Breakingviews

Uber steers self-driving to robots vs. jobs crash

August 18, 2016

The ride-hailing app is buying autonomous big-rig startup Otto and unleashing driverless taxis in Pittsburgh. Such technology would save lives but automate a task that employs millions of U.S. workers. The U.S. safety net is ill-prepared for such a job-destroying juggernaut.

Lyft’s off-ramp leads to General Motors

August 15, 2016

The No. 2 U.S. ride-hailing service recently rebuffed takeover interest from its 9 pct owner. There are good reasons for Lyft to steer clear of Detroit, despite a shared vision for autonomous cars. But cash-flush rivals could yet force the Silicon Valley upstart into GM's lane.

Tesla makes best of perplexing SolarCity deal

August 1, 2016

At $2.6 bln, Elon Musk's electric-car pioneer is paying less than expected for his solar-panel installer. The boards have done the right things to manage conflicts. There's overlap between Tesla's battery unit and SolarCity. But diluting the ambitious automaker's focus is risky.

from Viewsroom:

Viewsroom: Republican convention, Tesla, banks

July 22, 2016

The confab to anoint Donald Trump the GOP presidential candidate is full of controversy, but short on business support and cogent financial policy. Tesla boss Elon Musk unveils his master plan, to underwhelming response. And there are silver linings to recent ho-hum bank results.

Elon Musk’s new plan will test investor faithful

July 21, 2016

The Tesla boss has a compelling vision for building more vehicles with more autonomy for a sharing economy. But Musk's missive fails to address shareholder concerns about the electric carmaker's planned merger with SolarCity. It's also unclear how he will finance his ambitions.

VW profit rebound may run out of gas

July 20, 2016

While the emission scandal's costs are rising, Volkswagen has beaten second quarter operating profit forecasts by a mile. Successful cost cutting and rising sales point to inherent strengths. Yet a new risk looms: a possible slump in car demand due to the shock of Brexit.

Tesla pressure clouds Elon Musk’s solar gambit

July 5, 2016

The electric-car maker missed its delivery target again. That's bad news for a company aiming to quintuple production by 2018. A fatal crash also has invited scrutiny of Tesla's Autopilot feature. These concerns further undermine an already questionable effort to buy SolarCity.

Lyft mulls trip out of capital destruction

June 28, 2016

The $5.5 bln ride-hailing app has hired Frank Quattrone’s Qatalyst – an adviser with a knack for selling tech firms at hefty premiums. With rivals Uber and Didi raising and burning billions in an attempt to gain control of markets, M&A discretion may prove wiser than valor.

Hong Kong could be a black belt in green bonds

June 14, 2016

China is pushing environmental finance, but rules and definitions are fuzzy. Hong Kong’s large pool of capital and transparent regulation give it the credentials to whip this immature market into shape. With just one green bond under its belt, however, the city has work to do.

Uber’s deal with U.S. drivers looks cheap

May 10, 2016

Treated as employees rather than contractors, the ride-hailing service might have had to pay them as much as $730 mln more, according to court papers. That makes a $100 mln two-state settlement look like peanuts – another reason why the judge on the case might reject it.