Musk/Tesla’s Bold New Financial Plan

Tesla Inc. released a new compensation plan for Chief Executive Elon Musk on Tuesday, with payments dependent on massive increases in the electric car maker’s stock market value.

The announcement comes as Tesla prepares to report 2017 financial results that are expected to include massive cash losses. The new pay plan is similar to Musk’s current arrangement, the crux of which is this: The higher Tesla’s stock price goes, the more Tesla stock Musk gets.

The eye-popping part: The new plan envisions the Palo Alto company’s value skyrocketing. It sets market value targets in 12 increments, starting at $100 billion and topping out at $650 billion. (The company’s current market value is about $59 billion.)

If the stock hits none of the milestones, Musk would get nothing. It’s unclear how much the financial rewards will motivate Musk, who already is a billionaire and by all indications isn’t in it simply to get rich. The company sees itself not simply as an electric car manufacturer, but rather, as it said Tuesday, as the “world’s first vertically integrated sustainable energy company.”

Ferrari 488 “GTO” Photo Leaked!

The only thing missing from the substantial Ferrari 488 ‘GTO’ leak was a picture of the car itself. Well, that’s now been rectified via their image, which is currently doing the rounds on social media.

The quality is questionable, but it is pretty certain it’s the new, more hardcore version of the 488, sporting a radically redesigned front end and a generally cool vibe.

The front bumper, front bonnet, rear spoiler and rear diffuser will all be made from carbon fiber The new image gives us a much better look at the reshaped bonnet, with a deep vent referred to in the leaked presentation as an ‘S-duct’.

Other interesting details include side blades just in front of the front wheels, and an aggressive new side skirt design. Oh, and it does – of course – have some rather prominent white racing stripes.

Thanks to last week’s leak we also know that the 20-inch wheels are 40 per cent lighter than the GTB’s, while the V8 engine is said to be derived from the one found in last year’s 488 Challenge racing car. The redeveloped body includes an active rear wing, contributing to a 20 per cent improvement in aerodynamic efficiency.

You’re looking at something that has “the highest racing technology transfer on a street homologated Ferrari,” so make no mistake – this is one of the most serious cars Maranello has ever bolted together.

What a NAFTA Renegotiation Could Mean for Car Prices in the US

The Trump administration wants 85% of the parts in every car sold in North America to come from the region. Under the current NAFTA trade pact between the United States, Canada and Mexico, about 62% of the parts in a car must come from North America.

Additionally, of the parts sourced from North America, Trump’s team wants 50% to be sourced in the United States and the rest in Mexico and Canada. Mexican and Canadian leaders say this is a deal breaker.

According the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), If the U.S. were to enact a 35 percent tariff on light vehicles imported from Mexico, CAR estimates the sales impact would be 450,000 units lost in the United States. That 35 percent tariff is what the Trump Administration would apply to vehicles not meeting their content and manufacturing requirements.

According to IHS|Markit, 1.8 million vehicles produced in Mexico during 2016 were exported to the U.S. market. Moving that amount of manufacturing requires capacity that many experts say simply doesn’t exist in the States, and the alternative for automakers would be to look to spread that capacity to other countries. They would then pay the Trump-stipulated 35-percent tariff, which would add between $5,000 – $15,000 to the sticker price on new cars – and result in the cratering of the automotive business.

Carmaker Alliance Sets Up $200 Million Start-Up Fund

Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance is setting up a $200 million venture fund to invest in new mobility tech startup, according to reports (Reuters). The fund will be 40% financed by Renault, 40% by Nissan and 20% by Mitsubishi.

The new mobility tech fund due to be unveiled by Chief executive Carlos Ghosn at the CES tech industry show in Las Vegas next month will allow the auto alliance to move fast on acquisitions ahead of their competition.

Consumers’ new habit of favoring specialized vehicles designed for very specific needs instead of the all-purpose cars of today will lead to a decline in private-car ownership. The increasing speed of innovation, especially in software-based systems will further increase demand for upgradeability in privately used cars. Connectivity, alongside autonomous technology, will further allow cars to become a platform for passengers to use their time in transit freed up to productive activities.

The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi fund is being set up as a Dutch-registered joint venture headed by Francois Dossa. Renault has made investments including Marcel, a car-sharing platform based out of Paris, and Jedlix, a Dutch smart vehicle-charging technology maker. Renault’s investment arm took control of failed on-demand taxi-hailing app Karhoo to relaunch the business under new management.