Short seller strikes back: Einhorn says Tesla resembles Lehman Brothers – Autoblog

NEW YORK — Hedge fund manager David Einhorn lambasted Tesla and its “despondent” Chief Executive Elon Musk on Friday, comparing the electric car company to Lehman Brothers, where he had flagged accounting problems several months before its 2008 collapse.

“Like Lehman, we think the deception is about to catch up to TSLA,” Einhorn’s firm Greenlight Capital, which has sold Tesla shares short, said in a quarterly investor letter obtained by Reuters. “Elon Musk’s erratic behavior suggests that he sees it the same way.”

Greenlight’s letter came one day after Musk, a longtime critic of short-sellers, appeared to taunt the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission by calling it the “Shortseller Enrichment Commission” on Twitter.

That came just five days after Musk settled SEC fraud charges, in an accord that lets him remain Tesla’s chief executive but requires he step aside as chairman. A judge has yet to approve the settlement.

Tesla did not immediately

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Tesla China sales plunge 70 percent – Autoblog

BEIJING/SHANGHAI — Tesla’s vehicle sales in China sank 70 percent last month from a year ago, the country’s passenger car association told Reuters on Tuesday, underscoring how the Sino-U.S. trade war is hurting the U.S. electric carmaker.

An official from China Passenger Car Association said data from the industry body showed Tesla sold just 211 cars in the world’s largest auto market in October.

Tesla did not respond to repeated calls and written requests for comment on Tuesday. But previously, Tesla, which imports all the cars it sells in China, said in October that tariff hikes on auto imports were hammering its sales there. In July, Beijing raised tariffs on imports of U.S. autos to 40 percent amid a worsening trade standoff with the United States.

While so-called new-energy vehicle sales have continued to climb in China, wider auto sales have slowed sharply since the middle of the year, taking the market to

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Tesla hires Washington trial lawyer as new general counsel – Autoblog

Tesla Inc has hired Dane Butswinkas, a Washington, D.C. trial lawyer, as its general counsel, the electric car manufacturer said late on Thursday.

Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk had hired Butswinkas to help settle a case with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Bloomberg had reported in October.

Musk and Tesla paid $20 million each in fines to settle the case, which stemmed from the billionaire CEO’s Twitter posts in August about taking the company private.

Butswinkas, the chairman of major Washington law firm Williams Connolly, is replacing Todd Maron at Tesla.

“Being part of Tesla for the last five years has been the highlight of my career. Tesla has been like family to me, and I am extremely grateful to Elon, the board, the executive team, and everyone at Tesla for allowing me to play a part in this incredible company,” said Todd Maron.


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Owners of GM vehicles will be able to rent them to other drivers – Autoblog

General Motors will reportedly launch a pilot program this summer in which car owners can rent out their vehicles when they aren’t using them, similar to how home-sharing site Airbnb works. The program, done in concert with GM’s Maven car-sharing platform, is the latest step in the company’s attempt to position itself as a mobility provider.

Bloomberg reports that GM will try to grow the pilot program into a full-fledged business if successful. Under the pilot program, owners of GM vehicles can use the Maven platform to rent their vehicles to other drivers who need to use a car, with the revenue shared between the owner and GM.

Maven already rents vehicles to users starting at $8 an hour plus tax using a mobile app. But the new service would give GM access to more vehicles that it doesn’t have to carry on its balance sheet.


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Teacher gets free car for his role stopping Indiana school shooting – Autoblog

Jason Seaman, the seventh-grade science teacher who was shot three times but was credited for helping avert a worse tragedy in a school shooting last month in Indiana is the recipient of a new 2018 Hyundai Elantra, courtesy of a local dealership.

The Ed Napoleon Automotive Group is also donating money to the 13-year-old girl who was shot seven times in the May 25 shooting, saying it plans to donate $25 for every car sold between Memorial Day and Father’s Day at its four Indianapolis-area dealerships to Ella Whistler’s medical expenses and therapy.

“As I read more and more about Jason, I heard him say he didn’t think what he did was that heroic because it was the only acceptable action to take,” Brian Napoleon, director of Midwest operations at the dealer group, told TV station Fox 59. “In my mind that way of thinking

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Tesla buyout talk: Is the stock market nuts, or is Elon Musk? – Autoblog

SAN FRANCISCO — A leveraged buyout of electric carmaker Tesla could be an ominous sign of market exuberance, but investors may need more justification to run for the exits.

CEO Elon Musk’s tweeted suggestion on Tuesday that he wanted to take Tesla private at $420 a share, putting a value of $72 billion on the carmaker, had some investors wondering whether getting such a huge deal completed would signal that Wall Street has become overheated after nearly a decade of gains following the 2008 financial crisis. The SEC is looking into Musk’s announcement, especially the part where he claimed he has “funding secured,” but his intention to go private was later confirmed by Tesla’s board.

“A mega-LBO of a company notorious for its cash burn rate would be the clear sign that this is the ultimate market top,” Mike O’Rourke, Chief Market Strategist at JonesTrading, wrote in a client

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Tesla hits 200,000 cars, meaning a lower tax credit for EV buyers – Autoblog

Tesla has delivered 200,000 electric cars to buyers in the United States, a spokesperson said on Thursday, meaning tax credits will now begin to be lowered, while rivals such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW AG and Audi AG will bring electric models to the market with a full tax credit in place.

Under a major tax overhaul passed by the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress late last year, financial incentives in the way of tax credits that lower the cost of electric vehicles are available for the first 200,000 such vehicles sold by an automaker. The tax credit is then reduced by 50 percent every six months until it phases out.

From Jan. 1 next year, the $7,500 tax credit will drop to $3,750 around midyear, the Tesla website said.

General Motors will soon face the same problem as Tesla in the near future, as it is expected to hit the 200,000 mark with sales of

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Toyota recalls 2.4 million Prius and Auris hybrids over stalling – Autoblog

TOKYO — Toyota says it has issued a recall for 2.43 million hybrid vehicles in Japan, the U.S. and elsewhere for potential problems with stalling.

The company said Friday that in rare cases the vehicles might fail to enter a “failsafe” driving mode, lose power and stall. Power steering and braking would still work but a stall at a fast speed could increase risks of a crash.

The recall applies to some Toyota Prius and Auris hybrids made from October 2008-November 2014. The vehicles were involved in an earlier recall that did not fix the previously unanticipated problem that is being addressed now, the company said in a statement.

Toyota said it would update the software of the vehicles to remedy the problem for free.

The recall applies to 1.25 million vehicles in Japan, 807,000 in the U.S., 290,000 in Europe and 3,000 in China with the rest across the globe.

Toyota said it had

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DOJ launches fraud investigation over Elon Musk’s tweets – Autoblog

Sept 18 (Reuters) – Tesla said on Tuesday it received a request for documents from the U.S. Department of Justice over Chief Executive Elon Musk’s public statements in August about taking the electric carmaker private.

“We have not received a subpoena, a request for testimony, or any other formal process,” a Tesla spokesman said in an emailed response to Reuters questions about an investigation. “We respect the DOJ’s desire to get information about this and believe that the matter should be quickly resolved as they review the information they have received.”

The DoJ declined to comment.

Federal prosecutors have opened a fraud investigation, according to Bloomberg. The report, citing two people familiar with the matter, said the department launched an investigation over Musk’s tweets in early August that he had secured funding for a buyout deal valued at $72 billion. He subsequently backed off.

Musk has already been sued by short-sellers such as

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All the cool prototypes testing at the Nurburgring, in one video – Autoblog

Anyone who’s seen our spy shot posts knows that automakers are frequently testing at the Nürburgring. We don’t always get to see the cars in motion, though. Thanks to YouTube channel EMS Nordschleife TV, we get to see a bunch of prototypes running the ‘Ring on an industry testing day. And boy were there a lot of cool ones.

Perhaps most exciting to see are the prototypes of the upcoming high-performance Aventador, which could go by either the Performante name, or possibly Jota. It has the same style of exhaust as the Huracan Performante, with two outlets in the middle of the rear fascia. It also has a thoroughly absurd rear wing and massive diffuser that are probably very functional. The car sounds great, and it should be incredibly fast, since the Huracan Performante set a lap time rivaling million-dollar cars,

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