Tesla boss Elon Musk has addressed 200 Volkswagen executives via a video call after an invitation from the German carmaker’s CEO Herbert Diess, who wants to galvanise VW’s top brass for a faster pivot to electric vehicles.
The comments on Thursday by Musk to a VW managers gathering in Alpbach, Austria, confirmed by Diess via Twitter https://twitter.com/Herbert_Diess/status/1449333401048293378 on Saturday after a report in Handelsblatt daily, included praise of VW for being an “icon” and Tesla’s greatest challenger, Handelsblatt said.
The paper said that when asked by Diess why Tesla was more nimble than its rivals, Musk said it came down to his management style and that he is an engineer, first of all, and has an eye for supply chains, logistics and production.
In a post on Linkedin, Diess added that he had brought in Musk as a “surprise guest” to drive home the point that VW needs faster decisions and less bureaucracy for what he called the biggest transformation in VW’s history.
“Happy to hear that even our strongest competitor thinks that we will succeed (in) the transition if we drive the transformation with full power,” Diess said on Linkedin.
As an example of Tesla’s prowess, Diess said it took the rival only two to three weeks to rewrite software to allow for a switch from one type of microchip, which went out of stock, to another.
Diess said in his Saturday tweet that VW, which has emerged as the main contender to Tesla for global electric vehicle supremacy, would continue its dialogue with Tesla.
“We will visit you soon in Gruenheide,” the CEO said.
Diess warned last month that the planned opening of Tesla’s car factory at Gruenheide near Berlin, the company’s first in Europe, will force local industry to step up its game against the fast-growing U.S. electric vehicle maker.
Tesla is awaiting final building approval for the 5.8 billion euro ($6.8 billion) German site.
VW, in turn, plans to build six large battery factories in Europe by 2030 as part of an all-in bet on electric mobility.
(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by David Holmes)
U.S. stock futures rise following Friday's omicron-sparked selloff – MarketWatch
U.S. stock futures rose late Sunday, following a steep selloff Friday sparked by fears of the global economic impact of a worrisome new strain of COVID-19.
On Friday, Wall Street suffered its worst day in more than a year amid growing concerns over the new omicron variant of COVID-19. The World Health Organization’s technical advisory group on Friday declared it a “variant of concern,” and a number of countries imposed flight bans from countries in southern Africa, where the variant was first discovered.
Little is known about omicron, but investors Friday braced for bad news.
In a holiday-shortened session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
slumped 905.04 points, or 2.5%, to 34,899.34, with the index logging its worst daily drop since Oct. 28, 2020, according to FactSet data. The S&P 500
fell 106.84 points, or 2.3%, to 4,594.62, and the Nasdaq Composite Index
sank 353.57 points, or 2.2%, to 15,491.66.
“The pandemic and COVID variants remain one of the biggest risks to markets, and are likely to continue to inject volatility over the next year(s),” Keith Lerner, co-chief investment officer and chief market strategist at Truist Advisory Services, wrote in a Friday note. “It’s hard to say at this point how lasting or impactful this latest variant will be for markets.”
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Canadians to get biggest drop in gasoline prices since 2009 over COVID variant fears – Yahoo Canada Finance
Canadians should experience the fastest drop in gasoline prices in nearly 13 years on Sunday as fears about a virulent new COVID-19 variant are expected to provide a break of 11 cents per litre at the pumps.
Dan McTeague, president of Canadians for Affordable Energy, said the national average price could drop to about $1.32 per litre but begin to rise again midweek.
“(Sunday) represents the single largest decrease at the pumps we’ve seen going back to 2009,” he said in an interview.
Global crude oil prices plunged Friday over fears about a new COVID-19 variant called Omicron that prompted Canada to ban entry for foreign nationals who travelled through southern Africa.
The January crude oil contract fell 13.1 per cent or US$10.24 on Friday and currently stands at US$68.15 per barrel.
The decrease came as U.S. stock markets closed early Friday because of the Thanksgiving holiday.
“Sunday and Monday are going to be the best days for Canadians to fill up, including British Columbia,” McTeague said
Even residents of flood-ravaged B.C. will save on the province’s high gasoline prices despite facing rationing because severe flooding has shut both the Trans Mountain pipeline and the province’s lone refinery.
Drivers of non-essential vehicles can only purchase up to 30 litres per visit to a gas station in the Lower Mainland, Sunshine Coast, Sea to Sky area, Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island.
East Coast residents won’t reap the immediate benefits of Sunday’s price drop because its regulated regional system averages price movements. That provides price predictability but blunts price discounts.
Despite the upcoming decrease, national gasoline prices have surged nearly 43 per cent in the past year as the reopening of the global economy from pandemic lockdowns prompted a recovery in crude prices.
McTeague suggested Canadians shouldn’t get too comfortable with the energy savings. He said prices are expectd to increase as OPEC and its allies, who are meeting on Monday, will likely refuse to increase production any further. Energy traders realize that Friday’s decrease was overdone and “flies in the face of fundamentals,” he added.
“My sense is that the decreases that we saw were a little exaggerated and overbought, and for that reason I think we might see a little bit more balance come back to the markets and fundamentals by Wednesday,” McTeague said.
“Unless there’s further unsettling news of greater and further lockdowns, I would expect that oil prices are probably going to recover US$3 to US$4 a barrel by Monday or Tuesday, which means by Wednesday or Thursday we could be looking at increases in the order of four or five cents a litre.”
McTeague said some gasoline savings will continue for a couple of weeks, but he foresees crude climbing back to about US$90 a barrel, which would translate into prices in Canada exceeding $1.50 per litre.
Impending carbon tax increases will further boost prices.
A tax of 2.5 cents per litre, including HST, will take effect on April 1, 2022. It will be followed in December by the clear fuel standard that will add another 18.1 cents per litre including HST, said McTeague.
Adding to the inflation pressure is the Canadian dollar which is less valuable than when it was at par the last time crude prices were around US$80. That reduces the purchasing power for all kinds of products, including energy and food.
The Canadian Automobile Association said that as of early Saturday morning, Manitoba had the lowest average pump price of $1.35/L, followed closely by Alberta at $1.377, while Newfoundland and Labrador was the highest at $1.583 with British Columbia at $1.558.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 27, 2021.
Ross Marowits, The Canadian Press
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