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  • The War Sprint Can't Afford [View article]
    Author wrote: "The financials don't suggest Sprint is ready for competing on price."

    S may not be ready, but Softbank is. S would have been foolish to enter this plan (or even buy out CLWR) without the new parent, but now it has access to Softbank's coffers.

    Mr. Son is usually in for the long haul - this is not a sprint, but a marathon for him (sorry for the pun).

    With Alibaba going public, Softbank has additional billions in new capital or at least collateral to invest in portfolio companies like S.
    Aug 18 08:30 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Tesla An Energy Company? [View article]
    garn wrote: "Tesla having no knowledge of how to build batteries."

    Then tell me why Tesla needs Panasonic (and even Panasonic's money) to build their factory?

    If batteries are so central to an EV (also cost-wise on the BOM) then why isn't Tesla building it alone and requiring a foreign company to manufacture the cells for them?

    PS: Re Superchargers. You are right about flattening the energy curve because some utilities charge more based on the peak use. But you are wrong about solar panels, there are basically no chargers out there with solar canopies...that was the original TSLA plan that was abandoned in the buildout (like the announced swap stations back in 2013). There aren't canopies on international stations either. To me the reason is simple: Cost savings.

    PS: A Dutch EV charging company called FastNed is installing solar panels on their stations. I doubt the business model will work (have a look at the charging prices) given the high costs per stations and the slow uptake in EVs:
    Aug 18 08:17 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Tesla An Energy Company? [View article]
    SolarCity is basically a bank/leasing company with an installation and service arm in the field. That bank has assumptions on energy prices 20-30 years out and I doubt most retail investors truly understand their business model - nor do homeowners, as buying a solar system is cheaper in most cases (especially because solar and stationary battery prices keep falling).

    In about two years they will start making their own panels since they bought Silevo back in June 2014 (and I doubt they will ever achieve cost-parity with the big Chinese panel makers who now also claim 20% efficiency rates).
    Aug 18 08:14 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Tesla Is Poised To Leave Its Competition In The Dust [View article]
    "I don't need sales projections to dispute your claim that Tesla is done expanding geographically."

    I wrote that there are no big car markets left (where they could sell a meaningful number of S and X cars with an ASP around $100k - some emerging markets have high import taxes on top of that, so the price might be even higher, for example look at TSLA pricing in China).

    Since TSLA sells direct, they need some volume to enter a new market and set up charging and service stations.

    TSLA could start sales in Trinidad or Burundi tomorrow, but I doubt sales would be great or contribute to the bottom line.
    Aug 18 09:45 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla's China Dreams May Be In Trouble [View article]
    "Which child do I have to leave home if I buy an i8?"

    Households who can afford an i8 usually have 2-3 cars, for example an SUV, an everyday car for commutes and the i8 or another luxury car for fun/weekends.

    "You don't have to wealthy to afford a model S. Upper middle class will do. A $130,000 2 door sports car on the other hand is the very definition of a toy for the 1%."

    It's funny you mention $130k because including taxes that's what a high-end Model S costs in China.

    Looking at median income in China, very few people can afford a Model S. Those people frequently want a stretched version with more legroom (because they often employ a chauffeur in China)
    Aug 18 03:22 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla's China Dreams May Be In Trouble [View article]
    "Only if they want the Chinese to steal all their tech secrets. Chinese companies are notorious for strong-arming anyone who wants to partner with them into "sharing" their technology.."

    I have news for you. China is peacefully "forcing" every foreign car maker into joint-ventures with Chinese companies and have them produce EVs locally (under new brand names such as Denza, Zinoro, Venucia etc. Sales are starting later in 2014 for these brands, for example Denza: ).

    If TSLA ever wants to achieve volume sales in China it needs to go down the same route, enter a JV and build factories in China, if it wants to or not.

    But one thing is correct. China favors its own car makers and deems EVs strategically important, that is not a good outlook for foreign companies with no local manufacturing base. Why should China provide any special favors for TSLA?

    The bureacrats in China need/want cheap, mass-market EVs and better mass transport, a few thousand imported Tesla cars will no solve anything with 20+ million new cars sold a year.
    Aug 18 03:07 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Xiaomi Problem [View article]
    More on Xiaom's copycat strategy, see new screenshots here:

    Aside from possible legal ramifications, this will be ridiculed by many savvy consumers. This looks like a complete rip-off of iOS7 and its flat look down to the tiniest details.
    Aug 18 02:32 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Tesla Is Poised To Leave Its Competition In The Dust [View article]
    "But betting on Tesla Motors to fail doesn't seem to be a very good bet."

    Judging a company being overvalued (stock price and market cap vs future cash flows and NOPAT) and failure is not the same thing at all.
    Aug 18 01:15 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Tesla Is Poised To Leave Its Competition In The Dust [View article]
    "So you think there are no rich people in India or Brazil? Mercedes, Audi and BMW think differently, as described in the articles I linked."

    Of course there are. But look at your own links, the market for high-end cars is really small in India and Brazil compared to China.
    Sales volumes could get interesting in 5 or so years, but not so much today, especially not for a small brand like Tesla.

    India and Brazil are not (yet) low-hanging fruits for EVs, especially not for high-end EVs with no local production (import taxes etc.)

    Also, these are huge countries geographically, TSLA would need to invest a lot in charging and service stations (as they do in China currently).

    These counties also don't have meaningful EV subsidies, there's a reason TSLA sells so many cars in the small country of Norway (population-wise) vs all of Europe and even the entire world.

    If you don't agree, I would like to see your sales projections for these "Rest of the World" countries for 2015 as part of Tesla's total sales.
    Aug 18 01:01 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Signs Of An Approaching Bear Market [View article]
    "Shiller is the worst. His numbers have no relationship to future equity prices over the last 55 years."

    Maybe you should look at some serious studies with opposite results, it is a good indicator for future stock market returns. Also, calling Shiller stupid is a bit rich. He is a Nobel prize winner in his field.

    The one common criticism I agree with is that bond yields and interest rate levels should be looked as well, this will give a better overall result than "just" looking at the Shiller P/E alone.

    PS: My main reason why stocks are up so much since early 2009? The FED pumping money with QE and the related ZIRP, which basically forces instiutional investors into stock markets around the world.

    Once the FED retreats and interest rates move back to market equilibrium with central banks pulling less strings (actaully it should be called *pushing* strings since monetary policy only cures symptons, not the cause) we will see how stock makets do in 2015-2016.

    I predict the rally will come to an end, it is already long in the tooth in 2014.
    Aug 17 11:53 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • An Interesting Area For 2014, 2015 And Beyond: Sensors For The Internet Of Things [View instapost]
    More on the advent of robots here, interesting introductory video in the link below. I like the horse analogy, humans will be the horses later in the 21st century:

    "That's why it's important to emphasize again this stuff isn't science fiction. The robots are here right now. There is a terrifying amount of working automation in labs and wear houses that is proof of concept.

    We have been through economic revolutions before, but the robot revolution is different.

    Horses aren't unemployed now because they got lazy as a species, they're unemployable. There's little work a horse can do that do that pays for its housing and hay.

    And many bright, perfectly capable humans will find themselves the new horse: unemployable through no fault of their own."
    Aug 17 10:57 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Five Reasons Why The US And Other Major Stock Markets Could Soon Top Out... [View instapost]
    And more on China credit and cleanups here:

    "China's bank cleanup is gaining momentum.

    This month, the country's four largest state-owned lenders have started raising a planned $73 billion in debt and equity to beef up reserves. That tally is expected to jump to more than $300 billion in the next five years, according to the banking regulator. The fundraising, along with a number of so-called bad banks being set up by provinces, is aimed at clearing up the pile of nonperforming loans sitting on the banks' books.

    It is one of most determined efforts ever by Beijing to restore health to the financial system, which is straining from a credit binge in recent years."
    "In addition, China has given the green light to five local governments to set up asset-management companies, or so-called bad banks, that will buy nonperforming loans from local lenders, helping them to clean up their balance sheets"
    "Growth in new bank lending fell sharply in July (2014), down to 385.2 billion yuan from June's 1.08 trillion yuan. That is a sign that bankers are increasingly wary of lending to risky companies, despite a combination of spending moves in April designed to rev up China's economic engine."
    Aug 17 10:15 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Tesla Is Poised To Leave Its Competition In The Dust [View article]
    Digital markets move at very different speeds. Comparing Apples and Oranges.

    Again (sorry for repeating) TSLA will have less than 1% marketshare in cars six years from today. Less than 1% by 2020!

    Why should every other car maker go bankrupt (total market grows to 100 million car units/year according to most estimates, about 30% more than today) when they still have 99% of a bigger pie?

    These timeframes also show they have pleny of time to adapt to more EVs and build capacity (we already see PHEV options on most new car models announced for 2015-2020, EVs to follow).

    TSLA simply can't replicate what companies in other sectors (especially in IT) can achieve as "disruptors" in a fraction of the time.

    People should really look at the numbers of the car sector and build capacities 5-10 years from today before making wild projections about TSLA and the competition.

    So I will leave it at that re TSLA comments for the time being.
    Aug 17 08:37 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Tesla Is Poised To Leave Its Competition In The Dust [View article]
    "In every tech revolution, time is a resource that all too many companies squander, until it's too late."

    Car/automotive sector is very different, replacement cycles and technology moves very slow. TSLA will not even have 1% marketshare by 2020 (six years from today). is that disruption at escape velocity? I highyly doubt it.

    There's plenty of time for competitors to build more capacity. LG Chem has many big car companies as clients, it could well produce more batteries than TSLA in 10 years.

    Also remember that TSLA has no know-how in large-scale battery manufacturing, that part is still handled by Panasonic.

    Only Samsung, LG Chem, AESC, LEJ and BYD (and Panasonic) currently have the expertise to build EV batteries on a global scale.

    "Since 2008, Tesla Motors has been leading the EV revolution. I don't see any sign of that leadership being challenged. Not now, and not soon."

    How come Nissan-Renault is selling more EVs than TSLA then?
    Aug 17 08:24 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Tesla Is Poised To Leave Its Competition In The Dust [View article]
    "LG at 1GWh, Samsung at 1GWh, and Nissan at 6GWh"

    Why take their current 2014 numbers? I could also wrote Tsla is at 0 Gwh (that's true until at least 2017).

    Based on projections and customer orders, Samsung, LG, LEJ, AESC and BYD can and will expand battery production.

    Big car companies can have their battery partners (listed above) build huge plants in parallel (if demand is there...), TSLA does not have access to such funds as a much smaller company, its $2 billion cover barely 50% of the first factory - TSLA will have to issue more bonds and add more debt.
    Aug 16 05:46 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment