Machining Industry Scuttlebutt

By Lloyd Graff

Tesla Motors went public this week. The company’s all electric roadster has not been a resounding success financially or mechanically, but has been a publicity magnet. Elon Musk, one of the company’s founders has an amazing track record as an entrepreneur. He has Toyota money behind him now and the modern Nummi factory in the Bay Area to make the new versions of Tesla cars. Tesla chose not to participate in the X Prize competition to produce a production-capable 100-mile-per-gallon car, but the company could still be a big big winner over the next 10 years.


Prices for nice CNC machinery at auction show some firmness in the market. On June 29, James Murphy Auctioneers sold a 2007 NV5000 A1B40, 20” x 50” table for $135,000. The machine had a Lyndex Nikken 5th axis trunnion. A 2005 NV5000A140 Mori 23 x 30 table brought $102,000. The sale of New Concepts in Redmond, Washington, also had a Mori DuraCenter 2005, which sold for $67,000 and a Doosan 3016, 2006 which fetched $25,000. A Zeiss CMM Contoura G2 2006 fetched $61,000.

On the same day Thompson Auction Co. sold Sherman Tool near Dayton. Two Hurco VMX 30 machines new in 2004 sold for $40,000 each, while a little Okuma ES-6 new in 2007 brought $35,000 and a 1998 Okuma Cadet with a 16” chuck brought $45,000.

Last week at a Winternitz sale near Duluth, Minnesota, a 2008 240-C Doosan 3-axis lathe sold for $49,000.

I would describe these prices as reasonably strong, particularly for the Hurcos. On the other hand a couple sales in Michigan, MetaVision in Traverse City and a Hilco and Maynards Auction in Detroit, were softer for machines that ran mostly automotive related stuff. Dealers bought the bulk of the equipment, and at Metavision a lot of older cam equipment went straight to the scrap yards.


Statistics from the Precision Machined Products Association indicate that business amongst its member companies has made a full V–shaped recovery over the last 18 months. After business dropped by a third during the worst of the recession in the spring of 2009, it regained the base level of sales in May of 2010. The ascent of automotive business to the still not so lofty level of 11.5 million units and the rebuilding of paltry inventories everywhere have fueled the resurgence. Weak home sales, tepid employment growth and a depressing stock market have eroded confidence in June, but as the BP mess slips from the news and the stats show the world wasn’t coming to an end confidence will come back.

Question: Do you believe Wall Street insiders are manipulating the market to make President Obama look bad?

Telsa Roadster charging (Photo from Treehugger)

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11 thoughts on “Machining Industry Scuttlebutt

  1. Randy Eenigenburg

    No – no business can survive too much debt, not even government business – Obama and his party of cronies currently in the majority are quick to blame a former administration(s) but the 5 years prior to his senate seat and white house tenure showed decreasing deficits. Wall street is simply responding to the obvious – the massive upswing in our debt level and the uncertainty and taxation that follows.

  2. LtCol Ray

    He didn’t need help to look bad. The man is a monster, and seems fully committed to the destruction of America and our freedoms.

  3. Marc Klecka

    LtColRay beat me to the punch. Our President needs no help looking bad. This Ohioan is sick and tired of his endless Chicago-style campaigning. Thankfully, our customer base continues to strive forward despite Obama-led efforts to destroy what has made America strong and proud.

  4. allenmc

    Your Question: Do you believe Wall Street insiders are manipulating the market to make President Obama look bad?

    My Response: Are you serious? What a stupid question!! Obama and his administration are orchestrating the largest socialistic movement in the history of our government. It’s all on purpose! This is all part of the plan. They know this is their one and only chance. And of course they want people like you to look at “Wall Street” or anywhere else for the blame. Bone up! Look at what is really going on! It’s a trap! Wake up America!! Damn this makes me mad! I will not give in or give up! My voice will be heard! Don’t Tread on Me!!

  5. Buelldog

    Only a devoted Obama admirer/supporter would ask such a question, in such a manner. I guess I already know your opinion on the matter…

  6. Daniel Richter

    Only a liberal would ask such a question. Of course you’re familiar with politics “Chicago style” but the country is getting an education about how the Chicago Machine works. And worse yet, I can’t imagine any Jew being an Obama fan (Rahm Emanual and Eleana Kaegan excluded). I’ve never felt such hatred towards Jews specifically and towards regular Americans in general from my government. It’s scary. Obama is Wall Street’s boy (please…I don’t mean that in a racist way) and there’s a revolving door between Goldman Sachs and Federal Government. He lectures Wall Street with a little “wink-wink”. They know he has to. If anything, they want him to look good, but market forces are prevailing even in our “skewed by government regulation/Goldman Sachs” marketplace. If the government would just STOP SPENDING and get out of the way of entrepreneurs, the stock market would be just fine.

  7. Steven Horn

    I don’t feel that Obama needs anyones help to look like an idiot. He manages on his own perfectly well. The world can see how inept the man is as the President. Good job on the Oil Pres. Lloyd one day you’ll get a clue.

  8. Richard Stradler

    I second the stupid question retort: Wall Street is actually the only true indicator of just how bad things really are gettting.

  9. Ian Baxter

    I viewed the previous comments with interest, especially that of Daniel Richter. You don’t have to bring religion into the subject to find people with issues against your President. Just try being British!

    I live in the UK and have great sympathy for the tragic oil spill in the Gulf. However Obama’s tactic of blaming the Brits is putting a huge strain on the country who have allways been your strongest supporters.

    BP (they have not been called British Petroleum for 6 years!) is 40% US owned. The company who were opperating the drill rig were US based. We heard no condemnation when the US owned Piper Alpha rig exploded in the North Sea several years ago with the loss of 164 souls, mostly Brits!

    From our perspective in the UK he is a drowning man blaming everyone else for his decision to jump in the pond in the first instance!


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