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 U.S.

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Foxconn’s electric car ambitions boosted by Stellantis deal

The 50/50 joint venture, known as “Mobile Drive,” brings together Foxconn’s might in mobile software and consumer electronics with Stellantis’ vehicle design and engineering expertise to create a user experience akin to using a smartphone.

Mobile Drive will enable a “personalized and upgradable cockpit,” with features such as biometric recognition, artificial intelligence, remote command and augmented reality, Stellantis chief software officer Yves Bonnefont said at a press conference.

Stellantis was formed from the merger of Fiat Chrysler and France’s PSA Group. Its brands include Peugeot, Dodge, Ram, Alfa Romeo, Jeep and Citroën.

While Foxconn will initially develop smart cockpit solutions for Stellantis brands, the plan is to sell the technology to other carmakers.

“The joint venture will operate as an automotive supplier, competitively bidding to supply software solutions and related hardware for Stellantis and other interested automakers,” the companies said in a statement on Tuesday.

“It is going to change

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Used-car prices surpassed $25,000 for the first time. Here’s how to still snag a good deal

By Elisabeth Buchwald

Don’t sit on a used car deal, if you’re lucky enough to find one since it will likely disappear, car experts told MarketWatch.

Car salespeople are in the driver’s seat, especially in used-car dealerships where the marker is hot — and it doesn’t show signs of cooling any time soon.

Last month, the average price of a used car soared to an all-time high of $25,463, according to research firm J.D. Power. That’s more than $2,000 the average used car price was in April of last year, and it’s the first time the average price of a used car has exceeded $25,000.

“The used vehicle market continues to be red hot and prices remain at record levels. This isn’t going to change in the foreseeable future,” Jonathan Banks, vice president of vehicle valuations at J.D. Power, said in a statement.

Retail sales for new vehicles were expected

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Tampa airport strikes car sharing deal, allowing for peer-to-peer rentals

Car sharing just got a little easier at Tampa International Airport.

The Hillsborough County Aviation Authority on Thursday approved updated rules for peer-to-peer car sharing apps and services that connect car owners and renters, like an automotive version of Airbnb. It also approved an official concessions agreement with one such service, Turo, with which it has waged a long legal battle over licenses and fees.

The agreement follows the Florida legislature’s recent passage of a bill setting tax, surcharge and insurance rules for the peer-to-peer car sharing industry, and comes after a more than two-year court battle between the Aviation Authority and Turo.

“This is a major step forward in ensuring Turo and all other peer-to-peer car sharing companies do business here legally and responsibly, which is what we expect from all the businesses that operate out of TPA,” Michael Stephens, the airport’s general counsel, said in an emailed statement.

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