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Harley’s electric motorcycle division to go public via $1.7 billion SPAC deal

By General Posts

from https://www.cnbc.com/

Key Points :

  • Harley-Davidson’s electric-motorcycle division will go public through a merger with a blank-check firm in a deal valued at $1.77 billion, the company said on Monday.
  • The company launched LiveWire earlier this year, hoping to claw back lost market share as its core baby boomer customer base grows older and interest in motorcycling as a recreational activity fades.
  • Harley-Davidson will retain a 74% stake in the company, which is expected to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “LVW.”

Harley-Davidson’s electric-motorcycle division will go public through a merger with a blank-check firm in a deal valued at $1.77 billion, the company said on Monday, as the 118-year old brand bets on younger customers to boost volumes.

The company launched LiveWire earlier this year, hoping to claw back lost market share as its core baby boomer customer base grows older and interest in motorcycling as a recreational activity fades.

A broader awareness about climate change is also paving the way for automakers to lean towards greener vehicles. Valuations have gained as money managers are also increasingly factoring in ESG policies in their investments.

Harley is the latest to cash in on an uptick in valuations of electric-vehicle makers. Last month, Amazon-backed EV maker Rivian shot past $100 billion in valuation in its market debut, surpassing Ford and General Motors.

“If anything this underlines what we’ve been saying for a long time. Detroit, wake up! The train has left the station! EVs are inevitable,” Roth Capital analyst Craig Irwin said.

“Many traditional OEMs (Original equipment manufacturers) with emerging EV businesses can obviously do similar spinoff transactions,” Irwin added.

Harley’s shares rose 11.3% in premarket trading, while those of AEA-Bridges were up 3.4%.

Jochen Zeitz, Harley’s chief executive, will be the chairman of LiveWire for up to two years following the completion of the deal. In an investor presentation, LiveWire projected units sales volume of 100,961 electric bikes by 2026.

Harley-Davidson will retain a 74% stake in the company, which is expected to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “LVW.” ABIC’s shareholders will own about 17%.

Vanishing Breed of gear-heads

By General Posts

Service with a Smile

In a few years if a collector wants to keep the old stuff running he may have problems
Photos and text by Bill May

The cars and motorcycles of today run awesome and last a long time, but they do nothing for me.

People who can work on those old engines are few and far between. We are a vanishing breed.

In a few years if a collector wants to keep the old stuff running, he will have to get out the old manuals and train some young guy with an aptitude for it.

Me, I’m just going to keep flying down the road on my old bikes and my ‘34 Ford.

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Ford CEO Jim Farley nominated to Harley-Davidson board of directors

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by Phoebe Wall Howard from https://www.freep.com

Ford CEO Jim Farley, owner of two classic Harley-Davidson motorcycles, has agreed to serve on the board of the Milwaukee-based company.

The director nomination was submitted Friday by the motorcycle manufacturer’s CEO Jochen Zeitz as part of the 2021 Notice of the Annual Meeting of Shareholders and Proxy Statement, released in advance of the May 20 vote.

Farley is the only new board nominee. If approved, he would join executives with diverse corporate backgrounds that include Levi Strauss, Ocean5, Starbucks, he Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, ABB Robotics and the Cummins engine and technology company.

“Jochen’s vision to bring adventure to a wider audience in different forms resonates with me. I’m honored to be nominated for a seat on the Harley-Davidson board,” Farley told the Free Press on Saturday.

“It’s also good for Ford, another chance for us to learn from one of the best,” he said. “This is a legendary American brand with a proud global history and enduring values. Like Ford, they now want to transform how people move, including new customers —through always-on relationships, new technologies and must-have products and services.”

Zeitz and Farley, both 58, run iconic American manufacturing brands in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. They’ve had to cut jobs, restructure and redefine their legacies.

Zeitz is a turnaround expert who transformed Puma from near bankruptcy to a top athletic brand globally. He took the top job at Harley-Davidson in May. Farley assumed the top job at Ford in October.

Not only does Farley collect classic cars, but he also owns and rides Harley-Davidson bikes: a 1930 Knucklehead and a 1942 WLA Navy bike. He restored both bikes with a lot of help from his friends. Farley is known for working on classics himself.

“Jim Farley is cut from the cloth of Harley-Davidson. He is a working person’s CEO who likes to race cars,” said Marick Masters, a business professor at the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University in Detroit. “His adventurous spirit captures the essence of Harley-Davidson. … Farley brings a drive and energy to complement the Harley-Davidson brand.”

These days, Harley-Davidson is looking to find new consumers and shore up its financials. The brand thrived during World War II making motorcycles for the U.S. military. Later, the bikes evolved into a symbol of counterculture.

“The world’s youth were out on the road seeking freedom, and the motorcycle was as sure a vehicle as any to offer a quick hit of it,” said the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum website for its 1998 exhibition, “The Art of the Motorcycle.” “Rebellion became fashion, and Hollywood, Madison Avenue, and the motorcycle industry capitalized as never before.”

The ad campaign for Peter Fonda’s 1969 film “Easy Rider” proclaimed, “A man went looking for America and couldn’t find it anywhere,” a sentiment that could be expanded to embrace the entire decade, the Guggenheim said.

By 2018, a Harley-Davidson motorcycle averaged $20,000 and the average buyer age hovered around 50, Business Insider reported.

“Seeing the trials of another classic American brand can help Farley better prepare for potential issues within Ford,” said Sam Fiorani, vice president of AutoForecast Solutions based in Chester Springs, Pennsylvania.

“With Harley-Davidson at a very competitive juncture in its industry, having someone with corporate turnaround experience like Farley on the board can only benefit the legendary company,” Fiorani said.

“While automobiles and motorcycles are very different industries, navigating an established brand like Harley-Davidson would be akin to maintaining iconic brands like F-150 or Mustang through changing markets,” he said. “Ford has done an admirable job of securing their history to the present day.”

Harley-Davidson was reborn 40 years ago by concentrating on what made their bikes different, Fiorani said. “Finding a similar direction going forward is necessary for the brand’s long-term survival, and Farley has the history to help guide the company toward that future.”

The iconic nature of Ford and Harley-Davidson isn’t simply incidental, said Harley Shaiken, a labor economist who specializes in global production at the University of California, Berkeley. “Building on their past could be key to their future.”

The two companies have become a part of the American story, “from the Joads driving West in a Model T in ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ to Marlon Brando,” who purchased a 1970 Harley-Davidson FLH Electra-Glide after filming “The Wild One,” Shaiken said. “So it’s somehow fitting that the CEO of one is now sitting on the board of the other at a tough moment.”

Directors on the Harley-Davidson board earned an annual fee of $91,630 in fiscal year 2020, according to its proxy report. They have the option of receiving all or a portion of their fees in the form of stock.

Farley serves on no other corporate boards of directors except Ford. Farley does represent Ford on the U.S.-China Business Council board of directors and has been appointed co-chair of the Commission on the Future of Mobility.

It is not unusual for CEOs to serve on select boards and develop important business relationships outside their companies. General Motors CEO Mary Barra has served on the board of Walt Disney Co. since 2017.

Ford CEO is cousin of actor Chris Farley — but has another celebrity relative, too – Tripp Tracy a hockey goalie at Harvard University, was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers and later signed with the Hartford Whalers. For the past two decades, he has been the radio and TV color commentator for the Carolina Hurricanes, a Stanley Cup championship winner in 2006.

Car and Motorcycle Companies Now Making Electric Bikes

By General Posts

Lee Iacocca with his electric bike in 1998. It had a lead-acid battery with a 15-mile range and a top speed of 15 miles an hour.

by Roy Furchgott from https://www.nytimes.com

They see branding opportunities as the pandemic and a desire by cities to curb traffic propel e-bike sales to new heights.

The transportation industry has seen the future, and the future is 1895.

That was the year Ogden Bolton Jr. of Canton, Ohio, was awarded U.S. Patent 552,271 for an “electrical bicycle.” A century and change later, electric bikes have gained new currency as car and motorcycle companies like Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Jeep, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Yamaha have horned into the market with their own designs.

While the pandemic has accelerated bike sales, the overriding attraction is that cities worldwide are beginning to restrict motor traffic. These companies are betting that e-bikes are the urban vehicles of tomorrow — or at least vehicles for good publicity today.

“In the past 12 to 18 months, you have seen a lot of new brands come into the market,” said Andrew Engelmann, an e-bike sales and marketing manager at Yamaha, which has been in the electric bike business since 1993 and claims sales of two million worldwide. “We in the U.S. have not seen this new energy toward cycling since Lance Armstrong won the Tour de France.”

Credit the coronavirus pandemic, which has ignited bike sales of all stripes, but none so much as e-bikes. While retail unit sales of bicycles from January to October last year were up 46 percent from a year earlier, electric bikes were up 140 percent. Measured in dollars, regular bikes were up 67 percent and e-bikes 158 percent — so don’t expect a discount. Those numbers, from the market researchers at NPD, do not include online-only retailers such as Rad Power Bikes, so sales may actually be higher still.

Ogden Bolton aside, there is a historical connection between bicycles and motorcycles. Many early motorcycles came from bicycle makers that simply clapped a motor on a bike, often retaining the pedals in the style of a moped.

The automotive industry’s bicycle connection is more recent, with the likes of Malcolm Bricklin and Lee Iacocca introducing electric bikes in the ’90s. Both flopped. Mr. Iacocca’s design, typical for the time, was hampered by a lead-acid battery with a 15-mile range and a top speed of 15 miles an hour. Many car companies, including Ford, Audi, Maserati and BMW, have gotten into and out of e-bikes since.

“No car company has had any success selling an electric bicycle,” said Don DiCostanzo, chief executive of Pedego Electric Bikes, who in 2014 licensed a bike design to Ford. “It’s fool’s gold. It can never replace the profit on a car.”

Yet car and motorcycle makers are being drawn in. “I think they are seeing a lot of the same opportunity we see,” said Ian Kenny, who leads the e-bike effort at the bicycle company Specialized. “But I think there is a very big difference between demonstrating you can do something and doing something very well at scale.”

However, changes in the way people get about, especially in Europe and Asia, are enticing motor vehicle companies that operate internationally. Overseas, in cities that manage pollution and overcrowded streets by restricting motor traffic, e-bikes often fill a gap.

“In Europe, the e-bike is more of a fundamental transportation tool,” said Dirk Sorenson, an analyst for NPD. London, Madrid, Oslo and Paris are among the growing number of cities restricting downtown traffic.

The pandemic has American cities testing similar restrictions. Boston, Minneapolis and a number of California cities have instituted Slow Streets programs, restricting motor traffic on side streets in favor of cycling and walking. It even has UPS, Amazon and DHL trying out e-cargo bikes in New York.

“There is a huge opportunity for e-bikes in the U.S., which is a huge untapped market,” said Rasheq Zarif, a mobility technology expert for the consulting firm Deloitte.

Some companies are preparing now for the possibility that “micromobility,” as the buzzword has it, will catch on here.

“Let’s imagine Harley-Davison is not a motorcycle company but a mobility company,” said Aaron Frank, brand director for Serial 1, which builds an e-bike in partnership with Harley. “There is a strong argument we can do for urban commuters what Harley-Davison did for motorcycles.”

Other companies see e-bikes as a gateway to sell their primary products. Though best known for its motorcycles, Ducati North America wants e-bikes to “potentially turn people on to Ducati,” its chief executive, Jason Chinnock, said. “And we’ve seen that with people at some events and with the media reaching out.”

E-bikes may be more expensive than bicycles, but are cheaper than cars or motorcycles. And improved motor and battery technology is bringing prices down. Low-priced e-bikes with a motor in the wheel hub — similar to that 1895 design — can be had for about $1,000. Prices for versions with more complex, geared motors at the pedals can reach more than $10,000.

“Spending $1,000 on a bike seems out there,” Mr. Kenny said, “but when you don’t look at it as a toy — when it becomes transportation — it becomes a very different conversation.”

Price isn’t the only hurdle. E-bikes confront a crippling hodgepodge of laws. Although the Consumer Product Safety Commission deemed “low speed” e-bikes (with a motor equivalent to 1 horsepower or less) a bicycle, states still decide where that bike can be ridden.

“It’s up to 50 states to define the use, and that’s been a big problem in the past,” said Claudia Wasko, general manager of Bosch eBike, a prominent manufacturer of drive systems.

The PeopleForBikes coalition drafted model state legislation to allow most e-bikes in bike lanes and parks. It suggests three classes of e-bike, with a top speed between 20 and 28 m.p.h. Twenty-eight states have adopted some version of the legislation.

Some companies may be less concerned with the future of mobility and more interested in getting some attention now.

“I think it’s a halo thing,” said Mr. DiCostanzo, whose company has produced e-bikes for Tommy Bahama, Ford and others. Halo vehicles represent a brand’s aspirations, like concept cars.

“I think that’s what it is for Ford,” he added. “They wanted it for window dressing, and that’s what they got. I think they sold 500 in the five years it ran.”

Mercedes, which is taking orders for its top-of-the-line Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team V11 e-bike at $12,000, said it was a chance to showcase its ability with high-tech materials from carbon fiber to paint.

“High-performance road bikes and e-bikes provide a great way to showcase such technologies into a range of consumer products,” said Damian Cook, a spokesman.

For some in the bicycle industry this all smacks of déjà vu. In the 1970s, a bike boom was thought to presage a new future for transportation in which cycling was central. But it failed. Though there were many contributing factors, roads weren’t made more bicycle-friendly and people didn’t want to arrive at work sweaty.

With the combination of Slow Streets programs, which address the first problem, electric bikes, which address the second, and a pandemic that has given people a chance to adjust to both, experts like Mr. Zarif find hope.

“When you give people a chance to try something, it reduces resistance to change,” he said. “As a society, the reality is we go forward — we don’t go backward.”

Here Are the Three Stunning Harley-Davidson Pickup Trucks Available Right Now

By General Posts

by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

At the turn of the millennium, Ford introduced a special version of the F-150 dedicated to another American icon, Harley-Davidson. Called Harley-Davidson Edition, the run of special pickup trucks lasted from 2000 to 2011, and most of them are still around today, selling for big bucks at auctions across the U.S.

But there’s another breed of Harley-Davidson flavored trucks presently on the market, much newer and even more hardcore than what Ford itself made before. And they all come from a company called Tuscany Motor.

The American customizer has been around since the end of the 1980s, and has grown since in a behemoth specialty vehicle manufacturer with a soft spot for making GM and Ford trucks really stand out from the crowd.

Tuscany’s Harley-Davidson line now includes three trucks, two from the Blue Oval and one from rival GMC. And all three of them are like nothing you can see on the road today.

Tuscany says all “were created to give motorcycle enthusiasts the opportunity to once again enjoy classic Harley-Davidson design cues in the top-selling vehicles in America.” To meet that goal, a lot of modifications had to be made, mostly visual, for both the exterior and the interior.

Usually, the exterior elements on the trucks that are inspired by the American bike builder are the special front grille, the wheels (that come on all models as Fat Boy-style milled aluminum pieces), the exhaust, the fender vents, and the tailgate applique. In all cases, orange is used throughout the builds, but the most impressive piece of visual tuning is the huge Harley-Davidson logo and shield imprinted on the tonneau cover.

On the interior, the presence of the bike maker can be seen on the leather seat covers, the gauges, the pedals, the floor mats, and the door entry sills.

As said, there are presently three pickup trucks with H-D DNA: the Ford F-150, Ford F-250, and the GMC Sierra 1500. All will be build in limited numbers, and can be ordered from this link.

Ford Mustang driven by Steve McQueen in ‘Bullitt’ sells for $3.4 million

By General Posts

This was the highest price a Ford Mustang ever fetched in any auction.

The 1968 Ford Mustang GT that Steve McQueen drove in the classic car chase from the movie “Bullitt, one of the most famed cars from American cinema, sold for $3.4 million (£2.60 million) at auction in Florida on Friday, Mecum Auctions said.

It was the highest price ever paid for a Ford Mustang at auction, according to David Morton, marketing manager for the auction house in Kissimmee, near Orlando. The buyer has not been publicly identified.

“The hammer dropped at $3.4 million, but with buyers’ fees, the total cost is $3.74 million,” he said, adding it shattered the auction house’s previous record set last year of $2.2 million.

The unrestored muscle car, its “highland green” paint looking rusty and black upholstery splitting apart, starred in a 10-minute sequence in the 1968 film, getting airborne a few times as it sped through the hilly streets of San Francisco.

The car was auctioned without a reserve, or minimum sale price, a risky decision that could have forced the owners to sell low.

McQueen filmed with the window down so viewers could see he was behind the wheel. Although credited as the driver, McQueen actually shared the wheel with Hollywood stunt driver Bud Ekins, according to the movie database IMDB.

Many movie buffs view the chase as ground-breaking for its duration and white-knuckle drama. The sequence forgoes a score in favour of roaring engines and screeching tires. McQueen, playing the no-nonsense police Lieutenant Frank Bullitt, was chasing bad guys who drove a black 1968 Dodge Charger.

After filming, the Mustang was sold to a Warner Brothers employee, and later to a New Jersey police detective. He in turn sold it for $6,000 in 1974 to Robert Kiernan of Madison, New Jersey, who held onto the car until he died in 2014.

Kiernan rejected multiple offers for the car, including one from McQueen himself, according to the New York Times. He left it to his son, Sean.

“I would like to appeal to you to get back my ’68 Mustang,” McQueen wrote to Kiernan in 1977, according to the Times. “I would like very much to keep it in the family, in its original condition as it was used in the film, rather than have it restored; which is simply personal with me.”

McQueen died in 1980 at age 50. Robert Kiernan never responded to McQueen’s letter, which Sean Kiernan still has, the Times said.

Sean Kiernan told Mecum in a promotional video that his mother drove the car until the clutch failed in 1980. It went nearly 40 years without being driven until recently, with 65,000 miles on the odometer, Kiernan said.

‘Bullitt’ Mustang auction-bound next January at Kissimmee sale

By General Posts

The Highland Green 1968 Mustang fastback that starred alongside Steve McQueen in Bullitt is, quite possibly, the most-recognized Ford Mustang on the planet, despite spending decades in the shadows. After returning to the spotlight in 2018, the car has made appearances at auto shows, museums, concours d’elegance events, and even on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The Bullitt Mustang has been in the Kiernan family since 1974, but next January may well become the most expensive Mustang ever sold at auction when it crosses the stage during Mecum’s Kissimmee, Florida, sale.

In January 1968, Warner Brothers purchased a pair of S-code Highland Green Mustang fastbacks, with sequential vehicle identification numbers, for use in the filming of the movie. Chassis 8R02S125558 was modified for use as the stunt car, while its twin, chassis 8R02S125559, was selected as the hero car, used primarily for close-ups. Both received chassis reinforcements, heavy-duty front springs, Koni shocks and a thicker anti-roll bar, and their already-potent 390 V-8s gained machined heads, larger four-barrel carburetors and a hotter ignition for added performance.

From there, the paths of the two cars diverged. Chassis 558 received a roll bar that doubled as a camera mount, and a small generator (needed to power cameras and lights) was installed in its trunk. Once production of the movie wrapped, only one of the cars – chassis 559 – remained in salable condition, while the badly damaged stunt car, chassis 558, was sold for scrap. Long considered lost to history, chassis 558 surfaced early last year, rescued from a Mexican junkyard in 2016.

Chassis 559 was purchased by Warner Brothers employee Robert Ross, who kept the car for nearly two years before advertising it for sale in Hemmings Motor News in 1970. Its next owner, fittingly, was New Jersey police detective Frank Marranca, who reportedly paid Ross $6,000 for the screen-used Mustang. Marranca kept the car until 1974, when it sold to Robert Kiernan for the same $6,000 the detective had paid for it in 1970.

In 1977, Steve McQueen contacted the Kiernans looking to reacquire the Bullitt Mustang, which was then in use as a daily driver. An equivalent Mustang was offered in exchange (plus, presumably, some unspecified amount of cash), but the New Jersey couple opted to keep the Bullitt Mustang instead. In 1979, Robert’s wife Robbie purchased “Bulitt” vanity plates for the couple’s anniversary, and nearly 40 years later, these remain on the car.

In 1989, the Kiernans – now with nine-year-old son Sean – relocated to Kentucky, and then six years later, to Tennessee. Numerous Mustang collectors (and print publications) contacted the family over the years, inquiring about the Bullitt Mustang, but the answer was always the same; the car wasn’t for sale, and they weren’t interested in having the car featured in a magazine. Circa 2001, Robert and Sean began a restoration of the car, but the project didn’t progress at the originally intended speed and was soon set aside.

Robert Kiernan died in 2014, passing the Mustang along to Sean. A year later, Sean let slip to his boss, Casey Wallace, that he was the owner of the car, prompting Wallace to enlist the help of friend and filmmaker Ken Horstmann to document the car’s history. One minor detail delayed the start of the video’s production: In 2015, the Bullitt Mustang was in pieces, the restoration begun in 2001 never completed.

Instead of hastily restoring the irreplaceable Mustang, Sean instead opted to reassemble the car, which remains largely original throughout (its rebuilt and repainted 390 V-8 a notable exception). This task was completed in 2016, and on July 4, Sean fired the 390 V-8 for the first time in 15-plus years. In 2017, the Mustang was reunited with a member of the McQueen family – Molly McQueen, Steve’s granddaughter – who met with Sean at a Ford design studio in Dearborn, Michigan.

Its reemergence came in January 2018, at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. Three months later, thanks to its place on the National Historic Vehicle Register, it was displayed on the National Mall, part of an Historic Vehicle Association exhibit that included the first Chrysler minivan (a 1984 Plymouth Voyager LE) and the Ferrari-replica Modena Spyder that appeared in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. In July 2018, the Bullitt Mustang appeared at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, where it was driven up the hill in pursuit of a black ’68 Dodge Charger said to be used in the filming of the movie.

The decision to sell a car that’s been a part of his family for 45 years could not have been an easy one for Sean, but it’s worth remembering that the Bullitt Mustang is no ordinary collector car. The demands of ownership include constant appearance requests, the liabilities of shipping (in some cases, internationally), and, ironically, the inability to simply enjoy the car for the occasional drive without interruption or serious financial risk. Though some will view this as cashing in on the car’s history, it’s almost surely about returning to a normal life, albeit one with a comfortable reserve in the bank.

Dana Mecum announced the Bullitt Mustang’s upcoming sale, alongside Sean Kiernan, at the firm’s Monterey auction. No pre-auction estimate has been announced, though it’s a safe bet that the sale will set a record for a Ford Mustang sold at auction.

Mecum’s Kissimmee Auction takes place January 2-12, 2020, at the Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, Florida. For further details, visit Mecum.com.

News from https://www.hemmings.com

U.S. moving to block California vehicle emissions rules

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Two U.S. agencies are preparing to submit for final White House regulatory review a plan to revoke California’s authority to set its own vehicle greenhouse gas standards and declare that states are pre-empted from setting their own vehicle rules, two people briefed on the matter said on Thursday.

WASHINGTON: Two U.S. agencies are preparing to submit for final White House regulatory review a plan to revoke California’s authority to set its own vehicle greenhouse gas standards and declare that states are pre-empted from setting their own vehicle rules, two people briefed on the matter said on Thursday.

The Environmental Protection Agency in August 2018 proposed revoking a waiver granted to California in 2013 under the Clean Air Act as part of the Trump administration’s plan to roll back Obama-era fuel economy standards through 2025.

The EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are expected to seek approval to finalize the first portion of the rule dealing with California and other states before completing action on setting yearly fuel efficiency requirements. The plan would not revoke California’s ability to set low-emission vehicle standards that has been in place since 1990, the sources said.

The move comes as President Donald Trump has expressed anger with automakers over the issue. In July, four major automakers, including Ford Motor Co and Volkswagen AG, said they had reached a voluntary agreement with California on fuel efficiency rules.

California and other states had vowed to enforce stricter Obama-era emissions standards, after Trump proposed rolling back the federal rules. Automakers had worried that court battles between state and federal governments could create years of uncertainty for manufacturers.

The plan, also backed by BMW AG and Honda Motor Co Ltd, is more stringent than Trump’s proposal but looser than the Obama-era rule. California, the most populous U.S. state, accounts for about 12% of American vehicle sales, and if the administration recognizes the deal, it would allow automakers to operate under one set of rules.

An administration official said it was close to submitting a rule internally dubbed the “One National Program rule” aimed at ensuring a single national level for fuel economy standards.

But other automakers, including General Motors Co and Toyota Motor Corp, have declined to back the deal. Mary Nichols, who chairs the California Air Resources Board, told Reuters in July that the four automakers had agreed not to legally challenge California’s vehicle regulatory authority.

Under Trump, federal regulators backed freezing emissions requirements for new cars and trucks at 2020 levels through 2026. Administration officials say its final regulation will include a modest boost in annual efficiency requirements but far less than what the Obama administration had set in 2012.

News Source: Reuters