Tesla’s Make-Or-Break Moment Is Fast Approaching


#1701

Cars so advanced you can’t even open the trunks in rain. :smile:

Please send a software update to fix this. :smile:


#1702

All Tesla employees receive sign-on bonuses in company equity, and they may receive performance bonuses in equity or cash, according to the company. Both types of bonuses are given out on a schedule, with quarterly payments starting after a year of employment and continuing for four years. Tesla told Dan Pollock on Friday he would not receive the remainder of his sign-on bonus and his entire 2018 bonus, with the firm’s human resources office later clarifying that he would receive one of 48 payments from the 2018 bonus, Kari Pollock said.

The couple consider the entire bonuses to be already earned, and Tesla’s decision has thrown them into hardship, she said. They’re broke, and worried about paying their rent.

“We have no savings,” she said. “The financial situation is very serious.”

Another headline grabber. No savings should not be any company’s problem. Typically you have to stay employed on payday in order to receive your bonus.


#1703

#1704

Is this preparing for lower demand due to expiry of credits or a recessionary/ slowing economy?
Is your company also doing hiring slowdown and speeding up cost cutting measures?
I have the impression that many companies are quietly implementing cost cutting measures, all expecting impending recession or drastic slowdown?


#1705

Slowdown. Q4 GDP estimate is mid 2’s. Remember we briefly hit 4% last year. Most forecasts expect further slowdown in 2019.

But really Model X and S are pretty long in the tooth, and super expensive. Sales of these two has been falling for a while already?


#1706

Clay Christensen, Godfather of disruption:

Compare these car companies to Tesla. Christensen previously told Business Insider’s Matt DeBord that Tesla is not, as is commonly believed, a disruptive innovator. That’s largely because Tesla is working backward. DeBord reported that, instead of making a desirable product more accessible to more people, Tesla started out making a product that was inaccessible to most consumers and is now trying to make it more accessible.

Christensen told DeBord that electric cars in China, on the other hand, are an example of a disruptive technology. “They enable access for a larger population who historically didn’t have access,” Christensen told DeBord.

In the United States, on the other hand, electric cars are sustaining innovation, meaning they offer better performance at a higher price.


#1707

So does that mean smartphones are not a disruption? Ok good. Then there’s no need for a disruption. Sustaining is good enough.


#1708

Nope. Smartphones offer something completely different from feature phones, while doing the “phone” part worse than feather phones: much shorter battery life, no physical keyboard, more fragile etc.

It’s a disruption.

Compared that to Tesla which just makes the car go faster.


#1709

Ah, I used a different analogy at my prior company. We were trying to take a US market product and make it less expensive for emerging markets. I said, you don’t design a Lexus then try to cost reduce it to be a Toyota. You’ll never achieve a competitive cost due to the Lexus platform costs you can’t take away. You design a Toyota then add upgrades to make it a Lexus.

Tesla can do it if they design a new platform to be a $20-25k car. They’ll never get a model 3 to that price point, and that wasn’t the intent of the model 3. They decide to start as a premium product which made since given the cost of EV component when they were founded. As EV tech matures and cost declines, then it enables them to hit lower and lower price points if they design a new platform for it. Then they run into the issue of how to differentiate the higher end models and justify the price premium.

Porsche has that issue with the Cayman vs. the 911. The 911 is the high priced but flawed design car. The Cayman is a way better chassis, so they purposely under power the engine to have more differentiation for the 911. Enthusiasts realize this and there are a ton of after market things to make the Cayman faster than a 911, and it already handles better.

BMW had the issue between the 335i and M3. For $800, you can put a new chip in the 335i and make it faster than the M3. They actually list a slower 0-60 time for the 335i to create more differentiation for the M3.


#1710

No. The disruption was to replace the ICE with battery and commercializing it. It’s a disruption much more powerful than the smartphone.


#1711

Most disruptions started from low end. PC was ridiculed as a toy compared to mainframe and look what happened. Smartphones are not more expensive phones. They are much cheaper computers. The list goes on and on.

It’s much easier to start lean and more and add bells and whistles later. Much harder to start from high end.


#1712

Who do end users care? The only benefit to end user is that it goes faster and potentially saves you money, although that’s mostly a myth if you factored in the much higher price of the car.

To achieve those meager benefits there are tons of downsides: shorter range, plug in every night and you need to have a garage fitted with a charger.


#1713

In that case Tesla should’ve gone out of business already. It’s still around which proves the fallacy of your statement.


#1714

:+1: a low end mobile computer :shushing_face: that keep increasing capabilities :sunglasses:


#1715

Honestly, I wouldn’t call it low end anymore. If someone made a dock for a monitor, keyboard, and mouse for the iPhone it could replace your computer. It has that much computing power.


#1716

It is still low end.


#1717

So going back to this question, many people, mostly men I suppose, cares deeply about speed. Many buy Tesla precisely because it’s expensive and impractical. That tells the world they are rich. Tesla is a status symbol.

That’s good business for Tesla already. But you can’t look at future EV adoption and automatically equate that to Tesla. Tesla is and will always be a niche player.


#1718

Don’t be so narrow-minded. Amazon can also be viewed as a niche player in selling books once upon a time.


#1719

That’s right, the disruption isn’t here yet. But it will be Tesla that will be the first to come out with a cheaper car leveraging the economies of scale and vertical integration that other car manufacturers simply do and will not have in the foreseeable future.


#1720

Where would they build it though? They’ve maxed out capacity in Fremont. They’d need to buy/build a second factory. That’s a $5-10B investment and takes a few years. That’s why I’m not bullish on Tesla. It takes $5-10B of capital investment for every 300k of vehicle capacity. If they borrow the money, then the debt payments will crush profitability. If they do an equity raise, then it’s a massive dilution for shareholders.