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It’s billed as the affordable electric car of the future, but 12,200 reservations have dropped off the Tesla order list since the company’s Model 3 came on the scene.
The new tally was revealed when Tesla announced plans to raise $1.4 billion through a share offering to boost its financial standing, Bloomberg reports.
Since orders opened, 4,200 duplicate reservations have been erased by the company, and 8,000 customers have backed out of their purchase. That leaves 373,000 reservations on the books, each backed by a $1,000 check. Read More >
There’s happy faces inside the Renaissance Center today.
General Motors saw its first-quarter pretax profit rise 28 percent, despite continuing trouble in foreign markets, Automotive News has reported.
A net income of $1.95 billion means investors will reap $32.66 a share, a 1.5 percent increase. Revenue was up four percent in the first quarter, at $37.27 billion. Read More >
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has started rating headlights, and just released a report that takes a dim view on the performance of most midsize cars.
Only one vehicle out of 31 testers earned a rating of “good” from the road safety nonprofit, with the bulk of midsize vehicles earning a rating of “marginal” or “poor.”
The results are even less dazzling when you take into account optional lighting packages, which pushed the number tested to 82. Even then, it was only the LED-equipped advanced technology package on the Toyota Prius V that earned the IIHS’s acclaim. Read More >
Ford announced Thursday that it had earned a record pre-tax profit of $10.8 billion for 2015 — including $2 billion in the fourth quarter — bolstered by pickup sales in the U.S. and strong growth in China.
The record-setting year for the automaker wasn’t much of a surprise — second- and third-quarter results set records along the way — but Ford’s ability to finally turn a profit in Europe may be the most unexpected news. The automaker had lost money in Europe since 2011.
Latin America, notably Brazil, will continue to be a sore spot for Ford and other automakers. Ford said Thursday it expects to lose more money there in 2016 than the $832 million it lost there in 2015.
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On Wednesday, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne will update investors on his long-term plans and fourth-quarter profits — namely, how many Jeeps it sold — during his scheduled earnings conference call.
It’s widely expected that Sergio will address the near-certainty that Jeep will build a pickup based on the Wrangler, as well as the future for the Jeep Compass that’ll likely survive from the Patriot/Compass twin billing, and Jeep’s potential to keep afloat fledgling FCA brands such as Maserati and Alfa Romeo.
Analysts say FCA’s ambitious target of $5 billion profit by 2018 would be almost unattainable at this point.
“‘Ambitious’ is not really an adequate word to describe it, ‘fantasyland’ might be more appropriate,” Bernstein’s Max Warburton told Automotive News.
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Business Insider transportation editor Matthew DeBord (formerly of Jalopnik too) said Tesla and Fiat Chrysler’s stock show both companies’ susceptibility to market volatility and that each automaker could be in dire situations if a mild recession were to rear its head again.
(Although he does note that the best return on an investment this time last year would have been a few hundred bucks into FCA’s stock.)
Tesla may have more in common with FCA than it likes in terms of market unpredictability, which could raise the specter of a merger if its Model 3 isn’t on time or if the economy takes a dive, DeBord writes. As long as Musk doesn’t talk openly about hugging Mary Barra, he may have a decent shot.
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According to The Truth About Cars’ stock exchange bureau chief, Ferrari is good and Tesla is bad today.*
Tesla shares have dropped 10 percent on news today that Consumer Reports would pull its “Recommended” rating from the Model S because of concerns about the car’s reliability. That’s bad.
Also, initial shares of supercar-maker Ferrari may be going for more than expected due to the stock’s appeal on office walls and potential value people may find in owning another Ferrari-branded item beyond overpriced shirts. Read More >
Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas issued a lower target for Tesla on Wednesday, saying the automaker’s SUV price tag is too hefty for the carmaker to meet its production volume goal for 2016.
Jonas wrote that the $130,000 SUV is just too pricey (via Business Insider):
Even allowing the Model X (average transaction price) to decline over time through the introduction of lower-spec models leaves what we believe to be a higher-priced vehicle than we expected that may struggle to meet the volume expectations of the market and our forecasts.
If you remember correctly, Jonas was the analyst that called for Tesla’s stock to effectively double because he had a good idea for the automaker, which he said was the world’s most important.
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Volkswagen may issue preferred shares to help raise money to deal with its growing diesel scandal, Reuters reported.
The German automaker may cut costs and boost cash flow before resorting to offering parts of the company to outside investors. According to the report, VW may find some willing investors to help bail the company out of its dire straights thanks to its healthy balance sheet and assets. However, if no one is willing to take the bait, the company may resort to more extreme cash-raising strategies that include selling ordinary stock, or even perhaps selling off some of its brands.
Reuters reported that sources said Volkswagen wasn’t considering selling any of its brands now. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles spun off luxury carmaker Ferrari this year, in part, to raise capital for other investments at the global automaker.
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Self-driving cars could usher in a new form of terrorism, an investment analyst writes (via SlashDot).
Alex Rubalcava, who is an investment advisor in California, says that autonomous cars would be “the greatest force multiplier to emerge in decades for criminals and terrorists.
“A future Timothy McVeigh will not need to drive a truck full of fertilizer to the place he intends to detonate it. A burner email account, a prepaid debit card purchased with cash, and an account, tied to that burner email, with an AV car service will get him a long way to being able to place explosives near crowds, without ever being there himself.”
Criminals in Denver have already used burners, pre-paid cards and fake names to rent Car2go cars for drive-by shootings.
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