By on November 1, 2013

Grizzly_Denali_edit

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has noted on occasion — as recently as last month — that the price of his company’s stock was overvalued, particularly in the short term. Seems Wall Street got the hint, bestowing upon the automaker the biggest one-month loss of market value in October since the last such occurrence in December of 2010.

The stock drop burned away $4.1 billion last month, bringing the market capitalization down from a peak of $23.5 billion at the end of September to a more reasonable — in the view of the investors and analysts — $19.4 billion; Tesla’s current valuation is $4 billion. Causes of the drop include two incidents of the Model S catching on fire post-accident (the first fire near Seattle knocked 10 percent off the stock price for two days afterward), Musk’s remarks about his company’s stock valuation, and the potential end to massive revenues generated from zero-emission vehicle credits in their native California.

Though Tesla is still riding high for the most part, a number of challenges ahead — boosting production of their Model S for (hopefully successful) sales in Europe and Asia, the addition of the Model X SUV to the lineup, avoiding hazardous pitfalls in production regarding timing and quality, et al — could prove how durable the stock is, and whether or not more bears will gather at the gates ready to feast on salmon in the next two years.

Photo credit: Fir0002/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 2.5

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60 Comments on “The Bear Roars For Tesla As Stock Surge Burns Out...”


  • avatar
    APaGttH

    There is a lesson in PR here, and Tesla has stuck their foot in their mouth more than once since the company was founded.

    When they embellished the crash test results (we scored the best would have been sufficient, the hey we scored a 5.4 when there was no such government score didn’t help) they added, and we’ve never had a post crash fire and never had a death – but the death one we realize we can’t control.

    It is a factual but a big claim, digging at the competition. When you make a boast (Wainwright before game six of the 2013 World Series, “we are going to make history”) whether it be in sports, business, or engineering, they have a nasty habit of biting you in the ass.

    The Titanic can’t be sunk.

    The Third Reich will rule for a thousand years.

    We will bury you!

    Countless sports claims before the big game.

    Teslas don’t catch on fire post crash.

  • avatar
    E46M3_333

    .
    I’ve been predicting that Tesla will fail since day one. I stand by that prediction.

    Batteries are just too expensive as an energy storage medium for automobiles. They don’t scale well either. Want twice the range? Double the number of cells and double the cost; completely impractical for larger vehicles many consumers desire.

    The only hope for EVs is if government regulations force the cost of ICE cars into the stratosphere. In that case, people will just hang onto their old cars and/or vote in politicians who will roll back the regulations.
    .
    .

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      If you want twice the range, buy a diesel. The range of the Model S is already similar to most ICEs on the road.

      Did you also predict the demise of long-standing Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer, and Saab, all of which were powered by gasoline?

      • 0 avatar
        E46M3_333

        I don’t know why I bother responding to people like you, but here goes:

        By “twice the range” I meant if you want twice the range of a low-range, more affordable EV you have to basically double the cost. That’s why the 85KWh Model S, which admittedly has acceptable range, costs almost $100K. That’s the whole point I was making. Good range in an EV is too expensive. Do I need to draw you a diagram?
        .
        .

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          You’re making my point without realizing it. Nobody needs double the range of a Model S, so the ‘need’ to double the cost of the battery to do so is a straw man.

          20,000 customers found the Model S affordable enough this year, more than several other conventional luxury sport sedans. Given the high price of the Model S, you could drop the federal subsidy and sales wouldn’t change much.

          Nobody is claiming they will compete against the Hyundai Accent, but it will be interesting to see how the mythical Model E turns out.

          And – as you know – cheaper EVs like the Leaf don’t need tremendous range to get a market toehold, although more range would be nice. In 10k miles with mine, I’ve needed more range a handful of times since my commuting habits fit Nissan’s studies perfectly, as it does for the other 80,000 Leaf drivers worldwide.

          • 0 avatar
            oldfatandrich

            My Dear Zero,

            Your nom de plume is well chosen. As most consumers who do not live in the Bay Area, Boulder, Austin, Madison, Ann Arbor, Charlottesville, the Upper West Side, Northampton or Cambridge know, the electric car is a conscience soothing toy with limited utility. The Tesla fantasy—which is helium to Elon Musk’s already overinflated ago—puts me in the mind of the worst excesses of the dot com madness of 1999. Set your clock forward three years and see how many Teslas/Leafs are on the road—and the check the price of a share of Tesla common as well.

          • 0 avatar
            SCE to AUX

            @OFR: You’ll be surprised to learn that I’m a proud member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. I’m not actually a tree-hugger, and I live in western Pennsylvania where people cling to their guns and religion. I don’t even support subsidies.

            Sorry to not fit your profile for EV drivers.

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      I don’t think Tesla will fail. The consumer utility created by a vehicle that emits no direct pollution is marketing gold for image-conscious wealthy individuals. Musk understands the situation. He’s trying to build a portfolio of technology and business relationships so someone buys Tesla, rather than trying to compete with Tesla.

      I’m less certain about the widespread implementation of electric vehicles. The Tesla battery packs and control units weigh around 1,000lbs. The Leaf’s battery systems weigh around 600lbs. If vehicles weigh 4,000lbs, batteries are worthwhile. As cars get lighter, the paradigm shifts. Compact ICE’s with small hybrid systems become preferable to 600lb battery packs. For the paradigm to shift back in favor of batteries, power density and price will have to plummet.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        There is a lot happening in the world of molecular engineering and that progress could solve the problems with metal-air batteries. Metal -air batteries have the potential of attaining the same energy density as gasoline. With new tools like the neutron microscope, we might finally start seeing some serious progress.

        http://www.gizmag.com/mit-neutron-microscope-reactor-prototype/29392/

        Betting against technological progress is a dangerous game.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Any significant advances in power storage are likely to come from outside the automotive industry.

          And if such an advance comes along, then every major automaker will be able to do it.

          There is an erroneous presumption that the OEMs haven’t taken EVs very seriously because the companies lack vision or innovation. The reality is that they haven’t done it because they know that it can’t be done profitably with the current technology. They are otherwise perfectly capable of building the cars themselves.

          Improve the technology, and the problem goes away for everyone. But the technology is not there yet.

        • 0 avatar
          Tostik

          Volvo is claiming conventional batteries are now obsolete, because of their new carbon fiber technology. What do you think?

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          No one is betting against technology. Basically all of the manufacturers are betting that conventional hybrids will yield bigger returns than BEVs. If they are wrong, hybrids still require battery development so they can play both sides of the fence.

    • 0 avatar
      lungchin

      im completely puzzled by this attitude…

      here we have a super innovative company, that manufacturers a DESIRABLE car in the US! – on 1st try!
      that captured the imagination of people around the globe
      Something detroit hasnt managed to do in a LONG time

      it blows away most high performance sedans in the market – im driving a Tesla S every day – and every day i marvel at the effortless acceleration and handling – how quiet it is – every time i drive an ICE car, no matter what high end make – it feels positively old school, slow and crude

      BUT we still have people that want it to fail / predict failure – what happened to american innovation?
      optimistic attitude? pride in creating new innovative things?

      YES it is expensive at this point – but tesla’s strategy makes complete sense to build a high-end premium product 1st as a halo entry – and then as they build up scale, and over time battery cost drops / density goes up, to offer lower prided skus –

      cost of operation is extremely low – a full charge is a fraction of a fill up of gas
      no maintenance required – barely use brakes because of regen

      and for around 8k i can put a solar array on my roof that will power my house and ALL my driving electricity

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The point is that it’s not that innovative.

        Battery powered cars are old technology. Lithium ion batteries have their inherent deficiencies and Tesla has not fixed those deficiencies.

        Every other major automaker has the capacity to make such a car. But they can’t do it profitability, so they don’t. As it turns out, Tesla can’t make a profit, either.

        • 0 avatar
          lungchin

          what are those deficiencies? have you driven one? have you talked to owners?

          this car blows away ANY car i previously had –
          its my daily driver – has
          incredible performance, great space concept, room like a station wagon, safe, looks great

          i never have to go to a gas station – because i charge at home
          and once it a blue moon at one of their superchargers when i go extra long distance

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Lithium ion batteries are costly, bulky and heavy.

            They can’t be charged quickly without shortening their lives.

            Tesla is different because it used an especially large (read: heavy and costly) battery, and then overuses the battery so that it is more likely to fail

            And sure enough, about 19% of the Tesla roadsters on the road today have had to have their battery packs partially or completely replaced, as Tesla insists on trying to squeeze too much out of the battery for the sake of range.

            A conventional automaker wouldn’t do that, not because they don’t know how but because that’s bad for reliability.

            There’s a reason that the Toyota RAV4 EV, which is powered by Tesla components, has the same sort of range that every other EV does while costing twice as much as a normal RAV4. The battery management is more conservative, which reduces the range, while the price is high because Toyota doesn’t want to lose money on the added cost of the battery.

            Installing a big battery at a loss and then pushing it too hard aren’t particularly innovative ideas. It’s actually a fairly cynical approach — even GM wouldn’t do that.

        • 0 avatar
          SCE to AUX

          @Pch101:

          Certainly nobody has moved the needle on lithium ion technology.

          But this isn’t what makes Tesla innovative. Nobody else figured out how to join thousands of commodity cells into a usable battery pack complete with discharge and charging management, safety, and cost constraints. Yet the critics always say it’s easy to do.

          And your statement that Tesla isn’t profitable is based upon splitting hairs about accounting methods. If they’re not profitable already, they’re close.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            As I noted, 19% of the Roadster battery packs have required replacement. A company such as Toyota could never afford that high of a failure rate, and when Toyota uses Tesla components, it gets correspondingly less range and performance.

            You’re being duped. Everything that Musk is doing to get more range and shorter recharge times out of the cars is coming at the expense of battery durability. Every other automaker knows how to do the same thing, but they don’t have enough teflon to get away with that kind of behavior.

          • 0 avatar
            SCE to AUX

            @Pch101:
            “Everything that Musk is doing to get more range and shorter recharge times out of the cars is coming at the expense of battery durability.”

            Agreed. I’ve noted this whenever anyone suggests that EV recharge time is simply a matter of using a bigger pipe to fill it.

            I’m just saying that there is significant mfg innovation related to the pack design.

      • 0 avatar
        E46M3_333

        I’m shocked that you actually like a car that cost you 5X what most people spend on a vehicle. Who would have thought?
        .
        .

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        I genuinely Pch101 but he’s missing the point you’re making, this isn’t about actual scientific advancement versus profitability. When people are trying to declare it a failure/actively wish it would fail it is completely tied to a political/cultural outlook. Environmentalism for whatever reason we won’t discuss here has become the bane of some people’s existence. Tesla is just another example of environmentalism in action that creates these extreme opinions. Teslas aren’t the greatest thing since sliced bread but they are competent EVs that offer a fair value at their price point. In other words: They do what they said they would do.

        People tend to jump on Tesla because they’re playing in the high-end of the market but if we follow most any major scientific advancement it almost always starts as a luxury and as improvements are made the cost makes its way to the masses. Is Tesla going to be producing a sub-30K car in by 2020? Not likely, by 2030? Yes. Almost guaranteed. And if not them another will certainly have come in by then.

        As for Tesla not being innovative, that’s an argument unto itself, under the requirements Pch101 set practically none we do is innovative. I think the bench is being set to high, Li-Ion has limitations but there are at least three new batteries on the horizon that are looking to replace Li-Ion in a decade.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          “he’s missing the point you’re making, this isn’t about actual scientific advancement versus profitability.”

          There is neither advance nor profit here.

          “People tend to jump on Tesla because they’re playing in the high-end of the market…”

          Other people may be doing that, but I’m not.

          Here’s the point — Tesla is doing what other automakers won’t do because those established automakers have to worry about their reputations. Tesla is gaming you in ways that Toyota would not.

          Tesla hasn’t solved the range problem, it just installed a larger battery that can’t be sold at a profit. Everyone else could have done the same thing, but they didn’t because that sort of plan would have been the basis for vaporware, an unsustainable product that would not be suitable for mass production.

          Tesla is betting that the technology will improve or that some (sucker) will buy the company even at a point that it has yet to make a profit. Musk is treating it like a tech company even though it is just a manufacturing business, and hoping that a buyer will pay the resulting tech company premium.

        • 0 avatar
          TW5

          The crux of the argument has nothing to do culture or politics. Yes, some stupid people have steered it in that direction, but it’s down to basic science, economics, and business strategy.

          At the moment, batteries are heavy and energy-intensive to produce. Dust-to-dust measurements, which include production and recycle, peg electric vehicles as some of the least efficient vehicles on the planet. They have critical mass because they hold the potential to kill the oil industry, which is a political objective.

          Internal combustion engines requisition free energy from the atmosphere, which gives them a power density advantage. Power density is very attractive to the lightweighting factions who want to use less material, expend less power, and reduce ICE inefficiency with hybridization an other tech.

          The problem is not how we propel our vehicles. The problem is that we drive around in our living rooms, which generates incredible pollution during production, driving, and recycling. The goal is to reduce material consumption and energy consumption (to combat scarcity) or to find new abundant resources. From that vantage point, BEVs are not necessarily the best way.

      • 0 avatar
        oldfatandrich

        Electricity is dangerous, so don’t get a shock from that solar array on your roof. And be careful of your footing when you’re on the roof—most accidents happen at home ! Post some pictures when you’re done.

      • 0 avatar
        prattworks

        I’m with you on this, lungchin. I can’t figure out what drives the anti-Tesla press – it must be simple page click masturbatory delight. It’s a threat to the status quo, and anathema to those who believe the one true God is a petrol burning car. My enthusiam for cars and driving is more broad – it includes everything from old British motors to 1-cyl. motorbikes to lumpy V8 muscle cars. All good, all exciting to drive…just as the Tesla is. I belive that Tesla is redefining what a luxury car is, and that disruption is a good thing. I’ll take 1 Elon Musk to 100 Bob Lutz’s.

  • avatar
    TW5

    Market theory in layman’s terms:

    Broker, sell my Tesla stock.

    OMG!! Tesla stock is plummeting. I sold mine to be safe. The cars are burning the in streets. It’s bedlam, I tell you. Bedlam!!! Tesla can’t find a buyer to bail them out. The Feds have turned their backs. Sell everyone. Sell! Before it’s to late.

    Broker, buy back my Tesla stock.

    The Tesla turnaround has begun. Surging sales and profits. Quickly, everyone, buy it while it’s hot!! I heard a rumor that Apple is going to buy them for $500 a share. Believe it. Risk-free. You can’t lose!

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    The fact that Tesla has a market cap of around $20 billion yet it’s only sold about 10,000 cars and never made a profit in 4 years should send anyone with common sense heading for the hills. It’s an enormous bubble whatever you think of their cars.

    And when you sell toys for rich and fashionable people, expect to have a very fickle and fleeting audience. It’s not going to be the sexy thing to own in a few years, it’s already becoming stale in my area. These people aren’t going to keep buying Teslas every 3 years, they’re going to move on to other things. Then who’s going to buy your cars that 99% of the population can’t afford?

    And then there’s all the subsidies that are going to be cut, as most people see it as welfare for the rich. The fact that taxpayers are subsidizing luxury sedans for the rich is disgusting to say the least.

    I could see Tesla’s doors being closed in a few short years.

    • 0 avatar
      GiddyHitch

      Tesla will sell over 20,000 cars in 2013 alone.

      The ecorich may move on to a new toy in 3 years time, but who is going to offer them a better product?

      I hope you were carping as loudly about the tax loop hole that allowed business owners to write off their Hummer leases for so many years as you are about the EV subsidies.

      • 0 avatar
        jacob_coulter

        Even Elon Musk has said the company’s stock is overvalued.

        So that’s your defense, two wrongs make a right? And yes I had a problem with larger vehicles given preferential tax treatment as opposed to other vehicles on the basis of weight, but a key difference was it was a deduction towards business income as a business vehicle, which happens all the time for business expenses. There were all sorts of people who did in fact need a full size truck for their business like agriculture and livestock, which was the original purpose of the deduction, not everyone’s business is driving to an office. When realtors started saying they needed a Hummer is when it got closed.

        The government though is simply handing out checks for private use of Teslas ($7,500 a pop) in addition to state subsidies ($6,000 in Colorado) and then there’s the backdoor subsidies it’s getting for mileage credits. And let’s not even talk about all the startup cash the feds showered on them.

        Great article on Tesla
        http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/economic-intelligence/2013/06/03/teslas-success-is-the-result-of-political-favoritism

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          7500 per unit X 20000 Units = 150 Million per year.

          6 Billion given annually to oil companies in the form of subsidies.

          If there is political favoritism it seems certainly favor of the right-wing ideology.

          • 0 avatar
            darkwing

            I hate to let pesky reality intrude, but those multi-billion dollar oil company subsidies are a faux populist fantasy.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Oh? Populist fantasy! That’s why they get paid from the US budget and can be found there as a regular line item, right? How dare I live in some fantasy world! Oh no!

            Cite it, champ.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            If you’re referring to depletion allowances, then you are mistaken.

            Oil depletion allowances are conceptually similar to depreciation. There’s nothing sinister about them — all sorts of assets, including plant and equipment, machinery, and real estate are subject to depreciation, while mines, oil reserves, etc. are depleted. It’s just a form of a tax treatment, not a conspiracy.

            (My politics come from the left, but depletion/ depreciation is not a political matter. It’s just a matter of the tax treatment used for stuff that wears out or loses its usefulness over time.)

          • 0 avatar
            JD23

            These so-called subsidies are tax deductions for domestic manufacturing, tax credits for taxes paid in foreign countries, and depreciation of capital goods related to oil supplies, all of which are available to companies outside of the petroleum industry. Please do some research and stop repeating this fallacy.

    • 0 avatar

      When I hear about products sold to rich and fashionable people, I’m still hearing the same names I did when I was 20 years younger. Gucci. Prada. Tiffany. Louis Vuitton. Those are old-line companies that have been around for a very long time.

      And likewise, cars. Mercedes-Benz arguably invented the automobile. BMW, Audi, Porsche and the other luxury car makes, have been around for decades, too.

      I think in general that the rich are conservative about what they buy. But every once in a while something comes up that is a radical change that they accept, and today that radical change is Tesla. I’m sure you have read the nice words reviewers and customers alike have said about the overall quality and driving experience of the Tesla automobile.

      But this happens with sufficient rarity that I’m not convinced Tesla is a company likely to rocket to the top and flame out as you are suggesting. I think it has an excellent likelihood of either becoming a mainstream automaker or being taken over by one. It’s extremely difficult to become a startup automaker and succeed. The barriers for entry are enormous, and Tesla took advantage of a gap in the market that only they have been able to fill successfully.

      I think they have a very bright future, even though I am not a Tesla shareholder. Why? Because I agree with Elon Musk and others that the company is way overvalued. It’s at the point where I think everything would have to go perfectly in the future for it to be worth its current price …

      D

      • 0 avatar
        jacob_coulter

        Remember when movie stars loved to drive around in Priuses because it was a fashion statement? (They eventually needed ground transportation after flying on a private jet and using more fuel than a 100 Hummer owners) How many do you think still do that?

        For every surviving high end company that caters to the rich, I can find 100 that have either closed their doors or are basically irrelevant.

        What Tesla has going for it that it’s 100% electric and it’s a good looking design. What happens when other high end companies decide to do the same thing? It’s only a matter of time.

        The other issue is, high flying stocks tend to come down hard and can likely destroy companies much more quickly than if they had consistent, steady growth and reasonable valuations. Tesla was trading at $28 a share a year ago, and a few weeks ago it was just below $200 a share. Once a company is associated with being a bubble stock that eventually pops, it’s hard to come back.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Cutting the $7500 subsidy for Model S buyers wouldn’t change much for a car that already costs north of $60k.

      But cutting the subsidy for Leaf buyers would make a big difference.

      Personally, I’m against the subsidies even though I benefited from them.

      • 0 avatar
        jacob_coulter

        Believe me, the screams will be deafening from Tesla’s lobbyists if they try and trim it. Anyone who doesn’t support the subsidy will be labeled a tool of Big Oil.

        Elon Musks other venture is residential solar (Solar City) and the state utility company is trying to trim the subsidies because it’s basically jacking up everyone’s utility rates so a handful of people in million dollar homes home can get a $30k solar system on their roof subsidized in order to feel good about saving the Earth.

        Solar City is carpet bombing the state with an army of lobbyists and consultants.

        You take away all the government pork, and Elon Musk has got nothing.

        • 0 avatar
          Xeranar

          The right-wing ideology shows its face! Using convenient environmentalism = Rich hobby meme. Truly at some point you have to realize that all these supposed ‘subsidies’ amount to pennies to the average person’s taxes right? Going back to the subsidies, 150 million annually is literally less than .02% of the annual budget, in other words you paid maybe a dollar or two towards that subsidy in total. In terms of solar power, ultimately that will get paid back in dividends as utilities deal with the bonus power and such.

          Sometimes we need to put things into perspective. Your individual cost is so minute its hard to complain as the Tesla isn’t polluting our environment like ICE cars do.

          • 0 avatar
            darkwing

            Cool — so give me $20 for a hypersonic bomber. I think they’re cool, and you can spare $20, right? So you have no right to complain, because I want it.

          • 0 avatar
            Xeranar

            Oh darkwing, what is your argument? That I shouldn’t pay a dollar for a subsidy? Ok, you want to purchase a multi-billion dollar bomber, pony up most of the cash and I’ll let you have a few dollars for subsidy.

            Your argument is pointless and obtuse because it doesn’t ask people to deal in a realistic term. You make the assumptive leap that any payment of taxes that goes back towards a direct purchase is inappropriate which is at best a fallacy of modern economics.

            I don’t agree with everything my taxes are spent on but roughly half of my annual federal taxes (around 7500, or roughly the subsidy of a tesla) goes towards military spending. But that’s why we live in a democratic republic, I can vote for people who share my views and vote against those who don’t.

            But I was pointing out the overall cost of the program is minimal and spurs investment in promising technologies.

    • 0 avatar
      Beerboy12

      ” it’s already becoming stale in my area”… really? OMG! wait… you know this how?
      Anecdotal, I know, but they are not stale in my area. Common as flies now.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    Tesla gets too little attention for the things it does that are really interesting. Simply building an EV is not a big deal and Tesla isn’t developing battery chemistry that would enable truly better EVs (nor is GM, Nissan, etc).

    First, the business model, a high-utility luxury car that happens to be an EV, is not a bad one. This has worked if, at the end of the day, people’s agree that it *is* a luxury car. It looks like maybe Tesla is winning on this score. The EV aspect is a great hook to help establish the brand. Now, I’m not sure how the Model X will fit in there…

    Second, their engineering and manufacturing system must be a pretty good one. Tesla came from nowhere to build a pretty good car in less than 10 years or so. The Model S is fairly reliable and reasonably trouble-free (well, there’s the fire business…). GM’s been doing this for 100 years and I’m not sure they’re as good as Tesla on time-to-market and reliability. It probably simpllifies things a little that the Tesla is an EV, no automatic transmission or engine with a gazillion parts each but, still, it’s impressive that they built the thing at all. It’s worth studying how they handled the development process. It’s also worth remembering that their CEO is a part-timer whose other job is CEO of an orbital launch company. That’s a success, too. Clearly, he has some idea of how to organize things and incentivize people.

    Third, their use of commodity cells. There may be drawbacks to this but they are using cells that are not perfect for the application and keeping costs per KWH of battery under as much control as possible by using high-volume cylindricals. If you look at the three most popular plug-ins EV in terms of cost for range, the Tesla does quite well:

    Car Price Range $/mile
    Volt $35,000 038 $921
    Leaf $28,000 075 $373
    Tesla $79,900 265 $302

    Your mileage may vary (info from Wikipedia).

    GM, in particular has made an inordinate amount of investment (and noise) in developing the Volt and Spark. They have an expensive battery test facility, use prismatic cells and spend a lot of money developing the pack but the end result, especially for the Volt, isn’t selling very well, even with heavy incentives and government subsidies that are a large portion of the car’s MSRP.

    A Tesla buyer, in fact, gets a much smaller percentage of the MSRP back in the form of a tax credit. I would think this suggests the car is more attractive on its merits at its MSRP than the Volt is at its MSRP.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      Two other things:

      – The result, the Model S, is also very attractive.

      – Would I buy TSLA at the current price? Hell, no.

      • 0 avatar
        EchoChamberJDM

        Would I short Tesla at its current price? Hell ya!
        Auto sales fads last 2 years before crashing and burning, no pun intended here. Case in point, Scion and Smart. Remember the hoopla about all the deposits on Smart cars when the brand was launched in the US? Roger Penske had the PR machine cranked up on that one.
        At least Scion has an established US dealer network. Tesla can’t even legally sell cars in some of the biggest cities and markets in the US thanks to dealer franchise laws.

        Sales of 10k in Germany? Puhleeze. The more Elon talks, the more its clear he has no idea what he is talking about. Makes for good PR on the newswires though!

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      “The Model S is fairly reliable and reasonably trouble-free (well, there’s the fire business…).”

      It’s too early to sound an alarm when both fires are attributable to extraordinary circumstances. My minivan might also burst into flames if I hit a tree at high speed after going airborne off a curb.

    • 0 avatar
      Carlson Fan

      The battery pack in the Telsa is like a 5th grade science experiment compared to what is in the Volt. Let’s see how many 2011 Volts are still on the road in 2021 with their original battery packs still performing as they did when new and then we will compare to that vehicles built by Tesla and Nissan.

      For your dollar per mile of range comparison why didn’t you use the Spark? That makes more sense then comparing to Volt don’t you think? Also GM is much more conservative with the Volt battery pack than Tesla or NIssan and that translates into, well see above.

      And Volts sales are fine. In fact I see Volts in the western suburbs of the Twin Cities on a daily basis. I saw a Leaf once, Target Ridgedale, and have never seen a Tesla. The fact that gas in the Twin Cities is around $3 per gallon sure isn’t helping sales though.

  • avatar
    Xeranar

    Whenever I hear the valuation of stock I tend to glaze over because stock is a confidence game. Unless Musk is issuing new stock to keep his company afloat this downturn is minimal. Of course right-wing ideologues will read into it as a failing of environmentalism (because ebil libruls like the enviro-munt!) The left will shrug it off, hoping Tesla to succeed. Car lovers will gripe about Tesla not making a 4K lbs muscle car that does 0-60 in 4 seconds and looks like a phylactery. Environmentalists will hope to drive people into teslas by offering granola-flavored granola.

    Did I hit most of the points and memes? I like Teslas, accept that they’re a niche producer right now and pretty much see Tesla’s future as an eventually swallowed independent bought by a major maker. The future is coming, EVs will displace ICEs whether it is in 10 years or 20, it is coming. There may be an intermediate stage where cars like the Volt dominate where the ICE is basically a functional generator that allows for efficient energy production but it all eventually leads to electricity. It is the one form of power we can generate endlessly and doesn’t pollute the world until we can’t breathe.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    @xerenar

    You used a funny word. I looked it up.

    Now I want one so I can carry hash and a pebble pipe around in public and who’s going to question it? Especially with the beanie on, too.

  • avatar
    amca

    Autoextremist.com is reporting auto industry gossip on what’s up with the fires: Tesla single wraps its batteries. GM, thorough, plodding GM, triple wraps its batteries against the danger of “piercing” in impacts, which leads to fires. (Don’t ask me what the wrapping refers to. Anyone know what that’d be?)

    Tesla went a little quick and dirty. And now their cars have a congenital, probably unfixable defect.

    GM, with a little more experience in the field, took a more expensive, more conservative approach. Maybe experience does count for something in the auto biz.

    • 0 avatar
      Beerboy12

      Yes, except for that 1/4 inch thick steel plate under the car that arguably does the same job.
      Given the exceptional crash testing results, high level of customer satisfaction and high consumer report ratings for the Model S I would completely disagree with the “quick an dirty” comment.

    • 0 avatar
      Beerboy12

      Also keep in mind the Volt does not have the ability to come even close to the speed, the Model S vehicles involved in the fire crashes were doing at the time of each of the two crashes. There is just no comparison to be made.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    In my opinion the stocks were overvalued so I do not view a drop in value as anything to fly into a blind panic about. Other manufacturers stock prices fluctuate as a result of knee jerk media hype all the time. I think the market and to be honest, people, even some bright sparks here in the B&B are perhaps a bit gun shy and here is why. Jeep’s fuel tank fire crash issue, Volts that burned while parked, Ferrari’s that exploded into flames and Toyota’s that randomly accelerate with terminal break failure. These are admittedly bigger companies but not all of them secure though. Those are all serious issues leveled at them, Jeep especially.
    Tesla has a great product, this cannot be argued because of high customer satisfaction, exceptional crash test results and growing popularity. These fires are as a result of extreme collisions and not due to everyday faults. The product has been around for long enough that everyday problems, especially safety ones, would be evident by now.
    Lets see were this goes, me, I don’t see any reason to panic, not yet anyway.

  • avatar
    Kenmore

    What an awesomely iconic photo! Symmetric flames & e’ythang.

    Just made it wallpaper on my work computer. I want T-shirt!

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