Episode 115
Level B1/B2

 

READING COMPREHENSION

 

 

Car of the Future

Shares in electric carmaker Tesla surged by 12% in extended US trading after it posted stronger-than-expected profits and vehicle delivery forecasts. The company, led by US billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, earned $46m (£27m) in the fourth quarter, which was higher than analyst estimates. Sales of its Model S rose to a record, with overall revenue hitting $761m. It also projects deliveries of its Model S electric car sedan to rise more than 55% to 35,000 vehicles this year. “For the year, Model S was the top-selling vehicle in North America among comparably priced cars,” Mr Musk said in a letter to shareholders. “The potential in Europe and Asia is even more significant. Towards the end of the year, we expect sales in those regions combined to be almost twice that of North America.” The company is also betting big on China, and will begin sales of the Model S to the world’s second biggest economy next month. “We plan to make substantial investments in China this year as we add new stores, service centres and a Supercharger network,” Mr Musk said. “Already, the Beijing store is our largest and most active retail location in the world.” Market value Tesla said it expects spending to increase significantly this year as it increases production of the Model S, and develops electric charging points. The company is also finishing development on its Model X crossover vehicle, with a prototype expected on the road by the end of the year and deliveries beginning in 2015. However, shares of the California-based car-maker have had a bumpy ride over the last year following reports of battery fires. There have also been concerns about the valuation of Tesla, which was founded in 2003 but already has a market valuation of nearly $25bn. In comparison, its much larger rival General Motors has a market capitalisation of $58bn. Tesla’s Model S is one of the most expensive electric
cars on the market with a starting price of $70,000.

 

Exercise 1

Find the words or expressions in the text which mean the following:

1) units of a company’s wealth sold to people: __________
2) to publish: __________
3) a prediction of a future situation: __________
4) important: __________
5) selling to individual customers: __________
Centrum Języków Obcych Archibald poziom B1/B2
6) increase by very much: __________
7) the amount of money earned by a company: __________
8) designing and testing a new product: __________
9) with its registered office in (a city, country): ___________
10) people or entities that own part of a company’s wealth: __________

 

Exercise 2

Match the expressions from the two columns into logical collocations:

1) a bumpy priced
2) comparably location
3) market capitalization
4) to project profits
5) to bet trading
6) to post deliveries
7) substantial big on something
8) market ride
9) extended investments
10) a retail value

 

Exercise 3

Provide English equivalents of these expressions:

1) kapitalizacja rynkowa
2) prognoza
3) handel detaliczny
4) szacować wysokość dostaw
5) wpływy
6) stawiać na coś
7) sprzedaż
8) obawy
9) cena wywoławcza
10) rynek zbytu

 

Grammar corner…

 

In Business English we often talk about trends and fluctuations (i.e. when indexes go up one time, and then drop some other time). From the grammatical point of view describing trends is quite easy, what we need is three past tenses:

  • past continuous (to show background and longer phenomena),
  • past simple (to show shorter, single events)
  • past perfect (to show that something happened first – chronologically).

 

For instance, the share prices were growing steadily over the past three months until they reached the highest value, after which they dropped dramatically to stabilize at an even lower point than they had been at the beginning. What is more interesting about this aspect of business grammar is the colourful vocabulary used to describe trends. For example:

– increase: go through the roof, skyrocket, surge, rise to a record, bounce back, recover
– stabilize: peak at $4.00 per share, level, reach a plateau, hit the rock bottom
– decrease: plummet, go through the floor, sink, slump

 

GLOSSARY

revenue – wpływy
to surge – gwałtownie wzrastać
to post results – opublikować wyniki (np. finansowe)
an estimate – szacować
comparably priced – w porównywalnej cenie
to project deliveries – szacować wysokość dostaw
significant – znaczący
to bet big on something – stawiać na
substantial investments – duże inwestycje
retail – handel detaliczny
fair market value – realna wartość rynkowa
market capitalization – kapitalizacja rynkowa
product development – opracowanie produktu
shareholders – udziałowcy
to plummet – gwałtownie spadać
to hit the rock bottom – sięgnąć dan
to go through the roof – gwałtownie wzrastać
to go through the floor – gwałtownie spadać / tracić na wartości
to peak – osiągnąć najwyższą wartość
to reach a plateau – ustabilizować się
to bounce back – odbić się od dna
to recover – odbić się od dna

 

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>>Answers

Answer key:

Ex. 1.
1) shares
2) post
3) estimate
4) significant
5) retail
6) surge
7) revenue
8) developing
9) based
10)shareholders

Ex. 2.
1) a bumpy ride
2) comparably priced
3) market capitalization
4) to project deliveries
5) to bet big on something
6) to post profits / results
7) substantial investments
8) market value
9) extended trading
10) retail location

Ex. 3.
1) market capitalization
2) estimate / forecast
3) retail
4) to project deliveries
5) revenue
6) to bet big on something
7) sales
8) concerns
9) starting price
10)retail location

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