March auto sales trickled out today. Beneath the wondrous hype about how they’d finally exceeded expectations, after they’d been perfectly awful for five of the prior six months, was a doozie. And the media, which normally fawns all over Tesla, covered it with a blackout.
Wall Street once again stands out as history’s most glorious, most efficient, sophisticated, prolific “gigafactory,” to use Tesla’s newfangled term, for the production of self-serving BS. Investors beware!
Auto sales in the US have been hopping for the last few years, and production has soared, and exuberance along with it, and there were even hopes that sales would soon be where they’d been before the crisis, before the bankruptcies, the plant closures, the bailouts.
The air in China can get so bad that the whole world talks about it. Though the government is taking the issue seriously and is doing a million things to get the fiasco under control, it remains unclear what exactly people will breathe ten years from now.
A “positive spiral effect?” Lenders are closing their eyes, sales are soaring, risks are piling up, auto loan balances jumped 15% in 12 months to an all-time high, and repossessions in the subprime segment more than doubled.
In the US and Europe, 95% of the buyers are male. Average age is 55. What’s different in China?
Germany has neither a minimum wage nor a government. Someday it might. If not, there will be new elections, and Chancellor Merkel might get pummeled because she’d be blamed for them. So she’s trying to form a coalition with the left-leaning SPD on whose list of campaign promises was a decent minimum wage.
BYD, the name of a Chinese electric vehicle and solar panel maker, stands for “Build Your Dream.” Maybe that’s what they’re trying to do in China. But here, they’re building a nightmare: broken promises, falsehoods, design flaws… all lushly funded by American taxpayers. And they paid Chinese workers in California $1.50 per hour to do it.
Supercar-makers Lamborghini, Ferrari, and Rolls-Royce are reacting to the forces whacking global markets for luxury products: a corruption crackdown in China, Abenomics in Japan, and the Fed’s money-printing in the US. The idea that sales in China, which is printing billionaires by the dozens, are crashing is a hard-to-swallow concept for the industry.
They’re at it again! Originally created by Congress in 2007, the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program provided low-cost government loans that were subsidized, and then in part eaten as we now know, by hapless and strung-out American taxpayers. In 2011, it was left behind as dead, but now the government wants to bring that zombie back.