Tesla Birth Watch 42: NPR Hearts Rich People… Third Model!

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

There are a lot of places you’d expect to find a defense of trickle down economics (the idea that wealthy people create jobs for people further down the food chain). National Public Radio is not one of them. And yet there it is: the publicly-funded [via rich people] bastion of liberalism ran a piece thanking Mr. and Mrs. Moneybags for . . . buying the Tesla Roadster. Otherwise, Tesla wouldn’t have the capital to build cheaper Teslas for the rest of us (providing you exclude their applications for federal funding, paid for by rich people). “Using money from rich customers to fuel mass-market production is a fairly common business model,” NPR’s reporter reports. “Think of the Tesla Roadster as the $2000 cell phone of 1985,” Tesla spinmeister, Diarmuid O’Connell, suggests helpfully. Is it a coincidence that the DeLorean-lauding movie Back to the Future came out that year? Probably. Anyway, “O’Connell says we take for granted our easy access to cheap products, and forget the role of the rich in making it happen. He says we wouldn’t enjoy such low airfares today if it weren’t for the initial wealthy travelers.” Me, I worship first class passengers. Anyway, big news! New car!

DIARMUID O’CONNELL: We’ll be shortly introducing what we call the Model S, which is a four-door, five-passenger sedan, which will retail — after a federal tax credit — for $49,000.

The Model S is being unveiled next week. But O’Connell says there’s a less expensive, zero-emissions car in the works.

O’CONNELL: We’re already looking at our third vehicle, which is targeted at a $30,000 price point. And building in the hundreds of thousands.

So much for champagne dreams and caviar cars, then.


Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Mar 17, 2009

    First, Fox is conservatively biased AND NPR is liberally biased, and I catch them regularly. Big Deal. Second, many liberals, such as Alec Baldwin and Whoopi Goldberg, have no real core belief system so it's not surprising to hear them waiver from the path. That's not to say that there aren't some liberals who do have a core ideology, nor that all conservatives understand their own belief system. I meet plenty of christian conservatives who can hardly even parrot conservative beliefs. Remember, the average IQ is 100.

  • Tankd0g Tankd0g on Mar 18, 2009

    Some people here are confused as to the difference between rich companies and rich people. This does not surprise me in America. When Elon sees a window of opportunity to dump Tesla for a tidy profit on his investment, he's going to be burning rubber right on out of there. Tesla employees be damned.

  • Picard234 Would it really be too much extra work to just write a proper full review? These lists of bullet points aren't exactly the stuff purchases are based on. Example, the two points about the interior (cupholder space and door tops) are not accompanied by supporting pictures. The "mileage" is noted but is that observed or EPA? As others have asked, how's the ingress/egress? How much stuff fits in the back? Not trying to be personal here but if you had the thing for a whole week you should have more for your readers than 16 bullet points.
  • MaintenanceCosts On the one hand: nobody should be tracked without their consent, and deceiving customers about how their driving data is used is evil and should be stopped by regulators.On the other hand: don't blame this for your rising premium. Premiums are up because losses are up. Both premiums and insurance-company margins are regulated in nearly every state and increases don't get approved without supporting claims data. Actuaries are very good at predicting losses, and forecasts of higher losses are almost always right.Some part the of recent increase in losses is that newer cars are more expensive to repair, and some part is increased climate-related fire and flood losses. But the majority of it is that everyone is driving like dog sh!t. There are more, and more severe, crashes, and specifically more serious injuries and fatalities (which are the things that tend to max out insurance payouts).
  • Bullnuke I quick scanned the title of this article and saw "Jeep is ranked the most pathetic brand..." and thought, "Yep, that's what it is these days.".
  • Jimbo1126 Can't believe I'm the first to comment that I find the 4 window sedans much more interesting than the 6 window ones.
  • ToolGuy I was making especially gentle stops on my drive home today... because my brake booster is failing.
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