By on August 8, 2017

tesla model 3

Tesla Motors launched the Model 3 last month and has been scrambling to improve production volume as over 500,000 eagerly await delivery. However, by the time Tesla hits its targeted production rate of 10,000 units per week in 2018, it is still going to have months — if not a full year — of orders sizzling on the back burner.

It’s not the worst problem to have, since each reservation holder tossed down a $1,000 deposit. But CEO Elon Musk is aware that meeting demand is going to be an uphill battle. “We’re going to go through at least six months of manufacturing hell,” Musk told the press ahead of Model 3 launch event.

With the company already having spent over $2 billion in capital this year, restocking the safe is probably a good idea. As an upstart automaker framing itself as going into battle with traditional manufacturers, Tesla is issuing $1.5 billion in junky war bonds to fund the coming onslaught.  (Read More…)

By on May 22, 2017

Bill Ford and Mark Fields 2018 Ford F150 - Image: FordPrior to this morning’s announcement that outgoing Ford Motor Company CEO Mark Fields is “retiring,” Fields was in charge at the Blue Oval for nearly three years. Just a little more than ten quarters, to be more precise.

In eight of those quarters, Ford Motor Company U.S. market share declined, year-over-year.

Ford was not without excuse, of course. There was always market share to be taken if Ford wanted it. But an attempt to limit reliance on daily rental fleet sales, particularly with Ford’s passenger car division, did the automaker’s market share no favors. Ford’s transition from old F-150 to the new aluminum-bodied model was a major switch, too, and sales growth during the transition phase wasn’t easy to come by.

Nevertheless, Ford’s U.S. market share didn’t nosedive during the Mark Fields era. The burden on incoming CEO Jim Hackett’s shoulders won’t be the elevation of Ford Motor Company market share in the automaker’s home market.

No, it’s the price of a Ford share that matters right now. (Read More…)

By on May 11, 2017

ford logo

As anticipated, Ford CEO Mark Fields was grilled today over his plans to improve the company’s waning fortunes by board members who had scheduled extra time to question him.

Hot topics at the annual meeting centered on why profits are falling, what is Ford doing about the market shift toward SUVs, and how the company’s colossal investments into technology are affecting its present-day financial situation. Ford has poured billions into self-driving vehicles and ride-sharing platforms as its traditional car business loses some ground to General Motors in a slowing U.S. market. Fields spearheaded Ford’s rebranding as a mobility company, but many have suggested this future-focus isn’t healthy for the brand.

Fields stuck to his guns, emphasizing that Ford was heading “aggressively but also prudently” into “the biggest strategic shift in the history of our company.”  (Read More…)

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 October 6, 2015

Tesla Model X

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.

(Read More…)

By on January 19, 2010

Can't say no? (courtesy:allengenitski.com)

Shortly after GM’s bankruptcy, we wondered why so many people were still trading “old GM” stock. After all, old GM stock is in a liquidation company with no chance of ever emerging from bankruptcy.  In order to clear up any confusion, the SEC forced GM Liquidation (then GMGMQ) to change its ticker to MTLQQ. Apparently that didn’t work. CNN Money reports:

On Jan. 11, the first day of the big auto show in Detroit, about 41.6 million shares of MTLQQ exchanged hands. To put that in perspective, that’s more than the volume of Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500), Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) and IBM (IBM, Fortune 500) combined that day.

Holy fiduciary responsibility, Batman! The report goes on to note that MTLQQ is the ninth most-researched stock of 2010 at CNN Money, beating stocks like Microsoft and ExxonMobile. TTAC has expressed skepticism in the past about GM’s forthcoming IPO on silly grounds like the firm’s lack of profit, turmoil in overseas divisions, weak sales and questionable strategy. Frankly, this news makes us question whether any of these things matter. If a 70 cent (but worthless) stock in a company that has no bearing on New GM can rack up that kind of trading volume, clearly there are some unfathomable dynamics at play. Maybe a $60b GM IPO market cap is possible after all!

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