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Tesla Bull Analyst Flipping to Bear

Concerns over fighting with tech companies causes rating change.

by on May.16, 2017

Morgan Stanley Analyst Adam Jonas switched from bull to bear when it comes to Tesla over concerns about potential battle with tech companies.

One of the Wall Street analysts that has been optimistic about the outlook for Tesla Motors’ stock has reversed course.

Adam Jonas, Morgan Stanley’s lead automotive analyst, has downgraded Tesla from Overweight to Equalweight with a price target of $305, suggesting a 6% downside on the company’s stock price from current levels.

Financial News!

The downgrade hurts Tesla because the electric-car company depends on the stock’s impressive valuation to help attract new investors. (more…)

GM Takes Lead in Sustainable Rubber Sourcing

Automaker hopes efforts slow deforestation, improve quality.

by on May.15, 2017

GM is working with its four primary tire suppliers, including Goodyear, toward more environmentally friendly rubber production.

General Motors is working with four major tire companies to emphasize a policy of sustainable, environmentally friendly rubber production that will move the industry and its complex supply chain toward net-zero deforestation while also upholding human and labor rights.

“Our supplier partners are an extension of our company,” said Steve Kiefer, GM senior vice president of Global Purchasing and Supply Chain said during a press conference in Detroit that included representatives from Bridgestone, Continental, Goodyear and Michelin the four companies that supply more than 80% of the tires to GM.

What a Conceptt!

“We want to encourage affordable, safer and cleaner options for our customers that drive value to both our organization and the communities in which we work.” (more…)

Toyota Lends a Hand to Flying Car Project

Japanese automaker puts up $353,000 for group.

by on May.15, 2017

Toyota has put up $353,000 to help fund the Cartivator, a flying car concept being developed by a group of employees.

Toyota Motor is putting up $353,000 to help a group of young employees to develop a flying car.

The project, led by a group called Cartivator, started in 2012 when project leader Tsubasa Nakamura and some employees began volunteering their time for the project. The group now has more than 30 members.

Global Auto News!

Drone technology is being used to power the three-wheeled prototypes, which measure just nine-and-a-half feet by four feet, and have a projected top speed of 62 mph, according to the Nikkei Asian Review. (more…)

Ford’s Low Share Price Frustrates Shareholders and Execs

CEO Fields takes heat as stock, earnings, sales tumble.

by on May.12, 2017

CEO Mark Fields has tried to shift Ford's direction - but investors want quicker results.

Amidst signs of turmoil within the company, Ford’s top executives faced some sharp questions from shareholders during the first every “virtual annual” meeting.

“You both say that your main priority is to provide long-term shareholder value,” one shareholder asked. “Losing 40% of the value since Mark (Fields) took over as CEO doesn’t seem to be upholding that pledge.”

Beyond the Headlines!

In response, William Clay Ford Jr., Ford’s executive chairman and the great grandson of the company’s founder, said that the company’s stock price matters both to the Ford family and Ford’s top management. However, he added, Wall Street has historically undervalued automakers, even when they are earning substantial profits.

(more…)

Ford Strategy Coming Under Tight Scrutiny

Board of directors expected to press Mark Fields for answers.

by on May.11, 2017

Ford CEO Mark Fields may be forced to answer some tough questions from the company's board of directors this week.

With its long history of sudden changes in top management, any suggestion inside the Ford Motor Co. that a key executive might be facing tough questions about the direction of their management is certain to create ripples.

The tremors around this week’s meeting of the company’s board of directors prior to the Ford’s annual shareholders meeting were created by reports that CEO Mark Fields was being asked to explain the company’s less than stellar performance in the first quarter of 2017.

Beyond the Headlines!

Ford’s profits dropped at the same time rivals such as General Motors Co., Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Daimler AG were all posting big increases in profitability. The concerns were exacerbated by thousands of headlines indicating that on a market cap basis Tesla was now worth more than Ford. (more…)

Autonomous Vehicle Passengers Getting Motion Sickness

Carmakers may draw inspiration from RV industry for solution.

by on May.10, 2017

Waymo is now offering to let the public check out its autonomous vehicles in Phoenix.

In addition to overcoming all of the negative connotations that self-driving cars already carry, car makers and suppliers are also going to have to find a way to protect passengers in autonomous vehicles from motion sickness.

Jim Hotary, director of xWorks Innovation Center at Faurecia North America, noted during a panel discussion at the annual Wards Auto Interior Conference that motion sickness is definitely a concern in autonomous vehicles.

News You Can Trust!

“There are a lot people for whom driving themselves is a way to avoid motion sickness,” Hotary said. (more…)

PSA Group Partnering with nuTonomy in Singapore

Boston-based company aims to help PSA with autonomous technology.

by on May.09, 2017

PSA Group is partnering with nuTonomy to develop autonomous vehicles. They will test the Peugeot 3008 in Singapore.

The French automaker PSA Group and nuTonomy of Boston, Massachusetts, a developer of software for self-driving cars, have formed a strategic partnership for testing autonomous vehicles on roads in Singapore.

During the initial phase of the partnership, nuTonomy will install its software, along with specialized sensors and computing platforms, into Peugeot 3008 vehicles that have been customized by PSA’s innovation teams.

Tech News!

Anne Laliron, head of the Business Lab, PSA Group, said, “This collaboration is a significant step towards fully autonomous vehicles, which will enable us to offer different mobility solutions to our customers. We are excited to work together with nuTonomy’s team of software and robotics experts to make the concept of self-driving PSA cars more and more concrete.” (more…)

Average New Car Fuel Economy Improves in April

The slight uptick marks second consecutive of gains.

by on May.09, 2017

Smaller crossovers and SUVS, like the Toyota RAV4, are helping to improve the overall fuel economy of new vehicles sold in the U.S.

Despite the continuing increases in truck and sport utility vehicle sales, the fuel economy of new vehicles sold during March and April improved, according to the monthly survey by the University of Michigan Transportation Institute.

UMTRI researchers Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle reported the average fuel economy or window-sticker value of new vehicles sold in the U.S. in April was 25.3 miles per gallon —an 0.1 mpg improvement from the value for March.

We Track the Changes!

The small increase last month basically matched the gain in the average fuel economy of new vehicles sold in the U.S. in March, which was 25.2 mpg — 0.1 mpg from the value for February. (more…)

Ford Sales in China Jump While GM’s Fall

Automakers expect positive momentum going forward.

by on May.08, 2017

Ford's executive leadership team in China is excited about the sales prospects for the remainder of the year.

Ford Motor Co. said its sales in China rebounded during April after a sluggish March, but GM’s sales slipped by almost 2% despite strong sales of sport utility vehicles and the Cadillac brand.

Ford reported selling nearly 94,000 vehicles in April in China, up 11% compared to April 2016. Monthly sales for Changan Ford Automobile, Ford’s largest partner, totaled more than 62,000 vehicles, up 6% compared to the same time last year.

Global News!

Jiangling Motor Corp. sold more than 25,000 vehicles in April, a 15% increase compared to April 2016. While Lincoln sales climbed by 95% to 4,500 units. (more…)

Tesla Ripe for Takeover by Apple, Analysts Claim

CEO Musk sweeps aside idea saying it isn’t in the cards.

by on May.08, 2017

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says Apple makes fine phones and laptops, but acquiring the Palo Alto, California EV maker isn't going to happen.

Apple, despite the various challenges it might face, is sitting on nearly a quarter of trillion dollars, giving it ample resources to mount a takeover of virtually any company in the world and analysts at Citigroup. have concluded on the possible targets is Tesla.

Elon Musk, Tesla’s founder and CEO, brushed aside the speculation about a possible Apple-Tesla alliance, saying it wasn’t in the cards. “They make good phones and laptops,” noted Musk, adding he personally uses Apple products.

News Now!

But he shrugged off suggestions during the analysts call that followed the release of Tesla’s financial report for the first quarter in which losses grew by 40% even though the electric-vehicle company’s revenue doubled. (more…)