Tag: Elon Musk

By on October 7, 2020

Elon Musk went on Kara Swisher’s podcast recently and complained about the media coverage of Battery Day and I have to say, Elon, in the highly unlikely event that you’re reading this, hire a real honest-to-God comms shop.

Let me hit you, dear reader, with some inside baseball. You probably know that just about every large company, including every automaker, has some kind of communications/public relations department.

Tesla, it seems, does not.

Update: Now we know it does not, not anymore.

(Read More…)

By on October 6, 2020

Tesla Inc. has reportedly disbanded its U.S. media relations team in the United States, fitting since the only journalists that seem to have any direct contact with the company suffer from a condition where they unquestionably praise its products and business model. While access journalism appears to be on the rise in all industries, the automotive realm was relatively free of the phenomenon until fairly recently. Now its getting to a point where just finding someone in the PR department to respond to you within 48 hours is a minor miracle  and it makes little difference whether you’re one of the big boys or a smaller outfit, like ours.

While Tesla used to be wildly proactive in reaching out to authors, sometimes just to complain about articles, it’s been enacting radio silence for quite some time. Other automakers will at least provide you with a boilerplate corporate response  assuming they haven’t issued one already. But it has been complete static from Tesla for what feels like years, leaving the firm little reason to continue paying people whose sole responsibility was to totally ignore the media.

(Read More…)

By on October 2, 2020

On Friday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the automaker was planning to enter the Indian market in 2021. “Next year for sure,” Musk said in a Twitter response that included a photograph of a T-shirt indicating that “India Wants/Loves Tesla.”

The original poster is probably correct in that assumption, too. While Indian vehicle prices average around the U.S. equivalent of $7,400, many models can be had for far cheaper. Vehicle ownership is also extremely limited, with only around 25 in 1,000 people able to afford one. But Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said the nation had a plan to ensure 15 percent of all new vehicle sales were electric by 2023.

That sounded insanely ambitious to our years when we first heard it in 2018, especially considering India’s original plan called for the same number by 2030 and seemed similarly unrealistic. Central planning rarely goes as mapped but it’s all the rage in most nations now that it can be tied to progressive looking environmental reforms.

(Read More…)

By on September 22, 2020

Tesla Model S Grey - Image: Tesla

Tabless batteries and a Plaid trim level of the Model S made the biggest news at Tesla’s much-hyped “Battery Day.”

Batteries that last longer, cost less, and have more power will help drive EV adoption, and the new 4680 tabless battery cells, which are cylindrical and larger, are claimed to provide five times as much energy as before, with six times the power and up to 16 percent more range. Tesla says production on these batteries has already begun.

(Read More…)

By on August 20, 2020

tesla model x, Image: Tesla Motors

Man, this is really something. The 145,000th piece of evidence just landed in support of the hypothesis that Tesla is, in fact, a cult, and that activism and ideology has replaced religion in the wealthier, progressive, and more youthful corners of America.

Which brings us to Tesla Dating. (Read More…)

By on August 3, 2020

Tesla CEO Elon Musk was on top of his game during an interview with Automotive News last week. By that, we mean his ego and various personality quirks came through like a shaft of sunlight parting a fog bank.

Musk announced during the talk that his company performed no customer research before designing and revealing the polarizing and still-not-clearly-legal Cybertruck to would-be buyers, laughing at the idea. If folks don’t like it, he said, there’s a plan. (Read More…)

By on July 15, 2020

If you happen to find yourself running a section of this country and would like an automaker to build a factory there, we’ve got a couple of tips to help improve your odds. It might be unfair to call them tips, however, as they’re common knowledge and realistically the only way to get a business to settle on your land. Step One involves promising as much money and as little regulation as possible. Step Two involves waiting for their response.

Hoping to beat out Oklahoma as the home of Tesla’s Cybertruck, Texas is attempting to dazzle the electric automaker with the tax breaks it knew the company wanted. All the automaker has to do is spend over a billion dollars to build its facility in Travis County.  (Read More…)

By on July 9, 2020

Tesla is reportedly “very close” to achieving complete driving autonomy, according to CEO Elon Musk.

“I’m extremely confident that level 5 or essentially complete autonomy will happen and I think will happen very quickly,” Musk said during a video message for the opening of Shanghai’s annual World Artificial Intelligence Conference.  (Read More…)

By on July 2, 2020

With the automotive industry seeing losses across the board, most investors could do nothing but watch in horror as sales reports showed the post-lockdown recovery had not yet begun. But there was a faction that ignored the carnage taking place around them and continued to pump money into their preferred auto brand until it became the most valuable automaker in the world.

While it’s a sin for you not to know, we are obviously discussing Tesla Motors — the infallible, gleaming beacon of modern-day motoring.

The firm officially surpassed mega-giant Toyota on Wednesday, with shares trading as high as $1,228 before tapering off in the evening with a market cap of around $220 billion.  (Read More…)

By on June 30, 2020

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. (Read More…)

By on June 10, 2020

Tesla Semi, Image: Tesla

Tesla’s valuation got a big boost on Wednesday after CNBC published the contents of a company memo. In it, CEO Elon Musk told employees that it’s time to get cracking on the electric semi truck he said would reach customers in 2019.

Could be, especially given the lengthy delay that followed his initial 2017 promise. The timing is even more suspect given this week’s proclamation by a would-be rival. (Read More…)

By on May 29, 2020

Tesla shareholders are scheduled to vote in July on whether or not the brand should start advertising product like every other automaker on the planet. It’s something the board and CEO Elon Musk have long resisted, and not without good reason. As a car brand, Tesla probably enjoys more free publicity than anyone else.

Musk has effectively mastered social media. He knows what buttons to press to earn more attention, and his one-man campaign has helped the company get where it is today more than the slickest ad copy could have hoped to.

Tesla also managed to spin this into a strength against would-be critics. Anytime someone laughs at the brand for not spending on traditional marketing, its acolytes point to the Musk talking point that cash is better used for development — a claim that holds some real weight, thanks to the brand having some of the most desirable electric vehicles on the market. But Tesla’s mystique won’t last forever, and it won’t be able to count on Elon Musk’s upper echelon Twitter game indefinitely.   (Read More…)

By on May 21, 2020

Elon Musk + Tesla Model S Circa 2011

Move over, people of Joplin — Tulsa, Oklahoma wants to host Tesla’s proposed second U.S. assembly plant, and it’s prepared to embarrass itself to see it happen.

On Wednesday, Tesla aficionados assembled their vehicles around the city’s famous, 75-foot-tall Golden Driller statue, which they deftly decked out to look like Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk. To Tulsa, Musk is the golden boy. Rumors abound that the sometimes unhinged executive has decided on either Austin, Texas or Tulsa for the new assembly plant site.

Some hope he’ll even move his company’s headquarters out of California. (Read More…)

By on May 20, 2020

On Monday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that his company’s full self-driving (FSD) suite stands to become more expensive starting in July. Intended to serve as the prerequisite hardware for truly autonomous functionality once the software is ready, it’s proven a pricey way to get into brand’s more advance driver assistance features. Of course, the company sells it as a way to buy into complete vehicular autonomy — something that has yet to be realized anywhere in the industry — and has so far failed to deliver on that front.

Luckily for Tesla, the company remains on the bleeding edge of available automotive technologies while continuing to improve the basic fit and finish of its products. As no one else is delivering self-driving vehicles, the Californian EV manufacturer can get away with making certain claims about FSD — like how it’s inching closer to figuring out how to navigate a car through an urban environment.

Musk actually signaled that new features would be coming to the suite earlier this year, noting incoming price increases through 2020. Starting July 1st, FSD becomes an $8,000 option (tacking on a grand to the current price) and may eventually become a subscription model.  (Read More…)

By on May 13, 2020

Tesla CEO Elon Musk made waves this past weekend by declaring his Fremont, California assembly plant would resume production in defiance of the stay-at-home orders imposed by Alameda County, bolstering his claim by threatening to move his HQ out of the state. He also fired off a lawsuit for good measure.

Musk wasn’t too pleased with the county’s decision to extend the closure of non-essential businesses through the end of the month, arguing that the governor’s word (allowing a return of statewide manufacturing) held sway.

Late Tuesday, the county issued what it probably hopes is the final word on the matter. (Read More…)

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