For the wealthy Chinese with 5 million Yuan (around $800,000) burning a hole in their pocket, there is a new must-have ‘toy’. Instead of the latest Ferrari or Lambo, it is none other than the provocatively named “Red Flag L5″ that is popping eyeballs and leaving the wealthy Chinese breathless…
Forget Ferraris. Someone paid at least 5 million yuan ($803,300) to buy a Chinese car.
China FAW Group Corp. began taking orders for the tailor-made Red Flag L5, the nation’s most expensive vehicle, with the first one sold to a customer in Nanjing, the automaker said in a statement today at the Beijing auto show. Delivery will take three months, said the buyer, Wang Zhonghua, who runs a company that operates a chain of furniture malls in China.
H/t reader M.G.:
“GM now wants bankruptcy protection from any of their vehicles from before 2009…….pay nothing, dump it all on the people. The courts will probably go along with it, they are corporate owned and corrupt.”
Car giant wants court to shield ‘new GM’ from legal claims for problems with its cars that occurred before its 2009 bankruptcy
- GM asks bankruptcy judge for special protection to head off lawsuits (Guardian, April 16, 2014):
General Motors revealed in court filings late Tuesday that it will soon ask a federal bankruptcy judge to shield the company from legal claims for conduct that occurred before its 2009 bankruptcy.
The automaker’s strategy is in a motion filed in a Corpus Christi, Texas, federal court case, and in other cases across the nation that involve the defective ignition switches that have led GM to recall 2.6 million small cars.
- GM Recalls Another 1.5 Million Cars; Halts Sales Until “Solution” Completed (ZeroHedge, March 17, 2014):
General Motors is in trouble. On the heels of a 1.3 million car recall over fault ignition switches (that allegedly caused 12 deaths and could have been fixed with a $1 part), the bailed-out car maker has announced it will take a $300 million charge in Q1 to cover costs associated with this and 3 new recalls covering an additional 1.5 million cars. As Reuters reports, unsold vehicles will be placed on a stop-delivery until development of a solution has been completed. Why is this such a problem? Because GM’s channel-stuffed dealer inventory is already at all-time record highs as the entire industry projected the sales to continue ad infinitum and inventory-to-sales surged to near-record highs. Continue reading »
A six-month-long investigation in Central California culminated this week with the arrests of five members of the King City Police Department, the former police chief and the owner of a local towing company.
According to the Monterey County district attorney, for at least three-and-a-half years the city’s top police officers participated in a scheme that took advantage of poor area Hispanics by essentially stealing their cars for profit.
Investigators say King City police ordered hundreds of vehicles to be impounded — most often those driven by Hispanic immigrants — and then either kept the cars for themselves or re-sold them for profit.
- The 1% Don’t Feel The Weather: Ferrari Posts Record Sales In US; Doubled In Jan (ZeroHedge, Feb 18, 2014):
First Mercedes, then Porsche, and now Ferrari and Maserati post record US sales in January…
- *FERRARI POSTS RECORD SALES IN U.S. AND U.K. IN 2013
- *FERRARI AND MASERATI GLOBAL MORE THAN DOUBLE IN JAN TO 2,400
…a month where the non-1%-auto-makers struggled mightily. Of course, the latter missed expectations are blamed on weather (as opposed to dealer inventories stuffed at record levels, a replacement cycle that has run its course, or a consumer that is once again credit-tapped out). So, the clear findings from this is that the 1% – who are buying more luxury cars than ever before in January – clearly don’t feel the weather…
- Porsche Sales Surge To Record – 3 Years Ahead Of Plan (ZeroHedge, Feb 12, 2014):
It seems yet another (luxury) car maker did not get the “but it’s the weather” memo. Following Mercedes record sales in January, Porsche has announced today that expects to hit a target of selling more than 200,000 sports cars next year, three years earlier than originally scheduled. As Reuters reports, Volkswagen-owned Porsche is entering the lucrative segment of compact SUVs with its new Macan model, which has already sold out about eight months of production ahead of its arrival at German dealerships on April 4. Wealth effect, of course, is all that matters… and the promise of higher minimum wages and a Maserati in every garage.
Porsche expects to hit a target of selling more than 200,000 sports cars next year, three years earlier than originally scheduled, as the brand keeps pushing into sport-utility vehicles, Chief Executive Matthias Mueller said.
- This iPhone-Sized Device Can Hack A Car, Researchers Plan To Demonstrate (Forbes, Feb 5, 2014):
Auto makers have long downplayed the threat of hacker attacks on their cars and trucks, arguing that their vehicles’ increasingly-networked systems are protected from rogue wireless intrusion. Now two researchers plan to show that a few minutes alone with a car and a tiny, cheap device can give digital saboteurs all the wireless control they need.
- Mandatory “Vehicle-to-Vehicle” Communications Coming To U.S. Cars (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Feb 4, 2014):
“The vision of ‘talking’ cars that avoid crashes is well on the way to becoming a reality. And we’re not just talking about cars talking to cars, but about cars talking to bikes, trucks talking to motorcycles, and even buses talking to pedestrians. This promises to significantly reduce the number of deaths and injuries on our nation’s roads while unleashing a new wave of innovation from advanced traffic management systems and smart mobility apps to real-time traffic, transit and parking information.”
- Scott Belcher, President and CEO of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America
Worried about “pre-crime?” What about “pre-crash?”
The geniuses at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTS) are so concerned about your “safety,” they have decided to take it into their own hands and make it mandatory that your car wirelessly communicate with other vehicles on the road. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx went so far as to say the technology could save “thousands of lives and even prevent accidents in the first place.” The concept of “pre-crash” has been born.
As in so many other aspects of life, there is a top down push to remove all control from the individual to the collective (recall the MSNBC host who proclaimed children don’t belong to their parents), typically justified within the content of the “war on terror,” and always justified with “it’s for your own good.” Apparently, we aren’t capable of making our own choices in anything any more, including something as simple as driving a car.
This push to exert control within individual vehicles is nothing new and appears to be a global phenomenon. For instance, just last week I posted an article titled: The EU May Mandate a “Remote Stopping Device” in All Cars for Police Use.
Now we learn from The Detroit News that:
Washington— The U.S. Transportation Department said Monday it plans to propose requiring all new cars and trucks to eventually communicate with one another, which could one day help reduce up to 80 percent of crash deaths.
- The EU May Mandate a “Remote Stopping Device” in All Cars for Police Use (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Jan 31, 2014):
Well this sounds like one of the worst ideas I have heard of in a long time. Naturally, it would emerge from the EU, the sorriest excuse for a fake government the world has ever seen.
While I have reported previously on regulatory efforts to put all sorts of invasive mandatory devices in U.S. automobiles (see my piece from October of last year Big Brother is Coming to Your Car), this idea from the EU take things to a whole other level of insanity.
From the BBC:
A device that would enable police to stop vehicles remotely is being considered by an EU-wide official working group, it has emerged.
- Porsche’s 1898 e-car returns after a century in storage (CNET, Jan 28, 2014):
The very first Porsche, an electric carriage, sat untouched in a warehouse for 111 years, but now it’s come home.
On June 26, 1898, Ferdinand Porsche’s “Egger-Lohner C.2 electric vehicle,” better known as the “P-1,” rolled on to the streets of Vienna for the first time. In 1899, the P-1 took the gold medal (by a full 18 minutes!) against a field of other electric vehicles in Berlin. Then in 1902, as Porsche put the first all-wheel drive passenger car into production, the P-1 was parked in a warehouse…where it sat untouched for the next 111 years.
After missing two world wars, the entire Berlin Wall era, and six “Fast and Furious” flicks during the intervening 11 decades, Porsche says in a release (PDF) the P-1 has now been recovered and is on permanent display, unrestored, at the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart, Germany.
- Fukushima harms commerce as Russia rejects radioactive Japanese cars (Natural News, Jan 12, 2014):
While officials in the United States astoundingly continue to deny that radiation levels originating from Fukushima pose a significant threat to American lives, despite many troubling pieces of evidence, Russia has shown its willingness to refuse radiation-tainted goods by turning away 130 used cars originating from Japan.
- BMW Builds a Self-Driving Car — That Drifts (Wired, Jan 7, 2014):
BMW makes the Ultimate Driving Machine, and now it’s made the Ultimate Drifting Machine. Except it’s the code that’s in control.
At CES, BMW is showing off a modified 2-Series Coupe and 6-Series Gran Coupe that can race around a track at the limits of adhesion, and slide around corners like a throttle-happy Formula Drift ace.
Both cars are outfitted with a LIDAR system, 360-degree radar, ultrasonic sensors, and cameras that track the environment. Partnered with the electronic braking, throttle, and steering control that’s standard on all new BMWs, the prototypes can run through a high-speed slalom, perform precise lane changes, and slide around corners, without any driver intervention.
From the article:
“Privacy is the real challenge,” Wise said. He said the V2V will likely rely on GPS-type data that could track a person’s movements.
- Feds May Require Cars to Talk to Each Other to Avoid Crashes (ABC News, Jan 1, 2014):
Federal officials will decided in the “coming weeks” whether to require new cars to include smart technology that would alert drivers of a coming crash, even in vehicles that are two or three cars away.
The vehicle-to-vehicle — or V2V — technology has undergone testing in recent years and has already been installed in some cars that are on the road.
A recent study by the Government Accountability Office determined that if the gizmos were widely deployed, “V2V technologies could provide warnings to drivers in as much as 76 percent of potential multi-vehicle collisions.”
- 22 Reasons To Be Concerned About The U.S. Economy As We Head Into The Holiday Season (Economic Collapse, Oct 14, 2013):
Are we on the verge of another major economic downturn? In recent weeks, most of the focus has been on our politicians in Washington, but there are lots of other reasons to be deeply alarmed about the economy as well. Economic confidence is down, retail sales figures are disappointing, job cuts are up, and American consumers are deeply struggling. Even if our politicians do everything right, there would still be a significant chance that we could be heading into tough economic times in the coming months. Our economy has been in decline for a very long time, and that decline appears to be accelerating. There aren’t enough jobs, the quality of our jobs continues to decline, our economic infrastructure is being systematically gutted, and poverty has been absolutely exploding. Things have gotten so bad that former President Jimmy Carter says that the middle class of today resembles those that were living in poverty when he was in the White House. But this process has been happening so gradually that most Americans don’t even realize what has happened. Our economy is being fundamentally transformed, and the pace of our decline is picking up speed.
The following are 22 reasons to be concerned about the U.S. economy as we head into the holiday season:
- European Car Sales In 2013 Drop To “Record”, 23-Year Low (ZeroHedge, Sep 17, 2013):
European recovery propaganda may be humming (for the latest proof see today’s German ZEW sentiment index which soared from 42.0 to 49.0 matching the all time high in the Dax), but when it comes to the actual economy – that place where commerce is conducted and where supply and demand curves intersect, the situation has never been worse. And not only unemployment which is at a persistently record high for the Eurozone, but actual transactions, in this case in the form of car sales. As AP reports, for the first eight months of the year, passenger car sales in the European Union were off 5.2% to 7.84 million compared with the same period last year, the European Auto Manufacturers’ Association said Tuesday. That’s the lowest January-August figure since the group started keeping track in 1990. So technically, this is a “record” low.
- Tesla Model S Achieves Best Safety Rating of Any Car Ever Tested (Tesla Motors Press Releases, Aug 19, 2013):
Palo Alto, CA — Independent testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has awarded the Tesla Model S a 5-star safety rating, not just overall, but in every subcategory without exception. Approximately one percent of all cars tested by the federal government achieve 5 stars across the board. NHTSA does not publish a star rating above 5, however safety levels better than 5 stars are captured in the overall Vehicle Safety Score (VSS) provided to manufacturers, where the Model S achieved a new combined record of 5.4 stars.
Of all vehicles tested, including every major make and model approved for sale in the United States, the Model S set a new record for the lowest likelihood of injury to occupants. While the Model S is a sedan, it also exceeded the safety score of all SUVs and minivans. This score takes into account the probability of injury from front, side, rear and rollover accidents.
- European Car Sales Drop To 20-Year Low, Germany Clobbered (ZeroHedge, June 18, 2013):
When the S&P, always so conveniently ahead of the curve, yesterday revised its forecast for Europe from growth in the second half of 2013 to 2014 one couldn’t help but golf clap, as well as wonder if they finally started looking at the fundamental depressionary reality on the ground instead of the rating agency’s infamous “models.” A depressionary reality confirmed by the latest car sales number for May which just hit a fresh 20 year low.
European car sales hit their lowest level for the month of May in 20 years as the region’s recession dragged on, the European automakers’ association said Tuesday.
They meant depression instead of recession, but it’s an honest mistake. Continue reading »
YouTube Added: 24.05.2013
My recent presentation to the 66th Annual CFA Conference in Singapore in which I discuss the disconnect between financial markets and mathematical reality
Grant Williams is a portfolio and strategy adviser at Vulpes Investment Management in Singapore. He began his career in finance with Robert Fleming & Co. in London, where he traded Japanese equity warrants. Mr. Williams also worked at Jardine Fleming in Tokyo before returning to Flemings in London, where he helped establish the firm’s pan-Asian convertible trading business. He headed up Asian equity trading at UBS in London and then ran equity trading books at Credit Suisse in New York, Hong Kong, and Sydney. Mr. Williams has a strong focus on precious metals and miners and is a regular speaker at investment conferences around the world. He writes the Things That Make You Go Hmmm… column for Mauldin Economics’ weekly newsletter.
More info on the conference here: 66th CFA Institute Annual Conference