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Kiwi clothing brand signs deal with retail giant Oakley

Robert Wilson started his brands when he was 21. Fast forward 16 years, he has patented a camouflage print and inked a deal with retail giant Oakley that offering wholesale direct services.

What does your business do?

We design hunting and fly fishing equipment and dress materials wholesale it throughout New Zealand and Australia. We have two brands: Hunters Element which is the much bigger side of the business and Riverworks which is fly fishing.

Our product is sold in hunting and fishing shops in New Zealand, and some of the general sporting goods stores in more rural areas. In Australia we are dealing with sporting goods store, and a lot more gun shops. Riverworks came first but they were both done at very similar times. It's a very seasonal business and we've been around 16 years now.

What was the motivation?

When I was 21 I was working at a hunting and fishing retail store in Wellington and I could see a lot of opportunities out there to make gear, what I thought was better, that focused more on advances in technology.

We wanted to make higher-performing, more comfortable gear. Our gear is generally all apparel-based, jackets, clothing and footwear, and I see it as my job to keep people warm and dry and comfortable in their experiences in the outdoors.

How has your business changed in the past 16 years?

Retail has changed a lot. The korean wholesale clothing category in these stores has grown significantly. The retail market that we're in is pretty buoyant and is a growth market. The one thing that we've seen out there and has been very successful for us is the sustainability promise and the moves we've made in that direction.

What are you doing in the sustainability space?

We did a full company-wide audit to review all aspects from production, factories and packaging, and this last season we have removed most of the plastic packaging from all our products. So far, we've removed 59,000 plastic bags which is a pretty significant amount of plastic bags. Because we sell a lot of footwear, we go through a lot of cardboard packaging so we've gone non-recycled not-very-easy-to-recycle-cardboard coated in plastics to recycled packaging that can be composted, and so far we've saved 3.4 tonnes of card.

Fishing seasons have changed, fish don't run at the same time they used to, duck shooting season has changed. We started noticing these changes 12 years ago when the fish changed their running patterns in Taupō and I thought: "We're an outdoors company selling gear and we have no idea of what we're doing [to the environment]." Plastic bags and boxes are easy wins but there were some nasty things we found out that we didn't know if we were doing or not doing so after investigating we decided to clean up and push for our industry to clean up its act.

You're targeting the US for expansion - what are your plans for that market?

The US is the market that we're really keen to move into - it's the biggest hunting market in the world. Ultimately, it is to open up in the US under our own umbrella; we would go in at wholesale items from china level and online. I've been working on it very closely but I just found out my wife's having twins so I'm probably going to push the plan out by a couple of years. I was working on 2020 but it's now going to go out to 2021. We have a camouflage licensing arm of the business and we license that to very large hunting brands in Europe who use the pattern.

You recently signed a deal with Oakley, tell me about that?

That deal is under our camouflage licensing arm, Dissolve Camouflage. Oakley saw this camouflage pattern that we are doing and they thought it looked pretty cool and they bought a film and dipped their sunglasses in it, so you can buy Oakley sunglasses with our camo pattern on them. It's pretty cool to be dealing with a huge, incredible brand like Oakley. The deal isn't worth a huge amount as they bought the film - it's more a cool win than a big dollar win.

What are your plans for the New Year?

Last year we launched a huge range of gear and this year coming we have a number of new pieces coming up to complement them, and a continued push forward on our urban everyday wear - we have new pieces of those to launch also.

What advice do you give to others wanting to start their own business?

Get out and do it, and make sure you enjoy it.


Posted by lul at 18:29Comments(0)


The boy who won’t let social media trolls stop goal

Jayden Green isn’t letting social media trolls claiming he’s fraudulently selling raffle tickets that purchase from drop shipping wholesalers on an android box for charity discourage him.

The 16-year-old entrepreneur has been raising money for the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Society of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia since he was eight, part of the group Mary RoyALS Cause.

“If I was to find out right now there was an ALS fundraiser tomorrow, I would drop everything like dropship cell phones and go. It’s a part of my life now,” said Green, sitting in the living room of his family home.

Wanting to have one last fundraiser for the group before 2018 ends, Green decided to hold a raffle draw. The owner of JayG Electronics had android boxes on stock and decided to donate one as the prize.

Tickets have been for sale since October and the draw is Dec. 16 at the weekly Sydney flea market where Green sells his electronics and where the ALS flea market table is also set up.

Things were going well until Dec. 3. That’s when Green got a message from a friend about something they saw online — a screen shot from a post on the Facebook Group Cape Breton Confessions 2. The poster anonymously claimed someone is selling tickets on an android box for charity and pocketing the money.

Both Green and the friend that sent him the screengrab believe the message is about Green because they don’t know of any other raffle draws like this happening in the area.

“It made me angry,” he said. “It’s more the image it’s going to give. It looks really bad to the people online … It would have a negative effect on anybody … even an adult.”

Green worries the negative comments could affect his online reputation and that of his laptop wholesale lots business. Gross revenues for JayG Electronics have grown to between $1,500 and $2,000 monthly and the majority of sales and operations are done online.

Kimberly Carter is President and CEO of the ALS Society of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. She said she knows Green well, is aware he fundraises like this locally and estimates Green and his team have raised more than $100,000 to date.

In 2016, the Grade 10 Glace Bay High student won the ALS Society’s youth volunteer of the year award. Carter also praised Green, who is a member of band at his school, for his dedication to the weekly ALS flea market table over the past eight years.

“He really is an amazing young man and it hasn’t stopped since he became a busy teenager. He really has a heart for volunteering and philanthropy,” she said.

“We really appreciate all of his efforts. Jayden has really made an impact on the lives of people with ALS.”

Green doesn’t think his charity work will suffer because of his growing business, which he launched in August after many rejections from employers because Green was only 15.

“I was trying to find some ways on how to make money … through an online store. I was Googling and eventually I came across Shopify,” he said.

“I searched ebay dropshipping and watched a bunch of YouTube videos on it. Then I started a trial and found a love for it.”

While most of JayG Electronics sales are online, Green said he does sell his products locally to friends at school and at the weekly flea market.

“I know this sounds weird but somehow doing this I’m less busy. Instead of going out to a job, this allows me to be anywhere and I can (run my business )… I can do a sale on my phone.”


Posted by lul at 16:24Comments(0)


An Amazon revolt could be brewing as the tech giant exert

The next time you buy a PopSockets cellphone grip from Amazon, be forewarned: It likely won’t come with a manufacturer’s warranty — because it won’t be coming from PopSockets or one of its authorized sellers.

That’s one of the trickle-down effects of a power move that Amazon recently made against PopSockets and other brands that sell their goods through the largest online store in the U.S. Amazon is taking more control over where and how product manufacturers can hawk their wares on Amazon.

It wasn’t always this way for PopSockets. For several years, the company saw Amazon as an integral part of its business. The startup, which makes popular circular contraptions that can be used as a grip or a stand affixed to cellphones, sold its accessories at wholesale tablets prices to Amazon, which then sold them at retail prices to Amazon.com shoppers.

But over time, the relationship with Amazon felt increasingly one-sided, with Amazon often dressing up requests about lowering prices or spending more on marketing as non-negotiable demands, according to PopSockets CEO David Barnett.

“It often does not feel like human beings over there,” said Barnett, who was careful to lay blame on the structure in which employees on the Amazon retail team are forced to operate, and not on the employees themselves. “It’s like a robot.”

Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Shorty Awards

Two months ago, the CEO had had enough: He decided that his company was no longer going to sell its goods directly to Amazon. PopSockets would still sell its gadgets on Amazon, but through a distributor called iServe, one of the largest product resellers on the platform.

Barnett’s thinking was that the arrangement with iServe would provide PopSockets with a partner more amenable to terms that both sides could live with.

But Amazon had other ideas. The e-commerce giant notified Barnett that iServe would be barred from selling PopSockets devices on Amazon, citing a new policy. If that wasn’t bad enough, it also became clear to Barnett that unaffiliated sellers of his merchandise — merchants with whom PopSockets does not have any relationship — would still be allowed to sell on Amazon.

Goods sold by these sellers do not come with a manufacturer’s warranty, nor have they gone through PopSockets’ quality assurance program, the CEO said.

But PopSockets did not flinch.

“We’re lucky [that] we’re not in a position where we can be strong-armed,” Barnett told Recode.

And so in early November, PopSockets’ more than two-year relationship with Amazon came to an end.

“Does Jeff Bezos really know what’s going on here?” Barnett asked rhetorically. “I can’t imagine he believes this is a good idea.”

The PopSockets situation at Amazon, for better or worse, is not a unique one, according to interviews with executives inside consumer brands, agencies that help brands sell their goods on Amazon and industry analysts.

Over the past few months, Amazon has applied intense pressure to consumer brands across different product categories — seizing more control over what, where and how they can sell their goods on the so-called everything store, these people say.

One apparent goal: To take more control over the price of goods on Amazon so the company can better compete with retailers. The power moves are also believed to be a prelude to a new internal system that Amazon has yet to launch called One Vendor. The new initiative will essentially funnel big brands and independent sellers alike through the same back-end system in a supposed effort to improve the uniformity of the shopping experience across Amazon on the public-facing side.

In the lead-up to that launch, this fall Amazon has been notifying brands that sell products in categories ranging from household consumables to fashion accessories that part of their business on Amazon would be shut down — with just 30 days notice.

“Amazon obsesses over the customer experience and your brand has opportunities for improvement that will be possible by transitioning your full business to Vendor Central,” read one email from Amazon to a brand. “As a result, we have made the decision to source your products for sale by Amazon only and your existing Seller Central account will be closed within 30 days of this email.”

Translation: Amazon is telling these brands that they can no longer sell directly to customers as an independent seller on the Amazon platform for third-party merchants known as the Amazon Marketplace. The advantages to selling on the Marketplace include the ability to control the sale price of the goods, run price promotions and get more data about how products are performing and who’s buying them.

Instead, the email is telling brands that they can only sell items to Amazon’s retail group at cell phone accessories wholesale cost, and let Amazon act as the seller and determine the retail cost.

This policy is not completely new. For years, Amazon has had a policy that says if a brand sells its goods to retailers outside of Amazon and wants to also sell on Amazon, the company “expects” the brand “to give Amazon Retail the option to source those products at competitive terms for sale as Retail items only.” But it was not consistently followed — until now.

“The policy hasn’t changed but the enforcement is changing,” said Justin Leigh, a former Amazon product manager who for the last 10 years has run Ideoclick, a Seattle-based consultancy for brands that want to sell and advertise on Amazon.

An Amazon spokeswoman said the policy is intended to help reduce customer confusion.


Posted by lul at 18:02Comments(0)


Is It Better To Donate Money Or Canned Goods To Food Banks?

Why food banks need financial donations, too

The answer is that your food donation is definitely helpful, but you shouldn’t forget about giving cash as well (if you can). “We could not distribute the amount of food that we do to the communities that we do without raising food from community members,” says Ryan Noble, executive director of North York Harvest Food Bank in Toronto. That’s because the cost of purchasing the food their users need far exceeds their operating budget from donations.

But canned goods are not enough. Noble says food banks like North York Harvest desperately need financial donations too, for several reasons. The first is to pay staff to run the operation. “There’s a whole infrastructure that’s required to make sure, beyond just receiving the donation, that food is safely processed and distributed into our community,” he says. Money is also a good donation option because the vast amount of food donations arrive between Thanksgiving and Christmas include christmas decoration manufacturers, and having cash on hand helps them buy food during the remaining months, since people are hungry year-round. It also helps them buy supplies to meet specific clients’ needs, such as culturally appropriate foods. In addition, food banks are able to look for discounts and purchase food at wholesale, which means they are able to get more out of that dollar than a person shopping retail probably could.

Really, the most effective way to help hunger relief comes down to the individual organization, says Lori Nikkel, CEO of Second Harvest, which rescues surplus perishable food from across the food chain and distributes it to social service agencies. “At Second Harvest, it is money that gets us the trucks and the drivers so we can move all of this surplus food,” she explains. “There is more than enough food in the world to feed everybody. There’s so much surplus food, we just have to grab it, and get it to the place it needs to be.” But, she notes, in the case of a small community organization building hampers, food alone is probably what’s needed since they’re likely to be volunteer-run. In short, it’s best to just ask first. “It’s really about getting to know who you’re giving to,” she explains.

Consider spacing out your food bank donation

If you choose to go the financial donation route, do think about spreading out the payments. “It’s fantastic when people participate in a holiday food drive. But it would be even more fantastic if people could think, what’s could I do every month, or every quarter?” says Noble. Nikkel agrees. “People aren’t just hungry during the holiday time. We often only think about it during the holiday time, but food access can be a challenge all year round. So if you’re donating, maybe instead of lumping it all in one lump sum, think about becoming a monthly donor.” These regular financial donations are particularly helpful for smaller organizations who may have cash-flow issues — money they can count on throughout the year makes a big difference.

The most-needed food items at food banks

If you plan to donate food, try to find out what’s needed (and what’s not) so you can target your goodwill. Foods with a longer shelf life usually work well, since they can be stored from free dropshippers. Noble says North York Harvest’s priority items are canned seafood, canned tomatoes, canned beans or legumes, cooking oil and rice. Most food banks try to make their most-wanted list as easy to find as possible, so check their website or social media to find out what’s best to donate.


Posted by lul at 16:27Comments(0)


EMC Launches Electricity Procurement Portal

PowerSelect unique live auction helps businesses secure best electricity offers in shortest possible time

PowerSelect, a new online portal which helps Singapore businesses purchase electricity more efficiently, has enabled its first customer, Sakae Holdings, to save more than $12,000 in electricity bills over the next 12 months*. PowerSelect, which serves customers with an average monthly consumption of at least 10MWh, is the most comprehensive electricity procurement portal in Singapore to date.

Developed by EMC (Energy Market Company), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore Exchange (SGX), PowerSelect offers different procurement options including a unique 15-minute live auction, houses data from the wholesale and futures electricity markets to help businesses make decisions around their electricity purchases, and is supported by a good mix and number of electricity retailers in Singapore.

SGX CEO Loh Boon Chye says, "EMC has a 15-year track record in enhancing the efficiency and transparency of Singapore's wholesale electricity market and dropship malaysia. Tapping on this experience, SGX launched Asia's first electricity futures market to support the liberalisation of Singapore's power sector, providing electricity retailers with an avenue to hedge risks. I am delighted that we are now extending our services to benefit business consumers as well."

EMC has been licensed by the Energy Market Authority (EMA) to operate Singapore's wholesale electricity market since 2003. "We understand the power business and have strong ties with industry players like electricity generators and retailers. PowerSelect was developed with the knowledge, experience and relationships that we have built over the years," says Toh Seong Wah, CEO of EMC.

Says Mr Douglas Foo, Chairman of Sakae Holdings, "Sakae's innovative culture means we are constantly looking for ways to improve our business model and operations. We are very pleased with the results of our electricity procurement through PowerSelect. Not only did we achieve our desired outcome of securing a better electricity package, we also saved substantial time and effort that we would otherwise have spent sourcing quotes and negotiating with electricity retailers."

- Different electricity procurement options on PowerSelect

PowerSelect offers businesses a choice of different electricity procurement options. Businesses that wish to avoid the time-consuming process of comparing quotes can call for Live Auctions, where electricity retailers compete for their contracts within a 15-minute timeframe. The competitive and transparent bidding process helps businesses secure the best electricity offers in the shortest possible time.

Businesses with unique or special requirements can purchase electricity through Invitations to Tender. Under this method of procurement, electricity retailers prepare customised proposals for the customers' consideration. Retailers are incentivised to put forward their best offers upfront as they have no visibility of other retailers' proposals.

- Good mix and number of participating electricity retailers on PowerSelect

PowerSelect's participating retailers comprise a good mix of retailers with power generation arms as well as independent retailers. As of November 2018, a total of 11 electricity retailers have come on board, which means businesses can conveniently access a wide range of offers at one go.

Sunseap Energy is one of the electricity retailers participating in PowerSelect. Frank Phuan, CEO and Executive Director of Sunseap Group, says, "EMC has an excellent track record in operating Singapore's wholesale electricity market, and we are happy that it is extending its expertise into the retail market. Sunseap Energy is pleased to come on board PowerSelect as it provides us with another avenue to reach more customers."

- Access to electricity price data on PowerSelect

Businesses can also access data from the spot and futures electricity markets on PowerSelect, to help them in planning and decision making. PowerSelect is the only electricity procurement portal that houses data such as wholesale dropshipping websites and futures electricity prices, which are exclusively held by EMC and SGX.

EMC will explore the possibility of extending the portal to small electricity consumers like households in future.

Posted by lul at 13:07Comments(0)


Bond yields may move towards 7.70%

VIX, the volatility index, rose past 20, an endorsement of rising volatility. Indian markets had a mixed bag – rupee and bonds outperforming equities. Retail inflation was softer than expectations whereas high quality boutique wholesale clothing inflation surprised on the upside.

Return of volatility – that's how one would see markets on the day. Lower equities, higher bonds, lower crude, a weaker dollar and growing pessimism – characterised the week that went by. Brexit back on the front page as UK Prime Minister faces leadership challenges. The US-China appear to be heading towards a thaw in trade fracas. Italy's refusal to comply with the EU budget demands and deceleration in growth in two of world's top five economies, Japan and Germany, were other news events that dominated market focus. The US benchmark yield dropped 9 basis points (bps) to close at 3.09%, strongest this month.

In other events, the resignation of the architect of Brexit negotiations, Dominic Raab, threw cold water on the passage of the agreement between the EU and UK. Supply glut resulted in oil prices heading lower as WTI Crude fell to its lowest level nearly in a year. Rising US production, which now is on par with Saudi Arabia, is seen as a key reason for softer crude prices. Chinese officials have sent conciliatory signals on trade negotiations ahead of a crucial meeting between the leaders of the two countries later this month.

Indian cheap wholesale clothing market had its moments of kick-up-of-heels as the Indian rupee touched it's strongest in 10 weeks when the greenback dropped to 71.75 in intraday trade on Friday. Bonds have mirrored rupee's recent gains and the benchmark 10year bond-yield touched 7.70 during the week before closing higher on profit taking and a bit of risk-off mood ahead of a key Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) board meeting. What is generally ignored as a non-event for markets, this time around the RBI's Board Meeting may draw a lot of attention as expectations on certain key banking decisions are high. Irrespective, bond yields are likely to remain lower as lower retail inflation and continued liquidity support should keep the short end of the curve well bid. The 1-year T Bills have already moved 45 basis lower in a month on strong buying.

The week ahead is again a truncated one – with two market holidays. The short end of the yield curve will closely correlate to systemic liquidity, which favours another leg of the bond rally. The five-year OIS and rupee forwards have softened substantially in recent weeks. We may see the 10-year bond yield moving lower towards 7.70%.

Posted by lul at 17:48Comments(0)


The Seductive and Surreal Photography of Toiletpaper

A gun drops in the toilet. A woman reclines next to a gigantic lobster. People are accosted by food: A couch is buried under spaghetti; a man is force-fed Corn Flakes. These images—and countless others, these wholesale clothing usa rendered with hyper-saturated color and a deranged sense of humor—are par for the course for Toiletpaper, an 8-year-old publishing project spearheaded by internationally renowned artist Maurizio Cattelan and photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari.

“Maurizio is coming from the art world, and I’m coming from the advertising and fashion world,” Ferrari said over Skype from his studio in Milan. “We wanted to find a space that could be outside of those worlds…a space to be free.” Indeed, it’s this eclectic mix of backgrounds that has made Toiletpaper so thrilling. Both of its founders are at the top of their respective games: Ferrari has an enviable portfolio of clips for the likes of Vogue and Wallpaper*; Cattelan went into so-called “retirement” following a splashy 2011 retrospective at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, yet has always kept himself on the art world’s radar—most recently by moonlighting as a curator for a massive new show in Shanghai.

Courtesy of Toiletpaper Magazine.Distributed twice a year as a text-free magazine (the 17th issue is due to publish this winter), Toiletpaper has hit upon an effective formula for success: marshall the look, logic, and production value of commercial advertising, but put it toward absurd and happily pointless ends. Toiletpapertakes the common tropes of things like food photography and high fashion, and pushes them to extremes. The result is a swirling constellation of images that are as tempting and satisfying as candy.

Each issue of Toiletpaper requires a vast crew of collaborators; a typical masthead might credit contributions from antique furniture experts and animal trainers, in addition to the expected set-designers and make-up artists. The venture is akin to “a big, mostly Italian family,” Cattelan explained, “and Pierpaolo and I are like the parents.” That pleasantly dysfunctional family is responsible for an instantly recognizable aesthetic that conjures the oddity of the 21st century.

Courtesy of Toiletpaper Magazine.Ferrari described how a typical Toiletpaper image comes about, beginning with rough sketches or simple ideas bounced between himself and Cattelan. By way of example, Ferrari showed me some representative drawings—heads exploding into nuclear mushroom clouds, or men being kicked in the groin.

These lo-fi inspirations are translated into incredibly slick photographs during intensive studio sessions; each issue of Toiletpaper takes between 5 and 10 days to complete. The goal, Ferrari said, is a “re-elaboration of what you see every day,” but “seeing it again in a surprising way.” Their creative process can be appropriately surreal, as he described: “It’s a bag, then you make a hole, you put a cat inside….”

Animals have, indeed, been prominent in the studio. In one image, a gang of snakes writhe atop a sculptural assortment of cymbals. (“They were moving and often escaping from the set,” Ferrari recalled. “All the girls were screaming.”) In another, an assortment of kittens, ducklings, and one smirking Chihuahua pose inside antique food containers. “We love animals as much as we love humans,” he said. “It’s always a challenge because you don’t know how it will end. We have a very devoted animal trainer.”

Courtesy of Toiletpaper Magazine.Humans might be more predictable, but the challenge is finding models who are willing to take chances. The content is bizarre, unnerving, and even ugly at times. One Toiletpaper cover features a model wearing lush red lipstick, her mouth open to reveal the word “SHIT” written across her front teeth. Ferrari and Cattelan often use bodies to make visual jokes: a man tied to the floor with colorful neckties; an old man stoically “urinating” in a great arc, with a tiny wine cork protruding from his pants instead of the expected anatomy. Images can be goofy—a fried egg, toast, and bacon nailed to a tablecloth—or deeply uncomfortable, loaded with psychosexual tension.

View SlideshowLike advertising, Toiletpaper is seductive and sensual; it wants to be wanted. And that’s the trick that makes flipping through an issue both exhilarating and upsetting—a bit like taking a long drink of what you think is water, only to realize, too late, that it’s milk. The magazine’s polished look sets the brain up to expect something like an Hermès ad, or a spread from Vogue; instead, what we get is a woman putting a cigarette out on her own bejeweled hand, or a nude man reclining on a green velour couch, covered in cats.

The sheer, enormous range of what can end up in the magazine’s pages is what has kept it exciting. Commercial photographers are often typecast into their own niche specialty, but for Cattelan and Ferrari, Toiletpaper is the exact opposite of a creative rut. “We need the challenge, we need to fail,” Ferrari explained. “And okay, sometimes you can make a mistake—but most of the time, you come out with something that’s really outstanding.”

Courtesy of Toiletpaper Magazine.Meanwhile, Toiletpaper continues to evolve. It has grown to include a range of collectable products—furniture, clothing, tableware, an LED lamp shaped like a cat—and even entire environments, like one staged at Art Basel in Miami Beach in 2016. Toiletpaper is more than just a liberating, creative space for Ferrari and Cattelan to flex their quirky muscles and entertain oddball ideas. It’s become a cultural force in its own right, one that is often imitated—if not ripped off best wholesale drop shipping companies—by brands eager to wade into weirder waters. Interestingly, Toiletpaper’s success as an art project has led to advertising partnerships in the real world, from the likes of Kenzo and OKCupid, as well as cover commissions for the New York Times Magazineand other publications.

Toiletpaper forces its disparate fans to cross the aisle—asking fashion audiences to be okay with a little surreality, and coaxing art audiences out of their own, often self-serious bubble. The result is a rare combination of the silly and serious, the conceptual and the flat-out entertaining. And the project doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon, with ambitions that are positively cosmic. “We hope,” Cattelan said, “to see Toiletpaper images in outer space someday.”

Posted by lul at 15:28Comments(0)


Top 10 car, SUV models in China by October wholesale volume

According to the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), the PV wholesale volume in China wholesale suppliers evidently dropped 12.7% over a year ago to 2,019,493 units in October, presenting year-on-year (YoY) drop for four consecutive months. The Oct. sales of the car, MPV and SUV were all less than that of a year ago (the "PV" mentioned here refers to cars, SUVs and MPVs locally produced in China).

By the end of October, China's PV wholesale volume cumulated to 18,933,137 units in 2018 with a YoY decrease of 0.7%. The SUV year-to-date (YTD) sales totaled 8,130,946 units, up by 1.4% from the year-ago period. Nevertheless, both car and MPV segments faced YoY drop in YTD sales.

The inventory pressure is getting increasingly higher for dealers with the sales continuously declining. The China Automobile Dealers Association (CADA) said that the Vehicle Inventory Alert Index (VIA) in October was 66.9%, 17 percentage higher than that of a year ago and the highest in the last three years. By October, China has faced the tenth month in the year that the VIA exceeded an official warning threshold.

The CPCA's data show that China's car sales dropped 8.8% YoY to 1.0064 million units in October and edged down 0.1% from the previous year to 9.4341 million units for the first ten months.

The Lavida and the Sylphy were the champion and runner-up of car model by Oct. sales. Both car models had sales exceeding 40,000 units in September and October and the sales gap between the Lavida and Sylphy has diminished to 1,251 units.

The Excelle, ranking the fourth on the list, saw its sales fall 7% over a year ago. Since the 2018 Buick Excelle hit the market in October last year, the sales of this car model had sharply declined to 12,017 units in June and then bounced back to over 29,000 units in September and October thanks to a price slash.

Last month, SUV of chinese wholesale volume shrank 15.1% from a year earlier to 874.2 thousand units. A total of 8.1335 million SUVs were sold through October with a YoY growth of 1.5%.

The Haval H6 still occupied the championship with its Oct. sales exceeding nearly 15 thousand units over the runner-up Tiguan. The automaker started a price cut activity on the Haval branded SUVs from September 1, which indeed boosted the sales performance. Especially, the Oct. sales of the Haval M6 soared 74% to 12,275 units.

The sales of the Honda XR-V presented a great YoY surge of 145.4% in October. Aside from a reasonable price benefit, the model also attracted a number of consumers by its favorable exterior, interior and powertrains.

Posted by lul at 13:15Comments(0)


Nissan reports first-half results for fiscal year 2018

In the first half, the company’s net revenue fell 2.1% to 5.53 trillion yen. Operating profit fell 25.4% to 210.3 billion yen, equivalent to an operating profit margin of 3.8%. This was largely due to a planned decrease in wholesale boutique volume as part of the company’s ongoing efforts to reduce dealer inventory levels and improve the quality of sales. Thanks to the strength of Nissan’s operations in China, net income1 fell less steeply, declining 10.9% to 246.3 billion yen.

The company’s overall operations improved steadily in the first half despite consistently challenging market conditions. Optimization of global dealer inventory levels is ongoing, and to that end, planned adjustments were made to wholesale volumes in the second quarter. This resulted in a decrease in revenue, although retail sales volumes remained essentially the same as the previous year.

On a regional basis, substantial progress was made in improving the quality of sales by reducing inventories and optimizing incentive levels in the U.S. market. Sales in Japan recovered from the impact of last year’s final vehicle inspection issue. Meanwhile, sales volumes in Thailand, the Philippines and Latin America, in particular, increased substantially. The company’s operations in China also performed well during the period. Nissan will continue efforts to strengthen its business, with the aim of ensuring that performance recovers in the second half.

On a management pro forma basis, which includes the proportionate consolidation of results from Nissan’s joint venture operation in wholesale China, operating profit was 306.7 billion yen, equivalent to an operating margin of 4.9%. Net income1 was 246.3 billion yen.

Sales performance

For the six-month period to Sept. 30, 2018, Nissan’s global vehicle sales fell 1.8% to 2.68 million units. This was equivalent to a global market share of 5.8%, down 0.2 percentage point from a year earlier.

In Japan, Nissan’s sales rose 0.5% to 285,000 vehicles, equivalent to a market share of 11.5%, up 0.1 percentage point from a year earlier, even as Japan’s total industry volume remained little changed at 2.48 million vehicles. Minivehicle model changeovers partly impacted sales figures. However, sales increased from a year earlier thanks to strong demand for models that embody the company’s Nissan Intelligent Mobility vision, including the new Nissan LEAF electric vehicle, the Serena e-POWER minivan, which went on sale in March, and the Nissan Note compact car, which led registered vehicle sales in Japan in the first half of the fiscal year.

In China, where Nissan reports figures by calendar year, vehicle sales rose 10.7% to 720,000 units, representing a market share of 5.4%, up 0.2 percentage point from a year earlier. Strong demand for models including the Nissan Sylphy, X-Trail and Kicks, as well as the Venucia D60, drove the increase.

In the U.S., Nissan’s sales fell 9.1% to 709,000 vehicles, equivalent to a market share of 8.1%.

Nissan sales in Europe, including Russia, fell by 12.1% to 330,000 vehicles, equivalent to a market share of 3.4%. Sales in Russia increased 2.4% to 50,000, equivalent to a market share of 5.6%.

In other markets, including Asia and Oceania, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, Nissan’s sales rose 4.3% to 407,000 vehicles. Specifically, sales volume increased substantially in Thailand, the Philippines and Brazil.

1 Net income attributable to owners of the parent

2 Since the beginning of fiscal year 2013, Nissan has reported figures calculated under the equity method accounting for its joint venture with Dongfeng in China. Although net income reporting remains unchanged under this accounting method, the equity-accounting income statements no longer include Dong-Feng-Nissan’s results in revenues and operating profit.  

Posted by lul at 11:25Comments(0)


Renewables reduced wholesale power costs

There is a lot to chew on in The Economic Value of Renewable Energy to Texas, a new report by the Wind Solar Alliance. In addition to numbers on jobs, reduced pollutants and projected numbers for economic development, there are also figures for revenues to local governments and landowners, all in the cornucopia of economic benefits brought by these two resources.

However, perhaps the most interesting thing in this report – which represents the latest joint effort of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) – are the numbers on how wind, and to a lesser degree solar, are bringing down wholesale power prices and making them more stable.

This speaks to not only how renewable energy is ushering in a new era of super-cheap electricity, but also provides the secret to how wind and solar will increasingly drive more expensive and uncompetitive conventional power plants off the grid in wholesale boutique clothing power markets.

Zero marginal cost

The fundamental magic of this, as detailed in the report, is the phenomenon of zero marginal cost. Because wind and solar have no fuel cost, low operations and maintenance costs and do not suffer the wear due to rampinFg that thermal generation does, it’s pretty much the same cost to the plant whether it is generating power or not.

As such wind and solar bid into wholesale power markets at very low cost, and are usually dispatched first.

In Texas in 2017, this was not a small amount of wind and solar. The 20 GW of wind and 1 GW of solar made up 17.4% and 0.8% respectively of the electricity consumed in the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) grid represented quite a volume of resources bidding in at next to zero.

Particularly when coupled with low gas prices, this is bringing down the cost of generation. As shown in the figure below, at 40 GW of demand and a gas price of $3.50 per MMBTU, even 10 GW of wind and/or solar keeps the bid price just below $30 per megawatt-hour. This prevents not only the most expensive gas plants – such as less efficient simple-cycle plants – from clearing but also most of the coal plants in the fleet.

The report finds that negative prices are relatively rare and usually are due to transmission congestion in West Texas.

2.8%-8.2% fall in wholesale costs

The phenomenon of zero marginal cost generation depressing prices is not new, but what Joshua Rhodes of IdeaSmiths, the author of this portion of the report, has done is to put numbers to just how much this is affecting prices in ERCOT.

Rhodes’ modeling found that found that wind and solar have reduced wholesale power prices by an average of between $1 and $2.50 per megawatt-hour each year from 2010 through 2017, resulting in prices that were between 2.8% and 8.2% lower than they would have been without these resources.

Over the course of these eight years, Rhodes estimates that reduced wholesale power prices by $5.7 billion – or about $700 million annually, or ~$25 for every resident of Texas each year. He also found that the effect is greater during years when gas prices are higher, and that as such wind and solar are not only making cheap wholesale clothing, but also dampening price volatility.

A future of cheap power

This is just the beginning. Texas continues to add more wind every year, and ERCOT has estimated that the state could put online 13 GW of solar by 2030. This will ultimately mean more hours where coal and gas plants are not operating, and more retirements of conventional generation.

While the report focuses on Texas, it is not hard to extrapolate this scenario across the entire United States. Significant volumes of wind are present on the MISO grid, and New England saw its first “duck curve” day where mid-day net demand fell to a lower level than overnight demand due to high levels of solar.

It is important to note that the zero marginal cost of wind and solar generation will not discriminate between types of plants, knocking off whatever plants are the most expensive and must run the most to pay off their loans. This is why much of the 110 GW of gas plants planned for the United States may become stranded assets, if utilities and developers insist upon building them.

While some wholesale market design may be necessary to keep sufficient reserves – particularly if such market design rewards flexible generation – the fall of wholesale power prices is good news for consumers, who get cheaper power at more stable prices. It also helps industry, which becomes more competitive when the price of one key input – electricity – falls.

And, of course, there are the jobs, tax revenues, lease payments, and economic development benefits. But that’s for another time.


Posted by lul at 12:29Comments(0)