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Musk Settles: Pays SEC $20M, Resigns as Chairman

Tesla also paying $20M bringing total to $40M in penalties.

by on Sep.29, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk settled with the SEC paying a $20 million fine and resigning as the chairman of the company.

After an initial round of defiance, Tesla CEO Elon Musk elected to take the path of least resistance with the Securities and Exchange Commission, agreeing to resign as chairman and pay a $20 million fine.

Tesla will pay an additional $20 million as part of the deal with the agency, bringing the total paid to $40 million.

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“The total package of remedies and relief announced today are specifically designed to address the misconduct at issue by strengthening Tesla’s corporate governance and oversight to protect investors,” Stephanie Avakian, co-director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, said in a statement. (more…)

Update: Musk Denounces SEC Lawsuit

“Unjustified action…leaves me deeply saddened and disappointed.”

by on Sep.28, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk refuted the fraud charges brought against him in a lawsuit by the SEC.

Elon Musk and the Tesla board have fired back at the SEC, denouncing the federal lawsuit that could lead to the ouster of the automaker’s founder and CEO.

On Thursday, the Securities and Exchange Commission sued Musk, alleging he made “false and misleading statements” to investors when tweeting and posting about his plans to take the carmaker private last month. The suit could force Musk’s ouster, bar him permanently from holding a position of authority at a public company and result in millions of dollars in fines.

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While Tesla itself was not named in the suit, many observers expect that move could yet follow. Even if it didn’t, the company has been targeted by several investor lawsuits. (more…)

SEC Sues Tesla CEO Musk, Alleges Fraud Over Privatization Plan

Penalties could be severe and affect Musk’s other companies.

by on Sep.27, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is being sued by the SEC, which claims his "plans" to take the company private were "false and misleading."

The Securities and Exchange Commission has sued Tesla CEO Elon Musk, alleging he committed fraud when tweeting and posting about his plans to take the carmaker private last month.

Tesla itself was not named in the suit, though the company has privately given indications it expects to be rolled in later, according to sources. The announcement by the federal agency seriously compounds the problems already facing Tesla and its founder and CEO Musk. They are already being sued by short-sellers who claim the privatization effort was little more than a way to hurt them, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in losses.

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In a statement filed in Manhattan District Court, the SEC accused Musk of making “false and misleading statements” to investors when he first tweeted about going private early in August. “In truth and in fact, Musk had not even discussed, much less confirmed, key deal terms, including price, with any potential funding source,” the complaint adds. (more…)

Ford’s Rouge Complex Gets New Product Line to Celebrate Centennial

“What was once dismissed as a Rust Belt relic has become relevant all over again.”

by on Sep.27, 2018

The Rouge plant produces a new F-Series pickup, on average, every 53 seconds.

Ford Motor Co. will launch production of an all-new hybrid version of its F-150 pickup for the 2020 model-year at its sprawling River Rouge Complex near Detroit.

The announcement came at a day-long event called to celebrate the centennial of what was once hailed as the “American alter to the new god of mass production.” Commonly known as “The Rouge,” it was the brainchild of company founder Henry Ford and, for many years, the largest automotive manufacturing center in the world, renowned for its ability to take raw materials off ships and railroad cars at one end and spew out completed cars and trucks at the other.

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Today, the Rouge has been somewhat downsized, some of its original operations closed, while others, such as its steel plant, have been sold off. But with 93 buildings covering a roughly 1.5 square-mile campus, its own docks and 100 miles of railroad track weaving through the complex, the Rouge remains one of the industry’s largest automotive manufacturing centers. And it is the primary production site for Ford’s various F-Series pickups which have, for decades, collectively been the country’s best-selling automotive product line.

(more…)

Porsche Dropping Diesels

First German automaker to abandon “oil-burners.”

by on Sep.24, 2018

Porsche is facing allegations it rigged some versions of the Cayenne to boost exhaust noise at the expense of higher emissions.

Porsche is set to become the first German automaker to completely abandon diesel engines, the sports carmaker has confirmed.

The move, confirmed by CEO Oliver Blume in the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, comes in the wake of the emissions cheating scandal that has so far cost parent Volkswagen AG around $30 billion in fines, settlements and buybacks.

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“There won’t be any Porsche diesels in the future,” Blume told the German newspaper, explaining that the company wants to concentrate on “what we can do particularly well,” notably, “powerful petrol, hybrid and, from 2019, purely electric vehicles.”

(more…)

Aston Martin Sketches Out its Future With Supercar Design Tease, IPO Plans

British marque hopes to repeat Ferrari’s success.

by on Sep.21, 2018

Aston has released a preliminary sketch of its third hypercar, the 003, which it hopes to have in production in 2021.

Aston Martin, the carmaker best known for its relationship with cinema spy 007, has laid out key details of its upcoming IPO while also releasing a preliminary sketch of the hypercar it’s calling 003 that it hopes will drive some of its future success.

Spun off by Ford Motor Co. in 2007, Aston struggled to avoid an eighth bankruptcy during the depths of the Great Recession, but its fortunes have skyrocketed over the last few years, a period coinciding with the arrival of CEO Andy Palmer and the subsequent commitment of hundreds of millions of dollars in new capital from its key investors.

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The IPO will go off next month on the London Stock Exchange, Palmer announced, declaring that it “will provide investors with a fitting opportunity to participate in our future success.”

(more…)

Musk Facing Justice Department Probe

Feds looking into possible “fraud” in aborted privatization effort.

by on Sep.19, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is the focal point of investigations by the Department of Justice as well as the SEC.

Elon Musk now says he may try to hitch a ride along with the Japanese billionaire who plans to buy a ride on a SpaceX rocket trip around the moon.

Considering the mounting legal problems facing the 47-year-old executive, the CEO of both SpaceX and Tesla, Musk may need to find a way out of town in the near future.

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Musk and Tesla are now facing a criminal investigation by the U.S. Justice Department looking into his brief flirtation with taking the California carmaker private, even as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating that aborted move. Separately, Musk is facing lawsuits in both Los Angeles and London filed by a British diver who the South African-born executive has accused of being a “pedo,” or pedophile, as well as a “child rapist.” (more…)

New Ferrari CEO Camilleri Lays Out New Five-Year Plan

Iconic automaker building new ute and supercar in next five years.

by on Sep.18, 2018

Ferrari's new five-year plan appears to follow the road map that recently deceased CEO Sergio Marchionne laid out.

Ferrari’s new CEO Louis Camilleri unveiled the iconic brand’s latest five-year plan that could be described as doing what it does best while ensuring it keeps an eye on the future.

Camilleri was only recently installed in the top spot after the unexpected passing of Sergio Marchionne laid out a near-term future that revives some of the company’s past, but also keeps the promises Marchionne made.

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“Our objectives are ambitious, but they are based on a meticulously constructed model pipeline, our enviable pricing power and appropriate investment levels,” Camilleri told investors. (more…)

Careful What You Ask For: Musk Sued by Diver He Disparaged

Tesla CEO wondered why he hadn't been sued yet.

by on Sep.18, 2018

After pushing for lawsuit from diver Vern Unsworth, Tesla CEO Elon Musk got what he wanted – in London and Los Angeles.

Adding to the many headaches facing Elon Musk, the Tesla CEO has now been sued by a British diver that he has accused of being a pedophile.

In July, the 47-year-old executive got into a Twitter war with Vernon Unsworth earlier this year when Musk offered to send a mini-sub to help rescue members of a youth soccer team trapped in a flooded Thai cave. Unsworth derided it as a publicity stunt and suggested Musk shove the sub where the sun doesn’t shine.

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Musk responded by declaring Unsworth “pedo guy,” slang for a pedophile. “Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it,” Musk tweeted to his 22.5 million followers. He followd it up adding, “Bet ya a signed dollar it’s true.” Musk also declared that, “I fucking hope he sues me.” (more…)

Lucid Secures $1 Billion Investment from Saudis

PIF looking for a hedge as it expands the value of the fund.

by on Sep.17, 2018

Lucid executives were on the hunt for additional investors, and struck a $1 billion with the Saudis.

After being seen as the key to Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s now-dead plans to take the EV maker private, Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is now investing $1 billion into EV start up Lucid Motors.

The new pact gives Lucid the cash it needs to kick off production of its first-ever model, the Air, in 2020, at its plant in Arizona. Lucid officials have said the new model will cost about $60,000.

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It’s widely believed the Saudis have been searching for ways to hedge against its oil exports for some time now, explaining the earlier dalliance with Tesla and Musk. The two sides had talks about the fund backing Musk’s plan, which could have required more than $40 billion from the Saudis. (more…)