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Tesla to raise prices and keep more stores open (bbc.co.uk)
82 points by elemeno 15 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 255 comments



This is a company in absolute turmoil.

How can a company go from closing almost all their stores, to reversing that decision in a week. How was that initial decision made in the first place? Was it Elon Musk snapping his fingers like Thanos? And then to turn it around in less than week shows a complete misread of the situation. Whoever made that initial decision should be fired, including Elon Musk.

I think Elon Musk has great vision, but he is in over his head with running and growing the company. He needs to hand the reins over to something who is better at this than he is. His behavior, including calling a person a pedophile, tweeting about going private, and fighting the SEC over Twitter shows a person who is mentally unfit to be a CEO. This last decision really cements it, and the company, employees and shareholders could truly suffer going forward if he continues as CEO.


Well, it's now approximately 11 years since the infamous "Tesla Death Watch" series of blogposts. 11 years of constant "turmoil", "cash flow problems", "near bankruptcy", "Musk needs to quit", etc, etc, etc. Through these 11 years, they've gone from shipping a few hundred cars/year to hundreds of thousands of cars per year which are whole generation ahead of anything any other car manufacturer has been able to put out.

Have you considered that maybe they're actually on a roll and doing just fine and this is mostly just tiresome media noise?


Yes, there's a lot of media noise, tiresome or otherwise. BUT:

1) TESLA, not the media, were the ones they said they were closing ALL their retail stores, _a week ago_ - is this not newsworthy?

and

2) TESLA, not the media, were the ones who said they're now NOT closing retail stores open, _a week later_ - is this also not newsworthy?

If so, what makes them so trivial?


This is why they don't need to pay for marketing.


They're the WORST electric car company (except for all the rest)


You can always opt to not discuss anything about them.

But the fact that you wrote this very comment tell us you want to.

So what really is there to complain about their PR strategy?


There's very few companies that the SEC requests a judge find the CEO in contempt of an official agreement that can't be described as "in turmoil".


I'm a fan of Elon Musk's. I wasn't concerned until his tweets started going off the rails, when he started tweeting about Tesla going bankrupt, etc. I think his behavior is a legitimate concern.


Would love links to 11 year articles out of curiosity.



That brings back memories.

Haven't read anything there for a while.

The TTAC death watch is here:

https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=thetruth...

For comparison:

https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=tesla


"cars [...] which are whole generation ahead of anything any other car manufacturer has been able to put out"

Needs citation.


> How can a company go from closing almost all their stores, to reversing that decision in a week. How was that initial decision made in the first place?

... and did he even think of the people working there?

What about the MASSIVE investment they've made in that space?

So you're an employee working at these locations and you're comfortable with your job security? I don't think so!


Elon has never cared about his employees. Not ever.

Here's my take: He has committed himself to a goal that he views as essential to the survival of humanity. Thus in his zealousness, he will sacrifice anything, especially actual humans, to accomplish his "goal".

There was a time when I believed in his goal, but I've long since seen that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. He's happy to let Tesla factory workers injure and overwork themselves without fair representation. He views working at Tesla as analogous to "being in the special forces" (translation: sacrifice your life without fair compensation, then get thrown away when it suits him).

The inability of Tesla to remove Musk from power merely confirms the obvious fact that he stacked the board with yes-men. I have nothing but disgust for the army of Tesla fanboys who claim any valid criticism is really just FUD spread by shorts.

[/rant]


> Thus in his zealousness, he will sacrifice anything, especially actual humans, to accomplish his "goal".

A bit hyperbolic, though the fact remains that he should consider strongly handing off the reins to a capable and trusted lieutenant (take a look at SpaceX - probably closer to his heart but run competently by Shotwell).


>Here's my take: He has committed himself to a goal that he views as essential to the survival of humanity.

How about: he has committed himself to his ego, and his image as modern day industrialist/playboy Tony Stark?


Yes, I agree. But you must remember the ego always masks its actions as part of some higher purpose.

So, from _his ego's perspective_, what he is doing is for the salvation of humanity. And thus any sacrifice is warranted.


I suspect employees also have the option of not working there if so inclined.

Elon's goals are fairly well publicised.

If you do not agree with them you're not being forced to work or continue working there.

I for one whole heartedly support his approach to change....if not for Musk then who? I suspect it wouldn't be hard to make the case that if not for Tesla the electric car space would be years behind where it is today.


> to a goal that he views as essential to the survival of humanity

Can we have a take that doesn't start with "Elon is the messiah"?


If Elon views himself as the messiah, then that is the right way to analyze his motivations. You don't have to agree that he is or can be the messiah to use it as a tool for understanding his behavior.


> _that he views_

Isn't it obvious that I don't share his way of thinking? (At least anymore)


I understand he made a possibly illegal tweet to show off to his girlfriend, about and whilst on drugs, to the detriment of his company and his interests in it.

That doesn't exactly smack of "sacrifice anything" - although you could modify your theory to some kind of cult leader-type complex, willing to sacrifice anyone else to the cause whilst having a good time themselves and it might fit quite well.


>he made a possibly illegal tweet to show off to his girlfriend, about and whilst on drugs

citation? what are you referring to here?


The $420/share financing tweet that spurred the SEC sanctions.


what suggests he was on drugs?

From his performance on Joe Rogan's podcast, it seems he doesn't really even know how to smoke marijuana.


From his performance on Pewdiepie meme review with Justin Royland is quite the memestar.

Shades of John Delorean?


Tesla is making a huge gamble reinventing how cars are made. It's a risky, experimental, turbulent, uncertain, difficult endeavor. There's no way any Tesla employee should have ever expected job security.

If you want job security, work for a more traditional company that makes money doing something a little more mundane.


On March 8th it was reported they wouldn't be able to exit many of their store leases.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/landlords-to-tesla-youre-still-...


Surely they understood this before the initial decision was announced. No way those leases were disappearing.


> Surely they understood this before the initial decision was announced. No way those leases were disappearing.

Given the flip-flopping, I'm unsure how much we can assume they understand.


I wonder if it was a clever negotiating tactic? Scare the landlords, then walk it back and get a great deal.

Even if it was that, seems risky to want to do it knowing it's going to make you look more broadly.


Scare the landlords, then walk it back and get a great deal.

This is how the conversation with the landlord would probably go:

Tesla: We're going to close our store in your mall.

Landlord: Good luck with that. Next month's rent is due in a week.

Tesla: But we're closing our store...

Landlord: You signed a multi-year lease without an early cancellation clause. I don't care if you're closing the store, you still owe me rent for the remainder of the lease. You can pay it as due or buy out your for X% of the aggregate remaining amount. [where X is some obscenely large percentage approaching 100% because the landlord has Tesla over a barrel and doesn't need to offer a discount].


Their landlords are a large number of different entities each with their own areas and laws. This is not an effective way to negotiate with 100s of malls around the country.


Tesla occupancy doesn't mean much for most of these malls/shopping centers, to be honest.

Apple/Nike/Target, sure. Tesla, no.


They already signed the terms of the lease.


How? They changed their mind. No big deal. I'd say what it shows is a commitment to intellectualism above superficial factors like a prior company announcement. To do otherwise would be path dependence. So I see strength, not weakness. Hope they get their costs under control though. That's the key to everything in manufacturing.

DB gave them $500M so they can now pay wages and suppliers without closing the stores.


He needs to hand the reins over... His behavior ... shows a person who is mentally unfit to be a CEO.

At least he isn't running a country.

zaroth 14 days ago [flagged]

Did you call for Jeff Bezos to be fired when Amazon did an about-face on HQ2?

This is a company which has outperformed every possible expectation since the day Elon showed up, and part of that formula from the beginning has been the agility to about-face and react quickly to new data.

Some people say we need Elon out and “adult supervision” is required. Or maybe, “adult supervision” is where a company dead set on making the impossible a reality goes to die.

We don’t know what new data has come to light since their public announcement. The landlords threatened to sue to prevent Tesla from breaking their leases. Maybe the employees were planning some action? Maybe there was some groundswell of customer feedback on the new test drive model.

Maybe the announcement is the best way to truly gauge public feedback on a course of action, and a company that can quickly gauge that reaction and alter course instead of plowing ahead against the data just because they already publically committed has a huge competitive advantage.

Tesla is attempted to do something entirely novel and would be the first ever to succeed at it if they pull off this sales model. Fits and starts are to be expected and calling for heads to roll because of quick adjustments in strategy I think is exactly opposite from of reaction.


> part of that formula from the beginning has been the agility to about-face and react quickly to new data.

It's been just a week since the announcement. The only new data that could have come out in that time frame is data on the order of "you should have predicted this" (or explosive revelations that were being held for this sort of announcement, which we would have heard about already and have not). In other words, it means that the original plan was based on incomplete data, and it does not reflect well on the CEO, or whomever was in charge of the final decision, that they were making such a major decision in ignorance of details.


Instead of making fun of the commenter and replying as if you're talking to an absolute idiot, maybe comment on the content of what they have said.


Edited.


Getting to test drive all three current models, I can say that the actual test drive was what convinced me to start looking at purchasing a Tesla and making compromises/adjustments in my life (charging stations, range, etc). No amount of marketing can give you the thrill that you get when you slam the accelerator.


Interesting. Test driving one is what killed all the hype for me. It was definitely fast but it just drives wierd and I found the interior feels cheap compared to similarly priced cars. Still, definitely more interesting than any of the other mainstream electric cars out there currently.


I went to the model 3 AWD performance test drive day at their HQ, and walked away knowing I wouldn't buy one. The entire driving experience to me just felt so floaty, with essentially zero road feel. Im sure my mom would love it, but it's the antithesis of what i'm looking for.

You can pry my all mechanically/hydraulically linked pseudo racecar from my cold dead hands.


Yep, going to a showroom convinced me that a Volt was a good decision. I think they're both great cars, but I actually prefer Android Auto and the fit and finish of the Volt. That said I'd probably buy a Model 3 today since the part supply chain of the Volt will probably be drying up in the next decade (it's been discontinued).


At this point I think it may be a serious question of how long the Tesla part supply stays around.

Between uncertainty of the company’s future and just not knowing how well they support cars long term it could be an issue.


Yeah, driving a Tesla feels like driving a go-cart to me. I like to feel the rumble of the engine. Maybe it’s just because that’s what I grew up with.


I grew up with mustangs then corvettes, competitive amateur auto racing.

A Tesla P90D made of all those gasoline cars I used to have feel stupid. I can only imagine what insanity awaits us when electric drivetrains with that power are in actual sports cars rather than large sedans..

unnfffff



For the first 20, maybe 30 minutes of driving.


I expected to feel that way when I got my Tesla, but it's turned out to be the opposite. I switch back and forth between a Model S and an Audi TTS, and whenever I get in the Audi, the engine rumble feels primitive, like a spinning hard disk instead of an SSD.


Yeah, driving a Model T feels like riding a train to me. I like to feel the hoofbeats of the horses. Maybe it's just because that's what I grew up with.


Haha, I’d probably enjoy galloping on a horse better than driving a Model T, as well.

Also, congratulations on your 130th birthday ;-)


I would agree with both. When I test drove one a) I realized the acceleration was otheworldly compared to my Prius b) Autopilot was good but not amazing c) I still wanted one badly (and still do - until recently I couldn't justify the cost esp. insuring it, will get one after my current lease ends).


> No amount of marketing can give you the thrill that you get when you slam the accelerator.

And this is something that is unique to EVs. Sure, a Porsche will have a very high max speed. But even it can't beat an eletric motor in acceleration.

Instant torque at any speed, not having to "rev up" and no gears are a massive benefit of having such simple drive trains.

I think other companies should take notice, and start offering higher performance EVs. Specially since the battery is the main cost driver, and electric engines are tiny. Add more power a 'premium' option.

It's not just about the environment, there are some measurable benefits of EVs for car enthusiasts.


> Sure, a Porsche will have a very high max speed. But even it can't beat an eletric motor in acceleration.

Unless, of course, it's a Porsche Taycan:

https://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/hybrid-electric/a21239...

https://www.engadget.com/2019/03/09/porche-taycan-ev-20-000-...

https://newsroom.porsche.com/en/products/porsche-taycan-miss...


> I think other companies should take notice, and start offering higher performance EVs

I'm a Tesla fanboy and I agree with this wholeheartedly.

A lot of my fanboyism is based on the fact that Tesla is the ONLY company making performance EVs. The SLOWEST Tesla is still quicker than the fastest Leaf, Bolt, i3, or any other EV besides the i8, which doesn't count because it's a plug-in hybrid with only 15 miles of electric range.

I'm greatly considering a Model 3 Performance at the end of this year, but if another company announces an EV that will do 0-60 in under 3.5 seconds (EDIT: for under $75K) before then, I'd be willing to put off buying an EV to give someone else a chance.


Jaguar I-Pace has 0-60 in 4.6 seconds, don't think that's slower than all Teslas, is it?


Somehow I didn't know of the I-Pace. Between the I-Pace and a Model 3 Performance though, I'd probably go for the Tesla. $10k less, faster, quicker, and longer range.


The I-Pace competitor would be the model X.

It also starts at double the listed price of the Model 3.

I'd rather have an I-pace.


The I-Pace doesn't look that big in pictures, while a Model X is a rather large SUV. I-Pace looks like it's a hair smaller than a Honda CR-V.

I'm a bigger fan of smaller cars. Even a Model 3 would feel big to me, since I currently drive a Subaru BRZ (Which is the same car as the Scion FR-S and Toyota GT86).


The model X does not look big when standing next to one. The first time I have seen one on the road, I was actually really surprised how small it was.


I've got a Mustang and I'd like something mch smaller.


> A lot of my fanboyism is based on the fact that Tesla is the ONLY company making performance EVs.

This is one of the reasons for my lack of enthusiasm about Tesla/electric vehicles. I don't especially care about acceleration performance - I'm perfectly happy with my $10k econobox that gets >700km per tank and handles pretty nicely.


I believe a software update lowered that to 3.3 seconds (in track mode).


One of the largest challenges with high performance EVs is cooling and weight. Both of these affect performance.

A Lotus Exige 380 Cup, with the 2GR-FE 3.5 supercharged V6 from the Toyota Camry weights just 1105KG, of which 163KG is the engine, excluding the supercharger. The 85KWh cells in the Model S weighs 540KG in comparison and is almost 50% of the Exige's total weight.

I'm not sure how far off we are from solving this but I'm quite looking forward to improved cooling and lightweight cells that will make electric viable for ultra high performance sports cars.


I've wondered about something similar.

The original roadster was based on the elise (similar to exige), and it was heavier.

I think the highest performance models now have the largest batteries mostly due to marketing. basically "If you want the performance, pay for more battery than you need".

Why not have a 35kwh car, a supercapacitor as a buffer and have it weigh significantly less for better performance? (at the expense of range)


It would be a pain. Take that 35KWh car on track, do a 15 minute session and then have to wait another 45-60 minutes for it to charge back up?


If you're talking about the track, then swappable batteries?

Also, I wonder how a supercapacitor could increase range? I suspect performance and efficiency would both increase without energy bottlenecks between the motors and the batteries.


on the bright side, that weight penalty can be located very very low. That doesn't help with acceleration but improves braking and cornering performance.


This is a common misconception. Mass is still mass, no matter how optimally it is placed in the chassis.

A Lotus Exige already has near perfect weight distribution and low center of gravity. Since it is mid-engined it also has 160KG of engine over the rear axle which improves traction.

Adding an extra 500KG and putting it lower in the vehicle will not improve braking performance, handling or agility.


The plug-in hybrid Porsche 918 can go 0-60 MPH in 2.2 seconds. I'm pretty sure that demolishes the fastest Tesla models.


Tesla Model S with Ludicrous+: 2.28 seconds. Not quite matching it, but the Porsche is not "demolishing" it either. And the Telsa will carry you and four of your friends, and costs 1/5 as much as the Porsche (which isn't even for sale any more). https://electrek.co/2017/02/07/tesla-model-s-p100d-ludicrous...


the fastest recorded time iirc of the 918 was done by car and driver, at 2.1 seconds 0-60[i was wrong, it was 2.2 seconds]. tesla model S p100D with "ludicrous mode" have been recorded at ~2.2 seconds (fastest i could find was 2.28 seconds from moter trend). the 918 is the fastest recorded production car, and of course a difference of .1-.18 seconds is a bigger deal at ~2 seconds.

car and driver is notorious for "dumping the clutch" on a lot of their tests. with the 918's dct, that likely means an automated launch control, though they still have come under fire for pushing the cars to their limit on their 0-60 tests, possibly damaging components in the process. Launch control can be quite hard on performance cars, some even have a lifetime counter on how many times it can be done. in order to enter ludicrous mode in the tesla, you have to agree that you understand it may damage components of the car as well.

both cars have instant torque from electric motors, and AWD. the largest limiting factor keeping us from faster 0-60 times is definitely tire technology, most of these cars run on tires with very similar compounds, usually from Michelin or Pirelli. also, at 0-60 in ~3 seconds, it works out to about 1G, which makes me wonder how much people want to accelerate that quickly, or if they just want to be able to talk about the times on their new car.


Absolutely.

I've driven my Tesla Model S 28,000mi in 14 countries and I'd never go back to a petrol car. 250-350mi range. 'Tank' full every morning. Supercharger, destination chargers and plugs in garages everywhere. Free parking in my London borough, no road tax, no congestion charge.

Does 60mph in 2.8sec, absolutely toasting everything at the lights with no nonsense noise byproduct or fuss.


The Hacker News crowd might be interested in how I charge whilst not having off-street parking, in central London. They converted all the street lights to LEDs, meaning there is excess electricity delivered. So they put plugs on the posts. Works brilliantly.

https://imgur.com/a/I5AtwJk https://www.ubitricity.com/


Your explanation doesn't make sense to me. How many watts does a non-LED light consume vs charging an EV? A good sized light is probably less than 500 watts. To charge an EV you need thousands of watts. The street lights must have been wired with a massively over-designed electrical conductor (and upstream infrastructure) or there would be no way to charge EVs in any kind of density. Based on the power draw of EVs, I don't see how it can work without putting in new cabling.


You can charge an EV with 1kW (i.e. 110V x 10A) - that's how I charge my Tesla daily.

Given that this is in the UK, they probably have 220V and 13A delivered to each outlet - that's 2.8kW.


This. I get more than enough juice out of an Ubitricity socket for an overnight charge.

Here is a screenshot of the Tesla app showing the car charging on an Ubitricity plug.... https://imgur.com/a/TykEMSa

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKaEhBjt1ls, from Fully Charged. Video features a council official (who own the lights) and Ubitricity CEO.


I would assume several traffic lights compose a string, and not every traffic light has an EV.


This is very cool but would get stolen and chopped for copper in US cities. I'd seriously give this 15 minutes before being stolen in SF.


That picture is from where I live, Brixton in London - not exactly a low crime area.

Cable is locked at both ends. I've never tried it, but strikes me you'd have to be particularly stupid to put a cutting implement through a live electricity line.



The yellow part & green box is carried by the driver, typically. The city's end of the deal is just a socket on a lamp post.


That is interesting. How is your usage metered so they know how much to charge you?


The box on the proprietary cable reports back via a mobile phone network, and I get a bill each month.


how much do you think it costs to "fill" your Tesla via this provider?


I pay 0.12GBP per kWh on that cable. Car has a 90kWh battery, so £10.80 fills from 0 to 100. I get 250-350mi from that.


> No amount of marketing can give you the thrill that you get when you slam the accelerator.

Have you driven another high-performance car such as a Porsche Turbo or GTS? They have similar acceleration times as the best Tesla.


Key word being 'similar'. The engine can be even more powerful, but there's still 'lag'.

Also, we are comparing a sedan, with plenty of space for passengers and cargo, with a dedicated sports car.


It depends on the motor and what is determined as "lag". The 4.0 motor in the 991 GT3 and GT3 RS does not have lag, the throttle response is immediate.


It's not so much 'lag' that people notice as much as the torque roll on. Even a supercar doesn't deliver 100% torque the second you hit the throttle, the RPM has to build to increase the torque, hence the reason torque and HP are on a curve. Electric on the other hand has ALL the torque available ALL the time. Generally they actually have to limit it for takeoff otherwise every Tesla would just roast the tires if you slammed the throttle.


What we're now describing is more or less the power and torque curve as you rightly mentioned. My worry here is that we're kind of categorizing all internal combustion engines as having the same kind of power/torque curves when in fact a lot of internal combustion engines are very different from each other.

Some engines are capable of delivering 100% of torque the second (within a couple 100ms) of hitting the throttle. To name a couple:

1. The Mercedes M278 twin-turbo V8 makes 700NM of torque between 1,800 and 3,500RPM. In other words, 700NM of torque is available from little above idle.

2. BMW B58 single-scroll turbo i6 makes 500NM between 1,600 and 4,500RPM.

Other turbo charged engines, such as those in supercars, have different kind of turbos turned for a more linear torque and power curve to better replicate their N/A predecessors, such as the McLaren M838TE which makes 620NM between 5,500 and 6,500RPM.

Lots of different engines out there with all kinds of different characteristics and power/torque curves.


You're definitely right, it is getting to the point of semantics when it comes to comparing the high end of internal combustion to electric. I mean, even very old diesels could hit their peak torque in the 100s of rpms. Even still though, a couple 100ms to full torque is still more than literally instantaneous torque with electric. That also applies to the 'low end' electric cars as well. They're really good at getting your head to snap back into your seat, but once you're moving the benefits really drop off a cliff. Just like the torque and hp 'curve'(cliff) of an electric car actually.


a turbo engine takes some amount of time to spool up the turbos and produce the full torque. sometimes that time is very small, but it is there.


As a practical matter, the most powerful Porsches and Teslas are both going to be hitting the traction control pretty constantly during hard acceleration from a stop. Their performance changes on racing slicks, I'm sure. A gt2 RS on racing slicks recently did less than ten seconds for the quarter mile with some minimal modifications at a drag strip. (Which is a crazy use for that car, but still)

It's a measure of how amazing the Tesla's performance is that you need something with race car-like specs to compete. On the other hand, that only holds true for about the first quarter mile. It's not going to keep pulling hard until 200mph. The roadster will, perhaps, someday.


For acceleration.

That's 1 part of driving, it's just the part Tesla chosen to highlight because it's where electric cars have an advantage.

They are also heavier and tend to overheat if pushed.

Even in a 1/4 mile the Tesla is somewhere in the 10-11 second range. That's insanely fast, but it's not reaching the levels of purpose built drag racers or even some production cars.


> That's 1 part of driving, it's just the part Tesla chosen to highlight because it's where electric cars have an advantage.

It's also the part everyone driving on a public road notices and appreciates. There's a reason zero to sixty and quarter mile numbers have always been so widely quoted.


The 991 GT3 is $140k?


Yes. It is cheaper than the Model S P100D in the U.K.

991 GT3: £111,802 (https://www.evo.co.uk/porsche/911-gt3/19269/new-2017-porsche...)

P100D: £129,400 (https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/tesla/model-s/98337/tesla-mode...)


This is well known in car sales in general: "The feel of the wheel seals the deal".


Seems like the right moment in time to legislate a maximum acceleration for street legal cars.


Legislation already on the books covering "display of speed" (intentional wheel-spinning, name varies by jurisdiction) and posted speed limits should already address your concern, don't they?


It’s already regulated as reckless driving. If you burn rubber starting from a stoplight a cop will probably write you a ticket for it.


A Model S, and most other 500HP+ all wheel drive cars with launch control don't burn rubber. The launch control and ESP are programmed to limit wheel spin as much as possible as loss of traction is not useful for maximum acceleration.

There are a couple of good videos of Model S doing launch control on YouTube: https://youtu.be/8I-6_H0haAw?t=248


A Model S, and most other 500HP+ all wheel drive cars with launch control don't burn rubber.

If one can afford a Model S, one can afford a lawyer to ask the judge for the court's accepted definition for "display of speed". My money says a Tesla with pedal mashed and launch control on would not fit the definition. All one is left with is pulling an illegal number of Gs, which I don't think cops have a measuring gun for yet.

In the real world, I've launched plenty hard on motorcycles on a regular basis to this day, and have occasionally blown past a sitting cop while doing it (getting around traffic from a light, or what have you). No smoke from the rear tire, front wheel stayed on the ground, speed not exceeded (or not by much), I've never been pulled over. Squeal tires, or have another car next to you accelerating at the same rate, or maybe even an overly loud exhaust, and now you've got problems.


Why does the acceleration matter if we already regulate velocity?


Acceleration clearly impacts interactions between drivers.

If I see a car stationary at a junction, I can assume that 0.5 seconds from now, it will either still be stationary, be a little further forward or a little further back.

The range of possible positions is significantly reduced with an acceleration limit.


By the same logic minimum stopping distance should also be regulated.


Arguably this is a good idea. If all cars had a precise 'maximum braking', then if everyone slammed the brakes on at the same time, nobody would crash.

If some cars stop better than others, then if everyone slams the brakes on, the poor souls in cars that don't stop as well will collide.

Keeping a safe distance between cars mitigates this though.


Interesting concept.

I suspect you'd have a lot of the car industry against your campaign though...


They should never had cut the prices to begin with. For a company in need of cash I don't understand the fascination with the price cuts. There is demand sufficient to keep them going and with the TMY coming it should open a new market.

The S&X price cuts are only warranted if they don't plan to bring their interiors up to par. The TM3 price confusion seemed mostly caused by their change up in how auto pilot and full self driving were sold. With enhanced auto pilot being removed for a lesser version and FSD taking some features from EAP. Even at the new two thousand dollar price for FSD presented to existing EAP owners I wonder what the take rate is. They haven't shown significant improvement.

My concern long term with Tesla is that they still don't have up to date features for the driver other than "autopilot" and that feature is quickly becoming the norm for many cars. Their blue tooth support is half baked, you cannot select music from your phone through the car's UI, you have to use the phone. Automatic wipers and high beams are both sporadic with the latter being near useless. The promised voice commands never arrived. Their energy monitoring screen is the least useful of all EVs.

They are quickly turning into a two trick pony in a world where everyone else has their own stable.


I would agree. Tesla didn't really need to cut the prices until 2020/2021, when more real competition will come to market. Until then they should've taken advantage of this window to fix their finances and make sure they have enough cash for future investments.

Not to mention this whole price cut thing pissed off a lot of Model 3 customers who purchased earlier.

I also share your concern about Tesla/Musk's extreme focus on "self-driving features". For now I don't think self-driving is much more than a gimmick. Yes, a gimmick that attracts headlines, but nonethless a gimmick and it's only a matter of time before more people wake up and realize it is one and that full self-driving is nowhere close to being ready.

In the meantime, Tesla adds a significant amount of cost to its cars by making them "self-driving ready" and whatnot, instead of focusing on capturing more EV market share by launching lower-cost EVs.

And no there is no contradiction between what I said about the price cutting above and the lower-cost EVs. The lower-cost EVs don't have to be unprofitable. Tesla just needs to stop adding "useless" features such as falcon wings and "full self-driving hardware" (that doesn't even achieve its objective) and make its EVs both unprofitable but also costing more than they should.


>Not to mention this whole price cut thing pissed off a lot of Model 3 customers who purchased earlier.

Who knew the cost of EV/Tesla would drop as they increase production? /s

Buyer's remorse on price should be the least of Tesla's concern: they are making their products more affordable to even more consumers.


> The TM3 price confusion seemed mostly caused by their change up in how auto pilot and full self driving were sold. With enhanced auto pilot being removed for a lesser version and FSD taking some features from EAP.

Don't miss the overall lowering of the AP bar. 2017 EAP: Going to drive you exit to exit on the expressway at twice the safety of a human driver. 2017 FSD: Summon your car from across the country.

2019 EAP: Keeps in the lane and controls the speed while you watch vigilantly, ready to take over at any moment. 2019 FSD: Moves around outside the lanes while you watch vigilantly, ready to take over at any moment.


>They should never had cut the prices to begin with. For a company in need of cash I don't understand the fascination with the price cuts. There is demand sufficient to keep them going and with the TMY coming it should open a new market.

It's odd because Tesla has always been a luxury/up-scale car, even if their quality has been a bit spotty. I understand the motivations for Tesla to move into the mass market, but they can't also be a luxury car company with a cut rate sales experience. They're neither fish nor fowl at this point. A company with a cheap sales model trying to sell a car with a premium price.


> There is demand sufficient to keep them going

Is there? The Model 3 went from selling 18,000 cars in December to only 6,000 in Jan/Feb. Where is this demand?


I wonder if that's due to the federal + state discounts ending moving lots of sales from jan/feb back to december.


I'm sure some of it is, but given the multiple this company is trading at compared to its peers, a drop in sales of over 60% month over month should cause investors to panic.


Interested in your comment on Tesla Bluetooth support. When you say "select music" do you mean basic skipping/play pause? Because anything more than that (like browsing a catalog of music) really isn't supported by the Bluetooth protocol AFAIK. I don't think any car does that.

Wireless Android Auto/Apple CarPlay almost work now, which may be closer to what you mean. I never looked into it, but I'm surprised Tesla doesn't support either. I understand the arguments Tesla is making about not supporting CarPlay/AA, but still, Hyundai figured it out...


I've had rental cars that were able to let me scroll through Spotify playlists and the like via Bluetooth, although some or all (I think Ford's, maybe Mazda too) required an extra app on your phone.


I suspect the price of the car will determine market share going forward.

For example, the leaf had a lower price for a long time and sold 400,000 cars.


>They are quickly turning into a two trick pony in a world where everyone else has their own stable.

What everyone else has?

* No battery tech

* Substandard electric drive trains

* No OTA systems

* No charging network

* Crappy entertainment systems (your long term concerns are ridiculous: Bluetooth, USB connections, auto wipers and high beams, voice commands, energy monitoring > this is nothing compared to the issues that the competition has)

* Poor self-driving tech and almost zero data

* No control over the distribution network (the dealerships are a PITA for a manufacturer that tries to sell EV, because dealer can't service cars that don't need service except washer fluid)

* etc

I'm not even talking about their conflict of interests (continuing making profit from ICE sales while increasing EV production without cannibalizing their own ICE sales... in a market downturn)


Ok, clearly flamebait, but I'll bite:

* No battery tech: Daimler currently produces their own batteries [1] so do many competitors

* Substandard electric drive trains: you mean the drive trains from Tesla that keep breaking? Check this Truedelta report [2]

* No OTA systems: although many brands are developing similar systems, the OTA systems are causing many problems. [3]. In addition, changes in the behaviour of the autopilot system has been a likely contributor to the much-cited deadly Tesla autopilot crash [4].

* No charging network. True, mostly due to vendor lock-in. This is likely to change. In the Netherlands, you can charge your EV almost everywhere.

* Crappy entertainment systems. Perhaps... Apple CarPlay could use some improvement. Nevertheless, I'd count this as a very minor point.

* Poor self-driving tech. Compared to which other car? They are all level 2 autonomous: Cadillac CT6, a Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and the Volvo S90.

* No data. Data is important, but not the most important part of autonomous driving. IP related to sensor technology and simulation systems are winners.

* No control over the distribution network. This is only an advantage when you want to gain a short-term monopoly, like Tesla had to do. As it stands, most car-manufacturers already have full vertical integration to the customer. Prices are fixed. Service intervals are fixed. Components are fixed. It's just that the capital investments in a distribution system are immense, and not related to the core structure of car manufacture.

[1] ttps://www.daimler.com/innovation/case/electric/battery-cells.html

[2] https://www.truedelta.com/car-reliability-by-brand

[3] https://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/tesla-ota-update-breaks-a...

[4] https://www.autopilotreview.com/tesla-autopilot-accidents-ca...


> No battery tech

I thought Tesla’s batteries are fairly run of the mill. The competitive advantage is they’re producing them at scale. That’s a moat, but an expensive one to maintain. Cutting prices would seem to remain a mistake.


Doesn't Tesla's batteries really mean Panasonic's batteries? Gigafactory 1 is a joint venture with Panasonic.

What's stopping any of the other vehicle manufacturers from entering a joint venture agreement with any of the other large battery manufacturers?


Panasonic makes battery cells. Think AAA battery.

Tesla designed and makes everything else, and that's a lot. The technology that goes into making sure that the battery lasts a long time, works decently in cold and hot, can be charged at high speeds, doesn't explode etc. is very sophisticated and no other car maker has this knowledge in house.

Even at the battery cell level Tesla doesn't just rely on Panasonic. Browse LinkedIn a bit and you'll see that they have in-house R&D for battery cells, they sponsor well-known cell-level academic researchers and they just spent over $200 million on Maxwell Technologies to get their cell-level IP.

The first thing that stops other car makers from making big moves in the battery space is lack of conviction. They still act like they are only half-convinced that EVs are 100% of their future in very short order (speaking relatively in car business years).

And the second thing that stops them is massive investments needed to build their own battery gigafactories.

Third is probably lack of internal expertise (which Tesla was building since the days of roadster).

Even those most committed (like Volksvagen) project for 2025 maybe 1/4th of (projected) Tesla's production.

Fun fact: Volkswagen wants to partner with SK Technologies on battery factories.

Reportedly their current supplier (LG Chem) threatened to cut them off if they proceed.

It's unprecedented for a supplier to threaten their biggest buyer which should tell you the current distribution of power in battery technology.


> Panasonic makes battery cells. Think AAA battery

or think "the individual cells that make up the tesla battery pack".


My hand has 5 fingers, but 5 fingers don't make a hand.

How do you reconcile your opinions state here with @clouddrover's comment, posted earlier than yours, stating the Toyota and Panasonic are entering a joint venture also?


I expect it's a similar comparison to chips and fabs. Apple designs their own chips, TSMC fabs them.

Apple maintains their edge because it's their proprietary design. Tesla may do the same.


I think my point is: Toyota etc. may do the same, no?


Sooner or later mass scale technologies become commodities accessible to all. The question is can competitors stay solvent for longer than tech takes to commoditize


Yes, thank you. I didn’t know it, but that’s what I was trying to say.

Is Telsa’s battery tech and production advantage a big enough differentor to enable them to lay waste to all the other large auto producers?

I don’t believe so. It’s hard to imagine a future where Tesla is the only car manufacturer.


Apple's advantages are big enough differentiators to enable them to lay waste to most other large phone/tablet/smartwatch producers performance and profits.

They're not the only phone/tablet/smartwatch manufacturer though.

Not all consumers care for 'best in $metric' products, and where consumer priorities differ, opportunities for others exist. IE, Tesla can maintain their advantages without the rest of the industry disappearing, it's not a zero-sum game.


Toyota’s been in the battery game for over two decades, for both hybrids and EVs. While they aren’t fully committed to EVs yet, they’re still planning to release multiple model lines in 2020+ (and if Libtec manages a breakthrough we could see a much more significant commitment to all-electrics). In general, while Tesla’s field experience in battery technology is an advantage, I’d be cautious of anyone claiming it’s a market barrier. Tesla’s real advantage is that it doesn’t have any choice but make EVs work; none of its competitors, for better or for worse, have their backs up against that particular wall.


Nothing. Toyota has a joint venture with Panasonic:

https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-01-22/toyota...


Tesla cells are designed to Tesla's proprietary specs.

This has just been confirmed:

>CATL has been discussing the required specifications for the batteries with Tesla officials, the people said, asking not to be named because the talks are private.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-11/tesla-is-...


You're confusing battery packs with battery cells.


The physical cells themselves aren't that far ahead of the game (although they are definitely a little bit ahead on the cells), but the whole battery module is leagues ahead of anyone else.

The performance and degradation of the battery packs is absolutely unparalleled at this time and it remains to be seen when any other company will catch up to them.


Then why Tesla are far more efficient than all other EVs on the market in 2019: e-Tron, Jaguar I-PACE, Mercedes EQC, all-electric XC40...?


You're jumping around this thread spamming rabid defenses of Tesla, apparently too quickly to realize that the parent commenter actually agreed with you.


We still disagree about the cells not being far ahead of the game.

>Cells used in Model 3 are the highest energy density cells used in any electric vehicle. We have achieved this by significantly reducing cobalt content per battery pack while increasing nickel content and still maintaining superior thermal stability. The cobalt content of our Nickel-Cobalt-Aluminum cathode chemistry is already lower than next-generation cathodes that will be made by other cell producers with a Nickel-Manganese-Cobalt ratio of 8:1:1. As a result, even with its battery, the gross weight of Model 3 is on par with its gasoline-powered counterparts.

http://electrek.co/2018/05/02/tesla-tsla-releases-q1-results...


If your intention is to make Tesla look good, you are achieving the opposite with this mindless spam. Popping up in every Tesla thread regurgitating the shit you read on Electrek adds zero value.

I'm sure you have nuanced opinions but you aren't taking the time to read, think about and actually answer what you're replying to, so why should anybody care what you have to say?

Churchill put it best: A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.


>Cells used in Model 3 are the highest energy density cells used in any electric vehicle. We have achieved this by significantly reducing cobalt content per battery pack while increasing nickel content and still maintaining superior thermal stability. The cobalt content of our Nickel-Cobalt-Aluminum cathode chemistry is already lower than next-generation cathodes that will be made by other cell producers with a Nickel-Manganese-Cobalt ratio of 8:1:1. As a result, even with its battery, the gross weight of Model 3 is on par with its gasoline-powered counterparts.

Source: http://ir.tesla.com/static-files/1b240f1e-b519-4b40-b14b-fea...


and other car companies have been securing that supply chain.


> No OTA systems

That's a strong selling point.

> Crappy entertainment systems

are android auto and carplay crappy?

I just want my music controls. I don't need to be entertained beyond that. Massive safety issue.

> Poor self-driving tech and almost zero data

Tesla doesn't have good self driving tech.


Are they doing their math on a napkin? I don't understand why they make such dramatic spins on pricing and cost in less than a month.

Either they have real-time data that supports the rationale of changing the model based on revenue predictions or they financial math is a joke.

I'm inclined to think is the latter, simply because I really doubt they have any early indicators to compare physical floor vs online performance. But if they do, then this means that their early online performance is way way lower than they expected, which is troubling by itself.


I actually think data is the problem. People were making their purchases online but the in store experience is what was convincing them to make the purchase in the first place. Hard to measure that kind of conversion.


There's this article about a Google engineer who reduced the size of the player from over 1MB to less than 100KB. But the data showed that page load times increased to 2 minutes instead of reducing.

They couldn't figure out why. They almost rolled back the change until someone figured out the reason. Millions of users with very slow internet couldn't even open YouTube before the change. Now, they could.

Tesla probably weren't tracking store visits, and test drives in relation to online purchases. And this missing info misled them.

http://blog.chriszacharias.com/page-weight-matters

Edit: Changed 20 minutes to 2 minutes. After rereading the article.


Can't find this article. Please share if possible


Took over an hour of search (before ur request) - both Google and Bing were useless. Just crossed my mind that I may have upvoted it here on HN and voila!

http://blog.chriszacharias.com/page-weight-matters


Thanks a lot.

Also, thanks for updating your original comment. Your numbers were stuck in my head. After reading the article - I was like - It's not making sense. So, I reread your comment and saw the updated numbers :-)


It's not super hard to get estimates like this, e.g. look at sales in comparable cities with or without stores, or how online sales changed after stores were opened. You won't get exact numbers but you should be able to get within a factor of 2, which is enough for most of these decisions. Companies like Warby Parker, etc. did this successfully at much smaller scales.


I disagree about it being within a factor of 2, at least for this year.

Consider the following:

* In January, the $7500 Federal Tax Credit became a $3750 Tax Credit for Tesla. The $3750 tax credit will be halved again some time this year.

* The price of the M3 has been in flux: the $35,000 car has been released, there were $2000 price drops (in reaction to the tax credit), and other issues.

* The M3 was a preorder vehicle: many people put down $1000 reservations, but its difficult to measure exactly which vehicle they wanted (a lot of them seemed to be waiting for the $35k version). Attributing the sales to preorders vs sales conversions is clearly a difficult problem.

* The M3 availability fluxuated grossly, based on Tesla's ability to produce it. You may be waiting 6+ weeks for a M3 if you ordered in 2018, but only 2 weeks if you ordered more recently. Simple knowledge of the decreasing wait time would spur many to purchase in of itself.

* Consumer Reports, and other major review magazines, released reviews which almost assuredly changed sales numbers.

The sales are just not stable enough on a month-to-month basis to do what you're suggesting.


They wouldn't do this risky and desperate move if they had a better option, they were in a situation that forced this move.


Again, follow the SilverCar model and let consumers rent a Tesla.

Apply a one day rental fee toward the purchase price if they buy within 365 days of renting the car.

Use this to get more people in Tesla’s experiencing them.


I bought my last car from Hertz and they let me rent it for 3 days before I bought it. When I bought it they refunded the rental price. Much better than a 15 minute test drive. I agree Tesla should do this.


Once you go EV you won't go back. Teslas are the best EVs of the bunch. This would be an awesome move.


Well I'll give them credit for being able to recognize and reverse a mistake. That's a good sign for the future.

The original plan was pretty much a death sentence for them, it's impossible to compete seriously without giving people an opportunity to actually see and drive the product.


They needed the stores initially, to convince people that they're a going concern, have real cars that actually drive, and so on.

Now everybody knows them, so they don't think they need stores.

In a year or two, with EV competition heating up, they'll need real stores again. Test drive a Mercedes EV, test drive a BMW EV, and... oh that Tesla thing? I don't know, I can't drive one, better go with the 'real' manufacturer.

The 'closing stores' stunt is what got my dad to finally pull his Model 3 reservation money. You no longer need to 'wait in line', and he's already got priority as an S owner anyway, to the extent that it matters. He was pissed that they'd just jerk their retail employees around like that.

I'm wondering if I should buy autopilot now that it's down to $2000, before they raise the price again. It definitely wasn't worth $5000 to me. I'm not sure it's worth $2k, but if it's worth buying, it's worth buying at the lowest price!


Hey bud, please just remember it is assisted driving & keep paying full attention on the road.


> Well I'll give them credit for being able to recognize and reverse a mistake. That's a good sign for the future.

It's very concerning that they made that call in the first place. It should never have been reversed because they shouldn't have done it. I'm a huge fan of Tesla, but I can't help but say it feels completely chaotic atm.


It is still terrible and irresponsible to make corporate decisions at this scale and just whiplash back and forth. There are thousands of people employed by this company who have felt dread and uncertainty because of these decisions. They should have to upend their lives because Elon Musk chooses to zig one day and zag the next.


Is it though? I was a fan of the slimmed down approach.

With how prolific Amazon is, most of the consumer market relies on reviews to discern which products to buy, and is better off for it. I've never had the experience of first-hand interaction with a Tesla product, but I still want one strictly due the feedback I've gotten from actual owners on Youtube.

I can get a much more insightful review of the product from someone who's owned the car for 10 months, than if I were to simply sit in the car and drive it around for 10 minutes.


Average price of a cart on Amazon must be around ~15$. Minimum cart price on Tesla website is 35k$, not really comparable.


As an interesting aside, the Tesla Model 3 is a reviewed product on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Tesla-2018-3/dp/B076H6WHPP


> With how prolific Amazon is, most of the consumer market relies on reviews to discern which products to buy, and is better off for it.

Amazon doesn't sell a lot of products that people are getting financing for at $30K+ prices and trading in other expensive products as part of the purchase transactions.

Things like cars and homes are not the same, for people of normal financial means, as phone chargers and boxed cereal, or even big-screen TVs.

(Also not convinced that online reviews are much of a benefit beyond partially compensating for problems unique to online retail, like the lack of gatekeeping.)


I'm 100% on board with that if the return process is pretty frictionless. I need to be able to test out the vehicle for a few days without making a full commitment just based on online product reviews


> I'm 100% on board with that if the return process is pretty frictionless.

I don't see how it could be anything but a hassle. Consider:

- The vehicle is financed and you'd have to unwind the financing. That has to be a pain in the ass.

- You traded in your old car.


Plus stories about Tesla being really bad at giving people their money on returns (or even cancelled/upgraded leases) quickly.

I can’t afford to have most of 40k sitting in limbo for a while while Tesla figures something out. Can you?


> I can’t afford to have most of 40k sitting in limbo for a while while Tesla figures something out. Can you?

The real answer to this question is: nobody can afford $40k in limbo.

The 30-day US Treasury is at 2.44% this week. This means you get $81 / month MINIMUM if you just leave that in US Treasury Bonds. That's the lowest-risk Treasury available, you make more money with any other investment on the market.


> most of the consumer market relies on reviews to discern which products to buy

Leading -- almost inevitably -- to a huge market in fake reviews. This doesn't seem to be a solved problem yet.


I wouldn't say it was a death sentence. Maybe it depends on strong word-of-mouth reputation, but I'd prefer to buy one online without ever stepping onto a sales floor.

From their original announcement: "You can now return a car within 7 days or 1,000 miles for a full refund. Quite literally, you could buy a Tesla, drive several hundred miles for a weekend road trip with friends and then return it for free."

This is how buying a car should be, if it was up to me.


> "You can now return a car within 7 days or 1,000 miles for a full refund. Quite literally, you could buy a Tesla, drive several hundred miles for a weekend road trip with friends and then return it for free."

> This is how buying a car should be

No it isn't. How realistic and practical would it be to choose between multiple makes, models, and option packages if you had to buy all of them and return the ones you didn't want within 7 days (or be stuck with them)? The only situation where Tesla's model makes any sense is for a customer who's already 99% committed to buying a Tesla, but most buyers aren't like that.

One awesome thing about the traditional dealer model is that you can try cars out at a leisurely pace with absolutely no obligation to buy. Tesla's model is twisted so that you have a Sword of Damocles handing over your head.


> you can try things out at a leisurely pace

Yeah, but that's the only 'pace' available. Last time I leased a car, it took an entire afternoon.


> Yeah, but that's the only 'pace' available. Last time I leased a car, it took an entire afternoon.

You mean filling out all the paperwork when you've decided to make a deal? That's not what I was talking about. I was talking about the experience of walking into a dealership on a Saturday, test driving a car or two, and leaving without even having to sign any contracts or give anyone any payment information.

Yeah, the dealer warranty/coating up-sell song and dance is obnoxious, but it sounds like heaven compared with needing to buy cars just to test drive them.


"You can now return a car within 7 days or 1,000 miles for a full refund. Quite literally, you could buy a Tesla, drive several hundred miles for a weekend road trip with friends and then return it for free."

Yeah I mean, in theory that's great and all but in practice most people are going to have to go through a lot of paperwork and hassle to set up a loan or otherwise get the cash together up front. Even if you can get a full refund, test driving is still a much lower commitment.

That said, maybe supply is so much more of a bottleneck than demand for them that it's not worth the money to keep all the stores open. Or maybe enough consumers have cars now that owners are just giving test drives to their friends and family instead. I don't really know what the right decision for them is here, but the "oh well nobody needs test drives because of our refund policy" argument did feel a little silly to me.


I'm not interested in giving a company I have no track record with tens of thousands of dollars first, just for the privilege of being allowed to evaluate the product they want to sell me.

Not now for sure, but especially not when functional and competent companies like BMW, Mercedes, or Audi, who have made incredible cars for decades, will have competitive electric options and will treat me like an adult making a major purchase and let me test drive them.


Tesla has a terrible track record with returning money. Stories of getting the run around and in one case bounced checks...

And for those financing returning a loan is not loan easy as returning the car.


I had no issue getting my deposit refunded. Was quick and easy.



I might be willing (and even prefer!) to actually buy it online, but before I'd be willing to consider that I'd want to sit in one and do a test-drive at the very least..

I'm not going to buy 4 cars and return 3 of them to be able to comparison shop.


Maybe it depends on strong word-of-mouth reputation

That might work for a phone or a laptop, but when it comes to a $90K purchase, I wouldn't take my own mother's word on it without sitting my ass in one first.

(And, no, I'm not going to buy it and return it later. We're buying cars, not clothes, here.)


> From their original announcement: "You can now return a car within 7 days or 1,000 miles for a full refund. Quite literally, you could buy a Tesla, drive several hundred miles for a weekend road trip with friends and then return it for free."

Come on, do you honestly believe returning a Tesla will be the same experience as returning a random trinket on Amazon?

With all the financial pressure on Tesla, they will be doing anything to recognize the revenue of a "sold" car, which they can only do after the return window lapses. If the NYT forces me to call someone if I want to end a $20/mo. subscription, I shudder to think what Tesla will do to protect their $50k+ sale.


Would hate to be an employee working for a Tesla dealership. Closing, not closing, but maybe closing. If they don't already, I'd expect most employees to have one foot out the door.

Fortunately for Tesla, there is a bit of a cult surrounding their brand so maybe up-and-comer type salesmen might stick around for the "prestige" of working at a Tesla dealer?


> Would hate to be an employee working for a Tesla dealership. Closing, not closing, but maybe closing. If they don't already, I'd expect most employees to have one foot out the door.

There was post about the dealership employee reaction to all this, but it didn't gain much traction:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19361710


> The company says it has a "generous return policy" to avoid the need for test drives, as would-be buyers can return a car after 1,000 miles or seven days.

I wouldn't define it "generous", if I cannot test-drive the car.

Concerning the rest: mmhh, the move seems suspicious after the previous statement, which was very clear => maybe the early in/direct feedbacks/indicators were more negative than expected, and/or the stock market did not react according to the expectations and/or etc..., therefore the mgmt decided to find some middle ground? And/or maybe some conflicts in the board of directors?


I'm worried about whether or not Tesla will still be a company in 5 years. I think I would love to have a model S, but not having confidence in whether or not if be able to get it serviced is a huge impediment.


I think you inevitably take some risk. Tesla is, and has been since founding, a risk taking company. They bet the house on whatever they're doing next, and that means they may not exist later.

Also, electric cars are new, Tesla is new. So, the value of your 5 yr old tesla could (probably will) suffer more competition from newer models than an average ICE car, like the resale hit last year's model 3s just shouldered. ... Even if the companny is doing fine, servicing cars and the cars themselves age well... resale value is riskier than average.

This is just the cost of being an early-ish adopter. You could lease, or buy used to limit risk, but these have implications too.

The low risk, high resale value option is still (eg) an ICE toyota. You can't have everything. :)


There is risk, and then there is risk. A car isn't an investment. I'm a VR and AR headset early adopter, but there it is clear that A) newer, better models will come out long before my current units die, and B) I'm investing in my knowledge of VR/AR software development. I wouldn't be where I am today, with the job I have today, if I hadn't bought an Oculus Rift DK2 when they first became generally available. I don't have any skin in the game for electric cars, so an electric car purchase is not going to have the same impact on my life, it's purely a consumptive object. So the math becomes "will this save me money or give me more enjoyment than a similar purchase from another company".


[flagged]


Making EVs does not help with global warming, until we have a firm hold on winding down fossil fuel use. In the foreseeable future, there's a high probability that EVs will just become additional natural resource use on top of pumping and burning all the oil we can.

A better idea is to reduce private car use, and development of EVs just risks greenwashing it.


>Making EVs does not help with global warming

Making EVs to replace ICEs helps with global warming a great deal.

>A better idea is to reduce private car use, and development of EVs just risks greenwashing it.

One does not prevent the other.


>Making EVs does not help with global warming

Making EVs to replace ICEs helps with global warming a great deal.

>A better idea is to reduce private car use

One does not prevent the other.


"Making EVs does not help with global warming"

Hot take bud.


My single purchase is not going to make an effect on global warming. But if I were to buy an electric car for the purpose of doing my part to stem global warming, I might want to put my money towards a company that has a chance at surviving the next decade.


A perfect "late majority" point of view. Just wait them out. No need to hurry. Electric cars are here to stay. I don't think you benefit in any way in jumping on the bandwagon too soon.



It may be worse once we see other manufacturers producing all-electric (mostly) self-driving (capable) cars. For example I know Toyota intends to have an all electric lineup in the next few years[0]. However, I think it's possible for Tesla to remain despite all this. They seem to be quite ahead of the competition in having both all-electric and useful self-driving capabilities at least from my limited viewpoint.

Disclaimer: I drive Toyota, but I don't work for any car companies.

[0]: https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/toyota-to-introduce-10-el...


Prediction: In ten years it's going to be very funny to look back at Tesla as the supposed bankruptcy risk and not Toyota.

We've heard variants on the parent-comments line of thinking ever since the Model S came out in 2012. Yet, fast forward to 2019, and the gap between Tesla and traditional automakers has only widened (to name a few axes: EV sales, EV margins, rate of software improvements/OTA updates, Supercharger network, battery production).

This is what should terrify big automakers: it's not that Tesla's gap is per se insurmountable; it's that the pace at which Tesla is improving and innovating is far greater than the pace at which any other automaker is doing it.

Most comparative analyses between Tesla and other auto companies suffer from a fallacy that relates to this: they compare the Tesla of today to the ___ of tomorrow. Perhaps some day a traditional auto manufacturer will offer an all-electric, self-driving car. But how long is it going to take them to get there? Not to announce something, or to design a concept car, but to actually build them and sell them at scale and with positive margins? And what will Tesla offer by the time they do?

My wager is that by the time Toyota offers a compelling all-electric car (by today's standards), the feature gap between a $x Tesla and a $x Toyota will be so great that the Toyota will no longer be compelling to the market.

Throw in lower margins as companies build their first EVs, the baggage of dealerships, a likely recession some time in the next decade, and it's not at all clear to me how traditional manufacturers like Toyota will survive the transition.


> it's not at all clear to me how traditional manufacturers like Toyota will survive the transition.

Toyota will do it by being the world's largest car company. Toyota and Volkswagen each delivered over 10 million cars in 2018 alone:

https://www.autoblog.com/2019/01/11/vw-group-2018-total-sale...

Tesla meanwhile has sold somewhere in the order of 532,000 cars total since 2008:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla,_Inc.#Sales


> the pace at which Tesla is improving and innovating is far greater than the pace at which any other automaker is doing it.

What portion of Telsa's pace of improvements and innovation would you say is due to Telsa only recently having got started at this, 16 years ago, compared to Toyota 86 year history of automobile manufacturing, or Ford's 116 years.


Their ability to iterate fast for one thing. The fact that their structures are built around an all EV company. Toyota will have pressure from other departments to build and fund ICE research at the same time. Tesla is 100% focused on one thing. Plus they have the lowest cost batteries which plays a huge role. I think what the other car manufacturers are waiting for is to jump straight into solid state batteries once that train is going. That should at least reduce the advantage Tesla has right now.


Fast iteration is great for software.

It's not so great for hardware, because iteration means that newer builds of existing models may not share the same parts or designs, increasing the costs of maintenance. It's even worse for consumer hardware, because consumers will do all sorts of crazy things to/with their hardware.

Tesla couldn't keep up with the demand for repair parts before the Model 3 surge last fall. How will they manage if every part essentially needs to be custom made since they're constantly changing the parts?


> How will they manage if every part essentially needs to be custom made since they're constantly changing the parts?

That's not what happens in practice. Their revisions still obey interfaces wherever possible and follow the principles of modularity. E.g. when a v1 Model S door handle breaks, they replace it with the v3 version. When a v1 battery fails, they replace it with the v6 version.


Just because an event doesn't happen doesn't mean its probably was zero. I believe Tesla will pull through, but there's a very real chance of it failing while trying to cross the chasm from wealthy enthusiasts to the mainstream.


Comparing a Toyota to a Tesla is comparing oranges and apples. Tesla is a computer on wheels. Capabilities are delivered continuously over software updates. From self-driving capabilities to faster charging. Toyota and others do not have that capability.


Basically every car manufactured today can be called a computer on wheels. Whether Toyota will mimic Tesla's update process remains to be seen but I wouldn't rule it out once Toyota releases an all electric self driving vehicle.


Call me old fashioned, but I think it is a mistake to allow a software update to modify the functionality of car remotely.

Barring some kind of failure, whether mechanical, electrical, or electronic, I know with certainty the cars I own will perform tomorrow fairly well exactly as they did today.


Tesla has been very fast to release their self-driving capabilities (navigate on autopilot is pretty spooky), but in general the VW/Audi group shouldn't be too far off. The e-tron that was just released isn't as efficient as Tesla's because it's a traditional SUV design-wise, but a lot of the electric tech is there. On highways they even have L3 self-driving in traffic jams, in that the driver is no longer required to constantly pay attention, just being able to take over when the car indicates is enough.

Looking at the Geneva Motor Show, almost every manufacturer is really moving towards EVs (Toyota being one of the slower ones to make this move). Tesla is just going to have to deal with actual competitors very soon.


We've heard this since 2009! Nothing has changed expect that Tesla's lead is even greater. Other auto-manufacturer are all talk – except VW, these days (surprisingly).

If you think one company is finally getting serious about actually making EV "en masse", look for their plans to build battery gigafactories: if there's none, then they will not have the production capacity to make the EV they're talking about (but they'll certainly green-wash consumers with big time ads)... unless we start to hear about gargantuan plans from LG, Samsung and the like. But we're still waiting.


VW has a massive battery order spread between Samsung, LG and CATL, but yeah, I agree Tesla will have a solid lead on battery production for a while.

I wonder if Tesla/Panasonic will at some point start selling mass produced batteries to the traditional car manufacturers. Once EVs become mainstream, consumers will start expecting choice.


> VW has a massive battery order spread between Samsung, LG and CATL, but yeah, I agree Tesla will have a solid lead on battery production for a while.

Tesla have much bigger contracts with Panasonic, and already supplies cells from Samsung and LG for stationary storage and is inquiring CATL as the main supplier of the Shanghai factory.

Since Tesla is crushing them in EV volume and should continue to do so for years to come, I don't see how VW can compete in cost and even in tech.

>I wonder if Tesla/Panasonic will at some point start selling mass produced batteries to the traditional car manufacturers. Once EVs become mainstream, consumers will start expecting choice.

I doubt it, at least until Tesla is demand-constrained. By then, they'll keep all the batteries for their car and energy storage business and let the competition fight for the leftover.


Doesn't the new x7 have self driving capabilities?


Yeah, it's definitely worth waiting to see what happens in at least the next year or two.


You're right to be worried. They're not profitable, have never been profitable, don't look like they're ever going to be profitable.

Be smart with your money.


You are correct on a yearly basis. But Q3 and Q4 of 2018 were profitable.

So TSLA has made a quarterly profit. They've never made a yearly profit. Some would argue the last two quarters of profit is a turning point for the company.

Q1 2019 looks like they will lose money though. Jury is still out on whether or not 2019 will be a profitable year.


Tesla was not profitable in Q3 or Q4 2018 on a GAAP basis. They were profitable on a very specific "unicorn accounting" metric that eliminates most of the expenses that other auto companies include in their financial reporting metrics.

GAAP (and IFRS, the international version of GAAP) is industry-specific, so please none of the arguments about how it doesn't reflect the "true" state of Tesla's financial situation. It works just fine for every other carmaker.


Interesting. Do you have any good links that goes into the details of this?

I'm always interested in learning how to read financial sheets better. Its outside my field of computers, but I'd love to learn the skill. I've got a general idea of how GAAP works and other such cash-flow matters, but no official training in the subject.

EDIT: I did some searching... and it appears that Tesla was GAAP profitable in Q3 and Q4 2018, according to their quarterly filings. I'm very curious how and why you don't consider it GAAP. Is there something in the financial statement that is a red flag to you?


Literally every company report GAAP and non-GAAP numbers. And you publish a reconciliation report. non-GAAP profitability is as valid as GAAP profitability, otherwise you will get dinged by SEC as you are publishing those numbers in your annual report.


Look at the numbers to convince you otherwise. The Model 3 is the best selling mid-side luxury car (https://cleantechnica.com/2018/12/08/tesla-model-3-completel...).

The demand is there and as long as it remains, Tesla will thrive.

The company is victim of its own success. It can't produce enough vehicles to supply the demand. At the same time, its trying to make it more accessible. Tesla is reinventing the car industry with their product, sales and service.

Of course this is risky and creates a lot of unknowns.


I'd love to see those numbers in a couple of months. All those other models are established and have churn.

Tesla has a backlog of multiple years of M3 pre-orders, of course it's going to be selling at capacity. How about we take those numbers, and divide them along the lines of "how long has it been since pre-ordering"?

That would look a lot less impressive (but still a very good effort).


It's worse than that. Tesla has embraced the modern concept of embedded computers - OTA updates, constant phoning home, user prevented from even attempting to gain root. It's a valid concern as to how long a Tesla car can survive the death of its company even with perfect mechanical servicing.


They're a plum acquisition target, surely.


Barely profitable, staring down growing competition from industry veterans and built around Musk's cult of personality.

I love Telsa and what their doing but investing/acquiring them is such a risky move imo.


If Telsa goes belly up, is it possible creditors will want to sell the business as a going concern?

One of the other vehicle manufacturers make be able to buy Telsa's manufacturing facilities and branding for cents in the dollar.


> If Telsa goes belly up, is it possible creditors will want to sell the business as a going concern?

If it goes belly up, it’s no longer a going concern. Moreover, liquidation value of manufacturing facilities is pennies on the dollar. (Before legal fees, creditors’ claims, et cetera.) Supply chains are too tightly integrated; it’s expensive to swap in someone else’s kit.


That said, time spend waiting for Tesla specific parts would drop like a rock because all that tooling generally gets sold to some aftermarket company that ships it co China/Mexico/wherever and starts using it to crank out parts. Of course that won't matter if the server your car phones home to before turning on is down.


Is there any technical reason the IP addresses of those servers couldn’t also be sold?

Could some court or another order the whole server-side kit be sold? IP addresses, encryption keys, protocols, API, etc.


> Could some court or another order the whole server-side kit be sold? IP addresses, encryption keys, protocols, API, etc.

That's actually scarier. Whoever buys them would likely want to monetize the purchase, which likely means pushing out one final software update to put autoplay ads on every Tesla's dashboard and collect maximum tracking information to sell.


*Only in America.

In a perfect world some other auto manufacturer or parts supplier with a reputation to maintain, or benevolent society, would acquire it with the intention of making the vehicles maintainable.


Thanks for you response. I do apologies for my lack of understanding with regard to the correct use of financial terms.

I guess what I meant was, is there a future were, say, the Volkswagen Group owns Telsa?


Of course. Patents and other IP will be sold off to the highest bidder.

The factories will be closed down, but there's still railroads and other infrastructure that have been built to support the site. A new company will inevitably purchase the old site and recycle the infrastructure.


I am a huge Tesla fan and a Model S owner for almost 3 years. I love my car and think Tesla makes the best 21st century car, period. But, I have lost all faith on Elon at this point. These decisions and his hubris (like Falcon wing doors or Model 3 line automation) is actually costing the company at this time. Tesla needs a Tim Cook type operator to just take advantage of the car platform and stabilize the company, rake in the profits, and build a long term sustainable company. The innovations going forward mostly need to be incremental.


My thoughts on this aren't really about Elon or media coverage, though I think all sides have valid points. My thoughts are that Tesla lowering prices overall was a bit strange to begin with. Not many were calling for a price reduction in model s and x. Everyone wanted the 35k model 3 because that was what was promised. So by lowering the prices of all 3, they had to close stores. Bad move IMO. Relying on online sales is putting faith in a change in consumer behavior. When i buy a new car, sure I look for the car online first but I NEVER buy a car without a full physical inspection. That would be bananas in my world. So keeping stores open is smart. Keeping the savings for just model 3 is smart. Increasing the prices of s and x back up to what they were is smart. Reversing recent decisions makes me nervous but at least I get why they're doing it.

On a second note, from friends of mine who work there I hear that this kind of 'change of heart' manuevering is common from top to bottom. They'll be working on a project and then a decision will be made, often without warning and often because it's what manager think Elon wants, and they'll spend hours in overtime transitioning to the new regime. In one case I was told about, they refactored their codebase to a different language in a week and a half only to be told to refractor to yet another language half way through. They are always stressed that whatever they're working on is going to be scrapped at any moment. Not sure if anyone else has had this experience where they work but i have not.


The market is huge at 35k compared to higher price points. Musk is trying to get to that price first to grab substantial market share and brand loyalty in evs. That has always been the plan since the roadster.

I agree he's not a good manager and clearly doesn't have competent and confident operations people to reign him in as he does at spacex.


Closing the stores made me, potential customer, worry about whether Tesla the company will be around, spare parts will be available, software I am entrusting my families life to will be debugged promptly. Can parts of their business cease to exist on a whim from The Mad King?

Reversing their decision hasn't made me worry less.


More worrying than that is the crashing Tesla resale prices: https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/price-trends/Tesla-Model-S-d20...

Normal cars don't decline 20% in resale value in the last year.


I wonder how much of that is related to Model 3 availability. To me, a high-end 3 seems like a better buy than a lower-end S.

If you expand your date selection farther back, it looks like the S price decline really started around July 2018.


Not unusually bad depreciation for a luxury car. Better than many.


I suspect a good number of those stores are already in strategic locations, compared to other major car manufacturer locations which are all around major cities, I can think of at least several places I can get Toyota / Lexus cars in my city. For Tesla in my city I can only find one location and it's 58 minutes away from where I live. Let's see, I can drive 15 minutes or less to try out a Toyota, Lexus, and other cars from other manufacturers, or I can drive an hour to try a Tesla, worse yet if I can't even test drive one, how will I know I want one? This would be a problem if they closed up enough Tesla locations.


I find it hard to believe that 40 minutes difference in travel time matters when buy an expensive thing like that


I think it matters quite a bit, but for testing rather than buying. If I know that I want a Tesla I can drive for an extra 40 minutes to buy it. If I am deciding between, say, a Volvo, BMW or Toyota I might test drive a Tesla if it is close, but not if I have to drive 40 min each way. This may not be completely rational (test drives take longer than we budget for), but it still affects such decisions.


>I might test drive a Tesla

I don't think you can do that anymore


Yes you can. You're just limited to a floor model rather than the one you buy (personally not an issue for me).


For some people it may contribute to pushing them toward buying a non-Telsa car.

If you buy a new or secondhand car from a traditional dealership, and have a problem with it, even if you move, you can be fairly confident that you can go to pretty much any authorised dealership and have a face to face interaction with someone.

Continuity of service. I think this can be a huge motivating factor for some people.


To add to this, I only have 1 dealership within 15 min of my home. All the others are 45+ minutes away. When my family goes "car shopping" it's a half-day, or all day affair. I'm not thrilled about that, but it's pretty normal behavior in my extended family as well as friends.


I do the same thing. We only have two brands of dealerships, and being a small town they refuse to discount, have low seelctions, etc

So I go to a larger dealership 45-60 minutes away, get a better deal, have mor e brands and cars to chose from...


If I have to get maintenance now I have to take a further drive, which could be risky especially if that 40 minute drive is over a high way and my vehicle is in no shape to hit the highway. Now I've got a 1 hour plus ride, or you know, I could get my car serviced 15 minutes away. Tesla is so specialized I can't even trust going to a third party repair shop either as far as I know.

So you're wrong, 40+ minutes accounts for a lot of things you should consider before risking a wasted investment.


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