Tesla Death Watch 25: Zoinks!

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

The San Jose Mercury reports that the credit and stock market meltdowns have finally taken their toll on Tesla’s plucky startup plans. No sooner had the ink dried on its deal with San Jose to build a giant headquarters and production facility then everything went to shit (i.e. got put on hold thanks to the dry-up in venture capital). The Model S Sedan (formerly Whitestar) is in development Hell, Tesla’s Michigan engineering facility has been closed and an undisclosed number of employees have been laid off. But cuts and delays are just the start of the shake-up. Tesla Chairman Elon Musk has installed himself as CEO of the firm, ousting Ze’ev Drori, the second such ouster since Musk booted Tesla founder Martin Eberhart last year. Owen Thomas of Valleywag thinks this news could be more dangerous for Tesla than any credit market issues.

“According to Elon Musk,” writes Thomas, “Elon Musk was the driving force behind PayPal during his brief, tumultuous reign as CEO of the payments company. Musk’s version of events is a fiction believed by no one else. I know this because I spoke to PayPal insiders regularly while he was CEO, and they told me of chaotic management, boneheaded marketing and technology decisions, and serious turnover under Musk’s reign… With a parlous economy, Tesla was already in for a bumpy ride. Musk is keeping his second job as CEO of SpaceX, a private rocket company which has seen several botched launches. Add to that the infamous tale of his PayPal-era car crash, and you’ve got an entrepreneur who’s better known for destroying vehicles than building them.”

RF reckons there’s more spin left in this electric appliance, but clearly, the wheels have come off the Roadster roadshow. We’ll watch the aftermath on your behalf.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Geotpf Geotpf on Oct 17, 2008

    Building an electric Lotus Elise shouldn't be this damned complicated. They should have Kept It Simple Stupid, and basically made a straight electrical conversion of the Elise with a new body so it wasn't that obvious. Looks like they got carried away with product creep, though. In any case, how many Teslas have actually been shipped to actual customers? Is it more than 10 yet?

  • Tesla deathwatcher Tesla deathwatcher on Nov 06, 2008

    More than 50 Tesla Roadsters have been delivered as of early November, according to rumor.

  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X I use a now discontinued Kuhmo AT tire that is surprisingly good in the snow, even in 2WD. However since most of my driving is on road, I'm going to look for a more highway friendly tire for smoother quiet. I'm sure it can still handle the forest roads leading to my fishing spots.
  • MaintenanceCosts So this is really just a restyled VW Fox. Craptacular tin can but fun to drive in a "makes ordinary traffic seem like a NASCAR race" kind of way.
  • THX1136 While reading the article a thought crossed my mind. Does Mexico have a fairly good charging infrastructure in place? Knowing that it is a bit poorer economy than the US relatively speaking, that thought along with who's buying came to mind.
  • Lou_BC Maybe if I ever buy a new car or CUV
  • Lou_BC How about telling China and Mexico, we'll accept 1 EV for every illegal you take off our hands ;)