First customer examples of Aston Martin’s vital DBX SUV roll off the line

After scouring the world for the ideal spot to build its first SUV, the DBX, Aston Martin in 2016 finally settled on St Athan, at the southern tip of Wales. Fast forward to today and the plant is now churning out customer examples of the vital SUV.
The DBX can’t come soon enough. Aston Martin is bleeding cash and is undergoing a major restructuring to right the ship. Job cuts for 500 staff were announced in June, including that of CEO Andy Palmer who will be replaced by Mercedes-AMG CEO Tobias Moers on August 1.
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Just as we’ve seen with the SUVs launched by Bentley and Lamborghini, the DBX will likely become the most popular model at Aston Martin. Already the brand has secured 2,000 orders, and that’s before the first examples have been delivered. The deliveries start this month, Aston Martin said.
Aston Martin initially looked at locations in China and even the United States for DBX production but by picking Wales, it means the vehicles remain quintessentially British, a trait many Aston Martin customers cherish. Not many of the SUVs will remain in the United Kingdom, though. Aston Martin estimates around 80% will be exported.
Aston Martin DBX production in St Athan, United Kingdom
Back at Aston Martin’s plant in Gaydon, England, the automaker will focus on its sports car models. Aston Martin also retains its historic Newport Pagnell plant, also in England, which today serves as the home of the Aston Martin Works classic car department.
The DBX reaches dealers in the second half of 2020 as a 2021 model. It’s priced from $189,000 and comes exclusively with a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 delivering 542 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, or enough for 0-60 mph acceleration in 4.3 seconds and a top speed of 181 mph. A hybrid option is expected at a later date and Aston Martin’s 5.2-liter twin-turbocharged V-12 hasn’t been ruled out. We could see some of these new variants as early as next year.
Source: MotorAuthority.com

Aston Martin Finally Starts Production Of Much-Needed DBX SUV

Milestone moment for British luxury marque as first production SUV drives off the line at new UK manufacturing facility
DBX is the first Aston Martin to be “Made in Wales”
Global deliveries of the Aston Martin DBX to commence later this month
 
9 July 2020, St Athan, Wales: Just over four years since Aston Martin announced its investment in a brand new manufacturing facility at St Athan in Wales, the first Aston Martin to be “Made in Wales” has been driven off the production line.
 
The culmination of an extensive development programme that began with virtual development stretching back to 2015 and physical testing in Wales in 2018, DBX signals a new era in Aston Martin’s pursuit to deliver exceptional performance, style and usability in a segment previously unexplored by the world-famous manufacturer. Bringing both the versatility and indulgence expected of a luxury SUV with sports car levels of dynamic performance, DBX sets a bold new standard in this sector.
 
With its all-wheel drive system, DBX is a car that will allow the company to increase its presence in markets where perhaps the weather or terrain is less than conducive to rear-wheel drive sports cars. The clear emphasis on a spacious and luxurious cabin – whether seated in the front or back – will also allow Aston Martin to better reach customers who prefer to be driven rather than drive.
 
Aston Martin Interim Chief Operating Officer, Keith Stanton, said: “It is a real privilege to be here today to witness the completion of the first production Aston Martin DBX. I’m extremely proud of the Aston Martin team who have worked so hard to transform this ex-Ministry of Defence site into a world-class car manufacturing facility, to now be producing cars, it is testament to the resilience and fortitude of everyone at Aston Martin.  It is an honour to see the first DBX come off the line and my only regret is that everyone who works for this incredible brand can’t be here to witness it.”
 
The DBX is a true Aston Martin; it captures the very spirit of the brand as a beautiful hand-built, yet technologically advanced car. With around 80% of production expected to be exported and sold overseas, it is an important model for Aston Martin and a clear illustration of the strength of British manufacturing capabilities.
 
Marek Reichman, Aston Martin Executive Vice President & Chief Creative Officer, who was at St Athan to witness the completion of the first SUV designed by his team, said: “We are incredibly proud of our first SUV, which is as much of an Aston Martin as any one of our sports cars. From my design team to the engineers, the vehicle dynamics team and all the experts who hand-craft this beautiful car, here at St Athan, the DBX has become the car that will drive Aston Martin into a bold new era.”
 
Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates, said: “This is a historic moment for Aston Martin and for Wales. It is also a huge win for the Welsh Government’s can-do attitude.
 
“The DBX is an exceptional vehicle from one of the world’s most luxury car brands, and it will be central to this iconic company’s growth plan and ambitions for the future.
 
“I could not be more proud to see this fantastic SUV being made in Wales and rolling off the production line. It also speaks volumes for the dedication and skills of the world class work force we have right here in Wales.”
First deliveries of the DBX to customers start later this month, as planned.

Source: motor1.com

Aston Martin’s First SUV, DBX Rolls Off Production Line

Aston Martin’s first sport utility vehicle rolled off the production line on Thursday, key to hopes of a turnaround at the luxury carmaker which has seen changes in management and ownership over the last few months amid a torrid performance. Popular for being James Bond’s carmaker of choice, the firm has had a difficult time since it floated in 2018 as sales disappointed and it burnt through cash, prompting it to seek fresh investment from billionaire Lawrence Stroll.

The Aston Martin DBX is the first SUV from the British luxury carmaker

Since then it has announced job cuts, is replacing its boss and has picked a new finance chief among a series of changes as it also responds to the coronavirus pandemic.

The DBX vehicle is the company’s first foray into the lucrative sport utility vehicle market, a late entrant compared to many rivals such as Volkswagen-owned Bentley and BMW’s Rolls-Royce.

“The DBX has become the car that will drive Aston Martin into a bold new era,” said Aston’s Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman.

Deliveries of the model will start later this month.

Work at the firm’s new St Athan factory in Wales, where the model is being built, had to stop in March as lockdown saw the economy grind to a halt.

Output restarted in May with safety measures in place but the firm has yet to set a restart date for its English factory in Gaydon, where sports cars are built.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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Source: NDTV.com

Federal judge throws out GM’s racketeering lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler

DETROIT — A federal judge on Wednesday threw out a racketeering lawsuit General Motors had filed against smaller rival Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, saying the No. 1 U.S. automaker’s alleged injuries were not caused by FCA’s alleged violations.

GM officials said in statement they “strongly disagree” with the order by U.S. District Court Judge Paul Borman, whom the automaker had sought to have removed from the case, and would appeal.

“There is more than enough evidence from the guilty pleas of former FCA executives to conclude that the company engaged in racketeering, our complaint was timely and showed in detail how their multi-million dollar bribes caused direct harm to GM,” GM said in a statement.

The Detroit company added that Borman’s decision “would let wrongdoers off the hook.”

GM filed the racketeering lawsuit against FCA last November, alleging its rival bribed United Auto Workers (UAW) union officials over many years to corrupt the bargaining process and gain advantages, costing GM billions of dollars. GM was seeking “substantial damages” that one analyst said could have totaled at least $6 billion. FCA had called the case meritless and asked Borman to dismiss it.

On Wednesday, Borman dismissed the lawsuit “with prejudice,” meaning GM cannot refile the complaint.

“The direct victims of defendants’ alleged bribery scheme are FCA’s workers,” Borman wrote of FCA. “GM’s high labor costs were not an injury proximately caused by FCA’s bribes, and any competitive injury that GM suffered as a result of FCA’s advantage in labor costs is an indirect injury.”

“The dismissal of GM’s complaint with prejudice earlier today vindicates our position,” FCA said in a statement.

On Monday, the Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied GM’s petition to remove Borman from the case, but said the two automakers’ chief executives didn’t have to meet to try to settle the case as Borman had ordered. In calling for that, Borman had called the lawsuit “a waste of time and resources.”

Source: AutoBlog.com

Elon Musk approaches $1.8 billion bonanza

Tesla’s blistering stock rally is putting Chief Executive Elon Musk in reach of a payday potentially worth $1.8 billion, his second jackpot from the electric car maker in about two months.

Fueled by stronger-than-expected car deliveries, shares of Tesla have surged over 40% in the past seven sessions, elevating the company’s market capitalization to $259 billion. More important for Musk’s personal finances, Tesla’s six-month average market capitalization has reached a record $138 billion.

Hitting a six-month average market capitalization of $150 billion would trigger the vesting of the second of 12 tranches of options granted to the billionaire to buy Tesla stock as part of his 2018 pay package. In early May, Musk’s first tranche vested after Tesla’s six-month average stock market value reached $100 billion.

Musk has already achieved targets related to Tesla’s financial growth that are also required in order to vest the approaching options tranche.

Each tranche gives Musk the option to buy 1.69 million Tesla shares at $350.02 each. At Tesla’s current stock price of $1,397, Musk would theoretically be able to sell the shares related to the tranche that vested in May and the upcoming tranche for a combined profit of over $3.5 billion, or $1.8 billion per tranche.

Musk’s first tranche was worth about $700 million in May, when it vested, but its value has since increased along with Tesla’s stock price.

Tesla has surged 500% over the past year as the company increased sales of its Model 3 sedan.

Tesla last week reported higher-than-expected second-quarter vehicle deliveries, defying plummeting sales in the wider auto industry as the coronavirus pandemic slammed the global economy.

The solid delivery numbers heightened expectations of a profitable second quarter, which would mark four consecutive profitable quarters, a first for Tesla, and a key hurdle to be added to the S&P 500 index <.SPX>.

Musk, who is also the majority owner and CEO of the SpaceX rocket maker, receives no salary, only the options in his pay package. A full payoff of all tranches would surpass anything previously granted to U.S. executives.

When Tesla unveiled Musk’s pay package, it said he could theoretically reap as much as $55.8 billion if no new shares were issued. However, Tesla has since issued shares to compensate employees, and also sold shares in secondary offers, including a $2 billion stock sale in February.

Source: AutoBlog.com

Hyundai Xcient Fuel Cell semi truck reports for duty in Europe

Hyundai has a relatively long history with, and apparent resolute dedication to, hydrogen. That dedication goes beyond passenger vehicles like the Tucson Fuel Cell or Nexo. Today, its latest and greatest hydrogen effort is in the realm of commercial vehicles. Hyundai has announced that it is sending the first 10 of its new Xcient Fuel Cell semi trucks to Switzerland, where they will go to work moving goods while creating no harmful emissions.

This is only the first shipment, as Hyundai plans to ship a total of 50 of these Xcient FCEV semis to Switzerland by the end of this year, with deliveries to customers beginning in September. This will be followed by many more, totaling 1,600 hydrogen-powered Xcient trucks going to customers by 2025.

The Hyundai Xcient Fuel Cell is powered by a 190-kilowatt hydrogen fuel cell system, made up of two 95-kW fuel cell stacks. Hydrogen is stored in seven tanks, with about 71 pounds of hydrogen providing a driving range of almost 250 miles between fill-ups in the 4×2 version (but Hyundai says more accurate range figures based on configurations and loads will be updated later). It also employs a 73.2-kilowatt-hour battery and a 350-kW (469-horsepower) electric motor. It has a top speed of about 53 miles per hour.

Hyundai also says it is developing a longer-distance version good for 621 miles of driving, which is intended for global markets, including North America.

Though Hyundai hails this as the “world’s first mass-produced fuel cell heavy-duty truck,” other hydrogen semis have been put to use or will be made available soon. Toyota has been testing fuel cell trucks as part of its “Project Portal,” with early prototypes put to work at the Port of Los Angeles, on Southern California routes and even drag-racing a diesel-powered counterpart. Nikola has been working on its trio of fuel cell trucks for years. Honda and Isuzu also announced a partnership for hydrogen-powered heavy-duty trucks earlier this year.

As for the Xcient Fuel Cell, we like the look of this big rig, with the way light glints off its enormous grille. That said, we’re excited about the future, too, as Hyundai also recently showed off a retro-futuristic look with its HDC-6 Neptune hydrogen truck. Give us weird-looking semis that don’t pollute, and we’ll be even happier.

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Source: AutoBlog.com

2021 Audi A7 55 TFSI e plug-in hybrid priced at $75,895

The 2021 Audi A7 55 TFSI e PHEV slots into the A7 lineup as the fuel efficient detour between the standard, 48-volt mild-hybrid A7 and the amped-up S7. The Ingolstadt automaker typically offers Premium, Premium Plus and Prestige trims, but the PHEV skips the entry-level Premium step. The new sedan starts at $74,900 before a $995 destination charge, for a total of $75,895, just $550 more than the mild-hybrid A7 55 TFSI Premium Plus without that lower-case “e” at the end. The small gap is due in part to a $750 price increase on the mild-hybrid A7 Premium Plus, from $74,595 to $75,345.  

The A7 55 TFSI e Prestige costs $81,245, a $1,900 surcharge over the mild-hybrid A7. That sizable spread is caused by the price of the mild-hybrid A7 Prestige dropping by $1,350, from $79,700 to $78,350. Audi figures all A7 PHEV models could claw back as much as $6,712 in federal tax credits. As a result, you could actually get an A7 PHEV Premium Plus for less than a mild-hybrid A7 Premium, after the federal tax credit.

On a side note about price bumps elsewhere in the lineup, the MSRP of the mild-hybrid A7 in base Premium guise goes up next year by $200 to $70,195. Graduating to the S7 Premium Plus will cost $85,395 in 2021, $500 more than the 2020 version, while the S7 Prestige climbs $800 to $91,295.

Back to the plug-in hybrid, its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is bolstered by an electric motor tucked between the engine and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The electric motor is fueled by a 14.1-kWh lithium-ion battery pack under the rear load floor. Output comes to 362 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, which is 27 horses more than the mild-hybrid A7, and an equal amount of torque. The A7 PHEV takes 0.5 seconds longer than the mild-hybrid to reach 60 miles per hour, reeling off the dash in 5.7 seconds instead of 5.2.

In return for more leisurely acceleration, the third PHEV in the Audi U.S. lineup offers three driving modes, including one offering pure electric motoring. And as an added bonus, it qualifies for HOV-lane access in some states. We don’t have an electric range number for the A7 PHEV yet; Audi says it will release EV range and final fuel economy figures closer to the car’s on-sale date in the fall. The A7 uses several methods to maximize battery and fuel efficiency such as setting EV mode as the default on startup, using a heat pump with the climate control system, and tying the powertrain into the navigation system to optimize electricity use while driving in Hybrid mode. Drivers also get visual and haptic feedback from the the MMI and accelerator to encourage efficient driving. 

Outside, Premium Plus automatically dresses up the PHEV in S line garb including revised front and rear fascias, illuminated tread plates, LED headlights and a suspension lowered 20 millimeters. The Premium Plus also gets a number of choice Audi technology as standard such as Audi’s virtual cockpit, a 360-degree overhead-view camera system, four-zone climate control, and Audi’s Integrated Toll Module. The Executive Package adds ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, adaptive cruise control, and Audi active lane assist with emergency assist to the Premium Plus. The Prestige increases the haul of standard equipment with features from the Executive Package as well as a heads-up display, power soft-closing doors, and dual-pane acoustic glass. The cherry on the top trim is the Luxury Package with extended leather, and individual front contour seats in Valcona and Milano leather with massaging functions.

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Source: AutoBlog.com

The Rolls-Royce Dawn leads this month’s list of discounts

If you’re one of the few readers of this site who is in the market for a $350,000 Rolls-Royce Dawn, well, first of all, good for you. And you should be prepared to keep some extra money in your pocket, too, as the drop-top Roller leads this month’s list of the largest monetary discounts with an average of $14,733 taken off the machine’s $359,250 sticker price. That means buyers are paying an average transaction price of $344,517 for the 2020 Rolls-Royce Dawn this month, according to data provided to Autoblog by TrueCar.

An intriguing pair of supercars land in second and third positions this month. The 2019 Acura NSX is selling for an average of $145,174 this month, which represents a 9% discount, or $14,373. With an eerily similar 9% discount of $14,079 comes the 2020 Aston Martin Vantage, which has an average transaction price of $142,002 this month. The Maserati Quattroporte is up next with an average discount of $13,634.

Another Rolls-Royce model lands in the fifth spot, but instead of the aging Dawn it’s the brand-new Cullinan SUV. Although the luxury ‘ute boasts a large discount of $12,427, its staggeringly high retail price of $332,750 means buyers are getting a little less than 4% off the sticker. More interesting to most buyers will be the 2019 Lincoln Navigator, which is one of our favorite full-size SUVs in America. Buyers of Lincoln’s range-topping vehicle are getting average discounts of $11,761. That represents a 13.4% savings for a final price of $75,940.

For a look at the best new car deals in America based on the percentage discount off their suggested asking prices, check out our monthly recap here. And when you’re ready to buy, click here for the Autoblog Smart Buy program, which brings you a hassle-free buying experience with over 9,000 Certified Dealers nationwide.

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Source: AutoBlog.com

EV bonanza allows Karma to tap lifeline

Karma Automotive, maker of the Revero plug-in hybrid luxury car, has raised $100 million from outside investors as the company and its parent seek to tap into an electric-car stock surge by seeking an additional $300 million.
The fresh funding coincides with at least the fourth makeover for a company formerly known as Fisker Automotive Inc. since past Aston Martin design director Henrik Fisker founded it in 2007, only to leave as it headed toward bankruptcy six years later. Owner Wanxiang Group Corp., which bought the carmaker in 2014 and renamed it Karma, now aims to launch a new all-electric sedan, a supercar and plug-in delivery vans.
Hoping to capitalize on soaring valuations of EV makers such as Tesla Inc. and newer entrants like Nikola Corp. and Workhorse Group Inc., Wanxiang is selling stakes in Karma to private equity partners. The Hangzhou, China-based company is committed to Karma and sees the boom in EV-maker shares as an opportunity to attract other investors, said Pin Ni, president of Wanxiang’s U.S. business.
“Karma has real production, real technology and real dealers,” Ni said in a phone interview. “Look at Tesla’s value and you see Workhorse with their stock going up ten times recently.”
Karma will continue sales of the plug-in Revero after delivering 500 units last year, and it plans to sell the 560-horsepower Revero GTE battery-powered sedan by late spring next year, said Karma Chief Strategy Officer Greg Tarr. The GTE will offer around 300 miles of driving range. After that comes a supercar for wealthy buyers based on its SC1 concept that may boast as much as 1,100 horsepower.
Tarr said it’s a turnaround job, but he and Ni denied a recent report from the website Jalopnik that Karma was on the verge of bankruptcy. Ni said Wanxiang has invested “a couple of billion dollars” of its own money since taking over the automaker. Karma was approved for a Paycheck Protection Program loan of up to $10 million from the U.S. Small Business Administration, but Tarr said they never took out the loan.
To help cover its investment costs, the automaker plans to leverage its EV platform by selling it to other manufacturers. The company said it will offer its drive motors, suspension, steering, battery and electrical and other systems.
Karma’s longer-term goals include developing fully-electric delivery vehicles as well as hybrid versions that run on gasoline or diesel. By raising cash from investors in the U.S., company officials seek to reduce Chinese ownership below 50 percent, which would make it easier to win government fleet contracts.
“Investors aren’t rewarding you for just being a sports-car company,” Tarr said.
Karma is working on a deal with a commercial truck developer on a delivery vehicle and plans to have a prototype by the end of the year, Tarr said. If it does wade into the commercial EV market, Karma faces formidable rivals such as Rivian Automotive Inc., which is backed by Amazon.com Inc. and Ford Motor Co., as well as Workhorse, General Motors and Germany’s Daimler AG.
“The market will be pretty flooded with electric trucks,” said Sam Abuelsamid, principal research analyst at Guidehouse Insights. “There will be a lot of competition.”
Karma is confident the field is still plenty open for the growing business of delivery vans. “No one is going to buy from just one company,” Tarr said.
Source: autonewscom

Congress created coronavirus aid, then some lawmakers benefited

WASHINGTON — At least a dozen lawmakers have ties to organizations that received federal coronavirus aid, according to newly released government data, highlighting how Washington insiders were both author and beneficiary of one of the biggest government programs in U.S. history.

Under pressure from Congress and outside groups, the Trump administration this week disclosed the names of some loan recipients in the $659 billion Paycheck Protection Program, launched in April to help smaller businesses keep Americans employed during the pandemic. Connections to lawmakers, and the organizations that work to influence them, were quickly apparent.

Among businesses that received money was a California hotel partially owned by the husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as well as a shipping business started by Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao’s family. Chao is married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Car dealerships owned by Republican Reps. Roger Williams of Texas and Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania benefited.

Four car dealerships owned by Kelly received $600,000 to $1.4 million. Mike Kelly Automotive Group, Mike Kelly Automotive LP and Mike Kelly Hyundai and Kelly Chevrolet-Cadillac, all near Pittsburgh, received the money. A spokesman for Kelly said he wasn’t part of the loan application and isn’t involved in the operations of the dealerships, in accordance with ethics rules.

Williams, one of the wealthiest lawmakers with a net worth of over $27 million in 2018, received a loan for his Roger Williams Chrysler Dodge Jeep dealership in Weatherford, Texas. Williams is president and CEO of JRW Corp. of Fort Worth, which is listed as receiving a loan of $1 million to $2 million. “Like every other company who accepted a small business loan, our business qualified under law and regulation, and today over 100 of our employees are grateful that we did,” Williams said in a statement.

At least five car dealerships owned by the husband of Rep. Carol Miller, R-W.Va., also received loans, each ranging from $350,000 to $1 million, the data show.

Car dealerships in general were major recipients of PPP money. As reported by Automotive News, retailers of new and used vehicles received between $7.6 billion and $11.9 billion — recipients totaled 12,693 new-car dealerships, which is about three-quarters of the U.S. total dealerships. In addition, just under 2,000 used-car dealers received payments totaling as much as $1.5 billion.

Together, the money is credited with saving 746,000 auto-dealership jobs.

According to the Small Business Administration, the $660 billion PPP has helped preserve 51 million jobs nationally.

Fast-food franchises owned by Rep. Kevin Hern, R-Okla., received money. So, too, did a law firm owned by the husband of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and the former law firm of Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pa., which employs his wife.

Money also flowed to a farming and equipment business owned by the family of Rep. Vicky Hartzler, R-Mo., and a regional casino company led by the husband of Rep. Susie Lee, D-Nev.

Members of Congress and their families are not barred from receiving loans under the PPP, and there is no evidence they received special treatment. Loans were granted to Democrats and Republicans alike, something President Donald Trump’s campaign was quick to highlight when records showed donors to his campaign coffers were among the earliest beneficiaries.

Hundreds of millions of dollars also flowed to political consultants, opposition research shops, law firms, advocacy organizations and trade associations whose work is based around influencing government and politics.

While voting, lobbying and ultimately benefiting from legislation aren’t illegal, advocates say the blurred lines risk eroding public trust in the federal pandemic response as Congress begins debating yet another round of coronavirus relief.

“It certainly looks bad and smells bad,” said Aaron Scherb, a spokesperson for Common Cause, a watchdog group that was also approved for a loan through the program.

As of June 30, the Treasury Department program had handed out $521 billion to industries including manufacturing, construction, restaurants and hotels.

Treasury identified just a fraction of the total borrowers Monday, naming only companies that got more than $150,000. Those firms made up less than 15% of the nearly 5 million small companies and organizations that received assistance.

Many of the lawmakers connected to loan awards emphasized they weren’t part of the application process.

A spokesperson for Pelosi said her husband, Paul, is a minority investor in the company that owns the El Dorado Hotel in the wine-country town of Sonoma, Calif. Paul Pelosi has a 8.1% stake in the company, valued at $250,000 to $500,000, Pelosi’s office said.

“Mr. Pelosi is a minor, passive investor in this company,” said the Democratic speaker’s spokesperson, Drew Hammill. “He was not involved in or even aware of this PPP loan.” The firm, EDI Associates, is listed as a recipient of a loan between $350,000 and $1 million.

New York-based Foremost Maritime Co., founded by Chao’s parents and run by her sister, was cleared for a loan valued between $350,000 and $1 million. McConnell, a Republican seeking reelection in Kentucky, said Tuesday: “Neither my wife, nor I, have anything to do with that business and didn’t know anything about it.”

The Shaheen & Gordon law firm in Dover, N,H., got a loan of $1 million to $2 million. The firm is owned by Jeanne Shaheen’s husband, William Shaheen. A title company partially owned by William Shaheen got a $160,000 loan and a half dozen companies he partially owns or another relative owns got loans, below $150,000.

Jeanne Shaheen said she “was not involved in any way in applying for those loans nor do I have anything to do with their businesses, and Congress had no role in processing PPP applications.”

Other lawmakers, while distancing themselves from the loan process, sought to portray the PPP program as a success story.

Hern’s Tulsa-based KTAK Corp., a management company for several McDonald’s restaurants, received $1 million to $2 million. Hern isn’t involved in the day-to-day operations, but “he is happy to share that the family business was able to keep all employees either at their current level of employment or move part-time employees to full time,” Hern’s chief of staff, Cameron Foster, said. Four businesses owned by fellow Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., received at least $800,000.

Full House Resorts, a Las Vegas-based casino company led by Lee’s husband, Daniel, got two loans totaling $5.6 million, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company said the funds would be used to rehire several hundred employees and prepare to reopen two casinos in Indiana and Colorado.

A spokesperson said Tuesday that Lee did not know about the company’s intention to apply for a loan when she and other Nevada lawmakers pushed for a rule change to allow small casinos to receive the loans. She had no influence over the application or any aspect of Full House’s business or decision making, spokesperson Jesus Espinoza said.

Two wineries tied to Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and an Iowa farm run by his family received loans worth at least $2 million. The wineries got separate loans worth $1 million to $2 million, and an Iowa dairy farm that is tied to his relatives received $150,000 to $350,000.

Source: AutoBlog.com