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U.S. Consumer Sentiment at 6-Year Low

U.S. Consumer Sentiment at 6-Year Low

Consumer confidence in the American economy this month fell to its lowest level since 2014, according to The Conference Board.

The ratio of adults planning to buy a new car—less than 10%—is at its second-lowest level in a decade, according to the business research group’s Consumer Confidence Survey.

The 106-year-old think tank notes that consumers were bullish about current conditions all last year, with an index that averaged about 170 (The benchmark of 100 was set in 1985).

Nervous Consumers

But that measure plummeted to the mid-70s in April-May at the depth of the COVID-19 pandemic. It rebounded to nearly 92 in July but retreated “sharply” to less than 85 this month, as consumer optimism tanked again, the group says.

Only 16% of respondents consider ...READ MORE

Cars, COVID-19 and Climate Change: Driving Sustainability Forward
Sponsored Content

The U.S. transportation sector generates nearly 30% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions–the largest share, globally. It comes as no surprise, when during the height of physical distancing and shelter-in-place orders due to the global coronavirus pandemic beginning this past spring, the world experienced a sharp drop in carbon emissions. With fewer drivers on the road, air pollution declined in major cities across the country. Residents of Los Angeles, once choked by smog, can now view stars in the clear night sky.

As significant as this unintended environmental benefit might be in isolation, it came at a very high societal cost in terms of lost lives, disrupted society and economic turmoil. The future cannot be met through indefinite confinement, nor by eliminating ...READ MORE

Home Work Continues for Salaried Staffs

Detroit’s Big 3 carmakers are in no rush to reopen their North American offices for salaried workers.

As COVID-19 cases and fatalities continue to mount at varying rates across the U.S., carmakers are maintaining work-from-home protocols that have been in effect for most white-collar employees since mid-March.

2021 Return?

Earlier this month Ford pushed back its plans to open its Dearborn, Mich., headquarters and other facilities from September until January. The initiative affects about 30,000 people.

General Motors also is targeting an early 2021 return, according to an internal memo obtained by the Detroit Free Press. Policies will be reassessed in October. At that time, GM could allow some workers to return based on manager recommendations, according to the report. ...READ MORE

Lidar Maker Luminar Readies $2.9 Billion IPO

Luminar Technologies, the 8-year-old supplier of lidar sensors and software for autonomous vehicles, is launching an initial public offering through a reverse merger.

The imminent deal will combine Luminar with Gores Metropoulos, a so-called “blank check” firm set up specifically to merge with other businesses and enable them to conduct IPOs faster and more cheaply.

The merger will give Luminar a market cap of about $3.4 billion.

Same Name, More Funds

The resulting entity will retain the Luminar name, executive leadership, the rest of its 350-member staff and its current headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif.

The deal also will provide Luminar with an immediate infusion of $400 million in cash from Gores Metropoulos and another $170 million in financing from a group of ...READ MORE

McLaren Readies Lightweight Architecture for Future Hybrid Cars

McLaren Automotive is well known for its powerful, lightweight supercars.

So it’s no surprise that its upcoming hybrid-electric models will follow suit.

The next-generation vehicles will ride on a carbon fiber tub that McLaren says is lighter and more flexible than the company’s current MonoCell. That architecture was introduced a decade ago for the 12C and has since carried everything from the legendary P1 hybrid supercar to the recent Speedtail.

Hybrid Tub

Developed specifically for electrified vehicles, the new platform will be produced in-house at McLaren’s Composites Technology Center in Sheffield, England. McLaren currently sources carbon fiber chassis from Austria-based Carbo Tech, which will continue to supply carbon fiber components to the carmaker.


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