The British government is seeking innovation in the realm of taxing you. All that and more in The Morning Shift for December 18, 2020.
The Treasury in the UK is worried that while it’s relatively straightforward to put taxes on gasoline and diesel, it is difficult to tax EVs. The UK tax structure is a net, and EVs are a slippery little fish finding its way through the holes, as the BBC reports:
Officials have been long concerned about the future loss of more than £30bn in revenue from drivers.In a new review the Treasury has acknowledged the problem in a way that will spark a debate about how driving should be taxed in the future.One idea would be to charge motorists for every mile they drive.
The debate over the mileage tax, as the BBC explains it, is between the fate of humankind on one side, and complaints that people won’t like it on the other.
GM is also innovating in finding Silicon Valley startups to invest in. This time, GM tossed an unnamed quantity up to but not greater than $23 million to a company that delivers gas to stranded drivers, as the Detroit News reports:
General Motors Co. is the leading investor in a second funding round for Yoshi Inc., a Silicon Valley start-up that provides on-demand gas and other automotive services.
GM confirmed its subsidiary, GM Ventures, invested in Yoshi during its $23 million Series B funding round, but the Detroit automaker wouldn’t specify the investment amount. CNBC first reported the investment.
GM first invested in the company during its first series of funding in 2018. Yoshi raised $13.7 million in the first funding round with investments from GM Ventures, ExxonMobil and NBA player Kevin Durant.
Yoshi, formed in 2015, offers on-demand auto services including gas delivery, oil changes, washing and detailing. The company has plans to get into alternative fuels and other services. Yoshi has raised more than $38 million.
I’m not sure that investing in making sure people get gas anytime, anywhere they want is part of the corporate look I’d go for, but what do I know!
Things are looking up for a deal between GM and its union in South Korea after a rough few months of broken deals and threats to pull out of the country entirely. This time the union may sign a deal after GM agreed to not sue the union, as Reuters reports:
The union representing workers for General Motors in South Korea have voted in favor of a preliminary labor deal with the automaker, a union official told Reuters on Friday.
The result came after union negotiators reached a second tentative agreement with GM last week after the union members rejected the first deal.
In the second deal, GM agreed to drop a damage suit filed against its union and offered the lump-sum payment worth 4 million won ($3,664) for each member by end of the year, an official at GM’s South Korean operation told Reuters.
The automaker also offered to raise discount rates on cars for employees and their families.
GM rejected employee demands to raise the retirement age by five years to 65 and to build more vehicles at one of its South Korean plants.
The car business is a cutthroat one, with endless competition and razor-thin margins. But c’mon. Is it that cutthroat you can’t kick over a few more years of retirement?
I’m not sure if this is just window dressing or exactly what VW needs to make real environmental change, as Bloomberg reports:
Volkswagen Group plans to link top executives’ bonuses to environmental, social and governance targets as the automaker seeks to bolster sustainability credentials that are increasingly relevant to investors.
VW will seek shareholder approval for the updated remuneration system at its annual general meeting next year, Chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch told Bloomberg News in an interview.
“Integrating ESG criteria into the bonus calculations for our management board offers concrete incentives to pursue the sustainability goals we have outlined,” Poetsch said. The progress of ESG initiatives will be tracked via key metrics including internal decarbonization and diversity indices, he said.
Money talks, I will say.
Mike Manley is currently the CEO of FCA and he will extend his role of ruling over this fair Ram Land, from Hellcat to shining Demon, as Automotive News reports:
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Mike Manley will become head of Americas operations for Stellantis, the automotive group that will be formed after the merger of FCA and PSA Group, FCA Chairman John Elkann told employees.
Manley, 56, was a key figure in driving the merger forward, working with PSA CEO Carlos Tavares since late 2018 to bring the two automakers together. But, unlike Tavares and Elkann, he will not have a seat on the board of directors of Stellantis. The companies are pushing to complete the merger by the end of January, Bloomberg reported Thursday.
I am eternally caught between wanting more taxes in the automotive world, but being annoyed that the burden is always shouldered in the most regressive way possible. Is there a good way to get more taxes into the automotive sphere that doesn’t disproportionally hit people who are scraping by?