Ferrari, FCA, Ford, Honda and VW announce plans to end coronavirus shutdowns in April

After temporarily shutting plants earlier in March due to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, the first automakers are starting to announce dates for their reopening.

Among them were Ferrari, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford, Honda and Volkswagen, whose workers all downed tools the week starting March 16.

Ferrari said Friday it plans to resume production on April 14 at its plant in Maranello, Italy, assuming it is safe to do so and that suppliers are able to deliver all necessary parts.

Ferrari plant in Maranello, Italy

Ferrari plant in Maranello, Italy

FCA said Thursday that it also intends to resume production on Apr. 14. at its plants in the United States and Canada. An announcement on the resumption of production at FCA’s other plants will be made at a later date.

Ford said Thursday it will resume production at its plant in Mexico on Apr. 6 and then follow with the resumption of production at several major plants in the U.S. on Apr. 14.

Honda said Thursday it plans to resume production at its plants in the U.S. and Canada on Apr. 7, while VW said Wednesday that it plans to resume production at its plant in the U.S. on Apr. 5. Elsewhere, the German auto giant will resume production at most plants on Apr. 9.

Polestar 2 production at plant in Luqiao, China

Polestar 2 production at plant in Luqiao, China

Meanwhile, Polestar is already producing cars in China. On Monday, it completed the first customer examples of its Polestar 2 electric sport sedan.

In each case, the automakers are continuing to monitor the situation and are prepared to take additional steps as necessary, meaning the dates could be pushed out further depending on the state of the pandemic and any local stay-in-place orders still active.

Even though car production may resume in Apr., many events on the automotive calendar are expected to remain cancelled or postponed, especially in the world of motorsports where large gatherings are common. We have a growing list of all the motorsport events that have been affected by the coronavirus, which you can access here.


Tesla (TSLA) is best bought on recent ‘market dislocation,’ says Wall St

Tesla stock (NASDAQ:TSLA) recently received an updated outlook from Piper Sandler, with analyst Alexander Potter emphasizing the electric car maker’s long-term perspective in a recent note. According to the analyst, TSLA should be bought on current “market dislocation,” particularly as the electric car maker’s overall prospects remain stable.

Potter actually lowered Piper Sandler’s price target on TSLA from $928 to $820 per share. That’s still a potential 36% upside from Tesla stock’s closing price of $528 per share on Thursday. But despite his lower price target on TSLA shares, Potter kept his “Overweight” rating on the stock.

In a recent note, Potter stated that Tesla investors should be using the recent market dislocation to buy TSLA. He added that while the electric car maker’s Q1 2020 results will most certainly reveal a downside versus published consensus, the company’s long-term positioning remains effective.

The analyst further noted that Tesla’s “recently-fortified” balance sheet should provide ample liquidity to the electric car maker. This is especially advantageous for Tesla since the company has no major debt maturities to address until March 2021. Lastly, Potter stated that Tesla benefits from company-specific tailwinds that should partially offset macro weaknesses.

The Piper Sandler analyst’s estimates about Tesla’s long-term prospects seem to be a solid argument, especially considering the company’s current lineup of vehicles and its overseas activities. Tesla has recently started deliveries of the Model Y crossover, for example, and that vehicle could prove to be the electric car maker’s most disruptive EV yet.

The Model Y shares 75% of its parts with the Model 3 sedan, a car that Tesla spent years perfecting on the production line. This means that the Model Y’s design and production are built on every lesson that the company learned over the Model 3 ramp. Several innovations were also rolled out to the Y, such as a new heat pump system, a radar heater, and a new body cast design. All these would likely allow Tesla to optimize the Model Y for maximum profitability.

Overseas, Tesla is also putting the pedal to the metal. After successfully battling the coronavirus outbreak in its Gigafactory 3 facility, Tesla has resumed full operations on the Shanghai-based site. Made-in-China Model 3 production has reportedly hit 3,000 per week, and construction on the massive Phase 2 zone of the plant is accelerating. Even in Brandenburg, where Gigafactory Berlin is poised to be built, ground clearing activities have continued, hinting at progress on the site despite Europe’s current situation with the coronavirus.

Disclosure: I have no ownership in shares of TSLA and have no plans to initiate any positions within 72 hours.

Tesla (TSLA) is best bought on recent ‘market dislocation,’ says Wall St


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Following the developments in the past week regarding coronavirus and the advice received from the UK Government and the Public Health England, the Goodwood Festival of Speed 2020 event has been postponed until later this year.

Scheduled to take place on July 9-12th, Goodwood is currently exploring potential alternative dates for late summer or early autumn. It has also said that tickets already purchased for this year’s event will remain valid for the new date.

The Duke of Richmond, owner of the Goodwood Estate, said: “Over the last few weeks, we have been working together with everyone involved to understand the viability of the Festival of Speed going ahead in July. Due to the uncertainty of the coronavirus threat and not knowing whether the situation will have significantly improved by then, we sadly need to postpone the Festival of Speed in July.

“These are dramatic and unbelievable times but they will pass and we are already trying to think about just how exciting it’s going to be to welcome you all back to Goodwood for what perhaps might be the ‘Greatest Event Ever”.

New dates for the Festival of Speed will be communicated in the coming weeks.

Goodwood Revival

Plans for the Goodwood Revival will continue to be reviewed, in the hope that the event will be able to go ahead as planned on September 11-13th. A new date for the postponed 78th Members’ Meeting is also being reviewed.