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Musk Apology Underscores Increasingly Erratic Behavior

"Do you think I'm insane?"

by on Jul.18, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has come under increasing fire for comments made in recent months.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has issued an apology for calling one of the divers involved in the rescue of a soccer team caught in a Thai cave a “pedo,” shorthand for pedophile.

The overnight tweet marked one of the rare times the South African-born executive has retreated from what have become increasingly erratic and aggressive comments that, in recent months, have taken aim at journalists, Wall Street analysts, regulators, and even the victim in a fatal crash involving one of Tesla’s battery-electric vehicles.

Beyond the Headlines!

Musk, much like President Donald Trump, has become a regular user of Twitter, developing a broad audience and a loyal fan base for himself and for his company. But as with the president, some of Musk’s tweets have begun raising eyebrows and this week’s attack on diver Vernon Unsworth caused collateral damage to Tesla’s stock which tumbled when Unsworth threatened to sue the eccentric billionaire.

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Tesla Set to Move on New Plant in Shanghai, Announcing Deal Even as it Raises Chinese Prices

Battery-carmaker is 1st from U.S. to raise prices as trade war escalates.

by on Jul.10, 2018

Tesla's new Shanghai plant is expected to be at least as large as its factory in Fremont, California - and include battery production, as well.

(This story has been updated with new information.)

Pres. Donald Trump’s trade war has claimed its first automotive victim, Tesla announcing it will raise prices on some models on sale in China by $20,000 or more to reflect the impact of new tariffs on American-made vehicles.

At the same time, CEO Elon Musk is on his way to China, numerous reports indicating Tesla is set to lock down a deal with authorities in Shanghai to set up the company’s first foreign assembly plant. Musk confirmed construction will begin in about three months and the facility will produce 500,000 vehicles annually once it is ramped up to full production.

Breaking News!

Despite the news about tariffs – which could depress sales in the world’s largest battery-car market in the near-term – investors appear to be buoyed by reports that Tesla will move forward on a Chinese assembly plant. Musk has also indicated that the automaker is working on plans to set up a second foreign plant somewhere in Europe.

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Wall Street Souring on Tesla

A good week gone bad.

by on Jul.09, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is promising the company will be in the black by the third quarter.

What was supposed to be a great week for Tesla turned out to be anything but, with analysts and investors largely ignoring CEO Elon Musk’s jubilant announcement of hitting the company’s production target, instead turning increasingly bearish amidst a sharp stock sell-off.

The roller-coaster ride could continue during the next few weeks as Wall Street waits to see what Tesla will report when it releases its second-quarter earnings announcement. The company delivered record losses during the first three months of this year and is expected to remain deep in the red through the end of June. The longer-term question is whether Tesla’s rising production of the critical Model 3 battery-sedan will finally translate into the black ink and positive cash flow Musk has repeatedly promised.

Product News!

For now, however, it appears that a growing number of analysts aren’t particularly optimistic. Of the 31 analysts who cover Tesla shares, 10 now offer “sell” guidance, nearly one in three. A roughly equal number list TSLA shares as “hold,” with only a third now recommending investors “buy.” It is rare, according to the Bloomberg news service, for analysts to go with a “sell” rating, most signaling displeasure with “hold” guidance. (more…)

Rue Brittania? Brexit Could Chase Jaguar Land Rover from the UK

Brexit poses major financial hit, automaker warns.

by on Jul.05, 2018

Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar-Land Rover, celebrates a win for the Velar as World Car Design of the Year. It was a finalist for the overall World Car of the Year.

It once was said that “the sun never sets on the British empire.” What’s left of that realm could grow even smaller, ironically enough, once the United Kingdom exercises its independence and leaves the European Union.

Negotiations have been going on for months, following the Brexit vote, and among those watching closely to see how future trade relations shape up is Jaguar Land Rover, the British automaker warning that without a favorable deal, it could see its annual costs rise by 1.2 billion pounds, or about $1.6 billion, annually. That would force it to think seriously about moving out of the UK, according to a statement issued by JLR CEO Ralf Speth.

Global Auto News!

The automaker, he stressed, needs to have “free and frictionless trade with the EU and unrestricted access to the single market” if it is to successfully compete in the global market, Speth said.

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Musk Claims Tesla Hit Production Goal

Tesla now “a real car company.”

by on Jul.02, 2018

"We did it," proclaimed Tesla's Elon Musk in an email to employees regarding Model 3 production.

“We did it,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk proclaimed in a weekend e-mail to employees, declaring that the struggling automaker had hit its target of producing 5,000 Model 3 battery sedans in a single week, making it “a real car company.”

Though actually a fair bit less than what Tesla had hoped to be doing by now, nearly a year after its first mainstream electric vehicle went into production, it nonetheless marks a significant milestone and a sign that the company is finally working its way out of what Musk had described as “production hell” at its Fremont, California assembly plant.

News Now!

“We either found a way or, by will and inventiveness, created entirely new solutions that were thought impossible,” the South African-born executive said in an e-mail sent just days after he spent his 47th birthday at the Tesla plant overseeing efforts to speed up production. (more…)

Ghosn Dismisses Speculation of a Renault Takeover of Alliance

Complex ownership structure, that includes French government, makes it difficult.

by on Jun.26, 2018

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance chief Carlos Ghosn recently reiterated there is "zero chance" of Renault taking over Nissan and Mitsubishi.

The question of what company in the three-legged stool that is Renault Nissan Mitsubishi might acquire the other two has been broached a few times since Mitsubishi was added. The issue is apparently important enough for Carlos Ghosn, who heads up the three companies, to address recently.

“Anybody who will ask Nissan and Mitsubishi to become wholly owned subsidiaries of Renault has zero chance of getting a result,” Ghosn told shareholders of Mitsubishi Motors at a meeting las week.

Stay in the Loop!

Ghosn is CEO of Renault as well and chairman of Nissan. He recently turned over the role of CEO there to Hiroto Saikawa. The simple reason for encouraging the automakers to work together but remain autonomous is simple: You don’t fix what isn’t broken. (more…)

Tesla Claims Employee Tried to Sabotage Plant – But Refuses to Say if Authorities Were Notified

Musk blames employee who didn’t receive promotion, hints others might be involved.

by on Jun.19, 2018

In a letter to employees, Tesla CEO Musk said the Fremont plant was the subject of sabotage.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk advised employees late Sunday that the company had been sabotaged by an employee who sent “highly sensitive” data to unnamed outside parties, but he and Tesla have so far refused to provide details, declining to even say whether police or other authorities, such as the FBI, have been asked to investigate.

Musk’s e-mail to Tesla workers, first reported by CNBC, was sent hours after a small fire at the Tesla assembly plant in Fremont, California briefly shut down due to a fire in its welding area. The incident was deemed minor and work quickly resumed. Tesla has been struggling to boost the factory’s output, primarily of the new Model 3 sedan, and has gone to an around-the-clock production schedule.

Breaking News!

In his note to employees, Musk said an employee committed “quite extensive and damaging sabotage to our operations,” among other things making “direct code changes” in Tesla’s manufacturing system while also sending “large amounts” of “highly sensitive” company data to an address outside the company.

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GM Names Suryadevara to Replace Stevens as CFO

Company now one of a few with women in CEO, CFO roles.

by on Jun.14, 2018

Dhivya Suryadevara becomes General Motors chief financial officer on Sept. 1.

General Motors Co. tapped 39-year-old Dhivya Suryadevara to take over one of the company’s senior executive positions, making the company part a select group with women in the role of CEO and CFO.

GM appointed Suryadevara as Chief Financial Officer, effective Sept. 1, 2018. She will report to Mary Barra, GM chairman and CEO, the company said.

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Suryadevara replaces Chuck Stevens as GM executive vice president and CFO, who has elected to retire after more than 40 years with the company, effective March 1, 2019. will remain with the company as an adviser until his retirement. (more…)

GM Increasing Bolt Production, Per Sustainability Report

The Orion plant will also produce Maven autonomous car.

by on Jun.13, 2018

Chevy Bolt production will be increased for this year and next due to rising demand for the EV.

General Motors Co. said will increase production of its Bolt battery-electric vehicle this year in response to global demand, according to 2017 sustainability report it released ahead of the company’s annual shareholders meeting.

The Bolt EV is built at GM’s Orion Assembly plant in suburban Detroit.

News You Can Trust!

GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra also said at least 20 new all-electric vehicles will launch globally by 2023, and that GM is partnering with utilities and governments to accelerate the growth of charging infrastructure as it looks to deliver on its vision of an “all-electric, emissions-free” future. “We believe the future is electric,” she said. (more…)

GM Impacted Already by Rising Costs Due to Trump Tariffs

CEO Barra says no changes planned yet.

by on Jun.12, 2018

General Motors Chairman and CEO Mary Barra talks with media prior to the start of the 2018 General Motors annual shareholders meeting.

Tariffs on aluminum and steel are already beginning to push up costs General Motors top executive acknowledged before the company’s annual shareholders meeting in Detroit.

GM is beginning to see cost increases as a result of the tariffs imposed on aluminum and steel by the Trump administration, GM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Marry Barra said Tuesday ahead of the company’s meeting.

News Now!

Barra told reporters that the trade negotiations are still incomplete so it is difficult to have a complete picture of the impact of tariffs will have on the General Motors or the automobile industry in general.  (more…)