Ford expands work from home to 30,000 employees


The morning shiftAll your daily car news in one convenient place. Isn’t it your most important time?

Ford has found that, well, many of its employees have done very well working from home. All that and more in The morning shift for March 18, 2021.

1st Gear: Offer extended to white-collar workers, not blue-collar workers

The fun part of all this is that Ford is calling their plan a “hybrid” working model, which means I’ll only think of the old Ford Escapes when I read about it. From the Chicago Tribune:

It’s a question that occupies the minds of millions of employees who have worked from home in the past year: Will they be allowed to continue working remotely, at least for a few days, once the pandemic has faded? On Wednesday, one of America’s corporate titans, Ford Motor Co., provided its own answer: It told some 30,000 of its employees around the world who have worked from home that they can continue to do so indefinitely, with flexible hours approved by their employees. managers. Their schedules will become a “hybrid” between work and office: they will travel to work primarily for group meetings and projects better suited for face-to-face interaction.

Some of this seems to have to do with making employees happy and some of it seems to have to do with corporate efficiency. Ford stressed that he won’t need the expense of cubicle farms, soul crush or not, when he spoke to Bloomberg about the change:

“No more cubicle farms” Jackie shuksaid the global director of Ford’s real estate unit, in an interview. “We are trying to make it as easy as possible to be a Ford employee.”

Bloomberg also highlighted that this will be for office workers, not factory workers:

Ford will have to manage perceptions carefully, as it is giving flexibility to some employees and not others. The pandemic revealed how dependent society is on the physical presence of manual workers from the factory floor at the grocery store counter. But the idea of ​​administrative employees safely logging in at home, while lower-paid employees risking their health to show up in person, has been an additional source of resentment in an already stratified American economy.

I don’t know if I would necessarily care if other people were stuck in cubicles if I was working the line, but that’s just me.

2nd Gear: Electric cars are doing great … things to share prices

Electric vehicles are still a small part of the car market, and no matter how many promises they offer for the future, what are they doing for car companies? right now? The answer is that they are driving the values ​​of stocks, since Wall street journal reports:

After years of regretting that his stock was undervalued, Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., Volkswagen AG and other top automakers are seeing strong gains in stock price this year as they embrace new technology.

Ford is up 49% so far this year, while GM shares are up 48%. VW shares are up 55% and even briefly up 29% in intraday trading one day this week when the company held a “Power Day” event, saying that would build six electric vehicle battery factories in Europe alone for the next 10 years. VW has also advanced this week to SAP SE to become the most valuable share of the German DAX index.

How much do auto companies really value EVs, and how much do they simply value what they do for stock prices? Who could tell the difference?

3rd Gear: Tesla is being sued for failing to appoint a lawyer to stop Elon’s tweets

Tesla thrives on having a public figure like Elon to send endless boasting on Twitter, so it’s no wonder the company doesn’t really control his account, as a new lawsuit alleges. The case seems to hinge not on people generally angry at Elon’s bad memes, but on their belief that his bad operations on Twitter are damaging the value of the company, such as Business Insider reports:

Elon Musk was able to post “erratic” tweets about Tesla that led to government investigations because the company’s board was unable to control its CEO. a lawsuit from a Tesla investor alleges.

The board had “consistently failed” to appoint an independent general counsel, investor Chase Gharrity said in his lawsuit. The company lost three general tips in 2019, he added.

The lawsuit against Musk and the board focuses on how Musk’s comments on Twitter allegedly violated a 2018 Agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which removed him from the company’s directory and stipulated that his tweets must be approved in advance by the company.

Shareholders deserve better!

4th Gear: Teslas is now too expensive for UK electric vehicle subsidy

The good thing about electric vehicles is their quiet operation and their complete absence of service stations. Also, people talk a lot about how much money they can or cannot save with them. We will soon see just how big the pull it really has in the UK, as the government has just discounted Teslas from a large subsidy, such as Bloomberg green reports:

UK Transport Authorities Thursday court a purchase voucher for 2,500-pound ($ 3,491) electric cars, vans and trucks from 3,000 pounds, and lowered the price of models that qualified to less than 35,000 pounds. While the previous ceiling of less than 50,000 pounds meant that most Variants of model 3 received the aid, none will qualify under the new rule.

The UK government has been under pressure to plug a hole in the country’s finances left behind by the pandemic. It argues that buyers of higher-priced EVs can afford to switch from combustion-engined cars even without the help, and that the number of battery-powered models costing less than £ 35,000 has risen by nearly 50%. since 2019.

I have a feeling people are never buying a Tesla for budget reasons, but it will be interesting to keep an eye on it.

5th Gear: Nikola Partner selling half of his stake

How are things going for Nikola after the whole “company director was discovered as a fraud” thing? Not good. His strategic partner Hanwha, who intended to provide solar farms, sold half of his stake in the company, for a sum of around $ 180 million, as Bloomberg reports:

Hanwha, which Nikola has described as a key partner and strategic investor, plans to sell 11.05 million shares, or 50% of its current stake in the Phoenix-based company, according to a securities document on Wednesday. Hanwha Corp. is the publicly traded portfolio arm of the group, a conglomerate that encompasses financial services, chemicals and solar energy.

The amount to be sold is worth around $ 180 million based on Nikola’s closing price of $ 16.39. Nikola shares fell 3.5 percent to $ 15.82 in pre-market trading.

[…]

It has said Hanwha will supply third-party solar farms with the panels needed to generate electricity for the production of “clean energy” hydrogen for a planned network of gas stations in the US Hanwha bought its stake in 2018, two years before Nikola got public shares. listing in June through a reverse merger with a special purpose acquisition company.

I’m starting to wonder if this Nikola thing will turn out right!

Reverse: we turn away from the light of God

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