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Article | 04 August 2020 |
Tesla out in front
Tesla became the world’s biggest car manufacturer by value, taking pole position from Toyota. Despite the fact that Tesla produced only 360,000 vehicles last year, compared to almost 9 million for the Japanese giant. The Model 3 accounted for 300,000 of Tesla’s rollout, making it the top-selling plug-in electric vehicle (EV) globally. And EVs received a boost from US presidential hopeful Joe Biden, as part of his $2 trillion clean energy plan. That’s good news, as car use in many US cities has accelerated past pre-Covid levels.
The shape of recovery
Whether V-shaped or U-shaped, economic recovery is unlikely to follow the same path around the world. The US took a step back, as Covid-19 infection rates soared in some southern states and California re-entered lockdown. In Europe, the exit has mostly been smoother, boosted by promises of a €750 billion recovery fund. Meanwhile, China surprised with the strength of its second quarter rebound. As the world’s biggest steel producer, Chinese growth has pushed up the price of industrial metals.
Huawei off the list
In a dramatic about face, the UK government has banned Chinese tech giant Huawei from supplying any equipment for its 5G network. The decision is not without a price. The UK’s 5G rollout could now take an extra three years and cost an additional £2 billion ($2.5 billion). The reason given is that US sanctions on Chinese chips could make it harder to assess Huawei’s safety. President Trump quickly took the credit, adding the UK to his Non-Huawei allies. With the US elections fast approaching, expect further ripples in the pond of US/China trade relations.