Financial sector-focused hedge fund Second Curve Capital still thinks local nonstandard auto insurer First Acceptance has lots of potential. Second Curve managers filed papers this week saying they now own more than 3.2 million shares of First Acceptance, which equates to 7.9 percent. That's up from 5.3 percent 10 months ago. The move is something of a doubling down: Since last spring: First Acceptance (Ticker: FAC) has fallen about 10 percent.
Executives at Nissan have declined a State Department offer to mediate a dispute between the automaker and the United Auto Workers and IndustriALL Global Union, which contend the company is violating international labor laws at its Canton, Mississippi, complex. Company officials say they are focused on complying with U.S. labor laws and the structures organized by the National Labor Relations Board.
The State Department wrote that it "determined that the issues raised by UAW/IndustriALL are material and substantiated and merit further examination," but also said that if Nissan had chosen to mediate, that shouldn't be taken as an admission of guilt.
Middle Tennessee's automotive ecosystem could grow in coming years with the help of one of Sweden's biggest brands. The Financial Times is reporting that Volvo executives have had preliminary talks with Kentucky ECD officials — as well as their counterparts in a number of other states — about building a manufacturing plant there. Megasites near Hopkinsville, just north of Clarksville, and Elizabethtown are in the mix but it's early days yet — to the point that a state spokesman wouldn't even confirm that talks have taken place with Volvo, which is now owned by a Chinese holding company.
Jonathan Romeo at Brentwood Home Page has the story on Batson & Associates' plan to build a four-in-one auto dealership for Aston Martin, Bentley, Maserati and Rolls-Royce on Mallory Lane north of Moores Lane in Brentwood. The Music City Motorcars project would take up almost five acres and join nearby dealerships for Audi, BMW, Mini and Porsche.
Trade publication Manufacturers' News says manufacturing employment in Tennessee rose by almost 4,500, or about 1.1 percent, over the past year. The auto sector is leading the way and the state has comfortably outpaced the nation over the past two years.
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