Nissan might actually be turning this thing around. All that and more in The Morning Shift for July 28, 2021.
Things are looking up for the company that seemed to be under the thumb of Ghosn for an eternity. It has actually only been three years that the company has “struggled with heavy losses since the 2018 ousting of its former chair Carlos Ghosn,” as the Financial Times reports:
Nissan has projected a return to profitability for the first time in three years despite a big hit from the global semiconductor shortage.
Wednesday’s upward revision in guidance from Japan’s third-largest carmaker came amid continuing chip bottlenecks, rising raw material costs and a rise in Covid-19 cases in south-east Asia.
For the fiscal year ending in March 2022, Nissan said it now expected a net profit of ¥60bn ($546m) compared with an earlier forecast for a loss of ¥60bn. That was still below analysts’ forecasts for a ¥78bn profit, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence.
This is all on the back of a profitable quarter. I am amazed. Never thought Nissan had it in ‘em.
I had not realized that Tesla has been raising prices this regularly, as Reuters has tracked:
Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) showed signs this week of divergent strategies in the world’s two biggest automotive markets, raising prices to boost profit margins in the United States while keeping prices steady in China and hoping to grow sales there.
Tesla raised prices for the most affordable versions of Model 3 and Model Y about a dozen times this year in the United States, according data tracked by Reuters. At the same time, Tesla recently introduced an affordable Model Y version in China, where it refrained from price cuts.
The funny thing is that Tesla obviously feels much more pressure in the more competitive market of China; here in the U.S. Tesla still doesn’t really have much competitive pressure outside of the Mustang Mach-E and (maybe) the ID.4. There are the Jaguar I-Pace, Porsche Taycan, and Audi E-Tron as well, but then we’re getting into lower volume territory.
The Amazon- and Ford-linked startup is $5 billion worth of ready, in fact, as Reuters reports:
Electric vehicle producer Rivian plans to invest $5 billion initially in its second U.S. assembly plant, according to a company document shared with state economic development officials.
The plant, dubbed “Project Tera,” requires an estimated 10,000 acres of land according to a revised economic development document seen by Reuters, but economic development officials said finding a piece of land that large would be highly unlikely. The initial proposal seen by Reuters did not identify Rivian by name and said the facility required only 2,000 acres. In comparison, BMW’s South Carolina assembly plant sits on about 1,200 acres.
The target date to start production at the Rivian plant is the second quarter of 2023 with construction beginning in the fall of 2021, according to the revised proposal. However, several people familiar with the matter said the COVID-19 pandemic will likely delay that timeline by up to six months.
The global pandemic remains very much a global matter, with spikes in one nation affecting others. Such is the case for Toyota in Japan, hit by Covid implications all the way in Vietnam. The Japan Times explains:
Toyota Motor Corp. said Tuesday it will suspend another three assembly lines in Japan for several days in August due to supply chain disruptions caused by the spread of COVID-19 infections in Vietnam.
The latest suspensions will affect the production of around 5,000 vehicles, bringing the total production cut to about 8,000 vehicles following the automaker’s earlier announcement last Thursday that a line would be suspended due to infections in the Southeast Asian country.
The company’s plant in the city of Tahara in Aichi Prefecture will suspend a line for four days from Aug. 3. Its affiliate Toyota Auto Body Co. will suspend two lines for two days from Aug. 5 at its plant in the Yoshiwara area of the city of Toyota in the prefecture, according to the automaker.
The plants make Land Cruisers and Lexus models.
Charging at home is cheaper than charging at a public charging station. Makes sense! A laundromat is going to charge you more than running a load in your washing machine at home. Sensible as it may be, that isn’t exactly great if you’re trying to encourage urban car buyers to go electric, though. Now the UK government is proposing flattening charging rates for suburban versus urban users, as the BBC reports:
[A]t present there is a disparity between how much it costs to charge a car at home compared to public charging, which is more expensive.Consumers need to be protected from excessive charges, the Transport Committee said.Property developers should also be required to provide public charging points, and councils should make sure charging infrastructure is built, the MPs added.“Charging electric vehicles should be convenient, straightforward and inexpensive and drivers must not be disadvantaged by where they live or how they charge their vehicles,” said committee chair Huw Merriman.In addition, drivers who live in rural or remote areas or who do not have off-street parking “risk being left behind”, the committee said.The committee said industry must use pricing “to change consumer charging behaviour to a ‘little but often’ approach and at times when the National Grid can meet total demand”.
The esoteric “VW Law” privatized the German automaker, issued on July 21, 1960 and effective starting the 28th, per German Wikipedia:
The law on the transfer of shares in the Volkswagenwerk limited liability company (VWGmbHÜG) - colloquially known as the VW law - came into force on July 28, 1960, when Volkswagenwerk GmbH was privatized and converted into a stock corporation.
The law was ultimately struck down in the 2000s.
I remain intrigued that the big-but-not-that-big sedan is still kicking. I half understand the Toyota Avalon as a real cruiser, but the Maxima still bends my brain. Have you driven a new one?