Let me pick up on a few stories from last week. I know Tesla had a bad week last week, while this week it is had to go cap in hand to investors to raise a further sizeable chunk of capital. In fact the Wall Street Journal this afternoon reports that it could be seeking as much as $2.7 billion to fund the next round of its expansion. Much of which would not be necessary had it already been expanding at the rate it had predicted it would be.
Ford started off last week pretty positively, but finished with a headline that said it was being investigated with regards to an emissions problem. In fact this was as a result of a self appointed probe into its testing methods. It was responding to concerns from some employees about the methods it used. If proven, however, it could prove very costly both in fines and penalties, and in damages paid to customers if it has misrepresented its fuel economy and emissions figures. The emissions scandal is the “gift that just keeps giving” to automotive journalists.
Finally, we talked about Renault and Daimler acknowledging a major down turn in automotive. Volkswagen’s results this week have further reflected that. Not only have they been hit by diesel sales and indeed further probes into their own diesel emission problems, but slowing growth in China has severely hit turnover. Nevertheless, though results were bad they were not quite as bad as analysts had expected and shares rose as a result.
There was some pretty ominous news on UK production figures this week. With sales continuing to slide in March, car production correspondingly fell 14%. If that was not bad enough, Land Rover announced that it would be producing its revived Defender model not in the UK, but in Slovakia. A decision that the company claims is unrelated to Brexit, it nevertheless does not fill you with confidence about the future of manufacturing in this country. Hopefully the news can only get better from now on.
Have a great weekend and enjoy the Bank Holiday.
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Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890 – 1969)
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Joseph Addison (1672 – 1719), ‘The Spectator’
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Happiness depends upon ourselves.
Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC)
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