Category: High Finance

By on March 17, 2016

2016 Ford Explorer

Millennials are buying Ford SUVs like it’s going out of style, no doubt dismaying the friends who like to lecture people about their lifestyle on Facebook.

That, Chevrolet offers a voyeur package for its full-side pickup, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles grabs a stack of cash with both hands, Mercedes-Benz gives its midsize SUV the AMG treatment, and two more automakers eye the Formula E grid … after the break!

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By on March 14, 2016

Elio Motors 2016 NAIAS, Image: © 2016 Ronnie Schreiber/The Truth About Cars

In a move that has already generated criticism from disappointed deposit holders, Elio Motors announced that production of its enclosed tandem three-wheelers will be delayed, yet again, to an undisclosed date sometime in 2017.

In a statement issued on Friday, Elio Motors said, “the bulk of the consumer launch will have to be moved into 2017 at a date to be determined, as the company continues to seek additional funding.”

Ironically, that delay was made public as the company appeared to make progress towards getting at least some vehicles built in Shreveport later this year. Founded in 2009, Elio had previously announced production dates of 2014 and more recently the end of 2016. Read More >

By on March 12, 2016

2016 NAIAS Ford Stand

Ford Motor Company has decided it wants to do more than just sell cars and trucks.

On March 11, the automaker announced the creation of a new business subsidiary in the hopes of becoming a leader in the field of mobility services.

Ford Smart Mobility LLC will be headed by former Steelcase CEO Jim Hackett, who will leave Ford’s board of directors in order to take on the new position.

Ford joins a growing list of automotive rivals looking to diversify their operations by investing in the emerging field, the most prominent aspect of which is ride-sharing and ride-hailing services.

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By on March 11, 2016

Subaru BRZ STI Performance Concept

Subaru, worried that it might be losing its coolness, could be planning to rebel against its new-found mainstream image.

That, Big Battery picks up steam, Tesla’s stock turbulence continues to amaze, NASCAR wants Millennials to watch a race, and Porsche thanks its lucky stars for SUVs … after the break!

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By on March 1, 2016

eliostock2

(Caveat: I know nothing at all about stocks, bonds or other financial instruments.)

After automotive startup Elio Motors raised approximately $17 million dollars in a Reg-A+ stock offering the company crowdsourced from small investors via StartEngine, it said its shares would be listed on the OTCQX exchange to provide those investors with liquidity.

It’s probably too early to call Elio another Tesla (whose own market capitalization probably exceeds its actual value), and I don’t know how many of those investors are going to sell their stock so soon. But, if they did, they would have more than doubled their money in less than two weeks as of Monday’s close. Read More >

By on February 29, 2016

Carl Icahn caricature (Image: Insider Monkey/Flickr)

Billionaire businessman and activist investor Carl Icahn wants to snatch up the last bits of Federal-Mogul Holdings Corporation he doesn’t already own, Automotive News reports.

The 80-year-old tycoon already owns an 82 percent share in the Southfield, Michigan-based global auto parts supplier, where he serves as chairman, but his recent offer of $7 a share could net him full ownership.

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By on January 30, 2016

Elon Musk

The automotive and tech blogs are aflutter Saturday with news that Elon Musk has gobbled up another chunk of Tesla stock — this time at a discount.

Musk exercised and held a stock option this week that saw the multi-billionaire increase his ownership of Tesla Motors by 532,000 shares. In total, those shares are worth over $101 million as of the last closing price of $191.20/share.

Here’s where the discount comes in: Musk’s option dictated a price pegged to the share value as of Dec. 4, 2009, before the automaker went public, of $6.63/share — or just over $3.5 million.

Sounds like Elon got a stellar deal. But does any of it matter? Is owning 1/5th of Tesla a big deal?

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By on January 28, 2016

2016 NAIAS Ford Stand

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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By on January 26, 2016

Jeep-Renegade-19

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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By on January 18, 2016

2016_VW_Passat_Exterior_Grille

Investors say Volkswagen should have told the world they were cheating earlier because then they could have bought more Apple stock.

That, Mercedes-Benz prices new E-Class in Europe, BMW’s bigger i3 battery and Jeep soars in Europe … after the break!

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