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Wall Street Journal (September 19)

2022/ 09/ 21 by jd in Global News

“A few years ago, auto executives weren’t sure there would be enough buyers for plug-in electric models. Now, they worry they can’t build them fast enough, while they intensify a multibillion-dollar rush to accelerate timelines and bring factories online.” In July, EVs and PHEVs accounted for “five of the six fastest-selling vehicles in the U.S,” where EVs have tripled in vehicle share over the past two years as “sales of other types of vehicles have declined.” Waiting lists now exceed a year for new electric models at GM and Ford.


Wall Street Journal (July 19)

2021/ 07/ 20 by jd in Global News

“As China’s factory-gate prices soared this year, investors worried the country would become a new source of inflation for the rest of the world. Instead, the world’s second-largest economy has helped alleviate some price pressures caused by the pandemic.” Many Chinese factories have been “absorbing higher costs for raw materials like copper and iron ore themselves.” It appears this will continue “at least for a while.”


Time (March 10)

2020/ 03/ 12 by jd in Global News

“While Chinese cities experiment with slowly reviving activity, other countries are canceling public gatherings, encouraging remote work and…following China’s lead with a lockdown on affected regions.” But it will still be a while before China is fully back to normal..if that’s even possible. Chinese factories, for example, “are gradually reopening but aren’t expected to reach normal production until at least April.”


Bloomberg (January 5)

2017/ 01/ 06 by jd in Global News

“From goods leaving the factory floor in China’s industrial towns to gasoline at the pump in Europe and America, prices that stayed low for years are finally going up.” The reflation narrative leaves most policymakers hopeful and a few giddy, but doubts linger about the durability of the recovery.


Bloomberg (June 6)

2016/ 06/ 08 by jd in Global News

Guandong province, “China’s factory to the world,” is now caught in “a race to survive” as rising costs shift production to cheaper countries. Automation is also taking a toll. “With the new robot-staffed factories, and startups that employ hundreds rather than thousands, many of the millions who came to make Guangdong an industrial superpower may have little choice but to return home.”


Institutional Investor (April 27)

2015/ 04/ 29 by jd in Global News

“For decades Washington politicians have evoked the dream of a North American energy alliance that would deliver Mexico’s abundant hydrocarbons to factories and motor vehicles in the U.S.” Today’s reality “is confounding expectations. It’s the booming U.S. energy sector that is powering Mexican factories and cars.”


Financial Times (October 25)

2013/ 10/ 26 by jd in Global News

“A painful and protracted hangover from the financial crisis has slashed demand for cars in Europe, forcing mainstream manufacturers to close factories, lay off workers and fill their financial statements with red ink.” Despite these measures, however, the industry is still struggling with overcapacity, compelling many global automakers to subsidize European losses with sales elsewhere. Providing a glimmer of optimism for Europe, however, Ford “called the bottom of the disastrous market slump on Thursday, the first carmaker confident enough to turn tentative hopes into official profit guidance and draw a financial line under six years of falling sales.”


New York Times (June 27)

2013/ 06/ 28 by jd in Global News

The outsourcing model is broken. “Most American and European brands and retailers use a rotating cast of hundreds of third-world suppliers, instead of establishing long-term relationships with fewer of them.” The result is a race to the bottom and horrid catastrophes like the building collapse in Bangladesh which killed more than 1,100 people. Things must change. Retailers should “contract with fewer factories and establish long-term relationships with them. If they did so, they would have to monitor fewer factories and would have greater influence over suppliers to demand upgrades and changes.”