SAI Newsletter #3 - August 22, 2018
Updated: Jan 29, 2019
Let’s get right to what’s happening over the last week or so.
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Investments & Partnerships:
Will more scrutiny on ‘strategic’ investments in U.S. and Europe slow down ‘Made in China 2025?’ The China train is already moving pretty quickly but there’s no way to tell how long this anti-trade climate will last and getting the cold shoulder from Europe and the USA definitely will not help China achieve their technological goals by 2025, specifically in the autonomous vehicle and mobility sectors.
If Lucid has such a ‘stellar team’ shouldn’t investors be knocking down their doors to invest in the company?
This article highlights some of the risks associated with an EV startup that doesn’t build its own car and till now, has not had a ton of success of turning favorable media coverage and a marketing blitz into deposits and sales.
This, at a time when there are no other EV startups vying for attention. If NIO can’t get a lift on sales once more ES8’s are on the road or if they have any setbacks on quality or manufacturing, NIO will have a tough go moving into 2019 and beyond.
Faraday Future (FF) to begin building the FF91 by end of CQ1’19. Maybe. FF also announced they planned to build 5 million vehicles / year in 5 year’s time. FF should really just concentrate on a successful Job 1.
Tesla batteries are better than the competition. So what? If they can’t get these cars on the Model 3s on the road seems like a hollow victory.
Having brands to fill the high / mid / low end of the markets while also being able to take advantage of economies of scale should help with costs. Geely could be putting themselves in an advantageous position for the future.
For those not familiar with China’s ‘Uber.’ Author puts together a great timeline of events that have transformed Didi Chuxing (滴滴出行) into one of the most promising unicorns in the world.
As users of Didi, have been very disappointed in the huge price increases and the lack of competition to keep Didi honest and customer friendly.
Pressure has been stepped up and will continue to build once automakers launch en masse alternate services to compete with Didi.
From the article:
“And yet BMW’s own estimates show that in a decade, one car-sharing vehicle will replace at least three privately owned ones, and mobility services, including autonomous cars, will account for a third of all trips. According to New York-based consultancy Oliver Wyman, mobility will be a 200 billion euro ($227 billion) business by 2040.
“Carmakers are desperate for their mobility divisions to be monetized,” said Michael Dean, a senior automotive analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “They must be involved in future mobility to avoid being left behind by the likes of Uber and Lyft.”
Innovative company that seems to have been able to get the battery swapping system down, at least in Taiwan.
This happened in China a couple years ago with Mobike and Ofo bicycles and is only now starting to be managed and regulated. Startups flush with money and pressure to spend it. This is where China can be studied so mistakes can be avoided. #FOMO
Two of the companies set to fill this void are CATL and Tesla with their Gigafactory. My main concern for CATL is will their batteries be ready for the bright lights and scrutiny they will get from European or American automotive and technology media once they start shipping to the European OEMs?
Overcapacity and an oversupply of electric vehicles IMHO become a problem in the future once foreign OEMs begin production in earnest of EVs for China. This will put a lot of pricing pressure on the startups, so a big backer with deep pockets will be necessary for survival.
We weren’t going to post this article since it’s gotten so much ink over the last few days but… bottom line is that Tesla would not have the valuation it does without having gone public.