Tuesday Ticker

Lyft gets a Lift

Ride-hailing company Lyft saw its share prices rise last week after it announced a partnership with Gett, a Tel Aviv, Isreal-based corporate transportation and ride-hailing service.

On Nov. 18—the same day the announcement was made—Lyft saw 4.23 percent growth. Stocks closed at 43.04 on Friday, Nov. 15, and, on Monday, Nov. 18, closed at 44.86.

Lyft first launched as a publicly-traded company in March and was soon followed by its rival ride-hailer, Uber, in May. The Wall Street debut was much-anticipated, and analysts had high hopes for the companies—but Lyft stock is currently down 39.1 percent year-to-date, having closed at $78.29 on March 29.

Gett, which services more than 15,000 companies, will bring its corporate transportation services to the United States in the new year to support Lyft and better serve the corporate sector.

By partnering with Lyft, Gett will be able to get access to its network across the US, and Lyft will gain corporate accounts, according to the press release. Gett also noted that it plans to be “operationally profitable at a Group level in December of this year.”

When the company’s partnership with Lyft was announced, Gett cancelled ‘Juno’, its New York City ride-hailing operation, which had received $200 million in funding in 2017.

FCA is Free

The United Auto Workers (UAW) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) have reached a tentative labour agreement, marking the end of the current contract negotiations for three big Detroit automakers.

On Saturday, the UAW announced via a press release that it had secured an additional US$4.5 billion in investments from the automaker, bringing its total investments to US$9 billion. The UAW also said it will be adding 7,900 jobs to its roster throughout the contract’s four-year period.

General Motors struck a deal with its UAW workers on October 25, after a 40-day strike. The automaker also recently fired shots at its Detroit neighbour, FCA, filing a lawsuit citing that FCA paid millions in bribes to UAW union officials in a “multi-year pattern of corruption.”

The bribes are said to have been handed off in exchange for concessions and to allow FCA to gain various advantages in three different labour agreements with the UAW. An exact amount was not disclosed.

Ford also recently ratified its contract with its UAW employees.

Commence the Class-Action 

Beginning on Dec. 2, lawyers representing more than 90,000 Volkswagen drivers in the U.K. will go head-to-head with the automaker in court for its 2015 emissions scandal.

In 2015 it was revealed that Volkswagen had improperly fitted some of its most popular models with an emissions defeat device, which led to the automaker testing, approving and selling vehicles releasing illegal amounts of emissions into the atmosphere.

Four years later, customers in the United Kingdom will take their case to the courts in a class action which will focus on whether software fitted to 1.2 million vehicles was designed to cheat clean air laws. More than 11 million vehicles were affected worldwide.

Similar lawsuits in other countries have produced results: in the United States, the automaker pled guilty to criminal charges and paid out US$4.3 billion in penalties in the largest fee levied b the U.S. government against a car company. Total costs against the automaker are believed to be more than US$21 billion.

But in Europe, Volkswagen is still denying that the software it used was an illegal defeat device–despite German regulators having ruled in December 2015 that it was designed to cheat emissions tests amid employee tips and further testing. 

Volkswagen admitted to fitting the software into vehicles in 2015 and subsequently issued a ‘fix’ but maintains that it did not breach any U.K. laws.

“The question the judge is deciding in this hearing is not whether the affected vehicles contained such a device, but whether the legal definition is met in certain circumstances,” Volkswagen said in a statement. “We will continue to defend robustly our position in the high court.”

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