What is going on with Tesla? - Jaguar I-Pace EV400 Forum
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post #1 of 128 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 04:48 AM Thread Starter
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What is going on with Tesla?

In spirit of full disclosure I am a fan of the IDEA of what Tesla has been doing, but have not been much of a fan of the EXECUTION of the cars themselves (not the business model, sales, etc, just the attention to detail of creating an actual "luxury" SUV). And I want them to succeed for MANY reasons, including being a leader in trying to get EVs to be acceptable (and they have done that to a degree). But what is going on with this company? I am starting to think Elon Musk has gone from an asset to a liability at this point with his antiques, and his "more decisions per minute" bs excuse for being erratic (I love how people buy that "theory" as a cover to his unstable and short sided flailing).

These two things today back to back really do concern me now, to the point where I think I may just sell my Roadster (mainly because I don't want to end up with a car that is unserviceable considering it needs to be serviced pretty often).

This is not meant to be trolling nor am I looking for Tesla fandom talking points. Anyone else have any concerns about the viability of Tesla despite the significant number of cars they have put on the road?

https://arstechnica.com/cars/2019/04...ftware-locked/

https://arstechnica.com/cars/2019/04...s-sales-slump/
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post #2 of 128 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 07:11 AM
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What's going on with Panasonic:

Toyota and Panasonic partner for next-generation batteries

January 28, 2019

Quote:
TOKYO — To gear up for its move into electric vehicles, Toyota plans to make its own next-generation batteries in a new partnership with electronics giant Panasonic, and even sell them to other automakers.

The joint venture, announced last week by Toyota Motor Corp. and Panasonic Corp., will start operations in 2020 and focus on the development and production of prismatic lithium ion batteries, solid-state batteries and other advanced power packs for electric cars.

The move comes as Toyota — often perceived as a laggard in EVs — plans to roll out 10 electric cars worldwide by the early 2020s. The first EV will be an all-electric version of its C-HR subcompact crossover for China in 2020, but Toyota will also launch EVs in the U.S., Europe, Japan and India.

In traditional Toyota fashion, Japan's biggest automaker will be keeping tight control over the component seen as the key to its strategic success. While other automakers, such as Nissan, shed battery subsidiaries to source cells and power packs from suppliers, Toyota will hold a majority 51 percent stake in the new Panasonic venture and have a strong hand in making its own.

Teaming up from the early stages of vehicle planning will streamline new battery development and ensure a better fit with the vehicles they go into, the companies said in a joint statement.

"The business environment is one in which independent efforts by battery manufacturers or automobile manufacturers are not enough for solving the issues concerned," they said.

Toyota is confident enough in the potential of the new batteries that it wants to sell them to other carmakers.

(more at Automotive News)
Now they're playing with the big kid on the block with the fat wallet.

What's going on in Buffalo NY for Panasonic I haven't kept up with, but at last reading Panasonic may or may not be stepping in there to produce solar panels. Else Tesla starts paying NY some pretty hefty fines.

---------------

Re: the $35K model 3 - did you expect it to happen? I had no expectation either way, so.....

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Originally Posted by epirali
I am starting to think Elon Musk has gone from an asset to a liability at this point with his antiques, and his "more decisions per minute" bs excuse for being erratic
Starting to think? His "pedo" remark flew under the radar? "Funding secured" and the subsequent SEC settlement too?

The folks at SpaceX breath a sigh of relief every night that he spends on the couch in the conference room at Tesla. It means he's up the arse of Tesla employees and not them. If you've followed the bits and pieces over the years you know he's the boss from h*ll. Too many stories to even remember. Name one publicly traded corporation that's gone through as many executives as Tesla per year. I'm all ears......
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post #3 of 128 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 07:30 AM Thread Starter
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All good points. But Panasonic will happily provide batteries to everyone, they would not need to pull back from GigaFactory to do more with Toyota. It sounds more like the “overhype” has gotten them to reconsider further investment as the demand has not materialized. That is part of Musk’s problem: initially overselling as startup creates excitement and is even expected. But past a point it starts looking unstable and actually causes harm.

When I think of Audi/BMW and other luxury manufacturers I basically think “trust” in what they say and mostly deliver. Nowadays with Tesla I just roll my eyes (Full self driving my b**t). When they “slid” the new Roadster out talking about how great it will be I just thought about the thermal management issues BEFORE you push that hard and the fact that the darn 2 seater “sports car” will weight well north of 5000 pounds. What they are saying is pure horse droppings on that one.
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post #4 of 128 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 07:32 AM
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As one who had a Model S completely self-destruct and leave us stranded 200+ miles from the nearest service center, I'm just glad I sold mine.

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post #5 of 128 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 07:40 AM
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Panasonic relationship with Tesla has been on the edge for quite awhile. All Tesla vendors need to be very careful, Tesla does not place a value on their vendor's goodwill. They will burn them for $1. Expect to see more trouble with vendors not less.

The Model 3 configuration mapping and pricing has been crazy since day one. But it was never realistic to sell inactive hardware for free. Or promise a $35k car that far in advance.

IMO, the managerial mistakes that have cost TSLA the most:

The failure to turn remote charging into a profit center.
Failure to turn their Quality Management System into a profit center.
Selling cars that have software disabled expensive hardware. A better design would have user/dealer added options. "Lego Tech", like we do with computers, houses, and hotrods.
Announcing a Model 3 price and accepting money too far in advance. While it did gain some quick cash, it probably hurt Model S/X sales more than the capital helped.
Failure to understand the SUV market.
Flip-flop on the No Discounts policy each month. Just leave the subject alone. EVs will fall in price over the years, it will mean that inventory will probably have to be price reduced.
Burning vendors and staff. Having a high turnover of vendors and staff is a sign a company is either poor at paying their bills, or has poor managing skills.
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post #6 of 128 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by epirali View Post
All good points. But Panasonic will happily provide batteries to everyone, they would not need to pull back from GigaFactory to do more with Toyota.
There's no reason we can be aware of right now for Panasonic to take their toys and go home, no. Respectable businessmen don't play that way.

There is the question of investing more at the GF. If I'm Tsuga-San, I'm going with the future, and with my fellow businessman Toyoda-San. We understand each other, and Toyoda-San has the resources we need. That's where the majority of my capex is going to go now.


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Failure to turn their Quality Management System into a profit center.
That one has me scratching my head. I honestly don't understand the term "Quality Management System" as it relates to the term "profit center". I'm willing to be educated.

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Burning vendors and staff. Having a high turnover of vendors and staff is a sign a company is either poor at paying their bills, or has poor managing skills.
Which reminds me of the story of him screaming at vendors over the phone threatening to rape them in the [backside]. Kinda hard to verify but it fits his well known MO. He's also self-diagnosed bipolar - kind of a strange thing to tweet, but that is public record.

I don't know if it's fair to blame all of the executive fallout on Musk though. After watching a full stockholders meeting on YouBoob I got the strong impression that Straubel is 10 times the jerk Musk is. It was just one of those instinctive things you draw from his demeanor when dealing with the people there. I think he may be to Musk what Henry Frick was to Andrew Carnegie.
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post #7 of 128 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 09:34 AM
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https://jalopnik.com/you-cant-buy-te...ore-1833995005

So the new "cheap" 3's will come with all the standard hardware but be "software limited", and you can't use the equipment YOU ALREADY OWN until you pay more? Whoa. So, so glad I didn't buy a Tesla (for many reasons, this is just another one)...
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post #8 of 128 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 09:44 AM
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Anyone else have any concerns about the viability of Tesla despite the significant number of cars they have put on the road?
Having failed to answer the original question.....

No, not really. Things have looked much worse than this in the past. If there's another equity dump soon and the deliveries continue to decline then maybe.

I am on record (somewhere) as saying that in order for Tesla to fulfill it's alleged future plans an equity dump will be needed. But they aren't required to produce anything they've claimed they will other than more model 3s.

In any case I'd hang on to that Roadster. It could bring serious cash at auction in 5-10 years if nothing else. Servicing is going to be an issue for any model as they put more cars on the market, and continue to have so few facilities nationwide. Concierge work is going to take longer and longer to be done, but if it's your weekend car, so what?
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post #9 of 128 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Tesla
Please note, customers who choose leasing over owning will not have the option to purchase their car at the end of the lease, because with full autonomy coming in the future via an over-the-air software update, we plan to use those vehicles in the Tesla ride-hailing network.
Without hesitation I'm calling BS on this. There will be no Tesla ride-hailing network in my lifetime. Those off-lease cars are going directly into the very questionable CPO program.
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post #10 of 128 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 10:46 AM
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Yeah, I don't think Tesla has a viable business. Elon Musk was counting on huge sales volumes to provide cash and support economies of scale - 500k to 1Million Model 3 sales per year. Now, Tesla is losing its big Federal subsidy and they can't sell anywhere near the volumes required. Solar roofing and self-driving are both vaporware. Neither cars nor solar are producing any cash, and so Tesla is running out of time and money. They will have to either raise more capital, or restructure their business, most likely in bankruptcy. Without cash, there is no viable business.
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