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Post Office moves to electric vehicles

The U.S. Post Office said Tuesday that it has chosen Oshkosh Defense to build its next-generation mail-delivery vehicle, part of an effort to make the USPS more environmentally friendly by switching a portion of its huge fleet to electric vehicles.

Oshkosh Defense, a division of Wisconsin-based Oshkosh Corp., will assemble 50,000 to 165,000 of the new Next Generation Delivery Vehicles at its existing U.S. manufacturing facilities. It will get an initial $482 million toward retooling and building out its factory.

USPS described the deal as the first part of a multibillion-dollar 10-year effort to replace its delivery vehicle fleet.

The choice of Wisconsin-based Oshkosh is a big miss for Ohio-based electric vehicle startup Workhorse Group, which put in an all-electric bid for the vehicles. Shares of Workhorse fell more than 47% Tuesday.

 

Wells Fargo to sell its asset management

Wells Fargo will sell its asset management business to two private equity firms for $2.1 billion, the bank announced Tuesday, the first major sale of CEO Charlie Scharf's drive to simplify the sprawling bank.

Chicago-based GTCR and New York-based Reverence Capital Partners will buy Wells Fargo Asset Management from the bank. Wells Fargo will hold on to 9.9% and remain involved as "client and distribution partner" of the asset manager, according to a bank press release.

"This transaction reflects Wells Fargo's strategy to focus on businesses that serve our core consumer and corporate clients, and will allow us to focus even more on growing our wealth and brokerage businesses," said Barry Sommers, the head of Wells Fargo's wealth & investment management division, in a statement.

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2021.

Established in 1995, Wells Fargo Asset Management is chiefly the bank's mutual fund business and manages $603 billion on behalf of institutions, financial advisors and individuals. It is separate from Wells Fargo's private bank, Abbot Downing and Wells Fargo Advisors.

 

Consumer confidence rises during February

U.S. consumer confidence rose again in February as an improved COVID-19 vaccine push has Americans more optimistic about the future.

The Conference Board reported Tuesday that its consumer confidence index rose to 91.3, up from 88.9 in January. The present situation index, which is based on consumers' assessment of current business and labor market conditions, rose to 92 from 85.5 last month. The expectations index — based on consumers' near-term outlook for income, business, and labor conditions — ticked down slightly.

The consumer confidence index is closely watched by businesses and economists because consumer spending makes up about 70% of U.S. economic activity.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner

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