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Today’s Pickup: Tesla cuts price of its cars in China to beat trade tariffs

  Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

Good day,

Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) has announced a cut in prices of its Model S and Model X cars in China, with it looking to consolidate in the Chinese electric vehicle (EV) market, as retaliatory Chinese tariffs have hurt sales. “We are absorbing a significant part of the tariff to help make our cars more affordable for customers in China,” said Tesla in a statement.

This move would see Tesla slashing prices on its two models by 12-26%. Interestingly, Tesla was amongst the first U.S. auto majors to hike prices by nearly 20% in the Chinese market when the initial set of tariffs took effect. The company would be launching pre-orders for its Model 3 – both in Europe and China before the end of 2018, and is investing heavily to expedite construction of its Chinese gigafactory, in an attempt to beat the tariffs by producing locally.

Did you know?

JP Morgan has cut its outlook for oil, predicting that Brent crude prices will average $73 a barrel in 2019 — down from the investment bank’s previous forecast of $83.50 a barrel.

Quotable:

“Free trade is taking something of a thrashing these days, given the rising undercurrent of unilateralism and protectionism. For Hong Kong, the primacy of free trade is immutable.”

– Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, on the ongoing trade wars and the rise of hypernationalism.

In other news:

Why speed matters in container shipping

Fleet speed can help container shipping lines to manage high fuel prices and low freight rates. With the help of data and charts from Freightos, find out the impact of “slow steaming” on the pace of global trade. (Refinitiv)

The on ramp to fleet electrification

Fleet electrification is an exciting component in UPS’s use of emerging technologies and an important element in helping the company achieve its ambitious sustainability goals. (UPS Longitudes)

How has a trucking company in Green Bay become a tech talent magnet?

Interview with Shaleen Devgun, the CIO of Schneider National, on tech innovation in the trucking market (Forbes)

Road to zero could mean a dead end for truck operators

The UK government’s long-awaited “Road to Zero” plan for moving towards deep cuts in road transport emissions was published this month, and given a mixed reception from the commercial vehicle sector. (The Truck Expert)

Hapag-Lloyd to launch premium product as part of new five-year plan

The move follows an extensive market research survey by the carrier which revealed that more than 50% of respondents showed “a willingness to pay more” for a higher-quality offering. (The Loadstar)

Final Thoughts

The price of oil keeps assuming new lows, hitting a 12-month low this month, due to uncertainties over surplus production. President Trump has been very vocal in this regard, praising Saudi Arabia for pushing the prices down, and urging OPEC to keep reducing it, saying “oil prices should be much lower based on supply.”

However, OPEC would likely be wary of oil prices collapsing, and try reduce output to maintain price stability. Ahmed al-Kaabi, Governor for UAE’s OPEC has said that oil production cuts would be decided when the cartel convenes this December. If UAE agrees to cut production, it would be a drastic change in decision as it would come just months after the UAE and Russia decided to increase output to cover up for the loss in production from Venezuela and Iran. Meanwhile, Russia has largely looked non-committal to checking its output, with statements from its energy ministry being quite obscure about their position.

Hammer down everyone!

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Vishnu Rajamanickam, Staff Writer

Vishnu writes editorial commentary on cutting-edge technology within the freight industry, profiles startups, and brings in perspective from industry frontrunners and thought leaders in the freight space. In his spare time, he writes neo-noir poetry, blogs about travel & living, and loves to debate about international politics. He hopes to settle down in a village and grow his own food at some point in time. But for now, he is happy to live with his wife in the middle of a German metropolitan.
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