May 2018 : May be the time to trade old Betsy in*


*As long as your not trading her in for an SUV.

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With a few exceptions, Passenger Cars aren’t selling well.  Is all about Trucks and SUV’s. Now if your like me, that may be a good thing.  Auto Manufactures are offering deep discounts on passengers.    With a little nudging a savvy shoppers can get discounts as high as 28% on New 2018, Dodge, Chrysler, Fiat, Hyundai and Kia.

Walk around a Cadillac Dealership and you may find a new 2017 ATS at a price lower than a 2018 Toyota Camry. The average incentive per vehicle is currently around $3,500. However its not uncommon to find huge incentives on luxury cars.

For May, BMW is offering 0.9% to 3.9% financing for up to 36 months. Up to $1,500 cash back on some models . Hidden dealer incentives of up to $3,500.

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Are The American Automakers giving up on Cars? 

https://sacratomatovillepost.com/2018/05/21/are-the-american-auto-manufacturers-giving-up-on-cars/

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Chrysler/Dodge: Cash rebates up to $3,000 on some models. 0% financing up to 72 months. Hidden dealer incentives of up to $1,000.

Ford: 0% financing on most models. Rebates as high as $3,500 on some models.

Honda: 0.9% to 2.9% financing on some models. Hidden dealer incentives of up to $1,000 on some 2018 models

Hyundai/Kia: Up to $2,500 cash rebate on some 2018 models. 0.9% – 4.9% financing on some models.

Lexus: Cash rebates up to $7,000 on some models. Great lease deals all across the board.

Its very possible you may find a better deal on a new car then a used car.

 

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Are the American auto manufacturers giving up on cars?


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A few years ago, familiar American nameplates started to disappear, Plymouth, Mercury, Oldsmobile, Pontiac victims of overcapacity.    These models share most components with other corporate models.   Plymouth shared engines, suspensions with Chrysler and Dodge. Mercury with Ford and Lincoln.   Chevrolet, Buick shared parts with Oldsmobile and Pontiac.

American manufactures have long struggled building fuel efficient cars. This was evident in the 70’s when fuel charges increased and in low supply.   Toyota, Nissan and other Japanese automakers flourished and established a sizable foothold on the American market.  While then the big four ,General Motors, Chrysler, Ford and American Motors struggled.

Where American dominate, is trucks. The Ford F-150, has been the best selling vehicle in the United States for more the 30 years.  At GM and Chrysler its the same, trucks.  While they sold more cars,  profit was in the truck business.

Today, trucks and SUV’s are the best selling vehicles. In 2016, Chrysler announced they were discontinuing the Dodge Dart and the Chrysler 200 to focus on Suv’s and trucks.   Chrysler currently sells three car models, Chrysler 300, Dodge Challenger and Dodge Charger all three model share the same platform that dates back to 2005.   Chrysler sells 8 Suv models.

Last month the Ford Motor Company announced in the next few years they plan to discontinue every car except the Focus Hatchback which will be assembled in China and the Mustang.   They cite profitability.

General Motors, said they may discontinue the Chevy Sonic and the slow selling Impala.

Every Automaker is experiencing slower auto sales .  However, none of the Japanese and  Korean auto makers plan to discontinue car.   For 2018, GM released an all new Buick Regal sportback and wagon.  Toyota introduced an all new Camry and Avalon.  Honda, an all new Accord.   Nissan a new Altima.  Volkswagen and Subaru have introduced all new models.

Could History Repeat Itself ?

A lot of capitol is needed to build  fuel efficient vehicles.   The industry has spent hundreds of millions to develop and build new fuel efficient, engines and transmissions in addition to being fuel efficient the vehicles are laden with mandated safety equipment.

Ford was one of first american automaker to equip most of their car and truck fleet with turbo charged engines and aluminum it its truck and Suv’s.  While GM and Chrysler truck fleet have the old school V8 engines, Ford uses smaller displacement 4 and 6 cylinder turbo engines.  The investment has paid huge dividends for Ford.  Demand is up for the F-150 pickup.  The full size Ford  Expedition and one hundred thousand dollar Black Label Lincoln Navigators are flying off dealer lots.

American automakers have historically resisted building fuel efficient cars.  The fuel crises in the seventies took a toll an American automakers as car buyers bought smaller more fuel efficient cars.    Toyota, Datsun (Nissan) flourished and gained a major foothold in the North American Market. Chrysler went bankrupt.  (A loan from the Government saved Chrysler)

American automakers hasn’t successfully found the secret sauce in building a small car.  But they were coming close.  Instead of starting with a fresh piece a paper, they imported existing models from their foreign subsidiaries.   The Ford Focus and the Chevy Cruze are built on a global platform.  What they aren’t, is profitable.

Low gas prices has driven the market. The hot segment is the compact SUV and the large SUV’s,  Toyota’s Rav’s 4 and Nissan’s Rogue are on fire.  With gasoline prices on the rise, will history repeat itself?     Ford unlike Toyota ,has not expanded their hybrid technology.  Toyota has three hybrid passenger cars, and two Suv’s .   Ford currently has two hybrid passengers cars .  Ford says future  F-150, Mustang, Explorer, Escape and returning Bronco with have hybrid options.  However there is no specific date to when these vehicles will come to market.   Gasoline prices nations wide as of this date is $2.92 a gallon (a three year high) by late summer, based on current projections we may see $3.60.  (California $4.20) .  History:  Should fuel prices remain high, it will have an impact on sales.

Who will Survive? 

Of the domestic automakers. Chrysler is by far, the most vulnerable to high fuel prices, the only fuel efficient car option is the slow selling Fiat 500.    Ford can weather the storm for 2018 and they have the option of extending the execution date of its Fusions and Fiesta’s currently piled high on dealers lots.   General Motors has the best mix of cars and trucks.   It currently offers a diesel option on a few of its Suv’s, it has the successful electric Chevy Bolt and can quickly adapt that technology to future models.

The Competition?

If fuel prices continue to increase, the Japanese and Korean automakers are in the best position. Toyota and Nissan has the largest selections.  Nissan is the only foreign automakers to offer compact to full size trucks and full size cargo/passenger vans.

Volkswagen wants to be a serious player in the North American Market, its has a well rounded fleet with vehicles achieving 40mpg.    In the last few years VW has  introduced an astounding, 6 new models with a new luxury midsize due this fall. For 2018, the company now has a new 6 year 72,000 mile, bumper to bumper warranty in the US.  Unlike Hyundai/Kia the warranty is completely transferable.

The Hyundai Group, which saw a dramatic drop in sales of its mid size Sonata and Optima mid size sedans.  Is committed to sedan . Despite slow sales, Hyundai  has introduced 3 new hybrids and four subcompact and compact cars.  Hyundai is planning to bring an all electric Suv, the Hyundai Kona to market this fall with a range of 250 miles.

Ford was the only American automaker that survived the last economic downturn.  Will their plans for the North American market hurt them in the long run?   FCA has had several lives in North America, will their reliance on an Suv’s and trucks finally seal their fate?   Will General Motors follow suit?

News at 11

Cityfella

 

 

 

 

Market 5 one 5 is just what Sacramento Needs Right Now!


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Market 5 one 5 opened Tuesday. The store hits all the right buttons for a single and small family professionals living/working in Downtown/Midtown Sacramento.

ONE” is an acronym that references Organic, Nutrition and Education.

Market 5 one 5 is a new division of Raley’s, however it is managed separately.  The store is one fifth the size of the average supermarket in Sacramento. What you wont find is a drug store, bakery and medical offices found in other area supermarkets.  Will find a large selection of organic and healthy choices.

Hungry?  Market 5 one 5 offers hot cooked food, that the customer can scoop up and take home or enjoy their choices at one of the two eating areas in the store along with a glass or beer and wine.

With a butcher on duty, shoppers have the option of choosing a precut meats or selecting a cut.  Fresh Sushi is available as is freshly prepared sandwiches .

Owner Michael Teel calls the Market 5 one 5 a boutique grocery store. I call it a Lifestyle store. Where the shopper has convenient ready to go options healthy options and isn’t likely to encounter the lines of a typical supermarket.

Armed with my trusty fully charged cell phone I took a few pictures on opening day.

 

Market 5 one 5 is perfect for individual with an active lifestyle its. Its just what the downtown/midtown urban warrior needs

Cityfella

Market 5 one 5 915 R Street (10th and R )

Hours 7am to 10pm/ Friday and Saturday 7am to Midnight

Big Luxury SUV’s “Detroit is Crushing Competition”


Photos: 2018 Lincoln Navigator Black Label

Top Row, Lincoln Black Label Navigator Bottom Row Cadillac Escapade 

By Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press

Detroit knows big SUVs.  It knows how to make ’em. It knows how to sell ’em.

Automakers based in Detroit or Dearborn have built nearly one of every three large luxury SUVs sold this year.

Still, orders for the Lincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade continue to roll in.

Large luxury SUV sales have grown 12.5% through March compared with the same time last year. While a relatively small segment, the vehicles deliver the biggest profit margin.

“They’re money machines,” said John McElroy, a longtime industry observer and TV host of “Autoline.”

In fact, the segment is growing more than six times faster than light vehicles.

Lincoln is unable to fill the orders as fast as they come in, so the company doesn’t have a clear picture of the Navigator’s full potential at this point.

“These two truck-based SUVs are really at the heart of what Detroit has done well,” said Brian Moody, executive editor of Autotrader. “Big trucks, lots of power. Five years ago, I thought Lincoln wasn’t ever going to get it. I feel like someone finally said, ‘We’ve got to stop chasing other people and be who we are.’ In life, isn’t that always the best advice?”

Prices are setting records for Ford Motor Co.

The average transaction price for the 2018 Lincoln Navigator topped $80,000 per vehicle in March, showing strong growth, noted Erich Merkle, U.S. sales analyst for Ford.

Plus, Ford and General Motors make an even higher return on their investment because the companies run massive production of full-size trucks that share a platform and mechanical components with the SUVs.

“The luxury SUV was originally a product of Detroit. Now they’re standing their ground and digging in their heels,” said Dave Sullivan, a product analysis manager at AutoPacific Inc. “It’s just not something any Asian or European brand could pull off. They just can’t get away with some of the more brash, in-your-face, larger-than-life styling that the Detroit brands do.”

During the first three months of 2018, shoppers purchased 40,521 large luxury SUVs, up from 36,008 a year earlier. Escalade saw 8% growth while Navigator jumped 63%. With the addition of the Range Rover Velar, Land Rover sales jumped 39% in the large luxury SUV segment. The Infiniti QX80 is the only other model experiencing an increase, at 5%.

At the same time, sales have fallen for the Mercedes GLS, Lexus LX, Range Rover and Range Rover Sport.

The Detroit 2 appear to be getting stronger.

“Since the Ford F-150, Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra are such high-volume products and economies of scale are easily achieved, this gives the American automakers a significant advantage over the competition when it comes to research and development,” said Jessica Caldwell, executive director of data strategy at Edmunds.

With “full credit to Lincoln,” the Navigator launch has focused attention on the full size luxury SUV segment and Escalade has benefited, said Jim Cain, senior manager of sales reporting at General Motors. Anytime there’s growth in luxury, it reflects overall consumer confidence in the economy, he said.

Meanwhile, the new Navigator has redefined Lincoln.

“The redesigned Lincoln Navigator is the hot new vehicle for shoppers who like their SUVs large, luxurious and eye-catching, which is a problem for the long-reigning champion in that category, the Cadillac Escalade,” Caldwell said.

“While Cadillac is working hard to shift their development from cars to SUVs, the new Lincoln SUVs have gained an edge quickly and pose a much larger threat to the burgeoning Cadillac utility lineup than anticipated.”

In March 2017, only 8% of Escalade shoppers also looked at Navigator. Last month, 22% of Escalade customers also looked at Navigator, Edmunds data shows.

Meanwhile, the Navigator shopper statistics remained constant.

In March 2017, 14% of Navigator shoppers also looked at Escalade. Last month, 15% of Navigator customers also looked at Escalade.

Now Cadillac is offering $10,000 discounts to Escalade owners through May 2018 to “keep them in the family,” Cain said. The sum is considered notable and comes in the last year of production for the current model of Escalade.

General Motors is watching Navigator carefully. One analyst compared the intense competition to the legendary battle between the Ford Mustang and Chevy Camaro.

Adam Jonas, head of global auto research for Morgan Stanley, estimated the Escalade creates about $1 billion in profit for GM annually.

No question, Navigator is wooing customers from competitors.

Kirk English, a retired supermarket store director from Reno, Nev., is waiting patiently for delivery of the $81,205 black velvet Navigator Reserve he ordered in mid-January.

“The Navigator was built Feb. 5. I have contacted Lincoln to get my ‘toy’ out of Kentucky and into California,” English said. “I had to drive to California to buy my Navigator because there is no dealership in Reno. Hopefully this will be resolved soon.”

Don Sadler, a communications executive from Miami, reports the delivery delay is over for his $92,495 Navigator Reserve L. Celebration may include a road trip to Key West, “and a vodka rocks is definitely on the agenda.”

Lincoln spokeswoman Angie Kozleski, who acknowledged delivery delays due to a national rail car shortage, said, “We’re working to get our vehicles into the hands of customers and dealers as fast as possible.”

Navigator is built in Louisville, Ky., while Escalade is manufactured in Arlington, Texas.

Fiat Chrysler is developing a large luxury SUV expected to be called the Jeep Grand Wagoneer in an attempt to capture a piece of the action.

Canada: Trudeau under fire as Trans Mountain pipeline opposition grows


Trudeau under fire as Trans Mountain pipeline opposition grows

Indigenous leaders and environmentalists march in protest against Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline in southern British Columbia [File: Nick Didlick/Reuters

Canadian PM vows to push through a $5bn oil pipeline project, but indigenous leaders say it ‘will never be built’.

By: Jillian Kestler-D’Amours\Al Jazzera

Montreal – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been widely criticised for vowing to get a multibillion-dollar oil pipeline project built in the face of widespread, indigenous-led opposition that is mounting across Canada.

The prime minister said on Sunday that his government plans to hold a “formal financial discussion” with the proponent of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, Texas oil corporation Kinder Morgan.

“We are going to get the pipeline built. It is a project in the national interest,” Trudeau told Canadian media.

But that pledge was immediately shot down by indigenous leaders who have emerged at the forefront of a grassroots campaign against the Trans Mountain project.

The pipeline is proving to be the biggest challenge to Trudeau since his 2015 election, when the now-prime minister ran on promises to protect the environment and build a new relationship with First Nations based on reconciliation.

“[Trudeau is] on the public record saying that governments provide permits and communities provide consent,” said Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, president of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs.

“Clearly, the indigenous community, as well as the citizens of British Columbia, have not provided consent or social licence for this project to proceed,” Phillip said at a press conference this week, reiterating his opposition to Trans Mountain.

‘The answer is still no’

The $5bn Trans Mountain project would twin an existing 1,150km pipeline, allowing it to ship up to 890,000 barrels of oil a day from the Alberta tar sands to the coast of British Columbia (BC), in western Canada, for shipment to Asia and other markets.

Trudeau approved the project in 2016, saying it would bolster Canada’s economy and create new jobs.
Several lawsuits have been filed against the pipeline, however.

Opponents say it endangers waterways and marine ecosystems, threatens the health of communities, will actually lead to a loss of jobs, and violates indigenous land rights.

More recently, activists have been arrested for blocking construction on oil transport terminals in BC and thousands have protested against the pipeline.

Thousands march in protest against Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline in southern British Columbia [File: Nick Didlick/Reuters]

While Ottawa says the project was approved after a thorough consultation process, several First Nations along the pipeline route say they remain firmly against it.

“The whole issue of consultation is a red herring. It’s a distraction because … the legal bar has been raised to consent. There is no consent,” Phillip said.

“The answer is still ‘no’. The Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline will never be built.”

Canada-wide debate

The pipeline emerged at the centre of a national debate this month after Kinder Morgan issued what many critics of the project viewed as an ultimatum to the Canadian government.

On April 8, the company said it would stop allocating shareholder resources to the project and suspend “non-essential activities and related spending” as it seeks “clarity on the path forward”.

Kinder Morgan specifically called out the BC government, which has been a vocal opponent of Trans Mountain, as the main hurdle in getting the project built. It did not mention active indigenous opposition, however.

The company said it would consult stakeholders and come to a decision by May 31.

In response, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, Jim Carr, reaffirmed Ottawa’s support for getting the pipeline built and echoed Trudeau by saying the project “is in the national interest”.

“This crucial resource project will expand export markets for Canadian resources and create thousands of good, middle-class jobs and no one should be standing in the way of those jobs and the families that stand to benefit,” Carr said in a statement.

Ottawa said it will seek to reassure Kinder Morgan of the economic viability of the project, but the government has not explicitly said whether it will offer the company financial support, and if so, how much.

“We are determined to find a solution. With all our partners, we continue to consider all available options. As our prime minister has said, this pipeline will be built,” Carr said.

Federal jurisdiction

Ottawa has also painted the problem as a struggle between federal and provincial jurisdiction. Under the country’s constitution, the federal government has the final say over national projects that cut across multiple provinces.

Trudeau said his government would consider tabling new legislation to reaffirm that the federal government has jurisdiction over these types of projects.

Provincial leaders, meanwhile, have emerged on opposite sides of the issue.

Rachel Notley, the premier of Alberta, home to Canada’s sizeable tar sands oil reserves, is unsurprisingly strongly in favour of the project.

“The federal government, along with the government of Alberta, has commenced discussions with Kinder Morgan to establish a financial relationship that will eliminate investor risk,” Notley said on Sunday.

For his part, BC Premier John Horgan has been a vocal opponent of Trans Mountain.

The BC government recently proposed a measure to make it more difficult to transport oil through the province, and mayors, federal parliament members and other officials across BC have also voiced their unequivocal opposition to the pipeline.

“The prime minister has failed on this project. He is blowing this into a national crisis because of his mishandling of this file,” said Kennedy Stewart, an MP in Burnaby, BC, which recently hosted a march against Trans Mountain.

The government of Quebec even waded into the fray last week, after a minister published an open letter that criticised the Trudeau government for attempting to impose its will unilaterally on the provinces.

Opposition to other pipeline projects has been particularly strong in the past years in the French-speaking province, which has historically been a staunch defender of rights at the provincial level.

‘Our rights haven’t been honoured’

But for indigenous peoples, the Trans Mountain pipeline is just one example of the deeper problem of various levels of government in Canada bulldozing over their rights.

“This land was given to us by our ancestors and it is our responsibility as elected leaders to protect that land for our children and their children,” said Khelsilem, a spokesperson for the Squamish Nation Council in BC, on Monday.

“We have rights as a nation that have not been met or honoured,” he said.

A protester listens to speeches at a protest rally against Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline in southern British Columbia [File: Nick Didlick/Reuters]

Chief Bob Chamberlin, vice president of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs, said the Canadian government’s support for Trans Mountain also goes against its commitment to respect the United Nations Declaration for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

Canada signed on to UNDRIP in 2016 and the declaration states that countries must obtain “free, prior and informed consent” before undertaking any actions that may affect indigenous peoples.

While the current focus is on the Trans Mountain pipeline, in particular, Chamberlin said the debate stems from a deeper issue.

“The underlying, fundamental issue for Canada is the fact that since the beginning of this country they have system disregarded aboriginal rights, aboriginal peoples, and exploited the lands and resources that our own peoples for others’ enjoyment,” he said.

“When a company from the United States declares that May 31 is the drop-deadline to go forward, this is an ultimatum to the Canadian government to run over and disregard the human rights of aboriginal people in Canada,” Chamberlin continued.

“I want to believe that Canadians find this unacceptable.”

Honda: Ugly at no additional charge?


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I like Honda”s, the company builds very competent vehicles that do most things well.    While Mazda’s are more fun to drive, Honda are more livable and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend any Honda.

The Honda Accord has been around for more than four decades.  No car, Mercedes Benz, BMW,has appeared on Car and Drivers Magazine’s “10 Best” more than the Honda Accord. It has won many award all over the world.

The Accord was the first Japanese car manufactured in America.  For nearly ten years the Honda Accord has been the second best selling car in the United States, only behind the Toyota Camry.   While more people are buying SUV’s than passengers cars.  The Accord remains very important to Honda.

For 2018, The Accord and Toyota Camry are all new.  Japanese cars are typically conservatively styled. No extreme curves or creases.   This year, the gloves are off, as the two vehicles attempt to slow the slide of market share.

2018 Honda Accord

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2018 Toyota Camry

2018 Toyota Camry: America's Favorite Sedan Is All-New

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The news has been good for Toyota. The Camry sales are up nearly 13% for the year.    Sales for the Honda Accord, the car that won the prestigious North American Car of the Year and The Canadian Car of the Year, is down nearly 15%

Could it be the wrapper?  

I think the stylist at Honda have lost their way.  First at Acura its luxury brand.  It seemed the stylist focused all their attention on the front of the car with its complex lighting and slabs of chrome.

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2018 Acura RLX

Honda revealed the new corporate grill in the 2016 Honda Civic.

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A thick and heavy piece of chrome with an “H” in the center.   The saving grace for the Civic is it’s unique rear lighting.  Charles Fleming of the Los Angeles Times said the Civic was bland.  While there was love for the performance of the top spec Civic Type “R”. few had positive words for its styling.   Saying the car was overdone with “too much of everything”

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Car and Driver said: The Type R’s flaws are plain to see for anyone over the age of 19. The designers appear to have drawn inspiration from fly swatters, anime hairstyles, and suspicious growths. And the interior team must have used their year’s allotment of red Sharpies coloring the seats and the lower half of the steering wheel, because they all but stopped at the B-pillar, dressing the rear only with perfunctory red stitching and belts. On the upside, think of all the money you’ll save when you can’t find a more garish fiberglass body kit for your Honda.

Which brings us back to the Accord.   Last summer Kelly Pleskot of Motor Trend asked its readers was the New Accord Refreshing or Revolting ? Christian Wardlaw of the New York  thought the Accord  looked sensational, especially in comparison to what will be its primary competitor, the new 2018 Toyota Camry. Dan Wise of  the  St Louis Post Dispatch  Said the styling is polarizing.     Car and Driver saysIt’s certainly the most elegant-looking Accord since the sleek, pop -up headlight model ,from the late 1980s, and its body thankfully avoids much of the surface excitement that plagues the latest Civic. The front-end styling has proved polarizing among our ranks, but from any other angle, it’s undeniably a handsome piece.

DESIGNERS NEEDED STAT!

Apply at the Honda Design Center in Cailfornia

 

Its likely the face of the Accord, will be refreshed for next year.   However the sales year isn’t over and waiting in the wings is the 2019 Nissan Altima (the 3rd best selling midsize car) which should arrive at dealership early summer.

There are cracks over at Honda.   Sales have slowed for the (10th generation) Civic now in its third year. It is slightly ahead of the Toyota Corolla(11th generation) now in its fifth year.

Sales are also down for the Honda’s best selling vechicle CR-V (5th generation) in its second year is down nearly 19% for the year while sales are up for the Nissan Rouge (2nd generation) 20% in its fifth year in production  The Toyota Rav4 is the best selling SUV in the US.  The fourth generation is now its its sixth year.  The fifth generation is due to hit the showrooms this summer.

The heat is ON!

.Mazda is quieting their vechicles to make them more competative.  Hyundai and Kia having raided Audi and BMW engineeers and designers, are preparing for their third act Genesis.

At the end of the day, what we drive is an extention of who we are and who wants to be bland?

CityFella

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Space X” Elon Musk is an immigrant from one of Trumps S***hole Countries


Image result for elon musk spacex

 

On Tuesday, the nation was temporarily distracted from the State of our union and watched the successful launch of Falcon Heavy, the world most powerful rocket from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

Space Exploration Technologies Corp (Space X) wants the reduce the cost of space travel. One day it hopes transport humans to other planets.

The Founder and CEO of the company is Elon Musk is an immigrant from South Africa. He is also the CEO of Tesla, the company that single handedly made electric cars cool.  On the top of Falcon Heavy was a Tesla Roadster.

The 46 year old billionaire became a US Citizen in 2002

CityFella