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February 2020 Newsletter

Hummer’s Electric Return
In one of the biggest turn around’s in auto industry history, in the next year we will see GMC’s brand new fully-electric Hummer Truck on the roads. Announced during a Super Bowl 54 commercial, the famous American brand will make a comeback after a 10 year period. From being one of the biggest gas guzzlers (10 mpg) to fully electric, the new Hummer touts 1,000 horsepower, 11,500 lb-ft of torque and can go from 0-60 in 3 seconds which passes Tesla’s Cybertruck which does it in only 6.5 seconds. While we do not get a full visual of the re-imagined truck until late May, car and tech fanatics alike will be eager to get a glimpse into the future of the auto market.Tesla’s Big Gamble   Tesla has completed it’s modern marvel; their $2 Billion Gigafactory in China is ready to begin rolling out cars over seas. This move was done to get around China’s massive tax on U.S auto brands and also hop on this opportunity as no one has been able to put out an entire electric line of vehicles like Tesla has yet. While this move seems to be the slam dunk the car brand has been desperately searching for to get up onto the global stage, it may not be as simple as it appears. With China’s car sales on a continuous downward slide over the past year and a half Tesla still has an uphill battle on their hands as they try and build momentum in the Asian and European markets. All of this while also trying to stay ahead of their luxury brand competitors who are also beginning to crash into their currently niche electric market.
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Starbucks Offers Employees Mediation App to Help Improve Mental Health
Starbucks has been a company known for trying to present it’s employees with a variety of tools to help them with their lives outside of work. Last month, the coffee brand announced that it would be giving it’s employees a free subscription to the app Headspace, which offers it’s users a step by step meditation process to help reduce stress and anxiety during their everyday life and is very easy to use,  in an effort to put a focus on mental health. Obviously, if you have been to a coffee shop in the morning you know they are chaotic and puts a lot of stress on the workers there. According to a spokesperson from Starbucks over 30,000 employees had signed up within days of this announcement. This is just one of many subscriptions Starbucks offers it employees, free of charge, that range from assisting with financial planning to boosting productivity. While not a traditional offering like health insurance or a 401k; giving employees subscriptions to various beneficial programs is a growing trend in the business world today.  TRIVIA
What famous auto maker is responsible for designing the Volkswagen Beetle?
Read to the end to find out the answer. Around the Industry: Reducing Emissions and Jobs in the European Union
One of  the biggest stories in the auto industry within the past few years is the push for electric vehicles to help reduce the amount of greenhouse gases being put into the atmosphere. In Europe, one of the biggest culprits of air pollution is the transportation sector, accounting for 27% of the total of the European Union’s greenhouse gas emissions. Because of this fact, Europe as a collect has been cracking down on it’s emissions and one of the ways it aims to lower this number is by both investing heavily into the electric vehicle sector and setting regulations to force already existing brands to create cleaner cars.  While obviously this is a victory for the environment and promises for better air quality, this move will greatly disturbed the auto industry.
   This past year, European passenger car sales dropped after six consecutive years of growth and will only get trickier as electric vehicles are much more expensive to build than combustion engine vehicles. Brands are being forced to relocate to cheaper manufacturing locations to consolidate for the expenses that these new vehicles cost to make and in turn is causing many facilities to close and costing people their jobs. It has been covered heavily that Germany’s biggest brands in the auto industry are going to have to eliminate hundreds of thousands of jobs to afford this pivot in direction. American electric car brand Tesla are now in a pole-position to dominate EV sales thanks to their new gigafactory in China, with another about to break ground this year in Germany as well. As pressure mounts across the entire industry, it will be a top story to follow throughout 2020 and even beyond.    Trivia Answer
Ferdinand Porsche – While known as the man behind the luxury brand, the Porsche car company, Porsche was tasked in 1934 to design a “people’s car” which turned out being the first ever Volkswagen Beetle.