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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Tuesday 6 February 2018

Manufacturing

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Lost its spark?

Tesla’s production line has hit the brakes, putting traditional car-makers back in pole position.

Electric car-maker Tesla is due to release its results for the final three months of 2017 tomorrow and more bad news is expected. The company has lost money for seven of the past eight quarters as it has struggled to hit its production targets. (By the end of 2017 it had hoped to be making 20,000 Model 3 cars a month but only 1,550 came off the production line between October and the year’s end.) This is where traditional car-makers still have an edge. While technology players such as Google’s Waymo are leading the way in developing self-driving cars, Tesla’s woes – and those of another bedraggled electric-vehicle start-up, Faraday Future – prove that mass production is a different ballgame. As the technology begins to require increasingly scalable manufacturing, watch out for the traditional car-makers looking a little more at ease.

Culture

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Books on wheels

A Mexico City publisher wants to give commuters free access to a digital library.

Mexico City is notorious for its lengthy commutes. If you’re in London or New York, consider yourself lucky – some residents of the crowded capital spend four hours travelling each day. But a company called Editorial Ink thinks that people could put their daily grind to good use. It wants to give those riding on buses access to a free digital library, using smartphone technology previously only available to university students for accessing course reading materials. But the aim of the library, which is currently running solely on the M1 bus network, isn’t to push people from paper to electronic. “Once they’re interested in one of the books they’ll naturally search for other titles, whether they’re in print or digital,” says Editorial Ink’s director, Diego Echeverría. He hopes the scheme will help improve literacy and make literature more accessible for poorer people.

Fashion

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Men’s needs

New York’s struggling menswear shows get a leg up from their female counterparts.

Men’s Fashion Week kicked off yesterday, with shows from designers such as Todd Snyder. New York has only had a separate menswear event for three years and a lack of big names has meant that it has struggled to attract international editors and buyers. This season, however, there are a few factors working in its favour. Raf Simons – the Belgian maestro who in 2016 took over at Calvin Klein – will bring some high-fashion swag to proceedings when he stages the show for the label tomorrow. Not only that but the men’s event was pushed back so that it will finish the day before Women’s Fashion Week begins (there is usually a one-week gap). Because the women’s event, which starts on Thursday, is a bigger affair, the thinking is that more editors will come to New York early and give the menswear shows a lift.

Olympics

Image: Getty Images

With these rings I thee wed

Tokyo hopes a new Olympics ad will inspire young people to get married and have children.

Tokyo officials are betting the 2020 Olympics can do more than bring together nations. The metropolitan government is promoting the Games as a good chance for young Japanese to tie the knot and have children – a public-service message that governor Yuriko Koike has personally backed. Statistics from the most recent national census show that one in four men – and one in seven women – are unmarried by the age of 50. A new video ad, which will play on subway trains, at cinemas and on giant outdoor screens, follows a young couple travelling back in time to the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, where they witness a man and woman getting engaged and having a baby. It ends with the present-day couple staring into each other's eyes as the tagline appears: "Who will you watch the Olympics with?" The race is on – though there is no mention of any medals for the winners.

From Monocle 24

Image: Getty Images

Wilton’s Music Hall

Tall Stories

A sneak peak into the history of one of the world’s last surviving grand music halls.

From Monocle Films

Healthy architecture

How can architects, designers, retailers and city planners embrace a new vernacular that delivers places that leave us feeling better about our lives? Our fourth Quality of Life Conference film explores the notion.

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