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Musk: Great salesman. Tesla: Least capable automaker?

6694 Views 36 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  Upper5Percent
The auto industry admires Tesla, envies Tesla, and ultimately wants Tesla to succeed. But the Model 3 proves that something the wider industry always suspected is true: Elon Musk is the greatest car salesman who has ever lived — but Tesla is currently one of the least capable automakers on Earth.

Tesla is spending as much as General Motors every quarter — about $1 billion — to produce and sell a fraction of the vehicles that GM does. GM is also turning that invested capital into steady profits, while Tesla in the third-quarter of 2017 posted the biggest loss in its history. GM has a $25-billion war chest. Tesla only has enough cash to operate through 2018.
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How do you think Tesla sales of the Model 3 will be compared to the Bolt? The difference is people are clamoring for the Model 3.

What if Tesla only does 200K or 300K while the Bolt sells 20K or 30K (with LEAF2 and TM3 out). Is that still a fail?

What if Tesla is 6 or 9 or 12 months off their projects but are proven to be ramping up and get there in that time? I am driving at **6** year old Volt and GM has failed to ramp up to a major electric car sales in 72 *months*. Is that a fail?

The X and S were known to be high end limited sales. The 'master plan' subsequent Model 3 is supposed to be for the masses.

This is all very amusing how it gets framed and what goal post are used to describe failures.

Yes, Tesla's Powerwall and Powerpacks are a large part of the company ... so they are bigger than the electric car but that seems too obvious on how it all fits together and people love to ignore that ;)

A MAJOR failure of Tesla might be running out of money...Chapter 11 reorganization would probably put them on the road to success...however the current stock holders might not see THAT as a success...:rolleyes:
Is there any other EV car maker out there that has a "waiting list" of potential buyers that have actually put down deposits? Tesla is not your grandfather's car company. Tesla's plan is truly "out of the box" and can not be judged by the standards of the past. Time will tell just how successful they will be, but they are making progress and I would not count them out. Amazing what they have actually accomplished in such a relatively short period of time....Elon Musk does not rest on the past......he just keeps looking forward.
Most companies that accept deposits for future product put those deposits in escrow and do NOT spend them to operate...Tesla is NOT one of those companies...:(

An interesting question would be if Tesla does go through bankruptcy organization...are those deposits "Gone with the Wind" as Margaret Mitchell might say...:rolleyes:
Re: I'll search -- I had a tough time getting tables to come up in goodcarbadcar to add some annual numbers to the below list of competitors.

NOTE -- Reminding myself that a *lot* of people stretch themselves (mental (and budget) threshold) for cars they really want. I did with our 2011 Volt. Never spent that much money on cars. (gateway drug to electric as we got a 2016 Volt and 2016 X).
To me that means that the below is just not the competition because others that would only spend 25-30 before may now spend 40-45 if they rationalize less brake jobs, gas, oil changes, etc!!!

You are going to need to change this spreadsheet...from Tesla's latest 10-K
On page 2
Model 3
Model 3 is our third generation electric vehicle. We began deliveries in July 2017. Model 3 is produced at the Tesla Factory in Fremont, California and at Gigafactory 1. We will offer a variant of this vehicle at a starting price of $35,000 and expect to produce Model 3 vehicles at far higher volumes than our Model S or Model X vehicles.

Got that? The $35,000 Model 3 is no longer the mass-market raison d’être for the car, but has become merely a “variant” of the vehicle.

It is NOT the standard, but a variant...:rolleyes: will notice Tesla has abandoned AUTOPILOT...

Tesla now uses the topic heading “Self-Driving Development” rather than “Autopilot Systems.” page 4 of their latest 10-K filing

And, it has dropped this claim:

In October 2014, we began equipping all Model S vehicles with hardware to allow for the incremental introduction of autopilot technology.

The change from “Autopilot Systems” to Self-Driving Development is, I think, significant, and reflects Tesla’s recognition that its Autopilot claims have opened the door to litigation. And, including the word “Development” suggest that Self-Driving is a work-in-progress.

Similarly, dropping the claim about Model S vehicles being equipped with sufficient hardware for “autopilot” seems prudent, to say the least.
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