Tesla slashes prices in US
Tesla Inc drastically slashed the prices of its Model 3 sedan and Model Y sports utility vehicle in the US, a move that allows more models to qualify for a new US federal tax credit and juice demand in what is typically a sluggish winter quarter. The purchase price of a dual motor all-wheel drive Model 3 would be US$53,990, a 14 percent drop from US$62,990 previously, Tesla said on Thursday. The purchase price of a long-range Model Y would be US$52,990, a 20 percent reduction from US$65,990. The US’ Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law by US President Joe Biden last year, created new criteria for consumers to qualify for as much as a US$7,500 tax credit on new electric vehicles or plug-in hybrids. For vehicles, including sedans such as Tesla’s Model 3, the sticker price cannot exceed US$55,000 and the vehicle must be assembled in North America to qualify.
Inflation soars to 94.8%
Inflation was 94.8 percent last year, its highest annual figure since 1991, the Indec national statistics institute said on Thursday. Latin America’s third-largest economy last year had one of the highest inflation rates in the world, even though last month’s figure of 5.1 percent month-on-month inflation continued a downward trend since a peak of 7.4 percent in July. The annual figure was a huge jump from the 50.9 percent inflation in 2021. The government has set an inflation target of 60 percent for this year. Prices for daily staples rose monthly, even weekly, last year. A liter of milk rose 320 percent last year, while cooking oil shot up 456 percent and 1kg of sugar soared 490 percent, the Abeceb consultancy said.
Ukraine war stirs downturn
The economy suffered a sharp slowdown last year, when the return of war to Europe cut a COVID-19 pandemic rebound short and forced painful shifts in business and politics. Output increased 1.9 percent — down from 2.6 percent in 2021 and just ahead of the 1.8 percent estimate in a Bloomberg survey, the statistics office said yesterday. While last year began with high hopes that phasing-out two years of COVID-19 restrictions would juice demand — GDP was forecast to jump 4 percent — Russia’s invasion of Ukraine eight weeks in changed everything. Year-on-year inflation peaked at 11.6 percent last year and is expected to stay elevated through 2025. Economists started to forecast a downturn in September last year, after confidence indicators plummeted and surveys of purchasing managers signaled production had started to decline.
BYD plans Vietnam plant
The electric vehicle (EV) unit of BYD Co (比亞迪) is planning to build a plant in Vietnam to produce vehicle parts, three people with knowledge of the plan said, in a move that would reduce the Chinese company’s reliance on domestic manufacturing and deepen its supply chain in Southeast Asia. The investment would exceed US$250 million, one of the people said. The Xian-based firm, which outsold Tesla Inc in EVs by more than two to one in China last year, has been expanding elsewhere in Asia, including Singapore and Japan, and Europe. The company in September last year announced it would build an EV assembly plant in Thailand with annual capacity of 150,000 units from next year.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government should take steps to cut UK reliance on semiconductors from Taiwan because of the threat posed by China, a draft strategy said. Chinese interference or an invasion of Taiwan would threaten Britain’s economy, according to the unpublished strategy seen by Bloomberg. That is because it would compromise supplies to and from Taiwan, which is home to more than 90 percent of the manufacturing capacity for all leading-edge chips, including the world’s pre-eminent silicon foundry, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電). The strategy is important because semiconductors are used in everything from cellphones to cars, and shortages have
BIG SPENDERS: China’s reopening is a key ‘mega-theme’ for the sector, RBC Bank said, but it remains to be seen how much Chinese tourists will buy The European luxury sector is welcoming the end of pandemic lockdowns in China, as the return of big-spending Chinese tourists could sustain further growth. Prior to the pandemic, Chinese tourists visiting Europe were a major source of sales for luxury houses. The Chinese accounted for “a third of luxury purchases in the world and two-thirds of those purchases were made outside China”, said Joelle de Montgolfier, head of the luxury division at management consulting firm Bain & Co. Their return has led RBC Bank to revise up its growth forecast for the sector this year to 11 percent, from 7 percent previously. “China
‘IT HURTS TOO MUCH’: After talks between Blizzard and NetEase over their contract broke down, servers hosting Blizzard’s games in China were shut down Millions of Chinese gamers have lost access to World of Warcraft after a furious dispute between US title owner Activision Blizzard Inc and NetEase Inc (網易), its longtime local partner in the world’s biggest gaming market. Devotees of the popular game took to social media networks to bemoan the loss, with one posting an image of a failed connection message accompanied by crying emojis. “It really hurts my heart,” one wrote. “It hurts, it hurts too much,” another said. Massively popular worldwide, particularly in the 2000s, World of Warcraft — often abbreviated as WoW — is an online multiplayer role-playing game set in
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday accused Alphabet Inc’s Google of abusing its dominance in digital advertising, threatening to dismantle a key business at the heart of one of Silicon Valley’s most successful Internet firms. The US government said Google should be forced to sell its ad manager suite, tackling a business that generated about 12 percent of Google’s revenues in 2021, but also plays a vital role in the search engine and cloud company’s overall sales. “Google has used anticompetitive, exclusionary, and unlawful means to eliminate or severely diminish any threat to its dominance over digital advertising technologies,” the