Month: September 2021

Car theft ring in Cook, DuPage counties used fake IDs to illegally finance cars at dealerships: authorities

CHICAGO (WLS) — Law enforcement officers have taken down a sophisticated car theft ring that has been targeting high-end car dealerships around the state for several years.

Car dealerships in DuPage and Cook Counties have been feeling the sting of an organized car theft ring that used identity theft to illegally obtain financing and rip off a number of dealers.

A total of six people have been indicted: two ringleaders and four associates who were lured into the scheme with cash and drugs. They would then use stolen or fake IDs to apply for loans to illegally obtain vehicles.

“The indictments are part of Operation Free Ride, an investigation has been ongoing for some time into a pattern of seemingly isolated automotive thefts,” said Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul.

These recent thefts are just the latest way thieves have preyed on car dealerships, which on multiple occasions this year have

Read More

Wall Street monitors used car wholesale auction index to predict inflation

Wall Street investors are keeping an eye on used car prices, something they rarely monitored before. It’s not that they’re all suddenly in the market for a well-maintained Ford Edge; it’s because used car prices are currently one of the best indicators of whether the economy is headed towards inflation or not.

The New York Times details the close watching of the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index, a monthly analysis of wholesale used car sales. It’s operated by Cox Automotive, a massive conglomerate that owns Kelley Blue Book, Autotrader and 80 or so wholesale dealer auctions around the country. Through the approximately 5 million cars they sell a year, they’ve been able to compile a lot of data about used car trends.

Moreover, because these wholesale auctions are dealer-only, they’re a good crystal ball for what consumers will be paying for cars a couple of months down

Read More

Automotive Alexa to Star at Amazon Event

Connected car fanatics are eagerly awaiting Amazon’s annual fall hardware event on Tuesday (Sept. 28), in hopes that whatever cards the platform giant is holding close to its vest include meaningful enhancements to the in-dash experiences that Alexa enables for drivers.

Famously tight-lipped about the annual event, Amazon announced the date last week, instantly triggering mass conjecture in the media on a redesigned Amazon Echo, tweaks to the Amazon Echo Dot, the Amazon Luna gaming platform and more. 

Alexa made automotive headlines on Sept. 22 with news that General Motors (GM) and Amazon are introducing the OnStar Guardian skill for Amazon in-home smart devices, “giving users a voice-enabled connection to emergency-certified OnStar Advisors through Alexa-enabled technology at home.” But the real action for gearheads is happening on the road. 

In May, Amazon’s partnership with Ford Motors took a sharp turn into embedded voice country, issuing the first-ever software update to

Read More

UPDATE 4-EV maker Polestar strikes $20-bln deal with Gores Guggenheim SPAC

(Updates with interview and company statement) 

  By Krystal Hu and Nick Carey 

  Sept 27 (Reuters) – Swedish electric-car maker Polestar said on Monday it will go public by merging with a U.S.-listed blank-check firm backed by billionaire Alec Gores and investment bank Guggenheim Partners at an enterprise value of $20 billion. 

  The deal with Gores Guggenheim will provide Polestar cash proceeds of over $1 billion, including $800 million from the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), and a PIPE, or private investment in public equity, of $250 million from institutional investors. 

  Shares of Gores Guggenheim pared some earlier gains and were up over 4% in morning trading. 

  The deal comes at a time when large SPAC mergers have become rare, as the business of blank-check dealmaking deteriorated rapidly over the summer after investors were spooked by the poor financial performance of many SPACs and a regulatory crackdown led by the

Read More