Ford enters scooter wars with acquisition of startup Spin

Ford is entering the e-scooter market with the acquisition of California startup Spin (AFP)
Updated 08 November 2018
0

Ford enters scooter wars with acquisition of startup Spin

  • News reports said the value of the deal was between $80 million and $100 million
  • The two-wheeled scooters offer promise to reduce auto traffic, according to backers

NEW YORK: Ford Motor Co. agreed Thursday to acquire the electric scooter-sharing startup Spin, entering the fast-growing segment of last-mile urban mobility.
“The acquisition of Spin is the latest strategic move by Ford in the mobility space, as the company builds a mobility portfolio to help customers get places more easily, more quickly and less expensively,” Ford said in a statement.
The purchase price was not disclosed but news reports said the value of the deal was between $80 million and $100 million.
The California-based startup said on Twitter: “We’re excited to announce that Spin is joining the Ford team! Over the next year, we plan to launch in 100+ markets in close collaboration with cities, transportation planners, advocates, & community and workforce group.”
Ford’s move adds a major new player to the hot segment that includes Uber, Lyft and others operating in dozens of cities worldwide, allowing smartphone users to unlock and ride the scooters and leave them anywhere, with no dock required.
The two-wheeled scooters offer promise to reduce auto traffic, according to backers, but have been criticized for creating clutter and potential road hazards. The luster of scooters has been dimmed by a handful of high-profile accidents, some fatal.
Spin said in a statement it hopes to address concerns about the new kind of transport.
“In the cities where we operate, we plan to help with enforcement around safety and parking, as well as provide rich data to inform urban planning and bolster sustainability initiatives,” said a statement by the founders.
“And we’ll continue to hire locally, while partnering with the highest quality operations teams to ensure our scooters are well-maintained and integrating well among small businesses, city institutions, and transit infrastructure.”


OECD warns of global economic slowdown

Updated 21 November 2018
0

OECD warns of global economic slowdown

  • ‘We urge policy-makers to help restore confidence in the international rules-based trading system’
  • Trade tensions have already shaved 0.1-0.2 percentage points off global GDP this year

PARIS: The global economy has peaked and faces a slowdown driven by international trade tensions and tighter monetary conditions, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned Wednesday.
The OECD, which groups the top developed economies, said it had trimmed its growth forecast for 2019 to 3.5 percent from the previous 3.7 percent.
The 2018 estimate was left unchanged at 3.7 percent.
For 2020, the global economy should grow 3.5 percent, it said in its latest Economic Outlook report.
“The shakier outlook in 2019 reflects deteriorating prospects, principally in emerging markets such as Turkey, Argentina and Brazil,” it said.
“The further slowdown in 2020 is more a reflection of developments in advanced economies as slower trade and lower fiscal and monetary support take their toll.”
OECD chief Angel Gurria highlighted problems caused by trade conflicts and political uncertainty — an apparent reference to US President Donald Trump’s stand-off with China which has roiled the markets.
“We urge policy-makers to help restore confidence in the international rules-based trading system,” Gurria said in a statement.
Trade tensions have already shaved 0.1-0.2 percentage points off global GDP this year, the Economic Outlook report said.
If Washington were to hike tariffs to 25 percent on all Chinese imports — as Trump has threatened to do — world economic growth could fall to close to three percent in 2020.
Growth rates would drop by an estimated 0.8 percent in the US and by 0.6 percent in China, it added.
For the moment, the OECD puts US economic growth at 2.9 percent this year and 2.7 percent in 2019, unchanged from previous estimates, but trimmed China by 0.1 percentage point each to 6.6 percent and 6.3 percent.
It warned that “a much sharper slowdown in Chinese growth would damage global growth significantly, particularly if it were to hit financial market confidence.”
Laurence Boone, OECD Chief Economist, said “There are few indications at present that the slowdown will be more severe than projected. But the risks are high enough to raise the alarm and prepare for any storms ahead.”