Tag Archives: cars

Why I think this review of the Tesla Semi is really good.

I thought this piece was great: This ex-trucker has some questions about the Tesla Semi – Autoblog.

It punctures the hype behind Tesla’s new truck in the best possible way, by carefully and methodically asking questions and bringing up real life experiences that show the limitations of the truck.

Too few tech reviews come with this type of analysis. I’d like to see more of it. Most tech reviews are positive summaries of features. Or there are a small number of pieces that say such and such will never work because I say so. In either case, the person reviewing it comes from a technology background. I’d like to see more non-technical reviews of technology.

If you are interested in Tesla or the direction of automotives, it is well worth a read.

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The Apple Car is off (for now)

According to the article below, Apple “has drastically scaled back its automotive ambitions, leading to hundreds of job cuts and a new direction that, for now, no longer includes building its own car, according to people familiar with the project.” Too bad. I expect we will see more and more car related activity from Apple, but a shiny new vehicle may not be one of those things.

For more details, see:

Source: How Apple Scaled Back Its Titanic Plan to Take on Detroit – Bloomberg

On the future of Apple and the case for an Apple car

Well-respected Apple analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray gave a presentation on the company’s future at Business Insider’s Ignition conference and it’s really good. The entire presentation is here and worthwhile: Future of Apple presentation by analyst Gene Munster at Business Insider Ignition – Business Insider.

Earlier I wrote about how I don’t think Apple will get into the car business. However, after reading what Munster said, I can see how others think Apple will get into cars. Specifically, here’s are the pro-car points he makes:

  • Apple could align with and compete in the BMW market: BMW sold 1.8M cars in CY14.
  • If Apple priced them at $75K, 1.8M cars is $135B in revenue
  • Apple could start small: sell 30K in first year (similar to Tesla’s 35K in CY14)
  • In a market of 88M cars in CY15, 1.8M cars is nothing

The approach laid out in those points is a similar game plan that Apple followed in the smart phone market.

The more I thought about it, the more I am leaning towards Apple getting into the car business, at least in a limited way. The bulk of the market would not be Apple and there likely would still be lots of car manufacturers after Apple jumps in, just like there are many smartphone makers. But Apple would take over the most profitable part of the car manufacturing marketplace.

Read the analyst report: you will get great insight into where Apple is heading.

Apple will not be getting into the car business, no matter what you read, because…

…it makes no business sense. A key take away from the article linked to below:

Ford’s revenue and operating income: $134 billion, 3.9%. Apple’s corresponding numbers: $234 billion, 40%! Or consider the world’s two largest car companies, Toyota and Volkswagen, both of which hover around $200 billion in revenue. Toyota just reported a higher than usual 10% net profit versus Apple’s 22.8%. The Financial Times recently pegged the VW brand’s operating margin at about 2%. (We’ll see how the German auto giant, which was ever so close to taking the industry’s Ichiban ranking from Toyota, extracts itself from its current engine management software troubles.) Yes, the car industry is large (around $2 trillion—that’s two thousand billions), but it grows slowly. In 2015 it saw 2% annual growth—and that was considered a good year.

There are so many other lines of business that could bring more revenue and profit to Apple. Unless the car business changes dramatically — and that is possible — then I can’t see how it makes any business sense for them to become car makers.

For more details on this, see: Why should Apple even bother building a car? – Quartz

Thinking of buying a car? Here’s two links to help you with that

Unless you like to impulse buy cars – a very small group, for sure – it helps to have more information before you buy. Here are two links that can help you:

The One Thing You Should Know When You Buy a Car.

This Infographic Reveals the Best Times to Buy a New Car.