Posted by Dale Buss on April 5, 2013 07:23 PM
"New isn't easy. Building the future never is..."
Well, we couldn't have said it better ourselves. The words of electric car maker Fisker Automative ring extra true as more devastating news rolls out of the struggling company. And worse, the Fisker electric-car experiment appears to be crumbling as the Tesla electric-car experiment seems to be achieving liftoff velocity. The differing outcomes have come down to the basics of business, such as picking the right partners and suppliers, counting on the right sources of financing, getting the product right—and enjoying a bit of luck.
Fisker said today that it laid off 75 percent of its more than 200 employees, most of them in Anaheim, Calif. The move appeared to be a concession that about the only option left for the company is liquidation of its assets, after a horrible several months in which its battery supplier went belly up, it couldn't obtain new financing and then its founder left in a dispute over financing.
"Our efforts to secure a strategic alliance or partnership are continuing in earnest, but unfortunately we have reached a point where a significant reduction in our workforce has become necessary," Fisker said in a statement this afternoon, according to Automotive News. "This was a necessary strategic step in our efforts to maximize the value of Fiscker's core assets."Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 22, 2013 06:08 PM
No doubt Tesla is far from the typical automotive brand, with a loose cannon but accomplished entrepreneur as its owner, Hollywood celebrities as some of its biggest fans and an abiding interest in its vehicles and technology, even though both remain relatively unproven in the market.
Investors certainly are still holding the electric-car startup to their same exacting standards—profits good, losses bad—because Tesla isn't an internet company, after all. So even after CEO and co-founder Elon Musk said this week that Tesla would make a slim profit for the current quarter, its first quarterly black ink so far, investors bid the stock down before it bounced back on Friday.
The volatility stems in part from the fact that the brand's debate with the New York Times is still smoldering, including an admission by the newspaper's ombudsman that its reviewer didn't get everything right about the Tesla S car that the journalist said ran out of juice on his test ride.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on February 15, 2013 11:06 AM
The clear loser in the intensifying back-and-forth between Elon Musk and the New York Times is the future of the Tesla brand.
The tit-for-tat drama reached its next predictable phase on Thursday evening when Times auto reviewer John Broder countered a scathing attack from earlier in the day by Tesla founder Musk, alleging that the journalist had deliberately and roundly falsified his assessment of the cold-weather capabilities of the Tesla S in a zeal to discredit the very expensive all-electric vehicle.
So far, assessments of all the back-and-forth and of who's being completely truthful seem to be tilting in favor of Broder and his newspaper. But clearly there's a long way to go in the battle launched by the Times' publication on February 10 of "Stalled Out on Tesla's Electric Highway." Continue reading...
on the road again
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 19, 2012 03:04 PM
BMW on Saturday wrapped its BMW i global Born Electric Tour's New York City pit stop, which featured a digital window that turned the reflection of cars passing by into its own electric vehicles, the all-electric BMW i3 and plug-in hybrid BMW i8 concept vehicles. Find out more below, along with interviews from the automaker's execs who turned up to the Big Apple.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on November 14, 2012 04:18 PM
Buying a car has never been a walk in the park. But in New York this week, at least looking at BMWs can be that simple.
BMW is displaying its brand in all sorts of new ways these days, including its retail store in Paris and new licensed goods ranging from baby strollers to watches. And now, BMW is bringing its brand to a pop-up experience near you — at least if you live in New York, Rome, Dusseldorf, Tokyo, London, Paris or Shanghai.
The Born Electric Tour, on behalf of the BMW i sub-brand of electric cars announced last year, and featuring glimpses of the brand's future, opens today at Bryant Park in New York, through Saturday. Vehicles on display include the BMW i3 Concept, the BMW i8 Concept Spyder, and its "future mobility services" that reflect the company's vision for urban transportation.
It's the latest stop on a year-long global tour that kicked off in Rome in June. The goal is showcase the BMW i series in a series of pop-up events in seven cities, including Dusseldorf, Tokyo, London, Paris and Shanghai. It's no accident that the tour is visiting only a handful of the largest and most important metropolitan areas in the world's most significant and populous markets.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 18, 2012 12:53 PM
Just in case things get dicey once Mark Fields, Ford's presumptive next CEO, takes the reigns, Ford's board reportedly is considering keeping current CEO Alan Mulally around past his retirement as the non-executive chairman.
As skilled as is Fields, the 51-year-old head of Ford's Americas operations, you can't blame Ford's directors for not wanting to let Mulally go completely once he ends his tenure as CEO, with a rumored target for departure around the end of next year. The 67-year-old former chief of Boeing has worked wonders at the auto manufacturer since he took the helm in 2006, seeing it through the global financial collapse and Great Recession without a U.S.-government bailout, supervising the launch of a fleet of worthy new products, and guiding Ford into leadership positions in infotainment technology and fuel economy.
And though Fields may be champing at the bit, Mulally is hardly ready to ride into the sunset just yet. He's got Ford moving on a number of important ongoing and new initiatives. They include:Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 8, 2012 12:02 PM
If you’re a Ford dealer, it’ll take more than that for you to be able to sell Focus Electric when the all-electric version of Ford’s popular compact car comes to market later this year.
Your dealership’s credentials are going to have to be green like the car itself.
So far, Ford said, 67 dealers are certified and ready to sell Focus Electric, in California, New York and New Jersey – markets that account for a huge portion of electrified-vehicle sales.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 26, 2011 05:26 PM
The auto industry has entered an era in which each maker will sell its own all-electric vehicle, and the capability for making them will amount to mere table stakes in an increasingly commoditized business. That partly explains the new slew of EV-technology partnerships between and among automotive OEM brands and major suppliers, including the deal between General Motors and LG announced this week.
GM and Korea's LG -- which makes auto-battery cells as well as mobile phones and front-loading washing machines for the U.S. market -- announced GM's biggest partnership ever in electric-drive vehicles, expanding a relationship under which LG already supplies the battery cells for the Chevrolet Volt and Opel Ampera "extended-range" hybrids. The partnership is supposed to help GM expand the number and types of electric-drive vehicles it makes and sells, and to broaden LG's customer base.Continue reading...