Despite Q2 Loss, Tesla Forecast Optimistic
By Huw Evans
On Wednesday Tesla Motors Announced that it had recorded a loss for the second quarter this year. Nevertheless, the $93 million GAAP deficit, at $0.89 per share is still better than Wall Street Analysts predicted; Thomson Reuters initially predicting a loss of $0.93 per share.
Following announcement of the figures, Tesla stock jumped in value by 3.7 percent in external trading; company investors such as Jeffries Group, Maxim Group and Needham & Company reaffirming their recommendations in the company. Barclays Capital also re-confirmed its overweight rating of Tesla stock.
Yet despite the better than expected performance and Tesla stating that it is still on track to produce 5,000 Model S orders by the end of the year, with 1,000 cars expected to be delivered during the third quarter; some analysts are concerned actual output will fall short. Theodore O’Neil at Wunderlich Securities even went officially on record, saying that he expects Tesla to deliver only around 500 Model S sedans for Q3.
Nonetheless, Tesla’s flamboyant CEO, Elon Musk is doing his best to deliver a positive message following the earnings announcement.
“We are thrilled that our customers, investors and the media have now had a chance to see for themselves just how compelling Model S is,” he said. “We are also excited to have delivered the first group of Model S cars. We continue to focus on our long term goals of increasing quality production of the Model S so that we can achieve all of our goals to deliver on our volume, cash flow and profitability commitments.”
Tesla also reiterated plans on Wednesday to begin repaying its $465 million in federal loans – of which just $33 million are left, and Tesla said it will draw these funds down in the next few months.
It also reportedly said that in response to a 10-plus month long Model S waiting list, it will consider increasing 2013 production from a projected 20,000 units to as many as 30,000.
In all, news reports with commentary on Tesla’s prospects have been mixed between optimistic and pessimistic.
That this company’s success would be a boon to the entire electric vehicle industry is without question, as it threatens to remain a prod to large automakers showing what a small determined start up can do.
Fisker Steps On The Business Development Accelerator
By Philippe Crowe
Fisker is stepping up its efforts and is now clearly in business growth mode.
First, Fisker announced Wednesday the appointment of Barny Koehler to the newly created role of Chief Business Development Officer, reporting to Tom LaSorda, CEO.
In his new position as Chief Business Development Officer and Co-Founder, Barny Koehler will move from his operational role of bringing the Karma to market to focusing specifically on strategic initiatives and new business opportunities. Key activities will include pursuing strategic alliances and partnerships, sharing advanced technology and intellectual property, and exploring manufacturing synergies with other global partners.
This announcement follows the recent selection of Jim Yost as Chief Financial Officer.
In the meantime, Fisker Automotive continues its expansion into new markets around the world. The Karma sedan, Fisker’s flagship model, is now fully certified for safety and emissions in the fast-growing automotive markets of the Middle East and China.
Fisker’s exclusive agreement with the Al-Futtaim Group, one of the Middle East’s most experienced automotive distributors, will leverage the group’s network of experienced retailers to establish Fisker’s sales presence in the region. Now that certification is complete, the path is clear to bring the Karma to customers in the U.A.E., Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, and Egypt. Furthermore, certification of the Karma in China opens up the single largest automotive market in the world to Fisker Automotive.
Finally, Fisker Automotive is also launching a new corporate site: http://fiskerglobal.com. The corporate site will be the new portal for all business updates and corporate developments.
Ford Prices C-MAX Energi At $33,745
By Huw Evans
On Tuesday, Ford Motor Company announced official pricing for its upcoming C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid Multi-Purpose Vehicle. When it goes on sale this fall it will have a MSRP of $33,745 before subsidies.
The car is eligible for a $3,750 federal tax credit, which would bring the net price down to $29,995, and Michael O’Brien, electric vehicle marketing manager at Ford, offered his thoughts on the value proposition.
“The C-MAX Energi is within financial reach for those who want a hybrid, but is also something customers will want to reach for because of its unique look and amazing value,” he said. “It offers exceptional fuel economy, better features and a better price tag than a Prius plug-in hybrid, which we think will help make C-MAX Energi one of our most attractive vehicles for import customers.”
Ford says that cost savings on its current hybrid system are around 30 percent greater than the previous generation gas/electric powertrain; as a result, the company says it is passing those savings onto consumers. Greater commonality of components with other models also contributes to lower development and manufacturing costs for the C-Max.
The C-Max Energi employs a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle engine and a battery driven electric motor that collectively, generate 188 horsepower (195 hp with a full battery charge). With this setup, it is expected to be able to cover distances of more than 20 miles on pure electric power, with a total range of 550 miles on a full tank of fuel and a full battery charged.
The basic C-MAX, from which it’s derived, has sold more than 144,000 copies in Europe since the MPV’s debut there in 2010. And with conventional gas, hybrid and Energi models, Ford is betting that its C-segment MPV will attract a similar following here.
In California, the C-MAX Energi is expected to qualify for ZT-PZEV status, meaning that not only will it be eligible for solo motoring in carpool lanes; it will also qualify for an additional $1,500 state rebate. This; along with the high profile rep currently being enjoyed by hybrids and plug-in vehicles, will likely serve as a good promotional tool for helping generate interest and potential sales.
Volt Rated Most-Loved Compact Car
By Huw Evans
According to J.D. Power and Associates’ latest U.S. APEAL (Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout) study, the Chevrolet Volt was named the most-loved compact car, ahead of the Volkswagen Golf and Honda CR-Z Hybrid. In fact among the awards for each class of vehicle, Chevrolet received the most accolades of any one brand, with the Avalanche and Sonic also garnering most-loved status in the large pickup and subcompact car categories.
The APEAL study is designed to examine how gratifying a new car or truck is to own and drive, using owner evaluations of more than 80 different vehicle attributes. For the 2012 study, data was gathered from over 74,000 different vehicle purchases and lessees between February and May this year. These motorists were survey after owning their vehicles for approximately 90 days.
The APEAL study, which is designed to supplement J.D. Power’s well-known Initial Quality Study, highlighted some fairly industry trends for 2012; notably that 27 percent of new vehicle buyers downsized when trading in.
According to David Sargent, J.D. Power and Associates’ vice-president of global automotive, a significant factor for this is due to the fact that “new-vehicle buyers who downsize aren’t making the sacrifice they once were. Automakers are heavily focused on providing [the U.S. market] with smaller models and buyers may be surprised at just how good they are.”
Interestingly, the Volt was the only EV to make the 2012 list, the only other significant “green” vehicles being the CR-Z and Toyota Prius v, both of which ranked third in their respective categories.
Volts Racking up the Miles
On July 17 the monitored Volt fleet crossed 100 million cumulative miles, and now 10 days later it is in the vicinity of 116 million.
We’ll have July sales figures for you ASAP, but suffice to say things appear to be accelerating.
Yesterday’s screen shot of the Volt’s Web page was taken at 9:35 p.m. Eastern time and it’s a sizable jump forward from the 98,970,879 miles reported 10 days prior on July 16.
On the 16th also, the ticker showed 62,417,876 EV miles compared to 72,731,682 on the 26th, and 3,296,446 gallons of fuel saved compared to 3,821,124 gallons shown on the 26th.
According to this data collection, the growing Volt fleet over the past 10 days covered somewhere around 1.6 million total miles per day on average, and of these around 1 million per day were EV miles, and roughly around 53,000 gallons of gas were saved daily.
At this rate, how long do you think it will be before they just change the sign to “billions and billions served?”
This entry was posted on Friday, July 27th, 2012 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.