Two stories today demonstrate the uncertain nature of our industry. In particular the changing fortune of what are massive investments in this industry of ours. First of all the announcement that Elon Musk is to be sued by the SEC in the US for alleged securities fraud. This relates to his announcement that he was taking Tesla Private a few weeks ago which took everyone, including the New York Stock Exchange by surprise. On the back of it Tesla shares have taken quite a substantial hit yesterday and today.
It is difficult to know how this one will play out, because the company’s future looks uncertain at best with their acknowledged difficulties in hitting ambitious production targets with the new products. It is fascinating to watch this from the outside, because for so many years, with initiatives in green fuels, in electric cars, in space exploration and in the Hyper Loop technology (you remember the train that can travel at ridiculous speeds) he has been the darling of the press and of technology commentators everywhere.
While that is a story that everyone is sure to have seen this week, a very different one comes in the form of a report in the FT. It is relates to industries that Argentina leads the world in. One is in retreat and one very much in the ascendancy. 10 years ago Argentina invested in what was the technology of the future, bio diesel. A decade later it is a technology that is either ignored or discredited, but certainly one that has created an awful lot of disruption and missed investment opportunities.
But Argentina is also a leading supplier of lithium. It does not take a genius to understand that whatever the country is losing in terms of biofuels, it is gaining in terms of lithium production. And I bet we all wish we had shares in it now.
As the last day of September approaches I do not think there are many dealers holding their breath on the outcome of the month. Plenty I have spoken to think they will come up well short, but miraculously many cars will be registered on the last day of the month. So it looks like there will be plenty of supply of demonstrators for the rest of the year. For those brands that have sorted out cars that comply with the new regulations, that is. It really isn’t a good time for the UK car industry, with production levels falling and Jaguar going on to a three-day week. Until we sort this Brexit mess out one way or another it is difficult to see how much optimism will return.
Have a great weekend, may your September prove to be a rewarding one.
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Everyone’s a hero in their own way, in their own not that heroic way.
Joss Whedon, Zack Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen, and Jed Whedon, Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog, 2008
When a thing is funny, search it carefully for a hidden truth.
George Bernard Shaw (1856 – 1950)
Hell, there are no rules here– we’re trying to accomplish something.
Thomas A. Edison (1847 – 1931)
One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.
Marie Curie (1867 – 1934), Letter to her brother, 1894
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