Tesla falls off a Chinese cliff

Source: the CPCA; China Custom, JL Warren Capital LLC

EV-happy China is Tesla’s 2nd largest market, but we soon might have to put that in the past tense. Both exports to and sales in China of Tesla cars have fallen off a cliff in the final quarter of last year, says a report of a prominent Manhattan equity research company.

Tesla exports to and registrations in China have more than halved in the final quarter of 2018,  says a report Junheng Li just sent to her paying customers. Ms. Li is Chief Analyst at JL Warren Capital, a China-focused research house.  Last October, registrations of Tesla cars in China were down a whopping 86% to only 211 units for all of China, recovering later in the quarter to -48% in December. Exports of Tesla cars to China were down accordingly. At the same time Tesla chose to draw down its previously considerable inventory in the Middle Kingdom. [Continue Reading]

Deep dive into the wayward Autopilot type approval

There are recent reports that Tesla’s “Autopilot” isn’t type-approved in Europe, and therefore absent in the first batch fresh off the boat in Belgium. In the EU and in many countries throughout the world, a valid type-approval is essential for the legal operation of a vehicle. The reports of Tesla’s AWOL Autopilot not only caused an uproar on Twitter. The allegedly absent approval also is the source of intensive puzzlement in the auto industry, for one simple reason: There is no EU type approval (yet) covering self-driving technology.

For this article, I could simply draw on my long and occasionally painful experience with the subject matter. It could be outdated, especially when it comes to a both fluid and impenetrable set of EU rules. I therefore called upon a number of homologation experts in the EU, and elsewhere. Not wanting to discuss another OEM, the sources have quested anonymity, and it has been granted.

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