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Inside Automotive (Jun 6th, 2018)

1. Tesla CEO Elon Musk will remain chairman of the automaker’s board. The vote, held at the automaker’s annual shareholder meeting, was proposed by Tesla shareholder Jing Zhao, who owns 12 shares of the company’s stock. Zhao made the argument that Musk had too many commitments with his other interests, like SpaceX and The Boring Company, to fully invest his time into Tesla. Zhao’s proposal was supported by proxy advisers Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis. However, Tesla’s shareholders decided on keeping Musk at the helm of the board. Shareholders also voted to reappoint three directors: 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch, Antonio Gracias and Kimbal Musk. — WAPOST

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2. Tesla reveals plans for a new factory in Shanghai. At the automaker’s annual shareholder meeting, Tesla’s head of worldwide sales, Robin Ren, officially revealed the company plans to build its first factory outside of the United States in Shanghai. This comes after much speculation that the company and Shanghai’s government were completing a deal for the factory. Tesla’s move was likely accelerated by China’s decision to ease regulatory rules and tariffs on the production of EVs within China. Tesla’s Chinese factories should produce both batteries and vehicles within the same plant, which is different from the automaker’s current production strategy. — CNBC 

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3. Tesla teases a new image of its upcoming Model Y crossover vehicle. The image, which can be seen in full-size here, appears to be the back side of the vehicle. “Model Y will not have any leather in it, even in the steering wheel….even if it does have a steering wheel,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk quipped when presenting the vehicle. Musk reiterated that the vehicle will be unveiled in March 2019. Tesla will start capital investment into its vehicle this year. — ELECTREK

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4. Tesla may offer an Autopilot free trial. At the annual shareholder meeting, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced plans for a free trial of Autopilot to be released “within the next couple months.” However, Musk did not elaborate on details about the trial or when it would be released. Enhanced Autopilot costs Tesla buyers an additional $5,000, or $6,000 after the purchase of the vehicle. All Tesla vehicles produced as of 2016 are equipped for Enhanced Autopilot, but the functionality has to be unlocked by the automaker. “The reliability and capability of Autopilot will increase exponentially over the next six to twelve months,” Musk said at the meeting. “The improvements are very rapid.” — THE VERGE

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5. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has told shareholders that the automaker will not run out of cash any time soon. Musk said at the automaker’s annual shareholder meeting that the company expects to have “positive cash flow” in the last two quarters of its fiscal year. He reiterated the company would not need to raise more cash, saying, “We do not expect to need to raise any incremental debt or equity.” — CNN

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6. Cruise is preparing a launch of self-driving vehicles without backup safety drivers in San Francisco. According to emails obtained by Jalopnik, the company is hoping to deploy driverless vehicles as a part of a pilot program that could launch imminently. Details also revealed that Cruise officials were corresponding with the San Francisco mayor’s office about using some of the city’s first responder vehicles for autonomous car tests and data collection. A spokesperson for the mayor’s office of San Francisco did not respond to Jalopnik’s request for comment. California recently started allowing companies to obtain a permit to test vehicles without backup safety drivers in the state. — JALOPNIK

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7. GM has plans to expand Super Cruise beyond Cadillac to all of GM’s lineup. The rollout will occur after GM rolls out the system to Cadillac’s entire lineup in 2020. GM had previously said it would roll out Super Cruise to its entire lineup, but did not give a time frame for the rollout. — AUTO NEWS

8. United Way and Lyft are partnering to provide free rides to those in need. Lyft will integrate into the United Way’s 2-1-1 referral helpline that it operates in 12 U.S. cities, including Austin, Denver, Philadelphia and San Francisco. The rides will be offered for non-emergency medical appointments, job interviews and veterans services. — ENGADGET

9. Cargo announced a deal with Grab in Singapore. Cargo provides ride-hailing drivers with boxes of snacks, drinks and beauty products that can be purchased by riders. About 1,000 Grab drivers in Singapore will receive Cargo boxes, as Grab says it will eventually expand the service to other regions. Drivers will be able to benefit from a cut of the revenue generated by the boxes. — CNN

10. “Some news @limebike just hired Lyft's long-time director of policy @emilycwarren_  as its Sr. Director of Policy and Public Affairs. She was at Lyft in that role since 2012 (the year it was founded.)” — TWITTER

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