PUBLICATION STORE SUBSCRIBE

Aston Martin sets up electric car joint venture with Chinese group

Aston Martin is setting up a venture with the Chinese consumer electronics group LeEco to jointly develop the British luxury car brand’s first electric vehicle.

Aston Martin and LeEco said they plan to develop the RapidE electric car based on the British carmaker’s Rapide S model, before developing other potential electric vehicles, including for LeEco. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Companies such as Alphabet, the parent company of Google, and LeEco are developing automotive expertise because they want to broaden their reach beyond search engines, computers and cellphones into cars, while automakers want internet connectivity to give drivers live traffic updates and infotainment.

“It brings Aston Martin’s electric car project forward,” said Andy Palmer, the Aston Martin chief executive, said at a news conference in Frankfurt on Wednesday, adding it would come to market in 2018, and be built in Gaydon, England.

Here’s how to reach more than 20,000 subscribers that are interested in green economy content

LeEco, a consumer electronics company that offers branded content via the internet, television set-top boxes and smartphones, hopes to use its captive audience and celebrity endorsements to promote cars.

“In China we have around 300 million people who visit our website. We could advertise the Aston Martin for free. And we can use celebrities to promote our vehicle. This is the way we do business,” said Lei Ding, co-founder of LeEco’s auto division, who previously held senior positions at joint ventures of Volkswagen and General Motors in China.

The electric car development platform by Aston and LeEco could also be used by Faraday Future, a startup electric car firm backed by the Chinese billionaire Jia Yueting, the companies said.

“Aston can offer expertise in ride, handling refinement and those sorts of things,” Palmer said.

China’s government is promoting electric vehicles to cut the smog that frequently envelops the country’s cities, which officials say helped sales quadruple last year and has turned it into the world’s biggest market for the technology.

An electric car joint venture of Taiwan’s Hon Hai, China’s Tencent and China Harmony Auto Holding said this month it was hiring the former BMW executive Carsten Breitfeld to lead it.

Harmony Futeng, launched last March, is one of several Chinese tech companies trying to develop “smart” and electric vehicles. These include Alibaba, Baidu and Leshi Internet Information and Technology Corp Beijing, recently rebranded as LeEco.

Demonstrate and sell product over three busy days

Source: theguardian


Follow Alive2Green on Social Media
TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle +

SA tourism pounded on all fronts, index shows

Cape Town – The SA tourism industry is being pounded on all fronts, with new legislation on unabridged birth certificates and visa restrictions packing the biggest punch, the latest SA Tourism Business Index (TBI) showed.

The TBI for the second quarter of 2015 was released on Monday and showed a newly pessimistic outlook, according to the Tourism Business Council of SA (TBCSA). The TBI is compiled for the TBCSA by Grant Thornton.

The negative contribution factors cited by respondents in the accommodation and other tourism sectors were:

– New legislation with regard to biometrics and unabridged birth certificates;
– Visa restrictions;
– The general state of the economy;
– Labour unrest (strikes);
– Poor service delivery in terms of electricity and water shortages;
– The impact of the Ebola virus;
– Reduced demand from government officials;
– High utility costs;
– High cost of flights, accommodation and car hire;
– Xenophobia;
– An increase in the cost of fuel.

Respondents’ comments on how the new visa regulations are affecting SA tourism include:

– “Visa restrictions are merely turning visitors away from SA to destinations where there are no requirements or can be obtained on arrival. SA is being off-sold and excluded from any in-country marketing efforts. Unabridged birth certificates affecting school tours, especially from northern neighbours.”

– “Parents travelling to SA from overseas markets may have to cancel due to time constraints on obtaining documents.”

– “This country needs open borders, we need tourists flocking in.”

– “Being largely focused on corporate travel, we have seen a decrease of international corporate travel
into the market, as the ability to obtain visa’s to come into South Africa becomes more cumbersome.”

– “Negative impact due to great inconvenience and expense for travellers to SA compared to ease of access to other competing destinations.”

Respondents also noticed a decrease in Chinese and Indian visitors.

With regard to other tourism businesses, insufficient overseas leisure demand (54%) continues to be the greatest negative contributing factor to poor business performance.

It is followed by insufficient domestic business demand (40%), insufficient overseas business demand (39%), insufficient domestic leisure demand (38%) and competitor market behaviour (38%).

Among the few positive impact factors named by respondents regarding last quarter, were a weak exchange rate, strong domestic business demand, large summits taking place and long weekends and school holidays.

SA tourism pounded on all fronts, index shows
Jul 20 2015 21:07 Carin Smith

(Shutterstock)
RELATED ARTICLES

SA tourism index drops on visa restrictions
More collaboration needed in SA tourism – report
SA visa rules not fair on airlines, say travel agents
Home affairs won’t back down on child visas – minister
No use throwing stones over visa rules – deputy minister
Tourism tumble sure to lead to job losses – expert

Cape Town – The SA tourism industry is being pounded on all fronts, with new legislation on unabridged birth certificates and visa restrictions packing the biggest punch, the latest SA Tourism Business Index (TBI) showed.

The TBI for the second quarter of 2015 was released on Monday and showed a newly pessimistic outlook, according to the Tourism Business Council of SA (TBCSA). The TBI is compiled for the TBCSA by Grant Thornton.

The negative contribution factors cited by respondents in the accommodation and other tourism sectors were:

– New legislation with regard to biometrics and unabridged birth certificates;
– Visa restrictions;
– The general state of the economy;
– Labour unrest (strikes);
– Poor service delivery in terms of electricity and water shortages;
– The impact of the Ebola virus;
– Reduced demand from government officials;
– High utility costs;
– High cost of flights, accommodation and car hire;
– Xenophobia;
– An increase in the cost of fuel.

(Source: BTI)

Respondents’ comments on how the new visa regulations are affecting SA tourism include:

– “Visa restrictions are merely turning visitors away from SA to destinations where there are no requirements or can be obtained on arrival. SA is being off-sold and excluded from any in-country marketing efforts. Unabridged birth certificates affecting school tours, especially from northern neighbours.”

– “Parents travelling to SA from overseas markets may have to cancel due to time constraints on obtaining documents.”

– “This country needs open borders, we need tourists flocking in.”

– “Being largely focused on corporate travel, we have seen a decrease of international corporate travel
into the market, as the ability to obtain visa’s to come into South Africa becomes more cumbersome.”

– “Negative impact due to great inconvenience and expense for travellers to SA compared to ease of access to other competing destinations.”

Respondents also noticed a decrease in Chinese and Indian visitors.

With regard to other tourism businesses, insufficient overseas leisure demand (54%) continues to be the greatest negative contributing factor to poor business performance.

It is followed by insufficient domestic business demand (40%), insufficient overseas business demand (39%), insufficient domestic leisure demand (38%) and competitor market behaviour (38%).

Among the few positive impact factors named by respondents regarding last quarter, were a weak exchange rate, strong domestic business demand, large summits taking place and long weekends and school holidays.

(Source: BTI)

The BTI shows that overall, the tourism industry performed significantly lower than expected, the lowest performance since the third quarter of 2011, but not as low as in the first nine months of 2011.

The accommodation sector achieved worse than normal business performance and this sector indicated a pessimistic outlook. The TBI shows that second quarter blues are also present among other tourism business.

In the accommodation sector 27.5% of TBI respondents expect less than normal business performance next year and 8.2% expect better than normal business performance.

Among other tourism businesses, 41.4% of respondents expect less than normal business performance next year, while 23.4% expect better results.

Accommodation stats

In a separate data release, Stats SA said on Monday total income measured in nominal terms (current prices) for the tourist accommodation industry increased by 7% in May 2015 compared with May 2014.

Income from accommodation increased by 6.4% year-on-year in May 2015, the result of a 0.2% decrease in the number of stay unit nights sold and a 6.6% increase in the average income per stay unit night sold.

In May 2015, the types of accommodation that recorded positive year-on-year growth rates in income from accommodation were hotels (7.8%), “other” accommodation (4.6%) and guest houses and guest farms (1.8%).

“Other accommodation” excludes hotels, caravan parks and camping sites, guest houses and guest farms.

The main contributors to the 6.4% year-on-year increase in income from accommodation in May 2015 were hotels (contributing 5 percentage points) and “other” accommodation (contributing 1.3 percentage points).

Income from accommodation increased by 8% in the three months ended May 2015 compared with the three months ended May 2014.

The main contributors to this increase were hotels (9.2% and contributing 5.8 percentage points) and “other” accommodation (6% and contributing 1.8 percentage points).

Source: fin24


Follow Alive2Green on Social Media
TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle +