GM is feeling right now

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Photo: Andy Kalmowitz

general motors feel unwell at the moment, the NHTSA is investigating Autopilot in Tesla car chamber, and the US government expects airlines to do more for stranded and delayed passengers. All that and more in the morning shift for Friday, August 19, 2022.

1st Gear: GM is vibrating right now

General Motors is reinstating a dividend plan for investors. On top of that, the company is restarting share buybacks to invest in its transition to an electric future (but really just to boost its share price).

Investors will now receive a quarterly stock dividend to the tune of 9 cents per share, according to the automaker’s Board of Directors. The first will be paid on September 15 to shareholders of record at the close of business on August 31. The dividend has been suspended by the company since the second quarter of 2020 due to the pandemic.

The General also announced that he will resume “opportunistic” share buybacks as a way to reinvest in himself. Of the detroit news:

GM’s Board of Directors increased capacity in GM’s existing buyback program to $5 billion of shares, up from $3.3 billion previously remaining in the program.

“GM is investing more than $35 billion through 2025 to advance our growth plan, including rapidly expanding our electric vehicle portfolio and creating a domestic battery manufacturing infrastructure,” CEO Mary Barra said in a statement. release. “Progress on these key strategic initiatives has enhanced our visibility and strengthened confidence in our ability to finance growth while returning capital to shareholders.”

Earlier this year, GM said that invest $7 billion in four Michigan factories — including a new battery cell plant in Lansing — that will create 4,000 new jobs and retain 1,000 jobs.

GM has plans to bring 30 new EVs to the market by 2024. Right now there are only two: the Cadillac Lyriq and GMC Hummer EV, so they better get a move on.

2nd Gear: The Hell’s That Camera For, Tesla?

The NHTSA is asking Tesla to answer questions about its in-car camera that is meant to monitor driver awareness. It’s part of a probe in 830,000 Teslas that are equipped with Autopilot.

The governmental safety agency is looking into the performance and capabilities of Autopilot after a dozen Teslas crashed into stopped emergency vehicles.

In June, the NHTSA upgraded the probe to an engineering analysis. It’s a required step before possibly demanding Tesla issue a recall. From Reuters:

NHTSA’s nine-page letter requires Tesla to answer questions by Oct. 12 about “the role the cockpit camera plays in the driver engagement/attention application.”

According to Tesla, the cockpit camera, a camera located above the rearview mirror, can determine driver inattention and provide audible alerts to remind drivers to keep their eyes on the road when Autopilot is engaged.

The NHTSA said it was seeking information on the “impact of the cockpit camera on driver engagement alert rates and timing,” as well as “recoverable data elements that point to its influence.”

The agency said it wanted an explanation of “design decisions” about the driver-involvement application, “including evidence justifying the length of time a driver is allowed to take their hands off the wheel before receiving a warning.” “.

The regulator is reviewing whether Tesla vehicles adequately ensure drivers are paying attention. The agency said in June that evidence suggested drivers in most of the crashes under review had complied with Tesla’s alert strategy, raising questions about its effectiveness.

At the end of last year, consumer reports He looked at the camera and said: “We found that it was not appropriate to ensure that the driver gave their full attention when using the autopilot and full autonomous driving (FSD) functions.”

Isn’t that great, Bob!

Gear Three: The US Government Is Tired of the Airline Bullshit Too

US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg is urging the 10 largest US airlines to do more to help stranded or delayed passengers. He also warned the government can be adoption of new regulations.

Buttigieg says USDOT is “considering options” to write new rules “that would further expand airline passenger rights.” Of Reuters:

He urged airlines to evaluate customer service plans to “ensure that (they) guarantee adequate amenities and services to help passengers with the expense and inconvenience due to delays and cancellations.” It also called on airlines “at a minimum to provide meal vouchers for delays of 3 hours or more and accommodations for passengers who must wait overnight at an airport due to disruptions within the carrier’s control.”

Some airlines provide meals or hotel rooms if they cancel or delay flights if they are to blame for the disruptions, but are not legally required to do so. Passengers are often unaware of airline policies.

Major airlines and an airline trade group had no immediate comment early Friday.

Buttigieg’s letter said he appreciated the steps airlines had taken to improve service, but added that “the level of disruption Americans have experienced this summer is unacceptable.”

He said that in the first six months of 2022, about 24 percent of US airlines’ domestic flights have been delayed. 3.2 percent has been completely canceled.

4th Gear: GM bets on a fourth battery plant

General Motors and LG Energy Solutions are considering partnering once again on a site in Indiana for a fourth US battery cell manufacturing plant.

An Ultium Cells LLC spokesman said the joint venture is developing a competitive business case for a large potential investment that could be located in New Carlisle, Indiana. He added that Ultium had submitted a tax reduction application that it expects to be approved later this month. Of Reuters:

Production at Ultium’s first US battery cell plant in Warren, Ohio will begin later this month. The companies announced the $2.3 billion plant in 2019.

The fourth plant is expected to be similar to the other three and have an investment of more than $2 billion, a source briefed on the matter told Reuters, but it is unclear when it might open.

In January, GM and LG announced a $2.6 billion investment to build a new battery cell plant in Lansing, Michigan, scheduled to open in late 2024. GM also said it would spend $4 billion to overhaul and expand an assembly plant. near Detroit to build electricity. trucks and be supplied by the Lansing battery plant.

GM and LG Energy are also building a $2.3 billion plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee, due for completion in late 2023.

Last month, the US Department of Energy said it would lend Ultium $2.5 billion to help finance the construction of battery cell manufacturing plants in Ohio, Tennessee and Michigan.

The sweeping bill President Biden signed imposes new sourcing rules for battery components and other materials critical for electric vehicles to be eligible for the $7,500 tax credit. The rules go into effect on January 1.

5th gear: Deere applauds for record earnings

Deere & Co., the company behind John Deere farm equipment, posted higher sales and profit in the third quarter due to strong demand for its farm and construction equipment.

Net sales were up 22 percent and profit was up 13 percent in the three months to July 31, also known as the second quarter. It was a period of high agricultural prices. From the Wall Street Journal:

Chief Executive John May said on Friday that higher costs and production inefficiencies caused by supply chain complications clouded Deere’s most recent quarterly results. However, the company sees consumer demand remaining strong, as seen in positive responses to pre-order programs, and is working to optimize its production supply chain, May said.

The Moline, Illinois-based company said net income rose to $1.88 billion, or $6.16 per share, from $1.67 billion, or $5.32 per share, in the year-earlier quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had expected earnings per share of $6.65.

Revenue rose to $14.1 billion from $11.53 billion a year ago. Analysts had expected revenue of $12.9 billion, according to FactSet.

The company lowered its full-year earnings forecast to $7 billion to $7.2 billion, from its previous view of between $7 billion and $7.4 billion.

My father had a John Deere lawnmower when I was a kid. Dave always chooses quality. No wonder why the company is doing well now even though the world is on the brink of collapse at all times.

Reverse: History, my name is Indianapolis Motor Speedway

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