Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022 |
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Average US vehicle is now a record 12.2 years old
The average age of light vehicles in operation has hit a record, increasing by two months this year to 12.2 years, as a shortage of vehicles is keeping Americans in their cars for longer, according to a study released on May 23. It’s the fifth consecutive year of increase even as the U.S. vehicle fleet recovered, growing by 3.5 million vehicles in the past year, according to the report from financial information firm S&P Global. Inc’s mobility team. The results are indicative of pent-up demand that’s likely to keep automakers, their dealers and repair shops happy for years to come.
OPEC+ agrees to bigger increase in oil supply, but prices keep rising
The group of oil-producing nations known as OPEC+ agreed Thursday to a larger supply increase than planned. The White House hailed the higher output as a diplomatic breakthrough after months of lobbying Middle East oil giants to raise production to ease price pressures. Administration officials said President Joe Biden would visit Saudi Arabia, which effectively leads OPEC+, this month. But it is not clear how far Saudi Arabia is willing to go to help Biden on oil prices. The amount of added crude oil that OPEC+ committed to produce is unlikely to cause gasoline prices to fall. In fact, the price of oil rose after Thursday’s announcement.
Ford plans 6,000 new union jobs in three Midwestern states
Ford Motor said Thursday it was planning to invest $3.7 billion in facilities across the Midwest, much of it for the production of electric vehicles, which the company said would create more than 6,000 union jobs. “We’re investing in American jobs and our employees to build a new generation of incredible Ford vehicles,” president and CEO Jim Farley said. The announcement, made jointly with the United Automobile Workers union, detailed investments in three states. Ford said it would invest $2 billion and create about 3,200 union jobs in Michigan, including many tied to production of the new F-150 Lightning pickup truck, the company’s most important bet on electric vehicles.
Prosecutors charge crypto employee with insider trading
Manhattan prosecutors on Wednesday accused a former employee of OpenSea, an auction site for the digital goods known as non-fungible tokens, of insider trading. It is believed to be the first such case filed related to a cryptocurrency company. Nathaniel Chastain, 31, is accused of using his knowledge of which NFTs would be featured on the site’s homepage to secretly purchase from those collections in advance, and then profit when auctions increased their value, according to a report in The New York Times’ DealBook newsletter Thursday. The Justice Department has expanded its crypto enforcement team and brought more fraud cases related to digital assets.
Tesla to cut 10% of salaried staff, Musk tells employees
Tesla CEO Elon Musk plans to cut 10% of the carmaker’s salaried workforce, he told staff in an email Friday. The cuts will not apply to employees who build cars or batteries or who install solar panels, and the number of hourly employees will increase, Musk said in the email, a copy of which was reviewed by The New York Times. “Tesla will be reducing salaried headcount by 10%, as we have become overstaffed in many areas,” he said. Reuters reported the news earlier, citing a different email that Musk sent only to Tesla executives. The automaker’s share price closed Friday down about 9% after that article was published.
Stellantis to pay $300M to end an emissions case
The U.S. division of Stellantis has agreed to plead guilty in federal court in Detroit to a conspiracy charge and to pay $300 million to resolve an investigation of the carmaker’s attempts to evade diesel emission standards, the Justice Department said Friday. The company, formed when Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot merged, also agreed to cooperate with federal authorities as part of its plea agreement, a statement released by prosecutors said. The investigation centered on a claim that Fiat Chrysler tried to evade emission standards for some of its pickup trucks and Jeeps. Prosecutors said the U.S. division, known as FCA US, misled customers and regulators for years.
CEO of Amazon’s consumer business is leaving
Dave Clark, CEO of Amazon’s consumer business, who was the architect of its massive warehouse operations, announced Friday that he would leave the company after 23 years. Under his watch, the company’s workforce swelled to more than 1.6 million. Clark did not say what he would do next, and the company did not immediately name a successor. “It’s time for me to build again,” he said in a note on Twitter. His last day is July 1. Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said in an email to the company’s leadership that he hoped to have an update on succession plans “over the next few weeks.”
In eastern Ukraine, keeping the lights on is a dangerous job
Russian attacks are knocking out power, water and gas to entire towns and cities as the fighting in eastern Ukraine inches forward. And the utility crews sent to repair the smashed transmission lines and pipes are finding themselves in the middle of the shelling. Officials say crews sometimes arrive at a location only to be forced to retreat because of the fighting. Some villages are impossible to reach. A water systems engineer in the town of Bakhmut says “we can hear the shells whistling above us.”
Deadly secret: Electronic warfare shapes Russia-Ukraine war
Electronic warfare is a vital, mostly invisible element in Russia’s war on Ukraine. The Kremlin barely tapped its advantage in the domain early in the war. But that edge could be more decisive now that fighting is raging on a more static front in the eastern Donbas region. Shorter, more secure supply lines favor Russia’s ability to deploy electronic war units, which use jamming and other technologies to outwit the enemy. The Ukrainians report intense Russian jamming in the region but have scored some successes including the seizure of important pieces of hardware and destruction of at least two multi-vehicle mobile electronic warfare units.
By wire sources
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