Two employees at a Dunkin’ Donuts eatery in Syracuse, New York, have been fired after one dumped water on a homeless man who had nodded off as his cell phone was charging.
The video, which has drawn more than 2 million views since being posted on Facebook Sunday night, showed a young man with his head down on a table in a mostly empty store, when a worker pours a pitcher of water on him.
“How many times I’ve got to tell you to stop sleeping in here,” said the worker, who added a profanity. The employee and another person not in the video can be heard laughing as the man gathered up his wet belongings.
The person shown in the video was identified on GoFundMe as Jeremy (Youngs) Dufresne. By Tuesday morning, a fundraiser set up to help him in the wake of the encounter had raised more than $8,000.
Dufresne suffers from schizophrenia and was in the Dunkin’ restaurant to charge his phone so he could call his mother to say goodnight, a local newspaper, the Post-Standard reported.
“He probably had some personal problems of his own and needed someone to talk to,” Dufresne told the newspaper of the worker who poured water on him. “And he took it out on someone else, like me.”
A homeless advocate stopped by the store to object to the man’s treatment and threatened a boycott if management didn’t address the issue, according to the newspaper.
The incident prompted a demonstration of roughly 20 people outside the store, with one protester carrying a sign reading “Homeless Lives Matter,” according to a local radio radio station.
“The employees involved in the incident have been terminated, and we will be contacting the individual in the video to apologize for the negative experience,” stated Kimberly Wolak, chief operating officer of Wolak Group, which owns about 85 Dunkin’ Donuts stores in New York, New Hampshire and Maine.
“We were extremely disturbed by the behavior of our employees captured in the video. It not only violated our written policies, but goes against our core values as an organization,” Wolak added in a statement supplied by Dunkin’ Donuts.
The company recently announced it’s rebranding itself and that as of January it will be officially known simply as Dunkin’.
Tesla made 53,239 Model 3s in the third quarter of 2018, which is nearly twice as many as it produced in the previous quarter, the company announced on Tuesday. The automaker delivered 55,840 Model 3s and 83,500 cars in total (including the Models X and S). That means Tesla sold, in one quarter, “more than 80 percent” as many cars as it did in all of 2017, the company said.
Those production and delivery numbers are right in line with what the company had previously estimated. (Tesla said that it expected to make 50,000 to 55,000 Model 3 vehicles in Q3 and predicted that “deliveries should outpace production.”) It also shows that Tesla was able to increase its pace of Model 3 output despite being mired in the drama surrounding Elon Musk’s abandoned attempt to take the company private, which resulted in charges of securities fraud from the SEC, a quick settlement, and his stepping down as chairman.
The average production of Model 3s per week — the yardstick Musk has used to describe the health of the company’s production efforts — for the quarter was a little over 4,000. That’s still short of the 6,000 per week he targeted earlier this year, but it’s high enough for the company to consider production “stabilized,” according to the release.
“Today’s production announcement offers a bit of redemption to the Tesla faithful,” said Jeremy Acevedo, manager of industry analysis at Edmunds. “It’s refreshing to see the company making headlines for producing cars, not controversies. Between the makeshift tent, extra shifts and Elon’s all-nighters at the factory, it hasn’t exactly been a traditional path getting here, but make no mistake that producing 50,000 Model 3s in Q3 is significant milestone.”
Acevedo said the real question is whether Tesla could sustain this pace of production, particularly in light of the delivery challenges. “While Tesla superfans and owners have generously volunteered their time to assist, this isn’t necessarily a sustainable model that Elon can count on moving forward,” he said.
Exactly how much this effort affected the company’s bottom line won’t be clear for a few weeks, as Tesla isn’t scheduled to report its earnings for the quarter until the beginning of November. (Musk said in a company email over the weekend that Tesla was “very close to achieving profitability,” and he’s promised the company will maintain a profit going forward.) Whatever the financial numbers end up looking like, it’s clear that scaling the pace of deliveries with increased production will be an important task for the company going forward.
“[D]elivery and outbound vehicle logistics were our main challenges during Q3,” the company wrote. The exact reason for the delivery backlog wasn’t made clear. Musk recently claimed on Twitter that a shortage of delivery haulers could be to blame, and he even suggested that Tesla would build its own — though industry representatives have disputed this.
Others outside the company have suggested that Tesla’s insistence on developing its own internal resource management software left it ill-prepared to handle its current pace. Either way, Tesla claimed relief is on the way. “We made many improvements to these processes throughout the quarter, and plan to make further improvements in Q4 so that we can scale successfully,” the company said.
Tesla also said it’s “accelerating construction” of its planned Gigafactory in Shanghai, China, because of President Trump’s ongoing trade war. Announced in July, Musk previously estimated that the Gigafactory there would need a few years to be built out enough to begin production. Tesla says that the 40 percent import tariff applied to the cost of every one of its cars in China, combined with their ineligibility for government incentives, as well as the overall cost of shipping, means the company is at a “55 to 60 percent cost disadvantage.” Localizing production in China is a potential, if not immediate, way around all this.
The company also has long-term plans to build a new Gigafactory in Europe. But its short-term financial outlook remains a concern for some investors. Musk has been adamant that Tesla won’t need to raise more money by the end of the year and that turning a profit on the Model 3 will be enough to help buffer against the company’s diminishing cash supply, which was down to $2.2 billion last quarter from $3.4 billion at the start of the year.
Tesla said Tuesday that it produced 80,142 cars in the third quarter, a 50 percent rise from the second quarter, as the Model 3 sedan began rolling off its assembly line in larger volumes.
The total included 53,239 Model 3s, nearly doubling the number Tesla made in the previous quarter. That implies that the company’s output averaged about 4,000 Model 3s a week, fewer than the 5,000 that Elon Musk, the chief executive, has been pushing for.
The increase in production is a rare bit of good news for a company that has been shaken by a succession of unsettling developments over the last two months. Last week, the Securities and Exchange Commission sued Mr. Musk in a securities-fraud case, and two days later Mr. Musk accepted a settlement with the agency.
The case arose from Mr. Musk’s tweet on Aug. 7 in which he said he planned to turn Tesla into a private company at $420 a share and had “funding secured,” a plan that turned out to be less fleshed out than he suggested.
The S.E.C. is still looking into Mr. Musk’s past claims about the company’s production goals.
[Read more: A group of internet sleuths is tracking clues to Tesla’s production and delivery issues.]
The Model 3, its most affordable offering so far, is crucial to Tesla’s success. But while the company has increased the production of Model 3s, Tesla has run into a new problem: It can’t seem to deliver all the cars it is making to its customers. Mr. Musk has called this “delivery logistics hell.”
A more important test will be whether Tesla can clear up its shipping issues in the fourth quarter, analysts said.
“The real question now is if Tesla can really sustain this pace, particularly in light of the delivery issues the company has faced recently,” said Jeremy Acevedo, manager of industry analysis at Edmunds, an auto-data firm.
Tesla reported that it had 8,048 Model 3s and 3,776 other cars in transit to customers at the end of the third quarter.
“With production stabilized, delivery and outbound vehicle logistics were out main challenges during Q3, the company said in a statement. “We made many improvements to these processes throughout the quarter, and play to make further improvements in Q4, so that we can scale successfully.”
At the same time, the company noted “the headwinds we have been facing” as a result of the trade tensions between China and the Trump administration. Tesla vehicles shipped to China are now hit with an tariff of 40 percent, the company said.
China is the world’s largest market for electric vehicles.
“Taking ocean transport costs and import tariffs into account, Tesla is now operating at a 55 percent to 60 percent cost disadvantage compared to the exact same car locally produced in China,” the company said.
Tesla is in the beginning stages of planning a factory in Shanghai.
Mr. Musk has vowed that Tesla will generate a profit and show positive cash flow in the third and fourth quarters, thanks to the Model 3. But while the company is making more cars, the delivery problems could hurt its bottom line, because the company can book revenue only when it puts its cars into customers’ hands.
The company needs revenue because it has suffered substantial losses and uses up nearly $1 billion in cash almost every quarter. At the start of the third quarter, Tesla had $2.2 billion in cash, but it owed suppliers $3 billion. It also had about $11 billion in debt on its balance sheet.
The U.S. and Canada late Sunday struck a deal to revise the North American Free Trade Agreement, allowing for Canada to join a pact hammered out in August between the U.S. and Mexico. Here are details. Read More
It’s not your father’s NAFTA anymore. Late Sunday night, U.S. and Canadian negotiators agreed on a new trade deal that replaces 1994’s NAFTA deal with a “United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement,” or USMCA. The tri-party deal is viewed as a victory for President Trump, who has long derided NAFTA as being unfair to the United States.
A significant part of the deal is related to auto manufacturing and exports from Canada and Mexico into the U.S. market. Under the terms of the USMCA, both Canada and Mexico will be limited to a quota of 2.6 million vehicle exports to the United States. Current export levels of around 2 million from Canada and 1.8 million from Mexico give the two trading partners some room to grow and, at the same time, protect their auto manufacturing industries. The quota is effective in the event the president imposes a 25% tariff on light vehicle imports from other countries.
One limit on the deal is that a higher proportion of the parts used to build cars and light trucks must be made in North American plants that pay a wage of at least $16 an hour. The deal struck in August between the United States and Mexico also included changes to NAFTA sought by U.S. labor unions that would make it easier for unions to organize in Mexico.
In addition to the deal on cars, the U.S. dropped demands to eliminate the special NAFTA courts that have allowed the trading partners to challenge restrictions imposed by the other partners. In exchange, Canada opened up its market for dairy products, agreeing to allow imports of up to 3.5% of the country’s $16 billion annual domestic market for dairy products. Canada also failed to get Trump to lift tariffs on U.S. imports of steel and aluminum.
The United States and Mexico want to get a signed deal by the end of November. Mexico’s new president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, takes office on December 1. In the United States, the president wants the deal signed quickly in the event the Republicans lose control of Congress in the November elections. Congress likely won’t vote on the USMCA until next year.
Markets reacted favorably to the announced deal and all three major U.S. indexes opened higher Monday morning.
President Donald Trump’s “America First” trade policy have left the United States embroiled in a bitter trade war with China and tit-for-tat import tariffs with other trading partners, including the European Union, Canada and Mexico.
Washington last week slapped tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, with Beijing retaliating with duties on $60 billion worth of U.S. products. The U.S. and China had already imposed tariffs on $50 billion worth of each other’s goods.
While data have suggested little impact on the economy so far from the tariffs, analysts warn that the import duties could disrupt supply chains, undercut business investment and slow the economy’s momentum. The economy grew at a 4.2 percent annualized rate in the second quarter, almost double the 2.2 percent in the January-March period.
The ISM’s new orders sub-index fell to a reading of 61.8 last month from 65.1 in August. A measure of export orders, however, rose last month. The survey’s employment measure rose to 58.8, the highest reading since February from 58.5 in August. U.S. financial markets were little moved by the data.