By on November 10, 2021

While no one around this neck of the woods would call themselves experts in finer points of the stock market, we do know how to add. Talking heads at the Wall Street Journal are reporting Rivian has set an initial share price of $78 for its IPO, a heady sum to be sure. What drives this story to another dimension is they’ve allegedly sold 153 million shares at this price.

For those keeping track, that means they raised nearly $12 billion – making RIVN the biggest listing so far in 2021.

(Read More…)

By on November 3, 2021

Mike Manley FCA CEO to Head Americas

A captive lending arm can be a major source of profit for automakers. After all, keeping that paper in-house instead of farming it out to a third party permits some of that sweet interest-driven revenue rolling on a monthly recurring basis. Why else did most of us, for many years during GMAC’s heyday, refer to General Motors as a finance company which just happened to sell cars?

Following several years of shacking up with Santander in order to offer financing for their customers, Stellantis has bought F1 Holdings Corp., an outfit that is the parent of Texas-based First Investors Financial Services Group. Now they’ve spent $285 million in this all-cash transaction, Stellantis is no longer the only major automaker in America without a captive finance arm.

(Read More…)

By on August 10, 2020

Maybe established automakers can impress investors with electric promises, after all. Following Hyundai’s announcement that it will turn the Ioniq nameplate into an electric vehicle brand encompassing several models, the company’s stock lit the afterburners, achieving its best share price showing since 2017.

Lofty electric ambitions aren’t a sure-fire way to juice a stock, as Ford has shown year after painful year, but they can achieve results. (Read More…)

By on July 31, 2020

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles revealed a second-quarter loss of $1.24 billion on Friday, down slightly from the $1.8 billion net loss posted for Q1.

As before, the pandemic weighed heavily on the automaker’s finances, though this spring’s two-month shutdown of domestic manufacturing and the revenue drop arising from the virus didn’t spell red ink for its all-important North American region. (Read More…)

By on July 30, 2020

ford

Ford Motor Company made many investors happy on Thursday, reporting a less-than-feared loss in the second-quarter of 2020.

Despite the company’s chief financial officer predicting a Q2 loss of $5 billion or more three months ago, the automaker’s actual earnings before interest and taxes was only in the red $1.9 billion — a minor miracle given the stormy backdrop. (Read More…)

By on July 23, 2020

Everything was moving in Tesla’s favor Wednesday night, with the electric automaker reporting an unexpected quarterly profit — its fourth in a row — for Q2 2020. This positive financial news, made possible by other automakers’ hunger for regulatory credits, sent the company’s already elevated (overvalued?) stock closer to the face of God.

At the same time, CEO Elon Musk announced something long suspected: That Tesla’s next domestic assembly plant will set up shop in Austin, Texas. (Read More…)

By on July 2, 2020

honda

In what might be the most blindingly obvious statement ever to be made in this august publication, the second quarter of 2020 was an absolute disaster for vehicle sales. Under the withering gaze of a global pandemic, the nation’s car dealers were awash in red ink — and the bitter tears of various dealer principals.

Demand and supply have cratered, producing a bewildering simultaneous mix of good deals in some segments as stores try to keep the lights on while shortages of a few key models hold the pricing line on others. Pile on the vanishing rental market you have an automotive industry the likes of which few have ever seen.

(Read More…)

By on June 30, 2020

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is reportedly cracking the whip again, spurring his company’s workforce into a frenzy of car-building as the end of the second quarter looms.

After posting a surprising first-quarter profit in early April, Tesla warned that the full weight of the coronavirus pandemic — and related lockdowns and sales implosion — would land on its balance sheet in Q2. To keep investor enthusiasm alive, the push is on to make those numbers as rosy as possible. (Read More…)

By on June 22, 2020

Nikola, the electric vehicle startup with no functional or sellable product to back up its insane valuation, just got a reality check from JPMorgan. The Wall Street firm has warned investors of a pullback of the company’s sky-high share price — an action that pretty much guarantees that exact outcome.

After catapulting into the stratosphere two weeks ago, Nikola’s stock stands to sink by nearly a third, the bank warns. That result would no doubt be gratifying for those annoyed by overvalued companies who promise investors the sun, moon, and stars.

(Read More…)

By on June 10, 2020

Tesla Semi, Image: Tesla

Tesla’s valuation got a big boost on Wednesday after CNBC published the contents of a company memo. In it, CEO Elon Musk told employees that it’s time to get cracking on the electric semi truck he said would reach customers in 2019.

Could be, especially given the lengthy delay that followed his initial 2017 promise. The timing is even more suspect given this week’s proclamation by a would-be rival. (Read More…)

By on May 12, 2020

Toyota, the automaker that regularly jousts with Volkswagen for the title of World’s Largest Automaker, expects its finances to take a major hit this year. A solid blow, but not a knockdown punch.

With sales down severely and production depressed across the globe, Toyota envisions an 80-percent profit drop for the current fiscal year. (Read More…)

By on May 6, 2020

Like its domestic rival, Fiat Chrysler, General Motors is also looking to begin firing up U.S. assembly plants on May 18th. The news first came by way of The Detroit Free Press, which learned of alerts sent from plant managers to UAW workers at GM’s Lansing Delta Township and Flint operations. The automaker later confirmed this via its first-quarter 2020 earnings report.

The non-renewal of Michigan’s stay-at-home orders (which run through May 15th), coupled with a new, company-wide health protocol and the UAW’s quiet acquiescence to a Detroit Three reopening, seemed to pave the way for a firm restart date. (Read More…)

By on May 1, 2020

Elon Musk + Tesla Model S Circa 2011

Elon Musk — a polarizing figure, if there ever was one, in the world of cars — marked the end of what would normally have been a typical work week by tapping into the deepest reaches of his mind.

In compliance with his personal credo of treating us all like one of the family, the Tesla CEO made sure we were all privy to this stream of consciousness by pulling out his phone and opening up Twitter. And in doing so, as has happened before, his company’s stock suffered. (Read More…)

By on April 29, 2020

ford

Call it the coronavirus crash. Ford Motor Company released its first-quarter 2020 financial results late Tuesday, revealing a deep dip into the red as March’s production shutdown and and domestic (and overseas) sales dive ate into earnings.

Free cash flow was negative $2.2 billion last quarter, Ford said, as it reported a net loss of $2 billion. Recall that a big deal was made over the company’s less-than-stellar Q4 2019 earnings report, which carried the weight of recalls and a botched product launch. That report now looks rosy.

As bad as Q1 2020 looks, Ford cautioned investors to brace themselves for an even grimmer Q2. (Read More…)

By on April 27, 2020

 

Ren Cen. GM

Burning through piles of cash as plants sit idle, sales plummet, and the bulk of its vast workforce still demands payment during the virus-borne production shutdown, General Motors is taking new measures to protect its finances.

On Monday, the automaker announced a number of steps designed to anger shareholders in the short term, but a production restart date remains as elusive as before. (Read More…)

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