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

General Motors Renaissance Center

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…)

By on April 13, 2020

2019 Ford F150 Lariat FX4 blue oval badge

Much earlier this year, Ford had the unpleasant task of presenting investors and analysts with an earnings report that reflected two serious headaches. The botched launch (and expensive repair effort) of the 2020 Ford Explorer and Lincoln Aviator weighed heavily on the automaker’s balance sheet in the final quarter of 2019, and a flurry of sizable recalls didn’t help things, either.

Today, Ford’s most pressing issue has nothing to do with quality. In a pre-earnings announcement Monday, the automaker told investors to expect a pretty unpleasant report at the end of the month. (Read More…)

By on March 19, 2020

Looking to cover its financial ass with available cash, Ford Motor Company announced a series of measures on Thursday to ease it through the ongoing pandemic.

If you’re a shareholder, kiss that dividend goodbye. However, if you’re in the mood to skip the toilet paper line outside Costco and head to the dealer instead, the Blue Oval has an offer for you. (Read More…)

By on February 13, 2020

In a recent earnings report that, unlike Nissan’s, actually pleased investors, Tesla claimed its new Model Y crossover would see its first U.S. deliveries in March of this year. Great news for antsy reservation holders, but some worry the appearance of America’s Favourite Bodystyle will have a harmful impact on the automaker’s current best-seller, the Model 3. (Read More…)

By on February 5, 2020

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is no stranger to sparking conversation — along with lawsuits, SEC probes, and stock fluctuations — with his social media missives. Tuesday night was no different.

In a two-word Twitter message backed up with a two-item poll, Musk suggested Tesla’s next domestic assembly plant will take up residence in the Lone Star State. (Read More…)

By on January 31, 2020

2019 was not a good year for Aston Martin’s balance sheet. As the British automaker struggled to get new product out the door, its stock decided to mimic the final plunge of the Edmund Fitzgerald. A second profit warning greeted accountants and shareholders as the New Year dawned.

As reported Friday morning, the company’s outlook is suddenly much sunnier. (Read More…)

By on January 30, 2020

Tesla’s fourth-quarter 2019 earning report, released Wednesday night, gave analysts and investors what they’d been looking for. In the midst of a global production ramp-up, the electric automaker posted a second consecutive quarterly profit ⁠— offering compelling news about a new model in the process.

That vehicle is the Model Y, a Model 3-based compact crossover that’s apparently already rolling off the assembly line in Fremont, California. (Read More…)

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