen hydroelectric power station, will be opened by Hydrospider by the end of 2019. At the plant, Hydrospider will use 100% hydroelectric power to produce climate-friendly hydrogen.

The ‘green’ hydrogen produced by Hydrospider in Gösgen will be used for commercial operations, specifically for powering heavy-duty fuel cell trucks from South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Company. According to a letter of intent signed by H2 Energy and Hyundai, the first 50 of the 1,600 planned fuel cell electric trucks powered by ‘green’ hydrogen will be brought on to the roads in Switzerland by the year 2025.

In reference to Linde’s acquisition of a stake in Hydrospider, Jens Waldeck -- Managing Director of the Linde Gases Division for Central Europe -- said that the move will give Linde the opportunity to “actively participate in one of the most attractive projects for green hydrogen and zero-emission mobility in Europe.”

Business: Company UpdatesEnergy SectorCompanies: Linde GroupRegion: IrelandEuropeGeneral: FeaturedTNM

Tesla upgrades Superchargers across Europe to 150kW capacity

Sat, 08/31/2019 - 16:07
Tesla upgrades Superchargers across Europe to 150kW capacity

US electric vehicle maker Tesla is upgrading its V2 Superchargers in Europe, increasing the charging capacity of the Superchargers to 150 kW from the current 120 kW. The V2 Superchargers are Tesla’s second-generation supercharging stations for electric vehicles.

Tesla’s move to update the European V2 Superchargers comes a few months after the company’s announcement about increasing the charging capacity of its Superchargers in the US to 150 kW earlier in 2019. The V2 Superchargers comprise a large part of Tesla’s fast-charging stations deployed worldwide.

In announcing the charging-capacity upgrade coming to the V2 Superchargers in Europe, Tesla has said that the upgrade will benefit almost all the V2 Superchargers which have been deployed at nearly 500 supercharger locations across the continent.

Against the backdrop of the increase in charging capacity of V2 Superchargers, Tesla has asserted that the Model 3 large-battery variants, as well as all the vehicles in the new Model S and Model X series, have the capability to charge at the new peak rate of up to 150 kW.

Moreover, with the ‘Performance’ and ‘Maximum Range’ versions of Model 3 already capable of accommodating up to 200 kW at corresponding non-Tesla fast-charging stations, Tesla has revealed that the deployment of the first European V3 Superchargers -- with up to 250 kW charging capacity -- by is being planned towards the end of 2019.

Business: Auto SectorCompanies: Tesla MotorsRegion: EuropeGeneral: FeaturedTNM

Smartphone Production Registers 10.5% Quarterly Growth

Thu, 08/29/2019 - 03:00
Smartphone Production Registers 10.5% Quarterly Growth

Smartphone production has registered an impressive growth of 10.5 percent during the last quarter, compared to the same period last year. The report compiled by market intelligence firm TrendForce suggests that production volume during the quarter touched 344 million units. The top six producers include Samsung, Huawei, Apple, OPPO, Xiaomi and Vivo.

The trade war had an impact on smartphone production numbers. Due to trade war, Huawei and Apple suffered decline in production numbers during the current year. The report by TrendForce further added, “Despite growing over 2Q19 by 5.8%, this is still a 4.4% decline YoY compared to the figure of 380 million units for the same period last year. Total smartphone production volume is expected to arrive at 1.38 billion units, a YoY decline 5%.”

Samsung has gained as Huawei has faced decline. Looking at the 2Q19 rankings for smartphones, we see Samsung steadily taking first place yet again, with production volume coming to 76.5 million units, a 3% growth YoY, registering the best performance in a single quarter since 2018. This is due to Huawei's loss in European and American market share as an effect of the ban.

Apple’s production volume for 2Q19 came to about 38.8 million units, a new low since 2015, putting Apple at a global third place. Looking at its 2Q19 performance, we see that apart from the high prices of new devices, which is of no help in motivating customers to reach for their wallets, the effects of the US-China trade dispute on sales in China markets and the relatively long periods of time for which Apple clients hold on to their phones compared to Android clients all formed the major reasons for the lack of purchases.

2020 to Usher in the Era of 5G Smartphones, with China Brands to Take Over Half in 5G Smartphone Market Share.

The smartphone market requires the help of hot topics to motivate demand in 2020 looking forward. Aggressive R&D on the part of brands and the China government's proactive push for 5G commercialization will both accelerate the arrival of the 5G era. The penetration rate of 5G smartphones next year may get a chance to arrive above 15%, with China brands to make up over half of total 5G production volume.

Business: TechnologyCompanies: AppleSamsungHuaweiGeneral: FeaturedTNMTechnology: Mobiles

President Trump backs down on Higher Tariffs on Chinese Goods

Sat, 08/17/2019 - 06:12
President Trump backs down on Higher Tariffs on Chinese Goods

President Trump backed down on his tariffs increase on Chinese goods as the stock markets plunged. As the treasury yields turned negative, stock markets witnessed strong selling. Investors panicked and this led President Trump to have a conversation with banking leaders on the issue.

Sensing the situation, Trump went on Twitter to calm investors by saying that he will be soon talking to Chinese Premier Xi Jinping. China also needs a deal with the United States on tariffs issue but the Asian powerhouse isn’t showing any signs of desperation.

Chinese leadership has been waiting for Trump to see economic troubles for his decisions of higher tariffs. China suffered economic issues but the leadership has always put forward a strong face. Chinese government has always suggested that it can endure more pain but won’t succumb to President Trump’s demands.

Chinese economy has slowed down and stock markets have suffered. But, the leadership in China is not yet ready to show any kind of desperation. President Trump has tough task of keeping investors calm just before he starts with his re-election campaign.

Business: EconomyRegion: ChinaUnited StatesPeople: Donald TrumpGeneral: FeaturedTNM

FDA proposes new required health warnings with color images for cigarette packages

Thu, 08/15/2019 - 18:22
FDA proposes new required health warnings with color images for cigarette packages

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a proposed rule to require new health warnings on cigarette packages and in advertisements to promote greater public understanding of the negative health consequences of smoking. The proposed warnings, which feature photo-realistic color images depicting some of the lesser-known, but serious health risks of cigarette smoking, stand to represent the most significant change to cigarette labels in more than 35 years. When finalized, this rule would fulfill a requirement in the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act and complement additional important work the FDA is undertaking to advance the health of America’s families.

“As a cancer doctor and researcher, I am well aware of the staggering toll inflicted on the public health by tobacco products, which cause cancer, heart disease, stroke, emphysema and other medical problems. While most people assume the public knows all they need to understand about the harms of cigarette smoking, there’s a surprising number of lesser-known risks that both youth and adult smokers and nonsmokers may simply not be aware of, such as bladder cancer, diabetes and conditions that can cause blindness,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless, M.D. “With these new proposed cigarette health warnings, we have an enormous public health opportunity to fulfill our statutory mandate and increase the public’s understanding of the full scope of serious negative health consequences of cigarette smoking. Given that tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the U.S., there’s a lot at stake to ensure the public understands these risks. We remain committed to educating the public, especially America’s youth, about the dangers associated with using cigarettes and other tobacco products.”

About 34.3 million U.S. adults and nearly 1.4 million U.S. youth (aged 12-17 years) currently smoke cigarettes. Despite years of progress in tackling the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, tobacco use — largely cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke exposure — kills about 480,000 Americans every single year. In fact, smoking kills more people each year than alcohol, HIV, car accidents, illegal drugs, murders and suicides combined, and over 16 million Americans alive today live with disease caused by cigarette smoking. Tobacco use also costs more than $300 billion a year in direct health care costs and lost productivity.

Health warnings first appeared on cigarette packages in 1966 and were most recently updated in 1984 to include the Surgeon General’s warnings that appear on packages and in advertisements today. However, research shows that these warnings have become virtually invisible to both smokers and nonsmokers — not attracting much attention and not leaving a very memorable impression of the risks of smoking. As outlined in the proposed rule today, the unchanged content of these health warnings, as well as their small size, location and lack of an image, severely impairs their ability to convey relevant information about the negative health consequences of cigarette smoking in an effective way to the public. Additionally, research shows substantial gaps remain in the public’s knowledge of the harms of smoking, and smokers have misinformation regarding cigarettes and the products’ negative health effects.

To address these gaps in public understanding, the FDA undertook a science-based approach to develop and evaluate the new proposed cigarette health warnings announced today. These warnings focus on serious health risks — such as bladder cancer, diabetes, erectile dysfunction and conditions that can cause blindness — that are lesser-known by the public as being negative health consequences of smoking. For example, current smokers have been found to have almost four times the risk of bladder cancer as never smokers, and it has been estimated that smoking is responsible for 5,000 bladder cancer deaths in the United States each year — yet research shows the public has limited awareness of bladder cancer as a consequence of smoking.

Companies: FDAGeneral: FeaturedHealthRegion: United States

Credit Agricole Consumer Finance and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles extend their FCA Bank joint venture until December 2024

Tue, 07/23/2019 - 02:44
Credit Agricole Consumer Finance and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles extend their FCA Bank joint venture until December 2024

Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance, a leading consumer finance group in Europe, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Italy (“FCA”), a global automaker agreed on 19 July 2019 to extend their 50:50 joint venture company FCA Bank until 31 December 2024.

The renewal of the partnership between Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance and FCA lays the grounds to further enhance FCA Bank's profitability by continuing in its offer of best-in class financial services.

The terms of the renewed agreement will allow for an expansion of FCA Bank’s rental and innovative mobility offer with the aim to further enlarge FCA Bank’s product range. In other respects the terms of the renewed agreement are substantially the same as those of the agreement in force, under which, FCA Bank more than doubled its volumes and more than tripled its net results from the start of this partnership, while efficiently managing its costs and risks. In order to preserve FCA Bank’s value and long term viability the agreement will be automatically renewed unless notice of non-renewal is provided no later than three years before end of the term. Consistent with the current agreement, a notice of non-renewal would trigger certain put and call rights potentially leading to the acquisition of FCA Bank by FCA to preserve its support to FCA business; if such rights are not exercised, the agreement will last until 31 December 2024.

With 18 markets and 18 brands managed, FCA Bank is a leading player in Europe for financial solutions dedicated to the automobile sector. FCA Bank obtained a full banking license in 2015. FCA Bank offers a complete range of financial products and services to FCA Group brands and various other prestigious Automotive Groups that include Jaguar Land Rover, Ferrari, Aston Martin and Morgan; its portfolio of partners also includes the Erwin Hymer Group, Europe’s largest manufacturer of motorhomes and caravans as well as well-known motorcycle manufacturers, such as Harley Davidson and MV Agusta.

Business: Auto SectorCompanies: FCARegion: United StatesGeneral: FeaturedTNM

Beyond Meat Stock Surges on Wall Street

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 05:48
Beyond Meat Stock Surges on Wall Street

Beyond Meat recently debuted in the stock market and the company making plant-based meat has received strong response from investors in the stock market. Short-sellers were not confident about Beyond Meat’s ability to move higher but they have now been trapped as the stock has witnessed massive gains during the last trading session.

Beyond Meat offered its stock at $25 and the stock closed at $168 on Monday. Beyond Meat declared better-than-expected quarterly results. However, investors were bullish as the company announced strong future guidance with aim to nearly double its revenue over the next year.

While some investors are still doubting if Beyond Meat stock will be able to remain sustain at higher levels, the company has strong options for growth. Many fast food chains can offer products from Beyond Meat and many supermarket chains could feature their products in future. The future for Beyond Meat is looking strong.

Business: Buzzing StocksCompanies: Beyond MeatRegion: United StatesGeneral: FeaturedTNM

Co-working spaces company WeWork plans to go Public this year

Sun, 05/19/2019 - 05:55
Co-working spaces company WeWork plans to go Public this year

WeWork, the company that provides shared working places for freelancers, start-ups and large enterprises, is considering going public this year. The company has been recently valued at $40 billion. WeWork is operated by its parent company We Company and an IPO this year might see troubles as investors would be concerned about valuations of a company without clear path to profit.

Last year, WeWork generated revenue of $1.8 billion and reported a loss of $1.9 billion. The company has been fast expanding in many cities. The company has raised money from big names in venture capital industry. While many companies like WeWork have raised money at good valuations, stock market debut could be a totally different game. Investors look for profits and sales growth. WeWork reported slightly better performance during first quarter, with revenue at $728 million and loss at $264 million.

Currently, WeWork operates at 425 locations, and has over 400,000 members. The company is also planning to own the spaces which it offers for rent to its members. WeWork members have included startups such as Consumr, HackHands, Whole Whale, Coupon Follow, Turf, Fitocracy, Reddit and New York Tech Meetup.

WeWork investors as of 2014 included J.P. Morgan Chase & Co, T. Rowe Price Associates, Wellington Management, Goldman Sachs Group, the Harvard Corp., Benchmark, and Mortimer Zuckerman, former CEO of Boston Properties.

It would have been much better if WeWork had strong numbers to support its IPO. But, the company is still far from turning profitable.

Companies: WeWorkRegion: United StatesTechnology: TechnologyGeneral: FeaturedTNMBusiness: Company NewsIPO WatchPrivate Equity