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    June 2012 - Infiniti


    Infiniti U.S. Sales Up 66% in June- Luxury automaker reports best June sales since 2007 -

    FRANKIN, Tenn. - Infiniti today reported U.S. sales of 10,436 units for the month of June, an increase of 66.1 percent versus 6,282 units a year earlier. Calendar year-to-date Infiniti sales of 54,377 vehicles are up 15 percent compared to the 47,268 units sold during the same period last year.

    Highlights of Infiniti's sales performance for June include:

    • Sales of the Infiniti G Sedan for the month were up 48.5 percent to 3,923 units, which was the model's best June since 2007.
    • Infiniti M Line sales of 815 units represented a 24.8 percent increase, while the Infiniti QX full-size luxury SUV was up 24.4 percent to 1,044 units, its best performance in five years.
    • The all-new Infiniti JX 7-passenger luxury crossover, introduced this March, continued its strong launch with 2,428 units sold in June.
    • Overall, this was Infiniti's best June sales performance since 2007.

    "June was a great month for Infiniti, with increased sales of practically every one of our lines and the Infiniti JX 7-passenger luxury crossover adding incremental volume," said Ben Poore, vice president of Infiniti Americas. "We expect our sales growth to continue in July, as retailers continue to build inventory of the Infiniti JX, and we begin our Limited Engagement Summer Event."

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    It is interesting and sad that the Infiniti M which is a pretty good car, gets outsold 3-1 by the JX, which to me isn't much more than a Nissan Minivan with fancy trim. I guess buyers would rather have a 3 row SUV with 265 hp than a RWD V8 sedan.

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    It is interesting and sad that the Infiniti M which is a pretty good car, gets outsold 3-1 by the JX, which to me isn't much more than a Nissan Minivan with fancy trim. I guess buyers would rather have a 3 row SUV with 265 hp than a RWD V8 sedan.

    And for once I agree with you sir. This is indeed sad...

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      Interior Fit/Finish: 8/10 - Slick design and nice materials. Nothing mind blowing, but looked and felt appropriately luxurious.

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      Technology: 5/10 - Sitting in the car, you're greeted with a mess of controls and screens. There are two large screens right on top of each other in the center stack that serve separate functions, plus the gauge cluster display, all with their own controls strewn about, and none of them are intuitive. The stereo system left no lasting impression and pairing a new android phone was a pain in the ass.

      Powertrain: 8/10 - The 3.0T is the lower output version rated 300 horsepower. It made great power (albeit with noticeable turbo lag) and the 7-speed automatic was very responsive. I managed 26+ mpg on the drive pretty easily, I'd say this is par for the course. I actually think this engine is underrated to make the 400 horsepower version look better on paper. The sound at heavy/full throttle was underwhelming for an Infiniti V6, too appliance-like with practically no turbo noise.

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    • By William Maley
      It is now official. This morning, PSA Group has agreed to buy Opel and Vauxhall from General Motors for 2.2 billion euros (about $2.3 billion). The deal is comprised of a 1.8 billion euros ($1.9 billion) payment for Opel and Vauxhall, along with a stake in Opel's financing arm. This makes PSA Group the second-largest automaker in Europe.
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      Source: Bloomberg, Reuters, Automotive News (Subscription Required), General Motors, PSA Group
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Opel/Vauxhall to join PSA Group
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      Additional Information
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      Warrants
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      View full article
    • By William Maley
      It is now official. This morning, PSA Group has agreed to buy Opel and Vauxhall from General Motors for 2.2 billion euros (about $2.3 billion). The deal is comprised of a 1.8 billion euros ($1.9 billion) payment for Opel and Vauxhall, along with a stake in Opel's financing arm. This makes PSA Group the second-largest automaker in Europe.
      “It gives us the opportunity to become a real European champion. Our plan is to build a common future for Opel and Vauxhall and fix the existing issues,” said PSA Chief Executive Officer Carlos Tavares.
      Those existing issues include Opel and Vauxhall never breaking even for GM. Over the past two decades, Opel and Vauxhall have lost almost $20 billion. In 2016, the division was projected to break even, but the complications of Great Britain leaving the EU meant they posted a loss of $257 million.
      "The way I look at this is positioning Opel-Vauxhall to be incredibly successful in the future," said GM CEO Mary Barra when asked by a reporter if she was relieved about the sale of Opel and Vauxhall. 
      "General Motors doesn't have to be relieved. They can be proud of giving Opel-Vauxhall a better future," said Tavares.
      PSA Group is aiming to make Opel and Vauxhall profitable once again, with operating profit targets of 2 percent in 2020 and 6 percent by 2026. These targets will be reached by joint cost savings of 1.7 billion euros (about $1.8 billion) by spreading the costs of developing new vehicles and sharing purchasing costs.
      General Motors won't be fully cutting its ties with Opel and Vauxhall for the time being. GM has allowed PSA Group to license technology rights to keep selling current models (including the upcoming Insignia) until they transition onto PSA platforms. According to Reuters, the next-generation Opel/Vauxhall Corsa will be the first PSA developed model. GM will also collaborate with PSA on various projects such as hydrogen fuel cells. Finally, GM will pay PSA 3 billion euros ($3.18 billion) to settle transferred pension obligations.
      But there are still a number of unanswered questions with this deal. The big one deals with job cuts and plant closures. With this deal, PSA group will add roughly 38,000 workers and 10 production facilities. Some analysts believe that PSA Group will close two to three plants within the next five years, with the possibility of those closures taking place in Great Britain due to Brexit. Taveres has said that the automaker would honor existing labor agreements and closing plants is a “simplistic” solution.
      “We don’t need to shut down plants,” said Tavares.
      Second is what will happen for Buick and Holden when models they share with Opel transition to PSA platforms. Both Buick and Holden will be getting the next-generation Insignia as the Regal and Commodore. Buick also gets the Opel Mokka to sell as the Encore, while Holden sells the Astra compact.
      Finally, there is the question about PSA Group's plans to re-enter the U.S. How does the purchase of Opel and Vauxhall affect their plans?
      Source: Bloomberg, Reuters, Automotive News (Subscription Required), General Motors, PSA Group
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Opel/Vauxhall to join PSA Group
      Establishes PSA Group as #2 in Europe. This strong and balanced presence in its home markets will serve as the basis of profitable growth worldwide Joint venture in auto financing with BNP Paribas to support development of Opel/Vauxhall brands €2.2 Bn transaction advances GM’s transformation and unlocks shareholder value through disciplined capital allocation Detroit and Paris – General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM) and PSA Group (Paris:UG) today announced an agreement under which GM’s Opel/Vauxhall subsidiary and GM Financial’s European operations will join the PSA Group in a transaction valuing these activities at €1.3 Bn and €0.9 Bn, respectively.
      With the addition of Opel/Vauxhall, which generated revenue of €17.7 Bn in 20161, PSA will become the second-largest automotive company in Europe, with a 17% market share2.
      Creates sound European foundation for PSA to support its worldwide profitable growth
      “We are proud to join forces with Opel/Vauxhall and are deeply committed to continuing to develop this great company and accelerating its turnaround,” said Carlos Tavares, chairman of the Managing Board of PSA. “We respect all that Opel/Vauxhall’s talented people have achieved as well as the company’s fine brands and strong heritage. We intend to manage PSA and Opel/Vauxhall capitalizing on their respective brand identities. Having already created together winning products for the European market, we know that Opel/Vauxhall is the right partner. We see this as a natural extension of our relationship and are eager to take it to the next level.”
      “We are confident that the Opel/Vauxhall turnaround will significantly accelerate with our support, while respecting the commitments made by GM to the Opel/Vauxhall employees,” continued Mr. Tavares.
      Advances GM’s Transformation and Unlocks Value
      “We are very pleased that together, GM, our valued colleagues at Opel/Vauxhall and PSA have created a new opportunity to enhance the long-term performance of our respective companies by building on the success of our prior alliance”, said Mary T. Barra, GM chairman and chief executive officer.
      “For GM, this represents another major step in the ongoing work that is driving our improved performance and accelerating our momentum. We are reshaping our company and delivering consistent, record results for our owners through disciplined capital allocation to our higher-return investments in our core automotive business and in new technologies that are enabling us to lead the future of personal mobility.
      “We believe this new chapter puts Opel and Vauxhall in an even stronger position for the long term and we look forward to our participation in the future success and strong value-creation potential of PSA through our economic interest and continued collaboration on current and exciting new projects,” Ms. Barra concluded.
      Strengthens Each Company for the Long Term
      The transaction will allow substantial economies of scale and synergies in purchasing, manufacturing and R&D. Annual synergies of €1.7 Bn are expected by 2026 – of which a significant part is expected to be delivered by 2020, accelerating Opel/Vauxhall’s turnaround. Leveraging the successful partnership with GM, PSA expects Opel/Vauxhall to reach a recurring operating margin3 of 2% by 2020 and 6% by 2026, and to generate a positive operational free cash flow4 by 2020.
      PSA, together with BNP Paribas, will also acquire all of GM Financial’s European operations through a newly formed 50%/50% joint venture that will retain GM Financial’s current European platform and team. This joint venture will be fully consolidated by BNP Paribas and accounted under the equity method by PSA.
      The transaction is another step in GM’s ongoing work to transform the company, which has delivered three years of record performance and a strong 2017 outlook, and returned significant capital to shareholders. It will strengthen GM’s core business, support its continued deployment of resources to higher-return opportunities including in advanced technologies driving the future, and unlock significant value for shareholders.
      By immediately improving EBIT-adjusted, EBIT-adjusted margins and adjusted automotive free cash flow and de-risking the balance sheet, the transaction will enable GM to lower the cash balance requirement under its capital allocation framework by $2 Bn, which it intends to use to accelerate share repurchases, subject to market conditions.
      GM will also participate in the future success of the combined entity through its ownership of warrants to purchase shares of PSA. GM and PSA also expect to collaborate in the further deployment of electrification technologies and existing supply agreements for Holden and certain Buick models will continue, and PSA may potentially source long-term supply of fuel cell systems from the GM/Honda joint venture.
      Additional Information
      Terms of the Agreement
      Opel/Vauxhall automotive operations will be acquired by PSA for €1.3 Bn. GM Financial’s European operations will be jointly acquired by PSA and BNP Paribas for 0.8 times their pro forma book value at the closing of the transaction, or approximately €0.9 Bn.
      The transaction has a total value of €2.2 Bn, for Opel/Vauxhall automotive operations and 100% of GM Financial’s European operations.
      The transaction value for PSA, including Opel/Vauxhall and 50% of GM Financial’s European operations, will be €1.8 Bn.
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      The transaction includes all of Opel/Vauxhall’s automotive operations, comprising Opel and Vauxhall brands, six assembly and five component-manufacturing facilities, one engineering center (Rüsselsheim) and approximately 40,000 employees. GM will retain the engineering center in Torino, Italy.
      Opel/Vauxhall will also continue to benefit from intellectual property licenses from GM until its vehicles progressively convert to PSA platforms over the coming years.
      In connection with the transaction, GM will take a primarily non-cash special charge of $4.0-4.5 Bn.
      Ongoing Pension Fund Commitments
      All of Opel/Vauxhall’s European and U.K. pension plans, funded and unfunded, with the exception of the German Actives Plan and selected smaller plans will remain with GM. The obligations with respect to the German Actives Plan and these smaller plans of Opel/Vauxhall will be transferred to PSA. GM will pay PSA €3.0 Bn for full settlement of transferred pension obligations.
      Closing Conditions
      The transaction is subject to various closing conditions, including regulatory approvals and reorganizations, and is expected to close before the end of 2017.
      Warrants
      The issuance of the warrants is subject to the vote of shareholders at PSA’s General Meeting of May 10th, 2017. The three main shareholders of PSA (the French State, the Peugeot family and DongFeng) representing in aggregate 36.6% of the share capital and 51.5%7 of the voting rights of PSA have undertaken to vote in favor of the resolution related to the issuance of the warrants to GM. In the event the warrant issuance reserved to GM and its affiliates is not approved by PSA’s General Meeting, PSA will settle the €0.65 Bn in cash over five years.
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      Source: Car Magazine, Infiniti 
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Introducing Project Black S – an exploration of a new INFINITI high-performance model line
      Collaborative venture between INFINITI and the RenaultSport Formula One Team INFINITI investigating Formula One-inspired performance hybrid technology Project Black S explores the potential for an innovative new performance model line HONG KONG – Featuring Formula One-inspired technology, Project Black S is an exploration of a new INFINITI high-performance model line. Developed in collaboration with the RenaultSport Formula One Team, Project Black S will be revealed for the first time globally at a special media event on the eve of the Geneva International Motor Show.
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      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Infiniti has a habit of teasing high-performance concepts and then not doing anything with them. This trend looks to continue with the Q60 Project Black S that will be debuting next week at the Geneva Motor Show. 
      The concept is the result of a collaboration between Infiniti and the Renault Sport Formula 1 team. Starting with an Infiniti Q60 Red Sport as a base, engineers from the two groups paired the twin-turbo 3.0L V6 with an F1-style KERS (kinetic energy recover system) motor generator. Infiniti says this setup boosts horsepower about 25 percent (around 500 horsepower).
      For the exterior, Infiniti fitted a new front splitter, side skirts, and rear diffuser made from carbon fiber. There is also a large rear wing and a set of twin titanium exhaust tips.
      "INFINITI is the premium car manufacturer within the Renault-Nissan Alliance, and a technical partner to the Renault Sport Formula One Team, so it is natural that we come together to explore the possibility of bringing innovative high-performance hybrid technology to our customers. INFINITI has constantly led the way in making innovative new powertrain technology available, and we're extremely excited by the potential of Project Black S," said Roland Krueger, President of Infiniti in a statement.
      We'll have more details on this next week.
      Source: Car Magazine, Infiniti 
      Press Release is on Page 2


      Introducing Project Black S – an exploration of a new INFINITI high-performance model line
      Collaborative venture between INFINITI and the RenaultSport Formula One Team INFINITI investigating Formula One-inspired performance hybrid technology Project Black S explores the potential for an innovative new performance model line HONG KONG – Featuring Formula One-inspired technology, Project Black S is an exploration of a new INFINITI high-performance model line. Developed in collaboration with the RenaultSport Formula One Team, Project Black S will be revealed for the first time globally at a special media event on the eve of the Geneva International Motor Show.
      A radical reinterpretation of the Q60 coupe, Project Black S features a stand-out, aerodynamic design, and hints at how a unique-for-the-road performance hybrid powertrain could significantly enhance the dynamics of an INFINITI production car.
      "INFINITI is the premium car manufacturer within the Renault-Nissan Alliance, and a technical partner to the Renault Sport Formula One Team, so it is natural that we come together to explore the possibility of bringing innovative high-performance hybrid technology to our customers. INFINITI has constantly led the way in making innovative new powertrain technology available, and we're extremely excited by the potential of Project Black S."
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      The reveal of Project Black S in Geneva will help to gauge potential public interest in high-performance derivatives of INFINITI cars.
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