As electric vehicle production ramps up worldwide, a supply crunch for battery materials is looming

Workers are seen at the production line of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles (EV) at a factory in Huzhou, Zhejiang province, China. As car manufacturers ramp up production of electric cars, the metals used to make the vehicles’ batteries may face a supply crunch in the next few years, according to a new report. That’s as analysts predict a boom in electric vehicle use over the next three decades, but cite limited new metal production. For now, supplies of those three metals are enough


Workers are seen at the production line of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles (EV) at a factory in Huzhou, Zhejiang province, China. As car manufacturers ramp up production of electric cars, the metals used to make the vehicles’ batteries may face a supply crunch in the next few years, according to a new report. That’s as analysts predict a boom in electric vehicle use over the next three decades, but cite limited new metal production. For now, supplies of those three metals are enough
As electric vehicle production ramps up worldwide, a supply crunch for battery materials is looming Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-26  Authors: stella soon
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, battery, supplies, worldwide, research, production, looming, supply, crunch, vehicle, materials, electric, demand, wood, ramps, producers, metals, vehicles


As electric vehicle production ramps up worldwide, a supply crunch for battery materials is looming

Workers are seen at the production line of lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles (EV) at a factory in Huzhou, Zhejiang province, China.

As car manufacturers ramp up production of electric cars, the metals used to make the vehicles’ batteries may face a supply crunch in the next few years, according to a new report.

Lithium, cobalt, and nickel supplies are expected to be worst hit, the Wednesday report from energy consulting and research firm Wood Mackenzie. That’s as analysts predict a boom in electric vehicle use over the next three decades, but cite limited new metal production.

For now, supplies of those three metals are enough to meet demand, according to Gavin Montgomery, research director at Wood Mackenzie. But short-term market prices of those metals have fallen, and that will deter producers from increasing supply to meet future demand, he added.

In fact, in the next few years, demand for the metals is expected to grow so rapidly — as car producers make more electric vehicles — that suppliers won’t be able to keep up, Montgomery noted.

Montgomery isn’t the only one predicting a future supply crunch.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-26  Authors: stella soon
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, battery, supplies, worldwide, research, production, looming, supply, crunch, vehicle, materials, electric, demand, wood, ramps, producers, metals, vehicles


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Mattel is making a Magic 8-Ball movie with horror movie titan Blumhouse

Blumhouse has set a new standard for horror production in the 21st century, which is lifting the entire category. For instance, Blumhouse partnered with Hasbro to create a movie based on the Ouija board. The film, released in 2014, cost just $5 million to make and went on to earn more than $103 million at the global box office. The sequel “Ouija: Origin of Evil,” which came out in 2016, cost $9 million for production and went on to earn $81.7 million. The Magic 8-Ball movie is the sixth live-act


Blumhouse has set a new standard for horror production in the 21st century, which is lifting the entire category. For instance, Blumhouse partnered with Hasbro to create a movie based on the Ouija board. The film, released in 2014, cost just $5 million to make and went on to earn more than $103 million at the global box office. The sequel “Ouija: Origin of Evil,” which came out in 2016, cost $9 million for production and went on to earn $81.7 million. The Magic 8-Ball movie is the sixth live-act
Mattel is making a Magic 8-Ball movie with horror movie titan Blumhouse Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-25  Authors: sarah whitten
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, films, ouija, blumhouse, office, movie, 8ball, million, went, horror, film, universe, mattel, production, magic, titan, making, released


Mattel is making a Magic 8-Ball movie with horror movie titan Blumhouse

Mattel’s Magic 8-Ball is getting the Blumhouse treatment.

On an earnings call Thursday, CEO Ynon Kreiz revealed that the iconic fortune-telling toy would be coming to theaters in partnership with the horror film studio.

Blumhouse has set a new standard for horror production in the 21st century, which is lifting the entire category. The studio is best known for films like “Paranormal Activity” and the Academy Award-winning “Get Out.” Also, a bit part of the company’s strategy is taking small budget films and turning them into huge box office successes.

For instance, Blumhouse partnered with Hasbro to create a movie based on the Ouija board. The film, released in 2014, cost just $5 million to make and went on to earn more than $103 million at the global box office. The sequel “Ouija: Origin of Evil,” which came out in 2016, cost $9 million for production and went on to earn $81.7 million.

As Mattel seeks to keep its margins in check, producing films cheaply that can go on to multimillion dollar success will be key.

The Magic 8-Ball movie is the sixth live-action film project that Mattel has announced in recent years. The company has tapped Margot Robbie ( “Suicide Squad,” “I, Tonya”) to play Barbie and will produce a live-action Hot Wheels film, an American Girl movie, a Masters of the Universe film and a flick based on View-Master.

“Master of the Universe” will be released in March 2021, Kreiz said.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-25  Authors: sarah whitten
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, films, ouija, blumhouse, office, movie, 8ball, million, went, horror, film, universe, mattel, production, magic, titan, making, released


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Boeing could suspend 737 Max production if the planes’ return is delayed further, sending stock lower

The 737 Max has been grounded since mid-March following two fatal crashes. Boeing had delivered about 400 737 Max planes to airlines at the time the aircraft was grounded worldwide in March. Companies that make parts for the 737 Max were trading lower. Muilenburg warned currently reduced 737 Max production at 42 a month will delay deliveries to airlines in the future once production resumes. A Lion Air flight in Indonesia in October killed all 189 aboard, while an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max that


The 737 Max has been grounded since mid-March following two fatal crashes. Boeing had delivered about 400 737 Max planes to airlines at the time the aircraft was grounded worldwide in March. Companies that make parts for the 737 Max were trading lower. Muilenburg warned currently reduced 737 Max production at 42 a month will delay deliveries to airlines in the future once production resumes. A Lion Air flight in Indonesia in October killed all 189 aboard, while an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max that
Boeing could suspend 737 Max production if the planes’ return is delayed further, sending stock lower Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-24  Authors: leslie josephs
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, airlines, boeing, max, grounding, stock, delayed, return, warned, lower, 737, production, sending, suspend, planes, month


Boeing could suspend 737 Max production if the planes' return is delayed further, sending stock lower

The manufacturer on Wednesday posted the biggest quarterly loss in its history as costs piled up and it took a nearly $5 billion charge to compensate airlines affected by the worldwide grounding of the 737 Max, now in its fifth month. Boeing warned its costs from the grounding could climb if it wears on longer than expected.

The 737 Max has been grounded since mid-March following two fatal crashes. Investigators implicated a piece of new flight-control software in both air disasters that repeatedly pushed the nose of the planes downward. A total of 346 people were killed in the two crashes. Boeing has developed a software fix and aims to submit that and other requirements to get the planes flying again to the Federal Aviation Administration in September, CEO Dennis Muilenburg said on an earnings call.

Boeing expects its troubled 737 Max jets to return to the skies by early in the fourth quarter but its CEO warned investors on Wednesday that it could further cut or suspend production of its bestselling planes altogether if delays get worse.

Boeing in April cut production of the planes by nearly 20% to 42 a month in the wake of the second crash in Ethiopia a month earlier. Muilenburg told analysts that it expects to maintain that rate and ramp up production to 57 a month in 2020, if as it anticipates, the planes return to service early in the fourth quarter. But if the return date is further delayed, Boeing could cut production more.

“Should our estimate of the anticipated return to service change, we might need to consider possible further rate reductions or other options including a temporary shutdown of the Max production,” Muilenburg said. The CEO later added that “a temporary shutdown of production line could be more efficient than a sustained lower production rate” because it could reduce storage requirements.

Shares of Boeing extended their losses after Muilenburg’s remarks, trading 3% lower and shaving nearly 80 points off the Dow Jones Industrial Average in afternoon trading.

The grounding has vexed Boeing’s airline customers that have canceled thousands of flights during a busy summer travel season. Carriers including United, Southwest and American have removed the planes from their schedules until early November, leading to thousands of more flight cancellations. Further delays could crimp their operations during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday travel period.

Boeing had delivered about 400 737 Max planes to airlines at the time the aircraft was grounded worldwide in March. After the second crash, Boeing said it would suspend deliveries to carriers and has been storing the jets in Texas and at its facilities in Washington state, including in an employee parking lot.

Companies that make parts for the 737 Max were trading lower. Spirit AeroSystems Holdings, which makes fuselages for the 737 Max was off 2% and materials providers Hexcel and Allegheny Technologies, were down 0.4% and 2.3%, respectively.

Muilenburg warned currently reduced 737 Max production at 42 a month will delay deliveries to airlines in the future once production resumes.

Regulators have not said when they expect to allow the planes to fly again.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC’s “Squawk Box ” on Wednesday that the U.S. wants to “absolutely make sure that before the 737 Max flies that it’s safe.”

“I think there’s no question Boeing has the financial capacity to fix this but I think we need to make sure they’re fixed and we need to figure out how they compete against Airbus,” he said, referring to Boeing’s European rival, which is wrapped up in a trade dispute over U.S. accusations of illegal subsidies.

Boeing said the financial guidance it issued earlier this year doesn’t reflect the Max impacts and “due to the uncertainty of the timing and conditions surrounding return to service of the 737 Max fleet” it would issue new guidance at a later date.

Boeing’s $4.9 billion charge and the $1.7 billion increase in costs related to the 737 Max grounding does not include sums that it may have to pay in dozens of lawsuits related to the crashes. A Lion Air flight in Indonesia in October killed all 189 aboard, while an Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max that crashed shortly after takeoff in March killed 157 people. It also doesn’t include the $100 million that Boeing said it would set aside for victims’ relatives and their communities.

Aside from the Max woes, Boeing said the first flight of its revamped double-aisle 777x jetliners would take place in 2020 instead of this year due to issues with the planes’ General Electric engines. Boeing warned that “there is significant risk” to its plans to first deliver these planes to airlines next year because of the ongoing problems.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-24  Authors: leslie josephs
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, airlines, boeing, max, grounding, stock, delayed, return, warned, lower, 737, production, sending, suspend, planes, month


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Philips second-quarter results top estimates as growth picks up

Disney bought Marvel for $4 billion in 2009. It’s made $18.2… These box office numbers do not include the cost of production or marketing costs. They also don’t count the billions in merchandising that Disney has made over the last…Entertainmentread more


Disney bought Marvel for $4 billion in 2009. It’s made $18.2… These box office numbers do not include the cost of production or marketing costs. They also don’t count the billions in merchandising that Disney has made over the last…Entertainmentread more
Philips second-quarter results top estimates as growth picks up Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-22
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, secondquarter, picks, office, include, philips, marvel, growth, estimates, results, lastentertainmentread, marketing, merchandising, production, numbers, disney, dont


Philips second-quarter results top estimates as growth picks up

Disney bought Marvel for $4 billion in 2009. It’s made $18.2…

These box office numbers do not include the cost of production or marketing costs. They also don’t count the billions in merchandising that Disney has made over the last…

Entertainment

read more


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-22
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, secondquarter, picks, office, include, philips, marvel, growth, estimates, results, lastentertainmentread, marketing, merchandising, production, numbers, disney, dont


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US Treasury yields tick higher as investors consider smaller Fed rate cut

Disney bought Marvel for $4 billion in 2009. It’s made $18.2… These box office numbers do not include the cost of production or marketing costs. They also don’t count the billions in merchandising that Disney has made over the last…Entertainmentread more


Disney bought Marvel for $4 billion in 2009. It’s made $18.2… These box office numbers do not include the cost of production or marketing costs. They also don’t count the billions in merchandising that Disney has made over the last…Entertainmentread more
US Treasury yields tick higher as investors consider smaller Fed rate cut Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-22  Authors: sam meredith
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, higher, office, treasury, rate, consider, include, tick, merchandising, marvel, cut, fed, lastentertainmentread, smaller, marketing, investors, yields, production, numbers, disney, dont


US Treasury yields tick higher as investors consider smaller Fed rate cut

Disney bought Marvel for $4 billion in 2009. It’s made $18.2…

These box office numbers do not include the cost of production or marketing costs. They also don’t count the billions in merchandising that Disney has made over the last…

Entertainment

read more


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-22  Authors: sam meredith
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, higher, office, treasury, rate, consider, include, tick, merchandising, marvel, cut, fed, lastentertainmentread, smaller, marketing, investors, yields, production, numbers, disney, dont


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How dairy behemoth Danone failed to win India’s 1.35 billion dairy lovers

India is the world’s top producer and consumer of dairy — in 2018 alone, the country’s 75 million dairy farmers produced 410 billion pounds of milk, about 22% of global production. With this and its dairy-heavy diet of curries and yogurt drinks, the giant French dairy company Danone hoped to find success in the country, opening its own production line in 2011. But this division failed to account for more than 10% of its sales in India, the vast majority instead coming from its “specialized nutri


India is the world’s top producer and consumer of dairy — in 2018 alone, the country’s 75 million dairy farmers produced 410 billion pounds of milk, about 22% of global production. With this and its dairy-heavy diet of curries and yogurt drinks, the giant French dairy company Danone hoped to find success in the country, opening its own production line in 2011. But this division failed to account for more than 10% of its sales in India, the vast majority instead coming from its “specialized nutri
How dairy behemoth Danone failed to win India’s 1.35 billion dairy lovers Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-19  Authors: karin shedd
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, vast, lovers, production, billion, dairy, indias, danone, 135, company, behemoth, success, yogurt, specialized, india, worlds, failed, win


How dairy behemoth Danone failed to win India's 1.35 billion dairy lovers

India is the world’s top producer and consumer of dairy — in 2018 alone, the country’s 75 million dairy farmers produced 410 billion pounds of milk, about 22% of global production. With this and its dairy-heavy diet of curries and yogurt drinks, the giant French dairy company Danone hoped to find success in the country, opening its own production line in 2011.

But this division failed to account for more than 10% of its sales in India, the vast majority instead coming from its “specialized nutrition” segment. Analysts say that India’s highly localized, fractured dairy industry confounded Danone, a company accustomed to the relatively more consolidated dairy industries of the U.S., where it goes by the name “Dannon,” and its native France.

Watch more:


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-19  Authors: karin shedd
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, vast, lovers, production, billion, dairy, indias, danone, 135, company, behemoth, success, yogurt, specialized, india, worlds, failed, win


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More than 50 companies reportedly pull production out of China due to trade war

The trade war between the U.S. and China has dragged on for more than a year with 25% tariffs placed on $200 billion of Chinese goods. American personal computer makers HP and Dell could move up to 30% of their notebook production in China to Southeast Asia, Nikkei reported. Japan’s Nintendo is also going to pull a portion of its video game console production from China to Vietnam, according to Nikkei. Not only are foreign companies rethinking its production location, a handful of Chinese compan


The trade war between the U.S. and China has dragged on for more than a year with 25% tariffs placed on $200 billion of Chinese goods. American personal computer makers HP and Dell could move up to 30% of their notebook production in China to Southeast Asia, Nikkei reported. Japan’s Nintendo is also going to pull a portion of its video game console production from China to Vietnam, according to Nikkei. Not only are foreign companies rethinking its production location, a handful of Chinese compan
More than 50 companies reportedly pull production out of China due to trade war Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-18  Authors: yun li
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, tariffs, chinese, pull, production, companies, china, 50, reportedly, war, according, trade, nikkei, moving


More than 50 companies reportedly pull production out of China due to trade war

The pace of companies moving production out of China is accelerating as more than 50 multinationals from Apple to Nintendo to Dell are rushing to escape the punitive tariffs placed by the U.S., according to the Nikkei Asian review.

The trade war between the U.S. and China has dragged on for more than a year with 25% tariffs placed on $200 billion of Chinese goods. President Donald Trump is still threatening to slap duties on another $325 billion of goods. In wake of the intensifying battle, more and more companies announced plans or are considering shifting manufacturing from China.

American personal computer makers HP and Dell could move up to 30% of their notebook production in China to Southeast Asia, Nikkei reported. Apple has asked its major suppliers to assess the cost implications of moving 15% to 30% of their production capacity from China to India, according to an earlier report from the Nikkei.

Japan’s Nintendo is also going to pull a portion of its video game console production from China to Vietnam, according to Nikkei.

Not only are foreign companies rethinking its production location, a handful of Chinese companies are also leaving China. Chinese multinational electronics company TCL is moving its TV production to Vietnam, while Chinese tire maker Sailun Tire is transitioning its manufacturing line to Thailand, Nikkei reported.

The prolonged trade battle seems to be taking a toll on the Chinese economy. Data on Monday showed its economic growth slowed to 6.2% in the second quarter — the weakest rate in at least 27 years.

Trump claimed the slower growth is evidence that China is losing the trade war as the country faces an exodus of companies.

“The United States Tariffs are having a major effect on companies wanting to leave China for non-tariffed countries. Thousands of companies are leaving. This is why China wants to make a deal,” Trump said in a twitter post on Monday.

—Click here to read the original story from the Nikkei Asian Review.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-18  Authors: yun li
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, tariffs, chinese, pull, production, companies, china, 50, reportedly, war, according, trade, nikkei, moving


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Oil drops more than 3% after State Secretary Pompeo says Iran is ready to negotiate about its missile program

Oil prices turned lower on Tuesday, falling by about $2 a barrel as U.S. President Donald Trump said progress has been made with Iran, signaling tensions could ease in the Mideast. Brent crude futures were down $2.56 or 3.7% at $63.86 a barrel, after hitting a session high of $67.09. West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell by $2.46 or 4.2% to $57.09 a barrel. Tension between the United States and Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program have previously lent support to oil futures, given the potenti


Oil prices turned lower on Tuesday, falling by about $2 a barrel as U.S. President Donald Trump said progress has been made with Iran, signaling tensions could ease in the Mideast. Brent crude futures were down $2.56 or 3.7% at $63.86 a barrel, after hitting a session high of $67.09. West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell by $2.46 or 4.2% to $57.09 a barrel. Tension between the United States and Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program have previously lent support to oil futures, given the potenti
Oil drops more than 3% after State Secretary Pompeo says Iran is ready to negotiate about its missile program Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-16
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, secretary, progress, pompeo, program, state, drops, production, negotiate, crude, session, oil, data, earlier, iran, missile, futures, ready, prices


Oil drops more than 3% after State Secretary Pompeo says Iran is ready to negotiate about its missile program

Oil prices turned lower on Tuesday, falling by about $2 a barrel as U.S. President Donald Trump said progress has been made with Iran, signaling tensions could ease in the Mideast.

Brent crude futures were down $2.56 or 3.7% at $63.86 a barrel, after hitting a session high of $67.09.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell by $2.46 or 4.2% to $57.09 a barrel. The U.S. benchmark hit a session high of $60.06 earlier in the day.

“What were tailwinds have become headwinds,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York. He said the same tensions between the United States and Iran that had driven prices higher earlier in the session were putting a damper on the market after Trump’s comments.

Trump said on Tuesday a lot of progress had been made with Iran and that he was not looking for regime change in the country.

Trump, who made the remarks at a Cabinet meeting in the White House, did not give details about the progress, but U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at the meeting Iran had said it was prepared to negotiate about its missile program.

Tension between the United States and Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program have previously lent support to oil futures, given the potential for a price spike should the situation deteriorate.

Uncertainty about China’s economic prospects also pressured prices lower after data on Monday showed that growth in the country slowed to 6.2% from a year earlier, the weakest pace in at least 27 years.

Additionally, U.S. oil companies on Monday began restoring some of the nearly 74% of production that was shut at platforms in the Gulf of Mexico because of Hurricane Barry.

Workers were returning to the more than 280 production platforms that had been evacuated. It can take several days for full production to resume.

The storm will probably result in a noticeable decline in U.S. crude oil stocks this week, analysts at Commerzbank said.

Inventory data will be published by the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday evening, and by the U.S. Department of Energy on Wednesday.

However, some say the bullish inventory data is structural, and not attributable only to the storm.

“Beyond the storm we feel we’re in a tightening inventory mode through August,” said Phil Flynn, an analyst with Price Futures Group in Chicago.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-16
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, secretary, progress, pompeo, program, state, drops, production, negotiate, crude, session, oil, data, earlier, iran, missile, futures, ready, prices


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Tesla employees say they took shortcuts, worked through harsh conditions to meet Model 3 production goals

Robotics arms install the front seats to the Tesla Model 3 at the Tesla factory in Fremont, California, on Thursday, July 26, 2018. A tent is seen at the Tesla factory in Fremont, California, U.S. June 22, 2018. Factory tape is high-quality and looks as if it’s shrink-wrapped on a part, always in the same place. The technician also emphasized that the Tesla Model 3 is an ideal electric vehicle — as long as it’s built exactly to spec. Tesla workers said they sometimes skipped installation of cert


Robotics arms install the front seats to the Tesla Model 3 at the Tesla factory in Fremont, California, on Thursday, July 26, 2018. A tent is seen at the Tesla factory in Fremont, California, U.S. June 22, 2018. Factory tape is high-quality and looks as if it’s shrink-wrapped on a part, always in the same place. The technician also emphasized that the Tesla Model 3 is an ideal electric vehicle — as long as it’s built exactly to spec. Tesla workers said they sometimes skipped installation of cert
Tesla employees say they took shortcuts, worked through harsh conditions to meet Model 3 production goals Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-15  Authors: lora kolodny
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, tent, factory, production, harsh, took, employees, meet, model, tesla, say, worked, ga4, shortcuts, work, tape, workers, goals


Tesla employees say they took shortcuts, worked through harsh conditions to meet Model 3 production goals

Robotics arms install the front seats to the Tesla Model 3 at the Tesla factory in Fremont, California, on Thursday, July 26, 2018. Mason Trinca | The Washington Post | Getty Images

Current and former Tesla employees working in the company’s open-air “tent” factory say they were pressured to take shortcuts to hit aggressive Model 3 production goals, including making fast fixes to plastic housings with electrical tape, working through harsh conditions and skipping previously required vehicle tests. For instance, four people who worked on the assembly line say they were told by supervisors to use electrical tape to patch cracks on plastic brackets and housings, and provided photographs showing where tape was applied. They and four additional people familiar with conditions there describe working through high heat, cold temperatures at night and smoky air during last year’s wildfires in Northern California. Their disclosures highlight the difficult balance Tesla must strike as it ramps up production while trying to stem costs. Tesla recently told shareholders that in the three months that ended June 30, it made 87,048 vehicles, including 72,531 Model 3s, the company’s lowest-priced sedan. Both were quarterly records. Tesla told shareholders to expect full-year deliveries this year to reach at least 360,000, and more than 250,000 of those are expected to be Model 3s. Last year, Tesla conquered some “production hell” issues, as CEO Elon Musk called them. That included removing or repurposing conveyors and robots that didn’t work as planned, and figuring out how to build cars and battery packs with more manual labor. This year, Tesla has been grappling with what could be described as “logistics hell.” It has had to deliver cars to customers in more points around the world than ever before. Tesla executives have said the company should be profitable in the second half of 2019. A Tesla spokesperson said the anecdotes employees shared about work in the tent are “misleading and do not reflect our manufacturing practices or what it’s like to work at Tesla.” The spokesperson said many of the shortcuts described by employees, such as using electrical tape during assembly, are not approved procedures, and that cars are rigorously inspected before shipping. Tesla also said many of the parts used in the Model 3 come with electrical tape on them from suppliers, and showed CNBC photographs of some factory-taped parts. The company said its first-pass yields at the Fremont, California, plant are higher than ever — a measurement that indicates Tesla is producing good cars and is scrapping or reworking fewer units than it did historically. Regarding working conditions in the tent, Tesla said, “We work hard to create a work environment that is as safe, fair and fun as possible, and it is incredibly important to us that employees look forward to coming to work every day. In fact, we have a large number of employees who request to work on GA4 based on what they hear from colleagues and what they have seen first-hand.”

A tent is seen at the Tesla factory in Fremont, California, U.S. June 22, 2018. Reuters | Stephen Lam

Pressure to produce under the tent

Tesla assembles some of its Model 3s in a tent, known as GA4 ( “general assembly 4”) in Fremont. Built in spring 2018, it was supposed to be a temporary measure. The idea was to run the tent mostly on manual labor while Tesla perfected its automated factory lines indoors in what’s called “the brick.” The tent has now been operating for more than a year. Workers told CNBC that GA4 is now able to produce up to 120 cars per shift, across three shifts per day, amounting to 2,160 Model 3s in a perfect six-day week, or around 30,000 per quarter assuming maximum rates of production. Tesla did not confirm these numbers, but in a statement last year, the company said GA4 was responsible for about 20% of total Model 3 production during a high-output week in July 2018. While the tented line does not crank out the majority of Tesla’s Model 3s, it still adds significant volume. When Model 3 lines inside the Fremont factory go down, workers in the tent can stay productive. That’s important to Tesla, given its history of over-automation and missed targets. In the tent, Model 3s are put together using manual labor and power tools, lifts and conveyors, but not with any of the sophisticated robotics Tesla uses on the indoor assembly lines. Workers say they do one process at their station repeatedly, usually walking along the line with the car until they’re done. Carlos Aranda was a former lead production associate who worked in GA4. Correspondence shared with CNBC shows he resigned from Tesla on June 24, following months of medical leave stemming from injuries he says he sustained on the job. (Tesla claims he was fired for a Twitter post that went against its Workplace Violence Policy, but provided no record of the offending tweet.) His wife, Maggie Aranda, worked as a Model 3 production associate in another part of GA4. She says she was dismissed on June 11 for using her phone during a shift to book health appointments after an injury. Both the Arandas previously worked on indoor assembly lines at the factory. Six current and former employees supported their accounts of work in GA4 but asked to remain unidentified. These people said that while work in GA4 is physically demanding, many people like working there because the atmosphere is good and camaraderie is strong. They said they can listen to music while they work, with a supervisor’s approval, and don’t always have to wear a uniform. At the same time, workers were encouraged to take shortcuts to hit their production goals in the tent, according to five people who work or worked there recently. For example, when it’s cold in the tent, workers tend to break a high number of plastic brackets and housings that hold critical electronics in place inside of the Model 3, according to four of these people. Rather than waiting for replenishment teams to deliver boxes of new plastic parts to their stations in GA4, they said, supervisors told workers to use vinyl electrical tape to make quick fixes. Carlos Aranda says he personally visited Walmart multiple times to buy the tape and other items for production associates. For instance, this photo shows tape applied to a segment of a white plastic housing where it holds “triple cam” connections in place inside of a Model 3. The Arandas said the edge of this plastic housing piece would frequently crack during installation, and tape was often applied here to hold down the resulting, hinge-like flap.

A photograph sent by a Tesla employee showing how electrical tape was used during Model 3 assembly.

Installed in the windshield of a Model 3, a “triple cam” holds three cameras that allow the vehicle to see the road, traffic lights, lane markings and obstacles ahead. If triple cam connections loosen or break, some of Tesla’s safety features — like Sentry mode, AutoPilot, automatic emergency braking or full self-driving — may fail, the Arandas said. The car should then give drivers an alert that AutoPilot is no longer engaged, and the car needs service. Tesla said many of the parts they use in the Model 3 come with electrical tape on them from suppliers, and showed CNBC photographs of some factory-taped parts. Current and former GA4 workers acknowledged this, too. However, they made a distinction — the GA4 workers use tape to fix housings or brackets with cracks or to stop parts from vibrating in the car if they aren’t snapped or fastened in perfectly. That’s not the same as “factory tape,” they said. Factory tape is high-quality and looks as if it’s shrink-wrapped on a part, always in the same place. Much of it is wound carefully around bundles of cables and wires in a perfect spiral. The tape that workers would apply in a Model 3 typically has hastily cut or torn ends and varies in placement. A Tesla spokesperson says the company hasn’t found evidence of electrical tape being used to make quick fixes in GA4, and would never officially condone or encourage it. The company also emphasized that its cars go through rigorous quality inspections before they leave the factory. A former Tesla technician, who worked in the tent on Model 3s and asked to remain unidentified, analyzed photos from GA4 that were shared with CNBC by current and former employees. This person said Tesla’s vehicle engineers would probably not appreciate that Model 3s were being assembled with this cheap vinyl electrical tape, and any processes allowing prodigious use of the tape during assembly should be reevaluated. The technician also emphasized that the Tesla Model 3 is an ideal electric vehicle — as long as it’s built exactly to spec.

Other short cuts

Workers say they took other short cuts to hit aggressive new production targets, too. Five people who work or worked in the tent in 2019 said they would frequently pass cars down the line that they knew were missing a few bolts, nuts or lugs, all in the name of saving time. In the tent, most workers have just a couple of minutes to complete a process. If a small item was missing, or a bolt was not torqued in perfectly, they would rather keep cars moving than stop the line and be seen as a bottleneck to production, they said. In particular, these people said, aeroshields are often missing a middle bolt, and loose connections in body controllers are a common issue. For example, this photo shows the power supply for a distribution block in the front right vehicle controller in a Model 3. A nut is missing that should be there to secure electrical connections.

Tesla workers said they sometimes skipped installation of certain bolts, nuts or lugs in a rush to hit their Model 3 production goals.

Wires in this part of the car go to the touchscreen, car computer, door latches and window regulators on the right hand side of the Model 3, while the red cable distributes power into the systems on the right hand side. Although it’s a low-voltage connection, if it’s not properly secured, it can heat up and cause problems, the former Tesla technician said. Model 3s with loose connections can be hard to detect during inspections, the ex-technician and factory workers said. Tesla said the company “has a robust quality assurance team that reviews each vehicle at the end of the GA4 assembly line to ensure every car was built correctly and is perfect before it leaves our factory to go to customers.” Current and former employees also said Tesla reduced “water testing” on cars as the company began ramping up production of Model 3s. In a water test, a vehicle goes into a booth where jets blast it with water from all different directions. Any leaks in the seals are immediately found and fixed. The tests take about 10 minutes each. In late 2018, Tesla changed its policy and now only conducts sample testing for water leaks on Model 3s. Since then, if workers see an issue with the urethane seals around a Model 3 glass roof, for example, they can request a water test. But many in GA4 are hesitant to make that request because of time pressure and a lack of experience or training that they need to identify flaws, a current associate said. A Tesla spokesperson said the company is not aware of any instances where workers were told not to do water testing because that may slow production. The company says it encourages employees to identify opportunities for improvement, and engage all appropriate teams to evaluate potential risks and identify possible solutions. In addition, six current and prior employees said, workers often violated a rule that cars should only be driven in “factory mode,” which now limits speed to 10 mph. Workers would sneak freshly built Model 3s out of factory mode to zip them over to a camera calibration station (or “cam cal”), which was located far away from the GA4 tent. (That station has since been moved closer to the tent.) Employees caught doing this would be appropriately disciplined, Tesla said. Mike Ramsey, senior automotive research director at Gartner, said that even before Tesla put a Model 3 assembly line in a tent, it had a “ship-it-now, fix-it-later” mentality inspired by software patching. Tesla’s focus, instead, has been to exceed expectations in other areas like brand, vehicle acceleration or charging, he said. While Tesla has been successful with those efforts, he said: “Every time a car rolls off the lot and a piece of trim falls off, or an electrical system is failing after a month, it undermines the brand. That customer is not likely to buy another Tesla.” Ramsey also said, “The idea that you would not stop the line, and would patch something with spit and bailing wire — OK, not literally that, but close to it — almost certainly injects quality issues down the road that they are going to have to fix.”

Exposed to the elements

Exposure to the elements in GA4 poses another problem for the workers. Six current and recent Tesla employees said GA4 workers have repeatedly asked Tesla’s environmental health and safety teams to help with cold temperatures overnight, sweltering heat during the days, and pests — including mice and bugs — in the tent. They say workers commonly deal with heat rash and heat exhaustion. Tesla installed big fans in GA4 to distribute heat and circulate air. However they are not on consistently, these people said, and usually don’t make a big difference. Tesla said its environmental health and safety team monitors temperatures to ensure they are within a comfortable range for the safety of employees, production equipment and car parts. They also said they provide temperature controls like cool fans, hydration, rest breaks and heat stress awareness training to employees. Hot, dry conditions can also lead to problems with air quality. Correspondence reviewed by CNBC shows that Tesla required GA4 workers to report for duty even as wildfire smoke floated up from the massive Camp Fire that devastated Northern California in November. On Nov. 9, the day after the Camp Fire ignited, the AirNow Air Quality Index rated Fremont at an “unhealthy” 165, and continued in the unhealthy range for at least another week. Tesla did not proactively distribute respirator masks to GA4 workers in the first few days after the Camp Fire began. Workers had to request the masks, according to internal correspondence shared with CNBC. Inside the building portion of the factory they had HVAC and good air flow, but tent workers were stuck, said Maggie Aranda, and they did not get time off due to the smoke. Tesla says it offered air filter masks who those who wanted them and provided face masks every day as a precautionary measure. When conditions turn cold and wet, other problems arise. For instance, this photo shows rain seeping into the tented roof at GA4.

Rain seeps through a tent above Tesla’s GA4 Model 3 assembly line in Fremont, Calif.

Employees wear layers, and big coats that can impede their movement. Supervisors distribute disposable hand-warming packets that workers slip into their gloves or tape to their bodies. Tesla provided big red jackets for GA4 workers last year, but stopped distributing them by early 2019, according to several current and former employees. On cold nights early this year, workers in a tented “paint hospital” sometimes used heat lamps, which are used to dry paint and clear coat on cars, to warm their own bodies, according to current and former production associates. This paint hospital has since been moved indoors, according to public records with the city of Fremont. At a GA4 station where employees checked Model 3 vehicle alignment, Carlos Aranda said, workers used space heaters in late 2018. But when it rained, water seeping into the tent from above and below made these a hazard, he said. He shared photos of a leaking roof and space heater there, plugged in, with rain puddling nearby. Tesla says using space heaters is against company policy.

Tesla workers build cars in a tented assembly line called “GA4” where they are exposed to the elements, including big temperature swings and rain.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-15  Authors: lora kolodny
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, tent, factory, production, harsh, took, employees, meet, model, tesla, say, worked, ga4, shortcuts, work, tape, workers, goals


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European stocks close flat following euro zone, China data; Thomas Cook plunges 60%

European stocks closed flat on Friday as investors reacted to new Chinese trade data and euro zone industrial production figures. The pan-European Stoxx 600 was in positive territory at the closing bell, chemicals stocks leading the gains with a 1.2% climb while autos recovered from an early fall to trade 0.8% higher. An official report Friday revealed that China’s exports fell less than expected in June, with dollar-denominated exports falling 1.3% from the same period a year ago. EU statistics


European stocks closed flat on Friday as investors reacted to new Chinese trade data and euro zone industrial production figures. The pan-European Stoxx 600 was in positive territory at the closing bell, chemicals stocks leading the gains with a 1.2% climb while autos recovered from an early fall to trade 0.8% higher. An official report Friday revealed that China’s exports fell less than expected in June, with dollar-denominated exports falling 1.3% from the same period a year ago. EU statistics
European stocks close flat following euro zone, China data; Thomas Cook plunges 60% Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-12  Authors: chloe taylor elliot smith, chloe taylor, elliot smith
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, zone, euro, thomas, cook, trade, stocks, stock, production, month, expected, following, european, plunges, flat, data, period, billion


European stocks close flat following euro zone, China data; Thomas Cook plunges 60%

European stocks closed flat on Friday as investors reacted to new Chinese trade data and euro zone industrial production figures.

The pan-European Stoxx 600 was in positive territory at the closing bell, chemicals stocks leading the gains with a 1.2% climb while autos recovered from an early fall to trade 0.8% higher. Health care was the worst performing sector, shedding 1.3%.

An official report Friday revealed that China’s exports fell less than expected in June, with dollar-denominated exports falling 1.3% from the same period a year ago. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 2% decline on the back of the ongoing trade war with the U.S.

Euro zone industrial production rose more than expected in May, data showed on Friday, offsetting declines over the past two months and defying gloomy forecasts caused by prolonged trade tensions. EU statistics agency Eurostat said euro zone factory output grew by 0.9% in May on the month, exceeding modest market expectations of a 0.2% rise.

Daimler stock was down 0.6% by the end of the session, after the German carmaker warned investors to expect a second-quarter loss before interest and taxes of 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion) after a 2.6 billion euro profit posted in the same period last year.

Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank shares received a welcome reprieve, rising 2.5% after UBS became the first broker to upgrade the German lender’s stock following a mass restructuring effort.

Investors are also processing mixed messages from the U.S. Federal Reserve after Chairman Jerome Powell kept the focus Thursday on global risks which could trigger a rate cut this month, while colleagues from regional Fed districts painted a rosier picture of continued U.S. growth and a solid business outlook.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2019-07-12  Authors: chloe taylor elliot smith, chloe taylor, elliot smith
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, zone, euro, thomas, cook, trade, stocks, stock, production, month, expected, following, european, plunges, flat, data, period, billion


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