Piston Slap: Sam Hell's Scion Grab Bag

TTAC Commentator Sam Hell Jr. writes:

Hi, Sajeev!

I read with deep concern your notice that the Piston Slap mailbag was empty. You kindly answered my previous query about putting more conservative tires on my ’11 automatic tC (now at 51,000 miles), despite the fact that I erroneously addressed the email to your parasitic e-twin Sanjeev, and I’m happy to pester you/be of service once more. Please find, below, my questions, and thank you for your time.

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BYD Wants To Be World's Biggest Car Maker

So they say, if you want to be a successful car manufacturer, you must have steel in your DNA, gasoline in your blood, a history reaching back generations, and an annual output of at least 5m to stay profitable. And even then it’s not a slam dunk, as we are painfully aware.

Wang Chuanfu proves them all wrong.

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Goldman Hearts Geely

If there’s one thing that can be counted on in the world of investment, it’s that someone is bound to copy Warren Buffett’s latest move. The Oracle of Omaha has reportedly made a billion bucks in less than a year on his $230 mil investment in BYD, and that firm’s soaring stock price has other investors taking notice. Bloomberg reports that Goldman Sachs is looking at buying $250 mil worth of convertible bonds and warrants in Geely, in hopes of repeating Buffett’s success. With major global automakers (specifically GM, VW and Toyota) solidifying their dominance of the Chinese domestic market, Chinese automakers see the low-cost segments in other markets as their opportunity for growth, and Geely is no exception. The firm hopes to boost overseas sales to 66 percent of its annual sales by 2015, a goal that justifies its current pursuit of the Volvo brand (update from Thor Johnsen coming soon). Though a name-brand backer like Goldman could help Geely break into foreign markets, there are challenges aplenty for the planned investment.

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  • Lou_BC High end EV's are selling well. Car companies are taking advantage of that fact. I see quite a few $100k pickups in my travels so why is that ok but $100k EV's are bad? The cynical side of me sees car companies tack on 8k premiums to EV's around the time we see governments up EV credits. Coincidence? No fooking way.
  • EBFlex "I'd add to that right now, demand is higher than supply, so basic business rules say to raise the price."Demand is very low. Supply is even lower. Saying that demand is outstripping supply without providing context is dishonest at best.
  • IBx1 Took them long enough to make the dashboard look halfway decent in one of their small trucks.
  • Mcs You're right. I'd add to that right now, demand is higher than supply, so basic business rules say to raise the price. The battery tech is rapidly changing too. A battery tech in production today probably won't be what you're using in 2 years. In 4 years, something different. Lithium, cobalt, and nickel. Now cobalt and in some cases nickel isn't needed. New materials like prussian blue might need to be sourced. New sources might mean investing in mines. LMFP batteries from CATL are entering production this year and are a 15% to 20% improvement in density over current LFP closing the density gap with NCA and NCM batteries. So, more cars should be able to use LMFP than were able to use LFP. That will lower costs to automakers, but I doubt they'll pass it on. I think when the order backlogs are gone we'll stop seeing the increases. Especially once Tesla's backlog goes away. They have room to cut prices on the Model Y and once they start accumulating unsold vehicles at the factory lot, that price will come tumbling down.
  • Acd Fifteen hundred bucks for OnStar makes some of the crap Southeast Toyota Distributors and Gulf States Toyota forces their customers to buy seem like a deal.