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Tesla Humiliates Toyota

The producer of electric vehicles has just snatched a crown from the Japanese automaker that has belonged to it for several years.



At the end of April 2021, Elon Musk made a prediction that startled investors and financial analysts.

"We think Model Y will be the best selling car or vehicle of any kind in the world,” Tesla's Chief Executive Officer said, on April 26, 2021 during the company's first quarter earnings' call, referring to the popular SUV that had launched two years earlier and had became popular quite quickly. "Probably next year. I’m not 100 percent certain next year, but I think it’s quite likely.. more likely than not, that 2022 Model Y is best selling car or truck... in the world.”

The prediction stunned investors. Some saw it as yet another promise from the Techno King which would probably not be kept. Others said that Musk had to set an ambitious goal because of the very good quarterly results announced that day. The company, which at the time was still based in Fremont, Calif., had recorded sales totaling $10.4 billion, almost double compared to the first quarter of 2020, marked by the temporary closure of its factory in Shanghai due to the first cases of the coronavirus. Tesla also posted a net profit of $438 million that quarter, which was the seventh consecutive quarter of profits.

Model Y Becomes the World's Best-Selling Car

But for Musk, the prediction was real. Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Free Report was building two factories, one near Berlin and another in Austin, Texas. These two factories would produce the Model Y, which was likely to boost sales of this SUV.

The year 2022 has passed and the prediction has not come true. The Model Y became only the third best-selling car in the world, finishing behind two Toyota models -- the Toyota RAV4 and the Toyota Corolla -- according to data from 152 markets collected by Jato Dynamics. About 747,500 units of the Model Y, a 91 percent increase from 2021, were sold last year. This did not prevent Musk from reiterating his prediction to shareholders last August. This time, the billionaire saw the Model Y dethrone the Toyota models in 2023. 

The main problem with this prediction is the price. The base price for the Model Year 2023 Model Y is $47,490, compared to $21,550 for the Model Year 2023 Toyota Corolla and $27,575 for the Model Year 2023 RAV4, which limits the impact of geopolitical tensions on sales. The Model Y is not present in emerging markets and developing countries and its sales are exposed to the relations between the United States and China, which are its two main markets.

But Tesla seems to have overcome all these obstacles since, according to data from Jato Dynamics published by Motor1, the Model Y became the best-selling car in the world in the first quarter of 2023. Around 267,200 units of the Model Y were sold worldwide in the first three months of the year, compared to 256,400 Corolla units and 214,700 RAV4 units. Model Y sales are up nearly 69% compared to the first quarter of 2022. This is a huge setback for the Toyota Corolla, whose falling sales in China and the United States cost it a crown it had held for several years.

Tesla Celebrates

The list of the Top 5 is completed by two other Toyota models: the Camry sedan and the Hilux pickup truck sold in emerging and developing countries. Several factors worked in favor of the Model Y against the Corolla. Tesla has significantly lowered prices this year in all its markets, which has boosted sales in China and the United States. American consumers buying the vehicle can benefit, since January, from a federal tax credit of $7,500, adopted within the framework of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). 

Tesla, which does not give detailed sales figures model by model, was delighted with the enormous achievement of the Model Y.

"Thank you to Tesla owners for making Model Y the world’s bestselling car in Q1 this year!" the carmaker posted on its Twitter account on May 26.

The message was retweeted by Musk.

Even if it does not end the year in first place, the achievement of the Model Y is enormous because it is the first time that an electric vehicle has outclassed a gasoline car in terms of sales throughout the world. Tesla announced in April that it had delivered 422,875 vehicles in the first quarter, including 412,180 Model Y and Model 3.

The automaker is however currently far behind Toyota  (TM) - Get Free Report in terms of total sales volumes. The Japanese automaker and its German rival Volkswagen  (VWAGY) - Get Free Report continue to compete for the world's top spot. General Motors  (GM) - Get Free Report, Ford  (F) - Get Free Report and Stellantis  (STLA) - Get Free Report also sell far more cars than Tesla.

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Von Der Leyen Speech Suggests Russia Dropped Nuke On Hiroshima 

Von Der Leyen Speech Suggests Russia Dropped Nuke On Hiroshima 

Von der Leyen just said what?…

This past Wednesday, President of the European…



Von Der Leyen Speech Suggests Russia Dropped Nuke On Hiroshima 

Von der Leyen just said what?...

This past Wednesday, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen delivered a speech before the 2023 Atlantic Council Awards in New York, where she sounded the alarm over the specter of nuclear war centered on the Russia-Ukraine conflict. But while invoking remembrance of the some 78,000 civilians killed instantly by the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima at the end of WWII, she said her warning comes "especially at a time when Russia threatens to use nuclear weapons once again". She  actually framed the atomic atrocity in a way that made it sound like the Russians did it. Watch:

There was not one single acknowledgement in Von der Leyen's speech that it was in fact the United States which incinerated and maimed hundreds of thousands when it dropped no less that two atomic bombs on Japanese cities.

Here were her precise words, according to an Atlantic Council transcript...

You, dear Prime Minister, showed me the meaning of this proverb during the G7 summit in Japan last year. You brought us to your hometown of Hiroshima, the place where you have your roots and which has deeply shaped your life and leadership. Many of your relatives lost their life when the atomic bomb razed Hiroshima to the ground. You have grown up with the stories of the survivors. And you wanted us to listen to the same stories, to face the past, and learn something about the future.

It was a sobering start to the G7, and one that I will not forget, especially at a time when Russia threatens to use nuclear weapons once again. It is heinous. It is dangerous. And in the shadow of Hiroshima, it is unforgivable

The above video of that segment of the speech gives a better idea of the subtle way she closely associated in her rhetoric the words "once again" with the phrase "shadow of Hiroshima" while focusing on what Russia is doing, to make it sound like it was Moscow behind the past atrocities.

Via dpa

Russian media not only picked up on the woefully misleading comments, but the Kremlin issued a formal rebuke of Von der Leyen's speech as well:

In response to von der Leynen's remarks, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova accused the European Commission president of making "no mention whatsoever of the US and its executioners who dropped the bombs on populated Japanese cities."

Zakharova responded on social media, arguing that von der Leyen's assertions on Moscow's supposed intentions to employ nuclear weapons "is despicable and dangerous" and "lies."

Some Russian embassies in various parts of the globe also highlighted the speech on social media, denouncing the "empire of lies" and those Western leaders issuing 'shameful' propaganda and historical revisionism.

Tyler Durden Sun, 09/24/2023 - 13:15

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Saudi Arabia Sentences Schoolgirl To 18 Years In Prison Over Tweets

Saudi Arabia Sentences Schoolgirl To 18 Years In Prison Over Tweets

Via Middle East Eye,

Saudi Arabia has sentenced a secondary schoolgirl…



Saudi Arabia Sentences Schoolgirl To 18 Years In Prison Over Tweets

Via Middle East Eye,

Saudi Arabia has sentenced a secondary schoolgirl to 18 years in jail and a travel ban for posting tweets in support of political prisoners, according to a rights group.

On Friday, ALQST rights group, which documents human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, revealed that the Saudi Specialised Criminal Court handed out the sentence in August to 18-year-old Manal al-Gafiri, who was only 17 at the time of her arrest.

Via Reuters

The Saudi judiciary, under the de facto rule of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has issued several extreme prison sentences over cyber activism and the use of social media for criticising the government.

They include the recent death penalty against Mohammed al-Ghamdi, a retired teacher, for comments made on Twitter and YouTube, and the 34-year sentence of Leeds University doctoral candidate Salma al-Shehab over tweets last year.

The crown prince confirmed Ghamdi's sentence during a wide-ranging interview with Fox News on Wednesday. He blamed it on "bad laws" that he cannot change

"We are not happy with that. We are ashamed of that. But [under] the jury system, you have to follow the laws, and I cannot tell a judge [to] do that and ignore the law, because... that's against the rule of law," he said.

Saudi human rights defenders and lawyers, however, disputed Mohammed bin Salman's allegations and said the crackdown on social media users is correlated with his ascent to power and the introduction of new judicial bodies that have since overseen a crackdown on his critics. 

"He is able, with one word or the stroke of a pen, in seconds, to change the laws if he wants," Taha al-Hajji, a Saudi lawyer and legal consultant with the European Saudi Organisation for Human Rights, told Middle East Eye this week.

According to Joey Shea, Saudi Arabia researcher at Human Rights Watch, Ghamdi was sentenced under a counterterrorism law passed in 2017, shortly after Mohammed bin Salman became crown prince. The law has been criticised for its broad definition of terrorism.

Similarly, two new bodies - the Presidency of State Security and the Public Prosecution Office - were established by royal decrees in the same year.

Rights groups have said that the 2017 overhaul of the kingdom's security apparatus has significantly enabled the repression of Saudi opposition voices, including those of women rights defenders and opposition activists. 

"These violations are new under MBS, and it's ridiculous that he is blaming this on the prosecution when he and senior Saudi authorities wield so much power over the prosecution services and the political apparatus more broadly," Shea said, using a common term for the prince.

Tyler Durden Sun, 09/24/2023 - 11:30

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Biden To Join UAW Picket Line As Strike Expands, Good Luck Getting Repairs

Biden To Join UAW Picket Line As Strike Expands, Good Luck Getting Repairs

Authored by Mike Shedlock via,

In a symbolic, photo-op…



Biden To Join UAW Picket Line As Strike Expands, Good Luck Getting Repairs

Authored by Mike Shedlock via,

In a symbolic, photo-op gesture to win union votes, Biden will head to Michigan for a token visit.

Biden to Walk the Picket Line

Taking Sides

CNN had some Interesting comments on Biden Talking Sides.

Jeremi Suri, a presidential historian and professor at University of Texas at Austin, said he doesn’t believe any president has ever visited a picket line during a strike.

Presidents, including Biden, have previously declined to wade into union disputes to avoid the perception of taking sides on issues where the negotiating parties are often engaged in litigation.

On September 15, the day the strike started, Biden said that the automakers “should go further to ensure record corporate profits mean record contracts for the UAW.”

Some Democratic politicians have been urging Biden to do more. California Rep. Ro Khanna on Monday told CNN’s Vanessa Yurkevich that Biden and other Democrats should join him on the picket line.

“I’d love to see the president out here,” he said, arguing the Democratic Party needs to demonstrate it’s “the party of the working class.”

UAW Announces New Strike Locations

As the strike enters a second week, UAW Announces New Strike Locations

UAW President Shawn Fain called for union members to strike at noon ET Friday at 38 General Motors and Stellantis facilities across 20 states. He said the strike call covers all of GM and Stellantis’ parts distribution facilities.

The strike call notably excludes Ford, the third member of Detroit’s Big Three, suggesting the UAW is more satisfied with the progress it has made on a new contract with that company.

General Motors plants being told to strike are in Pontiac, Belleville, Ypsilanti, Burton, Swartz Creek and Lansing, Michigan; West Chester, Ohio; Aurora, Colorado; Hudson, Wisconsin; Bolingbrook, Illinois; Reno, Nevada; Rancho Cucamonga, California; Roanoke, Texas; Martinsburg, West Virginia; Brandon, Mississippi; Charlotte, North Carolina; Memphis, Tennessee; and Lang Horne, Pennsylvania.

The Stellantis facilities going on strike are in Marysville, Center Line, Warren, Auburn Hills, Romulus and Streetsboro, Michigan; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Plymouth, Minnesota; Commerce City, Colorado; Naperville, Illinois; Ontario, California; Beaverton, Oregon; Morrow, Georgia; Winchester, Virginia; Carrollton, Texas; Tappan, New York; and Mansfield, Massachusetts.

Contract Negotiations Are Not Close

Good Luck Getting Repairs

Party of the Working Cass, Really?

Let’s discuss the nonsensical notion that Democrats are the party of the “working class”.

Unnecessary stimulus, reckless expansion of social services, student debt cancellation, eviction moratoriums, earned income credits, immigration policy, and forcing higher prices for all, to benefit the few, are geared towards the “unworking class”.

On top of it, Biden wants to take away your gas stove, end charter schools to protect incompetent union teachers, and force you into an EV that you do not want and for which infrastructure is not in place.

All of this increases inflation across the board as do sanctions and clean energy madness.

Exploring the Working Class Idea

If you don’t work and have no income, Biden may make your healthcare cheaper. If you do work, he seeks to take your healthcare options away.

If you want to pay higher prices for cars, give up your gas stove, be forced into an EV, subsidize wind energy then pay more for electricity on top of it, you have a clear choice. If you support those efforts, by all means, please join him on the picket line for a token photo-op (not that you will be able to get within miles for the staged charade).

But if you can think at all, you understand Biden does not support the working class, he supports the unworking class.

Tyler Durden Sun, 09/24/2023 - 10:30

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