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Inside Automotive (Sep 9th, 2019)

1. Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa has resigned from the automaker, after he revealed he and other top Nissan executives were overpaid. Saikawa said he would return any excess funds he obtained from a stock-related payment plan and denied any wrongdoing. While the company’s board of directors looks for a successor, Nissan COO Yasuhiro Yamauchi will serve as acting CEO. This comes ahead of the automaker’s board meeting, where Nissan directors discovered the results of an internal investigation into conduct at the automaker. Nissan board chairman, Yasushi Kimura, said that while the payments were not illegal, the stock appreciation rights program was “intentionally manipulated” to increase the amount of money executives could make from the program. — CNN

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2. Tesla is getting closer to lapping the Model S on the Nürburgring Grand Prix track. Addicted to Motorsport’s Facebook page shared an image of a Model S with Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 R tires installed, with U.S. plates, traveling on the Autobahn in Germany in the direction of the race track. This is while Tesla CEO Elon Musk has accepted the help of Nico Rosberg, the 2016 Formula One World Champion, to assist with the laps. — ADDICTED TO MOTORSPORT/FACEBOOK


 

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3. The Justice Department is launching an investigation into a deal struck between four automakers and California over vehicle-emissions standards. Lawyers at the department are seeing if Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW broke federal competition law through its deal with the state. The Wall Street Journal reported that one person close to the Justice Department’s investigation said the agency is looking into the deal on its own accord, and not with guidance from President Trump. President Trump has been a vocal opponent of the emissions deal. — WSJ

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4. Tesla CEO Elon Musk says the company’s pickup truck would likely be unveiled in November. In a tweet, Musk gave the estimated date in response to someone who wanted to attend the unveiling event. Earlier this year, during an earnings call, Musk said the company might be ready to unveil the truck this summer, indicating a potential delay. He also said the pickup would be “unique” and unlike anything seen in the market. — @ELONMUSK/TWITTER

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5. Hyundai, and its sister automaker Kia, are joining a European vehicle charging venture, Ionity. Ionity has a goal of installing 400 high-speed vehicle charging stations by the end of next year across Europe and is also backed by BMW, Volkswagen, Daimler and Ford. To this point, Ionity has installed 140 stations across 14 countries in Europe, with 50 additional stations currently under construction. - REUTERS

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6. Volkswagen will unveil a new brand identity (along with its flagship ID3 electric vehicle) at the Frankfurt Motor Show tonight. The changes come as the company hopes to distance itself from the “Dieselgate” scandal, which has tarnished the automaker’s reputation. Volkswagen looks to focus on a growing demand for electric vehicles internationally and will make its first major move in the market with the unveiling of its ID3 flagship vehicle. - AUTOCAR

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7. Sales of Jaguar’s I-Pace electric vehicle hit a new monthly low of 160 units. However, Inside EVs points out that even at 160 units sold, the vehicle represents about 7.5 percent of the automaker’s total volume, which may indicate a larger problem with the brand as a whole. The vehicle starts at $69,500 and has a range of about 234 miles. - INSIDE EVS


 

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8. Tesla has officially launched in Iceland. While small in population when compared to other European markets, the country may serve as a significant opportunity for Tesla considering that almost 100 percent of the country’s energy is renewable and gasoline prices are high on the island. The automaker has plans for one retail store in Reykjavík, with three Supercharger locations planned for the island. - ELECTREK

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9. A dealership chain backed by NBA basketball star Russell Westbrook hopes to expand its network. Westbrook partnered with auto dealer Bob Nouri to operate five dealerships in Southern California, which Nouri says have been successful to this point. He hopes to expand his partnership with Westbrook, which has involved turning around struggling Hyundai dealerships. One neat detail: the first store in the dealer network, a Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram dealership in Van Nuys has an indoor basketball court. - AUTO NEWS


 

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10. A thread on Tesla Motors Club discusses worst Model 3 accessories. One user on the forum, MXWing, said, “The only Tesla accessory that hasn’t done *sugar* for me is FSD [full self-driving].” User tvad said, “I’m gonna go with leather floor mats,” while Lifeinabox said the performance spoiler. - TESLA MOTORS CLUB


 

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This newsletter was written and curated by Johan Moreno. Johan is based out of Los Angeles, CA and has covered technology and automotive extensively for a variety of publications, including Forbes and The Orange County Register. Follow him on Twitter @dudejohan

Editor: David Stegon (senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology).

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