Tesla rewrote the book on electric car sales last month

We’ve been pointing out the many electric vehicle sales records on the board in 2016. Nearly every month established a new high for the plug-in segment in the U.S., and June was best on the books. Still, Tesla had yet to have that breakout sales showing that rattled an industry built on gasoline. In September, things changed. Tesla not only shattered EV sales records on every level; it also outsold 13 long-established brands, including Porsche, Mitsubishi, and Volvo.

InsideEVs estimates Tesla delivered 4,350 Model S sedans and 3,200 Model X SUVs in September. Both are record totals for Tesla; Model S’s total is the highest ever for plug-in vehicle; and as a brand Tesla more than doubled the best EV sales by any other automaker in America…Overall, Tesla reached 24,500 deliveries worldwide.

The showing puts Tesla on pace to break the annual sales record (30,200) set in 2014 by Nissan Leaf. The industry as a whole was buoyed by the performances of Model S and Model X…

Parochial motorheads who favor EVs may be peering worried into their lite beers; but, globalized gear monkeys know the future is guaranteed. At least through the next few 5-year plans in the world’s largest auto market – China.

The government there has committed to electric transport, cars, truck, trains, for all the good reasons from fighting pollution to climate change. Doing so at a level we aren’t likely to approach in the GOUSA – even with Dems in the White House and controlling the lobbyist country club called Congress.

The cars will be built and available. Even if we’re only stealing a small share of what is destined for Asian shores.

Americans pay 50% more for chicken and, yes, that is because of a conspiracy

Reuters/Rodolfo Buhrer

❝ What do you call it when would-be competitors embark on a unified strategy to limit supply, drive up prices, and bilk customers of their hard-earned cash? An antitrust conspiracy, of course. But what do you call it when producers of chickens, a staple of the American diet…allegedly go so far as killing their birds early, shipping more eggs, and buying one another’s products to keep public supply low?

According to food distributors suing the industry, it’s called “capacity discipline.”

The $29 billion industry that churns out 90 percent of America’s chickens has engaged in a price-fixing scheme for years, according to the first of a half-dozen lawsuits filed in Chicago federal court this month. And that artificial premium has been passed on to consumers: You’ve been paying 50 percent more for that supermarket rotisserie bird, the lawsuits claim. While producers have been accused of rigging the market before, this litigation may be the largest effort yet to bring such practices to light…

❝ The court complaint traces the alleged collusion back to 2008, when—thanks to high feed prices, debt, and an oversupplied chicken market — Pilgrim’s Pride, one of the country’s largest poultry companies, was facing serious financial difficulties. It brought in consultants from Bain & Co. to help find a solution, the lawyers contend. This wasn’t enough: In December, Pilgrim’s filed for bankruptcy and eventually became part of meat conglomerate JBS USA Holdings, a unit of São Paulo-based JBS SA. But those consultants did, according to the complaint, offer some sage advice: Pilgrim’s Pride needed to cut supply so prices would rise. (Bain didn’t respond to requests for comment.)

There was a catch, though. Chickens are a commodity: Tyson’s chicken is indistinguishable from Pilgrim’s, which is indistinguishable from that of other defendants, such as Perdue Farms Inc., so this plan would work only if the whole industry participated.

That’s what began to happen in 2007, according to the lawsuit, when Tyson’s, Pilgrim’s, and a few smaller producers reduced their output. At first, others didn’t play ball. But the next year, the plaintiffs said, the industry began to take a more coordinated tack, with a joint effort to cut supply across the board. “We see an uncanny amount of coordination and communication between supposed competitors,” Bruckner argued…

❝ The lawyers say that Tyson, for example, was so committed to this strategy that it began buying competitors’ chickens instead of growing its own, which would have been cheaper, under what was dubbed a “buy vs. grow” strategy. The defendants also exported eggs to Mexico, rather than build up their U.S. flocks…

RTFA for much of the dirty dealing. If and when this all gets to a trial court, no doubt there will be more.