Tag Archives: Ford

Two Issues in play

There is a larger issue in all this, part of it is Wall Street, the gig is up (to some extent) yet no calls are being made to investigate the Analyst game by aspiring new Wall Street kings, and moreover no one is asking questions.

We start with the impact that Apple has had and the Financial Post is giving us (at https://business.financialpost.com/investing/us-stocks-wall-st-pulled-lower-by-apple-trade-worries) “Shares of Apple Inc fell 3.5 per cent after the Wall Street Journal reported the company had cut production orders in recent weeks for all three iPhone models launched in September“, as well as “Other market leaders — including the ‘FANG’ stocks — also fell sharply, underscoring the view that their leadership was on shaky ground. Shares of Facebook were down 5.1 per cent, Amazon.com was down 4.3 per cent, Netflix was down 4.9 per cent and Alphabet (Google) fell 3.4 per cent“. Now, we can go two ways in this, yet I am concentrating on the mere logical view. It is not the part of loss that is concerning me, it is as I said in ‘Annual medical bill $864,685‘ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2018/11/17/annual-medical-bill-864685/) “Consider the $2365, whilst their opponent is offering a decently close solution for $1499 (Google) and $1599 (Huawei) all top end phones and the next model is 33% cheaper, in an economy where most people are turning around pennies (just look at Debenhams). It was a really bad market moment; one could argue that Apple believed their marketing whilst it was nowhere near realistic“, when we consider this part, which is the basis application of common sense in a day and age of hardly being able to get by and we see such drops in stock levels, is that because there is underperformance, or a more clear image of overestimation by certain analysts clearing an optional path of short selling? When we consider the definition of short selling as: “The trader sells to open the position and expects to buy it back later at a lower price and will keep the difference as a gain“, is my speculation on a market set to implode that far from the actual truth? Has the entire FAANG group resorted to hiring mentally challenged Business Intelligence enabled accountants, or is someone spiking the Wall Street environment?  Is my thought on this that far out or synch with reality? When we see SBS reporting with ‘Nissan chairman arrested in Japan for financial misconduct‘, and we are given: “Besides being chairman of Nissan, the 64-year-old is also CEO of Renault and leads the Nissan-Renault-Mitsubishi alliance“, “Nissan CEO Hiroto Saikawa expressed “despair,” but also suggested that Ghosn had accrued too much power and eluded proper oversight“, as well as “Saikawa gave few details about the nature of the improprieties, including refusing to confirm reports that Ghosn under-reported his income by 5 billion yen, or around $60 million (AUD), over five years from 2011. He said an ongoing investigation limited what details could be shared, and refused to be drawn on whether other people were involved, saying only: “These two gentlemen are the masterminds, that is definite.”“. As we consider the impact of Representative Director Greg Kelly and Carlos Ghosn, we might think that the entire matter is contained, yet is it? The fact that Automotive is a clear element on Wall Street, when we see this and we do not see another part, how wrong have the analysts been getting it? The fact that numbers on Wall Street would not fluctuate to the degree needed as the numbers were spiked by a major players is interesting to consider yesterday’s news (at https://www.zdnet.com/article/nuance-spins-off-automotive-segment-into-new-publicly-traded-company/). You see, just like I found the issue in the Harbour or Rotterdam two decades ago, I looked into another direction. When we consider “Other automotive brands such as Honda, Volkswagen, Ford, Hyundai, Audi, Porsche, Nissan, Kia, Chevrolet, Harley Davidson, Ferrari are ranked by their brand value among the top 100 brands in the world!“, so if we see the SBS part with: “years of financial misconduct including under-reporting of income and inappropriate personal use of company assets“, which looks weird as this is merely an internal part (criminal or not), is there a decent chance that the entire matter is larger and as such, would a provider like Nuance not be hit as they are a component in the Nissan (and Renault, and Mitsubishi)?

In all this, when we consider The actions of one, and the impact on another, yet we see that expectations were ‘firmly’ in the wrong place, at what point will we start asking the damaging questions to analysts who were ‘overly’ positive? So when we see: “Wall Street was looking for earnings of 32 cents a share on revenue of $525 million. Shares of Nuance were down slightly after hours“, were we shown a realistic stage? This gets us to the Sydney Morning Herald, where we see: “Since the FANG outperformance run peaked on August 30, the group has underperformed the S&P 500 by 16.25 per cent. That is their worst underperformance since the first half of 2014 when they underperformed by around 20 per cent“, is it truly an underperformance, or is it set towards unrealistic overestimation and as such, is the foundation of short selling not done on the word of analyts? So in that light, would it not become more and more prudent to ask the analysts certain questions? The fact that certain Nissan events were not on their radar, what else did they not see and as such, would that not have impacted the numbers at Nuance in a similar, yet there unfairly?

What else is there?

Well, that can be seen in one way as these players all need power to be available and energy is becoming an issue in the US. What happens when we put the (big) mouth of Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to the test? As he was ‘kind’ enough to use Bloomberg to state that the current crown prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was “unstable and unreliable”, would it be an idea to ask his royal highness to kindly consider that Oil is a sellers’ market and that it is important to consider the long term future of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as such, it is important to consider the value of oil and I personally believe that it should be raised to $73 per barrel, in light of this cutting oil production by 12% would be essential.

So when Lindsey gets the news that his lack of diplomacy is cutting oil and raising prices, at what point will he ever feel safe again as the American people will react to the mere stage of commerce, it is a sellers’ market plain and simple. It is a sellers’ market because the buyer is always open to get it somewhere else, and in all that there is merely Iran left. How does it all flow now? Let’s not forget that these are not my rules, they are the consequences of Wall Street. At what point will people wake up?

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a monarchy, it is one where the monarch of that nation makes decisions that decide what would be the best track for the people of THEIR nation (which is Saudi Arabia). In a time where the life of a journalist does not matter, Turkey showed that and both the EU and America remained largely quiet, so let’s face it, we do not care about Jamal Khashoggi, yet that person has received more pushed and powered visibility than for example Matteo Messina Denaro (I chose him as I grew up being a huge Diabolik comic fan), so when we see his actions and his absence from the press for the longest time, why would we care about Jamal Khashoggi? Because a knave speaking for Iran direted others to do so? We keep on getting the news, the media, the mention of tapes, yet how clearly has the evidence been investigated? The media stays silent, mostly playing on innuendo as much as possible.

You see, it the Crown Prince succeeds in getting the stage of Neom Started, Saudi Arabia will have started and aspired to something never seen before in the history of this world, all the things that America claimed to have done will be seen active in Saudi Arabia, it is optionally the biggest blow to American ego and optionally their economy too and they are finally scared, like the UK was when the 70’s peace accords had a chance, they pushed Egypt in another direction. Now we see the stage where there is so much anti-Saudi news, that it is sickening to me, especially as the acts of Turkey and Iran are smothered. How much news have you see on the 214 journalist jailed in Turkey? most of them all convicted, the last one a week ago, we were given “A court sentenced Turkish journalist Ali Unal to 19 years in jail on Wednesday on a charge of being a leader in the network accused of carrying out a failed coup in July 2016“, Jamal Khashoggi got 60 million hits in Google Search this morning, it is that far whacked out of balance and the industrial next generation all technological marvel that could be Neom, including the Bridge that links the Sinai (Sharm-El-Sheik) to Saudi Arabia, opening even more options to commerce and growth for Egypt and the Sudan? A mere 2.8 million, a project that is well over $500 billion in investments for technological and financial opportunities; that got less than 3 million hits. I reckon that Saudi Arabia also needs additional PR and digital PR on a much larger scale.

I think that America (as well as the European Union) needs to wake up and smell the coffee and they need to do it fast. As they whinge like little children, they are optionally giving additional fields of economy to India, China and Russia to move into a market where the oil revenues will be pressed for a different directions, so as these people are merely trying to bait infighting within the Saudi Royal family, they should start to realise that one of them wakes up and decides to close the tap by 20% and merely adjust the vision towards 2035, at that point whatever comes next will no longer have any America and even less Wall Street, at what point will the American administration have to forfeit on 21 trillion of debts they can no longer pay? Let’s not forget that the entire FAANG group can vacate and move anywhere globally, at what point will we see the news: ‘NASDAQ shuts down!‘  leaves us with the question: ‘is my speculation so outlandish?’ You see, the needs for the next technology is no longer in America and the difference between global and global minus America is not that big, at that point the politicians of the European Union will fold like little bitches and accept whatever deal will keep them employed and on their gravy train; they are that predictable.

The nice part is that there is every chance that I will be around when that happens, getting to tell the economic and financial editors of all the major newspapers: ‘I told you so!‘ and the blatant attacks, the media toolkit against the current crown prince of Saudi Arabia makes my speculation more and more likely. You see, it was merely a week ago, when CNBC gave us (at https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/15/trump-duped-saudis-into-tanking-oil-prices-analysts-say.html) ‘Oil analysts say Trump fooled Saudis into tanking crude prices‘, with the quote: “Oil market analysts say it now appears that Trump hoodwinked Saudi Arabia, fooling the U.S. ally into pushing the oil market into oversupply and sparking a roughly 25 percent drop in crude prices. That accomplished Trump’s goal of driving down energy costs for Americans“, it is optionally a decent tactic, but at present it can backfire, the KSA can take a step back and let it all fall to pieces as the Saudi government can survive a few years in the up scaled oil prices, yet the US and European economies will start to collapse as they have no infrastructure left, so when we see Bloomberg giving us ‘The Oil Price Is Now Controlled By Just Three Men‘, whilst we know that America has pissed of the other two to the largest degree; if truly three man control the price, the names are given to us as Presidents Donald Trump, President Vladimir Putin and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. That whilst America needs to import to survive making them actually pretty weak. So at what point do the people in Wall Street wake up and realise that the oil morning special is served at $91+, whilst there are 3-4 months of extreme cold ahead? At what point will they realise that oil is a sellers’ market, not a buyers one and the oil companies can wait, they can watch it all collapse and pick up cheap labour for a mere apple and an egg (quite literally so).

In the end, America can start making a deal with Iran and Russia for oil, yet at what cost will that come? Which concession will the American people have to agree to? I am pretty sure that this moment will become the nightmare scenario for Israel as well as the others get to cater to Iran, and the oil setting makes that an optional reality; the amount of concessions Turkey will get will give the EU something to cry about to a much larger extent; apart from the nightmare that the Italian budget is becoming at present.

There were a few games on everyone’s desk and at least three of them have been handled so badly that the impact needs to be felt in the US, even if it was for the mere reason to get them to wake up and smell the coffee that they spilled and the cost of living that they helped raise soon enough.

Oh, and when the Italian economy stops stagnating and turns to recession again, the mere impact of a 5% oil price rise would be enough to stop Italian traffic in its track, how much will be possible there when that happens? Consider that Italy has the highest fuel prices costing €1.65 per litre. When that goes up by 10%, how many people would be able to afford a car? More importantly, the Italian economy has misjudged this super high price for taxation, so when that falls away, how much of the Italian infrastructure is also likely to collapse?

It is a mere side thought, because France and Spain will be in similar distress on a few stages there too, not to mention the impact in Greece. It would decimate the Mediterranean economy to a much larger degree, yet Wall Street will trivialise it and when there is no more trivialisation left, who will they blame?

Saudi Arabia, President Trump or themselves?

I will let you figure that part out.

 

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Retrenching under false pretence

Today we see (at https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/mar/01/len-mccluskey-ford-unite-tariff-free-single-market-access-bridgend), how Ford is moving its needs and its projections towards other places. It fill the pattern and projected promise that have been set in motion a few years ago. The US is moving parts back to the US and some parts to Asia. Australia had been feeling this for some time. Ford left Australia in 2016 when in October the last Falcon XR6 came of the belt. Now we see the beginning of their exodus from the UK and in this the title ‘Unite blames Brexit as Ford prepares to cut 1,160 Welsh jobs‘ is as they call it, a total load of bullocks! You see, this is the other side of a one market and tariff free access. You see, as these costs fall away, making these 4 wheeled thingamajigs in America becomes profitable again. Now, let’s be fair, Ford is an American company. For American companies to move back to their home turf makes sense, it could even be seen as patriotic. But in all this, Ford remains a business. So they need profit to soar and that can be done by having their factories in America and Asia. Brexit was never a factor, Australia never had a Brexit.

Is there a chance that Brexit was any factor? I do not believe so, the UK is not yet in a completed Brexit and it would take a few years before all would be complete, so there is no Issue for Ford, in their camp it was already planned, the entire pressure on Brexit is just tactics, because the US is scared of what comes next, so for the US, in light of the upcoming French elections, the anti-Brexit pressures are essential. The game is changing in France. President Francois Hollande is not seeking a second term, according to the BBC the first French president to do this in modern times (at http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39130072), he is that unpopular and as such France is seeing several different issues and power plays in place. With one in four under-25’s is unemployed. So even as all parties agree that massive changes are needed, the Socialist failure gives rise to additional voices moving towards Front National. In all this, we see additional moves. We could even consider that this is a partial discriminatory ruling. The EU claims to be all about the freedom of speech and freedom of opinion, yet they will happily lift parliamentary immunity for the French prosecution to take legal action. We can argue the validity here in two ways. One: Marine Le Pen did break French law. Two: how many other French people have been prosecuted for ‘publishing violent images’? I would really like to see the numbers on that one. So as we will see big data mining on transgressors, I wonder how many have not been investigated, which shows that the EU is very willing to upset the sanctity of a fair election, especially as those deciding on this are likely to lose their jobs when Frexit becomes a reality.

So as we see through the (what I personally regard to be) blatant lies by Ford, or better stated by Len McCluskey, and in this as Ford is not forthcoming they get to be tainted by the very same lie. The quote “UK’s biggest trade union has urged Theresa May to guarantee car makers tariff-free access to the single market“, in this I would state ‘Mr McCluskey, are you usually just facilitating for big business?‘, you see, as I see it, Ford is using Len McCluskey not for the plant, not for the single market access ‘need’. No, they want to sweeten the deal! They need other concessions, like the ones they had in Australia. ABC Australia (at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-12-17/tax-transparency-report/7036708) gave the people a Tax Transparency report. Where: FORD MOTOR COMPANY OF AUSTRALIA LTD, had a Total income ($) of 2,940,670,099 (so basically almost $3 Billion), a Taxable income ($) of a mere 7,057,051. This means that 99.9917% of the income did not need to be taxed. So as we see: Tax payable, Tax payable as percentage of total income, as well as Tax payable as percentage of taxable income. These numbers become zero (that means $0.00 and 0.00%). So is Len McCluskey going to open his eyes? Is he going to realise that he is made the bitch of big business that requires the UK government to give away taxable income in the form of free labour? Perhaps Len McCluskey remembers what slave labour is? All valid questions, more important, if this is the path Ford wants, why not let then fuck off to merry old America? Let’s be fair and honest. America is in dire need of actual jobs and an actual economy. They are bleeding currency value and as such, if American companies decide to retrench in the US to save their home country, than that should be regarded as a noble action. Yet, these companies are run by boards that have one need, dividend and bonuses. Let’s also be honest here, these people don’t make any massive coin, not compared to a few other fortune 500 companies. The top executives, have an income ranging from $5.2M to $17.7M, which in Wall Street terms might be laughingly little, yet the retrenching has the danger of those people losing 28%-42% of what they are getting now. You see, as the US has a collapsing infrastructure, the strain the US is getting by having these manufacturers move back to the US is going to cause a few infrastructural gaskets to blow. It will not happen overnight, but within 24 months they setbacks will hurt Ford, there is no doubt in my mind on that. The level of setback will be anyone’s guess, I do not have any wisdom that could state to any degree of certainty how much the impact is. Yet, when you consider that Ford is working on a 3.9% operating margin (2014 reported numbers) and they walked away from an Australian 99.9917% non-taxation, we should wonder on how they tend to do economically more terrific in the US. It seems to me that the US retrenching has either massive kickbacks, or will come at the consequence of short sightedness and long term hardship. The numbers do not makes sense to walk away from either, but the clarity is that fingering Brexit was not the reason. But then, Ford did not do that, they got

Len McCluskey to do just that. It is the part “McCluskey also demanded that Ford provide “legally binding guarantees” of future production at the plant”. It made me giggle. You see if they had not before, why would they do that now? It seems to me that McCluskey, not unlike Kim Carr in Australia, was either in on part of it for a time, or I need to consider them both to be massively incompetent. A legal binding guarantee after the fact. It is just too hilarious! Of course, when the issue collapses and Ford moves, then we get the real issue, because at that point the blame game starts. In Australia, Kim Carr got to play his game and got the reprieve, so when his labour team got replaced by the Australian Liberal Party (the Aussie Tories), he stood back and got to stand playing with his beard thinking ‘not my problem anymore!‘, yet Len McCluskey does not get to be this lucky, when Ford leaves it will be on his plate and the Unite members will have a massive amount of questions, I wonder how many actual answers Len McCluskey will have.

So all these revelations and facts brought to you because someone decided to blame Brexit and I have actually had enough of those blamers. The fact is that there would always be consequences to Brexit, so when I see another ‘bremainer’ demand a Brexit without consequences, I wonder just how stupid some people tend to get. Another side linked to this is seen in the Independent (at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/britain-will-not-contribute-to-eu-budget-if-no-brexit-deal-is-reached-says-lords-report-a7609526.html), here we see ‘Britain will not contribute £50bn to EU budget if no Brexit deal is reached, says Lords report‘, the subtitle is even more descriptive ‘The UK appears to have a strong legal position in respect of the EU budget post-Brexit and this provides important context to the Article 50 negotiations‘. The reason to go here is seen in “According to the Lords, EU budget payments – likely to be a contentious issue throughout the Article 50 negotiating period – would not be enforceable and the UK would be in a “strong” legal position to not pay a penny if talks ended with no deal“, so all the hard play we have seen has been absent of a proper analyses of the articles, something the House of Lords was not about to let go. The quote “Theresa May has warned her European allies that the UK is prepared to crash out of the EU if no reasonable Brexit deal is agreed on. In this case, the Lords add, Britain will not be liable to make any further financial contributions to the budget” also implies that there is a two stream issue within the conservatives. You see, when we see the quote of Theresa May against “David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, said earlier this year that the Government would not rule out making future payments to the EU’s budget in order to secure favourable access to Europe’s markets“. The two streams are ‘let’s be flexible about it all‘ and ‘we have had enough of this‘. The point being that large corporations have been souring the cream pushing European politicians to take emotional stands whilst others are trying to muzzle Mario Draghi and his need to spend a trillion no one has. This now pushes back to the Automotives of the land (including the exiting Ford), I think we need to see that the approach that has been used for too long a time, making some industries holy and non-taxed is not the way to go. Now, there are plenty of people who want certain markets to push forward and to have trade deals in place tends to be a good thing. Yet the part that the media seems to ignore again and again is that these deals benefit large corporations to a massive degree, but others tend to fall between the cracks losing out on all those fringe benefits. It is an injustice that has been seen several times and Brexit would allow for a change that gives a level of fairness to it all (allow does not mean it will happen though). So whilst we can agree that there would possibly be an impact, there are still too many waters stirring, so any level of Brexit blame is very premature. That evidence is given additional support when we consider Reuters news from 2015 (at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-autos-ford-asia-idUSKBN0O625Y20150521), it was already forecasted 2 years ago that “When I take a look at Ford’s growth over the next five to 10 years, we believe roughly 60 percent of the growth will be in the Asia Pacific region,” said Dave Schoch, president of Ford’s Asia Pacific region“, which was the first sign that the Ford plants in Australia were at risk. In equal measure, the slowing economy in China saw Ford sales drop, a similar event has been happening in Europe, where the drop is three times higher and here we get the issue. It had a rise for a while and the European numbers looked really good, that is, until you realise that Russia was the only strong contributor to the Ford sales. Yet the Russian slump has been in play and it is now also hurting Ford, whilst the news of ‘rapid recovery unlikely‘ to be at the head of the forecasting table. So when we see Ford media give us (at https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/feu/en/news/2017/01/18/ford_s-european-sales-rise-5–in-2016–strong-ford-transit–rang.pdf), “Ford sales rise 5 percent in 2016 to nearly 1.4 million vehicles in its 20 traditional European markets*“, with the reference to Austria, Belgium, Britain, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Romania, Sweden and Switzerland.

Giving us now the one part that the papers were missing. The fact that the sales are not sliding, but the revenue is set to better profitability, in that the element becomes that the UK is only one of 20 nations for Ford and when we add the Ford Authority quote to it from February 20thIn all, the closures terminated nearly 6,000 jobs, although some number of those were merely shifted to lower-cost countries like Spain and Turkey“, as well as “Ford Europe has continued to pare down its workforce, offering “voluntary separation” packages to some 10,000 employees since early last year to help save an estimated $200 million annually” a valid tactical move by Ford going back to well before 2015. So as we see this facts, the entire Ford issue has been playing for a while and a lot of it has been out in the open. So at this point I would ask Len McCluskey where he got the idea “workers had been “kept in the dark”“. I would like to know what actions he had undertaken since December 2015 when this was already underway, more important, the move in Australia should have really woken him up. Did it do that? Because certain facts, clearly given by several sources, some of them openly Ford themselves. It is there where we now see a reason to doubt the existence of both Kim Carr and Len McCluskey (but that is just my view on the matter). Len had the option of making a clear speech to the workers in wales starting by ‘the party is over, there will be massive changes in the future, but we do not know the exact setting, but the worst case scenario is that the plant will seize to exist‘. Did he make that speech? I reckon not, most people like that tend to avoid bad news, especially when events like Brexit can be blamed and that is exactly what he did in the end.

As a final point I need to refer to the quote “We have had, as I said, dialogue with Ford. We will continue to have a regular dialogue with Ford about the ways in which government can help to make sure that this success continues“, which was exactly was happening in Australia, with the happy ending not becoming a reality. There, certain players decided to blame the newly elected liberal government, whilst we clearly see that there is plenty of evidence that Ford had already decided, and the decision was ‘vacate!’

I wonder what McCluskey does next, perhaps blame the Welsh weather?

 

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The last Australian car

Australian news has been all over the place. The one thing that is so expected is now on the fritz. Car makers are moving away from Australia. The events have not been out of the air, but what has been a revelation, is the amount of ‘subsidies’ the government had thrown into that direction to begin with. What can we (me, myself and my sources) tell you? First, the four big car makers in Australia were Ford, Holden, Mitsubishi and Toyota.

1. Ford
Last year, Ford announced plans to shut its two Australian plants in October 2016, blaming strong currency as well as high production costs that are hitting the manufacturer. These are all decent reasons, but I personally do not think that this was the whole picture. In addition Ford is cutting 300 jobs this June, which has some worried that Ford will leave before the 2016 announced point of departure.

2. Holden
Holden will be leaving Australia in 2017. Holden’s 2017 exit from its automotive assembly operations in Elizabeth put 13,000 jobs at risk in South Australia. (at http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jan/21/holden-exit-2017-sa-needs-330m).

3. Mitsubishi
Mitsubishi shuttered its assembly plant in 2008.

4. Toyota
The world’s largest car maker announced it would stop building cars in Australia by the end of 2017 and would operate in this country only as a sales and distribution company. One additional factor needs to be told, which will have bearing down the road. Namely “Toyota is Australia’s biggest vehicle exporter with around 70,000 of the 100,000-plus cars it builds here being sold in foreign markets” (at http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/latest-news/toyota-to-make-major-announcement/story-fn3dxiwe-1226822810074).

So, by 2017 all carmakers will have bailed out of Australia. Why is this all a big deal?
Many will go directly for the job losses. ABC stated “The Australian Council of Trade Unions has warned the decision could cost as many as 50,000 jobs and wipe $21 billion from the economy as the impact rolls through the associated components sector” (at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-10/toyota-to-pull-out-of-australia-sources/5250114).

Is that all the truth? No! Listening to Labour leader Bill shorten is to hear a lot of misinformation and tweaked wordings. Labour had messed up a lot of issues. In my personal view, I personally think that Bill Shorten is not telling the whole truth because his lips are moving! Let’s not forget that the Liberals are not blameless either, the entire situation has covered both sides of the political aisle. Part of the disgrace can be read in the Business insider (at http://www.businessinsider.com.au/australias-car-industry-out-of-gas-after-billions-in-subsidies-that-were-always-going-to-lead-to-a-dead-end-2013-12) the quote “The car industry is estimated to have received a total of $12 billion in direct subsidies and protections over the past 20 years, including $1.8 billion to Holden in the 11 years to 2012.” is at the heart of this. So basically, 4 car makers have enjoyed an annual $600 million in subsidies a year. This is so off the wall it is not even funny! So our taxation goes to an industry who advertises a dozen times a day that they are so great? How can we take either the car industry, or the government in this regard serious? Let us not forget that Labour was part of this all as well. This also links back to the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership). An interesting link we find is a Japanese site that had the following to say (at http://www.jama-english.jp/publications/tpp_pr_mar2013.pdf) “Japan’s auto market is completely open to other countries’ products. No restrictive customs or other regulations apply to imported vehicles.

What about the exported vehicle side of all this? If we see it in that light, we see that the TPP is opening up borders as it should, so, that from now on Japan (Toyota and Mitsubishi) as well as USA (Ford and Holden) have a dire reason to return to their home flock. The TPP is giving options to get these brands all home build. Whatever assurances we see now on support and spare parts will soon be removed too (like in the month as they leave). Yes, there will be a few ‘exclusive’ distributors, but as the TPP comes to full power, the entire online experience will not just hold books, movies and video games. they will likely include car parts soon enough. If you doubt this all (which would be fair), then consider the following article (at http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/columnists/lies-damn-lies-and-car-subsidy-statistics/story-fnbkvnk7-1226824091831#), where writer Judith Sloan brings a case that Australia has subsidised almost $1900 per vehicle produced. If we take that and we add the initial quote I mentioned “Toyota is Australia’s biggest vehicle exporter with around 70,000 of the 100,000-plus cars it builds here being sold in foreign markets” leaves me with the question whether we have been sponsoring that part too.

Is this just the story? No! I think that there is more at play. Even though several sources are not making any mention of it, Ford and General Motors (Holden) are American companies and i think it is not just about removing plants, I personally think that members of the US government have had talks with all the big boys of industry. The American situation cannot continue. If America is to survive (which is slowly becoming less and less likely), they need taxable incomes. To get this done they will have to get the industry back. This will soon become an era of in-sourcing. This is not a new or a novel thought. It had been on the mind of many in 2012 and several articles had been written in 2013 that in-sourcing would grow big in USA. One of the people outspoken in that area had been Charles Fishman. Even though no one took him that seriously, the man appeared to have been right on the money. I personally think that it was the dumb spending sprees by both Japanese and American governments that forced the in-sourcing hand. This is also part of the pressure we saw in December as President Barack Obama spoke out for a quick closure of the TPP (it still think that the pharmaceutical patents are the largest part, but that I will cover at a later date).

Is it all a bad idea? No!

It is for us, but can you blame these two nations for thinking of themselves? It will however be important for us to find another solution. I already mentioned this on December 11th when I wrote about ‘The Holden circus’. If Toyota is leaving Australia too, then my thoughts on this are not just validated to some extent, they become a lot more important to follow up on. A nation of 23 million needs its own car industry. I do believe that it should not be subsidised, the designers just need to become really clever and we the people of Australia will need to support our own industry. If the Japanese and the Americans are all about nationalism (as we have seen on many occasion), then why not the Australians? If Japan and America walk away from a 23 million customer base, why should we keep any level of loyalty towards them?

We must all realise that we need to adjust our focus, we must change our way of working and thinking. We need to walk away from subsidies and sponsoring. We must move to an age where we design in a more clever way, we must bring to market in a brighter way and we must adhere to a different customer collective. The 4 brand approach to 12 models a year is just not sustainable. If these makers claim so, ten let them refund the subsidies!

When the last car is built in Australia, the eager beaver that launches their brand in Australia will start with the audience of a lifetime!

 

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The Holden circus!

Today there is an abundance of false emotions, stomping of tables and floors by theatrical agents. Yes, today the upcoming closure of Holden got announced. They are not the only one. Ford had already decided to stop in 2016 and Mitsubishi closed in 2008. Now, Holden will stop by the end of 2017. On an Island of 21.000.000, the three large makers get out. Is it a wonder? The economy is down by a lot! Buying cars is not on the mind of many. I get that there is enough space for one to exist, but do we really all need a new car?

This is not just about the economy; this is about need and offer. How viable is it to make cars? The initial idea that we need a car almost every year should have been abandoned year ago. The fact that we were hit by 0% finance deals should have been an indication. This is not just a view that is new. This has been going on for at least 2 administrations. It is so nice to see the amount of emotional lashing we are currently see on Sky News. It goes further. One mentioned that part of this had been known since 2007.

The one part I found most amusing was the speech by Paul Bastian. He is the National Secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU). Sky News reported “Paul Bastian blamed the government’s refusal to offer more assistance to Holden and called on the government to ‘come clean on its vision for manufacturing.’

This is in part the fault if the TPP. The TPP would allow for the American brand to be again an American brand, now through imports without severe import taxation, which is exactly what the TPP was meant to do. To be honest, this is the part I do not object to. In the end, if an American brand works from America, then that is how it is. If this is the way that American corporations need to operate, then that is just how it is. My issue with the TPP is and remains the unjust hijacking of innovation. This is not it. This is a business decision. I do not like it. Many Australians do not like it, but that is just how it is.

Getting back to Mr Bastian, I get that he is emotional, I get that he wants it to remain here and that the government should have ‘done more’. Are we to give Big Business a free ride? No! If one thing is a fact then perhaps that this is a signal for these Australians to sit down and create a new Australian brand. Get a national car, get the ideas together and create a new brand that could become the proud spearhead of an industry. Let us not forget that Holden (and Mitsubishi and Ford) have decided to walk away from 21 million potential customers. Germany had 10% of that when someone sat down, created the boxer engine and then made ‘Volkswagen’ a reality (by the way, the boxer engine would be the proud trademark of Porsche for decades). This literally translated into ‘car of the people’. With that they followed Citroen, who started 2 decades before that. These two would impact the automotive industry within 2 decades. So why look at General Motors holding your hand up like Oliver Twist asking for more?

Short and sweet? “Fuck ’em!

There is nothing stopping us from creating a generic engine with the Kiwi’s and create a car that has a decent level of appeal to almost 25 million people. (Aussies and Kiwi’s).

 

In addition, there should be great laughter rolling from the interview that Sky News showed in regards to the reasoning. Questions like ‘If Mr Hockey had…‘ is just preposterous initially. Yes, there might have been issues, but when you hear about a 1 billion commitment towards that big business, we need to start asking questions.

The short and sweet of it is that America is BANKRUPT! With 17 Trillion in debt they are talking about 80 billion in less spending. When you are down 17,000 billion, 80 billion is less than 0.5%. So finally America starts cleaning up its act by calling back business and making then tax accountable. Is that such a far stretch? I think not and I do not blame them for that step in any way. So is it such a stretch for an Australian to create a new local brand that will support OUR industry, OUR people and OUR economy? This is what innovation is all about. Yes, our car, if released in 2016 might lack all the comforts, but so did the French 2CV. That became the future of a billion euro company. Nothing stops us from redoing this. In the end, the economy forced big business back to their local ground. Yes, they might lose 25 million customers, but we could create a new economy, a new future and new innovation. I say we look forward!

All what we see now on TV is name and blame by people making a lot of money, whilst the facts had been around for a few years. Ask how those high paid analysts did not see this happening! I am not stating that politics are free of blame, but in the end, this is the choice of an American car giant (General Motors), a step that others, including Japan (Mitsubishi) had already made.

So when some make some theatrical show of 500 million getting pulled out, we need to ask ‘why on earth do they need 500 million?‘ How about we create a new brand? Will Toyota pull out? Perhaps not! If Toyota is all that remains, we have reason to JUST support Toyota.

Now, in all this, let me be clear that I am not an automotive expert, but to hear all these people claiming that ‘big business’ is waiting on more support by government is just ludicrous. Yes, perhaps it is a tragic day, but in the end, Mike Devereux has to represent General Motors. The opposition is all about slinging mud, but this had been going on for a long time, whilst THEY were in charge. So this, as it is decided in just a few months that the Liberals were in charge, they move away.

What a croc!

This had been planned for some time. Detroit, being a bankrupt city is on the verge of being removed from the map. The opposition knew that more was going on. To see

When ABC had this (at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-05/holden-to-pull-out-of-australia-from-2016-17/5138942) the following quote was given “Holden says discussions with the Government on its future are continuing, and it says it does not respond to speculation.” this means that there was more and more was in play, and to see the blame by the opposition is just a joke. If we in addition consider the Herald Sun showing us thin almost a week ago (http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/govt-opposition-deny-holden-pull-out-plan/story-fni0xqi4-1226776625199), we see that there are several sour apples in the barrel and there are some indications that it could be perceived that labour knew about much of this, but perhaps the game was played for future tax break endeavours.

 

In the end, I think that these acts are all about America needing now to desperately protect American futures (which I totally get), which is WHY the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) was so important to them; especially in light of export terms (not just the issues that the WTO discussed over the last month). We should also regard that this is only the beginning. Consider that Japan has equal financial pressures. What happens when Takeda Pharmaceuticals Australia Pty Ltd does the same? Will we get another emotional outbreak by Kim Carr? Will we get more number fidgeting (that is how I see it)? They all forget that such a step needs several months of considerations. This means that the start of this had already at a time when it was the Australian Labour government who was in charge and this should have been dealt with THEN!

Instead, Labour show them as playing the child tantrum, they should unite with the Liberals and open the doors for a new brand. Consider the consequences when General Motors needs to consider losing 25 million customers, almost 8% of the American population. Be clever, be innovative!

We, both Australians (and Brits too) have proven to be innovative. Now, the Americans have given us reason to be so quickly and clearly. Let us show them that we can get it done, preferably without needing 500 million more after a business had been established.

I am throwing down the gauntlet. Who is the innovative engineer ready to commit to his possible future Fortune 500 position?

 

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