1.VOLKSWAGEN: Volkswagen of America said it sold more than 211,000 cars in the first half of 2021, its highest level for the period in nearly 50 years, and is on pace to sell more than 400,000 this year, Chief Executive and President Scott Keogh said in a media briefing on Thursday.
The U.S. arm of Germany’s Volkswagen AG has been able to boost sales volume and market share thanks to an expanded portfolio that is increasingly focused on SUVs, from the new Taos compact to the all-electric ID.4, Keogh said.
The German-built ID.4 hit U.S. dealers earlier this year and sold 5,756 units in the first half, with 85% of trade-ins coming from owners of non-electric vehicles.
“It’s the most profitable car for our dealers,” Keogh said.
The ID.4 goes into production at VW’s Chattanooga, Tennessee, plant in the second half of 2022 and eventually will be joined in the United States by a variety of companion models, including an all-electric people mover inspired by the classic VW Microbus.
Keogh said nearly three-quarters of VW’s U.S. sales were SUVs, which boosted average prices by around $4,000 from a year ago.
Sales slowed a fraction in June, he said, as inventories of unsold models dwindled to 32,000, about a 30-day supply for dealers.
Given the global chip shortage, Keogh said the vehicle pipeline could remain tight in July and August, but should open up in the fall.
2.NISSAN:-Nissan Motor Co bet on Britain to supercharge its European electric future on Thursday, pledging $1.4 billion with its Chinese partner to build a giant battery plant that will power 100,000 vehicles a year including a new crossover model.
Facing the most profound technological shift in a century, the titans of the auto industry are racing to secure battery supply close to the factories where they will make the new cleaner electric vehicles of the future.
Nissan cast its backing for the 9 gigawatt-hour (GWh) plant as illustrative of a rejuvenation of Britain’s automotive industry, which has for five years grappled with the fear that Brexit could cut off the rest of the European market.
“This project is the demonstration of the renaissance of the British car industry,” Ashwani Gupta, Nissan’s chief operating officer, told reporters at the Sunderland plant, which exports 70% of its vehicles to the European Union.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Nissan’s move was “a major vote of confidence in the UK and our highly skilled workers in the North East”. Nissan said Britain had backed the plan, but did not detail any guarantees or incentives.
The 1 billion-pound ($1.4 billion) investment by Nissan, its Chinese partner Envision AESC and local government in northeast England will create 6,200 jobs at the Sunderland plant and in British supply chains.
Nissan will spend up to 423 million pounds to produce a new-generation all-electric crossover vehicle at the plant, where it already produces the LEAF electric vehicle and the Qashqai crossover SUV. The new vehicle has yet to be named and there is no launch date.
3.FACEBOOK:-Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) has teamed up with French videogame maker Ubisoft Entertainment SA to bolster its cloud-gaming platform with popular titles such as “Assassin’s Creed”, the social media giant said on Thursday.
Facebook Gaming currently has more than 25 games including “Roller Coaster Tycoon Touch” by Atari, and “Lego Legacy Heroes Unboxed” and “Dragon Mania Legends” by Gameloft.
With the Ubisoft tie-up, Facebook said its users will now have access to titles including “Hungry Shark Evolution”, “Hungry Dragon” and the blockbuster “Assassin’s Creed” franchise.
4.NETFLIX:– Netflix rose more than 1% in Thursday’s trading as Cowen said the streaming giant has the best content of all while reiterating an outperform on the stock.
Analyst John Blackledge has a $650 tag on the stock, an upside of almost 22% from the stock’s current level of $533.50.
Cowen’s survey put Netflix’s content ahead of YouTube, Basic Cable and Amazon Prime.
According to Blackledge, Netflix is well positioned as the first choice to stream movies and TV shows online, while it ramps up originals.
He expects better-than-expected subscriber growth of 1.2 million in the second quarter at the company.
5.H&M – Fashion retailer H&M’s global sales growth slowed in the second half of June and the Swedish company took a sales hit in China after its concerns over alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang led to a social media inspired boycott by shoppers.
The world’s second-largest fashion retailer on Thursday reported a stronger-than-expected profit for its March-May quarter, after a loss in the same quarter last year.
In China, sales were down 23% in local currencies when H&M was wiped off Tmall and domestic phonemakers’ app stores in March after the retailer expressed concerns https://hmgroup.com/sustainability/fair-and-equal/human-rights/h-m-group-statement-on-due-diligence about the alleged Xinjiang human rights abuses.
“With regards to China the situation remains complex. Beyond that we refer to what we have said before,” Chief Executive Helena Helmersson said, as H&M quantified for the first time the impact of the China boycott, which started on social media.
China accounted for around 5% of group sales last year and is one of H&M’s two top suppliers.
Helmersson said H&M was closely following the situation in Bangladesh – another main supplier – after a spike in coronavirus cases prompted the country to enforce a strict lockdown, although garment factories remain open.