By on December 14, 2017

tesla model x, Image: Tesla Motors

American investment manager and short-seller extraordinaire Jim Chanos claims Tesla is “headed for a brick wall.” Having deemed the automaker as structurally unprofitable, Chanos said, “Three years ago, this company was supposed to be making money [today]. And now, it’s supposed to be making money by 2020. I’m guessing by 2019, we’ll hear about 2025.”

However, while Tesla has taken on massive amounts of debt to ensure its evolution as company, investors haven’t seemed to mind. Its stock price has climbed from $33 a share in 2013 to almost $380 in September of 2017. As a short-seller, Chanos says he’s lost money on the company in the past since the stock price never seems to go down, and that’s what he finds the most alarming.

“Nobody is buying Tesla stock based upon the current business,” he said. “It’s all based on the future and the hope for half-a-million to a million Model 3s per year.”

“But let me make an important point, one of the reasons this company was successful and that Musk had a vision ahead of everyone else is that he made electric vehicles sexy,” Chanos told Bloomberg. “The Model S was a sexy car.”

Unfortunately, Chanos also noticed that established automakers have seen Tesla’s hand and are now working to deliver some legitimate competition. He believes this will be the company’s downfall, noting that it has lost the lead in autonomous driving development to manufacturers like General Motors and Audi.

Chanos is probably most famous for successfully predicting the financial implosion of Enron in 2001 — and he claims to have noticed things reminiscent of that corporate disaster in Tesla. However, while the automaker has lost a vice president of business development, two software chiefs for Autopilot, and the director of its battery technology in the last 12 months, there are reasons to doubt Chanos’ Humpty Dumpty scenario.

Overvalued as its stock price may be, Tesla has begun to diversity itself — taking on mainstream, lower-priced vehicles with the Model 3 while also developing an electric semi truck. It would need to truly muck up both of these products to cripple Wall Street’s current confidence in the brand. Fortunately for Chanos, Tesla’s launch of the Model 3 hasn’t been without problems. But that could change with suppliers now reporting that they are operating under Tesla’s guidance of 5,000 units per week.

That said, the stock market is a fickle mistress operating under the influence of imagery bullshit and faith-based investing. This is where Chanos’ final prediction, where Musk departs Tesla to focus on one of his other companies in the coming years, comes into play. Without Elon, the company may lose that je ne sais quoi that makes it irresistible to investors. But the CEO has issued no hints that he’ll leave the company anytime soon, so any claim that he might take a hike is purely speculative — sort of like the stock market itself.

[Image: Tesla Motors]

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82 Comments on “Hedge Fund Manager Convinced Tesla Shares Will Collapse...”


  • avatar
    CKNSLS Sierra SLT

    Anybody who has spent ANYTIME in the real business world knows this company does not have a model for a viable business.

    Elon can come out with all the “vaporware” he wants-doesn’t make Tesla a viable business model.

    • 0 avatar
      healthy skeptic

      Maybe you’re right, but they do make real cars, not vaporware. They just take their sweet time about it.

    • 0 avatar
      SlowMyke

      Here’s a fresh take, the old vaporware schtick. Please list all the vaporware that Tesla has announced. Sure, nothing has come in the promised timeframe, but that’s not what vaporware is.

      I can never understand the irrational hatred for a company like Tesla. Maybe it’s Musk? He’s definitely a character, but i don’t get the hatred for an automobile company. I mean, i don’t get the Tesla orgy on the other side of things, either, but what exactly makes people hate a company so much that hasn’t really had any real moment of negative good will aside from the autopilot fiasco. That was very bad, but no worse than many of the things the rest of the industry has done.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        I doubt that anyone here has been personally disrupted by Elon Musk but most of us have encountered a silver tongued bullchitter like him and watching that cult of personality be fellated by the media as he talks his way to the front of the line over and over is a vicarious slap in the face to everyone who’s ever done their job the old fashioned way.

        Irrational, sure, but it’ll give me the warm fuzzies to see karma catch up there.

      • 0 avatar
        sgtjmack

        I do t think it has anything to do with negative good will in tje semse that tjey make a bad oroduct amd dont fux it, like many others have done. I believe it is because they hype the company and sell a ton of stock on major promises time and again and don’t deliver on those promises. The only money they made was unconventional and not a true profit from the goods they sell or services they provide. It is o e of those fishy smelling situations that seems like a bubble that is sure to pop.

        I myself want as many people to prosper, and I like cars, so it would be a win win situation for me if they were to succeed. I will also be sad for the customers as well as employees and stock holders when they do fail.

        • 0 avatar
          SlowMyke

          @sgtjmack – your second paragraph is exactly how i feel. The product is inovative and exciting. The company is American. It seems counterproductive to want all that to fail.

          As far as broken promises, all i know of is missed price points and deadlines. Are there any other big broken promises?

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      The definition of ‘vaporware’ is essentially a product that is advertised but not yet available to buy. Every single one of Tesla’s products were called ‘vaporware’ until they couldn’t–they became real products available for purchase. There is no reason to believe the Model 3, the Truck or the Roadster 2 will be any different. And once they do become real products, Tesla will have a fairly well-rounded lineup to start making profit while finally adding their mid-sized CUV and pickup truck.

      Assuming Tesla will just fold up and die is a mistake that could cost the shorts even more than they’ve already lost. And the Hedge Fund manager has clearly stated he’s already lost money by shorting.

      • 0 avatar
        SlowMyke

        Calling something vaporware a month after it was announced is looking for cheap shots. Calling an automotive product vaporware a month after the concept is revealed is just plain stupid and demonstrates a serious lack of understanding or willful ignorance of the industry.

        • 0 avatar
          CKNSLS Sierra SLT

          Well…Peter M. DeLorenzo over at his website calls it “smoke and mirrors” and he’s been around a long time.

          I’m not alone.

          quote-
          Needless to say, if any current automaker, or automotive supplier, or any corporate entity in America for that matter had conducted itself like Tesla, Wall Street would have moved decisively to bury the offending company while branding it as a criminal affront to the tenets of free enterprise.

          • 0 avatar
            Fred

            He also rants and raves about everything automotive. Which is why he is fun to read.

          • 0 avatar
            SlowMyke

            But all this vaporware bullshit is relying in the fact that Tesla doesn’t deliver, which as far as I’m aware, it has delivered it is in the process of delivering every product promised.

            Is Tesla’s stock in for a drop, probably. It’s extremely high and most socks in that position take a hit eventually. Is Tesla going under anytime soon, i absolutely doubt it. What all these “experts” seem to forget is that the auto industry has such insanely expensive barriers to entry that to get off the ground and not only complete, but have a product that excels in its field is a long, difficult process. People get pissed about the cafe credits and the reservation schemes Tesla’s uses to generate funds. Tesla is using the tools and opportunities provided them by the market and government. If you want to be mad at that, then go after the government for creating the opportunity. As far as Musk and Tesla are concerned, they’re doing well by their shareholders and putting out pretty decent product in the process.

            I’m far from a Tesla slappy, but i feel like the Tesla doomsayers have been yapping for a decade now. It’s a tired bit. Maybe Tesla does go under, but it’s not going to be the 3, the roadster, or the truck that kills them.

  • avatar
    healthy skeptic

    >> Unfortunately, Chanos also noticed that established automakers have seen Tesla’s hand and are now working to deliver some legitimate competition.

    But are they? So far I’ve only seen ugly-science-experiment compliance cars from the competition.

    Hyped up concept cars at auto shows don’t count.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      @hs: So you haven’t seen the Bolt? The Jaguar i-Pace? You aren’t aware of so many others that are under active testing right now by the VW group (VW, Porsche, Audi, etc.) and even Daimler Benz? Not all of those are “hyped up concept cars,” some are already entering production.

      • 0 avatar
        Giskard

        Yes, but none of them have come close to matching Tesla’s biggest trump card when it comes to converting non-EV fanatics to electric car ownership – their ubiquitous Supercharger fast charging network. As nice as some of their competing cars are (especially some of the models coming in the next 1-2 years) they are going to be a difficult pill for many to swallow if they cannot be driven outside of your immediate metro area.

  • avatar
    James2

    My dad told me his stockbroker recently took him for a ride in his new Model S. Guessing Merrill Lynch didn’t get this guy’s memo.

  • avatar
    RHD

    Good job predicting the Enron collapse in 2001.
    What noteworthy feats have you accomplished during the 16 years since then?

  • avatar
    ajla

    Stocks are for my grandparents. Crypto-currency is where it’s at.

  • avatar
    carguy

    I am not doubting Tesla’s very real problems and but when a short-seller is bad mouthing a stock then its usually because they have shorted it (surprise!) and are attempting to spook other investors to weaken the share price.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “…established automakers have seen Tesla’s hand and are now working to deliver some legitimate competition”

    1. They’re very late.
    2. None have the equivalent of the Supercharger network.
    3. None are all in, since they don’t want to lose money doing it.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Since the whole sole point of a “for profit business” is to make money, I have to say that the rest of the industry is correct, and Tesla is WAY early.

      The two things I don’t like about Tesla are the sheer arogance of thier founder and the utterly abysmal quality of thier products. Folks around here love to go on about German cars, but compared to my two Tesla owning friend’s cars, every German car I have ever owned has been a Corolla built on a Wednesday, then hand-picked and massaged for press duty.

      The Semi and the roadster are the sort of products that Tesla should be concentrating on. Low production, high margin products. It’s much easier to be Lexus than to be Toyota. Thinking he is going to go from 500K everyman cars in a year is what is going to tank the company. Even if they can build them – how are they going to sell and service them? And based on my friend’s cars, they are going to need a LOT of servicing.

      The big difference between Amazon and Tesla is that there was no one else doing what Amazon was doing. Literally every single other car company is watching and waiting for the right time to do what Tesla does – and many of them have WAY deeper pockets. Tesla is not doing anything new or different other than being willing to lose VAST quantities of Other People’s Money at this point.

      • 0 avatar
        Erikstrawn

        Musk went about it the right way. The first Teslas were luxury items, because a new, undeveloped technology requires high margins to further fund development. Now that the technology is becoming commoditized, Tesla is transitioning to lower-margin vehicles.

        “…established automakers have seen Tesla’s hand and are now working to deliver some legitimate competition”
        Meh. Vaporware until we see it on the roads. Kudos to GM and Nissan for getting the Volt and Leaf out there.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    The question still has to stand as to WHEN, if ever, it collapses. I’m well aware that those who follow financials over progress have believe Tesla would fall for the last five years and more. So far, Tesla has been able to ride out every claimed fall and ended up stronger for it. But this headline and this article reeks of an attempt to trigger that fall so that hedge fund manager can earn some money before the end of the year.

    I don’t have any skin in Tesla, so I really don’t care that much where the stock goes. What I do care about is how that fall might affect their ability to finish ramping the Model 3 and finally start showing some positive cash flow–i.e. Profits. As such, any such triggering as I perceive (whether true or not) could be seen as an attempt to sabotage Tesla before it can prove itself capable of profits.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    If Tesla can get their production problems solved, and sell cars at a profit once they do, I think the market will keep indulging their penchant for heavy investment. (They certainly did so for Amazon for a very long time, and that’s worked out pretty well.)

    But if Tesla gets the production lines humming like they are supposed to, but still can’t make money selling cars, then there is going to be a reckoning, because then there is no roadmap to future profits.

  • avatar

    The front of that Tesla must have braille on it.

  • avatar
    jmo

    Obviously Jim’s hedged because all it would take would be a rebellion against Crown Prince Salman by disaffected royals and hard line clerics for gas prices to triple along with Tesla’s stock price.

    Now you’re going to say but fracking would eventually bring the price down, which is true. But that would be a while after an unhedged short-seller went bankrupt.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    Tesla’s Market Cap (the total value of its stock) is $57 billion.
    General Motor’s Market Cap is $56 billion.
    Fiat Chrysler’s Market Cap is $27 billion

    If Musk wanted to, he could probably do a hostile takeover of General Motors.
    He could buy FCA and only dilute his stock price by a third.

    He’s not going to do it because then he would have to manage those companies, but if he wanted to have a car company that sold lots of vehicles, it would be possible to turn Tesla into one quickly through acquisition.

    Tesla has been steadily finding and solving problems in large-scale solar power, generation, distribution, storage and consumption. There are opportunities for profit in this chain, they just have to be isolated.

  • avatar
    orenwolf

    Matt: “Oh. Oh my. A fund manager who got a prediction right once a decade ago thinks Tesla will fail. Surely we haven’t posted this theory enough here on TTAC, and surely not by such a prestigious individual such as this. To the blog!!”

  • avatar
    Parousia

    Tesla has to announce products far in advance of their actual production date to secure additional funding to keep the stock inflated to prevent a collapse. That’s not to say the eventual semi and roadster will not be all that and a bag of lithium ion, they very well may be. And Tesla might make good on 500,000 preorders of Model 3s. And those Model 3s might be sold at a profit at some point. However, the current business model is not sustainable and is being kept afloat by promises of future products.
    Were I to be a speculative EV investor, I would put my money on GM.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      “Were I to be a speculative EV investor, I would put my money on GM.”
      —- But if you believed in the concept and were a supportive investor looking towards future profits (1 or 2 decades down the road) then you might put your money on Tesla instead.

      Considering the kind of crap GM and Ford have been putting out lately, wouldn’t you want to support a newcomer that actually has a chance of succeeding for the first time in 80 years?

      • 0 avatar
        Steve65

        I, personally, don’t think Tesla has any meaningful chance to succeed. Eventually they’ll run out of early adopters and zealots, and discover that there’s not a huge market for cars that can’t make it to grandma’s and back, or be parked on the street.

        I always wonder about the “eveybody will soon be driving a BEV” crowd. Have they ever seen an urban residential street at night?

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Given time, Steve, you might be surprised. You can’t assume that one thing changing will mean everything else stays the same. I highly recommend you look into how the gasoline engined car won out over steam and electric 100 years ago. Back then, it was an approximately even mix of the three technologies and both electrics and steam proved faster and more reliable. There was only one thing that beat them out at the time. Infrastructure.

          You see, during that time they all had a fairly common issue, access to “fuel”. Not everybody had electricity in their homes yet and gasoline (a derivative of naphtha) and kerosine could only be purchased in modest quantities at the general store. The largest ‘container’ was a five-gallon can or bucket, not too different (except in material) from what we see at our hardware stores today. It was the oil companies, realizing they could increase their market, that opened the first dedicated gas stations and tried to put at least one into every town and village they could find…and of course, even more in the cities. Follow the history and you’ll see that it started slow but soon spread over the entire country… and the world, though even today there are some locations where you’ll find a long run between stations that can still risk having you run out if you don’t top off before that gap. That’s also why some vehicles, even today, carry spare gas cans along to extend their range.

          My point is that ICE won out because infrastructure was built for it. The external combustion engine (ECE) or steam was still better in many ways but had its own issues of taking a while to get to operating temperature and simply couldn’t move until it did. Electrics lacked the available plug ins for a long, long time, though electric trolleys and buses ran regularly, tethered to an overhead wire. Battery capacity was limited due to the size and weight of the lead-acid batteries of the type still in use today in our ICE vehicles.

          With the EV-1 experiments run by GM in the early 90s, followed by what Tesla has done today (and undoubtedly influenced by Toyota’s own hybrid-electrics) batteries are no longer as big or heavy as they used to be while the overall electric infrastructure is almost ubiquitous. All that was needed was a way to recharge the batteries more quickly and the new battery types offered that capability. What might have taken eight to ten hours to give you 25 miles of range can now take less than one hour to give you 300 miles of range. Moreover, for most who own their own homes, they never have to go to a dedicated recharging station for everyday driving while with the cost of gasoline now ten times what it was in the ’60s (and for a while more than fifteen times), electricity is less than half the cost per mile as gasoline, making it an economical alternative when discounting the price of the vehicle itself.

          Finally, when you put all the factors together, an electric car is cleaner, quieter, less expensive TCO (total cost of ownership), more powerful and (potentially) more reliable. And the infrastructure is being built right now to support it as more than just a City Car. You may think 20-30 years is a long time and when you’re young I admit it feels that way. Me? I’ve been married now for 17 years and lived with my wife a total of 21 years–yet I often feel like we just met (I consider myself very lucky to have found the woman I did.) Time is a misperception. Time travels differently depending on how YOU perceive it. It drags when you are bored and flies when you are busy or doing something you enjoy. But time keeps marching on and what we know as ‘normal’ today seems to change before you know it. Twenty-two years when some cities and countries ban all ICEs? A snap of the finger in geologic and even societal time. Where you see impossibility of people having the ability to charge their cars, even as apartment dwellers, I see the inevitability that chargers will be a part of every home, either through direct billing through the internet of things or hard-wired to the home’s own circuitry. It’s just a matter of time.

          • 0 avatar
            Steve65

            Given time, Vulpine, you might learn to avoid using stupid demographic assumptions to bolter an “argument from auhority” logical fallacy.

            And you’ve got the infrastructure cart before the horse. It wasn’t gas stations that drove the adoption of ICE cars, the adoption of ICE cars drove the creation of the infrastructure to support them. The abilty to walk to the car, fire it up, and drive away is why ICE beat steam. And the electric starter sealed the fate of electrics.

            I use “mph” as a metric for comparing refuling times. It’s an artificial construct, but it’s very useful way to compare various methods. The fact that people think a refueling rate of 300 mph is a viable alternative to the roughly 1500 mph (5 minutes) to add similar range to an existing continues to baffle me.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Exactly what “demographic assumption” did I make, Steve? Again I suggest you more closely study the history because, again, until the infrastructure started growing, there was no clear leader between electric, ICE or ECE.

            As for being baffled about the “mph refueling” goes, you may remain baffled as long as you like. Since most recharging is done at home (not on the road) for an electric, there is no limiting factor. For daily driving, the mph to recharge is effectively infinite. It’s only when you’re on the open highway that it may be a limiting factor and even then it is a marginal one considering the average driver only refuels on the ‘open road’ a few times per year.

          • 0 avatar
            SlowMyke

            I’d like to jump in and say that Steve’s “1500mph” refueling time for ice is only realistic for truck drivers. Your average driver does not get 30mpg with a 50 gallon tank (my assumptions to get anywhere near realistic numbers). You could speed up the flow of the gas and say you’ve got 3000mph refueling capability, but it wont ever be something a regular driver could take advantage of.

            Arguing that ice cars drove the gasoline infrastructure as a comparison to the electric infrastructure doesn’t add up because there is so much that’s different. We have a fully developed road infrastructure already, we have a fully developed electrical grid that covers the entire country. And we have a government that has proven willing to encourage the technology, given the right individuals are in place.

            Even if we say the car drives the charging infrastructure, electric cars have become a tech commodity. So it’s not just early adopters. It’s people who like gadgets and people who like the environment and people who like something different. The market definitely exists. The issue has been the affordability of decent product. The leaf was nice, but at less than 100 miles of range, that was truly a city/short commute car. Now that the bolt and model 3 and several other options are arriving, people not making 6 figure incomes will be able to start considering an electric car for a main vehicle.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Agreed. And Tesla’s Supercharger network is essentially what’s driving the demand for other networks to expand out of the cities. Don’t forget, we’ve got some networks trying to claim they’ve already got a ‘big enough’ city network while ignoring the fact that the EV on the road have already jumped by another 100,000 or more, considering this year’s Tesla, Chevy, Nissan and other sales. Not all of them in one place, mind you, but with now 11 states following CARB rules, EVs have spread across the nation even more than they were. My local Chevy dealer has sold at least two Bolts of which I am aware and who knows how many of which I’m not aware.

          • 0 avatar
            Steve65

            “Steve’s “1500mph” refueling time for ice is only realistic for truck drivers. Your average driver does not get 30mpg with a 50 gallon tank”

            Get a grip. It’s a rate, not a total. Are you similarly confused if someone mentions they were going 100 mph?

            I can put 300+ miles of range in my car in five minutes. Electrics don’t come anywhere near that rate, and there’s no reason to think that will change any time in the foreseeable future. Until the refuling time issue is solved, BEVs will remain primarily luxury niche vehicle for people who have a fixed location they can park it every night.(aka “suburban homeowners”)

            I repeat: look at the streets of any metropolitan residential area at 7pm, and tell me how all those cars are going to refuel overnight while parked.

          • 0 avatar
            SlowMyke

            @Steve

            “Get a grip. It’s a rate, not a total. Are you similarly confused if someone mentions they were going 100 mph?”

            You make up a metric and then you extrapolate it to a ridiculous number to make it look far more impressive than it actually is. Sure, you can add 300 miles of range very quickly in an ice vehicle. But probably 90%+ of all trips by passenger cars are far shorter than 300 miles. That means if you have access to charging, you can go about your day and charge at night or whenever.

            “I repeat: look at the streets of any metropolitan residential area at 7pm, and tell me how all those cars are going to refuel overnight while parked.”

            Obviously the full infrastructure isn’t there yet. But cities will find a way to install either charging stations in lots like Tesla’s charging stations or they will install charging outlets like parking meters at parallel parking. I work for a city, this is a viable option, especially of the city knows they can make money off it. Additionally, they won’t need to make every space a charging capable space since adoption won’t be 100% and with longer range vehicles, people won’t need to charge every day.

  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    Tesla stock is a great example of the saying about shorting overvalued stocks. “The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent” .

    • 0 avatar
      Bazza

      That’s a fact, and although I admire Mr. Hedgefund’s chutzpah, he’s set to lose more money before it’s over. However, when (if) TSLA tanks, it’s going to fall so far so fast that trading will be suspended.

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      Indeed. I have no appetite to play TSLA, long or short. But it’s a fascinating real-life soap opera, and I’m very interested in seeing how long they can survive.

      The end result, I expect, will be a cash crunch followed by someone buying those assets.

  • avatar
    WheelMcCoy

    Sigh. I can’t tell anyone whether Tesla stock will go up or down. But I can tell everyone not to listen to an investment manager.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Tesla has been around for 15 years and has yet to make one single penny. The company is the biggest house of cards on the face of the planet. The only bigger joke than Tesla vehicles is the company itself and their incredibly stupid CEO.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Elon Musk is the furthest thing from stupid. But he is INCREDIBLY arrogant. It’s one thing to go into rockets, an industry that realistically has no established players and nice fat government contracts to keep you afloat, or niche luxury car manufacturing. It is quite another to go into actual mass production of “affordable” low-margin transportation. With the supreme arrogance being thinking that he can do that in a way that nobody has ever done before (because they are so smart they can get it perfect with Job 1), and that he can re-invent how cars are sold at the same time.

      • 0 avatar
        brandloyalty

        How about a battery factory, the Boring Company, standby and backup power? Some people interpret a combination of intelligence, determination and confidence as arrogance.

        • 0 avatar
          EBFlex

          No, that is not intelligence, determination, or confidence. It’s sheer stupidity.

          He’s a con man, nothing more. He’s a modern day Bernie Madoff.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            That’s grounds for libel you know, EBF. That is, unless you can PROVE your allegations?

            That arrogance has to do with the fact that he understands the physics of what he’s trying to do while certain investors and others insist that it’s impossible for one reason or another. He probably considers the majority of his naysayers just as stupid as you consider him because he KNOWS what can be done, even if he doesn’t have the means to make it happen as quickly as he’d like.

            By no means is he a con man, since he HAS produced the products he has claimed he would produce… just not as quickly as he wants to.

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            “That’s grounds for libel you know, EBF. That is, unless you can PROVE your allegations?”

            Please. What damage has Musk or his failed car company incurred because someone on the internet called him a name? Absolutely zero.

            And frankly, he does more damage to himself when he cons people into giving him money for one thing and then uses it for something completely different. Or when he announces yet another quarter of massive losses. Or when he announces another vaporware product that has a bunch of specifications that will never be met. The guy is a joke.

            As soon as Tesla stops needing cash infusions in the form of stock offerings or deposits for a new fake model and can actually turn a profit without the help of government tax dollars, my opinion will change. Until then, the company is a joke and house of cards and Musk is a bloviating dirt bag.

            “That arrogance has to do with the fact that he understands the physics of what he’s trying to do while certain investors and others insist that it’s impossible for one reason or another. He probably considers the majority of his naysayers just as stupid as you consider him because he KNOWS what can be done, even if he doesn’t have the means to make it happen as quickly as he’d like.”

            His lack of understanding and lack of basic intelligence is so obvious when it comes to Tesla and the failed products. How could such a “genius” not know how to simply put a car together? How could such a genius not know how to make a product that people want and at a profit? How could such a genius need to rely on deposits for future products to keep the company above water? How could such a genius not know the FUNDAMENTAL BASICS of running and operating an automobile company. It’s arrogance and stupidity. And in Tesla’s case, it’s a deadly combination.

            “By no means is he a con man, since he HAS produced the products he has claimed he would produce… just not as quickly as he wants to.”

            If what we have today is what he WANTED to produce (extremely low quality, problematic piles of garbage) then I guess he’s a success…..in his mind and the minds of the sheep that are infatuated with him.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        @krhodes1:

        Actually, the rocket industry has several established players, and SpaceX has to compete on price, performance, and schedule just like anyone else. Those ‘nice fat government contracts’ aren’t blank checks, and at the end of the day you still have to produce a machine capable of flying to the International Space Station, to the moon, and to Mars.

        But given all that, I’ll agree that producing an affordable EV for a profit is harder to do.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Another SpaceX Falcon 9 launch this morning with a perfect launch and delivery into orbit with a dead-center touchdown on the landing pad. This on a booster that’s been launched and recovered before AND with a Dragon capsule on its second flight. Such recoveries and reuse automatically saves much of the cost of using a brand-new booster for every launch.

  • avatar
    DavesNotHere

    Design sells.

    Show us another ‘sexy’ electric or hybrid that qualifies as a real competitor to Tesla in that regard. The Bolt is a fine example of a sexy ‘wish sandwich’ from the Detroit hive mind.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Design has a shelf life. The Model S is looking pretty dated, and there is no successor in the wings. The Model 3 is nothing special in the metal, and the inside is AWFUL. The Model X is rather a flop.

      The Bolt isn’t sexy, but it is practical and looks an awful lot like all the other hot selling mini-CUVs out there. Plus while people may love to diss GM around here (and nobody would EVER accuse me of being a GM Fanbois), GM actually knows something about mass producing cars.

      • 0 avatar
        brandloyalty

        Tesla’s designs are as contemporary as Porche’s. No one calls out Porsche for dated or pedestrian styling.

        • 0 avatar
          cognoscenti

          Porsche design is not contemporary at all. They are, however, almost instantly recognizable – especially the 911 and Cayman variants. Porsche has everything to lose from changing their styling too much, whereas Tesla has no such constraint (and no such lasting brand image, yet).

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      Jaguar I-Pace. Not here yet, but it will be within a year. And to my eyes it makes the Model X look downright homely.

  • avatar
    vent-L-8

    There is a lot of animosity towards Tesla from many car people. It feels like getting excited when that NCAA football team you love to hate (correct answer = ohio state) stumbles and humiliates themselves.

    It also seems like the late 70s when you couldn’t safely park a Honda on the street in Detroit or Pittsburgh (though not quick as bad).

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    If Tesla started delivering on its promises and producing its products in its claimed quantities, would that begin to justify their valuation? If only there were other companies building cars and with known P/E ratios…

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    Musk is pushing the limits in a number of advanced technology fields. He may or may not profit from any of those projects. But as long as he can afford to do so, he probably feels that doing so is more effective in promoting his vision than posting comments on web discussion forums.

    Goading the car industry toward ev’s may be important to him. Profiting from Tesla cars may not be. Supporting that is his decision to not patent Tesla technology.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Mass producing vehicles at a high quality level is like being successful in football. Anyone familiar with the Toyota Production System realizes that the blocking and tackling are the key to success, despite the quarterback getting most of the publicity. One missed block and the qb is flat on his back.

    I’m not sure Musk has the mentality for the blocking and tackling part, though he’s certainly a spectacular qb. Perhaps his minions do and can handle that part. Only time will tell.

  • avatar
    Alfisti

    I still think all EV is a tough, tough sell. I wonder if it is cost effective to go all hybrid instead, basically include a really basic little 1.0L ICE “just in case”? The whole range and charging thing still doesn’t work for most people.

    • 0 avatar
      vvk

      > The whole range and charging thing still doesn’t work for most people.

      Only because most people do not understand the way it works. Vast majority of people would change their opinion if they only tried.

  • avatar
    stuki

    And in related news, a guy who won the lottery in 1998, says he can recognize the signs of another winning ticket coming up, recommending everyone run out and buy lottery tickets…….

    If Elon and Cp. plays a bit fast and lose with reality from time to time; the self promoting undifferentiated clown brigade that makes up the higher echelons of the Fed’s roster of favorite welfare recipients; are so far beyond hopeless as to make broken watches seem positively Einsteinian.


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