Archive for the ‘Executives’ Category

Tesla Investors Fret as Automaker Prepares to Release Q1 Earnings

Expected poor sales with no turnaround in sight causing worry.

by on Apr.23, 2019

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is bracing for tough first quarter results. Investors aren't optimistic.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has already signaled that first quarter earnings weren’t going to look good. Just how bad they might be is the big question that has investors and analysts alike in a frenzy.

The automaker won’t report earnings until after the final bell on Wall Street on Wednesday, but based on the poor Q1 sales numbers it revealed a few weeks back, the general consensus isn’t very positive. Analysts polled by FactSet are forecasting a consensus adjusted loss of $0.99 a share.

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On the side, that’s significantly better than the $3.35 a share Tesla lost during the first quarter of 2018. But that was during a period Musk described as “production hell,” when the automaker was struggling to fix issues at both its Reno Gigafactory battery plant and its Fremont, California, assembly line. With those problems largely resolved, Tesla managed to pull a profit for the final half of 2018. (more…)

Former Nissan Chief Ghosn Smacked With New Charge in Japan

New allegations likely mean extended detention term.

by on Apr.22, 2019

Former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn has been hit with a new charge by Japanese prosecutors.

On the day jailed former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn’s was supposed to be released, Japanese prosecutors brought a new charge against him virtually assuring he would remain in custody for the near future.

The authorities added a fourth charge after finding out that payments made to Nissan by a supplier were allegedly redirected to Ghosn for his “personal enrichment.” Ghosn was already released once on $9 million bail last month. Whether or not he will be released on bail again is up in the air.

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“Such misconduct is completely unacceptable, and Nissan is requesting appropriately strict penalties,” the automaker said in a statement. Ghosn faces three other charges, including allegedly understating his income and allegedly transferring personal investment losses to Nissan. (more…)

Tesla CEO Musk Set to Announce “Full Self-Driving” Vehicle Today

But what that means remains unclear.

by on Apr.22, 2019

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company will have a fully autonomous vehicle on the road by the end of the year.

Today could prove to be a transformative day for Tesla and the auto industry at large, at least if Elon Musk delivers the “full self-driving” vehicle that the battery-carmaker’s CEO Elon Musk has promised to unveil.

Tesla has long been a proponent of autonomous driving, its Autopilot allowing limited hands-free operation on well-marked, limited-access roadways. Although the automaker has so far been faint with hard details, it has dropped plenty of hints that the updated Autopilot system could operate without direct driver involvement in most, if not all situations.

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If that proves to be the case, observers suggested, it could put Tesla in the forefront of an extremely competitive field, leapfrogging key players like Google spinoff Waymo and General Motors. But considering the problems the original Autopilot system has had, there remain plenty of skeptics. (more…)

Subaru NYIAS Display Shows Commitment to National Parks

Automaker donated $2.1 million to parks in 2018.

by on Apr.22, 2019

Subaru is the National Park Foundation's largest corporate partner and its NYIAS display reflects that commitment.

Subaru of America Inc. has become the National Park Foundation’s single largest corporate partner.

“Through our partnership with the National Park Foundation, we have provided nearly $20 million in support since 2013, funding programs and projects in more than 100 national parks that help protect these treasured places and increase public awareness and engagement across the National Park System,” said Thomas J. Doll, CEO and president, Subaru of America Inc.

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The automaker donated $2.1 million in 2018 through its Share the Love buying program where it donated $250 from the sale of every vehicle to the foundation. Through the 11 years of program it has raised $145.7 million. (more…)

Big Three Group Supports Trump Report on USMCA Benefits

Support comes despite conflicting study from IMF.

by on Apr.19, 2019

A new report from the U.S. Trade Representative says the new USMCA will bring substantial benefits; however, an IMF study suggests otherwise.

Detroit’s automakers are rushing to defend a report from the Trump administration that touts the benefits of the new North American Free Trade Agreement.

The Trump administration report, produced by the United States Trade Representative (USTR), was released Thursday in advance of less than an underwhelming independent government estimate of the economic impact of proposed U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement, or USMCA.

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Trump has portrayed the new agreement he negotiated as a replacement for NAFTA as likely to lead to a rush of new investment and jobs in the U.S. and an end to the outsourcing he and others have blamed for a hollowing out of American manufacturing. (more…)

Weakening Sales Worry Automakers Gathered for NY Auto Show

Industry execs fear a Trump “grenade," but automakers are creating some of their own problems.

by on Apr.19, 2019

Toyota's U.S. sales chief Bob Carter expressed concern about the potential impact of actions by the Trump administration could have on sales this year.

U.S. auto sales suffered a severe chill over the winter. Demand was widely expected to slip slightly after posting an unexpected increase in 2019, but the market has been surprisingly weak and many of the industry officials gathered for this week’s media preview at the New York International Auto Show fear the situation could get worse.

In particular, there was a clear sense of concern that President Donald Trump could be “pulling the pin out of the grenade,” as Bob Carter, head of U.S. sales for Toyota put it, escalating the various trade wars to the point that it could send American car sales into a tailspin.

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The harsh weather that swept through much of the country in January and February clearly took some of the blame for the way demand tumbled during the first quarter. But even a climactic reprieve in March did little to improve the situation, and sales for the first three months of the year were off by 4%. Only four brands finished the quarter in the black – and even then, only on the retail side. (more…)

Hyundai Venue Completes Korean Carmaker’s SUV Roll-Out

Targeting buyers who’d love to get out of a used car.

by on Apr.18, 2019

Hyundai keeps growing its sport-utility offerings. The new Venue, its smallest SUV, made its debut at the NYIAS.

Hyundai was one of the few automakers to use the Great Recession to its advantage, actually picking up sales and market share while the rest of the U.S. auto industry plunged to levels unseen in decades. Ironically, the Korean carmaker took an unexpected tumble as the rest of the market turned around, unprepared to adapt to the sudden shift from sedans and coupes to SUVs and CUVs.

Hyundai isn’t about to let that happen again, the automaker using this year’s New York International Auto Show to roll out the seventh, and newest, member of its rapidly expanding utility vehicle line-up, the 2020 Hyundai Venue. In sharp contrast to the recently added Palisade, its biggest and most lavish CUV, the subcompact Venue targets a mostly younger buyer on a tight budget.

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“About one-third of (used car) buyers started out looking for a new vehicle but couldn’t afford it,” said Brian Smith, Hyundai Motor America’s chief operating officer, during the Venue’s NYIAS debut. “That’s a perfect opportunity for a vehicle like this.” (more…)

VW’s New Concept Could be a U.S. Reality — But Not a Truck

SMV Concept shown at Auto Shanghai hits China in two years.

by on Apr.18, 2019

Klaus Bischoff, VW design chief, shows off the SMV Concept at Auto Shanghai. It comes to China in two years.

Though much of the news surrounding Volkswagen and new products in the U.S. focuses on the possibility of a pickup, a new concept shown thousands of miles away at Auto Shanghai may reveal what’s coming next instead: a large SUV.

VW showed off the SMV Concept, which it plans to build and sell in China within the next two years. It appears to be larger than the Atlas, which VW sells in China under the moniker Teramont. However, the SMV is based on the same flexible MQB modular architecture used by Atlas.

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The automaker didn’t release any specifics about the concept. However, aside from the MQB architecture it shares with the Atlas, it will also share the Atlas powertrain. In China, it comes with a 2.0-liter TSI engine or a more powerful 2.5-liter VR6 putting out 295 horsepower and 368 pound-feet of torque. (more…)

Hyundai Names Former Nissan Exec José Muñoz its New COO

The 53-year-old exec was forced out in wake of Nissan’s Ghosn scandal.

by on Apr.18, 2019

José Muñoz, Nissan's former chief performance officer, is joining Hyundai and will oversee U.S. operations as part of his duties.

José Muñoz, the widely admired Nissan chief performance officer forced out in the wake of the scandal surrounding former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn, is moving to South Korea, where he will become the global chief operating officer at Hyundai Motor Co.

The 52-year-old Muñoz was considered a rising Nissan star and a potential successor to Ghosn but tendered his resignation in January, sources told TheDetroitBureau.com, in protest over the Japanese automaker’s handling of the Ghosn investigation. The 65-year-old Ghosn remains in a Japanese detention center accused of a variety of financial crimes, though skeptics contend he has become the victim in a power struggle between Nissan and its French alliance partner Renault.

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In his new post, Muñoz also will serve as president and chief executive officer of Hyundai Motor North America and Hyundai Motor America. (more…)

California Start-Up Plans to Launch $149,000 Chinese-Made EV Sports Car

Qiantu K50 will be modified for American market.

by on Apr.18, 2019

The Qiantu K50 will be produced in China, but sold in the U.S. through Mullen at a cost of $149K.

A California start-up wants to sell a Chinese-made battery-electric sports cars to American drivers, the Qiantu K50 by Mullen scheduled to make its debut in the U.S. market sometime in 2020.

With its classic, supercar silhouette, the K50 is expected to join an array of electric vehicles destined for U.S. shores that will either be produced in China or come from American factories operated by Chinese companies, such as Karma and Byton.

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The new sports car, perhaps more importantly, will be part of a wave of new entries likely to reshape the perception of electric vehicles, from slow and stodgy to sleek, fast and fun-to-drive. (more…)