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The boards of Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot have agreed to a merger that would create the world’s 4th-largest automaker. Following a 50-50 stock exchange, the newly formed company will have combined revenues of nearly $189 billion and produce some 8.7 million vehicles from several brands including Fiat, Dodge, Ram, Chrysler, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, and Peugeot. As a more formidable entity, the company will leverage its power to tackle the challenges of electrification, ridesharing, and autonomous mobility.
Gig titans Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash have not yet begun to fight against California’s new labor law that aims to reclassify the companies' contractors as employees. The trio is determined to keep things pretty much the same, and is still in talks with lawmakers to that effect. If unsuccessful, the companies say they will ask voters directly for an exemption from the law via a ballot measure during the 2020 election.
GM endured a six-week long worker strike but got something it desperately wanted out of the negotiation – the ability to close 3 idled plants. The shutterings will ostensibly leave GM in a more stable position if sales continue to slow or a recession hits. In the near term, the company will have to swallow $3 billion in lost profit from the strike, but from the GM's POV, it was totally worth it.
None of SpaceX rivals were safe during a conference when company President and COO Gwynne Shotwell lived up to her name and unleashed a fusillade of criticism on the competition. In so many words she said that Blue Origins has a ton of Bezos money but still has nothing to show for it. OneWeb’s satellite constellation is a joke compared to SpaceX’s Starlink. Boeing and Lockheed are resting on their laurels and their SLS joint venture is an overpriced flop. And Europe’s Arianespace only exists to keep technologists and engineers employed. 😬
The founders of 30 space startups will have to brush up on their public speaking skills if they hope to win millions in on-the-spot contracts from the US Air Force. On Nov. 7, the military branch is hosting a live pitch event and promise to immediately hand over briefcases stuffed with cash to companies that impress. The Space Pitch Day will become an annual event as the Air Force searches for space technologies to apply to military problems, with satellite propulsion and low-cost imaging sensors being areas of particular interest this year.
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