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New Home Projects Are Stuck With Plenty Of Unsold Homes

A report from the Tampa Bay Times in Florida. “Builders are offering bigger price cuts for new homes in the Tampa Bay area even though the demand for homes is said to outpace the supply. In the first quarter of last year, prices were reduced on 27 percent of new homes with an average cut of 2.3 percent, Zillow found. In the fourth quarter of the year, prices were reduced on 32.3 percent of homes with an average cut of 3.3 percent. Those cuts dropped the median price of a new bay area home to $289,900 at the end of the year versus $329,900 early in the year.”

“Nationally, 25 percent of new-construction homes had a price cut in the fourth quarter, compared with 19.2 percent in the first quarter. That mirrors a trend seen in the overall housing market, with price cuts becoming more common.”

The Orange County Register in California. “Faced with the largest inventory of unsold finished homes in six years, Southern California’s homebuilders have resorted to price cutting. According to Zillow, 25.9 percent of new homes on the market in Los Angeles and Orange counties in the fourth quarter had price cuts. In 2018’s first quarter, 19.5 percent of homes were discounted. In Riverside and San Bernardino counties, 28 percent of new homes had price cuts — No. 11 nationally.”

“Builders typically cut selling prices as a last resort, preferring to lure customers in slow times with concessions on everything from mortgage terms to home upgrades. But this isn’t another Southern California real estate quirk — it’s a nationwide trend as 25.1 percent of new homes had price cuts at year’s end up from 19.2 percent of new homes at the start of 2018.”

“New home projects are stuck with plenty of unsold homes to move. Housing tracker MetroStudy found at the end of the third quarter, 3,401 new homes were finished but unsold in our four-county region. That’s up 428 homes in 12 months, or 14 percent, and was the highest inventory level since 2012’s second quarter.”

“And builders must compete with a swollen supply of existing homes, too. According to listings watcher ReportsOnHousing, 34,027 residences were on the market in the four Southern California counties as of Jan. 10 — up 10,313 listings or 43 percent in a year.”

“As a result of the sluggish demand, Southern California builders made some of the deepest price cuts seen nationwide. L.A.-O.C. reductions ran 8.5 percent — tied with San Francisco for tops among major metros — on residences with a $2 million median price. That strongly suggests local builders were too optimistic about sales estimates on higher-end housing. In 2018’s first quarter, cuts averaged 5.9 percent on residence with a $2,348,000 median price.”

From Market Watch. “Buying a new home doesn’t need to break the bank as more buyers are finding discounted properties. Denver saw the largest share of new homes with price cuts at more than 40% during the fourth quarter.”

“Aaron Terrazas, a senior economist with Zillow, said the price cuts that have occurred recently are less a sign that the homes’ sellers were desperate and more an indication that appraisals were coming in lower than previously expected.”

This Post Has 100 Comments
  1. ‘Builders are offering bigger price cuts for new homes in the Tampa Bay area even though the demand for homes is said to outpace the supply’

    Somebody is a lion.

    Two things: the cuts were pretty big a year ago. Second, why then didn’t the media warn the people who bought one of these shacks 8 or 6 months ago?

  2. ‘the price cuts that have occurred recently are less a sign that the homes’ sellers were desperate and more an indication that appraisals were coming in lower than previously expected’

    Oh dear…

    1. Aaron (the one quoted) did a BS in foreign affairs form Georgetown, and a MS in applied economics from Johns Hopkins.
      He has worked at the Migration Policy Institute, the Treasury before Zillow.

      1. Can he get a refund from GT or JH for an obviously flawed education
      2. what does it say about the US Treasury that he wroked there

      Perhaps we cannot trust Zillow any more.

    1. The Independent, 2000:
      “Snow is starting to disappear from our lives. Sledges, snowmen, snowballs and the excitement of waking to find that the stuff has settled outside are all a rapidly diminishing part of Britain’s culture, as warmer winters – which scientists are attributing to global climate change – produce not only fewer white Christmases, but fewer white Januaries and Februaries … Global warming, the heating of the atmosphere by increased amounts of industrial gases, is now accepted as a reality by the international community … According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit of the University of East Anglia, within a few years winter snowfall will become ‘a very rare and exciting event’. ‘Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,’ he said.”

      😁

      1. “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

        Is rapid “human-caused global warming” the Big Lie? As time goes by and more predictions fail to come true, it appears increasingly likely that it is.

        1. “the Big Lie?” + ““human-caused global warming”

          Bugs: “eh, could bee doc!!

          “The Big Truth?” + “Ance$try23”

          The earth & it’$ all life forms benefit in a most wonderous manner from the continuing reproductions of Billion$ & Billion$ of human two.legged$

        2. Is rapid “human-caused global warming” the Big Lie?

          I wish I knew for sure. I know some very smart people who care so much that they spend a lot of time studying this stuff. They swear that the science really is solid that there is warming at it is human caused.

          But I still can’t get past how something about the way it’s pushed on us reeks of BS. And I am of the opinion that *if* it is what they are trying to say it is, that it will make much more sense to adapt to it rather than trying to control it. Humans are really good at adapting to whatever you throw at them after it happens. And really bad at almost everything else.

          1. “But I still can’t get past how something about the way it’s pushed on us reeks of BS.”

            Such as this prediction? Does anyone on this blog believe that sea levels will rise 23 feet by the end of this century? Does anyone on this blog believe that 97 percent of scientists believe sea levels will rise 27 feet by the end of this century?

            “Sea-Levels, Rising Up To 23 Feet, Could Sink More Than 1,400 US Cities By 2100: Study”

            https://www.ibtimes.com/sea-levels-rising-23-feet-could-sink-more-1400-us-cities-2100-study-1365801

          2. I like the point that people who supposedly believe this 100% keep buying expensive stuff that can’t be moved right in the flood zone. Almost like they don’t believe it but want me to believe it.

          3. Prediction$ + water … Pshaw!

            When eye was knee.high to a Russian grasshopper these where the “Predictions” eye had to deal with knot believing!

            “In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Cold War tensions and threat of nuclear war convinced government leaders in the United States that millions of lives could be saved by the construction of home fallout shelters.

            The idea took a while to take hold. Even though public drills in the event of a nuclear attack was routine in the 1950s, the Eisenhower administration did not actively promote the construction of home fallout shelters. That changed with the 1957 publication of the Gaither Report, which backed the building of shelters that “permit people to come out of the shelters and survive”

            https://www.cbsnews.com/news/a-look-back-at-americas-fallout-shelter-fatuation/

          4. But I still can’t get past how something about the way it’s pushed on us reeks of BS

            That was a big red flag to me as well!

            You (and the others you mentioned) might want to check out the link I posted just above. It is a short piece written by Dr. Tsonis, and he addresses the BS aspects.

          5. Google and Amazon are building in NYC, parts of which were already supposed to have been under water. Or so James Hansen said.

    2. That’s amazing. Here in San Diego, our rainfall is 50 percent above normal, with more on the way today.

      1. More grass fuel for the coming late summer heat + high winds that will be troublesome to prevent carele$$ two.leggeds & utility corpooration$ from draining taxpayer fund$ in order to contain wildland fire$.

        If Napa can get toa$ted, so can Ramona …

    3. “Massive blizzard impacting California mountains…”

      What’s needed in the mountains are cooler temperatures well into Spring such that the snow melts gradually supplying the reservoirs below with a steady inflow. Sudden run-off events are usually wasted over the spillways.

        1. I like science

          Then it is important that you not “believe” things that are based on untested assumptions.

  3. ‘As a result of the sluggish demand, Southern California builders made some of the deepest price cuts seen nationwide. L.A.-O.C. reductions ran 8.5 percent — tied with San Francisco for tops among major metro’

    Listen carefully. Do you hear the cheers of the people who for years, have droned on and on that “we need to build more shacks and bring prices down”? Notice in these articles there’s no colorful quotes. No cheerleading, saying “this is a good thing! Lower prices yeaaa!!!”

    Nope: you get panic. Fear. And these builders will undercut the existing shacks (happens all the time) until the money runs out, they fold the LLC and head to the beach.

    1. It used to be primarily a Tijuana thing, but with ever growing homeless camps on the U.S. side of the border, I’m sure America is contributing its fair share of sewage runoff these days.

      1. I had to run the boat down to Newport this morning and the stuff coming out of the Santa Ana river was something to behold.

    2. Massive amounts of garbage everywhere is a hallmark of homeless encampments. I noticed this a lot when I was in the Seattle area last year. It was easy to spot where homeless were camping on hillsides above the highways: just look for the tell-tale strip of garbage that forms below their sites.

      How long until things like dysentery begin occurring in the US?

      1. Apparently it’s a city government’s responsibility to ensure its unhoused population gets vaccines. Sounds like a wicked problem.

        Nation/World
        12/20/2018, 07:10pm
        State audit slams San Diego response to hepatitis A outbreak
        The city and county of San Diego failed to quickly recognize and control a Hepatitis A outbreak that grew into one of the largest in recent history, killing 20 and sending nearly 400 to hospitals, according to a state audit released Thursday.

        An audit by the California Legislature has found the city and county of San Diego faltered in quickly controlling a Hepatitis A outbreak last year that grew to be among the largest seen in the United States in decades. | AP file photo
        Julie Watson | Associated Press

        SAN DIEGO — The city and county of San Diego failed to quickly recognize and control a Hepatitis A outbreak that grew into one of the largest in recent history, killing 20 and sending nearly 400 to hospitals, according to a state audit released Thursday.

        The county lacked a concrete hepatitis A prevention plan that led to a delay in getting the most vulnerable residents vaccinated, and mass vaccinations did not happen until after a health emergency had been declared, according to the audit conducted by the state auditor at the request of lawmakers.

      2. I noticed this a lot when I was in the Seattle area last year

        Used to see it daily with my commute into downtown. Changed jobs 6 months ago, but just drove down today to catch up with folks. Piles and piles of garbage at the bottom of the hills, along the side of the interstate.

        Kind of makes it hard to appreciate the view of the Sound or Mt Rainier

  4. we may be looking at a 1990s scenario. Pri es going nowhere w no real crash.

    also market rising as day 28 of shutdown hits.
    shutdown is like like globul warming -weren’t we all supposed to be dead by now?

    1. Evidently from the ever-rising stock market, the shutdown is the best thing that ever happened to the economy.

      1. The shutdown has frightened the Fed into slowing its pace of interest rate hikes and Quantitative Tightening. What could be better for the stock market than lower-than-expected interest rates and a fatter-than-expected Fed balance sheet?

        fastFT
        John C. Williams
        NY Fed president warns of ‘headwinds’ from government shutdown

        John Williams says central bank will take ‘patient and prudent’ approach to policy
        Mamta Badkar 2 hours ago

        The US government shutdown is an emerging headwind to growth, New York Federal Reserve President John Williams said on Friday as he called for “patience” and “good judgment” in the central bank’s approach to monetary policy.

        The strong global growth, fiscal stimulus and accommodative financial conditions that helped boost the US economy last year are losing steam, said Mr Williams, a voting member of monetary policy setting Federal Open Market Committee.

        Now financial conditions have become less accommodative and we are “seeing some emerging headwinds to growth from the partial government shutdown in the United States and elevated geopolitical uncertainties abroad”. The remarks were made at the New Jersey Bankers Association’s economic leadership forum.

        1. With these Fed policies which favor the oligarchy, look for the modern-day aforementioned Hoovervilles to continue springing up for the foreseeable future, with no sign of relenting.

    2. The “market” is rising because Treasury Secretary Mnuchin gave the bankers a Santa’s wish list on Christmas’ eve:
      https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6527113/Christmas-Eve-market-plunge-Mnuchin-causes-chaos-planned-plunge-protection-meeting.html

      The house market crash began where I lived (SoCal) around 1989. I remember friends buying condos (some of them being converted apartments) near the beach in the $120-130,000.00 range in the mid 80s that were selling for about half that amount by 1992. From that point until 1998 home prices did appear to be flat but that was only because the crash had occurred earlier.

      1. “The house market crash began where I lived (SoCal) around 1989.”

        End of the cold war, the Berlin Wall falling, etc., a huge drop in defense spending that hit California hard.

          1. “I bought in 1989 for $230k 2 miles from the beach. sold in 2004 for $520k…”

            Great timing on the house, but not so much if you were a defense professional/worker.

    3. Once the government information blackout ends, it’s a virtually certainty that the postponed economic data releases will confirm that everything is awesome.

      The Wall Street Journal
      Heard on the Street
      The U.S. Economy Is Flying Blind With a Sputtering Engine
      Federal data shortage makes it harder to assess shutdown’s current damage, let alone chart an informed path forward
      President Trump flew aboard Marine One on Monday. This week a White House economist estimated the shutdown’s dent to the GDP at about $6.7 billion a week.
      Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg News
      By Justin Lahart
      Updated Jan. 17, 2019 4:53 p.m. ET

      The partial shutdown of the U.S. government is simultaneously hitting the economy and constricting the flow of data by which to gauge how big the hit actually is. Think of it as the forecasting equivalent of flying through a storm without instruments. Flying by sight will be tricky for both investors and Federal Reserve policy makers.

      1. flying through a storm

        I personally haven’t noticed even a slight breeze. Maybe all this government spending in question wasn’t necessary in the first place.

      2. This week a White House economist estimated the shutdown’s dent to the GDP at about $6.7 billion a week.

        All in a fight over a $5 billion appropriation.

      1. Not everyone got the memo that dips on the Dow will henceforth be contained to under 100 points or so:

        “The weight of evidence suggests that the bear market is over, but chasing price at this point comes with elevated risk. A “buy the dip” approach seems appropriate. The dip should be at least 100 points, but could be as much 300 points.”

  5. Ah, yes …

    “An apology from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. doesn’t cut it for Malaysia, which said it may consider a discussion to absolve the bank of blame for its role in the 1MDB scandal for $7.5 billion.”

    Maybe a sincere apology is in order.

    “The country filed criminal charges against the lender in December, the first for Goldman, and may discuss dropping those allegations if the bank pays the sum, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng told reporters on Friday.”

    Oooops, guess not.

    “Units of the bank were accused of making false statements in documents submitted to a local regulator in arranging $6.5 billion bond offers for troubled state fund 1MDB.”

    Say it ain’t so!

    (snip)

    “Goldman’s Chief Executive Officer David Solomon this week apologized to the Malaysian people for the role that senior banker Tim Leissner played in the 1MDB scandal. The country was “defrauded by many individuals,” with Leissner being “one of those people,” Solomon said on a conference call with analysts after the investment bank reported its earnings Wednesday.”

    Imagine that!

    “Leissner has pleaded guilty to charges including conspiring to launder money, while another former Goldman banker Roger Ng remains in custody in Malaysia as he faces extradition to the U.S. to face related allegations.

    “Solomon reiterated that the firm conducted considerable due diligence on the deals …”

    Bahahahahahahahahahahaha …

    “… and was lied to by Leissner. Appearing on his first earnings call since becoming CEO in October, Solomon said the firm is cooperating with the U.S. Justice Department and the investigation is still open. Goldman has said it will vigorously defend against the charges by Malaysia.

    “The allegations against Goldman were filed by Attorney General Tommy Thomas as the nation’s top prosecutor, while the finance minister isn’t formally authorized to make decisions on criminal charges.

    “’At least he accepted that they have to bear and shoulder some responsibility,’ Lim said, referring to Solomon. ‘That apology of course goes some way toward that, but that is insufficient.’”

    Whatever.

    Malaysia May Discuss Dropping Goldman’s Charges for $7.5 Billion – Bloomberg
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-18/malaysia-may-discuss-dropping-goldman-s-charges-for-7-5-billion

  6. Driverless Cars Tap the Brakes After Years of Hype

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/driverless-cars-tap-the-brakes-after-years-of-hype-11547737205

    “What was underappreciated by the industry is how long and how difficult it would be to industrialize the technology,” said Karl Iagnemma, president of Aptiv’s autonomous mobility. “Industrywide that recognition has dawned.”

    Here’s the kicker Karl: we don’t need these things.

    ‘A little more than a year ago, Waymo CEO John Krafcik gained world-wide attention when he promised that, within months, the company would allow the general public to begin riding in driverless vehicles without anyone behind the wheel. “It’s not happening in 2020; it’s happening today,” he said in the November 2017 speech. “Fully self-driving cars are here.”

    And another billion Yellen bucks drifts off to money heaven.

      1. Solar in the 70s…..big, heavy pieces of ugly glass that you need to clean by hand a couple of times a year while patiently waiting for that ROI you’ll get after about 40 years of usage.

        Solar today……big heavy pieces of ugly glass, etc, etc.

        Just another fraudulent enterprise in the land of 10,000 temples:
        https://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2018/03/28/utah-officials-recommend-revoking-legend-solars-license-due-to-lack-of-financial-responsibility/#.XEH2Gi2ZNaY

        “Lack of fiscal responsibility” is the kind of non-accusatory term that locals around here like to use to describe things like fraud.

        1. “Lack of fi$cal respon$ibility” is the kind of non-accusatory term that locals around here like to use to describe things like fraud. ”

          Funny that coming from a red $tate containing polygamist & repubican fi$cal CON$ervatives

          1. “Gubbermint OF the citizen.united people$, BY the citizen.united people$, FOR the citizen.united people$ …”

            What partian$hip about that?

        2. “Lack of fiscal responsibility” is the kind of non-accusatory term that locals around here like to use to describe things like fraud.

          So I presume that phrase got a lot of use when the fraud around the 2002 Olympics came to light?

        3. This is my neck of the woods as I went to DSU to get my RN license (recently becoming a D1 school). I knew right away that Legend Solar was up to some shenanigans when they promised an outlandish gift to rebrand the stadium, especially since my family works in the solar industry. Solar has definitely been hurt by the election of DJT and the tariffs, phase out of tax credits, etc. But the more significant issue was just the hyper-proliferation of too many companies chasing too little demand. Solar definitely works still in many places and there are some companies doing well (like Vivint Solar and Solaroo here in Utah).

          It is all about the financial dollars and cents. If the project pencils, then it makes sense to do it. In many cases this is true, even without subsidies or tax rebates. In some cases this does not work. And some people don’t have the cash outlay or want panels on their roof. It’s as simple as that.

      2. Why is the utilizing the $un & Ocean Tide$ considered a “failure”?

        Abundance raises £7 million for Orbital Marine Power’s tidal stream turbine
        01/15/2019 /By Elizabeth Ingram /Managing Editor / hydroworld

        “Orbital Marine Power (formerly Scotrenewables Tidal Power) will use the funds to build its first production model Orbital O2 2MW turbine, a floating tidal turbine platform that can be towed, installed and easily maintained.

        The project already has secured a number of supporting grants as well as equity funding, including from the Scottish Government”

      3. Green New Deal comes with ‘real trade-offs,’ Fed’s Kashkari says
        By Greg Robb
        Published: Jan 16, 2019 12:08 p.m. ET

        Solar panels make homes less affordable
        Bloomberg News/Landov
        Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari.

        Proponents of a so-called Green New Deal cannot pretend that there aren’t “real economic trade-offs” for their push to transition the U.S. economy away from carbon emissions that heat up the planet, said Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari on Tuesday.

        During a question-and-answer session at the Chamber of Commerce in Rochester, Minnesota, Kashkari noted that green policies, however well-intentioned, can hurt the working poor.

        1. Reckon a Minnesotan FED Bo$$ doesn’t own a farm with a $olar well pump. But here in $unny California, they tend to work awe$ome!

    1. I’d love it if driverless cars became a thing. I’d like to still be able to get around independently when I’m an old coot. But I don’t think it will work the way they’re going about it.

      It should come as no surprise the tech is not maturing as rapidly as predicted. How long have “they” been predicting AI would revolutionize everything? Like Elon said, “humans are underrated.”

      1. driverless cars

        Here you can go anywhere in town in a cab for $5 or hitch a ride on a old folks shuttle up to the big city for free.

      2. I will admit it would be nice to get into my vehicle, set the course for 1,500 miles, and then hop into the back and read on the laptop for a while before catching some shuteye, with an alarm set only for when fuel is needed.

          1. People may pass on roadside motels and sleep as the car drives itself.

            May? I’d say there’s a 100% chance. And thus ends the Amtrak sleeper car.

          2. Hanky.Panky?

            So that’s why they is creating all those European “round.abouts”! … Gives a new meaning to: most “accidents” happen within x2 miles of home.

          1. If the route is pre-planned (which it would have to be if the car is driverless) then presumably the future availability of fuel would be factored in to when the alarm goes off.

          2. From my decades of driving, I already know where I’ll be stopping for fuel even before leaving, so I wouldn’t need the car to tell me when to set the alarm.

            That being said, the ultimate for me would be a hybrid diesel/electric/solar powered truck. During the night, it would run on electric/diesel, during the day mostly on batteries powered by the sun. We won’t see this in my lifetime.

    2. It’s good that they are doing this the right way and slowing down. But I wouldn’t conclude that this means it can’t/wont happen. Rather, I think it is an acknowledgement of just how hard it is to make full self-driving a reality. Incremental approach is probably the best. Look at what Waymo is doing in AZ. I would say that this is pretty good evidence that they are on the right path.

      I think this excerpt from the article is pretty good:

      “The immediate future of autonomous vehicles is more subdued: plodding shuttles that drive around the block and cars that travel in confined, well-practiced routes with not one but two safety operators inside.”

      “Toyota has invested in a company called May Mobility Inc., which is running autonomous shuttles in Detroit and Columbus, Ohio, that stick to fixed routes. Because the six-passenger electric vehicles can only go up to 25 miles an hour, they aren’t required to have the same safety features as a normal car, meaning they could hit the streets sooner and are cheaper because they have fewer high-price sensors.”

      Tesla’s approach may actually turn out to be the better approach. Rather than go full self-driving, it probably makes more sense to do incremental driver assist (and Tesla really shouldn’t call it “auto-pilot”, they should be forced to change the name to advanced driver assist). Full self-driving probably needs to be on fixed paths in regulated lanes and at low speeds.

  7. The worse-than-expected consumer sentiment number is a positive sign in disguise, as it means the Fed will have to keep rates ultra-low for even longer than previously believed.

    1. Consumer sentiment in January plunges to lowest level since Trump elected
      By Steve Goldstein
      Published: Jan 18, 2019 10:27 a.m. ET
      Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg
      Travelers stand in line to enter a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) check-point at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., on Monday, Jan. 14, 2019.

      The numbers: The University of Michigan said its consumer sentiment index in January skidded to a reading of 90.7 in January from 98.3, which is the worst reading since October 2016.

      Economists polled by MarketWatch forecast a 97.5 reading.

        1. Try to stay out of the roadway if Tesla self-driving vehicles are utilizing it.

          Self-driving Tesla ‘kills’ robot in Las Vegas crash, raising suspicions about Russian firm
          Russian-made Promobot robot has previously met and shaken hands with Vladimir Putin
          Anthony Cuthbertson
          Wednesday 9 January 2019 13:07
          The Independent Tech

          A self-driving Tesla car has allegedly crashed into and “killed” a robot in Las Vegas in an apparent hit-and-run incident.

          The Russian-built Promobot robot was filmed falling over as a Tesla passed it, though doubts have been raised over whether it was a publicity stunt.

    1. For real $TLSA news, research and entertainment, check out the $TSLAQ community on Twitter, particularly @evdefender, @TeslaCharts, @PlugInFUD and @JebKinnison. Elon’s downfall is going to be EPIC!

      “Q” is added to a ticker symbol when a publicly-traded company declares bankruptcy. FUD is the acronym for fear, uncertainty and doubt.

      1. I’ve been following the $TLSAQ community since Tesla’s 2018Q3 10Q Control and manipulation on that platform is VERY real!

    2. Probably a good think to cancel the referral program. Rumor has it that they are going to have to give away 80 new roadsters which are $250k a pop. The program got out of hand for sure. Also probably a good idea to right-size the workforce for the launch of the $35k model 3. The US auto industry is going through a rough patch with Ford essentially restructuring its entire European segment and completely shutting down most sedan plants. Also, GM has been shutting down lots of factories too. The model 3 is the best selling luxury car in the US for 2018, the first time an American company has had that in like a decade.

      1. I would add that Ford finally announced an all-electric F-150 truck. Legacy automakers are in a tough spot: they are constrained by a dealership model to move product, but dealers make their profits doing lots of service and repairs. EVs, by contrast, require a much smaller need for maintenance, service, and repairs. So the dealerships are a noose around legacy automakers. It is the innovators dilemma. If they start the push now, they cannibalize their profits. But if they don’t do it, they risk going the way of Nokia or Blockbuster. Auto execs know that gas cars are going to die out eventually, they are just trying to figure out how manage it without going out of business. Ford is in an extremely tough spot with so much debt.

          1. In our state, it is the Larry H. Miller auto empire that rules. These de facto monopolies created by the dealership empire has spread into multiple venues. They own race tracks, movie theaters, real estate, entertainment complexes, and the Utah Jazz. It is a vast empire built on basically stifled competition created by the dealership cartel. This is one reason why Tesla is fought so vehemently because they have no dealerships and thus pose an existential threat to the dealership racket.

  8. How many two.leggeds does China currently have that can operate a moving vehicle/machine?

    On the autofarm: China turns to driverles$$ tractor$, combine$ to overhaul agriculture

    “The bright green prototype was operating last autumn during a trial of driverless farm equipment as the government pushes firms to develop within 7 years fully-automated machinery capable of planting, fertilizing and harvesting each of China’s staple crops – rice, wheat and corn.

    That shift to automation is key to the farming sector in the world’s No.2 economy as it grapples with an ageing rural workforce and a dearth of young people willing to endure the hardships many associate with toiling on the land.

    Other countries like Australia and the United States are taking similar steps in the face of such demographic pressures, but the sheer scale of China’s farming industry means the stakes are particularly high in its drive to automate agriculture. ”

    BUSINESS NEWS| JANUARY 15, 2019 / Reuters
    Hallie Gu, Dominique Patto

    1. China turns to driverles$$ tractor$

      Hmmm. My wife used to work for Ingersoll Rand in China trying to sell Bobcats. She said at that time heavy equipment was a really tough sale in China because you could get 100 guys with shovels at a moment’s notice. I’m skeptical that it’s changed so much in the last 10 years that her experience is invalid now. I’m thinking that if you can afford a modern tractor, getting a driver is the least of your problems there.

    1. I’m loving my low gasoline prices, thanks to the global oil glut.

      Business
      What’s Driving Low Gas Prices? A Global Oil Glut
      January 17, 201911:28 AM ET
      Heard on Morning Edition
      Camila Domonoske
      Motorists drive past a sign advertising regular gasoline at $1.88 per gallon at a station in Longmont, Colo., on Dec. 22, 2018. Falling gasoline prices have given drivers a little extra cheer this winter.
      David Zalubowski/AP

      Gas is relatively cheap these days. Enjoy those low prices, but don’t get used to them, analysts say.

      An oversupply of oil on the world market has triggered a steady slide in gas prices, bringing Americans some of the cheapest gas in years as 2019 kicked off.

      Nationally, regular was averaging around $2.25 per gallon at the start of January — the lowest price for this time of year since 2016, according to AAA.

      It’s welcome news for drivers. Just last summer, gas prices were at four-year highs.

      But recently, at a Costco gas station in Washington, D.C., Sylvie Tiadem was delighted that it cost her only $26 to fill up. “Oh, my goodness!” she said.

  9. We need more pipelines in the USA for nat gas and oil distribution. We dont need wars for oil, like Bush’s 17 yrs in Afghan.

    1. We are in Afghanistan and Iraq in order to “sandwich” Iran from both borders to protect Israel. The rest of the activities are a sideshow. Current cost is just over $1 trillion per year.

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