Tesla to start securitization through vehicle leases
As the Big 3 went on strike, costing Ford, GM and Chrysler billions, Tesla is making big money moves in order to spend more. Tesla has started its grandest lease securitization project to date, which is set to redefine its financing strategy. The company is initiating the securitization of a staggering $1.8 billion worth of its electric vehicle leases, paving a path for a sophisticated financial instrument that can potentially foster the company's growth. This massive cash grab may be needed if rumors of the new production advancements are true.
What Does it Mean?
Tesla has started a process called "securitization." This is a financial strategy where they bundle together many car leases and sell them as bonds to investors. Tesla is packaging $1.8 billion worth of car leases in this case. This strategy allows them to get a large sum of money now instead of waiting for the lease payments to trickle in month by month. This is the same as getting a full year of pay; all you did was promise to do your job for the next year.
Tesla is doing this now because it wants to have more money on hand to create more leasing opportunities for potential Tesla drivers. When they sell these bonds, they will get a large amount of money that they can use to offer more leases to customers, essentially expanding their business, Giga Mexico is coming, and potentially boosting their profits.
By turning leases into bonds, Tesla effectively leverages its existing assets to garner immediate liquidity. This strategy entails the creation of financial instruments backed by the value derived from Tesla’s leases, which are then marketed to investors, offering them a structured debt investment with different tranches of risk and returns. The issuance is segregated into various classes, with ratings spanning from Triple-A to Double-A, targeting a diverse risk appetite of the investors, ranging from conservative to moderate. This is a big money move, considering their Master of Coin has stepped down.
An Established Strategy with a Fresh Magnitude
As the financial specialists monitor the dynamics, there is a consensus on the resilience showcased by U.S. consumers in the wake of the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes. Elon Musk has loudly spoken out about the rate hikes and urged the Fed to reverse the massive increases. Now, Tesla can use the hikes to its advantage as more buyers may be looking for a short-term lease instead of a long-term one, which would lock them into a higher rate for a longer period.
This financial maneuver is not new in Tesla's playbook; however, this issuance marks the largest since the inception of such undertakings in 2014. The issuance of these asset-backed securities is designed to drum up about $1 billion, transforming the vehicle leases into a liquid asset that can foster Tesla's business acumen in navigating the corporate finance landscape.
The proceeds from this strategic financial endeavor can potentially fuel Tesla's ambitious expansion plans, serving as an alternative reservoir of funds apart from the conventional corporate bond market. This comes at a pivotal time when Tesla’s share has seen a remarkable uptick, soaring by 124.1% year-to-date.
Tesla plans to create different groups or "classes" of bonds to sell, with some being safer investments and others offering the potential for higher returns. This strategy is designed to attract a wide variety of investors, including those who prefer to play it safe and others willing to take on a bit more risk for a higher reward.
This strategy seems to be well-received as Tesla's share prices have gone up, indicating that investors have confidence in Tesla's plans. Moreover, people are still very much interested in leasing Tesla cars despite the general rise in interest rates.
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Tesla is nearing a pivotal moment in its journey and the automotive industry. According to a detailed report by Reuters, the company is on the brink of a groundbreaking manufacturing evolution, set to revolutionize the production of its next vehicle and set a new standard for the future of vehicle creation.
Drawing on insider knowledge from five anonymous sources, the report sheds light on Tesla's innovative gigacasting process, poised to redefine the manufacturing landscape and help Elon Musk realize his ambition of halving production costs. A decision on this significant shift could be made later this month.
A Single-Frame Approach
The key to this disruption lies in Tesla's commitment to unboxed manufacturing - a strategy introduced by Musk in March. At its core, this strategy focuses on the die-casting of nearly the entire complex underbody of an EV in one singular piece, reducing the traditional assembly of around 400 parts in a conventional car to a singular entity.
Tesla has used technology in several areas of its operation, notably a recent single-piece front casting for the Model Y that resulted in 169 fewer pieces and 1,600 fewer welds.
Tesla's unboxed strategy could roll out soon, drastically cutting production time and costs. According to Reuters, Tesla's forthcoming $25,000 car presents the perfect canvas for this one-piece casting revolution, bearing a simpler underbody resembling "a battery tray with small wings."
The Material Difference
To bring this vision to life, Tesla's global team, based across the UK, Germany, Japan, and the US, has leveraged 3D printing and industrial sand. Utilizing binder jets, which construct molds layer by layer through the deposition of a liquid binding agent on a sand layer, the team can quickly create and adapt prototype molds. This process significantly cuts the traditional costs associated with metal prototype creation, paving the way for rapid iteration at just 3% of the usual expenditure.
Beyond molding, Tesla has also been developing special alloys to overcome challenges in crashworthiness and other attributes associated with the different behaviors of these materials in sand and metal molds. These alloys, aligned with a fine-tuned molten alloy cooling process and post-production heat treatments, have potentially set the stage for a large-scale manufacturing revolution.
Tesla is deliberating on the exact nature of the die-casting process - whether embracing high-pressure techniques for speed or opt for slow alloy injection to ensure quality and versatility. The choice between these methods implicates not only the complexity of the car frame but also dictates the need for potentially more significant factory buildings and Giga Presses boasting a staggering clamping power of over 16,000 tons.
Strategic Shift to Giga Texas
This aligns with recent insights from Walter Isaacson's biography of Elon Musk, illustrating a strategic shift in Tesla's operations. Initially slated for Mexico, the production hub for the next-generation EV platform will now reside in Giga Texas. This will allow Musk to keep a closer eye on the development, design engineers and the manufacturing hub to facilitate immediate feedback and streamline processes. The book also said that Giga Mexico would still play a significant role, but now it seems it would be where the new technology would be housed after being perfected in Texas.
As the clock ticks down to Tesla's final decision, one thing remains clear: a potential transformative moment in EV manufacturing is on the horizon, promising a future where Tesla's EVs are more affordable, attainable, and revolutionary than ever before. It is not just a step but a gigantic leap toward the future of automotive manufacturing that only a visionary like Musk could envision and endeavor to achieve.
Tesla introduced a wrap-around ambient lighting strip to its new Model 3
If you look up ambient lights for Tesla, you'll see several ads for third-party light kits. Perhaps this is why Tesla added its own Ambient Lights feature to the new Model 3. So, let's get enlightened.
Tesla's ambient lights are thin light strips that are embedded in each of the vehicle's doors near the top edge. It also curves around the dashboard near the windshield, giving passengers a near 360-degree light effect.
Tesla new ambient light feature is available on the new Model 3 (2024+), and will be available on the Cybertruck in a similar manner. With a refresh ongoing for the Model Y, known as Juniper, it will likely also have ambient lights. That just leaves out the most luxurious flagship vehicles, the Model S and X, for now.
The Model S and Model X could be due for a minor refresh that would not only add ambient lighting, but also include a front-bumper camera that the Cybertruck has and the new Model 3 is expected to have in the near future.
Tesla introduced a wrap-around ambient lighting strip to its new Model 3
The ambient light settings allow you to light up the interior in a color that reflects your mood or preference. Under Controls > Lights > Accent Lights, you are handed the freedom to choose virtually any color to adorn the interior of your Tesla.
You have control over whether the ambient lights are on, off, or set to an "Auto" setting, though not fully clarified, seems to promise intelligent lighting adjustments akin to our control over dome lights, offering a reduction in reflections during drives.
While the ability to control the brightness level seems missing, Tesla did include color presets, letting you curate a series of your favorite colors.
It should be noted that the changes are confined to the light strips on the doors and dash, steering clear of the footwell lights and other interior lighting.
With Tesla, we can be assured there will be enhancements to this feature in a future update. In fact, the Tesla community is already busy coming up with useful suggestions. Some owners thought Tesla should take advantage of the lighting to provide driver feedback, such as automatically changing the ambient lighting to a red hue when there's a vehicle in your blind spot. Tesla could also glow the light strip on a door if it's not closed properly, or use the lighting to provide feedback when Sentry Mode is enabled.
Other uses could be more fun, such as cycling the light through various colors when the 'Rainbow Road' easter egg is activated.
Ambient Lighting in Action
While the possibilities are endless and Tesla engineers will surely have fun coming up with creative uses for the feature, the biggest improvement we can hope for in the near future is the ability to adjust the light intensity.
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