In my most recent post at Bloomberg View, I draw a connection between Michigan’s new law blocking Tesla’s direct-sales model and the interests of the automakers based there. General Motors has taken the lead among Michigan’s automakers in opposing Tesla’s state-by-state battle for direct sales, publicly pushing Governors to protect the franchise system in Ohio and now in Michigan. In both cases, GM positioned itself as defender of “an even playing field” in the car business rather than arguing against direct sales or defending the franchise model. As I point out in the column, this is nothing short of absurd: GM’s extraordinary bailout make it the auto industry’s least-qualified advocate for fair play. But it’s also strangely telling: GM may not want Tesla to sell directly to consumers in states where it has a franchise dealer network, but it is hardly settled on the issue of direct sales themselves.
The Tesla stock has been – until September – a Wall Street darling, never mind that S&P had taken a decidedly contrarian view by slapping Tesla’s debt with a junk rating. When S&P did that, the rating agency figured “that the company is less likely to successfully adapt to competitive and technological displacement risks over the medium to long term.”
Translation: Should EVs ever become the huge business Tesla stockholders hope it will be one day, it will take established carmakers all but five minutes to put upstart Tesla in its place, and out of business. The jury is still out on the huge business, but established automakers are already working on the putting out of business part. [Continue Reading]
Yesterday’s news that Daimler sold its 4 percent stake in Tesla weighed on the already beaten down stock of the electric carmaker. Daimler on the other hand is all smiles, having turned a $50 million initial investment into a cash flow of $780 million – not counting what it had received after selling a 40 percent chunk of its initial holdings to the Dubai government in 2009. Wall Street sources surmise that the sell was not a strategic decision, but the result of hedging. With the Tesla stock having retreated some 50 points from its September peak, options may have been exercised. According to a Daimler statement, the Stuttgart carmaker hasn’t simply cashed-in on its shares, but rather “has terminated the share-price hedge it initiated in 2013 and has sold its stake in Tesla of approximately 4%.”
Daimler isn’t the only high-profile investor that has lightened-up on TSLA stock.
- GERMANY: Daimler restructures Tesla cooperation – Just-auto: Daimler said it had reorganised its cooperation with Tesla Motors by terminating the share-price hedge it initiated in 2013 and selling its Tesla stake of about 4% without affecting the cooperation between the two on automotive projects.
- Has the Hyundai Sonata lost its mojo after redesign? – Automotive News: The revamped Sonata sedan was supposed to help Hyundai Motor Co. reverse sluggish sales, but the car described by some critics as a bland substitute for its popular predecessor is off to a slow start in the key U.S. market.
- JAPAN: Mitsubishi revises fiscal H1 forecasts – Just-auto: Mitsubishi Motors Corporation (MMC) has revised its consolidated forecasts for the first half of fiscal 2014 (to 30 September, 2014) from the previous forecasts announced on 24 April, 2014.
- List of 7.8 million vehicles involved in the Takata airbag recalls – Automotive News: Owners of the following vehicles are being urged to act immediately on recalls involving potentially defective airbags made by Takata, according to a corrected list distributed late Tuesday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
- Toyota executive backs Takata’s handling of airbag crisis – Automotive News: A top Toyota executive offered support for how airbag maker Takata is handling a safety crisis affecting millions of vehicles, days after expanding its own recalls for the second time in four months.
Takata stock, amid growing airbag recall, takes record 23% plunge - Automotive News: Takata plunged by a record in Tokyo trading after Toyota advised U.S. owners of its cars to seat passengers in the back amid reports of metal shrapnel being … [Continue reading]
UK: JLR eyes US southern states 'transplant' - paper - Just-auto: Tata Motors' Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) reportedly is talking to local governments in several southern states about setting up a factory in the US which would be a first for a British … [Continue reading]
End of last week, Ebola and ISIS played second fiddle (for a few seconds, at least) to the shocking news that Volkswagen has dethroned GM as the world’s second largest automaker. Trouble is, there was no dethroning. Volkswagen has been in the number … [Continue reading]
US: Honda eyes air bag in 2013 parking lot death - Just-auto: Honda is trying to establish if a man who crashed his Acura sedan in a California parking lot in 2013 died due to a faulty air bag. SWEDEN: Extra Volvo shift already … [Continue reading]