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Team Jebsen makes Triumphant Return at Porsche Carrera Cup Asia 2018

Vlad Poptamas



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Team Jebsen’s professional team driver Cui Yue named Fastest Asian Driver of the Year, becoming first Chinese driver to ascend the podium this season.

The Porsche Carrera Cup Asia (PCCA) 2018 Finale kicked off at the Shanghai SAIC International Circuit, where Team Jebsen’s professional team driver – Cui Yue – delivered a stellar performance. Cui Yue claimed the PCCA Dealer Trophy for Team Jebsen by finishing third in Round 11 of the race. His performance secured a fifth-place overall ranking for the year and the distinction of being the fastest Asian Driver in this season. In addition to this, Team Jebsen ranked third for the Porsche Dealer Trophy of the Year with a total of 176 points, and became the only team that has never been absent in the 15 years since the inception of the cup. Team Jebsen’s continuous presence at the PCCA was recognised with the 15th Anniversary PCCA Honorary Award.

In the qualifying session of Round 11, Cui finished fifth and ranked first among Asian drivers, laying a good foundation for the following races. Cui broke away from his competitors without difficulty at the beginning of the race and took second place at Turn 1, which inspired a round of applause from the audience. Late in the race, Cui maintained his place in the top three positions by forging steadily and surely ahead. He eventually claimed third place and became the first Chinese driver to ascend the podium in the 2018 season. For a racing series whose trophies have long been dominated by foreign drivers, Cui’s performance is impressive.

In Round 12, shortly after setting off, a car hit Cui from behind and he spun, instantly plummeting his position to the 28th place. However, in spite of the incident and the consequent unsatisfactory tyre conditions, Cui drew on over a decade of racing experience to make up for his loss; an adjusted strategy and spectacular overtaking moves allowed him to steadily chase from behind. He successfully completed the round with a seventh-place finish. Congratulations Cui Yue!

Jebsen Motors and the PCCA share a 15-year history together: Jebsen Motors is a founding member of the PCCA and was one of the very first teams to participate in the race. Jebsen Motors has been an established partner of Porsche in Greater China for the past 63 years and is one of Porsche’s largest dealer groups in the world. Jebsen Motors is committed to giving customers excellent and comprehensive experiences to meet growing sales demands from Chinese customers as well as to actively promote the brand culture of Porsche.

The Porsche City Service Centre Shenzhen Luohu was officially unveiled by the Group in March 2018and is the first Porsche City Service Centre in the world to feature the Le Mans Race as its theme. The Le Mans-themed designs in the centre were collaborative creations of Porsche China and Jebsen Motors, intended to showcase Porsche’s sports car culture in every detail of the centre and to make customers feel as if they were on the racecourse.

“Our thanks to the PCCA Organising Committee and to all the fans for their ongoing support and trust in us. We are very pleased with the excellent performance that Team Jebsen and our driver Cui Yue has delivered this year, which has set a new milestone in the history of Jebsen Motors,” said Mr. Joachim Eberlein, Managing Director of Jebsen Motors. “Team Jebsen and Jebsen Motors will continue to promote Porsche’s sports car culture in China so that more fans can experience the passion and captivating charm of motorsport.”


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Best New Automotive Innovations for 2019 Announced by Automobile Journalists Association of Canada

Vlad Poptamas



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The Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) announced today the winners of its 2019 Innovation Awards at the Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto. The winners are:

Best Green Innovation – Infiniti, for the VC-Turbo engine.

Best Safety Innovation – Subaru, for DriverFocus.

Best Technical Innovation – Mercedes-Benz, for Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX).

“The Innovation Awards now recognize safety, environmental awareness and technology,” said Mark Richardson, President, Automobile Journalists Association of Canada. “This is an opportunity to recognize the very best and most innovative examples of new automotive products available to Canadian drivers.”

In 2018, AJAC members nominated 30 different automotive innovations for consideration. The awards were judged by a panel of nine journalists who specialize in automotive technology. They independently reviewed briefs on all nominated entries, and from that initial review the jurors established a short list of finalists in each category.  In late October, they convened for a day of presentations and questioning with manufacturer representatives on each of the short-listed entries.  The jurors then voted a second time by secret ballot.

As with the Canadian Car of the Year awards program, these votes were compiled and authenticated by accounting firm KPMG.

Infiniti’s VC-Turbo engine is the world’s first production-ready variable compression ratio engine and one of the most advanced internal combustion engines ever created. More than 20 years in development, it represents a major breakthrough in internal-combustion powertrain technology. It delivers the power of a high-performance 2.0-liter turbo gasoline engine with a high level of efficiency.

Subaru’s DriverFocus utilizes a camera angled at the driver’s face and facial recognition software to monitor fatigue or lack of attention. When the driver begins to lose focus, DriverFocus immediately sends out a helpful alert — it’s like an automated co-driver.

Mercedes-Benz’s MBUX uses artificial intelligence to adapt to suit the user, creating an emotional connection between the vehicle, driver and passengers. It includes the high-resolution widescreen cockpit with touchscreen operation, navigation display with augmented reality technology, plus intelligent voice control with natural speech recognition, which is activated with the keyword “Hey Mercedes.”

Photography is available at


SOURCE Automobile Journalists Association of Canada

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Karma Automotive Bolsters Growing Leadership Ranks

Vlad Poptamas



Lewis Liu
Reading Time: 2 minutes




Lewis Liu, an accomplished automotive strategist with deep consulting experience for several major international and Chinese brands, has joined Southern California-based Karma Automotive as Vice President, Business Development and Strategy to help lead long-term, forward-thinking business strategies, focused on luxury, high technology, customization and VVIP customer treatment.

“Lewis has the kind of expertise in corporate financial investments, strategy development and implementation, international operational management, and market-entry strategies we need to help grow Karma’s unique luxury electric vehicle nice,” said Karma CEO Dr. Lance Zhou. “Karma attracts top talent because we have a very clear vision of what’s required to achieve our goals and execute a solid product plan that spans the next decade. Our future is strong.”

Liu comes to Karma from Faraday Future where he served as Senior Director of Strategic Partnership & Business Development since 2016. Prior to his time at Faraday, Liu was a Managing Director of KPMG Advisory (China), leading the management consulting practice for the automotive industry. Prior to joining KPMG, Liu was Senior Vice President at Ascension Capital, a private equity firm specializing in mergers and acquisitions for the auto industry. Lewis was also the General Manager and Plant Manager at Philips Lighting Electronics where he managed a business unit in the Asia Pacific region for Philips.

“Karma’s Value-Forward business plan which in part encourages collaboration with the right business partners to help accelerate technology and product development really attracted me to the company,” said Liu. “I’m excited to help create long-term value for a brand that’s defined by exclusive design and craftsmanship, intuitive and integrated high technology, personalized customization that allows every Karma vehicle to be special, and an owner experience with unrivaled treatment.”

Liu, who reports directly to Mikael Elley, Karma’s Co-Chief of Staff, will craft strategies to meet future luxury EV customer demands, leverage technology developments, and remain in front of competitor plans and industry trends to help ensure Karma is well positioned for success. He is expected to play a key role in driving revenue and maximizing profitability.

Liu earned his MBA from the University of Chicago and his master’s degree in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Mississippi. He also earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Beijing Polytechnic University.

Meet Karma Automotive and Karma Revero
Karma Automotive designs, engineers, assembles and markets luxury electric vehicles, all from its Southern Californiabase of operations. Founded in 2014 and employing nearly 1,000 people worldwide, Karma Automotive is committed to elevating and growing the luxury mobility experience for its customers and draws on global relationships and technology partners to achieve this. Named Green Car Journal’s 2018 Luxury Green Car of the Year, Karma Revero is a luxury electric vehicle powered by dual electric motors that embodies the company’s goals of offering leading automotive design, technology, customization and an outstanding customer experience.


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Vlad Poptamas



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Reading Time: 3 minutes


  • Disclosed VC funding to automotive start-ups hits $8 billion
  • Electrification, connectivity, autonomy and mobility are driving investments and deals in a race for market leadership


London, UK – 20 February 2019. The latest Automotive Technology M&A Market Report from international technology mergers and acquisitions advisor, Hampleton Partners, reveals that disclosed Venture Capital funding to automotive start-ups totalled $8 billion in 2018.

In parallel, almost 100 M&A deals were inked, including Renault, Ford and Volkswagen’s autotech acquisitions in the second half of 2018; however, total disclosed M&A transaction value reached $3.9 billion in the time period, the lowest in over five years.

The report also shows the growing role of Private Equity (PE) in the autotech M&A market, accounting for almost one quarter of all transactions in 2018. The largest PE acquisition was Gores Group’s buyout of Verra Mobility for $1.3 billion, at an attractive 17x EV/EBITDA multiple.

Jo Goodson, managing director, Hampleton Partners, said:

“Although we are currently seeing more venture capital investment than M&A transaction value in autotech, all players in the sector continue to push to be the market leader within the new world of electrification, connectivity, autonomy and mobility. Start-ups with innovative ideas are pursuing funding, and global giants from all sectors, including financial, are continuing to invest, fund and acquire.”


Key trends in autotech

  • Connected car technology is widely hailed as the precursor for autonomous vehicles, providing passengers with features like internet, next-generation infotainment and enhanced safety features.


Examples of deals in this sub-sector included Volkswagen’s purchase of WirelessCar for almost three times its revenue; Aptiv’s acquisition of Chinese advanced interconnect specialist KUM in a landmark $500 million deal; and Zurich Insurance’s acquisition of Bright Box in a move to bring the insurer into the vehicle and closer to the data it generates.

  • Vehicle manufacturers are diversifying from pure passenger car production to protect themselves against an uncertain future where personal vehicle ownership is no longer the norm.


Early in 2018 Daimler led a $175 million equity round in Taxify, Estonia’s response to Uber. BMW took over Parkmobile to become the largest provider of mobile parking in the United States and in November Ford bought Spin, an electric scooter sharing platform, in an effort to expand its micro-mobility offering.

  • Internet commerce and content is growing in importance, with prospective vehicle owners now spending around 60 per cent of their time searching online.1


KAR Auction Services, which signed five deals over the past 30 months, purchased B2B car auction website, CarsOnTheWeb, for just over $100 million. Meanwhile, in November 2018 Renault bought Carizy, a used vehicle marketplace. Renault hopes to capitalise on the fast-growing used vehicle industry between private individuals, opening another lucrative revenue stream for the French automaker.

  • The digital transformation of dealerships: in a two-way street of deal-making, dealerships are incorporating enterprise software and CRM solutions to build better informed relationships with their prospective and current customers and ease the marketing and sale of vehicles, whilst online vehicle marketplaces are getting closer to the dealers.


Two US-listed online vehicle marketplaces made acquisitions in 2018: made a $165 million acquisition of DealerInspire, a provider of automotive advertising SaaS and service. TrueCar’s picked-up DealerScience, a dealership retail software provider, for $27 million.


Automotive technology M&A in 2019

Jo Goodson concluded:

“We believe 2019 and 2020 will remain very strong for both acquisitions and funding in the autotech sector, despite the storm clouds on the horizon which may provoke a reduction in vehicle sales’ volume overall.

“Our rationale is that spending in the sector will not be impacted by short-term market turbulence. Autotech is a truly transformational sector and we’re only at the beginning of a very long journey. In summary, we foresee a strong autotech M&A market over the next 24 months, with stable Enterprise Value multiples and a sharply growing capital raise market with increasing valuations.”

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