Tesla Cuts Prices Even Further, GM Topples Ford, Fisker Closes In On Ocean SUV Launch And More: Biggest EV Stories Of The Week

Zinger Key Points
  • As Tesla gets more aggressive with its pricing, the EV industry is staring at the possibility of a price war.
  • This could eventually result in an industry shakeout and a survival of the fittest.

Electric vehicle stocks closed mostly lower in the holiday-shortened week ending April 6, with a broader market weakness set in motion by recession fears.

Here are the key events that happened in the EV space during the week:

Tesla’s Pullback, Price Cuts, Proxy Filing And More: Tesla, Inc. TSLA shares fell over 10% this week after the Street expressed apprehension over the company's first-quarter delivery numbers, which had grazed just past the consensus estimate. Investors apparently were not that very optimistic about the company hitting a 2-million-unit rate in 2023. Margin worries also seemed to have returned ahead of the company's first-quarter results, which are due on April 19.

The worries could compound, as Tesla announced another round of price cuts this week, taking $1,000 off two versions of the Model 3 and reducing the prices of other vehicles by 3.5% to 5.6%. A new sub-$50,000 Model Y version was listed on Tesla’s website, which apparently uses the 4680 battery.

In other key developments, a proxy statement filed by Tesla late Thursday showed that Tom Zhu was officially named as the head of the company’s global automotive operations. The 43-year-old executive’s new role replaces his title as senior vice president of automotive operations, the filing revealed. The company also nominated Tesla co-founder and former executive JB Straubel to the board.

The proxy statement additionally revealed that the company has amended its pledging policy, introducing a dollar value for the maximum loan or investment that can be collateralized by pledging CEO Elon Musk’s Tesla shares. The cap is fixed at the lesser of $3.5 billion or 25% of the total value of the pledged stock. The company has scheduled an annual shareholder meeting at Giga Texas for May 16.

The week also saw board member and Musk’s brother Kimbal Musk sell roughly $20 million worth of Tesla stock, following the exercise of a stock option award.

See Also: Best Electric Vehicle Stocks

Ford Unveils New EV Van For Europe: Legacy automaker Ford Motor Company F unveiled a new electric courier van that targets the company's European customers, and it will likely be made available in 2024. The E-Transit Courier, according to Ford Europe, will "accelerate productivity with its platform of charging and software solutions."

GM’s Q1 EV Tally: General Motors Corp. GM said it sold 20,670 EVs in the first quarter of 2023, with the bulk of them comprised of the Chevrolet Bolt model, which has a sub-$30,000 price point. The company also sells new Ultium-based EVs, such as the GM Hummer pickup truck and Cadillac Lyriq. GM said it expects to build 50,000 EVs in the first half of 2023 and double it in the second half.

GM also overtook its crosstown neighbor Ford as the second-ranked EV maker in the U.S. Ford’s tally for the quarter was 10,866 units, constrained by production disruptions.

Fisker’s Vehicle Update: Fisker, Inc. FSR announced this week that its Ocean SUV has been not only been completed but has also met all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards required for self-certification along with New Car Assessment Program standards necessary for a five-star rating. The company said it expects the Environmental Protection Agency to confirm the Ocean Extreme's estimated 350-mile range.

Fisker Ocean recently received Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure certification in Europe and expects to ramp up production on April 20, 2023.

Check out more of Benzinga's Future Of Mobility coverage by following this link.

Toyota To Accelerate EV Transition Under New CEO: Japanese automaker Toyota Motor Corp.’s TM new CEO Koji Sato said in a press conference this week that the company is targeting EV sales of 1.5 million units, with 10 new models by 2026. By 2030, the company expects to ramp up production to 3.5 million units.

Read Next: Tesla Officially Names Tom Zhu Global Head Of Automotive Business; Analyst Says 'All Falling Into Place'

EV Stock Performances for The Week:

Photo: Shutterstock

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