Ford to Increase Spending on Electric Vehicles to $30 Billion: Live Updates

The company is investing $11 billion in 10 electrified vehicles, including an electric SUV and a self-driving car. It has said it plans to put more than 40 electrified vehicles on the road by 2022. It is also spending $4.7 billion on research and development for the vehicles.

In a rather surprising move, Ford has just announced that they will increase spending on electric vehicles from the current $2 billion to $30 billion by 2022. Ford planned to spend $2 billion on electric vehicles in 2017 alone, but now they will double that amount. This is a substantial increase, as one of the main reasons why Ford has been slow to adopt electric cars is because most of their customers are not ready to embrace them. This might change, however, as Ford is working on a number of new electric models, ranging from compact cars to SUVs.

On April 7, Ford’s CEO Alan Mulally announced a $30 billion spending plan on electric and hybrid vehicles. He says the money will be spent on developing new generation of battery-powered vehicles and improving existing hybrid vehicles.. Read more about is ford going all electric and let us know what you think.

Here’s what you need to know:

Ford CEO Jim Farley with the F-150 Lightning, the electric version of its best-selling pickup.Credit…Jeff Kowalsky/Agence France-Presse – Getty Images

Ford Motor Company announced Wednesday that it will increase its spending on electric vehicles by about a third over its previous plans and expects electric vehicles to make up 40 percent of its production by 2030, a major step forward in its commitment to electrifying cars and trucks.

The company plans to spend $30 billion in the five years to 2025, up from $22 billion today. The company also announced that it had received 70,000 orders for the F-150 Lightning, an electric version of its best-selling pickup truck.

This is our biggest opportunity for growth and value creation since Henry Ford started making the Model T, Ford CEO Jim Farley said in a statement.

Ford has moved from a relatively restrained demand for battery-powered vehicles to a central interest in this issue. The company recently began delivery of the Mustang Mach E, an electric SUV that has sold well and garnered praise from automotive critics. This model also looks to take market share away from Tesla, which until recently dominated the electric car market. Ford unveiled the F-150 Lightning last week and President Biden drove it around a special track in Michigan and praised its fast acceleration.

The cost increase is due to new investments to improve technology and production. Ford announced last week that it would form a joint venture with South Korea’s SK Innovation to produce batteries for future Ford and Lincoln vehicles at two plants in the United States.

Ford shares rose nearly 5 percent Wednesday morning after the company announced it will introduce electric cars.

Exxon Mobil storage tanks in Rotterdam. Shareholders say the oil giant should invest more in renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power.Credit…Peter Dejong/Associated Press

Exxon Mobil faces a major challenge to its climate policy at its annual shareholder meeting Wednesday, as activists challenge the election of a third of the company’s board of directors.

A coalition of environmentally conscious investors says Exxon is under-investing in clean energy, which will hurt its profits in the future.

These investors believe that the company should follow the example of European oil companies such as BP and Total, which have started investing heavily in renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power.

The hedge fund behind the campaign, Engine No. 1, wants to prevent the election of four candidates as directors of the company and has nominated four of its own. A victory by even one of their candidates would be a sharp rebuke to Darren W. Woods, chairman and CEO of Exxon. Several large pension funds, including the New York State Common Retirement Fund and the California Public Employees Retirement System, have joined the No. 1 engine launched last year.

We listen and we listen, Woods said in an interview in which he tried to strike a conciliatory tone. We don’t always agree, but we always understand that there is room for improvement.

Exxon says its investments in carbon capture and storage, including a proposal to capture industrial emissions along the Houston Ship Canal, show the company is changing its approach to climate change. The company announced this week that two new directors, including a climate change expert, would join its board, but it has not committed to investing in renewable energy.

Engine #1 was against the move, saying: This mood is too important to be affected by such a last minute cynical maneuver.

Jeff Bezos’ final shareholder meeting as Amazon CEO could be eventful.Credit…Michael Nelson/EPA, via Shutterstock

Investors in Amazon will gather virtually Wednesday for the company’s annual shareholder meeting. According to the newsletter DealBook, there’s a lot to talk about: the good, the bad and the ugly (from the perspective of Amazon management).

The e-commerce giant’s gargantuan profits risk being overshadowed by three major events: the company’s expensive bid for Hollywood studio MGM, a series of shareholder proposals that the company’s directors refuse to accept, and an antitrust lawsuit filed against the company on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Amazon announced it would spend $8.45 billion to acquire MGM, which is taking over the James Bond franchise in addition to classic films like Rocky and Singin’ in the Rain. Approval of the regulations would depend on Amazon’s argument that it is a small player in the entertainment industry. (Lina Hahn, the FTC nominee awaiting Senate confirmation, made a name for herself with an article about Amazon’s alleged antitrust violations.)

Supporters of several shareholder resolutions opposed by Amazon executives say their goal is to make the company a better “corporate citizen” by addressing allegations of labor and environmental violations. The New York State pension fund is asking Amazon to conduct an independent audit of its civil rights, equality, diversity and inclusion practices. (Calls for race checks have been heard at many shareholder meetings lately).

Another proposal bans Jeff Bezos from leading Amazon’s board when he steps down as CEO this year.

On Tuesday, the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit against Amazon, claiming the company effectively prohibits sellers on its website from setting lower prices for the same items elsewhere, leading to higher prices on Amazon and elsewhere. Amazon is using its dominant position in online retail to win at all costs, said Carl Racine, the county’s attorney general.

This would be the first antitrust case brought against Amazon by a US government agency. But because it is based on local law rather than federal law, its impact may be limited even if successful. Still, Mr. Racine’s argument is both old and new, and it could serve as a model for limiting the power of big tech companies, wrote Shira Ovide, a technology columnist for the Times.

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The heads of six major US lenders testify before the Senate Banking Committee. Top executives at Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and other companies should talk about the risk of their assets, the diversity of their workforce, the steps they are taking to address climate change, their commitment to racial equality, and more.

The heads of six major US lenders began testifying before the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday. This is the first time since the 2008 financial crisis that all senior bankers have been subpoenaed. (They will also appear before the House Financial Services Committee on Thursday for the first time since 2019).

During the Senate hearing, Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat and chairman of the committee, promised to pressure bank executives on a range of issues by sending them a list of questions on topics such as the risky nature of their assets, the diversity of their workforce, action on climate change, commitment to racial equality and so on. This could lead to disjointed hearings where senators go from one question to another in an attempt to surprise business leaders.

In their opinions, they answer the Committee’s questions with varying degrees of depth and detail. They all clearly state that their facilities have become healthier, safer and more compliant since 2008.

  • Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase presented a nine-page document calling on business, government and society to address inequality and unleash the extraordinary dynamism of the US economy.
  • Jane Fraser of Citigroup produced 11 pages (and a three-page appendix of data and tables) outlining her bank’s approach to cryptocurrencies and explaining that it focuses its resources and efforts on understanding the changes in the digital asset space.
  • James Gorman of Morgan Stanley has prepared a no-nonsense 20-page report with a brief introduction and the answers to each question in order.
  • Charles Scharf of Wells Fargo and David Solomon of Goldman Sachs each presented 15 pages on environmental, social and governance issues.
  • Brian Moynihan of Bank of America had the most to say, devoting 32 pages to the principles of responsible banking growth. We have a dual responsibility to ensure profit and purpose, he wrote.
  • Stock prices fluctuated between gains and losses on Wednesday. The S&P 500 Index rose slightly in early trading, while the Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell slightly after hitting a record high earlier.
  • Ford rose more than 6% in early trading after the company announced it will significantly increase spending on electric vehicles and set a goal of making 40% of its products fully electric by 2030.
  • Shares in Marks & Spencer rose 7 per cent as the retailer announced that it expects to make a profit of £350m for this financial year, after posting a loss of more than £200m. The company, which sells groceries, clothing and household items, has benefited from a recent partnership with Ocado, an online grocer.
  • Fabio Panetta, a member of the European Central Bank’s Governing Council, said on Wednesday that we are currently experiencing a temporary spike in inflation, joining the chorus of central bankers who say the rise in prices is temporary and that there is currently no need to reduce monetary stimulus. Panetta said there was no need for the central bank to reduce the pace of its bond-buying program.
  • We should not extrapolate from what is happening in the United States, Panetta said in an interview published by the central bank. We do not expect demand and pressure on the labour market to increase to the extent that this could lead to sustained price pressure.
  • Australians are getting some of the best views of the super moon this week, but passengers on a single flight from Sydney got an even better view. On Wednesday (Tuesday night in the US), Australian airline Qantas took about 100 passengers on a three-hour flight to see the moon step into the Earth’s shadow and turn blood red during a total lunar eclipse. Tickets go on sale this month and cost A$499 (about $386) for economy class and A$1,499 (about $1,162) for business class. Tickets sold out in less than half an hour.

Episodes of Tucker Carlson Tonight will air the next day on Fox Nation, as will other prime-time Fox News shows.Credit…Richard Drew/Associated Press

Fox News entered the streaming video market in November 2018 with Fox Nation, a digital subscription service that now features hundreds of hours of original programming, including political commentary, documentaries and travel specials like Castles USA, in which host Jeanine Pirro visits castles across the country.

Until now, the network has resisted offering its main primetime shows on the streaming service. That will change next week when the Rupert Murdoch broadcaster makes a major change to its digital strategy.

Of the 2. The June episodes of Tucker Carlson Tonight, Hannity and Angle Ingraham will be available on demand on Fox Nation the day after they air live on the cable channel. The change will provide subscribers with incredible value, Fox Nation president Jason Klarman said Tuesday in a statement.

Initially, Fox News had reasons for not duplicating its traditional television programming on Fox Nation. The station derives significant revenue from cable distributors who pay to relay Fox News. The network also has the largest total weekly viewership among cable news networks; viewers who change channels to watch Fox Nation programs are not counted by Nielsen.

However, other broadcasters have seen the advantage of making their cable programmes available in digital format. These shows can attract new subscribers and expand the audience to a younger audience that prefers streaming services.

A monthly subscription to Fox Nation costs $6. The network refused to disclose the total number of subscribers. Lachlan Murdoch, executive chairman of Fox Corporation, said during a recent earnings call that Fox Nation has secured the largest number of customers since launching in the first quarter of 2021.

The District of Columbia said in a lawsuit that Amazon prohibits merchants who use its platform from charging lower prices for the same products at other online retailers.Credit…Angela Weiss/Agence France-Presse – Getty Images

On Tuesday, the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit alleging that the online marketplace giant artificially inflated the prices of goods by abusing its monopoly position.

This would be the first antitrust case filed against Amazon in the United States, the New York Times’ David McCabe, Karen Wise and Cecilia Kang report.

Here’s what you need to know:

What D.C. says

Amazon has exploited its dominant position in online retail to win at all costs, according to D.C. Attorney General Carl Racine. It maximizes profits at the expense of third parties and consumers, undermines competition, stifles innovation and unlawfully tilts the balance in its favor.

What Amazon says

Mr. Racine understands just the opposite – sellers set their own prices for the products they offer in our store, Jody Seth, an Amazon spokeswoman, said in a statement. She added that Amazon reserves the right not to flag offers that are not competitive.

Overview

Amazon is attracting the attention of critics because of the size of its business. It has a dominant web hosting and streaming platform that competes with Netflix and Hulu, and expanded into groceries with the 2017 acquisition of Whole Foods. But the lawsuit filed by Mr. Racine, a Democrat, is about the company’s backbone: its online marketplace for third-party merchants, which accounts for more than half of the products it sells.

People are voicing their displeasure on social media over India’s handling of the Kovid crisis, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party are going on the offensive.Credit…Diptendu Dutta/Agence France-Presse – Getty Images

When India’s elite counter-terrorism unit raided Twitter’s offices in New Delhi on Monday night, they sent a clear message: India’s influential ruling party is increasingly at odds with the social media giant because it believes it has sided with the government’s critics.

As anger grows over India’s inadequate response to the coronavirus crisis across the country, people are voicing their displeasure on Twitter and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are struggling to stem the tide.

As a result, Indian politicians are increasingly lobbying on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms, report Samir Yasir and Emily Schmall of The New York Times. Earlier this month, the government ordered social media platforms, including Twitter, to remove dozens of posts criticizing the government’s handling of the Covid crisis.

Monday’s police action was largely symbolic. Twitter’s offices are closed due to a devastating outbreak of the coronavirus in India. And the police admitted that they were not there to make arrests, but only to challenge the warning that Twitter had attributed to certain tweets.

Regardless of the clumsy manner in which the raid was conducted, the raid is an escalation of domestic criticism in India, said Gilles Verniers, professor of political science at Ashoka University near New Delhi.

The police visit was prompted by tweets on Twitter from senior members of the B.J.P. who referred to documents they described as compelling evidence that opposition politicians were planning to use India’s response to the coronavirus to smear Mr. Modi and India’s reputation.

But Twitter undermined that campaign by calling the news manipulated by the media. According to Indian disinformation watchdogs, the documents were false.

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