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  • Apple X Beats -Three Important Points On Apple's (Likely) Biggest Acquisition [View instapost]
    Some updated subscriber numbers with Spotify leading the pack (but still a low conversion to paying subs):

    http://bit.ly/RUtG1n

    More numbers from rivals here:

    "Comparing against rivals is tricky, since they're not always as eager to boast about major milestones. However, it's clear that there's still a significant gap. Rdio, one of Spotify's best-known challengers, had 6 million paying listeners as of late 2013; Deezer had 5 million at that time. Whether or not Spotify can keep up its current pace is another matter. Part of the music provider's lead comes from launching in some regions ahead of its peers. While it's still one of the most widely available services, with access in 56 countries, opponents like Rdio are quickly expanding their reach -- it'll soon take more than broad coverage to stand out from the crowd."

    http://bit.ly/1k5s54l
    May 21 11:36 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why The CEOs Of Tesla/SolarCity And BYD Need To Have A 'Giga Factory' Chat [View article]
    "BYD would be well advised, however, to make their cars capable of being recharged at Tesla supercharging stations."

    You do know that the Chinese have decided on their own fast-charging DC standard called GBT?

    "The Chinese government has introduced a direct current (DC) fast charging ‘GBT’ standard to encourage technical innovation and stimulate market acceptance of EVs. The urban charging infrastructure will be a key driver for EV adoption. The GBT standard will give Chinese consumers the opportunity to conveniently charge their vehicles at home or at public charging stations. Public DC fast charging is expected to be rolled out in China in the near future.”
    Read more at http://bit.ly/1nnaHqn "

    Counting GBT, there are already three worldwide standards for fast-charging:

    Chademo, CCS/Combo and GBT (the last one only used in China)

    A country or car manufacturer will certainly not adopt the proprietary standard of a competitor like TSLA, that makes no strategic sense at all, especially when there are three standards out there for charging.
    May 21 12:37 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • 99% Of AAPL Analysts Missed IBeacons Potential - Move Over, NFC [View instapost]
    Author’s reply » Another rumor on NFC:

    "Apple Predicted to Adopt NFC in iPhone 6 as Core Technology for Mobile Payments System"

    " Morgan Stanley is certainly not the only source to be sharing rumors of NFC support for the iPhone 6, with Brightwire citing its own sources earlier this month and high-profile KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo making his own claims last month."

    http://bit.ly/1njHDA3

    We will find out in autum if this is finally it after many false starts.

    I still expect NFC to "only" complement iBeacon, AirDrop, indoor navigation (WiFiSlam...) and other use cases based on Bluetooth and WiFi if it's added to the iPhone 6.
    May 20 09:10 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Tesla's Growth Will Be Supported By China's Government [View article]
    The car brands I listed above are not Chinese. These are joint-ventures with technology coming from the likes of Nissan, Mercedes and BMW.

    The local brand BYD is the EV/PHE sales leader in China so they must be doing something right as well.

    Still, the absolute numbers of EVs sold in China are ery low - but all car companies are ready if demand picks up over time (or if the government announces additional subsidies or license plate restricitions).

    Just don't expect TSLA to somehow get a lot of marketshare in China without competition if the EV market grows.
    May 20 03:38 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • EV Manufacturers And Batteries: Siamese Twins - Part II [View instapost]
    A good article on battery costs and the TSLA giga-factory here:

    "Are Tesla's Plans for a Giant Battery Factory Realistic?

    The Electric-Car Company Hopes the Plant Drives Down Prices. Here's How the Experts View It."

    http://on.wsj.com/1jAscp9
    May 20 03:13 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Tesla's Growth Will Be Supported By China's Government [View article]
    "Maybe China wants TSLA to start producing vehicles in China in the next few years?"

    Do you think that is for environmental reasons? The JVs I listed above mainly exist to extract as much information and IP as possible from foreign car makers.

    China is there to help BYD, SAIC and other local car companies get a foothold in EVs, not TSLA.

    Finally, China also established its own fast-charging standard called GBT.
    May 20 01:27 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Why Tesla's Growth Will Be Supported By China's Government [View article]
    Author wrote: "The company has the support of the government in China thanks to a focus on cleaner air, and we think this will go a long way to supporting the firm's future growth in the country. Long-term, we think the emerging middle-class in China will largely be able to afford electric vehicles and probably in droves."

    Why should China prop up a foreign company selling a luxury car (TSLA starts at well over $120k in China because of taxes)? A company that is not involved in local production?

    China has enough local EV manufacturers to support, among them the well-known BYD.

    All other (foreign) manufacturers have created (or were basically forced to ceate) joint-ventures and new brands to sell electric cars in China in the future:

    Zinoro (Brilliance-BMW)
    Denza (Mercedes-BYD)
    Venucia (Nissan-Dongfeng)
    Carely (FAW-Volkswagen)
    ...

    (Source with more details: http://bit.ly/1fS0lJw )

    Only these locally manufactured electric cars get the full benefits from the government. Their pricing is also within reach for many Chinese consumers.

    Both Model X and S are beyond the reach of the Chinese middle-class because most of them can't afford the car nor do they have a garage to charge the car.

    TSLA is at best 4-5 years off creating local manufacturing in China and introducing a mass-market car, the competiton is already there in 2014.

    TSLA is a niche brand in China for a few rich early adopters and will remain so for years to come.

    PS: Beyond better mass transport, the answer to China's pollution and congestion problem would be EV rental systems like the one just started in Indianapolis:

    "The Bollore Group plans to invest approximately $35 million in BlueIndy and build the largest carsharing scheme in the U.S. with 500 cars, 200 service locations and 1,000 charging spots. Commercial operations of BlueIndy should start within eight months, with maybe 125 cars by the end of the year."

    http://bit.ly/1jzOlUp

    That is the complete opposite strategy of a luxury EV sold at above $120k in China. A few Tesla cars will do nothing to combat China's massive pollution problem, this is pure eco-bling (TSLA sells a few thousand cars while over 20 million cars are registered in that country each year with sales growing...).
    May 20 11:58 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla's Gigafactory Will Be A Grand Slam [View article]
    "Chademo is a joke and the Leaf is a joke."

    The fact remains Chademo has the most recharging stations worldwide and LEAF is the best-selling EV worldwide (with sales increasing, see latest stats).

    I never said Nissan-Renault is perfect, I used it as an example that TSLA is not unique.

    But keep in mind that Nissan-Renault sells over 8 million vehicles per year and has the economies of scale as the early leader in EVs. You can review the numbers here:

    http://bit.ly/1mGjtkP

    If you call such a company a 'joke' I don't know what to say. How long will it take for TSLA to even sell 83k or 830k cars per year? That would be just 1% or 10% of R-N unit sales (!)
    May 17 08:22 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla's Gigafactory Will Be A Grand Slam [View article]
    The difference between Nissan and Tesla as of 2014? Nissan's plant is real (three of them were built, one in the EU, one in Japan and one in the US) and Tesla's plant is just a PDF plan on their website.

    You can assume all major battery manufacturers look at competitors. If more vertical integration as proposed by Tesla helps, they will do the same in new plants.

    I see no magic bullet in Tesla's plans ("lowering costs by 30-40%") and expect upcoming EV battery plants from Samsung and LG Chem (both under construxtion in China with lower labor costs) to be cost-competitive with Tesla.

    Nissan has a lot of dark space in their existing plants and can upgrade them as needed (better battery chemistry recently confirmed by Nissan-Renault and Infiniti for 2016 and 2017).

    However, this all takes billions of dollars in new investments. EV uptake so far has been slow...it doesn't make sense to rush, especially as battery technology keeps evolving rapidly. TSLA will find out the same over time.
    May 17 06:00 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla's Stock Price Is More Than What You Deserve [View article]
    ""I have seen many test programs with EVs equal to TSLA range"
    But for some reason you provided no links."

    Very simple, not all car program plans due to launch in 2017-2020 are public already. There are dozens of EV and PHEV programs in development.

    Take for example the VW e-up and e-Golf, these cars were introduced on short notice in 2013 because they are available as ICE models also and are built on the same production lines (economies of scale).
    May 17 05:52 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Buying Sony At The Price Of Nintendo: A Comparison With A Focus On Video Games [View article]
    A good discussion on Sony's latest quarter and continued turn-around efforts in 2014:

    http://bit.ly/1gaVSbx

    Sony clearly lacks focus as I pointed out in my article as well. Once it disposes of PCs (and possibly TVs one day?) I hope its resources are spread less thin.
    May 16 12:21 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Electric Vehicle Sales: It's All About The Cells (Most Bullish TSLA Analysts Still Miss The Supply Side) [View instapost]
    TSLA executives just reiterated the need for multiple giant battery factories:

    "Musk Sees Need for Hundreds of Battery ‘Gigafactories’ "

    http://bloom.bg/1qDM8eI

    Simple math if there are 100+ million cars and all should be powered as (long-range *) EVs.

    _______
    * I still have my doubts if this makes sense, see my Instablogs where I frequently discuss EREVs (cars with range extenders).
    May 16 09:41 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • EVs In China: Carsharing, Local Manufacturers And Traffic Congestion - It's Complicated [View instapost]
    Another interesting article on TSLA and China:

    Tesla Motors in China: Hype or Not

    http://onforb.es/1g9YBlB

    - The difficult process of getting a car and the waiting times is described in detail:

    "Tesla requires all buyers to have a dedicated parking space. It will arrange the dispatch of technicians to install an individual charging station at the parking space after receipt of the deposit."

    This proces will only improve once TSLA manufactures its cars in China - which looks years off.

    - Also see the comment about charging standards. I described this above as well, China now has its own plug system and standard. The comment in verbatim on Forbes.com:

    "Tesla is seeking partnerships with China’s two major power operators, State Grid Corp of China and China Southern Power Grid, to jointly construct charging stations, starting with Beijing and Shanghai.
    THE problem is that China has already published several technical standards on the charging station, but Tesla uses their own standards which are not compatible to others. Therefore, there is no way Chinese will allowed them to build these kind of special stations on public land along major roads."
    May 15 09:39 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla's Gigafactory Will Be A Grand Slam [View article]
    "How many proprietary charging stations do they have now or will they have in 24 months?"

    Nissan uses Chademo, one of two global standards (Chademo and CCS). You can use Google yourself, but they just announced 130 new stations in France (just one example):

    http://bit.ly/1h4CQ01

    There are 1000+ Chademo chargers in Japan etc. etc.

    PS: The Nissan news are here for example for the US plant:

    http://bit.ly/164dgGx

    Here's a capacity overview on various EV plants (WSJ graphic):

    http://bit.ly/1g8NJo3

    Nissan's three plants are running below capacity at the moment and can be expanded as needed for LEAF successorsand the Infiniti EVs.
    May 15 11:28 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla's Gigafactory Will Be A Grand Slam [View article]
    The more I hear about changes to the project (now TSLA intends to be a "tenant" and rent out space inside the factory to potential partners like Panasonic...), the more I don't believe in a 2017 launch date for the plant - and thus the Gen III car.

    There are many open questions, especially $2-3 billion missing for full funding as well as important partners like Panasonic still not 100% committed.

    At this point, I think 2018 or later sounds more realistic as negotiations drag on.
    May 15 10:19 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
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