Tag Archives: Sales

2 Sales On Dividends You Can't Miss In 2018
June 16, 2018 6:05 pm|Comments (0)

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U.S., China nearing deal to remove U.S. sales ban against ZTE: sources
May 22, 2018 6:00 am|Comments (0)

BEIJING (Reuters) – Washington and Beijing are nearing a deal that would remove an existing U.S. order banning American firms from supplying Chinese telecommunications firm ZTE Corp, two people briefed on the talks told Reuters.

FILE PHOTO – Visitors pass in front of the Chinese telecoms equipment group ZTE Corp booth at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 26, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Picture

The people, who declined to be identified because the negotiations were confidential, also said the deal could include China removing tariffs on imported U.S. agricultural products, as well as buying more American farm goods.

ZTE, hit by a seven-year ban in April which effectively crippled its operations, would gain a major reprieve after the world’s two largest economies stepped back from the brink of a fully blown trade war following talks last week.

The company did not immediately reply to requests for comment.

White House advisors have said publicly that the ban against ZTE is being reexamined, but that the firm would still face “harsh” punishment, including enforced changes of management and at board level.

One person told Reuters there was a “handshake deal” on ZTE between U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He during talks in Washington last week that would remove the U.S. Commerce Department’s ban on American companies selling to ZTE in exchange for the purchase of more U.S. agricultural products.

The second person said China may also eliminate tariffs on U.S. agriculture products it assessed in response to U.S. steel duties as a part of the deal, and that ZTE could still be forced to replace its corporate leadership, among other penalties.

Both sources said the deal, while not yet cemented, was likely to be finalised before or during a planned trip by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to Beijing next week to help finalize a broader trade agreement to avert a trade war.

The company, publicly traded but whose largest shareholder is a Chinese state-owned enterprise, had been hit with penalties for breaking a 2017 agreement after it was caught illegally shipping U.S. goods to Iran and North Korea, in an investigation dating to the Obama administration.

Reporting by Michael Martina; Additional reporting by Se Young Lee and Adam Jourdan; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

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Tesla: Tsunami Of Sales And Profits In Q3
May 19, 2018 6:04 pm|Comments (0)

Bullish expectations for Q3

This article explores the bullish projection that Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) is about to become profitable in Q3.

Among the expectations discussed below are that Tesla Model 3 sales in Q2 will be 20,000 cars fewer than production due to federal tax credit rules. This will appear to be poor sales, but in reality will be due to stockpiling cars for sale in Q3 due to the way the tax rules are written.

While this means Q2 revenue will be reduced, it also means Q3 revenue will be increased. As a result, Model 3 should become a top 20 selling vehicle in the US in Q3 with a potential of 80,000 units sold into the US.

This is an average per month sales of about 27,000 Model 3 cars, making it the 12th best selling vehicle in the US ahead of the Nissan Altima (see list below).

Tesla Q3 sales will match the total number of cars sold by Tesla in all of 2017.

Elon Musk has adopted “profits” as his current goal. This replaces his previous goal of fast expansion of the product lineup. The former goal required capital input to fund rapid expansion. The new goal will flip the losses upside down and generate profits now that the bottlenecks are being eliminated one after another.

Most authors write that Tesla is shutting the production line down to “fix problems”. I suggest that Tesla is shutting the production line down to install new machinery that will increase the production speed. Increased production speed means increased gross margin, and if the increase is large enough, net profits.

Showing profits will potentially increase stock price and eliminate the potential for bankruptcy. This in turn will eliminate the bear thesis that Tesla is about to go under and is therefore a good stock to short.

With the short thesis proven wrong, I expect the stock to increase to a new plateau above $ 400 per share. This was my expectation a year ago, but the bottlenecks delayed the realization until now.

However, sales will likely remain low for May and June. I don’t expect this share price increase to be realized until after a barrage of sales in July make what I’m suggesting here obvious.

Let’s now explore why I’ve come to the above conclusions.

Model 3 may enter top 20 selling US cars in Q3

This week, Tesla has reached 500 cars per day, or, 3,500 cars per week. Bloomberg just increased their production estimate to 3,523/wk.

According to Electrek, Tesla is well on its way to reaching 5,000 cars per week by the start of Q3 in July.

If Tesla reaches this target for next quarter, the Model 3 will enter the top 20 list of US vehicles sold. A rate of 5,000 cars per week means an annual rate of 250,000 cars and a monthly rate around 20,000 cars. I expect Tesla will sell 80,000 Model 3 cars in Q3 so look for 27,000 or so cars per month on the list below.

That rate is between the Jeep Grand Cherokee and the Toyota Tacoma. If realized, the Model 3 will become a top 20 selling car in the US, next quarter.

This data was published by Focus2move here:

Today, the Model 3 is the best selling EV, but it isn’t on the top 100 list. Neither is any other EV. Every one of the top 100 selling cars in the US have an internal combustion engine. And while Tesla is now projected to be building more than 3,000 cars per week, which is to say over 12,000 cars per month (which would place the Model 3 around the #40 position of vehicles sold in the US), I expect this will not happen in May or June.

The reason? The federal tax credit.

It is beneficial for any company to cross the 200,000th car sold into the US threshold, early in a new quarter. Doing so wins that company an extra quarter of sales where customers receive the full tax credit.

Tesla would likely cross that mark this quarter if it sold all the cars it builds, as soon as they are built. To avoid this, Tesla is likely already stockpiling vehicles for a blow out delivery rush starting in July.

Several authors have noticed that the production figures are higher than reported sales figures. Tesla should have built over 6,500 cars in April, but sold fewer than 4,000. That’s a 2,500 or so discrepancy.

There are articles projecting that the discrepancy results from poor build quality and cars piling up for re-work and being stored in parking lots until Tesla can get around to fixing them.

I contend that thesis is wrong, and instead, Tesla is piling up a tsunami of cars for sale in Q3. Here’s why.

How the Federal Tax Credit works

The federal tax credit phases out over a 4-quarter (1-year) period beginning the second quarter after a company sells their 200,000th car.

If Tesla actually sold the cars produced, I expect the company would cross the threshold this quarter. By delaying the 200,000th US sale until after July 1, Tesla adds nearly an entire extra quarter of sales to the program, benefiting their customers. Tesla will sell nearly 60,000 more cars under full tax credit.

For this reason, I think one should expect sales to be flat this month and next (in Q2), while a 20,000 car stockpile ready for Q3 sales is accumulated.

Musk’s Increased Confidence

Elon Musk has stated several times that Tesla will not need to raise money this year. During the recent earnings call, he explicitly stated Tesla will not raise money this year.

Much was written about Musk’s behavior on that call. Most articles in one fashion or another, assert that Musk is cracking under the pressure. If so, Tesla may be headed for a crash near term.

So many people bought into that notion that 400,000 new shares sold short overnight after the earnings call. The stock price dropped 10% in one day.

Since then, however, the stock price has fully recovered and the divide between the bullish and bearish theses has widened.

Listening to the call, it made perfect sense to me that Elon was annoyed by the callers who had read the release and yet asked questions about things specifically stated in that paper. It was as if the callers were saying they knew the paper said they would be profitable, but they don’t believe it and so are trying to figure out what Elon is lying about. Feeling like he was being called a liar, I believe, is why he lost his cool.

But that isn’t what’s interesting. What’s interesting is that he is so confident that he will not need to raise funds that he didn’t bite his tongue.

What this means is that for the first time, Musk is placing profits ahead of expansion and rapid growth. And what’s more, he fully expects to reach profitability.

Bloomberg’s Model 3 Tracker diverging from reality

Bloomberg’s Model 3 Tracker website has been excellent at following the ramp up in Model 3, until April. The analysis has a flaw that doesn’t account for the federal tax credit deviation from business as usual.

The Tracker assumes that when a car is built and ready for sale, that Tesla will sell it as quickly as possible. This has been true, until this past month. Now, and until the end of June, Tesla can benefit its customers best by holding back about 20,000 (total) cars built in Q2 and then selling them in Q3.

Here’s the VIN data from the wild, plotted as yellow dots. Notice the gap in the numbers from about 23,000 to 25,500 representing about 2,500 cars that are absent from the public. Where did they go? Were they built?

Tesla should have built around 6,500 Model 3 cars in April. This is based on Tesla statements that they built 2,000+ cars per week for 3 weeks in a row (2 in April), and then shut down the line to add improvements and further speed the line production. April production should have been ~6,500 cars.

Instead of 6,500 Model 3 cars sold in April, Tesla only sold 3,875 M3 cars according to InsideEVs here.

We know Tesla built over 4,000 Model 3 cars in the first 2 weeks of April and would have needed to shut the line down for the rest of the month if cars produced were the same as cars sold. That makes no sense.

One logical explanation is that Tesla “sold” fewer cars than it “produced” by around 2,500. If these cars are being stockpiled, then in May and June this discrepancy should get much worse.

Tesla should build around 10,000 Model 3 cars in May and around 18,000 cars in June. But Tesla will likely sell just 5,000 per month for those two months to remain below 200,000 cars sold into the US. That means Tesla may accumulate 2,500 + 5,000 + 13,000 = 20,500 cars more than it sells in Q2.

Bloomberg’s model averages the estimates of cars produced with cars sold. But that’s averaging apples and oranges, it doesn’t work.

Last week the production estimate was 1,752 and this week it is 3,523.


Bloomberg needs to separate the sales and production projections into two different values. Otherwise they are trying to average apples and oranges. This would be fine any other time except now, where unusual strategy makes sense to benefit customers who desire to receive the federal tax credit.

Potential Q3 Sales

This brings us to estimate potential Q3 sales based on these optimistic expectations.

First, if Tesla succeeds at ramping to 5k/wk by the beginning of Q3, then it should have produced about 30,000 M3 cars in May and June. If it sells 10k of those to hold #1 BEV position for those months, there would remain 20,000 cars in stock.

Second, Tesla should pass 5k/wk build rate and increase to higher than that during the middle of Q3. That means Tesla should build more than 60,000 cars in Q3. VIN filings must significantly increase to meet that pace, and those filings will be public information.

For the past month, VIN filings are about 3,800 cars per week. This is well on its way to 5,000 per week by the end of the quarter. Tesla should also build about 25,000 of Models S and X in Q3.

Tesla will be coming out with the dual motor and possibly also ludicrous mode variants of the Model 3 in Q3. Tesla is taking orders for the higher cost variants of Model 3 first, so I expect the average price to remain high and will use $ 50k for these estimates.

The total M3 cars sold in Q2 should be around (20k + 60k) * $ 50k = $ 4B.

The total MS and MX sold should be around 25k * $ 100k = $ 2.5B.

The total revenue from cars should be in the range of $ 6.5B with a gross profit of $ 1.3B if they make the 20% margin figure claimed. I’ll ignore the energy side for this treatise as small by comparison.

Given that Musk has firmly asserted the company will not need cash, and also that it will be profitable and cash flow positive, I suspect that Musk is thinking Tesla will manage something like the above.

Model 3 is about to enter the US Top 20 list

The Model 3 is about to climb the ranks of other vehicles, and if the above figures are met, it will pass Toyota Corolla and Honda Accord, landing in a tie with the Jeep Grand Cherokee for top selling vehicles in the US for Q3.

I admit that this comparison is, and isn’t, fair. The Model 3 is an EV whereas all of the top 100 cars sold in the US today have internal combustion engines, ICE.

The Model 3 is the best selling EV and the only mass produced EV. In this regard, the comparison is NOT fair since it is different from all of the rest of the cars on that top 100 list.

However, any other car company could have launched an EV instead of their ICE models. And, they could have built their own equivalent of the Supercharger Network instead of relying on other businesses to do so for them. So in this regard, the comparison IS fair and demonstrates that people want electric cars with good range and a fast charging system that is already deployed.

That this is so is confirmed by a recent Consumer Reports article about a AAA survey showing that 20% of Americans expect their next vehicle purchase to be an EV. US car sales dropped by 2% in 2017 according to JDPowers. That marked the end of a 7-year run of steady sales growth. Given the AAA survey of intentions combined with blooming sales of Model 3, I expect we will see US sales of internal combustion engine cars drop by a larger figure in 2018.

There are not enough good EVs to replace the drop in ICE vehicle sales.

Jaguar I-Pace, for example, claims 350kW charging capability. But the claim is a farce. Today, no 350kW chargers exist out on the open road and it will likely be several years (if ever) before a network of charging stations is built. It isn’t clear yet that the 350kW charging standard will even work.

Upon introduction this summer, anyone that purchases an I-Pace will be forced to use the only chargers actually deployed… the same ones used by the Bolt and Leaf that only charge at 50kW instead of Tesla’s 120kW. Charging an I-Pace will take more than double the time to charge a Tesla.

What this means is that counter to claims that Tesla is about to face a swarm of new contenders, the fact is that none of them can hold a candle to the charging speed of the Supercharger Network. Ironically, all of the contenders should increase Tesla sales, as once anyone reviews charging infrastructure, Tesla is the only logical brand choice.

Introduction of the competition should further increase Model 3 sales until such time as a new charging infrastructure is actually in place, and, assuming Tesla is unable to use that new infrastructure. If Tesla CAN use that new infrastructure, then Tesla remains the best EV choice bar none, simply for its enhanced number of charging stations.

Conclusions

Tesla is building more cars than it is selling. This may indicate that Tesla is accumulating cars to be sold in Q3 due to tax phase out rules.

If Tesla makes the production targets it has disclosed, it would generate approximately $ 6.5B in Q3 gross sales with around $ 1.3B in gross margin. Even without cutting back on spending, that much extra gross margin should yield net profits.

The Model 3 may rise from below rank #100 for sales into the US now, to above position #20 next quarter. That is, the Model 3 appears poised to jump 80 positions in the US top 100 vehicle sales list, beginning in July.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Editor’s Note: This article discusses one or more securities that do not trade on a major U.S. exchange. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.

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Audi eyes 800,000 electric and hybrid car sales in 2025
May 8, 2018 6:07 pm|Comments (0)

BERLIN (Reuters) – German premium brand Audi on Tuesday said it plans to sell about 800,000 battery-electric and hybrid powered cars in 2025, as it seeks to catch up with electric car rival Tesla and emerge from a damaging emissions-cheating scandal.

The logo of the German car manufacturer Audi is pictured at the training center during a media tour in San Jose Chilapa, Mexico April 19, 2018. REUTERS/Henry Romero

Audi’s image has been tarnished by regulatory probes investigating what role its engineers may have played in designing engine management software to cheat modern emissions tests.

Audi will launch more than 20 electrified vehicles by 2025 thanks to an ability for using parent Volkswagen’s (VOWG_p.DE) new MEB modular platform and vehicle underpinnings jointly developed with premium sibling Porsche, it said.

That’s slightly more ambitious than the 20 electrified vehicles Audi had previously guided for. Audi said it would launch the cars without undermining its 8-10 percent operating margin target.

Audi declined to provide details about how many fully battery electric, and how many hybrid cars it will sell by 2025. Last year, it sold about 16,000 semi-electric vehicles and it still lacks a fully electric model in its lineup.

The Ingolstadt, Germany-based brand, which delivered 1.88 million cars globally in 2017 currently offers three plug-in hybrid vehicles.

In August, Audi will launch the e-tron sport utility vehicle, its first serial all-electric model.

Demand for large sports utility vehicles has helped make Audi Volkswagen’s main profit driver.

On Tuesday Germany’s Transport Ministry said the KBA vehicle authority was investigating a further 60,000 diesel-engined Audi cars for suspected illegal manipulation software which may have helped the carmaker cheat emissions tests.

To fund its electric-vehicle offensive through to the middle of the next decade, Audi has extended by three years until 2025, an investment program worth about 40 billion euros ($ 47.42 billion), it said.

To free up funds for its electric-car push Audi is ceasing production of some models, including two-door versions of its A1 and A3 vehicle lines, as well as cutting component and administration costs. It now aims to save at least 10 billion euros by 2022.

($ 1 = 0.8435 euros)

Reporting by Andreas Cremer; Editing by Edward Taylor

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Qualcomm signs $2 billion sales MOUs with Lenovo, Xiaomi, vivo and OPPO
January 25, 2018 6:00 am|Comments (0)

(Reuters) – Qualcomm Technologies Inc has signed memorandums of understanding for sales worth at least $ 2 billion with Lenovo Group, Guangdong OPPO Mobile Telecommunications Corp, vivo Communication Technology and Xiaomi Communications.

The Chinese firms expressed an interest in buying Qualcomm components with a total value of no less than $ 2 billion over three years, the U.S. chip maker said on Thursday.

The non-binding agreement will be subject to further agreements and covers technology related to RF Front-End components, it said in a statement.

The companies unveiled the multi-year agreement at a Qualcomm-hosted event in Beijing, attended by the U.S. firm’s chairman and its chief executive.

Reporting by Cate Cadell in Beijing and Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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Soybean Export Sales Hit New Low During Week Ending November 16
November 25, 2017 12:09 pm|Comments (0)

By G C Mays

The USDA released its export sales report for the period November 10-November 16, 2017. After the previous week’s dismal sales, futures prices dropped across the board. The price declines were not enough to stimulate sales as discussed below.

Wheat

Wheat sales declined for the second straight week to 199,800 metric tons. This was 72 percent below the same week a year ago. The USDA recently raised its estimate of global wheat exports to 182.2 million metric tons. Russia is clearly capturing the expanding market share so far. I discuss Russia’s emerging dominance in a recent analysis entitled “Wheat Exports From Russia May Dominate In 2017/18 While U.S. Market Little Changed“. One of the factors contributing to Russia’s market share grab is its decision in October to offer a transportation discount on grain exports. U.S. exporters will have to decide if they want to counter with similar transportation discounts, further price reductions, or simply stand pat.

December wheat futures continue to move in sync with cash prices. Futures and cash prices ended the week down 1.7 percent. Prices in the Gulf diverged slightly, falling only 1.3 percent. The Teucrium Wheat ETF (WEAT) declined 1.4 percent over the same period.

Corn

While corn export sales of 1.08 million metric tons were up just under 14 percent during the week ending November 16, they were below their four-week average of 1.3 million metric tons and 36 percent below the same week a year ago. Japan (289,000), Mexico (139,100), and Peru (207,000) accounted for nearly 59 percent of net sales. Accumulated marketing year-to-date net sales are down 15 percent.

Corn futures dipped $ 0.05 cents or 1.4 percent during the week, moving mostly in line with cash prices. Prices in Chicago and the Gulf decreased 1.6% and 1.2%, respectively. Price movement in Toledo was more subdued, falling just 0.3%. The Teucrium Corn ETF (CORN) plunged $ 0.31 cents, or 1.8%. The reason for this decline is unclear. However, the ETF did rebound the day after the end of the measurement period, recovering $ 0.28 cents of the original decline.

Soybean

Soybean (SOYB) export sales are down for the fourth week in a row, dropping to 869,100 metric tons, a marketing year low. Accumulated net sales had trended from flat to slightly down year over year. Over the last two weeks, year-over-year accumulated net sales have moved solidly into negative territory and are now down 7.9 percent. As previously discussed, competition from Brazil is pressuring sales. According to the USDA, Brazil is continuing to dispose of inventories from its large 2016/17 harvest.

Since last week’s sales failed to rebound, soybean futures continued to decline. January futures were down $ 0.15 cents, or 1.5%. Cash prices in Toledo and Chicago lost 0.8% and 1.1%, respectively. However, prices in the Gulf were firm, rising just under a penny.

Notably, China backed away from the market. China made net purchases of only 407,100 metric tons. This includes sales to the U.S. of 129,000 metric tons and cancellations of 205,500 tons. From China’s perspective, this makes good business sense in my opinion given the higher prices. Given that prices have risen by nearly $ 0.20 cents at the Gulf during the current week, it will be interesting to see export sales numbers for soybeans next week. Stay tuned.

Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

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August Sales Are In: Chevrolet Bolt EV Out Sold Tesla Model 3 To The Tune Of 28:1
September 2, 2017 6:43 am|Comments (0)

I’m sure this will change in the months to come, but after Tesla’s (TSLA) initial Model 3 delivery event in July, sales are not off to an impressive start in August. In the morning of September 1, General Motors (GM) reported August month sales for the Chevrolet Bolt EV – the main competitor for both the Tesla Model 3 and Model S.

GM managed to sell 2,107 units of the Chevy Bolt EV in the U.S. market in August. It has not yet reported global sales, which would include Canada and Norway (where it is sold under an Opel Ampera label).

In contrast, the authority on U.S. plug-in car sales reporting, Insideevs.com, reports that it has estimated Tesla Model 3 sales at a grand total of 75 units for August. Yes, seventy-five. I kid you not:

Monthly Plug-In Sales Scorecard

That means that in the U.S. market in August, the Chevrolet Bolt EV out-sold the Tesla Model 3 to the tune of 28:1. Yes, for every Tesla Model 3 sold in the U.S. in August, General Motors sold 28 Chevrolet Bolt EV cars.

I can hear the objection already: But the Model 3 is just ramping up right now! You just wait another month, and it will clobber the Chevy Bolt EV!

Yes, I know. That may very well happen that at some point starting in the next few months. After all, the U.S. is the market where Tesla will focus its sales once it hits 200,000 cumulative U.S. deliveries, so as to maximize the number of units it can sell that are eligible for the (up to) $ 7,500 federal tax credit.

If Tesla hits 200,000 on the first day of a quarter, it will have a grand total of six quarters with an unlimited number of U.S. sales eligible for a federal tax credit. Yes, you heard that right: An unlimited quantity of cars. Every single one it produces, it can sell in the U.S. market and allow the customers to attempt to qualify for the Federal tax credit. If Tesla sells 500,000 units per year – as it has said it will do in 2018 – six quarters at that 125,000 a quarter pace, all directed at the U.S. market, it would mean 750,000 cars milking the Federal treasury, over and above the 200,000 before the trigger.

Furthermore, if you assume that during those 18 months (six quarters) Tesla manages to increase production slightly, that 750,000 number might look more like 800,000, and when it’s all said and done Tesla’s customers would have collected up to a grand total of 1 million federal tax credits of up to $ 7,500 apiece (in the last few quarters, they decline to $ 3,750 and $ 1,875).

Given this focus, and given Tesla’s seemingly perpetual willingness to sell a dollar for 75 cents, the Model 3 proposition is very good for the consumer and should lead to greater U.S. Model 3 sales than the Chevrolet Bolt EV some time in 2018 and/or 2019. So yes, I do expect the Model 3 to beat the Bolt EV in terms of U.S. sales at some point possibly starting within only months from now.

However, the current 28:1 ratio in favor of the Chevy Bolt EV is a deep hole for Tesla from which to climb. Tesla bulls think that it will all happen in September 2017, and if not in September, then in October for sure. Perhaps it will. Otherwise, in November, December… or January 2018. Or at the very least, some time in 2018 or 2019.

In the meantime, GM doesn’t look so bad. It beat the Model 3 to market by almost a year, and so far it’s beating it in U.S. sales to the tune of at least 28:1. Let’s put it this way: I don’t think we’ll ever get to the point where the Tesla Model 3 will beat the Chevy Bolt EV in sales to the tune of 28:1!

But wait, there’s more!

The Chevrolet Bolt EV doesn’t only compete with the Tesla Model 3. It also competes with the Tesla Model S. After all, the Bolt’s passenger interior space is the same (94.4 cubic feet) as the Model S (94.0 cubic feet) and they have similar driving range for the base Model S (238 miles for the Bolt vs 249), even if the Model S of course costs about twice as much.

Looking at the 3Q-to-date U.S. sales numbers (July + August combined), here is how the Tesla Model S compares with the Chevrolet Bolt EV, according to Insideevs:

Tesla Model S: 3,575 units

Chevrolet Bolt EV: 4,078 units

So there you have it. Chevrolet Bolt EV didn’t just out-sell the Tesla Model 3, but also the Model S.

But wait, there’s even more!

We have established that the Chevrolet Bolt EV out-sold each of the Tesla Model 3 and Model S in the U.S., but what about the Model 3 and Model S “combined” for July and August?

Tesla Model S plus Model 3: 3,680 units

Chevrolet Bolt EV: 4,078 units

It turns out that the Chevrolet Bolt EV can play simultaneous chess – or perhaps simultaneous ping-pong? – in that its U.S. unit sales for July and August beat the Tesla Models S and 3 combined.

For a car that’s sometimes so maligned in the media, that’s not bad for the Chevrolet Bolt EV – outselling the Tesla Models S and 3 combined for the cumulative two first months of this quarter. The Bolt EV is definitely the Rodney Dangerfield of the U.S. electric car industry: It gets no respect!

The Chevrolet Bolt EV has not expanded its sales reach much beyond the U.S., Canada and Norway (where it is sold under the Opel Ampera label) yet. One might also question what will happen to the Bolt now that the PSA Group acquired the Opel business from General Motors on August 1. We will just have to see if, when and how the Bolt EV (Opel Ampera) gets rolled out in Switzerland, Germany and beyond. I fear the worst, but hope for the best.

Instead, the Tesla Model 3 is more likely to face a bigger international threat from Nissan (OTCPK:NSANY), with its all-new LEAF 2.0 that is scheduled to be unveiled on September 5 in Japan. This electric car will be made in three factories on three continents, and could be available in more geographies far more quicker than not only the Chevrolet Bolt EV (Opel Ampera) but also the Tesla Model 3.

As such, one might reasonably assume that Nissan will dominate European and Asian electric car sales in 2018, as a result of widespread global availability of the all-new LEAF 2.0 starting in late 2017 or early 2018.

Of course, it is possible that Tesla will juice its September 2017 U.S. sales as a result of massive discounting. We have news reports this morning of Tesla slashing its prices by up to $ 30,000 per car:

Tesla offers “$ 30,000 showroom discounts” and lowers interest rates to boost sales before end of the quarter

For perspective, that means that Tesla’s discounts per car will exceed the expected base price of a Nissan LEAF 2.0, which is estimated to be somewhere around $ 29,000.

With discounts that huge, Tesla should be able to move a lot of units. What if Nissan decided to cut its prices by $ 30,000 as well, so that the car would be completely free?

One might logically conclude that Tesla will see a massive margin decline in the September quarter. As the saying goes, perhaps they will make it up in volume.

Disclosure: I am/we are short TSLA.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Additional disclosure: At the time of submitting this article for publication, the author was long FCAU and GOOGL, and short TSLA. However, positions can change at any time. The author regularly attends press conferences, new vehicle launches and equivalent, hosted by most major automakers.

Editor’s Note: This article discusses one or more securities that do not trade on a major U.S. exchange. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.

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Saturday’s Best Deals: Best Roomba Price Ever, Kinetic Sand, Labor Day Sales
September 3, 2016 2:05 pm|Comments (0)

The best price ever on the Roomba 770, TP-Link’s popular Smart Plug, and Labor Day apparel sales lead off Saturday’s best deals.

Read more…


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Nor-Tech Unveils New Tagline to Reflect Growing Global Sales of HPC…
May 11, 2016 7:45 am|Comments (0)

Leading builder of HPC clusters for simulation and big data analytics, Nor-Tech just announced a new tagline that reflects the company’s continual expansion into global markets.

(PRWeb May 11, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/Nor-Tech/HPCclusters/prweb13405223.htm


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Black Desert Online’s big sales show premium-priced MMOs aren’t dead yet
April 6, 2016 12:40 am|Comments (0)

Black Desert Online is finding its audience.

Most publishers have stopped making premium-priced massively multiplayer online games, but the industry still has a number of consumers who want to pay for that content.

Korean developer Daum Games has sold more than 400,000 copies of its Black Desert Online MMO role-playing game after only a month on the market in Europe and North America. The developer brought the fantasy game to the West in March at $ 30, $ 50, and $ 100 pricing tiers, and it has instantly clicked with a large audience. Daum thinks the game will likely even keep growing its momentum moving forward, which is proof that the MMO market can support more than World of Warcraft and an endless pile of free-to-play competitors. In a gaming market worth $ 99.3 billion, Black Desert is showing that studios have different paths to profitability.

“Considering the upward trend, I expect that the game will achieve over 1 million sales this year,” Daum Games Europe chief executive Min Kim said in a statement. “What’s impressive is these figures far exceed those in the domestic market.”

One of the big takeaways about Black Desert Online is that free-to-play in its home territory of Korea. Players in that country are much more accustomed to having to pay to make decent progress in their online RPGs, but Daum points out that Western audiences are different. Many of them would rather pay up front so that they don’t have to think about spending money.

Of course, Black Desert does still have in-game purchases in the West, but a lot of that content is cosmetic. That could potentially find a lot of success here because Daum’s game is one of the better looking MMORPGs to debut in quite some time.

“A game with a buy-to-play business model normally has a much lower conversion rate for paid in-game items compared to free-to-play games,” said Kim. “But Black Desert Online is recording a much higher pay ratio than the average 11 percent normally seen in free-to-play games.”

Moving ahead, Daum will continue to support Black Desert with more content and more in-app purchases. If it brings in 1 million people, that could turn the game into an enormous success.

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