November 12, 2019

The Automotive Analyst, November 2019

The Changing Auto Industry and What it Means for Investments in Autonomous Technology Though the auto industry recovered well after the Great Recession, 2018 and 2019 have seen a period of change in the industry. The development of autonomous vehicle technology and recent declining auto sales mean a disruption to the industry’s status quo. Auto manufacturers are subjected to shifting priorities and economic pressure, yet many still realize and embrace the importance of investing in the evolving autonomous vehicle industry. Read Slow Sales and the Shift to Autonomous Vehicles Slow auto sales numbers indicate that the auto industry is entering a period of uncertainty and change. Automotive News reports that U.S. auto sales during the first six months of 2019 were down by 2.4 percent. Currently, the auto industry is projected to finish out the year with sales reaching just 16.9 million vehicles. This would be the first time that the auto industry sales dipped under 17 million since 2014. While sales of large cars were down by 21 percent and compacts were down by 16 percent, subcompact and mini cars such as the Chevy Spark, Ford Fiesta and Kia Soul enjoyed higher sale rates even in this downward sales […]
July 31, 2019

The Automotive Analyst, August 2019

Making Autonomous Vehicles Smarter With Human Feedback   When a ball bounces into the road, humans realize that a child may come running right after it and they slow their car down just in case. The same is true of seeing a single deer cross the street; our knowledge of the fact that deer often travel in herds means that we know to slow down and watch for additional deer following behind. But autonomous vehicle technology doesn’t have those past experiences and knowledge that inform these decisions we make every day. As we move toward safe Level 5 autonomous vehicles, this is one hurdle that we’ll need to overcome. Multiple companies are already working on incorporating human feedback into AI technology. Read Current Safety Concerns with Autonomous Technology Safety is top priority in developing the technology used to power autonomous vehicles but it also presents a challenge. While these vehicles can be equipped to perform tasks like recognizing obstacles, taking evasive action to avoid obstacles and adjusting their speed according to road conditions, it isn’t yet possible to prepare the technology for all of the potential situations it could encounter while on the road. Human drivers make split-second decisions during […]
July 24, 2019

Capstone Structures Complex Deal for Three Auto Tier 1s

Capstone Structures Complex Deal for Three Auto Tier 1s Four-Party, Multi-Year Transaction Reveals Path Forward for Companies to Gain Scale and Leverage Through Consolidation SAN JOSE, CA – July 22, 2019 –International auto industry advisor Capstone Financial Group, Inc. and its investment banking subsidiary Mobility Securities, LLC recently completed a complex transaction in which Adell Group Inc., a Texas-based automotive OEM supplier and portfolio company of Kinderhook Industries, LLC, simultaneously acquired three vertically integrated manufacturers and distributors of trim products sold to auto manufacturers through the Original Equipment Service channel . The transaction demonstrates the growing importance of consolidation in the auto supplier sector. “Vertical integration and auto supplier consolidation is inevitable and growing,” said Dan Smith, Capstone’s CEO. “All companies need scale and negotiating power, and the best path for many is vertical integration. We will see more deals involving multiple parties, particularly now that auto sales have declined. To take on these more difficult deals, investment banks will need specialized skill sets involving intimate knowledge of and deep experience in the automotive industry.” The deal was exceptionally complex, involving three suppliers in two countries. It included two asset sales, a stock sale, two currencies, financial statements and documents […]
June 3, 2019

The Automotive Analyst, June 2019

What the Postal Service’s Pilot with TuSimple Means for Autonomous Long-Haul Transport The way that we ship and receive products, packages, and even mail is changing. Turn on the TV and you’ve probably seen FedEx’s ads for their new autonomous package-delivering robots. Amazon has been piloting Prime Air, a drone service that delivers packages to purchasers in 30 minutes or less. Advancing autonomous technology is already revolutionizing delivery services and the United States Postal Service (USPS) is the latest business to get in on this promising potential. The USPS has partnered with TuSimple, an autonomous vehicle provider, and is running a pilot using autonomous trucks to ship mail between cities. This is the first time that the USPS has partnered with an autonomous vehicle provider and this pilot could transform long-haul transport throughout the entire country. The USPS-TuSimple Pilot The two-week pilot will test the performance of TuSimple trucks on long-haul trips between USPS distribution centers in Phoenix, Arizona and Dallas, Texas. Typically, USPS freight trailers carry mail and packages on the trip of over 1,000 miles, transporting bulk mail between distribution centers rather than providing the door-to-door delivery of smaller USPS vehicles. During the test, trucks will travel major […]