Unusually today, The Times is carrying a number of motoring headlines. And interesting reading they make too.
It is not a good time for Nissan, and the revelation today that Carlos Ghosn’s successor as Chief Executive has had to repay nearly £400,000 does not make good reading. You will recall that Mr Ghosn was charged with numerous financial crimes. Having his successor admit that he has overpaid himself looks careless at best.
As we speed, or rather limp, into the September car market, it seems scarcely credible that Tesla should have been number three in car sales last month. Or rather its Model 3 was appropriately the third bestselling model in the UK market in August. It beat the Ford Focus, the Mercedes A-class and the Vauxhall Corsa, only being outsold by the Fiesta and Golf. There may be some structural reasons for this, not least the withdrawal of the £2500 subsidy for plug-in hybrids, but nevertheless it is a staggering achievement. Especially when you compare it to diesel sales which are now making up only 27% of registrations – still, at least some of them are being sold.
Tesla also announced this week that it was moving into the insurance business. Elon Musk has complained for some time that premiums on Tesla’s are too high, and they reckon they can undercut the market by 20 to 30%. This is partly because of the way the car operates, providing enormous amounts of data back to the manufacturer on every single one of its drivers. If you can accurately assess the way an owner drives, you can accurately assess their risk on the road.
Interestingly, Warren Buffett commented on the move, as he owns one of the largest car insurers around, saying that “the chances of an automaker becoming a successful insurer are about as good as a car insurer becoming a successful automaker”. Interesting quote, but I would say that running an insurance company with pretty perfect data is a lot less complicated than making a successful car in today’s environment. Mr Musk has surprised us before, is he about to do so again?
Have a great weekend – time to snuggle down, light a fire and watch some cricket perhaps?
Ability will never catch up with the demand for it.
Malcolm Forbes (1919 – 1990)
Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else.
Judy Garland (1922 – 1969), to her daughter, Liza Minelli
Make a decision, even if it’s wrong.
Love doesn’t sit there like a stone, it has to be made, like bread: remade all the time, made new.
Og Mandino (1923 – 1996)