Return to Transcripts main page
First Move with Julia Chatterley
Calls for Accountability on the First Anniversary of Beirut Blast; Toyota and Honda Warn the Semiconductor Shortage Will Continue; Vanguard, the U.S. Asset Manager Office Cash for Jabs. Aired 9-10a ET
Aired August 04, 2021 - 09:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR, FIRST MOVE: Live from New York, I am Julia Chatterley, this is FIRST MOVE, and here is your need-to-know.
Beirut blast. Calls for accountability on the first anniversary.
Chip crunch. Toyota and Honda warn the semiconductor shortage will continue.
And the vaccine vanguard. The U.S. asset manager office cash for jabs.
JULIA CHATTERLEY, CNN BUSINESS ANCHOR, FIRST MOVE: It's Wednesday. Let's make a move.
A warm welcome once again to FIRST MOVE where we have entered the dog days of summer, at least for global markets. Stocks remain near records and
investors hope for an August where the news is all bark and no bite. As my little fur ball, Romeo pictured here, we will tell you B stands for
blockbuster Q2 earnings, the ride-hailing app, Lyft, one of the latest firms to impress yet labor shortages remain a bone of contention. We'll
hear from Lyft's President later in the show.
A for abundant stimulus. The U.S. Senate could approve and send to the House a $1 trillion infrastructure bill within days.
R is for retreating inflation hopes as the Fed likes to say, transitory price breaks.
And K is for kicks, regulatory ones after months of action, will Beijing pause for the summer or will the fur fly once again.
For Romeo, as you can see there, there's plenty of fur and there's actually no bark, which is a miracle for me.
U.S. futures meanwhile, on a slightly shorter leash, after yesterday's record close for the S&P 500, disappointing data though, premarket. A new
read on private sector jobs growth has come in way below expectations, but new all-time highs for markets.
Meanwhile, in Europe, investors wolfing down stocks. Over in Asia, too, markets mostly higher after Beijing state media dialed back its attack on
the gaming industry. If you remember, we spoke about it yesterday. Tencent actually rose two percent after Tuesday's sharp drop as a result, but of
course, new COVID restrictions in China are raising fears about slower growth in the region, and that's where we begin today's drivers.
China is tightening overseas travel restrictions as the delta variant breaks through the Great Wall. The country is reporting 71 new local
infections over the past 24 hours. That's actually the highest daily total since January. It comes just six months before the Beijing Winter Olympics,
as David Culver reports.
DAVID CULVER, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice over): Chinese state media calling it the worst outbreak since Wuhan, officials mobilizing across China to
stop the rapid spread linked in part to the delta variant.
A handful of confirmed COVID-19 cases surfacing from Shanghai to Beijing, worrisome, given China's zero cases focus.
CULVER (on camera): Here in the capital city, you have tens of thousands of residents under strict lockdown. This is one of those communities. The
reason we're not getting out is to not expose ourselves to what is a lockdown neighborhood.
Behind these barriers, you have folks who are abiding by the stay-at-home orders and who are once again having to undergo mass testing.
The warning from officials is eerily reminiscent of 2020.
A Beijing government spokesperson vowing to block the virus from spreading further within Beijing at any cost. It is leading to a halting of travel in
China's capital from affected areas, the list of which is quickly growing.
Among the cities with new outbreaks, Wuhan, after roughly a year of enjoying life near normal, the original epicenter of the coronavirus
outbreak is now testing each of its more than 11 million residents.
Families canceling summer travel plans, opting instead to stay home.
CULVER (voice over): Several communities sealed off, thousands taken into government quarantine for observation. The lockdowns, the mass testing,
strict contact tracing through smartphones, all being enforced once again.
CULVER (on camera): It might all sound extreme, but China's domestic containment efforts along with its tight border restrictions seem to have
been working. Aside from a few isolated cluster outbreaks, life here had mainly returned to the way it was pre-COVID.
CULVER (voice over): But officials say a commercial flight from Russia changed that. The plane landing in the eastern city of Nanjing on July 10th
suspected of carrying the highly contagious delta variant.
On July 20th, officials confirmed Nanjing airport workers subsequently tested positive. Two days later, thousands of tourists visiting the central
Chinese city of Zhangjiajie crowded together to watch live shows. It is believed, some of those attending had been infected traveling through
Nanjing. Cases then surfaced in several major cities and have since spread to dozens of others.
As of Tuesday, the virus has been detected in 16 provinces across China.
It is the greatest test yet of China's post outbreak containment efforts and puts into question the effectiveness of Chinese made vaccines against
variants like delta. While the official number of confirmed cases is still in the hundreds since July 20th, all of the airport staff in places like
Nanjing were reported to have been fully vaccinated with Chinese vaccines, still, many got infected. Even more concerning several of those sickened
are reported to be in severe condition.
CULVER (voice over): It has sparked uncertainty and panic buying in some cities. Grocery store shelves quickly emptying as folks prepare for this
latest outbreak to worsen, and new stay-at-home orders to take effect.
This latest outbreak coinciding with the countdown to the 2022 Winter Olympics, Beijing gearing up to host the world. The Games scheduled to
start in six months. A spectator infrastructure is in place, but this new variant threatening to leave stands near empty for yet another pandemic
David Culver, CNN, Beijing.
CHATTERLEY: Let's move on. Remembering over 200 people who lost their lives in a massive explosion a year ago today in Beirut.
[VIDEO CLIP PLAYS]
CHATTERLEY: Today's march and vigil comes as the official investigation remains stalled, but there are new calls for answers and for
Ben Wedeman joins us now from Beirut.
Ben, and we're no further forward with answers. We have no sense of accountability, no understanding of why repeated warnings were ignored,
too, and it comes amid an unraveling of the economy, of financial and political meltdown, I think as well.
What will we see today, Ben? And what are people saying?
BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, I think what we're going to see are massive protests at the government's inability, not
only to get to the bottom of what happened here on the fourth of August, last year, but in general, the failure of the state writ large to provide
the most basic services such as medicine, such as electricity, such as running water, all of which are in short supply here in Lebanon.
It is worth noting that just a few days after the blast, the Minister of the Interior, Mohammed Fahmi, who's now the caretaker Minister of the
Interior came out of a Cabinet meeting and said, maximum within five days, those who are responsible for the blast will be held accountable.
Here we are almost a year later, nobody has been put on trial. No senior official has been detained or jailed. Some have been detained for months,
but they are minor players in this drama.
And what is increasingly clear as time goes by, is that almost every level of government here, multiple ministries were well aware of the danger posed
by the ammonium nitrate that was in what's called Hangar 12, which is just a few 100 meters from where I am here. They were well aware that it was
there, that it posed a mortal danger to the inhabitants of this city.
And keep in mind, within a mile radius of that hangar, live about 100,000 people. And therefore, the government was completely indifferent to the
danger posed by that ammonium nitrate and what happened, happened and until now, no senior official has come out and apologized or taken
responsibility, or really actually just come out into the streets to talk to people because the level of anger, resentment, outrage at the failure of
the political elite here is palpable and that people are utterly, utterly fed up -- Julia.
CHATTERLEY: Yes. I can see that, Ben, and words failing you at the end there and I think they fail us all on this. And lack of progress, lack of
accountability and the economy in devastating shape, too.
Ben, thank you for that.
And later this hour, we'll hear more about the damage to Lebanon's economy and in particular, tourism.
All right, let's move forward. Toyota, the world's biggest automaker posting a record quarterly profit as car sales surged, but the stock closed
lower in Japan amid concern about the global chip shortage.
Clare Sebastian joins us with all the details. Clare, it's not new in terms of the concerns going forward. Sales, though, for these guys almost
recovering to pre-pandemic levels, but its raw material costs. Its chip shortages I think that filtering into the forecasts, and giving people
CLARE SEBASTIAN, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Julia. I think this confirms what we already know about the extreme turbulence of the car
market right now. I think the difference with Toyota is that they have done an extremely impressive job mitigating all of that and delivering a 72
percent increase in sales and net income five and a half times bigger than it was in the same period last year.
So, extremely impressive profitability given that turbulence, but of course, they are not immune. They talked about the semiconductor shortage.
We know they've had to shut down production in some plants in Asia because of that. There's also higher material costs that they talk about with the
resurgence of COVID-19 in some parts of the world.
SEBASTIAN: But they have been able to deliver these results because of the surge in demand that they've seeing. And because of the way this company
has prepared for this, interestingly, Julia, Reuters reported earlier this year that Toyota, unlike many car makers had actually been stockpiling
chips for years in a business continuity plan that they put together after the Fukushima earthquake.
So, they were in many ways well prepared for this. They also said that they are allowing their dealerships, for example, in the US to sell cars, not
just from their ground stock, but from the pipeline. They're allowing them to trade cars between dealerships to get those cars to customers.
So they are seeing uncertainties going forward. That's why we see the stock down a little bit. That's why they didn't change their forecast. But given
the fact that the stock is up some 25 percent this year, the little dip today is fairly minimal.
CHATTERLEY: I'd read that, too. It's quite fascinating in light of what we've seen through the pandemic, that all businesses, not just the
automakers are doing a whole scale rationalization of their supply chains and working out where the blockages are to try and protect themselves, I
think better in the future, in this case, to your point, they'd struggled in the past in light of Fukushima, and decided to have several months of
supply of chips already in place.
But this -- and you've already pointed to it, we are not hearing this just from Toyota. We've heard it from BMW this week, already GM, before the
opening bell today, all these automakers to a greater or lesser extent is saying this is going to impact output and therefore numbers in the coming
SEBASTIAN: Yes, you know, we've seen it from the automakers, even Tesla not immune, even though they are in many ways better positioned as well
given the fact that they are in many ways a technology company.
We've seen it in the CPI numbers, Julia, used car sales, which is essentially a trickle down from the new car market up 45 percent in 12
months in June, that's the highest number ever. So, this is something that is going to continue to persist for the auto market.
Goldman Sachs says they don't expect inventories to recover to their 2019 levels until after the end of next year. So, more like 2023, although they
do expect that this month, August, will be the bottom of that in terms of inventory.
So look for numbers to slightly improve over the next few months, as demand sort of dies down and the supply chain issues gradually work themselves
out, but this is something that automakers clearly are going to be dealing with for some time.
CHATTERLEY: Yes. Not going away anytime soon. Clare Sebastian, thank you so much for that.
All right. Let me bring you up to speed now with some of the other stories making headlines around the world.
The Taliban are claiming responsibility for a deadly car bombing in the capital of Afghanistan. The blast went off near the acting Defense
Minister's residence, but officials say he wasn't hurt. At least eight civilians were killed and around 20 wounded. Afghan Security Forces say
they killed the four attackers.
CNN's Clarissa Ward joins us now live from Kabul with more details.
Clarissa, great to have you with us. The first question I think is what about the Security Forces that were surrounding or nearby this residence?
What happened to them? But I know you were close by and this was a sizable explosion. What more can you tell us?
CLARISSA WARD, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right, Julia. It was about 8:00 p.m. last night, we heard a loud explosion that
shook the capital. We ran up here to the roof to see what was going on.
There was sporadic gunfire, there was an air raid siren that was wailing. There were two more secondary and tertiary explosions. They were smaller in
size, but still indicative of the fact that this was a complex attack and really striking fear into people in Kabul, because while there have been
huge Taliban gains and a lot of momentum in their favor on the battlefield, things have been relatively quiet here in the capital.
A number of people told us this was the largest blast that they had heard here in Kabul for several months now. We know that the Taliban has claimed
responsibility for the attack. As you mentioned, they did not manage to injure the intended party who is the acting Defense Minister. They did,
however, manage to kill eight civilians.
And we heard another explosion this morning, not clear if the Taliban was responsible for that, but again, another grim reminder that the situation
here can very quickly change.
One thing that I should note, Julia, that was really unusual and that I've never heard before in my time covering Afghanistan, after that large
complex attack around the Defense Minister's home, we heard this sort of cacophony of people across the city, all chanting "Allahu Akbar," which
means God is the greatest, but in this context, they were chanting it in defiance against the militants. They were chanting it in support of the
Afghan Security Forces, and it was kind of a moving moment to see a capital essentially come together and say that they are un-cowed, that they refuse
to be afraid, and that they want to fight back against the Taliban as much as that may be a very difficult task to do -- Julia.
CHATTERLEY: Yes. Clarissa Ward, thank you so much for that update there, and stay safe, please, in Kabul.
CHATTERLEY: Okay. Turkey is still battling 11 wildfires in six provinces after bringing dozens more into control over the past week. One fire
threatened to engulf a thermal power plant. At least eight lives have been lost and thousands of houses damaged.
Police have arrested one person in relation to the wildfires.
Belarusian Olympic sprinter, Krystsina Tsimanouskaya was seen boarding a plane in Tokyo bound for Vienna today. The athlete was set to compete in
the Olympics, but asked Japan for political asylum after she said team officials were forcing her back home for criticizing Belarus's sporting
Olympics officials are investigating the case.
Okay, still to come on FIRST MOVE, vaccine bonuses at Vanguard. The money manager goes for the carrot over the stick as companies race to make
returning to the office safe.
And a chauffeur crunch, Lyft riders return before drivers. I speak to the President about the road to recovery. That's next. Stay with us.
[VIDEO CLIP PLAYS]
CHATTERLEY: A blast, a shock wave, and then horror, chaos, and confusion in Beirut a year ago. Over 200 people lost their lives, 6,000 more were
injured, and 300,000 displaced from their homes after hundreds of tons of volatile chemicals exploded at the Port of Beirut.
Now, while the investigation remains stalled, the economic meltdown continues. The World Bank describes Lebanon's economic crisis one of the
worst in modern history, a disaster even before the blast happened.
The bank estimates real GDP contracted by over 20 percent last year. Their currency has plunged in value by a shocking 90 percent since late 2019. And
UNICEF says 70 percent of the population simply don't have enough to eat.
My next guest says the Lebanese hospitality industry should be one of the pillars of the economy and is now the country's most vulnerable sector.
Pierre Achkar is President of Lebanon's Hotel Federation for Tourism, and we spoke to him a year ago. And Pierre, fantastic to have you with us. I'm
grateful for your time.
I vividly remember speaking to you a year ago when you were telling me 90 percent of the hotels were impacted. You were desperately trying to move
people out. And that of course, was an industry already being faced by the consequences of COVID and economic struggles.
CHATTERLEY: Fast forward to today. How are you doing?
PIERRE ACHKAR, PRESIDENT OF LEBANON'S HOTEL FEDERATION FOR TOURISM: You know, the problem is not solved. We don't have a Cabinet, we don't have
rulers, and the investigation is without any result. So, the hotels are still closed.
We used to have 2,060 restaurants and clubs that were hit partially or totally from the blast, and we used to have also 153 hotels. We still have
around a hundred hotels who are still closed because the reports, the investigation is without results, so the insurance are not paying because
we don't have any result from the investigation.
We might have some insurances who are paying, with a compromise of 50 or 40 percent of the total value of the blast.
So, we are in the most an unbelievable pain in our life in 50 years. We haven't seen such a form of disaster like we have now.
Poverty is over 50 percent and the national and social and political are a suicide for us because we don't have -- we aren't in a bus without a
We have a goal to our guests for the -- all over the world and they responded to this goal and they are coming to Lebanon for this summer and
they are spending and helping their people and Lebanon.
But unfortunately, until now, we don't have a Cabinet. We don't have a government. We don't have any support from anybody.
The only support we used to have during this year is from the NGOs all over the world, helping the people and poor people to recover a little bit.
Unfortunately, we are under the political problem of the Iranian and Hezbollah problems.
CHATTERLEY: Pierre --
ACHKAR: It is a problem. It's a political problem, not only financial problem. We don't have any problem to receive and to be a big destination
The only problem we have is political and a kind of mammies of the Hezbollah on the government. They might want a collapse of the Lebanese
society to impose new rules, a new Lebanon.
We know and we are sure that we are going to -- we are not accepting this and we are going to confront all these mammies of the Hezbollah on Lebanon.
CHATTERLEY: Pierre, I hear what you're saying and it is a mixture of things and it is years in the making in terms of a lack of leadership and
lack of ownership, a lack of ability to tackle some of the structural issues, the economic issues in Lebanon, too.
I want to take you back to what you were saying though about some of these hotel owners that haven't been able to get insurance, that their businesses
are still closed. I mean, these are families, I'm assuming, too.
How are they surviving? As you said, half the people right now in Lebanon are below the poverty line. How are these people and families surviving?
ACHKAR: Yes. They are not surviving. They are fighting to survive and we are fighting to exist and we are going to exist because Lebanon doesn't
lose anything from his people, from his diaspora and the diaspora, all our immigrants are helping Lebanon.
We received this year around $7 billion from our diaspora. And we have a lot of people, of graduated people who left Lebanon, they are working all
in the Arab countries, in Europe, well, they are sending to their families the dollar, and the foreign currency to help their people.
And we have also a support of a lot of NGOs who are helping Lebanon, a lot of people from outside are helping Lebanon. The U.S. government is helping
the Lebanese Army, and a lot of countries are helping, but not through the government, but through the NGOs and the community like municipality or
CHATTERLEY: Yes, it is, as you said, Pierre, it's outside help. It's not you helping yourselves, your government helping the people there, too.
We've just been showing our viewers live pictures of people that are out in the streets. They are clearly angry. They are protesting.
As you've said, there's just a lack of accountability about what happened here and that is contributing to the economic devastation that the country
is facing. Pierre, what do the people want?
Do you think the government -- that the country is capable of finding a government that can bring accountability and that can tackle some of the
economic issues that the country faces?
ACHKAR: People want reforms in this country. People really don't to change the rulers of this country who have been around 30 years and their policy
get us in this situation. So people are so angry.
People want to eat. People want to have a salary. And people want a change, and a change cannot be without election and we are preparing ourselves to
our next election to change these people, to change these rulers who are corrupted in 30 years. And all the governments in all the free countries
are saying that these people are corrupted.
So, we are trying to have a change in this country, to have reforms because aids cannot come without any reform. We cannot discuss with I.M.F. without
We need reform. We need change. We will fight for this change in a democratic way.
CHATTERLEY: And we pray for you and for your people. Pierre, thank you for joining us. Stay safe, please. And we think of you and your family and all
those who represent, the President of Lebanon's Federation for Tourism there. Sir, thank you.
Next hour, CNN's "Connect the World" will bring new stories of dignity, of courage, and hope as the people of Lebanon mark one year since the port
Join Becky Anderson for our special report today at 6:00 p.m. in Beirut, 4:00 p.m. in London. We'll be back after this.
CHATTERLEY: Welcome back to FIRST MOVE. U.S. stocks are up and running this Wednesday and we are off to, a bit of a sluggish stance after a record
close for the S&P 500 yesterday. A weaker than expected read on U.S. private sector employments actually weighing a little bit on sentiment, I
think here, just 330,000 jobs were added last month. That's half of what was expected.
Fears, I think related to the delta variant also adding to sentiment tune, of course, these two things very much tied.
Big cap earnings though continue to flood in. GM down by around three percent. The auto giant raised its yearly guidance, but earnings for this
previous quarter coming in slightly lighter than expectations. And a bit of context here to, GM still up more than 30 percent year-to-date. Just when
you see these price declines for these stocks, bear that in mind.
Robinhood, too, finally the IPO that could. Shares of the popular trading app rallying after Tuesday's 24 percent pop. They are finally above their
$38.00 IPO price after last week's shaky debut. Wow. Look at that now, trading close to $61.00. That's more like it.
Fidelity pounding the table for the stock, a bit of a retail investor shakeout, I think, too.
Now asset manager, Vanguard pioneering a novel way of encouraging its workers to get vaccinated. Any U.S. employee who gets the vaccine before
October will receive a $1,000.00 bonus according to the company.
Matt Egan joins me now. Matt, this is a case of businesses saying look, we will perhaps take steps to encourage you where governments can't or won't.
MATT EGAN, CNN BUSINESS SENIOR WRITER: That's right, Julia. Leave it to Wall Street to figure out a way to really get the attention of the
unvaccinated. So, Vanguard is saying that any employee in the United States that shows proof of vaccination by October one will get $1,000.00.
Vanguard has 15,500 employees in the United States. So, that means that if all of them took advantage of this offer, that would be about $15 million
in vaccine bonuses from Vanguard.
Let me read you a quote from the company explaining the rationale here. "Vanguard recognizes vaccines are the best way to stop the spread of this
virus and strongly encourages crew to be vaccinated. As such, we are offering a vaccine incentive for crew who provide COVID vaccination proof."
Now, this is another example of how aggressively some companies are moving to encourage people to get vaccinated. It also shows rising concern about
the delta variant and about the risk of even worse variants that could potentially evade vaccines.
I think that Harvey Spevak, the Executive Chairman over at Equinox, I think he summed it up best after Equinox announced a mandate for vaccines for
employees and for members. Spevak told me that he thinks that business leaders have a responsibility to be bold and protect the wellbeing of
communities, but he added we shouldn't wait for government to make that happen.
CHATTERLEY: Yes, you could be waiting a while if you do. Matt Egan, thank you for that update there.
Okay, now, from the return to offices to the related ride hailing recovery. Lyft is a pure play ride hailing company that operates in the United States
and Canada. It saw a rebound in its most profitable journeys last quarter. Those are airports, night and weekend drives. This led the company's first
ever adjusted profit.
It also led to a chauffeur shortage as riders return before their drivers do. Joining me is the president and co-founder of Lyft, John Zimmer.
John, fantastic to have you on the show. This was a solid set of numbers overall, let's be clear. It seems you've recovered more quickly and more
strongly, actually than expectations were suggesting.
JOHN ZIMMER, PRESIDENT AND CO-FOUNDER, LYFT: Yes. It was an exceptional quarter, really proud of the team, grateful to the drivers and riders for
coming back in record form. And yes, year-over-year, we more than doubled the revenue growth.
CHATTERLEY: Talk to me about July as well, because we have seen a pickup in cases, particularly here in the United States. What have you seen in
terms of the reaction in demand?
ZIMMER: We are still seeing increases in demand into July. Obviously, more and more people are getting vaccinated, which is a great thing and that is
leading to more people being comfortable going out.
We are keeping a close eye on the pandemic as we have throughout the last two years, basically, a year and a half and we will adjust if need be. But
again, in July, we did see increased demand.
CHATTERLEY: And just in terms of the numbers here, at the end of June, you reported 17.1 million active riders. And so that my viewers are clear, that
is nearly double the number of drivers that you had a year ago for a comparison that is sort of peak pandemic. But before the pandemic, you had
around 21 million drivers. How long is it going to take you do you think, to get back up to those kind of numbers in terms of drivers because we all
know labor -- the labor shortage in this country has been problematic and you've alluded to it, too.
ZIMMER: Yes, so that's riders, so we saw quarter over quarter of 3.6 million additional riders become active in the numbers you quoted were
riders; on the driver side, quarter over quarter, we saw a 50 percent increase in new drivers. So, on that side of things as well, we are seeing
But again, we are in the midst of a serious pandemic. We are going to be very thoughtful and careful to balance the market and to make sure those
that are coming back are safe.
CHATTERLEY: Okay, so what about rehiring and hiring as you go forward?
ZIMMER: Yes, for -- are you talking about on the driver side or the employees at the office?
CHATTERLEY: Yes, I am talking about in the driver's side, because I've certainly seen rumors that you're having to add more sort of incentives to
encourage drivers, whether that's sort of looking at benefits, how do you reduce drivers expenses? What are you looking at in terms of encouraging
new drivers and actually retaining them, too? And I'll be careful with my drivers versus riders, because these two words are very close. Forgive me
for mixing them up.
ZIMMER: No worries. Yes, we're doing many things on the driver side. So, quarter over quarter again, driver -- new drivers increased 50 percent, so
bringing in those that hadn't driven before is important. But also obviously making sure drivers that have been on the platform and are coming
to the platform are earning more than or as much or more than they had before.
So we're seeing all-time driver high earnings in stock markets at $35.00 an hour. As you mentioned, we're also helping out with Auto Care. You know,
one thing unique about Lyft is that we've built out Auto Care and other things to help drivers cut down their costs, as you mentioned.
And then one of the things that we really invested in over the last two years is the marketplace technology. So, making sure when drivers are out
that we make best use of their time, meaning instead of getting, you know, 1.5 rides in an hour, if they can get two rides in an hour and earn more
money, it is great for them. It's great for riders, and it's great for the business.
CHATTERLEY: Anecdotally, and I see it sometimes on social media, people complaining about longer wait times. They complain about more expensive
rides. What's your sense of that? Because why your drivers can be increasingly profitable, at the same time, you've got to keep your riders
engaged and not look for alternative options.
ZIMMER: Yes, it's a constant balance, one that my co-founder and I focused on for 10 years. The market equilibrium is getting better. We're still not
happy with, you know the things you said with service times and prices and there are more ways to go, but we are coming out of a hopefully once in a
lifetime pandemic and I'm proud of the progress we're making.
CHATTERLEY: Fingers crossed to that, quite frankly. So, you mentioned innovation and the exciting parts of the business, and I think autonomous
vehicle technology and what you've got going on at Lyft with partnerships there is something that we're all fascinated to hear.
So, what can you tell me about potential rides, autonomous riding in Miami? Austin? Perhaps in 2022? What can you tell us about this?
ZIMMER: Yes, so the new partnership we announced with Argo and Ford is just that we're going to be bringing autonomous vehicles first to Miami
towards the end of this year and to Austin with a target of next year.
We also have a great partner in Motional that is targeting 2023 for a fully autonomous launch, and continue to work with more partners.
The Lyft platform or the Lyft network, we believe is the best way to bring autonomous cars to market because it has amazing relationship with our
customers, and the marketplace technology that I alluded to allows for each vehicle to be optimized and get the best return on the investors who are
bringing those cars to market.
CHATTERLEY: Will I pay more or less for an autonomous ride than I would for an ordinary ride?
ZIMMER: It's still super early, I think the goal is long term drive more affordable rides. We believe that in the markets we operate in North
America, America, and Canada that we can help people spend less money on transportation as they bring more money onto the Lyft network.
CHATTERLEY: I'm so excited about autonomous vehicle technology, though, in the short term, I'd probably pay more.
John, congratulations on a solid quarter. Come back and talk to us soon, please. John Zimmer, President and co-founder of Lyft. Great to have you on
the show, sir. Thank you.
All right, new developments in the case of the Belarusian sprinter, Krystsina Tsimanouskaya, a plane thought to be carrying the Olympic athlete
has now landed in Vienna, Austria. The flight change course slightly over Western Russia to avoid Belarus airspace.
She was set to compete in the Olympics, but asked for political asylum after saying her team was trying to force her to fly home. It happened
after she publicly criticized the Belarusian sports authorities for registering her for the wrong event.
Olympics officials are investigating the case. But it seems she is safely in Vienna.
All right, that's it for the show. If you've missed any of our interviews today, they will be on my Twitter and Instagram pages. You can search for
Stay safe. I'll see you tomorrow. "Marketplace Asia" is up next.