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Inside Automotive (Jan 17th, 2020)

1. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and Taiwanese electronics contract manufacturer Foxconn are teaming up to develop electric vehicles. In a Taiwanese regulatory filing, Foxconn said it was establishing a joint venture to develop and produce EVs, as well as operate internet-connected vehicles. Foxconn, best known for its role as a contract manufacturer for Apple, said it would own 40 percent or less in the venture. FCA declined to comment to the Wall Street Journal. Foxconn’s involvement in the EV space signals a move beyond electronics manufacturing for the company, as smartphone sales have slowed down in key markets. It also comes as FCA looks to boost sales in China, where it faces increasingly strict emissions regulations on vehicles. This move comes as FCA is working on a merger with Groupe PSA. — WSJ

2. Twitter account @AlterViggo said reports about Tesla registrations plummeting in California were misleading because registrations lag deliveries by about two to four weeks in the state. He was specifically referencing the Dominion Cross-Sell report, which was published by CNBC, Reuters and other publications. He said the report tried to show a “very dire portrait” of Tesla’s delivery performance in December 2019. But @AlterViggo noted that the report based its data on California state registrations, which takes about two to four weeks to register in the system after the vehicles are delivered. He writes that nearly all December Tesla deliveries occurred in the “last two weeks of the month, with the bulk happening in the very last week.” Not much is known about @AlterViggo's real-life persona, but he has been making some waves in the Tesla enthusiast space. Earlier this week, he also spotted the Tesla Model Y California Air Resources Board (CARB) certification, which showed Model Y deliveries were likely on the way. — @ALTERVIGGO/TWITTER

3. Follow Friday: Graham Rapier (@g_rapier)

Graham Rapier published one of the best tweets of the week, in my opinion:

“‘I'm at a mobility event and a Lyft executive just told a panel they "would never ever take a shared ride,’” he wrote on Twitter. 

Graham would not “dox” the executive who said that…yet.

Graham focuses on the “urban mobility” beat for Business Insider, where he covers the world of ride-hailing services, food delivery startups, electric vehicle companies and more. His work is excellent. Just last week, he wrote a piece about Moovit, a technology company focused specifically on the public transportation space and some significant departures at Uber’s JUMP Bikes division.

But Graham also curates a great variety of transportation-centric stories on his Twitter account, which makes him a must-follow.

Follow him at @g_rapier on Twitter!

4. Automotive supplier Magna is ending its self-driving driving technology partnership with Lyft. The partnership was first announced in 2018, when the companies agreed to jointly fund, develop and manufacture a self-driving system that would be used by the company. The partnership also involved a $200 million investment into the ridesharing service from Magna. Magna still said it was interested in working with Lyft in “several areas related to autonomous developments” and still wanted to expand its own self-driving development endeavors, however. — AUTO NEWS

5. Tesla officially announced it would be opening a design and engineering center in China. Through the automaker’s official WeChat account, the company encouraged people to apply for jobs at the upcoming facility. In the announcement, Tesla said it wanted to incorporate “Chinese art” into a future Tesla model. Earlier this month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the automaker would be opening the facility, while also calling for a future Tesla model to be designed in China for “worldwide consumption. — ELECTREK

6. Hyundai Motor Group invested $110 million into a U.K.-based electric delivery vehicle startup, Arrival. Arrival has operated mainly in stealth-mode for five years until today. The company has about 800 employees across five countries. Much like competing electric truck startup, Rivian, Arrival is developing a modular “skateboard” platform that would allow a wide range of delivery trucks to be built on one platform. Last year, Hyundai committed a $35 billion investment into self-driving technology and electrification. — TECHCRUNCH

7. Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess said the automaker needs to accelerate the overhaul of its business to avoid becoming “another Nokia.” Nokia famously lost dominance of the mobile market to Apple and Samsung in the early ‘10s. Following a global board meeting this week, Diess told senior VW managers, “If we continue at our current speed [in overhauling the business], it is going to be very tough.” Diess wants to revamp the automaker by expanding new technologies, like connected and electric vehicles, revamping assets and slashing costs. — REUTERS

8. A development by Virgin Trains USA to build a high-speed rail project between Las Vegas and Southern California was placed on hold. California State Treasurer Fiona Ma said the company is waiting for the “sign off, final report” from the federal government on the project. Despite the hold, the company still said the project is about three years from completion. In December, Virgin said it expected to break ground on the high-speed rail as soon as “Q3 of 2020,” although it is unclear if the pause will delay the project. — ABC 7 LOS ANGELES

10. The European Investment Bank (EIB) agreed to $56 million in debt financing for ride-hailing firm Bolt. The EIB is the lending arm of the European Union, and the bank is granting Bolt a “quasi-equity” debt facility. This means the return of the investment for the EIB is calculated as a percentage of the company’s future revenue streams, which would prevent the EIB from being diluted. Bolt is one of Uber’s many competitors in the European market. — CNBC

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

Edited by Sheena Vasani, staff writer at Inside.

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