Tesla’s stock is nearing an all-time high, Audi is having a time, and the Maserati Grecale. All that and more in The Morning Shift for October 19, 2021.
1st Gear: Tesla’s Third-Quarter Results, Previewed
Tesla, which is as surprised as anyone that it has gotten this far, will hold its quarterly earnings call on Wednesday. That call is usually a report about how Tesla did in the prior three months, along with comments from CEO Elon Musk. This time, it will be a report on how Tesla did in the past three months with or without Elon Musk, who said on the last earnings call that he may not attend future ones.
That doesn’t really matter unless you enjoy hearing Elon Musk speak. Tesla’s financial results, meanwhile, are expected to be pretty good, given that it has been less affected by the chip shortage compared to other automakers and its third-quarter delivery numbers were also good.
Reuters put together a preview, which notes that Tesla’s investments in China are also paying off:
While it has weathered the chip crisis better than rivals, some investors are concerned supply-chain issues could increase costs and weigh down margins. read more
The upside could come from Tesla’s Shanghai factory, which has surpassed the company’s factory in Fremont, California in terms of production, and has cut costs with the use of more Chinese parts including batteries.
Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) started deliveries in late August of a less expensive version of the Model Y sport utility vehicle equipped with cheaper, iron-based batteries made by CATL (300750.SZ) in China, a source familiar with the matter said.
“The Giga China efficiency is front and center, moving margins higher,” said Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush who is bullish on Tesla.
Tesla CEO Musk said the Shanghai factory now produced more vehicles than the company’s sole U.S. factory.
“It’s the best quality, lowest cost and also low drama, so it’s great,” said he at a shareholders’ meeting earlier this month.
Tesla’s stock is down slightly today as of this writing, but is up over 18 percent in the last month. This is a company that some people love to get mad about, still. I would recommend spending your energy on something else.
2nd Gear: Production Cuts At Audi
The culprit is ... well you know what the culprit is. The culprit is the global semiconductor shortage.
From Automotive News:
The short-time work plan, which was originally scheduled to end last Friday, has been extended, an Audi spokeswoman told Automotive News Europe sister publication Automobilwoche.
In Ingolstadt the assembly line for the Q2 crossover and A3 compact car will be at a complete standstill next week. There was no production on the line last week.
The other two lines, on which the A3, A4 and A5 are built, are running on at least some days, but only in one shift each: one Monday to Thursday on the early shift, the other Tuesday to Thursday on the night shift.
Production of the A4 and A5 will also stop in Neckarsulm this week. The A6, A7 and A8 models will be produced from Monday to Thursday, but the A6 and A7 will only be produced in one shift each.
I forget what a world in which automakers buy parts and use them to assemble cars and no one thinks much about it looks like.
3rd Gear: Maserati Delays The Grecale
The Maserati Grecale is an SUV that’s smaller than the Levante and based on Alfa Romeo’s Stelvio. I’m not sure who the Grecale is for, but then again I’m also never sure who Maserati is for. Anyway, the Grecale has been delayed, for those dozens of people who have been keeping close tabs on it. The car was supposed to launch next month but now will launch next year.
The announcement by the luxury brand, part of Stellantis (STLA.MI), comes as a shortage of semiconductors forces automakers around the world to slow or suspend production.
Maserati said its decision stemmed from ongoing disruptions in the supply of parts.
“In particular, due to a scarcity of semiconductors, production volumes would not adequately meet expected global demand,” Maserati said in a statement.
A global premiere for the Grecale, which will be produced in Cassino in central Italy, was initially scheduled for Nov. 16.
Silly me, I had November 16 circled on the calendar in hot anticipation, like tens of others.
4th Gear: Zeekr Is Zeeking
I have been sent a press release not once but twice by someone on behalf of the Geely-owned Chinese electric brand Zeekr, announcing that the Zeekr 001 is now in production. Here is a photo:
The Zeekr was first shown in April; that it’s in production just six months later is really quite something. The 001 is an electric hatchback for China that goes from zero to 62 mph in 3.8 seconds. Zeekr says the first deliveries will be later this week. Its manufacturing process sounds very automated.
The ZEEKR Intelligent Factory is one of the most advanced vehicle facilities created to date thanks to a 5G+ system that allows for agile and transparent production management.
Areas such as the welding section are fully automated with over 300 robots carrying out the work with limited human intervention thanks to the factory utilizing an industrial grade 5G+ intelligent internet system that allows production to be planned, tracked and checked in a fully transparent manner.
In addition, the ZEEKR production process allows for continuous self-optimization, ensuring the quality of each ZEEKR product. For example; the welding production line adopts monitoring systems such as glue application visual guidance, online measurement, and ultrasonic self-inspection, and uses intelligent self-adaptation for welding control to continually improve the welding process.
Congratulations to Zeekr. Maybe one day in the U.S. we’ll see companies racing to produce cool electric hatchbacks. Just kidding, don’t get your hopes up.
5th Gear: Volvo Thinks It Is Worth Up To $23 Billion
Volvo is in the middle of going public; on Monday, according to Reuters, it put a price on it.
Geely-owned Volvo Cars said on Monday its initial public offering would be priced within a range of 53 to 68 Swedish crowns per share, valuing the automaker at up to $23 billion in what is likely to be one Europe’s biggest listings this year.
The carmaker said in a statement its IPO would value the company, maker of models such as the high-end XC-90 SUV, at between 163 billion and 200 billion crowns and that shares would begin trading on Oct. 28.
“I think we have a very strong interest especially from the Nordic investors,” Volvo Chief Executive Hakan Samuelsson told a news conference called at short notice as the prospectus for the offering was unveiled.
NordLB analyst Frank Schwope said his initial assessment on valuation had been more conservative.
“I think their ability to pull off this valuation depends on Polestar, not just their investment but also how they can work together. Polestar is a promising company but what you are paying for there is for the future,” he said.
That analyst is in part referring to Polestar’s own bid to go public, but by SPAC. Good luck to both.
Reverse: The ‘80s
Neutral: How Are You?
It is that time of year in New York when the weather is troublingly good, and I feel like I’ve been seeing lots of takes lately about how, of the months, October is the finest. As someone with an October birthday, I’m inclined to agree.