By Soyoung Kim, Arno Schuetze and Edward Taylor NEW YORK/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Germany’s ZF Friedrichshafen AG is in advanced talks to acquire U.S.-based TRW Automotive Holdings Corp for nearly $12 billion, in a deal that would create an automotive supply powerhouse, according to people familiar with the matter. ZF [ZFF.UL], which is lining up roughly 10 billion euros ($13.4 billion) in debt financing, is in talks to pay around $105 per TRW share, the people said, just above its current stock price and valuing the company at close to $12 billion based on shares outstanding.
By Yoko Kubota TOKYO (Reuters) – Volkswagen is poised to overtake Toyota Motor Corp as the global leader in vehicle sales, with a rapid expansion drive in China – the world's biggest auto market – while Toyota curbs growth to focus on shoring up quality. Toyota, reigning at the top spot in the auto industry for two years in a row, will announce its global sales for the first six months of the year on Wednesday, which could fall short of Volkswagen's half-year total. The Volkswagen group sold 4.97 million vehicles in January-June, up 5.9 percent from the same period a year ago. IHS Automotive forecast Volkswagen's total first-half sales at 5.07 million vehicles and Toyota's at 4.83 million, although it added that Toyota could end up outperforming its projections in the Middle East and Africa.
A bankruptcy court has approved the sale of one-time star electric carmaker Fisker Automotive to the Chinese auto parts group Wanxiang, the US firm said Monday. California-based Fisker said it received approval from the bankruptcy court in Delaware of its sale for $149.2 million. Fisker was started in southern California in 2007 by former Aston Martin and BMW designer Henrik Fisker and German business partner Bernhard Koehler.
U.S. auto sales in July will be the strongest for the month since 2006, and rise 9 percent from last year, automotive industry consultants J.D. Power and LMC Automotive predicted on Thursday. For the fifth consecutive month, the seasonally adjusted annualized sales rate will top 16 million new vehicles, at 16.6 million, the consultancies said. LMC raised its full-year 2014 forecast for new auto sales to 16.3 million, from 16.2 million. U.S. auto sales were 15.6 million vehicles last year.
British car production showed annual growth of more than 3 percent in the first six months of 2014 thanks to new models and further expansion is expected, an automotive industry body said on Thursday. Car production in June was up 3.7 percent on the year to just over 136,000. Among the new models to roll off British production lines in the past 12 months are Honda's estate Civic Tourer and a new version of Nissan's Qashqai sports-utility vehicle. Mike Hawes, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), welcomed the figures but cautioned that Britain needed to match growing production with locally-sourced parts.
General Motors Co provided federal safety regulators with new details on 19 fatal crashes involving three older models recalled this year for defective ignition switches, according to data made public Wednesday. One of the entries matches up with the December 2013 crash of a 2006 Chevrolet Cobalt that killed 32-year-old Aubrey Williams. In March, Williams’ father, Steve Smith, filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Alabama state court against GM and Delphi Automotive, which supplied the ignition switch used in the Cobalt. The vehicles in the crashes detailed on Wednesday included the Cobalt, the Chevrolet HHR and the Saturn Ion, all of which were recalled in February for defective ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths.
By David Schwartz PHOENIX (Reuters) – A federal appeals court on Monday rejected a bid by Arizona to remove a block that stops the state executing a double murderer until he is provided with more information about the drugs to be used to put him to death. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied the state’s request for the full court to review the case of Joseph Wood, who had been slated to be executed on Wednesday for killing his ex-girlfriend and her father in 1989 at an automotive body shop in Tucson. On Saturday a three-member panel of the court put the execution on hold, saying Wood was entitled to the information about the lethal injection procedure and had raised “serious questions” that his rights were being violated. In a 2-1 decision, the panel said the 55-year-old Wood could suffer “irreparable harm” if the information were not disclosed by the state about the drugs to be used and the qualifications of the medical staff to be involved. A spokeswoman for Arizona’s attorney general said the state planned to file an application later on Monday with U.S. Supreme Court in an attempt to lift the stay.