Low consumer demand

Low demand for toys:

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wrt Hasbo: Could this be related to some demographic trend? Fewer youngun’s? Maybe slow toy sales is a bad trend but not for the reasons that might be apparent.

wrt EV’s: I sense two things abroad in the land. And I hate to bring them up but -----

  1. They are too expensive just because they can get away with it. Too expensive. That’s it. The virtue signalers already bought theirs so there’s less money going that way.

  2. People are beginning to stroke their chins about the whole “planet” thing and what it’s costing vs the results they’ll actually get. Not just the usual suspects. I mean believers and amenable centrists. (Trying to avoid political terms, ha ha. If I didn’t euphemize well enough you can pull this.)

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For Hasbro its all about holiday sales. It has always been cyclical. Inflation has to take a toll. Goid employment numbers help but economy is slowing.

Block buster movies can drive a good year for toy sales. Winter qtr after holidays has to be slowest season. Now is the time for cost cutting–once holiday products are shipped. Toy shows for holiday sales are in May.

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Any idea how this year has been for children’s movies?

DB2

Too expensive - Ford still manage a load of cash on each car sold:

I think Barbie was a block buster, but who had the toy rights? Mattel?

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Ford and VW, in particular, have been very open about their ambition to ramp ATP and GP to infinity, as their “growth” path. Could it be that their embrace of EVs is entirely due to their higher price? As I hear of Ford and GM scaling back plans and cutting EV production, I wonder if they are going to see some whacking big writedowns.

Steve

Yes, Mattel does do the Barbie stuff. Hasbro lines are: Avalon Hill, Baby Alive, Beyblade, Dungeons & Dragons, Fortnite, Furby, Ghostbusters, GI Joe, Indiana Jones, Marvel, Monopoly, Mr Potato Head, My Little Pony, Nerf, Peppa Pig, PJ Masks, Play-Doh, Playskool, Power Rangers, Star Wars, Starting Lineup and Transformers.

Can’t say as I follow these things, but (other than Star Wars) the only movie connection I recognize would be Marvel. Don’t think they did well this year.

DB2

I wouldn’t judge the EV market using the Ford Lightning. As a truck it’s not ready for primetime. The last time I looked into buying a F-150 Lightning the extended range model was over $70k; the extended model is the only feasible model unless just want a truck for around town. That’s not the only problem though, if you want to pull a load even with the extended range you can only get about 120mi. On top of that, ccs dc fast-charging stations—electrify america— are difficult to find, and often the wait to get on one diminishes the “fast charge” time compared to the standard time to charge.
If you’re hauling a trailer from LA to the Bay Area you’ll have to do at least three charges.
IMHO a standardized charging system should have been mandated, and Federal and State funding should have been granted to implement a nationwide system. Can you imagine if every internal combustion engine required a unique gas station provided by the automaker?

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The price raises Ford’s ATP. That is the primary objective. But what Ford is sinking money into is more than the Lighting. Ford is scaling back it’s wider EV plans now.

Steve

And that’s because sales are down, dealers are not planning increasing inventory. That is true with Tesla, GM, etc… Many consumers are moving back to hybrids, and sales of hybrids going forward are ramping up. So far in 2023, Americans have bought a record 1 million-plus hybrids — up 76% from the same period last year, according to Edmunds com. The average cost of a new EV is $53,469. Tesla’s Model 3, the cheapest Tesla car available: the base model retailing for $42,990. The new Prius Prime XSE Premium with all of the additional high end packages is $41,234. It has a range (all EV) of 44mi. For most people this minimizes gas to little or nothing, and overnight home charging eliminates charging stations. The new Prius Prime is much closer to a luxury model. The Tesla Model 3 is about the cheapest quality, with the exception of the drivetrain, available on the market.The average commuting distance is 41 miles to and from work. Consumers are attracted to what is practical.

Don’t know about everybody else, but for Tesla that’s just false. Tesla continues to increase deliveries on schedule. They are on track to deliver 1.8 million vehicles this year, continuing their 50% per year average growth.

Sure. But there are plenty of rebates, available to most people, that lower that cost significantly. So comparing any prices other than what consumers actually pay will lead you astray.

-IGU-

This doesn’t appear to be correct anymore. Tesla model 3 can be had for less than this. For example, here’s a brand new one for sale right now for $35,090. If you are eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit, that drops the effective price to $27,590. And if you are eligible for state incentives, that may lower the price even further. It’s an amazingly good deal.

https://www.tesla.com/m3/order/5YJ3230_16e34bd40942c6b7e76b6797f18ff2e8?postal=33028#overview

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An amazingly good deal for the buyer. How about the taxpayer funding it?

As a TSLA investor…

The Captain

…loves it!

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The taxpayers voted for it. They feel that the benefits of switching from using fossil fuels to cleaner forms of energy (and that get cleaner with time due to cleaner electric plants being built over time) is worth paying a subsidy. But those subsidies won’t last forever. I doubt there will be many subsidies for buying a car in 2030 or so. And typically a car in 2030 or thereabouts will be electric.

Just like the taxpayers in Germany voted to eliminate nuclear energy, and transition to dirtier electricity for a few years until other forms of renewables ramp up.

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Pretty good deal there too, because by encouraging new battery factories in the US, it creates a pile of new jobs and therefore new taxpayers.

-IGU-

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There have been incentives to encourage new technology and/or change behavior since the beginning of forever.

Cars got a big one when government built roads. Appliances that met a certain Energy Star rating were once subsidized as a way to get people to replace — and save money on energy and keep the grid from becoming unwieldy. Government helped people transition from incandescent bulbs to LEDs at the beginning when the price was high but the energy consumption so favorable. And, of course, there are indirect subsidies such as aiding in the development of computer chips and later microprocessors which have changed the lives of most people on the planet.

Sometimes they’re frivolous (“Cash for Clunkers”) but mostly they do a job that the market doesn’t, and they accelerate progress in ways that the Free Marketeers enjoy but can’t admit have advantaged their lives.

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There have certainly been both large winners and losers in government sponsored programs. For example, I’m old enough to remember the synfuels program.

Established under the Energy Security Act of 1980 in response to the supply scares of the 1970s, the SFC was hailed by President Jimmy Carter as “the cornerstone of U.S. energy policy.” The now-defunct SFC was an independent federal entity that functioned “primarily as an investment bank to accelerate the commercialization of synfuels,” in the words of a February 1983 CRS report…

“The Government’s enormous synthetic fuels program, the centerpiece of the nation’s energy policy,” wrote the New York Times on August 25, 1980, “is already taking shape as one of the biggest bonanzas in American business history.”…

But just as quickly as synfuels became the darling of U.S. energy policy, energy economics rendered the practice moot… “In the first half of 1986 crude oil prices fell to about $12 a barrel, back to their level of 1974 and, when adjusted for changes in the general price level, close to the real oil price that prevailed in 1973 just before the first OPEC price increase,” the Brookings Institution explained later that year.

The good news—and this is remarkable—is that Congress took that price drop as a signal and shut the Synthetic Fuels Corporation down five years after it granting it its charter.

DB2

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You may remember the Obama-era weatherization program. It would seem to be a straight-forward government program to harvest the low-hanging fruit of energy efficiency. However, after three years…

In total, the stimulus program allocated about $5 billion to the cause of home weatherization, outfitting homes with the latest green technology in order to reduce energy prices.

It’s now three years later, and it appears the weatherization program has gone down a road of waste, fraud and abuse…

But Illinois isn’t the only state that struggled with its weatherization program. Delaware suspended its program altogether after only nine months when it became apparent the fraud and mismanagement was getting out of control. A state audit in Tennessee, which received more than $100 million in stimulus funds for weatherization, also found rampant waste and abuse.

DB2

The Daily Caller is a right-wing hate site, founded by conspiracy theorist and Putin supporter Tucker Carlson.

The painful reality (that is, painful for anti-American, anti-science bigots like Carlson) is that efficiency is the by far cheapest way to reduce emissions of all types, it also frees up the need for new power generation. Not needing to build that new coal or solar plant in the first place is much, much cheaper than building and operating a new plant.

And it is definitely cheaper than sending young Americans off to die in the Middle East.

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