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An audiophile and petrolhead's journal: Buckle up! - Page 270

post #4036 of 9498
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magick Man View Post

BTW, you heard it from me first, Ralph Lauren is in deep financial doo-doo. He's burning through personal assets to keep his company afloat, because it's taking on water like the Titanic. Why does that matter? Well, it means that part of his collection is quietly going up for sale. About 500 cars from the Sultan of Brunei's collection are going up too, to be sold through Alain Class Motors in Dubai (the largest supercar dealer in the world). I'm waiting for lists, but I'll post up the interesting lots here for you consideration. biggrin.gif

I'm happy that both of them aren't dumb enough to force-flood the market all at once with an auction. Alain Class is definitely not a classic car dealer of any renown, but it's one of the preeminent supercar dealers of our day and will attract the crowd that both RL and the Sultan are looking for.

post #4037 of 9498
Quote:
Originally Posted by veyrongatti View Post

^^ Is Ralph Lauren the Polo shirt company?


Yes, and apparently the former Rugby apparel maker as well. They closed down the whole Rugby operation so judging by the timing of the auction, things must be pretty bad.

 

Having to put personal money into your public company is usually a very last ditch effort.

post #4038 of 9498
Hmm - according to yahoo finance, Ralph Lauren is the largest direct insider, but he only owns 540K shares. That's less than 1%. The financials don't look horrible - RL has almost $1B in cash and the debt doesn't look bad.

It certainly wouldn't surprise me that another business that depends primarily on brick & mortar retail would be sucking wind.

I wonder if the issue could be personal finance trouble for Mr. Lauren instead of corporate trouble?
post #4039 of 9498
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by veyrongatti View Post

^^ Is Ralph Lauren the Polo shirt company?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hutnicks View Post


Yes, and apparently the former Rugby apparel maker as well. They closed down the whole Rugby operation so judging by the timing of the auction, things must be pretty bad.

Having to put personal money into your public company is usually a very last ditch effort.

Correct. On paper, the man is worth >$7B, however that doesn't reflect his available liquid assets. Right now he's selling off investments to try and keep his company afloat.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssrock64 View Post

I'm happy that both of them aren't dumb enough to force-flood the market all at once with an auction. Alain Class is definitely not a classic car dealer of any renown, but it's one of the preeminent supercar dealers of our day and will attract the crowd that both RL and the Sultan are looking for.

On the one hand I'm a little sad to see Ralph lose part of his collection, they're well cared for and he's been a good owner as far as keeping them in running condition (though they aren't being driven enough). With the sultan I don't have any regrets. He's an absentee owner, letting most of the cars rust and rot in warehouses, without having ever been driven. The faster those leave his possession, the better of they'll be.

So far, what I've been relayed from Dubai are; a bunch of Bentleys, Rollers, Rovers, a few Maybachs, older Ferrari Testarossas, 355s, 360s, etc. (all those junk now due to neglect). Same goes for some "regular" Lambos, all junk now. The cool cars; a `96 Dauer 962 LM eek.gif, a silver Jaguar XJ220, a factory black F40, a blue Cizeta V16T, a Lamborghini Reventon (still wrapped in delivery plastic), a BRG Aston DB AR1, and a Ruf CTR3.
post #4040 of 9498
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post

Hmm - according to yahoo finance, Ralph Lauren is the largest direct insider, but he only owns 540K shares. That's less than 1%. The financials don't look horrible - RL has almost $1B in cash and the debt doesn't look bad.

It certainly wouldn't surprise me that another business that depends primarily on brick & mortar retail would be sucking wind.

I wonder if the issue could be personal finance trouble for Mr. Lauren instead of corporate trouble?

Wouldn't surprise me if Ralph's people have been cooking the books either, and that $1B in cash isn't a reality. Otherwise, I can't see why he'd be selling some of his cars.
post #4041 of 9498
I was just watching the Daytona Prototype and GT race at Road America. A couple of things struck me...

1) Whoever is doing the marketing for these races is an idiot. All of the focus is on the drivers and the teams - not on the cars. The announcers talk incessantly about the drivers and their teams, and when I went to the series web site, it was the same - I wanted to know something about the cars themselves - and it was really hard to find any information beyond the windshield graphic that says "BMW Powered" or the red car being a Ferrari. I don't know these drivers (other than hearing familiar family names like Fittipaldi) and I also don't know the teams. OK, I do know the Chip Ganassi name, but Sahlen? Never heard of it. If these series want to actually draw interest from automotive fans, they might try actually focusing on the cars! I think this is one of the biggest things missing in car racing today - many of the cars are no longer directly linked to an automotive marque, and that means people aren't going to care about who wins. I might root for a BMW or Ferrari, but I won't root for "Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates". rolleyes.gif

2) Companies that sponsor high-dollar race cars baffle me. I can certainly understand Castrol sponsoring John Force, or Ferrari sponsoring F1 racing, but why does a company like Sahlen spend huge bucks sponsoring a team of Daytona Prototype cars? After googling, I learned that Sahlen is an old NY-based meat processor. The owner of the company is a member of the racing team, so I guess that makes sense - but it still seems like a dumb business move. I suppose the king of this nonsense is Larry Ellison and the Oracle America's Cup yacht racing teams. In Oracle's case, I'm betting that the corporate sponsorship is probably actually much less than Larry's personal investment - but he makes sure the Oracle logo is the most prominent. I can't imagine the Oracle board of directors & shareholders would allow it to be any other way. If it's their personal money, then I guess it's their's to spend anyway they wish...
post #4042 of 9498
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post

2) Companies that sponsor high-dollar race cars baffle me. I can certainly understand Castrol sponsoring John Force, or Ferrari sponsoring F1 racing, but why does a company like Sahlen spend huge bucks sponsoring a team of Daytona Prototype cars? After googling, I learned that Sahlen is an old NY-based meat processor. The owner of the company is a member of the racing team, so I guess that makes sense - but it still seems like a dumb business move. I suppose the king of this nonsense is Larry Ellison and the Oracle America's Cup yacht racing teams. In Oracle's case, I'm betting that the corporate sponsorship is probably actually much less than Larry's personal investment - but he makes sure the Oracle logo is the most prominent. I can't imagine the Oracle board of directors & shareholders would allow it to be any other way. If it's their personal money, then I guess it's their's to spend anyway they wish...

You'd be surprised how much attention the America's Cup garners for Oracle. There's usually more than a few mainstream outlets that do articles and snippets from the cup, and there are a lot of sailors who pay attention.

 

But yeah, that's Ellison's passion money. Considering Oracle's recent corporate history (being kicked off the top stock list by Tesla, etc.), that may be in danger of ending soon.

post #4043 of 9498
A significant part of the last 20+ years of my career have been spent working with Oracle & Oracle products. With that said, I absolutely *loathe* Oracle. The number of good software products and companies that have been ruined by Oracle is almost endless. If I could figure out a way to never have to work with Oracle products, Oracle Sales or Oracle Support ever again - I would be a very happy man!

Companies swallowed and ruined by being acquired by Oracle:
Siebel
Peoplesoft
Sun
MySql
Primavera
RightNow
Endeca
Oblix
Thor
Stellent
Demantra
Hyperion
BEA
Pillar
Agile

And many, many more... redface.gif
post #4044 of 9498
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magick Man View Post


Wouldn't surprise me if Ralph's people have been cooking the books either, and that $1B in cash isn't a reality. Otherwise, I can't see why he'd be selling some of his cars.


Unfortunately you can legally cook the books these days and actually get approval for it. Enron being the biggest culprit there. Followed closely by RIMjob, sorry now Blackberry inc. Their entire business model was reliant upon never taking a single product back.

 

 In the mid couture world of Ralph with a quarter year product life, I can very well see some shennanigans being played out. He should have bought out North Face or Arc'Teryx when he had the chance.

 

 

I seem to recall Ralph having a very stellar example of the Ferrari 250 California at one point. Is it up for grabs?  The sultan seems to be in the Reggie Jackson mode of car collecting. Buy it store it sell it. I think you would really need a first hand inspection of any of those.

post #4045 of 9498
On cooking and bribery,it's called legalised corruption or campaign donations.
post #4046 of 9498
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssrock64 View Post

You'd be surprised how much attention the America's Cup garners for Oracle. There's usually more than a few mainstream outlets that do articles and snippets from the cup, and there are a lot of sailors who pay attention.

 

But yeah, that's Ellison's passion money. Considering Oracle's recent corporate history (being kicked off the top stock list by Tesla, etc.), that may be in danger of ending soon.


In a lot of cases in lower tier racing, sponsorship by your own company is the only way you could afford to race at all. (and now that a lowly FF effort will cost a hundred grand a season this becomes more prevalent). A lot of these guys hope they will eventually become paid drivers and away you go. The actual percentage of that happening in truth is dismally low. So it tax write off to afford hobby racing until you get too old or the well (company) runs dry.

 

At the Mesospheric level of competition (like F1, The Americas Cup) it is as much about target market as volume of exposure. Guys (or gals) paying attention to the Cup, Vendee Globe, etc  are generally influential in the orgs they work with or are outright owners. This means you are marketing directly to top level decision makers.

 

Oracle sponsors a Cup effort, Viagra sponsors NASCAR. Interesting timesbiggrin.gif

post #4047 of 9498
I have heard Larry Ellison speak many times at Oracle conferences. He is incredibly fake - its like listening to a TV evangelist or an old politician, absolutely nothing about them is genuine, it is all a prepared performance. The funniest was several years ago, when I went to the last Oracle Applications conference that was held in the Spring separately from the Oracle Technology conference in the Fall. So, in the Spring I hear Larry give his spiel about how "the cloud" is nothing special - just a meaningless buzzword and that Oracle has been providing "cloud" products for years (typical Ellison spin). Then, in the Fall of the same year, I attended the first of the new combined conferences of both Applications & Technology in the Fall. Larry gives his keynote - and it was almost exactly the same speech he gave in the Spring at the Applications conference. I have no idea what he was thinking - half the people at the conference had already heard the speech. That was also the same year they announced the Peoplesoft acquisition, so maybe he was busy - or, more likely, maybe he just didn't give a cr@p - but it was pretty darn lame!

For a short piece of classic Larry: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FacYAI6DY0

Now compare Larry's statements in 2008 with the current marketing campaigns from Oracle:
http://www.oracle.com/us/solutions/cloud/overview/index.html

And his statements last year (this one is long - and gawd help you if you can sit through all of it)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4BPuQ0Da6k

rolleyes.gif
Edited by billybob_jcv - 8/10/13 at 9:27pm
post #4048 of 9498
Another long time Siebel sufferer here Billybob, biggest piece of rubbish.
post #4049 of 9498
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hutnicks View Post


Unfortunately you can legally cook the books these days and actually get approval for it. Enron being the biggest culprit there. Followed closely by RIMjob, sorry now Blackberry inc. Their entire business model was reliant upon never taking a single product back.

In the mid couture world of Ralph with a quarter year product life, I can very well see some shennanigans being played out. He should have bought out North Face or Arc'Teryx when he had the chance.

I seem to recall Ralph having a very stellar example of the Ferrari 250 California at one point. Is it up for grabs?  The sultan seems to be in the Reggie Jackson mode of car collecting. Buy it store it sell it. I think you would really need a first hand inspection of any of those.

That's the advantage of buying through a broker like Alain Class Motors, they have a very good reputation for selling top-notch cars, and many cars like the Ruf have received basic maintenance while being stored. However, a lot of these are being sold as-is, or with a minimal inspection and service ("it starts"), to move them quickly. I'm fine with that, it's why I have a good crew. They can turn this:



into this:



in less than a month. The thing with them is they want to bundle cars together. Want the 962? You need to buy a Bentley or Rolls (or both) as well.

We worked out the 288 replicar and the Skyline, they're actually within 150 miles of each other, so I'm getting them picked up at the same time. Today I went out and test drove a Lexus LFA, the local dealer has one in stock, and I guess I don't get it. The ride is harsh, it shifts like an epileptic with Tourette's, and even though it's quite fast, it doesn't seem to be especially impressive, considering the price and the company it keeps. The sales girl was beaming over it and said "I'll bet you've never driven anything like that!", and I gave her sideways look. "You're absolutely right". biggrin.gif Meh, I suppose I'm missing something there. Maybe it's the handling, I didn't get to really swing it around very much, being a dealer test drive and all, maybe that's it? Oh, and the Veyron, I nailed it the first time. Though it's better on the road than on the track, but it's still a bulky beast, much more a status symbol ("bling") than a sports car. Everyone seems to know what it is, though. We went to Chick-Fil-A for lunch and everyone was rubbernecking and checking it out. Even the employees were hanging out of the drive-thru window to look at it. I'd never felt so self-conscious about a car I was driving in my entire life, it even has a special (loud) "look at me" musical chime that goes off when you activate the alarm and central locking. Gaudy.
Edited by Magick Man - 8/10/13 at 11:32pm
post #4050 of 9498
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magick Man View Post




We worked out the 288 replicar and the Skyline, they're actually within 150 miles of each other, so I'm getting them picked up at the same time. Today I went out and test drove a Lexus LFA, the local dealer has one in stock, and I guess I don't get it. The ride is harsh, it shifts like an epileptic with Tourette's, and even though it's quite fast, it doesn't seem to be especially impressive, considering the price and the company it keeps. The sales girl was beaming over it and said "I'll bet you've never driven anything like that!", and I gave her sideways look. "You're absolutely right". biggrin.gif Meh, I suppose I'm missing something there. Maybe it's the handling, I didn't get to really swing it around very much, being a dealer test drive and all, maybe that's it? Oh, and the Veyron, I nailed it the first time. Though it's better on the road than on the track, but it's still a bulky beast, much more a status symbol ("bling") than a sports car. Everyone seems to know what it is, though. We went to Chick-Fil-A for lunch and everyone was rubbernecking and checking it out. Even the employees were hanging out of the drive-thru window to look at it. I'd never felt so self-conscious about a car I was driving in my entire life, it even has a special (loud) "look at me" musical chime that goes off when you activate the alarm and central locking. Gaudy.

How did the LFA sound? 

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