Tesla Motors Tests China and Boeing Increases Dreamliner Production

Boeing reports earnings next week and investors hope the company will continue to ramp up production to fill its massive backlog of orders.

Jan 24, 2014 at 3:00PM

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) is trading about 250 points lower, or 1.5%, in midafternoon trading after market concerns weighed on investors. Demand for safer assets rose and sent Treasury bonds higher again today as investors continued to worry about this week's downbeat manufacturing data from China. As earnings season continues look for two big quarterly reports next week from industrial Dow components Boeing (NYSE:BA)  and Caterpillar. With that in mind, here are some companies making headlines.


Boeing's 787 Dreamliner rolling out of its Everett plant. Source: Boeing.

Boeing announced today that it has rolled out the first 787 Dreamliner built at the increased rate of 10 airplanes per month. The improved rate is the highest ever for a twin-aisle airplane and marks the third increase in production rate in just over a year's time. It's also double the rate of five planes that were produced as recently as November 2012.

Increasing the production rate will be a big focus for Boeing and its investors in order to cash in on the company's massive and ever-growing backlog of orders. Adding orders from last fall's Dubai Airshow, the backlog will stand at roughly $500 billion.

"The entire 787 team is now focused on capturing efficiencies at this historic level of production, as well as meeting our commitment to increase the production rate to 12 per month in 2016 and to 14 per month by the end of the decade," Larry Loftis, vice president and general manager, 787 program, said in a press release.

Model S Blue Front

Tesla's Model S. Source: Tesla Motors.

Outside the Dow, Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) again defied industry norms this week when it announced it wouldn't hike the price of its vehicles in China, the world's largest automotive market, by more than necessary. The Model S will go on sale in China for about 734,000 yuan, equal to $121,280, which is a 50% premium to the same vehicle found in the U.S. market.

"The price of a Model S in China is the same as the price of a Model S in the U.S., adding only unavoidable taxes, customs duties and transportation costs," the car maker said in a statement on its website, according to Bloomberg. "If we were to follow standard industry practice, we could get away with charging twice as much for the Model S in China as we do in the U.S."

The move comes as the electric car maker prepares to test demand in China, which has faced obstacles to its target of having 5 million alternative energy-powered vehicles by 2020. Tesla is still in the infancy of expanding its EV infrastructure with supercharger networks in North America, Europe, and China. When that systems is built out it should give Tesla a huge advantage over the EV competition as the market for electric-powered vehicles grows. 

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Fool contributor Daniel Miller has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Tesla Motors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Tesla Motors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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