Musk to Toiling Masses: Greater Yields Mean Victory!

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
musk to toiling masses greater yields mean victory

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is reportedly cracking the whip again, spurring his company’s workforce into a frenzy of car-building as the end of the second quarter looms.

After posting a surprising first-quarter profit in early April, Tesla warned that the full weight of the coronavirus pandemic — and related lockdowns and sales implosion — would land on its balance sheet in Q2. To keep investor enthusiasm alive, the push is on to make those numbers as rosy as possible.

In an internal email obtained by Reuters, Musk makes a somewhat militaristic appeal for employee buy-in on the blood, sweat, and tears front. In a message that calls to mind the “maximum effort” backdrop of Twelve O’Clock High, Musk suggests that avoiding red ink is somehow possible.

“Breaking even is looking super tight. Really makes a difference for every car you build and deliver. Please go all out to ensure victory!” Musk wrote in the Monday missive.

If that email were a poster, there’d be vast fields of wheat, a factory looming in the distance, and piston-engined planes soaring majestically overhead as a nation of people, united in purpose, toil towards a better future for their children.

Tesla posted a slim $16 million profit in Q1, surprising analysts and investors. Of course, that black ink was a big win for a company that stretched itself nearly to the breaking point in its haste to ramp up production of the Model 3 while getting the Model Y ready for production, earning plenty of losses in the process. Because of the pandemic, the automaker put any near-term fiscal predictions on hold. A guidance for the full year will be released with its Q2 earnings, Tesla said in April.

As Fremont, California assembly plant workers put the pedal down for victory, Tesla has many irons in the fire. In Shanghai, Q2 is all about getting its Model Y on the assembly line while ramping up production of the Model 3. In Germany, a plant build is underway. And in the U.S., the company seems very close to securing land and tax assurances in order to set up a second domestic assembly plant in Austin, Texas.

[Image: JL IMAGES/Shutterstock]

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  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Jun 30, 2020

    Give Musk 10 years and Tesla will be the largest car company in the world. While other companies are cutting out models and shutting down plants Tesla does just the opposite and in exponential rate.

    • See 4 previous
    • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Jul 01, 2020

      @ToolGuy It isn't rocket Science...I believe they have more models and so long as we are throwing out metrics...Profit per model?

  • Conundrum Conundrum on Jul 02, 2020

    At least when Rosie the Riveter was exhorted to produce more for the war effort, there was a tangible result to work for as a reward: Winning the war and getting the boys home. Musk on the other hand, exhorts his workers to bust their a*ses for nobody but him and his glory. So 1930s Ford with his special police to quell the union mob who felt they were being shafted. Who feels inspired to put in extra effort for nothing? Not me. There are about three Teslas around where I live, so I've never had the chance to study the fit and finish up close, except once in the pouring rain. I didn't bother. So I wonder, without having a clue as to the answer, whether the poor body fit spoken of is as a result of not designing things properly so they fit exactly in place without jockeying things around. Or whether the work force basically doesn't give a damn or a combination of the two. With Musk's continual exclamations of his bounteous wonderfulness, is the workplace happy or just a bunch of people who treat it like a supermarket job just with slightly better pay?

  • JMII Cracker Barrel - there is one off every major interstate interchange east of the Mississippi.I don't drink coffee - and based on the constant debate / worry of others just drinking water or tea has greatly simplified my life.Regardless of your choice in snacks and drinks I recommend the iExit app: it shows what hotels, restaurants and gas stations are coming up so you can decide if its worth pulling off.
  • Redapple2 My dad s buddy got a tire thru the windshield. DRT -dead right there.
  • Redapple2 Hope they fix the:1 ride. worse than a corvette2 seating position. ankles at the height of my butt is UNCOMFORTABLE .As is. Horrible truck
  • Redapple2 One time; doing time; for a long time.
  • Robert Good! Those things are hideous.