Uxin, a Chinese second-hand car dealer with Leonardo DiCaprio as its latest brand ambassador, is tipped to get a bag of new funding less than a year after it raised $225 million from its public offering on the Nasdaq.
The company announced on Wednesday that it’s selling $230 million worth of convertible notes to 58.com — China’s answer to Craigslist, Warburg Pincus, TPG and other investors. The notes, due in June, convert to Uxin’s Class A ordinary shares at a price of $1.03 per share or $3.09 per ADS. Upon closing the deal, each of 58.com, Warburg Pincus and TPG will obtain the right to nominate one board director to Uxin.
Uxin was trading at $2.46 at the end of Tuesday, a 74 percent decline from its recent peak in January. Its stock tanked in April after short-seller J Capital Research broadsided it over alleged frauds. Uxin denied the accusations, saying they were “false and misleading.”
The Chinese company is in a bruising fight with well-backed rivals including Chehaoduo, which pocketed $1.5 billion from Softbank’s Vision Fund in February, and Renrenche, which raised $300 million led by Goldman Sachs a year earlier.
As part of the transaction, 58.com, a 14-year-old Chinese internet firm that went public in New York six years ago, will come into a strategic partnership with Uxin in areas such as user traffic and inventory acquisition, used-car inspection, big data analysis and SaaS, says Uxin in a statement. The move follows Uxin’s agreement with Alibaba in December to set up a used car section on the ecommerce giant’s Taobao marketplace.
There are increasing synergies between 58.com and Uxin as both are exploring opportunities outside the crowded markets of China’s megacities. 58.com hit a notable milestone in 2018 after it racked up 100 million new users for its classifieds services customized for small-town populations, which include everything from job listings to trading cars.
In the same vein, Uxin has churned out reports that show demand for used cars coming from China’s lower-tier cities has surged in recent years. The boom is in part a result of a new Chinese policy that allows consumers to buy second-hand cars from a different province, enriching the variety of car options for rural residents.
“We see enormous growth potential in China’s used car market and believe that the volume of used-car transactions will overtake that of new cars in the years ahead,” said Michael Yao, chairman and chief executive officer of 58.com, which runs its own online used car business.
The deal will allow 58 Used Car to “benefit from Uxin’s tremendous offline transaction-related expertise,” added Yao, referring to Uxin’s mix of digital and physical sales channels. “By jointly integrating our online and offline services, we will be ideally positioned to significantly enhance the user experience for purchasing used cars and drive greater efficiency in this growing market.”
A Capable, Complicated Answer To Going Electric
Regular Sorento ownership starts at $30,090 (plus $1,325 destination), with Kia’s 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine. Step up to the Sorento Hybrid, however, and Kia adds electrification and takes away engine capacity. Priced from $36,690 (plus destination), there’s a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine that — with the assistance of an electric motor — nudges up power while also improving fuel economy.
In fact, you get 227 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, reasonable if not excessive, compared to the non-hybrid’s 191 horsepower and 182 lb-ft of torque. Rather than the continuously variable transmission we’re used to seeing in mild hybrids, Kia instead relies on a six-speed automatic. The non-hybrid Sorento gets two more gears in its auto.
With both engines, front-wheel drive is standard on the lower trims and all-wheel drive is an option. Kia’s system has a center-locking differential, too, though it’s hard to imagine Sorento owners venturing too far off-road with their SUVs. It’s a $2,300 upgrade on the Sorento Hybrid EX and standard on the Sorento Hybrid SX Prestige (from $42,490 plus destination).
Google Pixel 8 Pro Gets A Serious Upgrade: Here’s What’s New
The front camera doesn’t change from the previous model, and clicks selfies at 10.5MP with a 95-degrees-wide field of view. Unlike the rear cameras, aperture values also remain the same on the front camera. But even with the same underlying hardware, the Pixel 8 Pro can now click sharper selfies thanks to the valuable addition of autofocus.
Speaking of other improvements, the Pixel 8 Pro gets better video recording capabilities with improved HDR+ recording, powered by what Google calls “Video Boost.” The Pixel 8 Pro is also the first to extend Night Sight to videos. In addition, the Tensor G3 chip has been reported to bring support for AV1 encoding at resolutions up to 4K at 60fps.
That means the Pixel 8 Pro will be more efficient at compressing raw video footage to web-compliant formats without much loss in quality. Further, the Audio Magic Eraser will eliminate distracting background noise and unwanted sounds from the audio.
Besides video, the Pixel 8 Pro also gets a horde of software features for photography. First, as previewed at Google I/O 2023, Magic Eraser is expanding new AI-based editing features that can create and fill portions of an image, and this tool is now called “Magic Editor.” Secondly, “Best Take” will help you fix or replace any unpleasant parts of a photo, ensuring you always have the best possible pictures.
These Are The Cheapest Places In America To Buy A Car
Before we list the cheapest cities across the U.S. to buy used cars, it is important to know that the national average price for a used car stands at $34,227. However, if you happen to shop in Cleveland-Akron (Canton), the average price of used cars sold in the area is $2,769 lower than the national average, with the typical used car costing just $31,458.
Buyers in Cincinnati, Ohio, come in at a close second with an average used car priced at $31,622. There isn’t much difference between the rest of the cities in the top 10, with Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, Va., coming in at as the third least expensive city with an average used car costing $31,901 there.
The rest of the list includes cities like Fresno-Visalia, Calif. ($31,912), Orlando-Daytona Beach, Fla. ($31,971), Detroit, Mich. ($31,990), Columbus, Ohio ($32,177), Pittsburgh, Pa. ($32,286), Indianapolis, Ind. ($32,418), and Oklahoma City, Okla., ($32,443).
There are a few reasons why these cities are cheaper places to buy a used car. One is that the cost of living in these cities is generally lower than in other parts of the country. Another reason is that these cities have a lot of competition among used car dealerships. This competition drives down prices and gives buyers more bargaining power. Finally, these cities are all located in the Midwest and Northeast, which are two regions of the country that are known for having more used cars on the market. Having a larger selection of used cars to choose from means you are more likely to find a good deal.
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