Tag: Finance

By on April 16, 2019

Over the past several years, the Chinese government embarked on an aggressive electric vehicle push, hoping to mitigate the nation’s severe air pollution, reduce its reliance on oil imports, and foster a high-tech manufacturing sector that could put the rest of the world to shame. The result of these efforts? Hundreds of new EV companies, propped up by Chinese subsidies and investors, with no real future.

While it was known that most of these startups would never make it to the finish line, estimates of their survivability rate has grown increasingly bleak. For a time, it was assumed that most would die out — leaving anywhere between 5 and 10 percent to reach the assembly phase. However, NIO Capital’s Ian Zhu posited that the number was likely closer to 1 percent last August.

China is now pulling back its support, with many believing the industrial bubble is about to pop. And they have the math to back it up.  (Read More…)

By on November 26, 2018

According to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, the automaker was teetering on the edge of disaster earlier this year. “Tesla faced a really severe threat of death due to the Model 3 production ramp,” Musk told Axios during a video interview on HBO. “Essentially the company was bleeding money like crazy and just if we didn’t solve these problems in a very short period of time, we would die. And it was extremely difficult to solve them.”

Musk said Tesla was within “single-digit weeks” of an unrecoverable catastrophe. While we appreciate his present candor, the assertion doesn’t mesh with comments made earlier.

In fact, Elon was down on the automotive firm needing more funds every since it posted its 2011 financial results. “Tesla does not need to ever raise another funding round,” he said in response to a question on the company’s cash position back in February of 2012. “We may want to do so, but we are in a strong cash position, and we don’t need to.”  (Read More…)

By on November 8, 2018

Remember this saga? Earlier this year we told you about All Pro Nissan, yet another entrant into the “Dealers Behaving Badly” file. At the time, the stores – owned by a couple of ex-NFL linebackers and a veteran of the auto industry – were being examined for all kinds of financial chicanery ranging from floorplan irregularities to missing cars.

At the time, it was reported that All Pro Nissan was open but unable to sell or lease vehicles due to “restructuring.” Now, it appears the lights have been turned off for good.

(Read More…)

By on July 31, 2018

Take the following information with a golf ball-sized grain of salt. Faraday Future, the automotive startup that’s been teetering on the verge of collapse for years, says deliveries of the FF 91 will begin in December. Despite being ghost-funded by a Chinese billionaire who’s been blacklisted due to unpaid debts, losing a factory deal with the State of Nevada, witnessing a mass exodus of its staff, and accumulating heaps of debt, Faraday claims it’s ready to move forward with assembly.

You’ll have to excuse the skepticism. But the brand has burned us in the past — delivering an ambitious but incomplete prototype, loads of hype, and little else.

Saying that production is an assurance with no request for additional investment is like getting an email from a Nigerian prince who just wants you to know that he’s good on the money front and wishes you well.  (Read More…)

By on February 8, 2018

koenigsegg agera

The former digital chief of Credit Suisse, Marco Abele, intends to introduce an app allowing wealthy individuals to share ownership of experiential assets — things like vineyards, works of art, and even fine automobiles.

Abele calls the digital service a “blockchain-based investment platform,” which is just a bullshit businessman buzzword way to say there will be a transaction ledger. By keeping things transparent, the group’s owners can ensure nobody gets financially burned when someone drives a shared $300,000 Lamborghini Huracan Super Trofeo Evo into a barricade.

At any rate, it sounds like communism for rich people.  (Read More…)

By on August 21, 2017

vw logo volkswagen passat

Financial analysts and industry experts have been expecting Volkswagen to begin selling assets to help cope with the cost of its diesel emissions cheating scandal. The penalty for its deception may have already reached $24.2 billion, and German lawsuits could tack on another $8 billion.

However, Europe’s largest automaker says it’s not interested in selling off properties to recoup losses associated with the scandal. It has another plan to rake in the cash. (Read More…)

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 June 27, 2017

VW logo, Image: Volkswagen

Volkswagen Group is continuing to clean house and has made plans to eliminate a significant number of its management staff using the same “early retirement” tactics offered to its longstanding labor force. It’s another obvious attempt on VW’s part to remake itself into a younger, forward-thinking automaker following the diesel emissions scandal — and save itself some money in the process.

While the layoffs aren’t explicitly targeted at Germany, the majority of outgoing managers will certainly come from its European workforce. Volkswagen has declined to comment on the exact number of hangers-on potentially affected by the plan.  (Read More…)

By on April 4, 2017

tesla factory fremont

Workers are likely spinning in office chairs and there’s probably a second frozen yogurt machine on its way to Fremont as you read this.

After hitting a springboard on Monday morning, Tesla’s stock market value has now surpassed that of the former top-ranked U.S. automaker General Motors. This comes just a day after the electric automaker’s surging shares pushed past Ford, placing it in the number two spot.

There’s nowhere to go except down. What, too cynical? (Read More…)

By on January 19, 2017

Takata-jpg

The remaining bidders for the ailing Takata Corporation are insisting on a court-mediated turnaround for the airbag supplier’s operations. Takata is in the midst of selecting a financial backer after incurring billions of dollars in costs to replace tens of millions of defective airbag inflators linked to a minimum of sixteen deaths.

However, Takata has stated it would much prefer an out-of-court process for its operations to ensure the uninterrupted supply of replacement inflators. Keeping the turnaround private also would also be a way for the founding Takata family to avoid the complete obliteration of the company’s share values. (Read More…)

By on January 18, 2017

Hyundai Logo. Picture courtesy of autoblog.com

Hyundai Motor Group has placed its supervisory employees’ wages into stasis in an effort to minimize costs and better cope with the financial hardship it expects to face in 2017.

Roughly 35,000 staff managers are affected by the wage freeze — the majority being employees at Hyundai and Kia Motors.  (Read More…)

By on July 6, 2016

Suckers at the Stock Photo Dealership with a Credit Card

A record 31 percent of all new vehicles sold this year in the U.S. are leased. I spent a good part of my career studying why some people refuse to lease. Much of their resistance stems from bad buzz. Some say it’s because of the stories they heard about ’80s-era open-end leases where owners were responsible for paying the car’s residual value at lease end. (These are the same customers who will not buy a Hyundai today because they produced crappy cars in the ’80s.) Others oppose leasing because they heard about a guy whose cousin’s neighbor had to pay $5,000 in wear and tear or excess mileage charges at lease end. And there are those of you who will brag comment below about how you always pay cash for your cars and don’t understand why other people won’t follow your lead.

This article is not designed to convert such non-believers to leasing. This advice, drawn from my years in the auto finance business, is for buyers who know the basics and benefits of leasing, want some timely tips on how to get the lowest possible payments, and want to pay less money on lease-end charges.

(Read More…)

By on June 22, 2016

Faraday Future (, FF) FFZERO1 Concept vehicle at FF's pre-CES reveal event in Las Vegas on Monday, Jan. 4, 2016, Image: Bizuayehu Tesfaye/AP for Faraday Future

A company that still has yet to build its “game-changing” car will need to find another “storyteller.”

That, the UK will finally have an answer to The Clash, and Cadillac has a dogfight with Silicon Valley … after the break.

(Read More…)

By on June 14, 2016

2008 chrysler sebring

Famous for being a failed savior, a financial hound of Hades has come to the aid of Gawker Media and its many online publications.

Cerberus Capital Management L.P., the infamous private equity firm that produced headline gold — and not much else — after its ill-fated 2007 purchase of Chrysler, is now offering cash to another bankrupt company. The firm announced it will hand Gawker $22 million to keep the lights on while the media giant completes its bankruptcy proceedings and sell-off. (Read More…)

By on April 14, 2016

Map from the January 1971 U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration Interstate System Route Log & Finder List. "The routes and route numbers shown are those designated as of October 1, 1970."

Somewhere between storming the beaches at Normandy and marching into Berlin, General Dwight D. Eisenhower became enamored with the German Autobahn system of superhighways, and so resolved to create a similar system in the United States — or so goes the legend.

After the war, America began to build out from its crowded urban cores, placing new homes and businesses where before there was farmland and wilderness. At first, these new developments were reachable only by hastily expanded surface streets, and longer distance trips used the U.S. Highway system of two-lane roads first designed in the 1920s.

For a forward thinking superpower, this was not enough. Enter the Interstate Highway System — and the Highway Trust Fund that literally paid to pave its way.

(Read More…)

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