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  • Yesterday, 3:30 PM
    • The opening stages of the Chevy Bolt vs. Model 3 war are beginning as the automobile industry looks to sell pure EVs at a larger scale.
    • The first shipments of the all-electric Bolt are already on their way to California after being built in Orion Township, Michigan. Sales in Oregon and California are expected to start before the end of the year.
    • JPMorgan sizes up the situation in a fresh note backing its negative view (Sell, $180 PT) on Tesla Motors (TSLA) and discussing its meeting with GM execs.
    • JP: "We expect it will become increasingly more difficult for Tesla to profitably compete against an improving array of electric vehicles from automakers which are pricing such vehicles with the aim not to turn a profit but rather to sell in sufficient volume to subsidize the rest of their more lucrative portfolios of internal combustion engine vehicles from a regulatory compliance perspective."
    • Tesla's Model 3 introduction will follow in 2017 or 2018 depending upon which analysis you bank on. And while the precise number of Model 3 pre-orders isn't publicly known, a Tesla fan site has an enigmatic algorithm that places the number over 510K.
    | Yesterday, 3:30 PM | 249 Comments
  • Thu, Dec. 8, 8:03 AM
    | Thu, Dec. 8, 8:03 AM | 15 Comments
  • Tue, Dec. 6, 7:15 AM
    • UBS predicts the era of diesel passengers cars is slowly coming to an end as manufacturers adopt a higher mix of hybrid and electric powertrains.
    • The investment firm sees a drop of global diesel market share to 4% in 2025, from a current share of about 13.5%.
    • The development is seen as positive for Ford (NYSE:F), General Motors (NYSE:GM), Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY), Honda (NYSE:HMC), Toyota (NYSE:TM) and Hyundai (OTC:HYMLF). The slide in diesel market share will hurt Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE:FCAU), BMW (OTCPK:BMWYY), Peugeot (OTCPK:PEUGF, OTCPK:PUGOY), Renault (OTC:RNSDF) and Volkswagen (OTCPK:VLKAY), warns UBS. European oil refinerers could also feel a neagtive impact.
    • Source: Bloomberg
    • Previously: EVs a long-term wildcard in the oil market (Dec. 3)
    | Tue, Dec. 6, 7:15 AM | 52 Comments
  • Sat, Dec. 3, 11:33 AM
    • Electric vehicles are forecast to cut into oil demand by 1M-2M bbl/day by 2035, according to oil industry consultant Wood McKenzie.
    • That estimate is actually much more conservative than Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s estimate for EVs to impact demand by 8M bbl/day by 2035. For perspective, OPEC agreed this week to coordinated production cuts of 1.2M bbl/day which swung crude oil prices wildly. EVs are only sipping up the equivalent of 50K bbl/day currently.
    • The general consensus even in the oil industry is that governments are moving toward major changes with pollution and emissions regulations. Just this week, the cities of Paris, Mexico City, Madrid and Athens all said they would ban the use of diesel vehicles by 2025. Beijing is also slowly adopting pro-EV policies.
    • A higher mix of EVs in the future has already been tipped off by the dramatic long-term electrification initiatives announced this year by companies such as BMW (OTCPK:BMWYY), Volkswagen (OTCPK:VLKAY), Ford (NYSE:F) and Toyota (NYSE:TM). Around the corner, Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) and General Motors (NYSE:GM) have their mass model EVs ready to roll - while new EV trucks, buses and motorcycles are also on the way.
    • WTI crude oil futures +1.21% to $51.68/bbl on Friday. Brent crude +0.96% to $54.46/bbl.
    • ETFs: USO, OIL, UWTI, UCO, DWTI, SCO, BNO, DBO, DTO, UGA, USL, DNO, OLO, SZO, OLEM, OILK, OILX.
    | Sat, Dec. 3, 11:33 AM | 169 Comments
  • Fri, Dec. 2, 12:03 PM
    • An all-star team of business leaders has been named to an advisory board that will talk to Donald Trump during his administration.
    • The President's Strategic and Policy Forum will be chaired by Blackstone (NYSE:BX) CEO Stephen Schwarzman. Other members include General Motors (NYSE:GM) CEO Mary Barra, JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon, Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) CEO Doug McMillon, Disney (NYSE:DIS) CEO Bob Iger and former Boeing (NYSE:BA) CEO Jim McNerney.
    • The impressive list is a bit short of Silicon Valley leaders, while hedge fund managers are completely MIA.
    • The group is scheduled to meet for the first time in early February.
    | Fri, Dec. 2, 12:03 PM | 63 Comments
  • Thu, Dec. 1, 9:49 AM
    • General Motors (GM +2.5%) reports U.S. sales gains across all brands in November.
    • Retail sales were up 7.9% to 197,609 units during the month.
    • Sales by brand: Chevrolet +8% to 169,675 units; GMC +14% to 49,113; Buick +16% to 18,530; Cadillac +15% at 15,236 units.
    • Model standsouts included Checy Colorado +39% to 8,669 units, Chevy Malibu +72% to 18,577 units, Chevy Tahoe +31% to 9,433 units, GMC Sierra +14% to 18,900 units, and Buick Encore +40% to 7,162 units. Even the electric Volt showed some muscle with 28% sales growth to 2,531 units.
    • TrueCar estimates on GM: Average transaction price +1.7% Y/Y to $36,774. Incentive spending +12.7% to $4,305 per unit.
    • Previously: General Motors higher after U.S. sales beat estimates (Dec. 1)
    | Thu, Dec. 1, 9:49 AM | 12 Comments
  • Thu, Dec. 1, 9:42 AM
    • General Motors (NYSE:GM) unit sales +10.2% to 252,644 units to eclipse the estimates posted by research firms. There were two extra selling days this year in November which impacted the comparison.
    • "We gained profitable retail share, commercial and small business deliveries were strong and we commanded the industry’s best average transaction prices," noted top GM sales exec Kurt McNeil.
    • GM ended the month with 87 days supply vs. 84 days at the end of October.
    • Shares of GM +1.85% to $35.17.
    | Thu, Dec. 1, 9:42 AM | 4 Comments
  • Wed, Nov. 30, 5:35 PM
    • General Motors (NYSE:GM) stands to lose $8K-$9K on every Chevrolet Bolt it sells when the all-electric subcompact starts rolling out, Bloomberg reports, shedding light on the lack of profitability of electric cars in the U.S.
    • California and nine other states that make up a combined 30% of the U.S. market mandate that automakers sell some non-polluting vehicles if they want to do business there, which goes a long way to explaining why money-losing zero-emissions models from more than 10 brands are on the roads, with more on the way.
    • The industry is willing to take the hit on a small scale now but things could get dicey over the next decade or so, as the states’ rules are set to tighten so that zero-emission vehicles will have to rise to an estimated 15.4% of sales by 2025, ~5x the current level.
    • A California law ordering greenhouse-gas emissions to be 40% below 1990 levels by 2030 would require ZEVs, plug-in hybrids or fuel-cell cars to comprise 40% of sales, up from ~3% now.
    | Wed, Nov. 30, 5:35 PM | 35 Comments
  • Tue, Nov. 29, 11:52 AM
    • Elaine Chao is the pick of Donald Trump to be the Secretary of Transportation, according to numerous media outlets.
    • Chao served in the cabinets of Bush 41 and Bush 43. Early analysis is that she may be a known quantiy to the Detroit Three (GM, F, FCAU) who worked closely with her on a post-9/11 task force and broadly during the Bush years.
    • The big picture: There's been some concern over the impact of the Trump administration for EV sellers such as Tesla Motors (TSLA -1.9%), Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY) and Toyota (TM +0.7%) -- although the $7.5K federal tax break is already set to expire when automakers cross over the 200K U.S. EV sale mark. Federal fuel efficiency targets could be rolled back after Trump takes office, although some industry watchers think manufacturers are too far along in their EV, ridesharing and mobility projects to put the genie back in the bottle.
    | Tue, Nov. 29, 11:52 AM | 42 Comments
  • Tue, Nov. 29, 7:44 AM
    • TrueCar estimates new automobile sales rose 3.6% in November. On an adjusted day basis, the forecasts falls to a 4.7% drop in sales for the month due to the two fewer selling days.
    • GM (NYSE:GM) sales for November are expected to increase 11.2% (unadjusted) to give it an 18.7% market share vs. 17.4% last year. Volkswagen (OTCPK:VLKAY), which is starting to lap its emissions scandal period, is expected to post a 4% gain for the month.
    • The research firm says average incentive spending was up 13% Y/Y to $3,475 per unit. The only automaker without an increase in incentive spending during the month was Daimler (OTCPK:DDAIF), accordintg to TrueCar.
    • "The early launch of Black Friday sales events is helping offset declines in fleet sales this month, as the retail sales environment remains strong for new car sales,” notes TrueCar analyst Eric Lyman.
    • Previously: U.S. auto sales forecast to set a record in November (Nov. 25)
    | Tue, Nov. 29, 7:44 AM | 3 Comments
  • Mon, Nov. 28, 5:38 PM
    • General Motors' (NYSE:GM) plan to halt semi-autonomous vehicles with unresponsive motorists draws concerns from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which urges GM to ensure safety for the company's upcoming "Super Cruise" system feature that will slowly bring vehicles to a stop when motorists fail to retake control of the wheel.
    • The NHTSA letter, which approved GM's automatic activation of hazard lights in the slow-halt situation, is the U.S. government's latest effort to ramp up oversight for self-driving cars that are not governed by current regulations.
    • GM has delayed Super Cruise, previously set to debut on a Cadillac car this year, until 2017.
    | Mon, Nov. 28, 5:38 PM | 2 Comments
  • Fri, Nov. 25, 9:46 AM
    • U.S. automobile sales are expected to increase 4.2% to a record 1.37M units in November, according to a forecast from Kelley Blue Book. The previous high for the month was 1.32M units.
    • This November includes two extra selling days than last year which provides an obvious boost. A high level of promotions around the Black Friday weekend is also seen as a sales driver.
    • KBB's forecast by automaker: General Motors (NYSE:GM) +8.6% to 249K, Toyota (NYSE:TM) +2.9% to 195K, Ford (NYSE:F) +0.1% to 187K, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE:FCAU) -4.5% to 168K, Honda (NYSE:HMC) +9.1% to 126K, Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY) +8.3% to 116K, Hyundai-Kia (OTC:HYMLF) +7.0% to 113K, Subaru (OTCPK:FUJHY) +15.0% to 53K, Volkswagen (OTCPK:VLKAY) +5.5% to 47.5K.
    • Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) isn't running up the volume quite yet to make the KBB list, but that is expected to change in 2017.
    | Fri, Nov. 25, 9:46 AM | 125 Comments
  • Wed, Nov. 23, 2:17 PM
    • Cadillac (GM +0.3%) is delaying the start of a controversial new retail strategy for its dealerships, amid criticism from dealers who say the program is tedious and costly for big-volume operators and could compel smaller dealers to give up their Cadillac franchises, WSJ reports.
    • Cadillac reportedly is pushing back implementation of the plan to April from Jan. 1, which already had been postponed from a fall start date.
    • Some state dealership associations have criticized the plan as a strategy to shrink Cadillac’s dealership network, which is 3x bigger than most luxury brands despite Cadillac’s smaller market share.
    | Wed, Nov. 23, 2:17 PM | 3 Comments
  • Mon, Nov. 21, 11:53 AM
    • General Motors (GM +0.7%) says it will sell the Chevrolet Silverado and Colorado pickup lines in China next year,
    • The company showcased the two truck models at the Guangzhou Auto Show last week.
    • The Trump administration's position on trade and tariffs could have some bearing on how far GM goes with the program.
    • Previously: GM China sales +5.7% in October (Nov. 4)
    | Mon, Nov. 21, 11:53 AM | 7 Comments
  • Mon, Nov. 21, 7:14 AM
    • General Motors (NYSE:GM) CEO Mary Barra tells Automotive News that the automaker plans to stay tight on incentive spending and fleet deliveries as it focuses on profitability over volume growth and market share. She is also in agreement that demand in the U.S. is levelling out.
    • "We do believe that we're at a plateau. So to be able to stay at a 17 million, or above -- anywhere where the first two digits are 17 is a good market -- we want to continue to seize that," notes Barra.
    • GM's YTD U.S. sales are up 1.0% to 1,998,990 units through the first ten months of the year.
    | Mon, Nov. 21, 7:14 AM | 4 Comments
  • Fri, Nov. 18, 10:39 AM
    • Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE:FCAU) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) are teaming up to sell cars online, according to Reuters. Consumers will still finalize their car purchases at a dealership.
    • The initiative will start off in Italy with the Fiat 500, Fiat Panda and Fiat 500L.
    • "The time has arrived to give consumers a new, more efficient and transparent way to choose a new vehicle," says Fiat's top exec in Italy.
    • Though the Fiat-Amazon tie-up isn't necessarily groundbreaking, it's still another crack in the dealership model that could have implications down the road.
    • Related automobile sector stocks: GM, F, TM, HMC, OTCPK:NSANY, TSLA, OTCPK:VLKAY, OTCPK:DDAIF, OTC:HYMLF, OTCPK:BMWYY, TTM, TSLA, AN, KMX, SONC.
    • Previously: Amazon launches automotive research portal, Amazon Vehicles (Aug. 25)
    | Fri, Nov. 18, 10:39 AM | 64 Comments