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larrywww

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Reply with quote  #31 
Did I see where Elon Musk lost 1 billion on Tesla in 3 months?   WTF?

http://www.news.com.au/finance/business/other-industries/tesla-lost-1-billion-in-3-months/news-story/12ab1b2c198c2b28605cc4fa9e30e513


Mybad, it was actually 2 billion dollars, here is more of the story.

https://www.theverge.com/2018/2/7/16986396/tesla-2017-full-year-earnings-model-3-production

I'm not sure I would invest in a car if the car company is losing money.  It's not a good sign---
Just saying.
kaihacker

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Reply with quote  #32 
2 Billion in losses is staggering.  It is amazing that the stock price has not reflected this. The Tesla market cap is illogical considering actual sales/performance.
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larrywww

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Reply with quote  #33 
I think Elon Musk is a gambler to a certain extent---but I'm not saying that in an entirely negative way since alot of his capitalist forebears were gamblers too.  The question is whether he is taking measured risks or just speculative gambits.

The Model S made by Tesla was (I hear) very reliable----but the Tesla 3 hasn't proved nearly as reliable (more like average).  Alot of his current financial problems relate to problems in manufacturing the Tesla 3.

The stunning thing is that Tesla products are extremely pricey---and, at least until this year, most consumers seemed to like them----although an eletrical car is (arguably) a simpler car to make, assuming you can figure out the battery.

Space X has had some significant successes, although alot of rockets that have blown up too.
In the early years when they had contracts with NASA, Space X made money.

But more recent financial reports are not at all reassuring.  

https://www.fool.com/investing/2017/02/05/how-profitable-is-spacex-really.aspx

There seems to be a kind of "Wild West" ethic that he brings to business---which sometimes pays off---sometimes not.

Don't get me wrong---I'm glad he founded Tesla----he singlehandedly has given America alot of automotive related jobs.  But he seems hit and miss in his ventures.  

rickencin

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Reply with quote  #34 
Quote:
Originally Posted by larrywww


The Model S made by Tesla was (I hear) very reliable----but the Tesla 3 hasn't proved nearly as reliable (more like average).  Alot of his current financial problems relate to problems in manufacturing the Tesla 3.



The lure of social organization is that the whole is more than the sum of the parts.  Isolated hermits seldom develop graduate studies in physics. The socially well adjusted, honest,  hardworking employee can be hard to find.

I saw a TV show about the Tesla car factories.  It was all assembly lines and robots.  Automobile manufacturing has been highly studied.  This is not necessarily the Toyota Production System or the Lean Manufacturing way.  Robots don't join quality circles and practice continuous improvement.  Assembly lines don't have the best reputation, even though work needs to move from station to station.  Changing an automated assembly line is a big friggin' deal requiring engineers, scheduled down time and is done only if really necessary.  Human workers are quite clever in spotting better ways to do a job.  Human suggestions often cost next to nothing. The TV show had no mention of Jidoka or Autonomation (automatic specification checks).  The end of the assembly line is the worst place to find defects. No Visual Management or Six Sigma Quality control anywhere to be seen.  

I'm sure robots and assembly lines can build cars.  If will be interesting to see if they can better human beings (cue "John Henry Was A Steel Drivin' Man")

“It is easy to copy something in form but not as easy to capture the spirit that makes it work.” Setsuo Mito, The Honda Book of Management, 1990, p. 31


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larrywww

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Reply with quote  #35 
On the other hand, Elon Musk has a plan for many small satellites to give the world fast broadband.

I do respect his entreprenuerial vision, even if some things don't quite work out.

http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/18/technology/future/spacex-launch-paz-demo-starlink/index.html
larrywww

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Reply with quote  #36 
Did anyone want to acquire a signature Elon Musk flamethrower?  

Musk was selling flamethrowers to raise money for his tunneling project so he could avoid LA gridlock by bulding a road and tunneling beneath the streets.  The flamethrowers sold out in 4 days.

http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/01/technology/flamethrower-elon-musk-boring-company-sold-out/index.html

It's amazing the various projects he is pursuing.

You think he would throw in the flamethrower if I bought a Tesla 3?
larrywww

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Reply with quote  #37 
The other interesting Tesla product----they sell a Power Wall----home Solar.

They mention it as an alternative to a backup generator, for example.

But it seems very pricey at over 6000 dollars.

Home Depot sells an 80 watt solar panel for a thousand dollars, which may have a similar aim.

Has anyone ever tried this?

https://www.tesla.com/powerwall

kaihacker

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Reply with quote  #38 
There was a lot of hype when the new roof tiles with solar cell were introduced. Tons of media outlets released the story stating that the were comparable in price to existing options.  I did the math and just did not find this to be accurate. The hype is over the top.  Occasionally it seems to actually play out, but there have been a lot of misses.  The hype sure seems to work when you look at the stocks market cap. 


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Gene Hacker

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larrywww

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Reply with quote  #39 
I don't disagree with your evaluation, Gene.

But I have somewhat mixed feelings about Elon Musk.  Tesla is having serious problems, as my original indictates.

But  Tesla (in its original models) was really quite a technical achievement---I mean, why didn't Toyota or Honda, etc do it?

It's funny because the way Tesla was financed----the only way that Musk could get financing was through a government technology funding program----that the Trump administration proposes to eliminate.   Although i am somewhat wary of some of his products, Tesla is one of the few American success stories in the automotive field lately.

And I also think you must acknowledge that he is risk taking entrepreneur----and sometimes it works out---and sometimes it doesn't.

But I can't help but admire his pluck.  This country need more innovators like him.

That said, i'm not going to buying the Power Wall---as you mentioned.

mlreits

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Reply with quote  #40 
I agree, not only our country, but the world needs more innovators or shall I say visionary like Elon Musk. There are only a few visionary individuals in our lifetime and Elon Musk is one of them IMO. Jeff Bezo and Steve Jobs are the other two. I don't think Bill Gates fits in this category.

Being an entrepreneur, one has to take calculated risks. Building infrastructure such as supercharging stations, gigafactory cost big bucks. Initial capital investment is required thus losses are inevitable. The fact the the stock didn't budge much with missing forecasts meant there are big backers and believers in TSLA. 

Elon Musk has changed/disrupted the auto industry. All auto makers are chasing Tesla now. Tesla forced these automakers into making electric cars or be left in the dust. Last year, Tesla out sold MBZ and BMW in their own country. Model S sold over 16,000 cars while MBZ sold over 13,000 cars and BMW sold just over 11,000 cars. With Model 3 rolling out, Tesla will be the number 1 electric car seller this year. Don't be surprised if they are going to be in the green by the end of this year. 

I ran the math and my usage has increased 868 kWh in the last 4 months while my electric bill went up $40 when compared YoY. That's averaging $10/mo. So I actually saved money by converting my PG&E bill from tiered rates to the EV plan rates. Went to fill up the MDX the other day. $58 for 16 gallons, and it will probably last my wife for 10 days to 2 weeks. With the electricity bill averaging $10/mo, no need to go solar and Power Wall yet although I heard there's some nice rebates on Power Wall. 

Roof tiles are not there yet as the cost is still prohibitively expensive.

Flamethrower is just nuts so I'm not buying that. 

I don't see myself not going back to ICE cars. My buddy said the same thing after owning his electric car for 2 months. That's how much I love my Tesla.

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mlreits

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Reply with quote  #41 
Another month, the delta in electric usage was 271 kWh. Electric bill went up $9.50 compared from March 2017 to March 2018. So far, it's been good. We'll find out the hard truth after this summer. 
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rickencin

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Reply with quote  #42 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickencin


I saw a TV show about the Tesla car factories.  It was all assembly lines and robots.  Automobile manufacturing has been highly studied.  This is not necessarily the Toyota Production System or the Lean Manufacturing way.  Robots don't join quality circles and practice continuous improvement.  Assembly lines don't have the best reputation, even though work needs to move from station to station.  Changing an automated assembly line is a big friggin' deal requiring engineers, scheduled down time and is done only if really necessary.  Human workers are quite clever in spotting better ways to do a job.  Human suggestions often cost next to nothing. The TV show had no mention of Jidoka or Autonomation (automatic specification checks).  The end of the assembly line is the worst place to find defects. No Visual Management or Six Sigma Quality control anywhere to be seen.  

I'm sure robots and assembly lines can build cars.  If will be interesting to see if they can better human beings (cue "John Henry Was A Steel Drivin' Man")

“It is easy to copy something in form but not as easy to capture the spirit that makes it work.” Setsuo Mito, The Honda Book of Management, 1990, p. 31



At the risk of responding to myself it seems that Elon Musk is starting to agree with me.  

Model 3 production delays can be traced back to Tesla having too much faith in robots 

“We had this crazy, complex network of conveyor belts,” Musk recently said during a CBC interview, “… it was not working, so we got rid of that whole thing.”

Musk also took to Twitter and added: “Yes, excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake. To be precise, my mistake. Humans are underrated.”

http://start.att.net/news/read/category/news/article/bgr-model_3_production_delays_can_be_traced_back_to_te-rpenskemc

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Rick
kaihacker

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Reply with quote  #43 
Tesla is the poster child for the recent trend where an ability to raise money is more important than turning a profit.


From a recent post on zero hedge:

[image]
 
At this point, investors are subsidizing car buyers.  The company is losing thousands for every car they sell.

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Gene Hacker

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larrywww

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Reply with quote  #44 
Tesla has what it calls the "insane mode" on its model 85d where you can accelerate from 10 MPH to 70 MPH in just a few seconds.
 
The Youtube videos of people's reactions is pretty insane too.

There is also video of a Ludicruous mode in their model 1000D.

I have my reservations (how I started the thread), but you must admit they are technogical innovators.  

Do I  really want an insane button or a ludicruous mode?  Probably not.

larrywww

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Reply with quote  #45 
There was an article about Tesla that highlights its financial situation that may explain (to some extent) why Elon Musk has been going insane lately.  The problem is that he took on 11 billion in debt and his car company can't crack a nut that big.   However, if he can (somehow) get this financial problem solved, maybe there is hope since he is making a product that alot of consumers like.

I appreciate Gene's point that Tesla hasn't been making money---but if he could somehow climb out from this mountain of debt, there might be a silver vining.  There would be no silver lining if tesla's products sucked---but my feeling is that there might eventually be some kind of upside.   I do NOT want to see American car manufacturing consigned to the past.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/20/opinion/tesla-elon-musk.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage
larrywww

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Reply with quote  #46 
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/business/wp/2018/10/24/tesla-turns-a-profit-fulfilling-a-pledge-by-ceo-elon-musk-as-the-electric-car-maker-seeks-to-leave-chaos-behind/?utm_term=.61f11d95a8be

Tesla finally is making a profit.  I think that's good for America and our car business.

Now if only Elon Musk could learn to keep out of the limelight.
mlreits

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Reply with quote  #47 
As Peter Thiel said "Don't bet against Elon." The short sellers learned it the hard way.

Here's a update on my EV after one year of ownership.

14,000 miles driven averaged at 290 Wh/mi = 4,060 kWh used. Say 20% energy loss due to using A/C etc... so times that by a factor of 1.25 (aka 80% efficiency) = 5,075 kWh used.
YoY electricity usage went up 3,600 kWh. Delta in electricity bill was $212. Also spent $22 on ChargePoint to get premium/convenient parking space and got 86 kWh worth of charge. Total spent on electricity was $234. This means I got 1,389 kWh of free charge from the supercharging stations (5,075 kWh - 3,600 kWh - 86 kWh).

Based on calculations, I should have paid $464 for 3,600 kWh increase in electricity usage at an average rate of $0.129/kWh, not $212. So the EV utility plan saved me $252/year.

My former MBZ E500 averaged 18 mpg. At $4/gallon, I would have spent $3,111 in gas. The delta in fuel savings was $2,877 for the first year.

On my way back from Gilroy Gardens today, I stopped behind a Porsche Carrera 911 S at a stop light. For some reason, I had a feeling the guy would try to smoke me when the light turns green. That was exactly what happened. I heard the sound of his muffler and decided to see if I could hang with him. I was easily tailgating. Within a blink of an eye, we hit 87 mph. My wife was like "why are you driving so fast?" It was a 45 mile zone so I let go of the acceleration pedal and looked back in the rearview mirror. All other cars were way behind us. [biggrin]

My goal is to buy a top of the line Tesla in the next 5-7 years. It would likely by a P150D then. Yes, it's that fun and addictive to drive the car. The feeling doesn't get old, and it puts a smile on my face every time I drive it. The honeymoon doesn't end........ [smile]

Thanks Elon!

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rickencin

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Reply with quote  #48 
Don't you just love it when an expensive luxury item is actually better than it's cheaper competitor?  I love the fact that performance cars aren't going to be sacrificed on the alter of "good for the ecology".  Electric cars can be high performance and efficient, especially now that solar electricity is getting to be so common. Elon is even starting to deliver the Model 3 in volume (25,000 cars/quarter).  Do you think there will be any backlash when you can order a car online for a known price that is the same as everyone else?  Car manufacturers and dealers are about to find out what happens when dissatisfied customers have access to better competition. 
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mlreits

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Reply with quote  #49 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickencin
Don't you just love it when an expensive luxury item is actually better than it's cheaper competitor?  I love the fact that performance cars aren't going to be sacrificed on the alter of "good for the ecology".  Electric cars can be high performance and efficient, especially now that solar electricity is getting to be so common. Elon is even starting to deliver the Model 3 in volume (25,000 cars/quarter).  Do you think there will be any backlash when you can order a car online for a known price that is the same as everyone else?  Car manufacturers and dealers are about to find out what happens when dissatisfied customers have access to better competition. 


It's great that we don't have to sacrifice performance for going electric. What I have found is that the instant torque on the Tesla is what catches everyone off-guard.

With respect to going electric, it makes sense for some people. I have a family member who works for Apple. It takes about 45 min to 1 hour to go to work and come home each way. It's about a 15-mile commute each way. If she can save 15-min with the carpool lane each way. That's half an hour a day. She's making $300k/year. That's equivalent to saving $150/day in time, or $3k/month worth of time. It pays for the car in less than a year. She gave up her Prius V and recently bought the Nissan Leaf so she could get the carpool sticker. Another perk is that she gets free charging at Apple so NOMOGAS for her. That's another $100/month of savings on gas. Her hubby is the one with the Tesla Model 3 so you can say they're going green although that was't their intention. ;D

Their first couple of months with the Tesla and with the new EV utility program, they noticed a spike of $7 to $10 per month YoY on their electricity bill. The hubby used to drive a Lexus GS300 so that's another $150-$200/mo of gas savings right there.

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larrywww

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Reply with quote  #50 
On the other hand---just to give credence to the skeptics----I noticed the LA Times headline which said that Consumer reports is downgrading their view of Tesla reliablity.

Usually reliability is something we only learn with certainty after we have more data.

http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-20181024-story.html

I'm not sure what statistic they were quoting, but consumer reports surveyed the reliability of 11 American brands----and Tesla landed as 2nd worst behind Cadillac (the worst brand).

That's a fairly damning indictment given that the comparison isn't in a category that includes, for example, Japanese and German Vehicles.

Wow.

Lo, how the mighty have fallen.
mlreits

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Reply with quote  #51 
Quote:
Originally Posted by larrywww
On the other hand---just to give credence to the skeptics----I noticed the LA Times headline which said that Consumer reports is downgrading their view of Tesla reliablity.

Usually reliability is something we only learn with certainty after we have more data.

http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-20181024-story.html

I'm not sure what statistic they were quoting, but consumer reports surveyed the reliability of 11 American brands----and Tesla landed as 2nd worst behind Cadillac (the worst brand).

That's a fairly damning indictment given that the comparison isn't in a category that includes, for example, Japanese and German Vehicles.

Wow.

Lo, how the mighty have fallen.


Thanks for sharing this. Tesla cars are basically a super computer on wheels. I've been watching it since 2012 but didn't know how I could afford a $125k P85 car at the time so I'm quite familiar with the car especially Model S.

One thing to note is that the people who own Tesla Models S and X tend to be somewhat more well off so their expectations are somewhat higher. I started out from the bottom of the barrel (an immigrant who used to work at the flea market for $35/day) so my expectations are quite low. So far, I've been extremely happy with my Model S and so are the in-law brothers with their Model 3.

My business partner, OTOH, is a little pissed off with his Model X due to some electronic issues impacting the car's screen occasionally, but it hasn't impacted the drive....yet. However, Tesla has been taking great care of him and their customers in general. Thus, "Tesla pointed out that the Model S has been ranked No. 1 on Consumer Reports’ separate owner satisfaction survey every year since 2013." Not sure how CR downgraded them to the bottom of the list. Either CR is wrong or Tesla's customers are wrong. 

Here's a report where Tesla has the highest owner satisfaction followed by Porsche.

https://electrek.co/2017/12/21/tesla-tsla-tops-customer-satisfaction-survey-auto-industry/

The funny thing is that I haven't found one dissatisfied Tesla owner in my area..yet with the exception of my business partner whose expectations are a little higher than others, which are totally understandable given where he lives (Palo Alto aka Snottysville) and his net worth.

I've had to reboot my iPhone more times than my Tesla Model S. What can I say? It's a super computer on wheels. The screen freezes on you occasionally which requires a reboot. It takes a few seconds to reboot, but you can still drive it while it's rebooting. Sometimes, there are bugs when Tesla does OTA upgrades. Then, they would fix the bugs with another OTA upgrade. LOL!

They recent changed the screen setting which drove my partner nuts. I guess enough owners complained so Tesla did a quick fix and came up with a new OTA upgrade a couple days ago. LOL! It's all good to me. Welcome to the car of the 21st Century.

One last thing to note, Tesla is the 2nd biggest holding for Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle. This is what Larry has to say about Elon Musk "You know, he's landing rockets on robot drone rafts in the ocean, and you're saying he doesn't know what he's doing. Well, who else is landing rockets? You ever land a rocket on a robot drone? Who are you?"

Have a great weekend everyone.

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Minh

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