|Bid||7,725.00 x 0|
|Ask||7,731.00 x 0|
|Day's Range||7,702.00 - 7,800.00|
|52 Week Range||6,045.00 - 7,949.00|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||0.88|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||11.62|
|Earnings Date||Feb 4, 2020 - Feb 10, 2020|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||200.00 (2.57%)|
|1y Target Est||8,332.90|
(Bloomberg) -- Toyota Motor Corp. has a problem with selling its hybrids -- it can’t get enough of them.“The only thing holding us back on hybrids is capacity,” Bob Carter, Toyota’s North American executive vice president for sales, told reporters on Thursday at an event in Detroit. “We can’t make enough Corolla and RAV4 hybrids.”While many of its competitors are walking away from hybrids and plowing billions into battery-powered cars, the Japanese automaker has seen demand surge for its 14 gasoline-electric models. Toyota’s hybrids accounted for 13% of total Toyota and Lexus brand sales in the U.S. last month and made up nearly a quarter of the volume for its top seller, the RAV4 compact SUV.Toyota could easily sell twice the number of hybrid RAV4 models, but can’t source enough electric batteries for the popular vehicle, Carter said. It currently has an 11-day supply of them in stock, compared to more than 20 days’ supply of gasoline-powered versions, he said.Carter said the RAV4 hybrid’s appeal has as much to do with features like sporty styling, extra torque and all-wheel drive as it does with its combined 40 miles per gallon fuel economy -- 10 mpg above the gas-only model.Toyota plans to shift production of the RAV4 hybrid from Canada to a plant in Kentucky early next year, and also add a plug-in hybrid option from next summer to be imported from Japan. But that growing demand for hybrid versions of the RAV4, Corolla and other Toyota vehicles has come at the expense of its most famous hybrid, the Prius, sales of which are down 21% so far this year.To contact the reporter on this story: Chester Dawson in Southfield at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Chester Dawson at email@example.com, David Welch, Kevin MillerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Sales of new cars in Russia fell 6.4% year-on-year in November to 156,848 units, after a 5.2% decline in the previous month, the Association of European Businesses (AEB) said on Thursday. "November sales confirmed the prevailing negative trend in the Russian car market this year," Joerg Schreiber, chairman of the AEB Automobile Manufacturers Committee, said in a statement. Schreiber said strong sales in the latter part of the previous year explained the decrease and meant a trend recovery is not expected in December sales.
A new and distinct problem has been discovered in air bags made by the now bankrupt company Takata which has led to at least one death.
Toyota North America posted its best-ever November as vehicles sales jumped over 9 percent. The automaker, which hosts its North American headquarters in Plano, sold 207,857 vehicles last month and saw gains across the board from pickup trucks, crossovers and its luxury brand Lexus. Both the Toyota and Lexus divisions of the company posted record Novembers.
May Mobility, a Michigan-based startup that is operating autonomous shuttle services in three U.S. cities, has raised $50 million in a Series B round led by Toyota Motor Corp. The funding, which comes less than a year after May Mobility raised $22 million, will be used to expand every aspect of the company, including its AV shuttle fleet, as well as its engineering and operations staff. May Mobility has 25 autonomous low-speed shuttles spread out between Detroit and Grand Rapids, Michigan and Providence, Rhode Island — the three cities in which it operates.
Despite the proliferation of small, efficient crossovers, the 2020 Toyota 4Runner endures with its body-on-frame construction, aged engine and transmission, and traditional part-time four-wheel-drive. Before digging into the specific trim, we should briefly note that this dinosaur at least gets a shot of botox for 2020, with significant updates and added features. All trim levels now get a standard suite of driver assist and safety features including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, automatic high-beam headlights and adaptive cruise control.
Toyota seeks to hire more transitioning vets and military spouses as technicians within the company's 1,200 dealership partners across the country, including Cavender Toyota in San Antonio.
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Tuesday the Trump administration has not ruled out imposing tariffs on imported autos, after letting a review period end in November with no action. U.S. President Donald Trump did not announce any new tariffs after a six-month, self-imposed review period expired in mid-November following a Commerce Department "Section 232" investigation into whether imported autos pose a national security threat.
China wants one in four cars sold by 2025 to be electric cars and hybrid cars, up from an earlier target of 20%. Tesla stock edged up.
(Bloomberg) -- Black Friday deals likely helped lift U.S. auto sales at most automakers in November, as a bumper crop of old model-year vehicles spurred carmakers to offer record discounts. But it wasn’t enough to spare troubled Nissan Motor Co. from a 15.9% decline.Total light-vehicle sales in the country probably ran at an adjusted annualized rate of 17.5 million in November, a touch better than 17.4 million a year ago, according to a projection by LMC Automotive and J.D. Power. The market researchers expect industry deliveries to drop to 16.8 million in 2020, from about 17.1 million this year.It’s not just sales that rose in November, so did prices, which averaged $35,623, up 1.3% from a year ago, according to researcher TrueCar. BMW AG, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Hyundai Motor Co. all saw gains in average transaction prices, driven by popular new models.To move older model year vehicles from dealer lots, automakers boosted incentive spending by an estimated 12% to $4,538 per vehicle in November, J.D. Power estimated last week, exceeding $4,500 for the first time. Those discounts, plus the later date for this year’s Thanksgiving holiday, was expected to spur some of the best Black Friday deals in years, according to car-shopping researcher Edmunds.Detroit’s three major manufacturers have stopped reporting monthly numbers, so tallies for November won’t include official figures from General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. or Fiat Chrysler. Other automakers generated about 56% of U.S. new-vehicle sales in the first half of the year.Here are highlights from the automakers that are reporting results for last month:VW’s SUV MakeoverVolkswagen has worked diligently to swap out small passenger cars, like its beloved Beetle, for the big trucks Americans want. The move paid off last month, with the German automaker posting a 9.1% gain, buoyed by sales of its mid-size Tiguan SUV and three-row Atlas.Light-trucks made up 55% of VW’s November sales, but its sedans are selling well and bucking the industry trend. The Jetta sedan was its best seller in November, with 8,966 deliveries. While sales were down 2.6% in the month, they are up 15% year-to-date.Nissan Stuck in ReverseNissan posted a third straight monthly decline in November, with sales falling below 100,000 vehicles for the first time since July. Deliveries of its top seller, the Rogue SUV, sank 25.5% and demand for the Murano crossover and Frontier pickup also declined by double digits. Only three models notched gains in the month, led by a 37% surge in sales of the Altima sedan.The automaker has suffered from turmoil in its senior management ranks in Japan and a refocusing of its U.S. business away from reliance on steep discounts and fleet sales.“It’s going to take a bit of time for us, and we’re not taking any shortcuts to get there,” David Kershaw, division vice president for the Nissan brand at the company’s U.S. sales unit, said in a phone interview.Trucks are Honda’s HeroesHonda Motor Co. sales soared 11% in November to 133,952 vehicles, paced by demand for sport utility vehicles and trucks.The automaker’s top-seller, the CR-V crossover, had a record month, and deliveries of the smaller HR-V more than doubled. Sales of the Ridgeline pickup climbed 31%.Hybrids Power ToyotaToyota Motor Corp.’s U.S. deliveries jumped 9.2% to 207,857 vehicles, led by a 26% increase for its biggest-volume model, the RAV4 compact SUV. The Tacoma mid-size truck and Camry and Corolla sedans also had strong showings.The Japanese automaker said nearly a quarter of its 44,665 RAV4 sales were gasoline-electric models. Sales of all Toyota- and Lexus-brand hybrids surged 65% to 27,274 vehicles -- about 13% of total U.S. deliveries.Hyundai Leans on SUVsSouth Korea’s Hyundai reported a solid 6.2% rise in November sales to 60,601 vehicles, its 15th gain in the last 16 months.SUVs including the compact Tucson and mid-size Santa Fe and Palisade models led the way, but its hybrid and electric vehicles are also on the ascent, soaring 78% for the month.\--With assistance from Keith Naughton, David Welch and Gabrielle Coppola.To contact the reporter on this story: Chester Dawson in Southfield at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Craig Trudell at email@example.com, Cécile Daurat, David WelchFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Toyota Motor Corp. said its North America division had its "best-ever" November as sales for the month rose 9.2% from a year ago to 207,857 vehicles. Toyota division sales increased 8.4%, as car sales rose 8.6%, SUV sales grew 14.1%, light truck sales increased 8.3% and hybrid sales soared 68.4%. Within the Lexus division, total sales rose 13.8%, as luxury SUV sales grew 24.0% and hybrid sales increased 51.4%. Toyota's U.S.-listed stock rose 0.1% in morning grading, bucking the 1.1% decline in the S&P 500 .
Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) today reported November 2019 sales of 207,857 vehicles, an increase of 9.2 percent on a volume basis and up 5.0 percent on a daily selling rate (DSR) basis versus November 2018.
Tesla’s biggest competitor isn’t producing electric vehicles, but is at the center of a surge in support for hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles, a technology that’s quickly taking over the heavy trucking segment
(Bloomberg) -- China’s once-in-a-generation car slump is hobbling carmakers around the globe that placed their bets on what is the world’s biggest auto market. But one group is weathering the slowdown unscathed: Japan.Iconic car companies like Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co. are increasing sales in a market that has fallen almost every month since June 2018. They’re doing it by targeting what’s proven to be a sweet spot in the faltering market -- demand for hybrid gasoline-electric cars. Japanese automakers are leaders in the technology, which appeals to Chinese consumers keen to heed the government push toward new-energy vehicles, but aren’t ready to shift to pure-electric autos just yet.“The hybrid I drive now is as reliable as the one I used before but more fuel-efficient,” said Charles Wang, who bought a hybrid Toyota Camry in 2019 after driving a gasoline-powered Honda Accord for six years. “I never regretted my choice of sticking to Japanese cars.”Toyota, maker of the pioneer hybrid model Prius, and peers Honda and Nissan Motor Co. have been early adopters of the technology that combines an internal combustion engine with an electric motor. That’s allowed them to keep sales humming even as demand for gasoline cars wanes and pure-electric vehicles are yet to catch on.Japanese brands boosted sales 4.3% in the first first 10 months of the year, outpacing U.S., European, South Korean and Chinese rivals, according to China Passenger Car Association. Japan is now close to overtaking Germany as the biggest foreign car power in China, though Germany is benefiting from resilient demand for its premium models.Sales of Japanese brands’ hybrids have risen about 30% this year in China to more than 220,000, making the vehicles one of the fastest-growing market segment, according to the association. Japanese carmakers control about 99% of the traditional hybrid market in China, according to numbers from consultancy WAYS Information Technology Co. that exclude plug-in vehicles.Among the reasons shoppers are going for hybrids is range anxiety -- the fear that an electric car’s battery runs out and leaves the driver stranded. China’s charging infrastructure is in early stages, though manufacturers and the government are trying to hasten a buildout.Hybrid demand has also been spurred by those buying a second car, as such customers are more likely to be concerned about fuel consumption, said Cui Dongshu, secretary general of CPA.What’s more, providers of mobility services such as car-sharing and ride-hailing are also increasingly moving to hybrids for their fuel efficiency, Cui said. So even if such services will reduce the total sales of cars, the Japanese manufacturers may be less affected than others.Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., which makes cars with both Toyota and Honda, has benefited from robust demand for models such as Camry, Yaris and Accord. GAC Toyota boosted sales 17% and GAC Honda 7% in the first 10 months of the year. That compares with a 11% slump in total industry deliveries, according to China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Guangzhou Auto shares slipped 0.3% Friday morning in Shanghai after earlier rising as much as 2.2%.To ride the trend, Japanese companies touted their new hybrid models at the Guangzhou Auto Show last week. Those include the new Wildlander sport utility vehicle by Toyota and Honda’s Breeze, an SUV that comes in both hybrid and gasoline variants.GAC Honda is preparing to expand its production capabilities in 2020 after running at 120% capacity this year. GAC Toyota plans to add new models annually over the next three years.“GAC is full of confidence in our two Japanese car ventures’ future development,” the carmakers said in a statement responding to Bloomberg’s inquiry. “GAC Honda and GAC Toyota will enlarge its product lineup and add more capacity in line with market demand.”Thus far, the Japanese brands have also weathered China’s cooling economy relatively well. Less-affluent customers in regions outside big cities have been more affected by the slowdown, weighing on sales of lower-end local brands but sparing the mid-prized offerings of Toyota, Nissan and Honda. The lower-end slump has pushed the car industry’s total sales down in 16 of the past 17 months.“Consumers of Japanese-brand cars are mainly middle-class buyers with steady and decent income,” said PCA’s Cui. “They are less impacted by the slowing economy.”(Updates with Guangzhou Auto shares in 10th paragraph)To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Tian Ying in Beijing at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Young-Sam Cho at email@example.com, Ville HeiskanenFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
German performance car tuner AC Schnitzer has officially released a full suite of aftermarket parts and an engine tune for the 2020 Toyota Supra. AC Schnitzer has never worked on a Toyota before, because a Toyota has never been a BMW underneath. AC Schnitzer says it prioritizes gains in torque with this tune.
Ride-hailing firm Grab has launched a pilot programme for motorbike hailing in Malaysia, barely a month after regional rival Gojek was given the green light to begin limited operations in the country. The Singapore-based company, a dominant player in Southeast Asia after it acquired Uber's business in the region last year, said on its website that the move was in line with the government's effort to test out the service. Grab is backed by familiar names in technology sector including SoftBank Group Corp, Microsoft Corp, Toyota Motor Corp and Uber.
(Bloomberg) -- In early 2018, the founders of Chinese artificial intelligence startup SenseTime Group Ltd. flew to Tokyo to see billionaire investor Masayoshi Son. As they entered the offices, Chief Executive Officer Xu Li was hoping to persuade the head of SoftBank Group to invest $200 million in his three-year-old startup.A third of the way into the presentation, Son interrupted to say he wanted to put in $1 billion. A few minutes later, Son suggested $2 billion. Turning to the roomful of SoftBank managers, Son said this was the kind of AI company he’d been looking for. “Why are you only telling me about them now?” he asked, according to one person in the room.In the end, SoftBank invested $1.2 billion, helping to transform SenseTime into the world’s most valuable AI startup. The young company’s valuation hit $7.5 billion this year.That investment model is now under fire after Son, 62, boosted the equity in office-sharing startup WeWork only to see it plummet as investors balked at enormous losses and troublesome governance. Indeed, SoftBank has participated, along with other investors, in scores of fundraisings that have added a total of more than $150 billion to the value of private companies, according to Bloomberg calculations. Among its deals are the world’s top two startups—ByteDance Inc. valued at $75 billion and Didi Chuxing Inc. at about $56 billion. In some cases, SoftBank’s involvement in multiple funding rounds helped drive up valuations that resulted in paper profits for Son’s company. The WeWork fiasco raises questions about such numbers. The co-working startup’s valuation crested at $47 billion this year with SoftBank’s investment, then plummeted to $7.8 billion in a bailout engineered by Son. WeWork is slashing jobs and scaling back operations.“WeWork is not just a mistake, it is a signal of weakness in the whole model,” said Aswath Damodaran, a professor of finance at New York University’s Stern School of Business, who has written four books on valuing businesses. “If you screwed up that valuation so badly, what about all of the other companies in your portfolio?”SoftBank said WeWork is an exception rather than a symptom of broader problems, and it has learned from the experience.Since unveiling his $100 billion Vision Fund in 2016, Son has become the most active tech investor on the planet, pouring money into more than 80 companies. That helped create a bumper crop of unicorns, more than 300 startups priced at $1 billion or greater, according to the research firm CB Insights.What’s not as well understood is the incentive Son has to keep valuations rising. When SoftBank buys shares in a startup and then invests again at a higher valuation, Son says he has made a profit. That is legal under accounting standards, but SoftBank receives no money. The only change is that SoftBank has boosted the value of its original stake from, say, $1 billion to $2 billion by raising the value of the startup. In SoftBank’s income statements and return calculations, at least some of the additional $1 billion can be counted as profit.“My brain and my heart, almost everything about myself is focusing on Vision Fund”“They pump up valuations to get higher returns to look good to investors,” says Eric Schiffer, chief executive officer of Patriarch Organization, a Los Angeles-based private equity fund. “That kind of fundraising apparatus is essentially unicorn porn.”SoftBank said its accounting complies with all standards and is consistent with widely accepted practices. As for startup valuations, it said it is not determining them on its own and invests with experienced firms such as Sequoia Capital and Temasek Holdings Pte. “Our valuations have been validated by more than 120 sophisticated investors who’ve invested alongside and after us,” Navneet Govil, chief financial officer of SB Investment Advisers, the entity that manages the Vision Fund, said in a statement. SoftBank said it has a rigorous internal process for setting valuations, and it books profit on any increase in valuation only after taking into account future cash flows and public market proxies, as well as private market funding prices. SoftBank’s auditors at Deloitte & Touche check those calculations, and the Vision Fund’s limited partners have their own auditors, including staff from Duff & Phelps and Ernst & Young, who vet the final figures. “Our valuation process is robust and reviewed quarterly by independent auditors,” Govil said. “We believe our performance is strong. In just two and a half years, Vision Fund 1 has already had seven IPOs, $4.7 billion of realized gains, $11.4 billion in cumulative investment gains and returned $9.9 billion to our limited partners.”Today’s accounting rules may be ill-suited to an era of unprecedented speculation on unicorns. Under the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) that SoftBank uses, companies have wide latitude to determine how much they think portfolio companies are worth—and therefore how much profit they report to investors. It’s unclear whether any company has tried to determine paper profits for tech startups on the scale SoftBank is now using. “I don't believe we’ve ever seen an attempt to record this magnitude of income with respect to unquoted equity investments,” said Robert Willens, a tax expert in New York.Son’s bookkeeping has allowed him to claim his average internal rate of return far outpaces those of other investors. This month, as SoftBank took a hit from WeWork, Son defended his investment approach. “There are 5,000 venture capitals globally and average IRR is 13%,” he said. “Our return is about twice as big as this.” Son’s confidence in his own acumen led to the creation of the Vision Fund in 2017, which at the time was more than 10 times the size of any venture capital fund. He was seeking to repeat the success of his most celebrated investment—a $20 million bet on China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. that turned into stock now worth more than $120 billion.With Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman backing the Vision Fund, Son began a blitzkrieg of deals in 2017. He invested more than $35 billion across about 100 companies, according to research firm Preqin. Among the biggest were multi-billion-dollar fundings of WeWork and Didi Chuxing, the Chinese ride-hailing giant modeled after Uber Technologies Inc. In December, a SoftBank-led group invested $9 billion in Uber, including buying stock from existing shareholders.SoftBank began including financial results for the Vision Fund during the fiscal year that ended in March 2018. Total operating profit including a related Delta Fund was 303 billion yen, or less than $3 billion. That surged to 1.26 trillion yen the following year, making it the most profitable unit at Son’s company and accounting for more than half the parent company’s operating income. With Son’s energy directed at startups, SoftBank spun off the domestic telecom business that had made it famous and generated cash for his early investments.“My brain and my heart, almost everything about myself is focusing on Vision Fund,” Son told investors in May.But the profits SoftBank booked were mostly on paper. In the first fiscal year, unrealized gains on investment valuations accounted for essentially all the stated income for the Vision and Delta funds. In the most recent fiscal year, unrealized gains on valuations amounted to 1 trillion yen, while realized gains—like the sale of India e-commerce giant Flipkart to Walmart Inc.—totaled less than 300 billion yen.WeWork underscores the risks of that approach. SoftBank first took a stake in August 2017 at a valuation of $21 billion. It then invested another $3 billion in November 2018 at a $45 billion valuation and later agreed to a $1.5 billion warrant at $47 billion. As Son reported results this May, he highlighted WeWork as an example of portfolio companies heading for IPOs. When the deal fell apart, SoftBank took a 498 billion yen hit.SoftBank Vision Fund said it never took profits from WeWork by marking it all the way up to $47 billion. It kept the shares on its books at about half that price. It still had to take that down by about 75%, which led to the loss.Venture capital and private equity firms are mostly private so they don’t need to report quarterly profits to public shareholders, and their limited partners are typically focused on returns when portfolio companies cash out through IPOs or acquisitions. SoftBank doesn’t reveal specific valuation changes for each of its portfolio companies in a quarter, typically only naming a few winners or losers. Investors putting money in alongside SoftBank are at times affiliates, like Grab, Didi and Alibaba.“If I’m an investor, I want to know how they are coming up with these numbers. Otherwise, you can’t believe any of the valuations,” said NYU’s Damodaran. “The more they talk about accountants the less I would trust the numbers.”SoftBank concluded that under IFRS rules the Vision Fund must count valuation changes as income because its primary business is investing, and SoftBank Group must incorporate that income in its books because the Vision Fund is a consolidated subsidiary. One person close to the company said the resulting profit figures are almost meaningless, but there is no better accounting method given the current rules. “I’m not an accountant or a lawyer, but presenting this as income doesn’t make any sense,” said Ilya Strebulaev, a professor of finance at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business whose research suggests the latest, post-money valuations typically overvalue startups by about 50%.Adding to the complexity is that startup stakes are sometimes transferred between SoftBank Group and the Vision Fund, which have different shareholders. The price at which those assets are shifted has implications for profits on either side.After WeWork, other deals are coming under scrutiny. SoftBank invested in Didi Chuxing in 2015 with the Chinese company’s valuation at about $6 billion. It then put more money in about once a year as Didi’s valuation climbed to $56 billion.But Didi has run into trouble since the fundraising two years ago. Chinese regulators have cracked down on ride-hailing services for drawing migrant workers into big cities and hurting taxi drivers’ incomes. Two passengers were killed after using its car-pooling service, prompting a government suspension. In addition, investors have grown skeptical about ride-hailing after the roughly 35% slump in Uber’s shares since its May IPO.Uber’s drop means SoftBank should probably mark down Didi by at least the same margin, said one person who has worked on deals with SoftBank. The Japanese company would also have to look at its investments in other ride-sharing companies such as Grab Holdings Inc. in Southeast Asia, the person said. Didi declined to comment. A Grab spokeswoman said there has been no change in its valuation and it has diversified beyond ride-hailing.SoftBank took a loss in its most recent earnings report on its Uber stake, but made no mention of the other ride-hailing firms in its portfolio. It did cut the estimated value of its stakes in Didi and other ride-hailing services in the most recent quarter, according to one person close to the company. SoftBank said it can’t disclose the loss or gain on every portfolio company each quarter.SoftBank said Didi is an example of how it is not responsible for propelling startup valuations because Silicon Valley’s Silver Lake Management invested alongside SoftBank at the same price. Toyota Motor Corp. and Booking Holdings Inc. then bought shares at a higher valuation.In the U.S., food-delivery firm Doordash Inc. struggled to distinguish itself from rivals and hadn’t hit the $1 billion unicorn mark until SoftBank invested in the company last year. Then in just over a year, Doordash’s valuation went from $1.4 billion to $12.6 billion this May. When SoftBank reported earnings the next quarter, it highlighted Doordash as one of the main contributors to its operating income. Perhaps SoftBank’s most controversial deal after WeWork is an Indian startup called Oyo that was founded six years ago by teenager Ritesh Agarwal. It aimed to bring reliable quality to the country’s chaotic lodging industry. Oyo staff help hoteliers upgrade everything from furniture to bedding and toiletries and the hotel or guest house gets a bright red Oyo sign as a seal of approval, encouraging travelers to book. Oyo takes a cut of roughly 25%.While SoftBank backed Oyo from its early days, some people close to the company worry that Son’s relationship with Agarwal is similar to his ties to WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann and that he may be making similar mistakes. The Vision Fund put $250 million into Oyo in 2017 and led a $1 billion funding round last year, which pushed the Indian company’s valuation to $5 billion. Son encouraged Agarwal to expand into markets such as China and the U.S. and to buy properties, including the Hooters Casino in Las Vegas for $135 million.Stephen Givens, an M&A lawyer in Tokyo, argues that Oyo’s business model resembles WeWork’s, a tech-inflected real estate business that has expanded far beyond its initial concept. “Oyo made sense in a place like India,” he said. “But moving into the U.S. and buying real estate is a big risk.”Even as SoftBank ran into trouble with WeWork, it helped push up the valuation of Oyo with an unusual funding round. In October, the Japanese company and Agarwal together chipped in, raising the valuation to $10 billion. SoftBank touted the startup as a bright spot when it took the writedown for WeWork, booking a valuation gain of 590 billion yen on 25 investments, of which Oyo was the only one named.“My brain and my heart, almost everything about myself is focusing on Vision Fund”Yet it turned out that Agarwal, now 26, had borrowed $2 billion to finance his share of the purchase from financial institutions, including Japan’s Mizuho Financial Group Inc., people familiar with the matter have said. Son himself personally guaranteed the loans to Agarwal, according to another person familiar with the matter. Mizuho declined to comment.In addition, two earlier investors in Oyo were Didi and Grab, the ride-hailing companies backed by SoftBank. That raises the question of whether money used to boost their valuations was then reused to hike the value of another SoftBank investment.SoftBank did not disclose Son’s personal role in the deal or the bank loans to Agarwal. Ultimately, the Vision Fund decided it wouldn’t mark up its Oyo stock to the $10 billion valuation because the latest funding did not include independent investors.In a statement, Oyo said it is grateful for the support of investors including the Vision Fund. “We are a well-run company with a healthy balance sheet and a strong focus on business economics, and the same can be seen in the continued momentum we’ve seen in reducing our net losses,” it said. “We have great business relationships with both Didi and Grab since late 2017 and early 2018 when the fundraising had not happened.”Analysts trying to make sense of SoftBank’s valuations have been frustrated by what they view as a lack of transparency in such cases. SoftBank doesn’t discuss in detail the standards by which it values a particular startup or accounts for such gains as profit on its income statement. “SoftBank has offered little visibility into how they value their investments,” says Jefferies Group senior analyst Atul Goyal.Masafumi Takeno represented Japan on the IFRS Foundation committee that developed materials explaining how to use valuation guidelines. He said companies have broad discretion to determine asset values and disclosures. “The rules are pretty loose and permissive,” he said.For years, Son has expressed frustration that investors don’t see the value of his business. In presentations, he will often focus in on how SoftBank’s market capitalization is below the value of its assets, including publicly traded stocks like Alibaba. In February, he opened an event with a slide that showed: “25 – 4 = 9?” The point he was making is that SoftBank held assets worth 25 trillion yen—including a 12.5 billion yen stake in Alibaba—and had only 4 trillion yen in debt. Yet investors bestowed a value of 9 trillion yen on SoftBank, a discount of more than 60%. “It’s just beginner math,” Son said. “This is too cheap.”The SoftBank discount narrowed after that presentation with the help of a stock buyback and the impending IPOs for companies like Uber. On its website, Son’s company ran daily calculations of assets minus debt to show what the share price should be. But with the WeWork implosion, SoftBank’s market cap has dropped back below 9 trillion yen and the discount has widened again to more than 60%. The stock has dropped 30% since its April peak, though it’s still up 15% for the year. Shares reversed morning gains on Tuesday and dropped almost 1%.“Markets are telegraphing that the trust is gone,” said NYU’s Damodaran. “Masa needs to rebuild that.” (Updates with share price in penultimate paragraph)\--With assistance from Lulu Chen, Saritha Rai, Yoolim Lee and Takahiko Hyuga.To contact the authors of this story: Peter Elstrom in Tokyo at firstname.lastname@example.orgPavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Adam Majendie at firstname.lastname@example.orgFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
The Insider Monkey team has completed processing the quarterly 13F filings for the September quarter submitted by the hedge funds and other money managers included in our extensive database. Most hedge fund investors experienced strong gains on the back of a strong market performance, which certainly propelled them to adjust their equity holdings so as […]
(Bloomberg) -- A year before Elon Musk was ready to unveil Tesla’s first pickup model, the chief executive officer was setting a low bar for the amount of demand it will draw. Dig into the dynamics of the fiercely competitive and tough-to-crack U.S. truck market, and it’s easy to see why.Japanese automakers have spent two decades and billions of dollars trying to get in on the big pickup gravy train. But 20 years after Toyota first started making the Tundra, Detroit brands continue to crush the competition, controlling almost 92% of the half-ton truck segment, according to IHS Markit. Customers who own Ram pickups are more loyal than owners of any other model line in the U.S., the researcher says, and brand loyalty to Ford Motor Co. or General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet isn’t far behind.Late Thursday, Musk will start his ascent up arguably the toughest hill Tesla has tried to climb yet with the debut of Cybertruck. He cautioned in November of last year that he wasn’t sure if a lot of people will buy the pickup and in June said the design won’t be for everyone. The comments contrast starkly with the bold predictions the billionaire has made about how many Model 3 sedans and Model Y crossovers his company will manage to sell in the coming years.“An electric pickup truck needs to meet the needs and capabilities of current pickup trucks and deliver a little bit more,” Stephanie Brinley, an IHS Markit analyst, said by phone. “A traditional pickup-truck buyer may consider electric, but they are not going to give up on capability.”Detroit automakers aren’t waiting for Musk to take the wraps off his truck before starting to talk a little trash. Thirteen months after the Tesla boss tweeted that his pickup will boast 300,000 pounds of towing capacity, Ford released a video of an electric F-150 prototype dragging 1 million pounds of double-decker rail cars.GM CEO Mary Barra told investors at an event in New York on Thursday her company’s first electric pickup will debut in showrooms in late 2021, and it will have a leg up on the competition. “General Motors understands truck buyers,” she said. Other GM executives also are confident that Tesla’s pickup won’t be in the same league as their electric truck.“I suspect price-wise there might be some similarities, but I think in terms of size and capabilities, there might be a difference,” Phil Brook, the vice president of marketing for GM’s GMC brand, said in an interview. “People who buy our trucks, they are very proud of the fact that they’ll take their trucks anywhere, they’ll get them dirty, then they’ll wash them out and go to a five-star restaurant for dinner. So they’re not people who just drive them around and want to look good.”On a RollMusk told a Tesla enthusiast podcast earlier this year that he wants his truck to start at less than $50,000. Not all of his comments about the pickup have moderated expectations: During an October earnings call, he declared it will be the company’s “best product ever.”Tesla shares have been on a roll since that quarterly report, surging 42% on optimism the company can produce profits on a more sustainable basis. But it’s unclear how soon the new truck will contribute to those efforts. The Model Y crossover is scheduled to launch next summer, and limited production of the Semi truck is planned for next year. Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein, expects Tesla to begin building the pickup in late 2020 or early 2021.Tesla shares rose 1.2% to $356.58 as of 2:04 p.m. Thursday in New York.Tesla probably won’t have the electric-truck market to itself for long, if at all. Amazon-backed Rivian Automotive plans to launch its R1T pickup late next year. Ford has vowed to start selling hybrid-electric and battery-electric versions of the F-150 starting in 2020, and GM has committed to producing plug-in pickups at a plant it had been planning to shutter in the Detroit area.Battery prices will have to drop significantly for electric trucks to reach parity with combustion engine-powered pickups, according to Dan Levy, an analyst at Credit Suisse.“Given electrification cost constraints and customer preferences, we expect the large-truck segment will be among the last segments to see an inflection in volumes toward electrification,” Levy wrote in a report this week. He assumes Tesla will be selling about 50,000 pickups by 2025, compared with roughly 300,000 Model 3 and 400,000 Model Y.One obstacle that shouldn’t be overlooked is the tough time Tesla has had operating in truck country. Texas, which bars manufacturers from selling vehicles direct to consumers, is the top state for U.S. registrations of half-ton pickups, according to IHS. The state’s share of the nationwide total this year through September -- 14% -- is more than double the runner-up, Michigan, which also has a ban.‘Blade Runner’Tesla’s Thursday night event bookends the press days for the Los Angeles Auto Show, where Ford generated buzz with the debut of the Mustang Mach-E electric SUV. But seeking attention of his own wasn’t the only motivation for Musk to stage his truck reveal now and near the show. When announcing the date and locale, he joked on Twitter they were “strangely familiar” and shared a link to the opening credits and scene of the 1982 film “Blade Runner,” which was set in November 2019. He had referenced the movie before as inspiration for the pickup’s futuristic design.“Musk has indicated it ‘looks like an armored personnel carrier from the future,’ from the set of Blade Runner, and is ‘unrecognizable from the trucks from the past 20-40 years,’ which we think could carry the risk of not attracting traditional pickup buyers, leaving it a lower-volume niche product,” Emmanuel Rosner, a Deutsche Bank analyst, wrote in a report this week. Investors will want to know more about production timing, increased capital-spending requirements and where Tesla will build the truck, he said.Musk is scheduled to begin making remarks around 8 p.m. local time at Tesla’s design center in Hawthorne, California.(Updates with GM CEO comments from sixth paragraph)\--With assistance from Keith Naughton and Chester Dawson.To contact the reporter on this story: Dana Hull in San Francisco at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Chester Dawson at firstname.lastname@example.org, Craig Trudell, Melinda GrenierFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Dec.05 -- James Kuffner, chief executive of Toyota Research Institute - Advanced Development, discusses his work on self-driving car technology, competition in the industry and the timetable for delivering software to consumer vehicles. He spoke with Bloomberg's Erik Schatzker in Tokyo. (Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development's capital is 90% controlled by Toyota.)
Here at the 2019 LA Auto Show, Toyota revealed the RAV4 Prime, a plug-in hybrid version of it's popular RAV4 SUV. The RAV4 prime can travel more than 35 miles in electric only mode, and packs some impressive power, with a 0-60 faster than any other Toyota except the high-performance Supra. This is a seriously speedy hybrid.