Tuesday Ticker ⁠— January 14, 2020

Tesla on top

Electric vehicle automaker Tesla has been named the highest-valued automaker in the United States, according to a recent report by Business Insider.

The Elon Musk-led operation saw its market value pushed passed US$85 billion ($110.9 billion) last week, surpassing the US$80.9 billion ($105.7 billion) record market value set by Ford in 1999.

Tesla has previously held the title of top U.S. automaker, but it had not beaten Ford’s 1999 record until last week. The EV automaker’s shares are up more than 180 percent since hitting a 52-week low last June and, as of Monday, its market value stands at US$90.45 billion ($118 billion).

Tesla has already passed the market values of General Motors and Fiat Chrysler⁠—two of the U.S.’s largest automakers. GM has a market value of roughly US$50 billion ($65.3 billion), while Fiat Chrysler sits at US$19.76 billion ($25.8 billion).

Despite its domination in the U.S. market, Tesla is still dwarfed by non-American automakers. As of Monday, Japanese automaker Toyota had a market value of US$198.18 billion ($258.6 billion), while Germany’s Volkswagen sat at US$102.91 billion ($134.2 billion).

Out with Uber

Uber is dealing with yet another legal blow as a regional court in Germany has outlawed the company’s current operating model after finding multiple competition violations.

In Germany, Uber’s ride-hailing business works exclusively with professional and licensed private-hire vehicle companies⁠—whose drivers and cars have the necessary license and permits the transport of passengers. Identified issues include Uber’s lack of rental reliance; drivers accepting jobs via the appl without first returning to their company’s headquarters; and drivers accepting jobs directly in the app without the jobs being previous received by their employer.

Uber’s peer-to-peer ride-hailing offering has been effectively outlawed across Europe since a 2017 decision by the region’s top court, which judged it as a transportation company, not merely a tech platform⁠—which means Uber is subject to private-hire vehicle regulations in all EU member states.

The German ruling comes hard on the heels of a decision dictated by London, U.K.’s transport regulator, which said it would not renew Uber’s license to operate in the capital in December. London is one of Uber’s top-five largest markets.

Uber may appeal the Frankfurt court’s judgement but has not said whether it plans to do so.

Dent dealer

Dealer Tire, a distributor of replacement tires for automotive dealerships, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Dent Wizard, a national provider of automotive reconditioning services and vehicle protection products.

Dent Wizard was founded in 1983 and services more than 7,000 customers, including 5,000 car dealerships. The company boasts 2,300 technicians, who it says are trained to deliver paintless dent repair,  minor wheel and paint refinishing, hail and catastrophe services and more.

The company will continue to operate independently under the leadership of its existing management team and CEO Mike Black.

Dealer Tire was founded in 1999 by the then-owners of Mueller Tire and Brake, a Cleveland, Ohio-based retail chain founded in 1918. It manages the replacement tire and parts programs for more than 20 automotive OEMs in both the United States and China.

“Dealer Tire and Dent Wizard have similar goals, core values and compelling value propositions which make this a powerful partnership,” said Black. “This combination is a great fit because our cultures are very much aligned.

Dealer Tire is backed by its majority shareholder, Bain Capital and is acquiring Dent Wizard from Gridiron Capital. The companies did not release the price of the deal.

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