Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The Chinese Volvo deal rolls forward as EU approves sale from Ford to Geely

It makes as much sense as a Ford-owned Swedish car maker in my book, so bring it on. Ford has sold off just about everything interesting in the past few years in a so-far successful bid to turn a buck. There can't be much left to sell off now so they'd better come up with some new, attractive and more modern cars soon...

China's Geely Wins Approval To Buy Volvo
BRUSSELS (AP) -- European Union regulators on Tuesday approved Chinese carmaker Geely to buy Sweden's iconic Volvo Cars.

The European Commission said it sees no antitrust problems with Zhejiang Geely Holding Co.'s $1.8 billion acquisition of Volvo Cars from Ford Motor Co. because the takeover won't give either company the power to damage rivals.

Geely sells hardly any cars in Europe and Volvo only has "very limited" operations as a car parts supplier, it said.

Geely's acquisition of Volvo from Ford Motor Co. has been heralded as a breakthrough deal for China's auto industry, giving one of its most ambitious automakers a well-known, prestigious global brand and access to top-tier technology.

Revenge of the beige box? Business replacement cycle kicks off PC market, delaying 'death by iPad' I guess

Let's not forget the widely-reported death of the PC market due to the iPad and other smart tablet devices. Of course these Gartner figures do not include iPads - they are a separate category. In any case it would be good to see a breakdown of sales.... by netbook, laptop and tablet as well as traditional beige box.

Big Jump In PC Market Sales - Channel News
Recovery has sparked the PC market in Australia, with 2010 shipments expected to reach more than 5.3 million, up 13.5 per cent over 2009, according to market research firm Gartner.

That compares with the 0.3 per cent growth rate experienced in 2009, Gartner says in its latest market update.

And for a change the business sector is expected to account for most of the growth, as enterprises begin ordering replacements for ageing PCs after having held off purchases for the past 18 months.

PayPal co-founder Musk persists in funding and floating loss-making EV startup

Can't fault a man for trying, is what some may say here. If you've got the cash and a big idea, why not? And EVs will be big one day. Only problems may be (a) that day if still a ways off and (b) starting with a sports car may grab headlines but not wider sales. OTOH Musk reckons it's a profitable business, if you discount the "high growth mode" expenses.

At some point a rethink of that growth may be in order.

Elon Musk On What's Next For Tesla - Forbes.com
The company is just over six years old and it's in high growth mode, which explains its heavy losses: $261 million in losses just since 2007. Musk has poured nearly all of the fortune he made when eBay ( EBAY - news - people ) bought PayPal (Musk was a PayPal cofounder) into his battery-operated cars. According to his divorce filing, Musk is officially broke as a result.

"I think an important point to consider is that if Tesla was just to sell sports cars and do power train work [for other] companies, we would be profitable," explains Musk. "The reason that we're unprofitable is that we're in very high-growth mode. We're eventually going to grow by 3,000% or 4,000%."