Home » China’s Rising Auto Giant Is Printing Cash And Has Europe And Latin America In Its Crosshairs

China’s Rising Auto Giant Is Printing Cash And Has Europe And Latin America In Its Crosshairs

Byd Seagull Copy
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Officially, BYD stands for “Build Your Dreams,” but at the rate things are going we may want to call it “Bust Your Door” or “Burst Your Dam” instead. (I’m open to suggestions here, by the way.) The rising Chinese auto giant is basically printing cash and has bigger international plans than ever before, and while we aren’t feeling that in the U.S. market yet it’s probably due to be one of the biggest auto industry stories of 2023. I gotta keep an eye on this “Warren Buffett” character, he seems to know a thing or two about where to put his money.

That’s our lead story for the morning roundup as we close out another week in The Autopian’s Blog Mines. Also on tap today: what actually happened with Hyundai’s supplier’s child labor disaster, gas prices may not get too high this summer, and a look at the impact Tesla’s rapid-fire price cuts have had on the rest of the industry.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Happy Friday. Let’s think deeply about cars and then go drive them with great vigor over the weekend!

BYD’s Q1 Was Bananas

Market Performance Pc
Photo: BYD

We’ve been telling you for a while to keep your eyes on the homegrown Chinese auto industry. EV battery tech is advancing rapidly there, lineups are growing like crazy to encompass everything from luxury vehicles to the dirt-cheap, high-range BYD Seagull, Western and other Asian brands are getting pushed out of their most important market, and even major automakers like Honda are wondering “How the hell did this happen and how did we miss it?”

Indeed, the one leading the charge is BYD, which Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway put a big bet on that seems to be paying off nicely. If you need further proof, check out the Q1 reports from BYD, whose net income rose a whopping 411% year-over-year, according to Bloomberg:

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BYD Co. reported another stellar quarter of earnings on the back of booming electric-vehicle sales that has propelled the company past Volkswagen AG to become China’s top-selling car brand.

Net income in the three months through March surged 411% from a year earlier to 4.13 billion yuan ($597 million), the Shenzhen-based automaker said in a statement Thursday. Operating revenue rose 80% to 120.2 billion yuan, while its gross margin was 17.9%, up about 5.5 percentage points.

BYD’s margins should continue to grow this year, helped by its Denza and U8 models, Citigroup Inc. analysts Jeff Chung and Beatrice Lam said, while Morgan Stanley’s Tim Hsiao and Cindy Huang said the results showed resilience amid industry headwinds. The company’s vertically-integrated business model helped shore up profitability, they said.

Sales of BYD’s passenger electric vehicles almost doubled to 550,000 globally in the quarter. While the company has been intensifying its push overseas, prioritizing Europe, Latin America and markets around Asia, about 440,000 of its sales in the period were in China, amounting to roughly 40% of all EV sales in the world’s biggest auto market.

You have to get up pretty early in the morning to take down Volkswagen. Also, GM had a good Q1 too. Its revenue was up 11% year-over-year. You know, just 400% off what BYD did.

That same story says BYD sold 1.86 million EVs in 2022—more than its previous four years of sales combined—and it’s targeting double that with 3.7 million in sales this year.

Now, I should note that BYD’s weird in that it counts plug-in hybrids and gas range-extender vehicles among its “EV” numbers, whereas media outlets in the West tend to draw a harder line between those two things. Either way, Tesla sold 1.31 million EVs last year, for some context. BYD is poised to become a juggernaut this year and it has the revenue to back it up.

There are a ton of reasons BYD will have a hard time breaking into the U.S. market, including the fact that our Inflation Reduction Act is aimed at kneecapping China’s supply chain. But BYD’s already selling cars in many European countries and it’s doing quite well there. including selling more affordable cars; the Europeans, too, are pissed that new cars are getting so expensive and they’re looking for cheaper but still impressive newcomers.

This playbook is a proven one, though. VW, the Japanese and the Koreans all pulled it off. First you enter the market with cheap cars and build a fanbase. Then you build the bigger, better, nicer cars. Then you do a luxury brand with huge margins. Then you get a Formula 1 team or race in Le Mans or something. It’s been done, and if any Chinese automaker can follow some version of this plan first, it’s probably BYD.

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Is Elon Musk Having A Rick Wagoner Moment?

0x0 Cyber Rodeo 01 Elon Musk
Photo credit: Courtesy of Tesla, Inc.

The Tesla price cuts have the auto industry freaked out a little bit. The moves have proven that Tesla, and Tesla alone for now, has the scale to slash EV prices to drive up demand without bankrupting the whole operation. Now, Tesla’s Q1 reported a 24% net income drop thanks to those cuts, which investors didn’t love, but it was hardly some disaster.

Opinions are divided about the effectiveness of this strategy. Few automakers are willing to chase Tesla into some price war. For Tesla, maybe it means scale, or maybe it means being able to push competitors out of business entirely (especially the smaller EV startups that are struggling a bit, like Lucid and Rivian.)

But Bloomberg posits a third situation:

Elon Musk’s bid to dominate global carmaking is taking a new turn, and dividing opinion. Some see him as Henry Ford in the age of the Model T; others, as Steve Jobs ushering in the iPhone era. But what if he’s Rick Wagoner, who steered General Motors Co. into a ditch?

Wagoner! There’s a name I haven’t heard in a minute. The idea here is that Tesla could focus so much on sales numbers and volume that it cuts too far into actual profits; Wagoner did this after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, pushing through zero-percent financing deals to get understandably freaked-out Americans to deal with things by buying Silverados.

This started an incentive war that cut into profit margins and did these automakers no favors when they were strapped for cash during the Great Recession. It lasted after that, too; this incentive-heavy strategy basically trashed Nissan’s brand identity in America, making it more known for the “GET CASH BACK ON A NISSAN ROGUE!!!” commercials during football games than any actual reason to want one of those cars besides scoring a good deal.

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Anyway, back to Tesla. Bloomberg argues that the scale play, coupled with Tesla’s admittedly aging lineup (I’m glad other people are catching onto this now too!) could harm the company long-term. I honestly don’t think people will see Tesla as the next Nissan anytime soon; most people still think of it as this high-tech, cutting-edge product, still the next big thing. But Musk’s biggest risk is pissing off the investors whom he promised world domination:

The markdowns meant that Tesla’s automotive gross margin—already a longstanding focal point for investors—was the figure Wall Street was anticipating when the company reported first-quarter earnings last week. Tesla had advised that the figure would stay above 20% this year.

Instead of being upfront about falling short, Tesla removed any mention of automotive gross margin from its earnings deck, forcing analysts and investors to do the math. At 19%, the margin was the lowest in 11 quarters.

Says a lot, doesn’t it? Again, I am skeptical of this theory, but I do believe Tesla needs to move faster in getting new and refreshed cars out—and no, I don’t mean the Cybertruck.

How The Hyundai Supplier’s Child Labor Disaster Happened

2024 Hyundai Kona Rear

Hyundai had a whole presentation during the New York Auto Show a few weeks back about all the stuff it does to help children who are cancer patients, which it has done since the 1990s. But a few of the more cynical of us speculated that the presentation was timed to draw fire away from the horrific news that its Alabama suppliers had apparently been employing child labor.

Most of these kids were migrants from Latin American countries, and it’s awakened America to the wider problems with child labor (which has a direct relationship with the humanitarian crisis at the border.)

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So how the hell did this happen? Reuters dug into it and the culprit was fake IDs provided by staffing agencies or brokers who specialize in forged documents.

That boom has been driven by adult labor shortages since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and state and federal enforcement agencies say they need more resources to better combat it. The U.S. Department of Labor said in February the number of child labor violations in 2022 had soared by nearly 70% compared with the tally recorded in 2018.

[…] Many of the child laborers found by Reuters worked under fake identities, often provided by staffing agencies or by brokers who specialize in forged documents. The United States has federal laws and systems meant to ensure the eligibility of prospective employees.

But phony credentials are commonly used by undocumented adult immigrants to get around those curbs. And bogus IDs also have enabled third-party labor recruiters to place kids in plants where it is illegal for children to work.

Those recruiters, in turn, can shield large manufacturers, like Hyundai, from the obligation to ensure their workforces comply with labor laws. “Our laws enable the lead corporations to avoid responsibility and use intermediaries to insulate themselves,” said Terri Gerstein, director of the state and local enforcement project at Harvard Law School’s Labor and Worklife Program.

Kudos to Reuters here, seriously. Their investigations have led to kids being rescued from these situations, multiple investigations and companies like Hyundai vowing to change their practices. There’s also an identity theft angle here:

Inspectors approached the boy, named in company paperwork as “Fernando Ramos,” and questioned him about his age and schooling. Answering in Spanish, the boy said he was 18 years old and had attended a Montgomery middle school. But the documents in his personnel file, inspectors determined later, identified “Fernando Ramos” as a 34-year-old man from Tennessee.

[…] Reuters also reached the real Fernando Ramos. He lives in Texas and expressed surprise to learn in a brief exchange, via Facebook, that his identity was being used in auto plants in Alabama. “What the hell,” he messaged.

What the hell, indeed.

Gas Prices May Not Get Too Bad This Summer

A Shell gas station.
Photo credit: “Shell Gas Station” by JeepersMedia is marked with CC BY 2.0.

Somehow, Monday is May 1. I don’t know where this year is going! But that means summer is almost upon us, and that means road trip, vacation and track day season. According to Axios, this year you may not feel as much of a pinch at the pump—barring any disasters.

The big picture: Over the last 10 years, the average date summer gas prices have peaked nationally has been May 2, Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, told Axios.

“While I’m not yet ready to say ‘hey, we’re done with the increases,’ we’re getting close,” De Haan said in an interview last week. “We’re going to peak I believe in the next few weeks and we may not go much higher.”

It’s possible prices could push $3.80 or $3.90 a gallon nationally, De Haan said, and $4 gas could return later this summer if there’s a hurricane or refinery issue.

“We are going to see probably pretty large gas deflation from now through hurricane season,” AAA spokesperson Andrew Gross told Axios of gas prices nationally.

The price for a gallon of regular unleaded was $3.646 on Wednesday, Axios reports. [Editor’s Note: Meanwhile, here in California, I’m getting burned by $5/gallon. Help! -DT]. 

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Do you have any road trips planned for this summer? I hope to do an EV road trip somewhere so gas prices won’t be my problem. Finding working public chargers will instead.

Your Turn

What’s the endgame with Tesla’s price cuts? Does this set the company down the path of destruction, or will Musk be hailed as being crazy like a fox a few years from now when he emerges victorious?

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Seebeexee
Seebeexee
1 year ago

The article title says Europe and Latin America are in the crosshairs, but the picture has the crosshairs clearly over North America. Nice.

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
1 year ago
Reply to  Seebeexee

That’s what you get when you buy your targeting system on Alibaba.

Chris with bad opinions
Chris with bad opinions
1 year ago

Your turn:

Are you asking if Elon has a coherent plan in place? Of course he doesn’t . He never has and sure as shit isn’t going to start now. Everything he does is knee jerk with no real thought behind it. Tesla (probably) won’t fail, but they aren’t going to be dominating the market that much longer.

In terms of road trips we’ll be doing our yearly trip to Chicago over Memorial Day weekend/week. Nothing besides that at this point.

Andy Individual
Andy Individual
1 year ago

[Editor’s Note: Meanwhile, here in California, I’m getting burned by $5/gallon. Help! -DT]. “

Stop complaining, you just got a new battery.

Der Foo
Der Foo
1 year ago

…..I do believe Tesla needs to move faster in getting new and refreshed cars out—and no, I don’t mean the Cybertruck.

If I believe the Cult of Musk, the Cybertruck has been in production for 4 years now. It kinda feels like the truck is already aging and people should be looking for its next gen or at least a mid life refresh. Thus, I don’t think actually building and selling the truck will be seen as a new product release.

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
1 year ago
Reply to  Der Foo

It’s like when the original Saturn finally bowed and everyone went …meh.

Nlpnt
Nlpnt
1 year ago
Reply to  Vetatur Fumare

And it was so completely different from the 1984-5 prototype they could’ve put *that* car into production and sold it as a Chevy for a whole 5-6 year run before the Saturn launch.

MrLM002
MrLM002
1 year ago

Honestly I appreciate y’all digging a little deeper into the Hyundai child labor scandal. I was wondering how the hell young children could get employed at an automotive factory and not one previous article I have read on other sites has mentioned that the kids had fake IDs provided by sketchy hiring agencies or that the kids are migrant kids (who probably are not going to public school).

What’s the thing with the Tesla Price cuts?

I think Tesla is trying to dump existing inventory and find a way to better comply with the IRA before it really goes into effect. On a separate note if I were to buy a Tesla I’d buy one with the LFP battery due to the lack of cobalt in it but due to the IRA may stop getting imported. I normally hate stuff from China but the Tesla LFP batteries are an exception.

James Kohler
James Kohler
1 year ago

I am in line with a lot of other commenters here and don’t have a high opinion of Musk (Especially with what he’s doing to Twitter) But I do think that Tesla may be able to surprise us. We all love to laugh at how dumb looking the Cybertruck is, but many people were also saying Elon was nuts trying to push EVs in the first place. People bought and generally seem to like their Teslas, so maybe folks will get attached to the Cybertruck when it comes out. Weirder shit has happened. I don’t see it, but like I said, maybe we will be surprised. One thing is certain though. This is truck land. They need the Cybertruck out yesterday if they hope to stay competitive here in the states.

On BYD, I like the idea of cheaper cars since we are starved for them, but China is extremely dangerous and we should absolutely be keeping them at arms length. My hope is that if they capture a huge part of the global market, our friendlier companies will move accordingly to compete. We will see.

Citrus
Citrus
1 year ago
Reply to  James Kohler

The Cybertruck is never coming out. It’s unproduceable.

But they seem to be working on a Model 3 update which is what they actually need.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
1 year ago
Reply to  James Kohler

“China is extremely dangerous and we should absolutely be keeping them at arms length.”

You think THEY’RE dangerous? Have you seen what WE’VE been doing out there?

RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
RidesBicyclesButLovesCars
1 year ago

Tesla’s end game?

Musk moves to Mars while his army of Tesla Bots exterminate all human life. I hope their leader is named Bender.

I think the price cuts helped a lot in the short term by stoking demand. They will help for the next 1-2 years by keeping demand high. After that, Tesla will wish they kept margins high. To achieve their goal of 20 million vehicles produced by 2030, they need a lot of money to build more plants. They are banking on FSD being a money maker but I don’t see that happening. A few years from now some smart person may point out that Tesla should have kept the S3XY margins high while focusing on a lower margin Model 2 to be a worldwide volume leader. I don’t expect Tesla to struggle to stay alive as a company, but I see them being capital short in five years.

I am doing my first EV road trip in June! I’m going from northeast Oklahoma to Central Colorado. It should be easy in my Model 3 with how many Superchargers there are. One last note, I wouldn’t have a Model 3 if it wasn’t for the price cuts. I would still be waiting for an ID.4. Apparently the interior color I ordered is a shortage and VW is hesitant to switch to an available color.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
1 year ago

BYD Bretty Young Dhing (like PTY Pretty Young thing but with softer consonants)

I hope they sell their cars over here. Somebody needs to sell cheap new cars here again. A brand new car under 10k, and a brand new 4-seat EV under 20k

LOL Hyundai couldn’t even use a real agency like Randstad. I wonder if a mainstream agency warned Hyundai about this shit, like how Bosch warned VW that their cheat box would be illegal to use in production.

Tesla sucks, and Elon is a POS asshat. For that reason, I really want to see Lucid and Rivian succeed.

GM’s problem was just making shitty cars. GM is famous for giving 90%

Nissan failed because the quality went down, and shitty CVT reliability too.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dogisbadob
Citrus
Citrus
1 year ago

The thing with Henry Ford comparisons is that they’re not actually necessarily good things. Well, we have the segment-redefining automobile, that’s the good thing. But we also have:

-Refusing to redesign that car until it was antiquated and well behind the competition.
-Being best buds with fascists.
-Increasingly erratic behavior that’s pushing away buyers and investors.

If this pattern continues Grimes and one of his kids are going to force him out of the company and replace him with a much younger family member.

Which would probably be the best way for this to end.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
1 year ago
Reply to  Citrus

The company named after the only American mentioned in Mein Kampf *still* struggles to make cars 100 years later!

Will Tesla make a flop car named XAEA12?

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
1 year ago

Ultimately Tesla price cuts will be a mistake. Like GM did with Caddy. They cut prices so much that Caddy lost its luster. Which it has yet to get back decades later.

If the goal is to get more EV’s onto the road, cut away. Something says it’s not that.

Data
Data
1 year ago

It was the Cadillac Cimarron; The Standard of the World, indeed.

Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
1 year ago
Reply to  Data

Too bad they never made a Cimarron wagon 😀

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
1 year ago

“Like GM did with Caddy. They cut prices so much that Caddy lost its luster. Which it has yet to get back decades later.”

No. The problem was abhorrent build quality rather than low prices. If anything prices were too high for what you got.

Jan Schiefer
Jan Schiefer
1 year ago

Tesla is executing the reverse strategy to BYD. They started with high-margin premium products (Roadster, S, X), then move downmarket (3, Y) and focus on making the mass-market vehicles cheaper and cheaper to produce, while still claiming to make “premium” products.

Need some proof? Munro has some tear-down videos showing the evolution of Model Y, and how they are making it simpler and simpler to manufacture. “Minimalist modern” dashboards? Cheap to make. No AirPlay and Android Auto? Cheaper. Lidar? Too expensive. Parking sensors? $$. Quality? Nobody seems to care, so why bother.

This is how they have had such healthy margins, and they are spending some of it to boost sales and squeeze the competition. Nothing wrong with that. This strategy will only carry them so far, but they have a lot of places where they can go. Monetize their charging network, subscription services for customers, sell some of their technology to competitors, contract manufacturing.

This will remain quite interesting to watch!

Bork Bork
Bork Bork
1 year ago
Reply to  Jan Schiefer

BYD is already making premium products (Yangweng) so it’s not really reverse Tesla.

Duke of Kent
Duke of Kent
1 year ago

The Tesla price cuts strike me as the standard move when a new product or new iteration of an existing product is to be released. Drop the price of the current one because demand will be high for the new hotness and low for the old thing. I don’t follow Tesla’s product development at all, so I don’t know what they have in the pipeline, but I wouldn’t be too surprised if they came out with new versions of their reduced-price cars soon.

Bork Bork
Bork Bork
1 year ago
Reply to  Duke of Kent

They cut prices because their production was higher than demand.

V10omous
V10omous
1 year ago

The prevailing opinions of people here really confuse me sometimes.

Chinese automakers (in bed with a murderous and polluting regime bent on eliminating our influence in the world) – Awesome, can’t wait til they start selling their slave labor built wares here!

Hyundai (employs children) – Shrugs, that Ioniq 6 is pretty cool, amirite?

Elon Musk (tweets some insensitive things, allows losers and dorks to pay to boost their loser tweets) – Awful! Unhinged! Worse than Hitler! I’ll never buy a Tesla as long as he’s there! *repeat every day*

Keep some perspective is all I’m saying.

Last edited 1 year ago by V10omous
Dogisbadob
Dogisbadob
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

Chinese cars are already sold over here under expensive premium names like Volvo. If you’re going to buy a Chinese car, at least get the Chinese price!

The Buick Envision costs less to make than a Chevy Spark, which was made in South Korea. The Envision shouldn’t be priced higher than $7000.

The Volvo S90 was made in Sweden but switched to China, and they didn’t lower the price. The S90 shouldn’t cost more than $15k.

So BYD would sell direct and give us the Chinese price without the brand name middleman.

Elon Musk doesn’t treat his employees any better than the Chinese and Hyundai.

Subaru also has similar issues with their Japanese factories and suppliers. Mostly special visas from nearby Asian countries. Their only factory outside Japan is the US facility in Indiana.

And of course, VW has the worst child labor reputation ever. They were caught still gassing people to death 80 years later with the cheat box.

Probably NO car company is an angel to work for. Even if Toyota is the best in that regard, there could still be problems there.

V10omous
V10omous
1 year ago
Reply to  Dogisbadob

I wouldn’t buy a Volvo or an Envision either….

SNL-LOL Jr
SNL-LOL Jr
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

Eh… by that logic we probably shouldn’t buy from companies that participated in Vietnam and Iraq 2.0 either. How many millions died in these dubious ventures?

I’d give Afghanistan a pass for the time being.

V10omous
V10omous
1 year ago
Reply to  SNL-LOL Jr

I mean, you can choose to be as outraged as you want, about as many things as you want.

My point in this exercise is just that the Elon hate around here seems way out of proportion to anything the guy has actually said or done. And since Tesla shows up in the morning news drop seemingly every day, we get to see the same people calling Musk the same names over and over again. We get it.

SNL-LOL Jr
SNL-LOL Jr
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

Don’t get me wrong. I’m 100% onboard with what St. Elon’s doing to Twitter.
That thing can’t die quickly enough.
Giving every idiot a soapbox is a mistake.

Chris with bad opinions
Chris with bad opinions
1 year ago
Reply to  V10omous

I hate Elon as much as the next person with a soul. However, the Hyundai shit is beyond horrific and actually pales in comparison to most of Elon’s antics. Anyone involved in that needs to be fired into the sun tomorrow. Elon just needs to be sent to the Mars to do his thing and leave us alone.

90sBuicksAreUnderrated
90sBuicksAreUnderrated
1 year ago

I completely agree that Tesla’s latest move is a sign of desperation rather than strength. People (as they always do, sigh) are spouting off about how the price cuts are actually a big brain business move by Elon to crush the competition. I don’t see it. This isn’t a novel idea. As the article states, GM mismatched supply to demand by an enormous degree leading up to the Great Recession and slapped cash on the hood to move product. This didn’t destroy Toyota and Honda, who had inventory discipline and competitive product offerings. It simply hurt GM over the long term.

Tesla’s facing the same thing. They have an aging lineup and no plans for new product except for the Cybertruck (lol) and the Model 3 “refresh.” They keep building massive factories with the assumption that demand for their products is infinite. They also seem to think that they can coast on software and interior updates. This just in, no one cares about that except for the diehard fans. Part of the reason that well-heeled buyers purchase new cars is to show off to their friends/family/coworkers that they have a new, shiny, expensive object. The differentiation between the designs of Tesla’s current lineup is negligable, and they still only produce four very dated vehicles. But don’t worry, guys. Any day now, they’ll be able to sell highly profitable FSD on every car they make, and demand for their products will go through the roof because they can double as moneymaking, autonomous robotaxies.

Keep it coming though. I don’t necessarily want to see them go bankrupt (and don’t think they will). But seeing as how Elon’s a shit stain of a human and the company is ridiculously, absurdly overvalued, I’m loving seeing it finally start to reckon with the laws of gravity. There’s no doubt that they’ve innovated in a lot of remarkable ways, but their Silicon Valley hubris also prevents them from learning aspects of the business that “legacy auto” has figured out for decades.

Emil Minty
Emil Minty
1 year ago

Some see him as Henry Ford in the age of the Model T

Yup. I see Musk as being about a month away from tweets about the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Last edited 1 year ago by Emil Minty
Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
1 year ago
Reply to  Emil Minty

He’s probably sad he’ll never get a medal from Hitler, too.

Nlpnt
Nlpnt
1 year ago
Reply to  Emil Minty

When he bought Twitter I started saying he’d reached the “Dearborn Independent” stage of the billionaire descent to insanity.
Sometimes he seems to be speedrunning to the “Kleenex-box slippers” one (if I may get off Henry Ford for a moment with a Howard Hughes reference)

OrigamiSensei
OrigamiSensei
1 year ago

I do indeed have a road trip planned for June. I’ll be flying up to Alaska and driving from there across Canada to Wisconsin with my brother-in-law. Should be epic.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
1 year ago

What’s the endgame with Tesla’s price cuts?”

In the short term, I think their end game is simply to keep their plants at full production… as well as not making it too easy for everyone else in the industry.

In the long run, the game is that having more Teslas out there means more services, support and subscription revenue in the future. And that’s everything from Supercharger network revenue, to maintenance/repair, to in-vehicle network and software services.

They are basically following the Apple Computer model where the hardware is just a vehicle for making services/software/subscription revenue in the future.

 or will Musk be hailed as being crazy like a fox a few years from now when he emerges victorious?”

I’ve determined that Musk is crazy years ago.

Think about it… starting a new BEV car company in the 2000s while gasoline was still cheap… and then during the carapocolypse, decide to build an all new vehicle with their own in-house designed/built platform/chassis? Back then, I clearly remember thinking that plan was crazy and Tesla would go insolvent.

But the Model S came out and it was a hit and brought in the revenue they needed to survive.

And the rest is history.

But I think Musk is crazy mostly in a good way. He’s not perfect and does make mistakes. But he has enough humility to admit his mistakes and change course… which I watched happen at least a few times over the past 15 years.

Iain Delaney
Iain Delaney
1 year ago

Wow. You obviously have not been following what he’s been doing at Twitter. He’s crazy, and not in a good way. Go take a look at TwitterIsGoingGreat.com to see how he’s fouled it up and he continues to do so on a daily basis. He’s not admitting to any mistakes, and keeps doubling down on the multitude he has made.

Chris with bad opinions
Chris with bad opinions
1 year ago
Reply to  Iain Delaney

Manwich loves Elon more than Cookie Monster loves cookies. His devotion is actually very scary.

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
1 year ago

“But he has enough humility to admit his mistakes and change course”

Have we been watching the same show?

Outofstep
Outofstep
1 year ago

Definitely not watching the same show. Because in Manwich’s show Elon Musk created Tesla and didn’t just invest in it later on with his PayPal money and force out the original founders a few years after he invested.

Data
Data
1 year ago

Doubles checks URL, nope I am not reading “The Onion”.

90sBuicksAreUnderrated
90sBuicksAreUnderrated
1 year ago

The guy who baselessly called a diver who rescued children a “pedo” because he was butthurt that his mini-sub was useless and continues to double down on his “FSD robotaxies will be ready THIS year” grift for almost a decade has humility? Excuse me, my sides are splitting.

Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
Paint-Drinking Thundercock Harvey Park
1 year ago

> But I think Musk is crazy mostly in a good way. He’s not perfect and does make mistakes.

That’s like describing Putin as a horse lover who loses his temper occasionally.

66122S
66122S
1 year ago

BYD
Buttery Yams? Delicious!

Drew
Drew
1 year ago

There’s no endgame in mind with Musk. He lives on the hype and the movement, not the goals and plans. He used to say he just wanted to get people into EVs, but he still really just wants everyone to praise him for getting people into Teslas. As other companies start gathering market share, Tesla’s going to have to do something to maintain their position as the big player. They are doing that with price cuts because it’s easier and cheaper to make less money per vehicle than to pay to redesign and update the models. That could end up coming back to bite them or it may pay off. Hard to say, since there are so many devoted fans.

Timohb
Timohb
1 year ago

Shame on Hyundai.

Tristan Hixon
Tristan Hixon
1 year ago
Reply to  Timohb

That depends on if Hyundai as an entity was actually aware that this was happening – they contracted staffing agencies who told them everything was above board, and while there was clearly a failure to deal with the problem at the factory level, what’s not yet clear is if the knowledge of the issue went beyond that.

I’m very anti-capitalist, and all for crucifying companies that pull this shit, but I’m also not going to place blame until it’s known one way or another. Yes, Hyundai is responsible for it, and they must be the ones to make it right – but if it wasn’t intentional or involved turning a blind eye, then I don’t particularly blame them.

Icouldntfindaclevername
Icouldntfindaclevername
1 year ago

I’m not sure Tesla really has a long term plan. It’s a more “seat of your pants” plan. As long as the investors are making money, no one cares. Soon as they stop making investors happy, they’ll either tank, or come up with a new plan.

TheCrank
TheCrank
1 year ago

I suspect there were many Tesla buyers who would have preferred not to do business with Musk, but had few other options at the time. Now that EV offerings are much more varied, people can choose to deal with companies who don’t have an unhinged CEO.

Michael Beranek
Michael Beranek
1 year ago

See what they do? They put little kids in factories and hide behind BS laws to get away with it.
Meanwhile, state houses across the United States are passing legislation that reverses over a century of child labor laws. All in the name of the rich man’s purse.
Can anyone guess what KIND of states are passing such legislation?
Think about the policies and voting record before you cast your vote.

Lew Schiller
Lew Schiller
1 year ago

Is it possible that we could know the actual ages of these “little kids”?
I mean..maybe they are..but that conjures up images of 8 year olds in the cotton mills of 1800’s Britain where in fact they could be 17 year olds just as easily.
Big difference.

Chris with bad opinions
Chris with bad opinions
1 year ago
Reply to  Lew Schiller

This is a really terrible argument.

Bork Bork
Bork Bork
1 year ago
Reply to  Lew Schiller

Fun fact: unlimited hours of farm work is legal for 12 year-olds in the US.

Arch Duke Maxyenko
Arch Duke Maxyenko
1 year ago

The more Elon shows his true identity, the more people will shy away from his BRANDS. This combined with stale products, poor short and long term quality, will have Tesla looking more like Mitsubishi than Nissan in a few years.

Mark Tucker
Mark Tucker
1 year ago

I dunno, with that car in the topshot hovering ominously over the Earth, I have a suspicion that “BYD” stands for “Big Yellow Demolition ship”, and I’m beginning to worry that it’s actually the Vogons behind the whole thing.

Drew
Drew
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark Tucker

“There’s no point in acting surprised about it. All the planning charts and demolition orders have been on display at your local planning department in Alpha Centauri for 50 of your Earth years, so you’ve had plenty of time to lodge any formal complaint and it’s far too late to start making a fuss about it now.”

OverlandingSprinter
OverlandingSprinter
1 year ago
Reply to  Mark Tucker

it’s actually the Vogons behind the whole thing

Hey hey. Let’s not bring race into this. Vogon poetry may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I thing Douglas Adams gave Vogons a bad rap.

Data
Data
1 year ago

I have my towel, so I’m good.

Vetatur Fumare
Vetatur Fumare
1 year ago

Vogons appear to have taken over several automobile design departments recently (BMW, Toyota)

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