Auto News for August 1 – Tesla Branches Out – Leases Set a Record

Tesla has made it official – It is offering to acquire SolarCity in an all stock deal valued at about $2.6 billion. It is kind of a marriage in a family, in that Elon Musk is the chairman and largest shareholder in each company, and the solar panel maker is run by Musk’s cousin. The deal must now be ratified by shareholders in each firm. “We would be the world’s only vertically integrated energy company offering end-to-end clean energy products to our customers. This would start with the car that you drive and the energy that you use to charge it, and would extend to how everything else in your home or business is powered,” Tesla said.

For years now there has been speculation about a mid-engine Corvette. There is an excellent Mark Phelan authored update in the Detroit Free Press on the pros and cons of such a deal, including the possibility that the mid-engine model might exceed, price wise, what today’s Corvette buyer can afford. See the story at:

http://www.freep.com/story/money/cars/mark-phelan/2016/07/30/chevrolet-super-corvette-general-motors/87677690/

Major automakers will report on July sales tomorrow morning, and investors are eager to see if the long lasting bubble in sales is slowing shrinking. Already Ford has said it expects a slowdown in sales in the second half of the year. It will also be the first report from Fiat Chrysler since it revamped its way of calculating sales. The experts see GM and Ford sales moving lower just a trifle and FCA up about one percent. Stay tuned.

Genesis G80

Hyundai’s new Genesis G80 mid-size luxury sedan will carry a starting price of $41,400 when it arrives in showrooms next month. It will offer three years of complimentary scheduled maintenance and valet services plus a long list of safety and convenience equipment.

More new vehicles were leased in the first half of 2016 than during the first half of any other year in history according to Edmunds.com. Lease volume has doubled in the last five years, suggesting that the automotive market could be on the verge of a fundamental shift in consumer mindset about the value of owning a new vehicle — particularly when the purchase has to be financed, Edmunds added. Most of those vehicles were leased by Millennials.

 

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