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Musk Denies a Quarter of Model 3 Orders Were Cancelled – But Reveals New Worry

Order rate, he reveals, has fallen behind increase in production.

by on Jul.20, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk denied claims in a recent analyst report suggesting that nearly a quarter of all Model 3 orders have been cancelled.

Elon Musk has dismissed as “bs” a report that suggested a growing number of advanced reservations for the Model 3 battery-car are being cancelled.

The recent report from investment bank Needham & Co. isn’t the first to raise that prospect, which could make it difficult for Tesla to achieve its promised profit for the second half of 2018. Needham’s Rajvindra Gill joined a growing chorus of analysts this week in downgrading Tesla shares, triggering another dip in the stock, traded as TSLA.

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“Dunno where this bs is coming from,” CEO Musk said in a Thursday night tweet – but by trying to support the idea that there’s still strong demand for the Model 3, the South African-born executive actually may have sent a signal that Tesla is facing longer-term problems. Musk indicated Tesla received 5,000 orders for the Model 3 last week, but that’s actually less than the production target for the battery-car in the months to come. (more…)

Click & Clack Join #1 US Auto Retailer, Canadian Supplier Chief and Toyota Motor Founder in Auto Hall of Fame

“What are we doing here?”

by on Jul.20, 2018

Car Talk hosts and brothers Ray and Tom Magliozzi had a special relationship that won over fans.

A pair of MIT graduates who preferred getting their hands dirty working on cars became perhaps the most unlikely new members of the Automotive Hall of Fame when Tom and Ray Magliozzi — otherwise known as the “Click” and “Clack,” the hosts of the NPR show Car Talk — were honored at a black tie gala on Thursday night.

The event also saw the induction of Kiichiro Toyoda, the founder of the Toyota Motor Corp., Frank Stronach, the Austrian émigré who founded the Canadian-based mega-supplier Magna, and Mike Jackson, the Philadelphia “street kid” who has transformed AutoNation into the country’s largest automotive retailer.

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The induction ceremony, which drew the largest crowd ever for an AHF ceremony, had quite a few odd moments. Ray Magliozzi, the younger of the two Car Talk brothers, wondered, “What are we doing here?” And Stronach, challenged the hall full of automotive executives to share more of their profits with workers as part of what he called the “Fair Enterprise System.” Not to be outdone, Akio Toyoda, Kiichiro’s grandson and current Toyota CEO, starred in a video in which he time-travelled back to talk to his grandfather.

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Automakers Warn Trump Administration About Tariff Impact

Proposed tariffs could add $6,000 to price of a new car.

by on Jul.20, 2018

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is leading the Section 232 investigation into whether or not imported automobiles and parts represent a threat to the U.S.

During the U.S. Department of Commerce’s public comment hearing today, the Trump administration was warned the steep tariffs it has under consideration could add a total of $83 billion to the cost of new vehicles sold to American consumers.

“Higher auto tariffs will harm American families and workers, along with the economy” and “would raise the price of an imported car nearly $6,000 and the price of a U.S.-built car $2,000,” the Auto Alliance said in a statement prepared for the hearing.

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Meanwhile, dozens of employees from Toyota’s 10 U.S. assembly plants descended on Washington D.C., to oppose the government’s threat to impose a 25% tariff on imported vehicles and parts. They were joined by U.S. production workers from other international automakers across the country. (more…)

Audi’s Stadler Wants Out of Jail During Diesel Investigation

Former CEO goes to appeals court.

by on Jul.19, 2018

German prosecutors arrested Audi CEO Rupert Stadler, though no charges have yet been filed.

A month ago, German authorities jailed then-Audi CEO Rupert Stadler as part of an investigation into the diesel emissions scandal — now he wants out.

Stadler, who is being held at a prison in Augsburg, appealed to a Munich court to be freed from jail during the investigation. He was “provisionally” arrested in mid-June as authorities expanded their investigation into Volkswagen AG and its other brands because they feared he may flee.

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However, Stadler cooperated with investigators, but has since stopped giving statements, the Reuters reported. Munich prosecutors are probing Stadler and another member of Audi’s top management for suspected fraud and false advertising tied to illegal pollution levels in its cars and manipulated vehicle tests.  (more…)

Volvo Moves XC60 Production to Europe from China to Avoid Trump Tariffs

Automaker reports record first-half sales, profits.

by on Jul.19, 2018

Volvo chief Hakan Samuelsson said the company is shifting production of XC60 SUVs allocated for the U.S. from China to Sweden to avoid tariffs.

The effects of President Donald Trump’s tariffs on China are beginning to take shape — and it’s unlikely he’d hoped for this result.

Volvo Cars, which just opened a new plant in South Carolina, announced it would be shifting production of its XC60 SUV from China to … Europe. The move is to avoid the tougher tariffs currently in place on Chinese imports.

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Trump has been pushing foreign automakers to build more vehicles in the U.S., and Volvo’s new plant in Charleston will build the S60 sedan, later adding a SUV to the list, but that won’t be until 2021. (more…)

Auto Industry Unites to Challenge Trump Tariffs

UAW lone dissenter, seeks targeted tariffs.

by on Jul.19, 2018

Representatives from six auto groups testified at a U.S. Department of Commerce public hearing against new tariffs proposed by President Donald Trump.

With one exception – the UAW – the automotive industry is prepared to take a united stand against tariffs as the U.S. Department of Commerce holds a one-day public hearing on a Trump administration proposal to levy 25% tariffs on imported automobiles in the name of national security.

Seven associations representing almost 10 million jobs across the auto sector in the U.S. have joined together to urge the White House to not impose higher tariffs on imported autos and auto parts.

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“Raising tariffs on autos and auto parts would be a massive tax on consumers who buy or service their vehicles – whether imported or domestically produced. These higher costs will inevitably lead to declining sales and the loss of American jobs, as well as an increase in vehicle service and repair costs that may result in consumers delaying critical vehicle maintenance,” said the groups in an open letter to President Donald Trump. (more…)

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.

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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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Trump Tariffs Could Complicate PSA’s U.S. Market Return

“I could launch in Canada,” says PSA’s North American CEO.

by on Jul.17, 2018

While new Peugeot models, such as this 3008 crossover, would work for North America, PSA will develop unique U.S. products.

On Thursday, the U.S. Commerce Dept. will hold hearings in Washington, D.C. to decide if, as President Donald Trump has suggested, imported automobiles pose a threat to national security. If so, the White House could follow up with new tariffs of up to 25% on those vehicles.

That’s on top of the previously enacted tariffs on steel and aluminum that have already begun to drive up production costs for domestic manufacturers. And the industry’s response has been fierce in its opposition to the Trump administration’s proposal.

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But as much as the potential tariff hike has complicated matters for existing manufacturers, it is raising even more challenges for potential new entrants to the U.S. market, including PSA, the French parent of the Peugeot, Citroen, Opel and Vauxhall brands, which is in the midst of developing a strategy to return to North America for the first time in more than a quarter century. (more…)

Tesla CEO Musk Lashes Out at British Diver in Latest Round of Odd Behavior

Twice calls diver a "pedo," slang for pedophile.

by on Jul.16, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk called one of the divers that found the Thai boys soccer team trapped in a cave a pedophile.

The wild ride that has been Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk’s behavior took another odd turn over the weekend as he got into a twitter fight with one of the divers who helped rescue the Thai boys soccer team from a flooded cave last week.

Musk called one of the British divers who discovered the boys a “pedo,” slang for pedophile, not once, but twice in a series of angry tweets after the diver dismissed his interest in trying to help save the boys with a small submarine as a publicity stunt.

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“He can stick his submarine where it hurts,” Unsworth told CNN. (more…)

Detroit Automakers Could Come Out Losers Even if Trump Scuttles Import Tariffs

One alternative could open U.S. up to flood of foreign-made pickups.

by on Jul.16, 2018

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, center, proposed eliminating all tariffs between trading partners.

The auto industry has been actively trying to get President Donald Trump to back off his threat to impose a 25% tariff on imported automobiles, even Detroit-based carmakers warning that such a move could wind up raising prices, slowing sales, reducing U.S. exports and hurting American jobs.

Ironically, one of the likely alternatives to new tariffs could be great news for American consumers – but a potential disaster for Detroit’s Big Three, opening them up to a new wave of competition in the most profitable segment of the U.S. automotive market.

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel, among others, has raised the prospect of effectively eliminating automotive tariffs entirely, while others are saying they should be a uniform figure shared among all major trading partners. That approach could force the U.S. to eliminate the so-called “chicken tax,” the relic of an old, Euro-American trade dispute that has effectively closed off the American pickup truck market for the past half-century. (more…)