Shares of Fisker and Lordstown Motors dropped Thursday after Goldman Sachs downgraded the ratings of both electric-vehicle makers. The firm cited increasing competition and concerns about product timing.
Fisker was cut to sell from a neutral rating, and its 12-month price target was lowered to $10 from $15. Lordstown was cut to a neutral rating from buy, and while its target was cut to $10 from $21.
Fisker dropped as much as 12%, while Lordstown lost 5% at intraday lows.
Goldman said the downgrades come as multiple companies including General Motors, Ford and Volkswagen plan to accelerate their transition toward EVs as they seek to completely exist the internal combustion engine market.
Meanwhile, the firm noted that several big tech companies such as Apple, Xiaomi and Baidu are considering a larger role in the auto market with a branded product, or through a collaboration with an original-equipment manufacturer.
“Established EV OEMs such as Tesla are also scaling quickly,” said Goldman Sachs equity research analysts led by Mark Delaney. “Several of these companies are committing billions of R&D dollars to both powertrain technology and software.”
For Fisker specifically, Goldman said while it appreciates the steps it’s taking to try to differentiate its upcoming products “we are incrementally concerned about what we believe is the company’s late time to market … as competition increases.” Fisker is preparing to enter the EV industry in the fourth quarter of 2022 with its Ocean SUV.
The bank pointed out that Fisker has announced a plan for a “unique follow-on vehicle” with Apple supplier Foxconn that could enter the market around the fourth quarter of 2023. However, “by the time this vehicle may be ramping, the competitive landscape could be even more challenging (including the potential for new big tech entrants via partnerships).”
On Lordstown, Goldman said it’s “now more cautious on the ramp for the Endurance truck,” after the vehicle ran out of battery after about 40 miles during an off-road race in Baja California, last week. That “suggests to us that there could be more development work to do on the powertrain than we had expected,” said Goldman.
“This factor, coupled with the global auto supply chain challenges that are making it difficult to obtain parts, could increase the probability that the company’s market entry will be delayed and/or could occur at a more measured pace than we had expected,” said the bank, adding that Lordstown is aiming to start vehicle production in September.
Shares of General Motors extended their gains on Tuesday to as much as 4% after the company confirmed plans to sell an all-electric Chevy Silverado pickup truck.
GM made the announcement at a media event at its factory in Detroit, Michigan. The all-electric Silverado will be built in the same factory as the Hummer EV and utilize the same Ultium battery technology platform that is unique to the company.
The move comes as the 112 year-old car manufacturer accelerates its transition from internal combustion engines to battery powered electric motors with the upcoming launch of the Hummer EV.
The electric Silverado will have 400 miles in range on a single charge and is expected to be released in 2023 or 2024, according to a report from Car and Driver.
“The GMC Hummer EV SUV joins its stablemate in the realm of true supertrucks, and Chevrolet will take everything Chevy’s loyal truck buyers love about Silverado, and more, and put it into an electric pickup that will delight retail and commercial customers alike,” said GM President Mark Reuss.
Stellantis will delay the production of its Ram 1500 Classic pickup trucks due to the global chip shortage.
The company is currently building the trucks but delaying the completing production for a “number of weeks” at the Warren Truck Assembly Plant in Michigan and the Saltillo Truck Assembly Plant in Mexico, a company spokesperson said in a statement to Insider.
The truck will be completed when the chips become available, the statement added.
“We continue working closely with our suppliers to mitigate the manufacturing impacts caused by the various supply chain issues facing our industry,” the statement said.
Earlier in March, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said that problems caused by the chip shortage may not be fully resolved by the second half of 2021, Reuters reported.
Stellantis is the world’s fourth-largest automaker created by the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and PSA Group.
The pandemic caused a disruption in the supply chain of semiconductor chips used in the manufacturing of cars and electronics. The chips are used in vehicles’ navigation systems, Bluetooth, and collision-detection systems and make up around 40% of a new vehicle’s cost, according to a report by Deloitte.
Due to the global computer chip shortage, a production slowdown in the auto industry surfaced earlier this year as some car companies changed their manufacturing plans while others searched for new suppliers.
On Thursday, Ford said in a statement that it will build F-150 trucks and Edge SUVs in North America without specific parts including some electronic modules that contain semiconductors.
Ford has become the first automobile company to shift towards remote working on a permanent basis, according to CNBC, with around 86,000 employees being allowed to work at least partially from home.
The policy is aimed at office workers rather than factory workers, who number around 100,000 and have largely returned to work.
Hybrid work plans and remote working will depend on individual and managerial responsibilities.
“The nature of the work we do really is going to be a guiding element,” chief people and employee experiences officer Kiersten Robinson told CNBC. “If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the last 12 months, it is that a lot of our assumptions around work and what employees need has shifted.”
Ford’s new policy will be introduced in July when most employees are expected to make at least a partial return to the office after more than a year.
“The nature of work drives whether or not you can adopt this model. There are certain jobs that are place-dependent – you need to be in the physical space to do the job,” chairman and chief executive of Ford Land, David Dubensky, told The Washington Post.
“Having the flexibility to choose how you work is pretty powerful,” Dubensky added. “It’s up to the employee to have dialogue and discussion with their people leader to determine what works best.”
According to a survey conducted at Ford in June 2020, 95% of employees wanted a hybrid form of working and a number of them felt more productive at home.
The move from Ford comes after major companies including Google, Spotify, and Salesforce all announced that they were offering their employees the option to work from home permanently.
“These companies are all looking at each other,” associate professor at Michigan State University’s School of Human Resources and Labor Relations, Angela Hall, told The Detroit News. “And especially someone like Ford, who is a large, respected employer – people are going to model that behavior.”
The Washington Post also reported that General Motors and Toyota were looking at flexible options for a return to the office, although they are both yet to announce new policies.
Warren Buffett is winning big from the flight to value stocks ahead of the global economy reopening this summer. The famed investor’s Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate has notched an astounding $17 billion in gains across only five stocks this year.
Buffett’s company is up $9 billion on Bank of America alone. The banking group’s stock price has surged 30% since the start of January, boosting the value of Berkshire’s enlarged stake from $30 billion to $39 billion.
Moreover, Berkshire has scored a $3.7 billion gain on American Express, as the financial-services group’s stock has jumped 30% this year. It has also made $1.5 billion on Kraft Heinz, $1.4 billion on General Motors, and $1.3 billion on US Bancorp in under three months.
Buffett’s bets on five Japanese trading houses last fall are delivering too. Itochu, Mitsui, Marubeni, Mitsubishi, and Sumitomo shares have gained an average of 26% this year, lifting the combined value of Berkshire’s holdings by $1.6 billion.
Other Berkshire investments are outperforming as well. Chevron, Suncor Energy, and Synchrony Financial have all climbed more than 20% this year, while Wells Fargo – previously one of Berkshire’s biggest holdings – has rallied 37%. Meanwhile, the benchmark S&P 500 index is up 5.8% this year.
However, Berkshire’s gains have been partly offset by the recent exodus from tech stocks. Apple – which makes up more than 40% of Buffett’s US stock portfolio – has slumped 7% this year. The decline has wiped close to $8 billion off the value of Berkshire’s stake.
Berkshire has also taken a hit from Coca-Cola, leaving its shares worth about $900 million less today than at the start of January. The company’s also down about $400 million on both Snowflake and Verizon.
Buffett’s signature approach of sniffing out high-quality, undervalued businesses and investing for the long term is finally paying off. Yet if growth stocks do take off again, his Apple wager will likely flourish. It appears Buffett’s found a way to have his cake and eat it too.
The benefits of electric vehicles are numerous: they’re better for the environment, need less maintenance, and have significantly lower fueling costs than gas-powered vehicles. But, by and large, the good ones have been out of reach for the average consumer.
General Motors aims to change that with two surprisingly attainable battery-powered models it debuted on Sunday.
The refreshed 2022 Bolt EV hatchback will start at $31,995, a more than $5,000 price drop from the 2021 model. The base version of the new Bolt EUV crossover will cost $33,995, making it the lowest-priced EV destined for the US’s most popular vehicle segment.
The most affordable compact electric crossovers on sale in the US already or coming soon – like the Volkswagen ID.4, Kia Niro EV, Hyundai Kona Electric, and Nissan Ariya – all push $40,000. The Tesla Model Y, more of a luxury offering, starts at $41,990.
Plus, remarkably, Chevy managed to knock thousands off of the Bolt’s base price without sacrificing range, one of the key factors shoppers weigh when choosing between EVs. The 2022 Bolt hatchback gets a claimed 259 miles per charge across all its trim levels – exactly the same as the outgoing model.
The new Bolt EUV promises to go 250 miles on a charge, as it’s slightly larger and heavier than the hatchback but shares the same 200-horsepower motor and 65 kWh battery pack. Using DC fast charging, the Bolt EV can recoup up to 100 miles of range in 30 minutes, while the EUV can add 90 miles in the same period.
Through a partnership with EV charger company Qmerit, Chevrolet said it will cover installation costs of Level 2 charging capability for eligible customers who buy or lease a Bolt EUV or EV.
The key differences between the two models are their shape and size. The EUV has a more crossover-like profile and is slightly bigger than its sibling all around. It’s roughly six inches long, with the primary result being a few inches more legroom for rear passengers.
Strangely enough, the EUV actually has a touch less cargo room than the EV – both behind the rear seats and with them folded down.
The Bolt EUV also will be the first Chevy available with Super Cruise, GM’s driver-assistance system that rivals Tesla Autopilot. A $43,495 Launch-Edition version of the EUV comes with Super Cruise and a sunroof, among other special add-ons.
As for design, the new Bolt EV has the same egg-shaped body as its predecessor, but it comes in an overall much sleeker package. Both models get slim LED running lights and a textured panel in place of a grille. Inside, both vehicles have an 8-inch digital gauge cluster and a 10.2-inch center touchscreen.
The 2022 Bolt EUV and Bolt EV will be available this summer, according to Chevrolet. Their launch comes as GM embarks on a massive electrification push that will see it introduce 30 electric models by 2025 and phase out the sale of gas-powered vehicles by 2035.
It’s a new year and it’s time for some new Cadillacs. These, officially, are the 2022 CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing.
As Blackwing models, these cars are the best of what Cadillac’s got to offer in terms of power and performance. With their angular and sharpened design language, as well as the availability of a manual transmission (!!!), the CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing will hopefully inject some excitement back into the Cadillac brand.
With order books opening on February 1 and deliveries starting this summer, the CT4-V Blackwing starts at $59,990 and the CT5-V Blackwing starts at $84,990.
Keep reading to see both.
The 2022 CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing are the top-of-the-line Cadillac models, designed to compete with the likes of BMW, Audi, and Mercedes.
The CT4-V Blackwing is the spiritual replacement of the ATS-V.
It has a 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6 that produces a claimed 472 horsepower and 445 pound-feet of torque.
You can tell it’s coming for the BMW M3 and M4.
Both cars will have GM’s high-performance Magnetic Ride Control 4.0 suspension system.
Cadillac estimates the CT4-V Blackwing to hit 60 mph from a standstill in 3.8 seconds.
Its top speed is an estimated 189 mph.
Both cars offer a six-speed Tremec manual transmission as standard.
There’s a big, carbon-fiber lip spoiler on the trunk lid.
The cars come with forged aluminum-alloy wheels as standard.
They’re staggered, which means they are wider in the back than they are in the front.
As standard, the cars also have AKG sound systems.
V badging can be found throughout the interior.
The leather is quilted and ventilated.
And there are red seat belts.
The front seats are bolstered to hold you in place under hard cornering.
A performance steering wheel, 14.5 inches in diameter, comes as standard with the mid-and upper-trim CT4-V Blackwing models.
The CT5-V Blackwing is the successor to the mighty CTS-V.
Its 6.2-liter supercharged V8 produces a claimed 668 horsepower and 659 pound-feet of torque.
This one’s after the BMW M5. But whereas no modern BMW M5 offers a manual transmission, the Cadillac does.
Cadillac estimates its top speed to be over 200 mph.
Like any serious sports car, it has a big rear diffuser.
An additional front splitter helps with front-end aerodynamics.
The bigger front grille is designed to let more air in to help with cooling.
The 2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing is the most powerful Cadillac ever made.
It wears 15.67-inch front brake rotors, the biggest brakes that have ever been installed on a Cadillac from the factory.
If a manual transmission isn’t your thing, then a 10-speed automatic is also available as an option on both cars.
Inside, there are bolstered seats as well.
That 14.5-inch performance steering wheel is a standard feature on the CT5-V Blackwing.
On the higher trims, you can get high-performance front seats.
Starting MSRP for the 2022 Cadillac CT4-V Blackwing and CT5-V Blackwing are $59,990 and $84,990, respectively.
Order books open on February 1 and first deliveries will start in the summer.
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has probably scored a 65% gain on General Motors in the past four months, boosting the value of its investment by around $1.5 billion.
The famed investor’s company took a stake in the automaker in 2012, snapping up 10 million shares worth about $260 million at the time. It steadily grew the position to 80 million shares worth $2.4 billion as of September 30 last year.
GM’s stock price has jumped by about two-thirds to an all-time high since then, lifting the value of Berkshire’s stake by roughly $1.5 billion to $3.9 billion, assuming Buffett and his team haven’t touched the holding. They will disclose the contents of their stock portfolio as of December 30 in mid-February.
The automaker’s transformation efforts are driving its stock rally. Its shares have surged 8% in the past day alone, fueled by CEO Mary Barra and her team detailing their plans to roll out 30 new electric vehicles by 2025 at the 2021 Consumer Electronics Show on Tuesday.
GM’s bosses also trumpeted their progress in developing nascent technologies such as autonomous driving and even flying cars during the virtual event.