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FINANCIAL FLIX 13-04-2024

Ferrari steps up battery know-how though no plans to make them

BOLOGNA, Italy: Ferrari wants to increase its expertise in battery cells given their importance in its shift to electrified vehicles, but it has no plans to manufacture them itself, its CEO Benedetto Vigna said on Monday.
The Italian luxury sports car maker has been selling hybrid-electric cars since 2019 and has promised its first-fully electric vehicle at the end of next year. Ferrari (RACE.MI), opens new tab, which sold just shy of 14,000 cars last year, might not have the scale to produce its own cells profitably.
“We want to open up cells and understand what is in there,” Vigna said at the opening of a research centre on battery cells in partnership with Italy’s Bologna University and chipmaker NXP Semiconductors (NXPL.O), opens new tab.
“Production will always be done through external manufacturers, based on the know-how we hope to acquire through this research centre,” Vigna said during a presentation.
“We cannot afford to take cells as black boxes,” he added.
The E-Cells Lab is focused on electrochemistry and is aimed at boosting Ferrari’s long term expertise in battery cells, which it buys from external suppliers.
“We’ll use more and more cells and will … need to know the chemistry,” Vigna said.
E-Cells Lab would initially focus on lithium-based, liquid-state cells, but was ready to turn to address new chemistries and technologies, although Vigna said he did not see solid-state batteries as a real option for the time being.

Toyota tightens oversight over scandal-hit small car unit Daihatsu

TOKYO: Japan’s Daihatsu Motor said on Monday it will streamline the way it reports on development and certification to its parent Toyota Motor (7203.T), opens new tab, as the compact car maker seeks to overcome a safety test certification scandal.
The move comes more than a month after a new president from Toyota took up the reigns at Daihatsu, facing the daunting task of putting the small-car unit back on a growth track.
Daihatsu will still be commissioned by Toyota to handle actual vehicle development, the company said in a statement, opens new tab that redefined itself as a “mobility company centred on mini vehicles”.
The business structure changes include dissolving the Emerging-market Compact Car Company (ECC), which has served as a bridge between Toyota and Daihatsu until now.
Daihatsu will move its reporting line for development and certification to another Toyota segment that focuses on compact cars.
The change will be made based on model changeover schedules.
Toyota would also become responsible for resource management and its optimisation related to Daihatsu’s business and product planning, Daihatsu President Masahiro Inoue said.
Daihatsu wants to take up the challenge of rolling out a battery-powered “kei car”, which are smaller and less powerful than regular cars, he added, without giving a timeframe.
Toyota’s domestic sales slid by a third in February due to production stoppages at Daihatsu, which makes some Toyota brand cars, and due to the reputational fallout from the safety certification lapses at its unit.
The world’s biggest automaker by volume has also faced separate governance issues at truck maker Hino Motors (7205.T), opens new tab and affiliate Toyota Industries (6201.T), opens new tab.
The scandals at the three companies led Toyota Chairman Akio Toyoda to issue a rare apology in January.
In volume terms, Daihatsu accounted for 4% of Toyota’s total group sales of 1.6 million vehicles over the first two months of the year, including those of the luxury Lexus brand and Hino Motors, down from 7% over the whole of 2023.
Daihatsu President Inoue was previously Toyota’s CEO for the Latin America and Caribbean region before taking up his current post on March 1.

Understanding Cryptocurrency: Mechanisms, Price Volatility, Investment Feasibility, and Tips for Investors

Cryptocurrency is a digital or virtual form of currency that uses cryptography for security and operates on decentralized networks based on blockchain technology. Here’s a detailed explanation of how it works, why prices can increase rapidly, the feasibility of investment, and tips for investing:

How Cryptocurrency Works:
Blockchain Technology: Cryptocurrencies operate on blockchain technology, which is a distributed ledger that records all transactions across a network of computers. Each transaction is grouped into a block and added to the chain in a chronological order.

Decentralization: Unlike traditional currencies controlled by central authorities like governments or banks, cryptocurrencies are decentralized. This means they are not governed by any single entity but by a network of participants (nodes) that validate and record transactions.

Cryptography: Cryptography ensures the security and integrity of transactions on the blockchain. It involves complex mathematical algorithms to secure transactions, control the creation of new units, and verify the transfer of assets.

Price Volatility:
Supply and Demand: Like any asset, the price of a cryptocurrency is primarily determined by supply and demand dynamics. If demand for a particular cryptocurrency increases while its supply remains limited, the price tends to rise. Conversely, if demand decreases or if there’s a surge in supply, the price may fall.

Speculation and Market Sentiment: Cryptocurrency markets are highly speculative, driven by investor sentiment, news, and market developments. Positive news or developments around a particular cryptocurrency can lead to a surge in demand and price appreciation, while negative news can have the opposite effect.

Market Manipulation: Due to the relatively small size and less regulated nature of cryptocurrency markets compared to traditional financial markets, they are susceptible to manipulation. This can lead to rapid price fluctuations and volatility.

Feasibility of Investment:
Potential for High Returns: The cryptocurrency market has seen significant price appreciation over the years, with some cryptocurrencies experiencing exponential growth in value. This potential for high returns attracts investors seeking to capitalize on price volatility.

High Risk: However, investing in cryptocurrencies also comes with high risk due to price volatility, regulatory uncertainty, security risks (e.g., hacking, scams), and market manipulation. Prices can fluctuate dramatically in a short period, leading to substantial gains or losses.

Lack of Regulation: The lack of regulatory oversight in the cryptocurrency market increases the risk for investors, as there are fewer protections compared to traditional financial markets.

Tips for Investing:
Research: Before investing in any cryptocurrency, conduct thorough research to understand its fundamentals, technology, use case, team behind the project, and market dynamics.

Diversification: Diversify your investment portfolio by spreading your investment across different cryptocurrencies to reduce risk. Avoid putting all your funds into a single cryptocurrency.

Risk Management: Only invest what you can afford to lose, as the cryptocurrency market is highly volatile and speculative. Set clear investment goals, risk tolerance, and exit strategies.

Stay Informed: Stay updated on market news, developments, regulatory changes, and emerging trends in the cryptocurrency space. This information can help you make informed investment decisions.

Security: Use reputable cryptocurrency exchanges and wallets to store your funds securely. Enable two-factor authentication, use strong passwords, and consider cold storage options for long-term holdings.

Seek Professional Advice: Consider seeking advice from financial professionals or advisors with experience in cryptocurrency investments, especially if you’re new to the market or unsure about your investment decisions.
Regarding how much to invest, it’s a personal decision based on individual financial circumstances, risk tolerance, and investment goals. It’s generally recommended to only invest what you can afford to lose and to avoid investing funds that are needed for essential expenses or savings goals. Additionally, consider starting with a smaller amount initially and gradually increasing your investment as you gain more experience and confidence in the market.

 

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