|Day's range||1.6000 - 1.6000|
In a surprise move, electric-car maker Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) cut the prices of some of vehicles by as much as 6% this week. While investors can't know for sure exactly what spurred the decision for the price decrease, it almost certainly reflected an effort to increase demand for its vehicles. Further, it's possible that price cuts also reflected improved manufacturing costs.
As we've seen recently, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) had larger gains than the broader market, but the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) and Nasdaq Composite (NASDAQINDEX: ^IXIC) also managed to pick up ground. Among individual stocks, Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) shares were surprisingly little changed, even after the electric automaker announced a move that made some fear that vehicle demand could be weaker than previously believed. Tesla shares were up a fraction of a percent Wednesday following news overnight that the automaker had chosen to cut prices of some its vehicles.
What happened Shares of Chinese electric-vehicle maker NIO (NYSE: NIO) were trading higher amid a broad-based rally on Wednesday afternoon, after a JPMorgan analyst upgraded the stock ahead of Thursday's earnings report.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Amazon.com Inc.’s interest in acquiring a self-driving car pioneer is the prime example (pun intended) of how expectations for driverless vehicles have been recalibrated.The e-commerce giant is in advanced talks to buy Zoox Inc. for less than the $3.2 billion at which it was valued in 2018, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. Given the California-based startup’s approach to autonomous cars, its fate is particularly instructive.In a very crowded field, Zoox was practically alone in aiming to build a whole new kind of electric-powered vehicle, and to operate the fleet itself. Peers such as Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo, General Motors Co.’s Cruise unit, Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG’s joint venture Argo AI, and Aurora Innovations Inc. have focused solely on developing the self-driving technology that could subsequently be fitted into vehicles.Zoox wanted to be Tesla Inc., Waymo and Uber Technologies Inc. all rolled into one.Back in 2015, that seemed like an attractive proposition. If the triple threat to the automotive industry was autonomous technology, electric drivetrains and ride-hailing, why not embrace all three? After all, there were expectations that by 2020 robotaxis would ferry you around the world’s metropolises. Capital flowed into self-driving car startups, typified by the $1 billion GM spent acquiring Cruise in 2016.Those dreams, needless to say, have failed to materialize. Companies that had aimed to jump straight to the fourth of five levels of autonomy have quietly downshifted. (The first level of self-driving encompasses driver-assistance functions such as cruise control, and the fifth is full automation.) Bloomberg New Energy Finance doesn’t expect vehicles with Level Four automation to start gaining traction until 2034. Even then, they will likely represent just 831,000 of the 95 million-unit global car market that year.What’s more, the expense of developing, building and operating a fleet of self-driving cars would be considerable. Even deep-pocketed Alphabet and GM have sought outside investment for their efforts. Established carmakers are meanwhile focusing their capital on electric cars, a more imminent threat. And owning and operating a fleet is expensive too. Zoox had a tough sell to investors: In 15 years’ time, it might have been an attractive business.Which brings us to Amazon. Even if robotaxis aren’t coming any time soon, there are alternative applications for autonomous technology that fall squarely in the Seattle-based firm’s wheelhouse, namely, logistics. Given Amazon’s shipping costs are set to hit $90 billion a year, tech from Zoox could help save $20 billion in shipping costs, according to Morgan Stanley analysts. Its solutions could be used across warehousing and distribution. Buying Zoox could take Amazon's other moves in this field — an existing investment in Aurora and experiments with self-driving truck specialist Embark and electric vanmaker Rivian — to a whole new level.Amazon has become the fantasy acquirer for any number of companies seeking a soft landing: theater chains, brick-and-mortar retailers, food deliverers, mobile carriers, real estate brokers, dental suppliers, film studios and plenty more besides.Sometimes, just sometimes, those deals make sense. Zoox is one of them.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc.’s talks to buy driverless vehicle startup Zoox Inc. has analysts speculating the deal could save the e-commerce giant tens of billions a year and put auto, parcel and ride-hailing companies on their heels.Shipping costs are one of Amazon’s largest expenses and may reach $90 billion in the coming years, Morgan Stanley’s internet, auto and transport analysts wrote in a report Wednesday. An autonomous offering could save the company more than $20 billion annually, they estimate.“Autonomous technology is a natural extension of Amazon’s efforts to build its own third party logistics network,” Morgan Stanley’s analysts wrote. They see the company being a “clear” competitor to the likes of Tesla Inc. and General Motors Co. and the potential for Amazon to compete in ride-sharing and food delivery. United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp. also “will have to respond to keep up.”Other companies in the automotive and chip industries have also held talks with Zoox about a potential investment, according to people familiar with the matter. At least one other business besides Amazon has offered to buy the company, they added. Zoox is unlikely to sell for less than the more than $1 billion that it has raised, according to the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private negotiations.“Zoox has been receiving interest in a strategic transaction from multiple parties and has been working with Qatalyst Partners to evaluate such interest,” the startup said Tuesday. It declined to comment on Amazon’s interest. A spokeswoman for Amazon declined to comment.Zoox had outsize ambition and financial backing. The startup wanted to build a fully driverless car by this year. However, after a 2018 funding round that valued Zoox at $3.2 billion, the startup’s board voted to oust Chief Executive Officer Tim Kentley-Klay. The executive criticized the move, saying the directors were “optimizing for a little money in hand at the expense of profound progress.”Dow Jones reported that Amazon is in advanced talks to buy Zoox for less than the $3.2 billion valuation from 2018.Amazon is willing to spend heavily to automate its e-commerce business. The online retail giant purchased warehouse robot-maker Kiva Systems Inc. in 2012 for $775 million and now has tens of thousands of robots in warehouses around the world.But paying drivers to deliver packages is still one of the biggest costs in the company’s operation. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos announced plans for drone delivery in 2013, though they have yet to materialize at scale. Last year, Amazon revealed an experimental delivery robot called Scout in the Seattle area that rolls on sidewalks like a shopping cart.Last year, Amazon invested along with Silicon Valley venture firm Sequoia Capital in self-driving startup Aurora Innovation Inc., a startup led by the former heads of Google’s driverless car project and Tesla’s Autopilot team. Amazon also backed Rivian Automotive Inc., the electric pickup and SUV maker. Those bets left Morgan Stanley’s auto analyst questioning earlier this month whether Tesla’s rich valuation is warranted given the competitive threats the company faces.“We often hear from investors that Tesla could potentially be the Amazon of transportation,” Adam Jonas, who rates Tesla the equivalent of a hold, wrote in a May 17 report. “But what if Amazon is the Amazon of transportation?”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- At a factory near Germany’s border with the Czech Republic, Volkswagen AG’s ambitious strategy to become the global leader in electric vehicles is coming up against the reality of manufacturing during a pandemic.The Zwickau assembly lines, which produce the soon-to-be released ID.3 electric hatchback, are the centerpiece of a plan by the world’s biggest automaker to spend 33 billion euros ($36 billion) by 2024 developing and building EVs. At the site, where an East German automaker built the diminutive Trabant during the Cold War, VW eventually wants to churn out as many as 330,000 cars annually. That would make Zwickau one of Europe’s largest electric-car factories—and help the company overtake Tesla Inc. in selling next-generation vehicles.But Covid-19 is putting VW’s and other automakers’ electric ambitions at risk. The economic crisis triggered by the pandemic has pushed the auto industry, among others, to near-collapse, emptying showrooms and shutting factories. As job losses mount, big-ticket purchases are firmly out of reach—in the U.S., where Tesla is cutting prices, more than 36 million people have filed for unemployment since mid-March. Also, the plunge in oil prices is making gasoline-powered vehicles more attractive, and some cash-strapped governments are less able to offer subsidies to promote new technologies.Even before the crisis, automakers had to contend with an extended downturn in China, the world’s biggest auto market, where about half of all passenger EVs are sold. Total auto sales in China declined the past two years amid a slowing economy, escalating trade tensions, and stricter emission regulations. EV sales are forecast to fall to 932,000 this year, down 14% from 2019, according to BloombergNEF. The drop-off is expected to stretch into a third year as China's leaders have abandoned their traditional practice of setting an annual target for economic growth, citing uncertainties. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect just 1.8% GDP growth this year.The global market contraction raises the prospect of casualties. French finance minister Bruno Le Maire has warned that Renault SA, an early adopter of electric cars with models like the Zoe, could “disappear” without state aid. Even Toyota Motor Corp., a hybrid pioneer when it first introduced the Prius hatchback in 1997, is under pressure. The Japanese manufacturer expects profits to tumble to the lowest level in almost a decade.Automakers who for years have invested heavily in a shift to a high-tech future—including autonomous vehicles and other alternative energy-based forms of transportation such as hydrogen—now face a grim test. Do their pre-pandemic plans to build and sell electric cars at a profit have any chance of succeeding in a vastly changed economic climate? Even as Covid-19 has obliterated demand, for the car makers most committed to electric, there’s no turning back.“We all have a historic task to accomplish,” Thomas Ulbrich, who runs Volkswagen’s EV business, said when assembly lines restarted on April 23, “to protect the health of our employees—and at the same time get business back on track responsibly.”Volkswagen Pushes AheadGlobal EV sales will shrink this year, falling 18% to about 1.7 million units, according to BloombergNEF, although they’re likely to return to growth over the next four years, topping 6.9 million by 2024. “The general trend toward electric vehicles is set to continue, but the economic conditions of the next two to three years will be tough,” said Marcus Berret, managing director at consultancy Roland Berger.Volkswagen’s Zwickau facility became the first auto plant in Germany to resume production after a nationwide lockdown started in March. Before restarting, the company crafted a detailed list of about 100 safety measures for employees, requiring them to, among other things, wear masks and protective gear if they can’t adhere to social-distancing rules.The cautious approach has reduced capacity—50 cars per day initially rolled off the Zwickau assembly line, roughly a third of what the plant manufactured before the coronavirus crisis. (VW said Wednesday that daily output had risen to 150 vehicles, with a plan to reach 225 next month.) Persistent software problems also have plagued development of the ID.3, one of 70 new electric models VW group is looking to bring to market in the coming years. Still, Ulbrich and VW CEO Herbert Diess over the past three months have reaffirmed Volkswagen’s commitment to electrification. “My new working week starts together with Thomas Ulbrich at the wheel of a Volkswagen ID.3 - our most important project to meet the European CO2-targets in 2020 and 2021,” Diess wrote in a post on LinkedIn in April. “We are fighting hard to keep our timeline for the launches to come.”Diess has described the ID.3 as “an electric car for the people that will move electric mobility from niche to mainstream.” Pre-Covid, the company had anticipated that 2020 would be the year it would prove its massive investments and years of planning for electric and hybrid models would start to pay off.A more pressing worry that could hamper VW’s ability to scale up production is its existing inventory of unsold vehicles. The cars need to move to make room for new releases, but sales are down as consumers are tightening their spending. One response has been to offer improved financing in Germany, including optional rate protection should buyers lose their jobs. VW also has adopted new sales strategies first used by its Chinese operations, such as delivering disinfected cars to customer homes for test drives, and expanding online commerce.Other German automakers are similarly pushing ahead with EV plans. Daimler AG is sticking to a plan to flank an electric SUV with a battery-powered van and a compact later this year. BMW AG plans to introduce the SUV-size iNEXT in 2021 as well as the i4, a sedan seeking to challenge Tesla’s best-selling Model 3.A potential obstacle for all these companies—apart from still patchy charging infrastructure in many markets—is the availability of batteries. Supply bottlenecks appear inevitable given that the number of electric car projects across the industry outstrip global battery production capacity. And boosting cell manufacturing is a complicated task.China's (Weakened) EV Dominance For VW and others, the first big test of EVs’ appeal in a Covid-19 world will come in China. Diess has referred to China as “the engine of success for Volkswagen AG.” VW group deliveries returned to growth year-on-year last month in China, while all other major markets declined.Not long ago, China appeared to be leading the world toward an electric future. As part of President Xi Jinping’s goal to make the country an industrial superpower by 2025, the government implemented policies that would boost sales of EVs and help domestic automakers become globally competitive, not just in electric passenger cars but buses, too.With the outbreak seemingly under control in much of the country, China is seeing some buyers return to the showrooms, but demand for passenger cars is likely to fall for the third year in a row, putting startups like NIO Inc. at risk and hurting more-established players like Warren Buffett-backed BYD Co., which suffered from a 40% year-on-year vehicle sales decline in the first four months of 2020.The Chinese auto market may shrink as much as 25% this year, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, which before the pandemic had been expecting a 2% decline. EV sales fell by more than one-third in the second half of 2019.NIO, the Shanghai-based startup that raised about $1 billion from a New York Stock Exchange initial public offering in 2018 but lost more than 11 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) last year, was thrown a much-needed lifeline when a group of investors, including a local government in China’s Anhui Province, offered 7 billion yuan last month.Other Chinese manufacturers are counting on support from the government, too, including tax breaks and an extension to 2022 of subsidies, originally scheduled to end this year, to make EVs more affordable.For now, the government will also look to help makers of internal combustion engine vehicles, at least during the worst of the crisis, said Jing Yang, director of corporate research in Shanghai with Fitch Ratings. But, she said, “over the medium-to-long term, the focus will still be on the EV side.”America is Tesla CountryCompanies can’t count on that same level of support from President Donald Trump in the U.S., where consumers who love their SUVs and pickup trucks have largely steered clear of electric vehicles other than Tesla’s.The U.S. lags China and Europe in promoting the production and sale of EVs, and that gap may widen now that Americans can buy gas for less than $2 a gallon.“When you’re digging out of this crisis, you’re not going to try to do that with unprofitable and low-volume products, which are EVs,” said Kevin Tynan, a senior analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence.Weeks after announcing plans to launch EVs for each of its brands, General Motors Co. delayed the unveiling of the Cadillac Lyriq EV originally planned for April. Then on April 29, the company said it would put off the scheduled May introduction of a new Hummer EV. The models are part of CEO Mary Barra’s strategy to spend $20 billion on electrification and autonomous driving by 2025, to try to close the gap with Tesla.In another move aimed at winning over Tesla buyers, Ford Motor Co. unveiled its electric Mustang Mach-E last November at a splashy event ahead of the Los Angeles Auto Show. The highly anticipated model had been scheduled to debut this year. Ford has not officially postponed the release, but the company has said all launches will be delayed by about two months, potentially pushing the Mach-E into 2021.Elon Musk, whose cars dominate the U.S. electric market, cut prices by thousands of dollars overnight. The Model 3 is now $2,000 cheaper, starting at $37,990. The Model S and Model X each dropped $5,000.Musk engaged in a high-profile fight with California officials this month over Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California, which had been closed by shutdown orders Musk slammed as “fascist.” In a May 11 tweet, he said the company was reopening the plant in defiance of county policy. On May 16, Tesla told employees it had received official approval.During most of the shutdown in California, the company managed to keep producing some cars thanks to better relations with local officials regulating its other factory, in Shanghai. That plant closed as the virus spread from Wuhan in late January, but the local government helped it reopen a few weeks later in early February.First Zwickau, Then the WorldThe ID.3’s new electric underpinning, dubbed MEB, is key to VW’s strategy to sell battery-powered cars on a global scale at prices that will be competitive with similar combustion-engine vehicles. Automakers typically rely on such platforms to achieve economies of scale and, ultimately, profits. MEB will be applied to purely electric vehicles across all of the company’s mass-market brands, including Skoda and Seat.VW said it spent $7 billion developing MEB after Ford last year agreed to use the technology for one of its European models. Separately, the group’s Audi and Porsche brands are built on a dedicated EV platform for luxury cars that the company says will be vital in narrowing the gap with Tesla.VW plans to escalate its electric-car push by adding two factories, near Shanghai and Shenzhen, that it says could eventually roll out 600,000 cars annually, more cars than Tesla delivered globally last year.While China is the initial goal, making a dent in Europe and the U.S. is the long-term one. Like China, Europe had been tightening emissions regulations significantly before the pandemic. New rules to reduce fleet emissions will gradually start to take effect this year, effectively forcing most manufacturers to sell plug-in hybrids and purely electric cars to avoid steep fines.Because of the mandates, Europe’s commitment to electrification isn’t going away, said Aakash Arora, a managing director with Boston Consulting Group. “In the long term, we don’t see any relaxation in regulation,” he said.For VW, this crisis wouldn’t be the first time it started a new chapter in difficult times. Diess saw an opportunity coming off the manufacturer’s years-long diesel emissions scandal that cost the company more than $33 billion to win approval for the industry’s most aggressive push into EVs. When VW unveiled the ID.3, officials compared its historic role to the iconic Beetle and the Golf, not knowing that this might hold in unintended ways: The Beetle arose from the ashes of World War II, and the Golf was greeted by the oil-price shock in the 1970s.“We have a clear commitment to become CO2 neutral by 2050,” VW strategy chief Michael Jost said, “and there is no alternative to our electric-car strategy to achieve this.”(Updates with Tesla price cut starting in the third paragraph. An earlier version corrected the spelling of Berret in the ninth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Tesla Inc has cut prices of its electric vehicles by as much as 6% in North America following a decline in auto demand in the region during weeks of lockdown that have now started to ease. Tesla also said its Supercharger quick-charging service will no longer be free to new customers of its Model S sedans and Model X sport utility vehicles (SUVs).
According to a Tuesday filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), SpaceX's latest funding round was a smashing success. Elon Musk, the CEO of carmaker and solar energy provider Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA), founded SpaceX in 2002. In March, SpaceX filings indicated it had raised $221.2 million in funding from 11 investors, in response to a $250 million offering.
What happened Shares of VectoIQ Acquisition (NASDAQ: VTIQ) were up on Tuesday, as the stock continued to gain momentum ahead of an expected merger with electric-semi maker Nikola Motor next month. As of 12:45 p.
When you think "clean energy," you probably picture rows and rows of solar panels, or maybe a wind farm or hydroelectric dam. Enter Clean Energy Fuels (NASDAQ: CLNE), which provides natural- and renewable-gas-based fuels for vehicles. The first thing you may be wondering is why anyone would even be interested in natural gas fuel when there's already plenty of oil-based diesel fuels around, not to mention green "biodiesel" options and zero-emission battery technology.
In the days and weeks after Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed the cybertruck — a post-apocalyptic inspired vehicle made of cold-rolled steel — there was a lot of speculation about whether it would be smaller once it actually made it to market. Production of the Cybertruck is still a long ways off.
Tesla Inc is seeking Chinese government approval to build model 3 vehicles in the country equipped with lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries, a document on the website of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology showed. Reuters exclusively reported in February that Tesla is in advanced talks to use LFP batteries from CATL that contain no cobalt - one of the most expensive metals in electric vehicle (EV) batteries - in cars made at its China plant. Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Nearly a year ago, Todd Howard, the director of Bethesda Games, said that Fallout Shelter would be coming to Tesla displays. It arrived this week via the 2020.20 software update, which was first noted at driver's platform Teslascope. Fallout Shelter is the latest — and one of the more modern games — to join Tesla Arcade, an in-car feature that lets drivers play video games while the vehicle is parked.
After receiving clearance last week to reopen its factory in Fremont, California, Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) will allow workers who have concerns about the coronavirus to take unpaid leave through the end of the month, according to an internal memo initially reported on by Bloomberg News. According to the memo, which came from Tesla's North American HR chief, Valerie Capers Workman, the company's attendance policy will be reinstated at its Fremont factory starting this Friday. Tesla is reportedly allowing such employees to take unpaid leave through May 31 if they submit a signed form documenting their concerns.
In this case, Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) and Uber (NYSE: UBER) might be great stocks if you're looking for a big gain. Over the past four years, Tesla's compounded annual revenue growth rate was 57%. With its industry-leading position, Tesla is poised to capitalize on this expansion.
Tesla pushed local officials to reopen; now a Ford plant restart highlights the struggles manufacturers will have to address as production resumes.
General Motors (GM) aims to roll out the new million-mile EV battery, which is more advanced than its new Ultium battery that was unveiled in March.
(Bloomberg) -- Spotify Technology SA signed a deal with comedian and TV host Joe Rogan, gaining exclusive rights to one of the most popular and influential audio programs in the U.S. and sending its stock up more than 11%.Rogan will make his podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” available on Spotify starting Sept. 1, with the show becoming exclusive to the service later this year, the company said Tuesday. Spotify also gains exclusive rights to videos that Rogan films while taping his podcast.Signing Rogan is a coup for Spotify, which has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in original podcasts over the past few years. A former standup comedian and host of the TV show “Fear Factor,” Rogan has built one of the most loyal followings in all of podcasting over the past decade. His show routinely ranks at or near the top of the charts on Apple Inc., the world’s top podcast supplier.The value of the deal depends on how successful the show is on Spotify, and its impact on the company’s broader podcasting business, a person familiar with the matter said. Rogan stands to make anywhere from tens of millions to more than $100 million, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the terms aren’t public.Shares of Spotify soared as high as $179.69 in New York on the news. The company has sold investors on the idea that podcasts will benefit its business in much the way original TV series have helped Netflix Inc., providing programs that differentiate Spotify from competitors and are financially more lucrative.The agreement was reminiscent of Sirius Satellite Radio stealing Howard Stern from terrestrial radio in 2004. That deal, too, sent Sirius’s shares soaring.Politicians, celebrities and business leaders all appear on Rogan’s sometimes-controversial podcast, eager to win favor with his listeners. Bernie Sanders stopped by the show as part of his presidential campaign, while Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has appeared a of couple times. Spotify isn’t buying Rogan’s company, as it did with Bill Simmons’s The Ringer or Gimlet Media. Instead, it has licensed the rights to his show for an undisclosed sum.Rogan is taking a risk. There’s a chance he will lose the majority of his audience, since Apple accounts for more than 60% of listeners for most podcasts.But Spotify is hoping many of those listeners defect, and can help Rogan expand his audience overseas as well. The company has the most popular podcasting app in many international markets and has established itself as the clear No. 2 in the U.S.PMM, the company that sells ads on Rogan’s podcast, will work with Spotify under the new arrangement. Spotify customers won’t need to pay for a subscription to hear the show. Its podcasts are part of its free service and supported by ads.“It will be the exact same show,” Rogan said in a video. “I’m not going to be an employee of Spotify. We’re going to be working with the same crew, doing the same show. The only difference will be it will now be available on the largest audio platform in the world.”(Updates with value of deal in fourth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Five years ago, for example, Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) set itself the goal of developing an electric car battery that lasts 1 million miles before it needs to be replaced, while General Motors (NYSE: GM) focused on getting its battery cost down below $100 per kilowatt-hour. To date, Tesla has been considered the company most likely to reach both of those goals first. As Reuters reports today, GM Executive Vice President Doug Parks has confirmed that GM is aiming to ratchet up the reliability on its new Ultium large-cell battery, to the point where it can claim 1 million miles in total lifespan, and the company is "almost there" on that goal.
As the electric-car maker's driver-assist software package moves closer to being truly full self-driving, the company is raising its price.