Tesla Birth Watch 42: "It Depends What You Call Production"
Those of you familiar with our coverage of Tesla Motors' struggle to produce a lithium-ion powered sports car know that we believe that they believe every word they're saying, regardless of which side of their mouth their words emanate. But you've got to wonder when the erstwhile automaker's VP of Vehicle Integration [via Just-auto, sub] answers the straightforward question "So when does series production start then?" with the above. (And there I was thinking production meant building cars for customers.) And what about this quote? "There is a danger when you ramp that you keep an eye on the big balls," Malcom Powell proclaims. "But it needs all the balls to build the car; it's no good having just 99% of the parts because you can't build it. So we will control our ramp rate carefully. We will start producing the cars this quarter and we will monitor and ramp as quickly as we can, but under control." So, uh, how many cars, then? "It will be some hundreds of cars this calendar year – we should be running at around 600 for the Model Year." You heard it here, folks: Tesla is [not] fully committed to producing 600 '08 Roadsters– whatever that means.
Ramps, balls, electricity, a guy named "Malcolm"...all that's missing is the British boarding school punch-line.
Thanks, Mike. That kind of blows my plan.
Apparently, at first they weren't going to take deposits, since they knew that this was an experimetal thing and could have production problems, but so many people went up to them, checks in hand, they eventually said, "Why turn away free money?"
Seriously, big balls? I don't know what that means in terms of automobile production, but I'd say this guy has 'em. His verbiage reminds me of the Condolezza Rice "talking in circles" style. The only thing missing was the term "vis-a-vis". Macolm Powell for (fill in appointed office here) in 2009! This would work out very well for him as I assume he'll need a job by then.