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Lew Barrett
07-24-2012, 02:32 PM
Inspired by my own arguments on this thread (http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?150572-Any-experience-with-Porsche-944/page4) authored by Ted Hoppe, I took a flier on Tesla today.

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff76/LewBarrett/ScreenShot2012-07-24at122459PM.png

I bought a small position with the hope of adding to it and crowing here if they do well, or licking wounds if they don't.

Want to take about electrics in general and Tesla in particular? Do it here.

Paul Pless
07-24-2012, 02:35 PM
I bought a small position with the hope of adding to it and crowing here if they do well, or licking wounds if they don't.

How big of a position do you have to take to get a discount on one of their offerings?

ron ll
07-24-2012, 02:56 PM
The sedan is a beauty. Have you seen it? They have one in their showroom in Bellevue Square.

Dan McCosh
07-24-2012, 02:57 PM
My uncle invested heavily in Tucker.

Kaa
07-24-2012, 03:01 PM
The car for the 1% :-D

The electrics are still way too expensive and underpowered (on the Ah basis, not Hp basis) for mainstream cars.

Kaa

Lew Barrett
07-24-2012, 03:01 PM
My uncle invested heavily in Tucker.

Sobering coming from you, but I think I'm gong in eyes open and with a sum I can afford to put at risk. Less cryptic observations always welcomed!

Lew Barrett
07-24-2012, 03:02 PM
The sedan is a beauty. Have you seen it? They have one in their showroom in Bellevue Square.

Much rides on it, I think.

Lew Barrett
07-24-2012, 03:04 PM
How big of a position do you have to take to get a discount on one of their offerings?

Mine is not of that magnitude. But I would have had to said the same of my investments in Immunex and Microsoft, not that I could do more than hope (rather than plan) for the same results.

Lew Barrett
07-24-2012, 03:11 PM
The car for the 1% :-D

The electrics are still way too expensive and underpowered (on the Ah basis, not Hp basis) for mainstream cars.

Kaa

Alternate technologies are part of the package now, being baked in. What separates Tesla from the other full range players like Nissan is that they are a one trick pony. What also separates them is that they have a good motor/ battery package and appealing design and suspension tuning. Toyota is in for a small stake (50 million) and using Tesla as the oem for it's power package. Of all the other E vehicles on the market Tesla seems to be in the singular position of appealing to that 1%.

Certainly, one percent would delight them, no doubt (maybe cause conniptions and rabid outbursts of joy). I'm pretty sure Tesla's one percent is not precisely the same one percent the Occupy people are talking about, but yeah, it is a limited market. Maybe the biggest challenge is infrastructure?

Kaa
07-24-2012, 03:16 PM
What separates Tesla from the other full range players like Nissan is that they are a one trick pony. What also separates them is that they have a good motor/ battery package.

The Tesla's battery pack is also expensive and it's unclear where the price-benefit optimum lies at the moment. Leave a Tesla unattended for a few weeks and you battery pack might discharge to zero. That bricks it. You'll have to replace it at the cost of about $40,000.


One percent would delight them, no doubt.

One percent is rich enough to buy such a car -- it does not necessarily follow they will want to :-)

Kaa

Bob Adams
07-24-2012, 03:20 PM
My uncle invested heavily in Tucker.

Pity they didn't allow Tucker a chance, your Uncle would have probably made out well.

John Bell
07-24-2012, 03:26 PM
G'luck with it Lew. I took a couple of flyers in my time. I've since developed a keen conditioned response not to take flyers!

Lew Barrett
07-24-2012, 03:43 PM
The Tesla's battery pack is also expensive and it's unclear where the price-benefit optimum lies at the moment. Leave a Tesla unattended for a few weeks and you battery pack might discharge to zero. That bricks it. You'll have to replace it at the cost of about $40,000.



One percent is rich enough to buy such a car -- it does not necessarily follow they will want to :-)

Kaa

Much has been made of "bricking" but full credit is not always given to DeGusta's impartiality. I could cite a lot of articles about this, but the first one that pops up seems to be pretty neutral, so I'll use it here.

Bricking. (http://www.earthtechling.com/2012/02/tesla-motors-bricking-controversy-really-a-big-deal/)

The solution is to keep the car plugged in if unattended for extended periods, and few owners are unaware of that limitation of lithium ion batteries. My understanding is that Tesla acknowledges the possibility, is working on it but/and that issues remain isolated to owners who don't keep their cars plugged in. Five cars are reported "bricked" out of 2500 sales of the roadster as of February, 2012.

So you have to keep it plugged in if you are leaving it for more than a few weeks. That does not seem all that hard to me.

Lew Barrett
07-24-2012, 03:45 PM
G'luck with it Lew. I took a couple of flyers in my time. I've since developed a keen conditioned response not to take flyers!

Calculated risk. If I lose, I lose, but at least i won't have a broker to be pissed off at! I am now a fan boy of the concept, and personally, I'd own one if I were a 1%er. Why not? I have done costlier things, like restored wooden yachts! Which brings me here to post of this rather than a more appropriate forum!

Waddie
07-24-2012, 03:46 PM
I'm still skeptical of battery power in any kind of cold weather. And if your top speed is 60mph with a full charge what is it at half charge, (even in warm weather)?

regards,
Waddie

Kaa
07-24-2012, 03:52 PM
So you have to keep it plugged in if you are leaving it for more than a few weeks. That does not seem all that hard to me.

My issue is not so much with the possibility of bricking, but rather with the fact that the battery pack costs $40,000. What, for example, might be the resale price of a 6-7 year old Tesla?

Kaa

P.S. Besides, if you factor in the amortization costs of the battery pack into the fuel costs, Tesla suddenly gets quite expensive to drive...

ljb5
07-24-2012, 04:03 PM
I think it's funny that so many people try to do cost/benefit analysis for hybrids and electrics.

Few seem to do the same type of analysis for conventional cars.

What's the ROI on an Audi A7?

Is there an economic justification for upgrading from a BMW 3-series to a 5-series?

How do you justfy buying a Porsche Panamera rather than a Honda Accord?

For conventional cars, we have long accepted the fact that people buy cars for all sorts of reasons -- many of which are not justified by economics. But for some reason, people seem to freak out about doing the same with electrics.

Kaa
07-24-2012, 04:08 PM
I think it's funny that so many people try to do cost/benefit analysis for hybrids and electrics.

Maybe that's because the hybrids and electrics really like to talk about how you save on fuel costs?

People certainly do cost/benefit analysis for conventional cars -- for example the frequent decision to buy a year-old car instead of a new one is a direct consequence of such an analysis :-)

And doing an economic analysis does not mean that it must be your sole criterion for choosing a car.

Kaa

ljb5
07-24-2012, 04:28 PM
Maybe that's because the hybrids and electrics really like to talk about how you save on fuel costs?

Well, you do save on fuel costs. Can't argue with that.

I average about 52 MPG in my Prius. Tons of people tell me that I don't save all that much on fuel, but I think it's kinda hard to argue with a gas pump. (Although I know some who would try).

I'm sure some people do a bit of economic analysis when buying a car, but I don't think it's really thorough. For example, a person might spend all day trying to decide between two similar SUVs... but if they're not asking the real questioin --'What is the most economical car for my purposes? -- they're not really doing an ROI analysis.

As long as people continue to buy BMW 5-series and 4-door Porsches, no hybrid or electric owner need justify their choice.

Lew Barrett
07-24-2012, 04:29 PM
I'm still skeptical of battery power in any kind of cold weather. And if your top speed is 60mph with a full charge what is it at half charge, (even in warm weather)?

regards,
Waddie

Speed/performance not at issue for these machines.

Lew Barrett
07-24-2012, 04:59 PM
My issue is not so much with the possibility of bricking, but rather with the fact that the battery pack costs $40,000. What, for example, might be the resale price of a 6-7 year old Tesla?

Kaa

P.S. Besides, if you factor in the amortization costs of the battery pack into the fuel costs, Tesla suddenly gets quite expensive to drive...

Actually, Tesla has some answers there. This for the Roadster. The general consensus of the thing is that battery prices have been dropping at the rate of between 10 and 15% per year and that trend is expected to continue.



The full article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Roadster)

The shorter version:
Tesla Motors stated in February 2009 that the current replacement cost of the ESS is slightly under US$36,000, with an expected life span of 7 years/100,000 mi (160,000 km), and began offering owners an option to pre-purchase a battery replacement for US$12,000 today with the replacement to be delivered after seven years. The ESS is expected to retain 70% capacity after 5 years and 50,000 miles (80,000 km) of driving (10,000 miles (16,000 km) driven each year). Tesla Motors provides a 3 year/36,000 mile warranty on the Roadster with an optional 4 year/50,000 mile extended warranty available at an "additional cost" (2008 Roadster buyers received the 4/50 extension at no cost while later purchasers need to pay). A non-ESS warranty extension is available for US$5,000 and adds another 3/36 to the coverage of components, excluding the ESS, for a total of 6 years for 72,000 mi (116,000 km).[107][108]

To me this suggests that you will want to own the (Roadster) for an extended period (seven years) then replace the battery and sell it on at that point. I don't have the program information at hand for the "S." This is for the Roadster which at this point I'd view as old news. So if you're talking aout replacement costs, those can be reduced for long term ownership.

There isn't enough data on hand to say at ths point what the real depreciation is, but the EPA mileage estimates (conversions, really) are 120 MPG so the gas cost savings are substantial. But we all know that fuel costs are only one limited aspects of the cost of ownership.

I doubt any early adopters bought these as investments. The same is going to be true of almost any exotic car purchase; normal economics are not at play. At play is the idea that within an acceptable range, technical solutions are not just possible, but expected.

I don't want to be cast as a Polyana but I think a lot of your questions have been given serious and thoughtful consideration by these guys.

The S car, as a base unit, is almost half the price of the Roadster, and Tesla has no option but to make money on each car. I doubt that at this level, a $40,000 power package (let alone battery) is what is going into these machines. Neither do I think Teslas will ever be low price spread, but compared to Nissan's Leaf, for example, the difference starts to be reasonable if range, performance and driving quality are taken into account presuming you believe Tesla's claims.

I really do think one tough job for them is building out the recharging infrastructure; with proper infrastructure, a lot of issues are resolved.

Vince Brennan
07-24-2012, 05:07 PM
Back to the original thrust of the post: Good luck, Lew! Make a bundle!

B_B
07-24-2012, 05:09 PM
Good luck, Lew! Make a bundle!
+1!

Lew Barrett
07-24-2012, 05:16 PM
Thanks guys, I have a good feeling even though Dan's post is chilling. I can say, it would not be the first time one of my brilliant ideas went south, nor unlike John's experience, the first time a flier worked out for me. But then, I was invested in Wa Mu and what could have been more solid than that? There are no guarantees.

I think they are smart guys aiming high. It's a model I like, and I did it because I made a case for it on Hoppe's thread, then got to thinking about it. At worst it will be exciting but disappointing. At best, I could end up with my Porsche when everybody else is trying to get a Tesla.:D

Kaa
07-24-2012, 05:18 PM
I've seen numbers somewhere that the extended-warranty on the Roadster ESS is priced below the cost, so we may have to distinguish between promotional pricing and real/economic pricing.


I doubt any early adopters bought these as investments. The same is going to be true of almost any exotic car purchase; normal economics are not at play.

Of course these are not investments but even for exotic cars people are interested in their cost which is generally (purchase price - resale price after X years) + (X years * yearly fuel/maintenance/insurance/repair costs). Normal economics are still very much at play -- note, normal economics, not some made-up version where you have to buy the cheapest thing that you can :-)


I don't want to be cast as a Polyana but I think a lot of your questions have been given serious and thoughtful consideration by these guys.

I am sure they have :-) And I'm sure these guys are considerably more qualified to have an opinion about such things than I do :-D On the other hand I don't stand to gain or lose money from my opinions on the current state of the electric cars, and they do.


The S car, as a base unit, is almost half the price of the Roadster, and Tesla has no option but to make money on each car. I doubt that at this level, a $40,000 power package (let alone battery) is what is going into these machines.

See http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2011/12/tesla-model-s-pricing-analysis/

Kaa

LeeG
07-24-2012, 05:36 PM
Well Lew you have a lot more sense than I did when I bought Microsoft when it was first issued, then sold less than a year later.

Lew Barrett
07-24-2012, 06:02 PM
Kaa,

You can get all the info on pricing straight from Tesla; no blogetry needed:)(including potential user comments on the forums....and very frank assessments from owners and users on the forum). (http://www.teslamotors.com/) In fact they have blogs there too!

Of note reference the article you link: Tesla does not provide the batteries for the Prius but they are providing them for Toyota's coming EV. The battery, and the motor. Toyota has numbers like 2800 for annual sales, so it's not a big deal for them, but it does give incremental strength (and a vote of confidence) to Tesla's package. BAse model (what I said....) is $59K, just shy of half the price of the Roadster. They say 160 miles and 0-60 at 6.5 seconds, which is adequate by any standards if the car drives well.

A really great place to research Tesla, by the way, is their website. Their forums are very informative, and with some smart guys yaking.



Well Lew you have a lot more sense than I did when I bought Microsoft when it was first issued, then sold less than a year later.

Lucky, and too busy looking elsewhere. I have pretty steely nerves when it comes to stock investments, but learned that the hard way.

Ross M
07-24-2012, 06:13 PM
One thing I do know about Tesla - the Roadster is much more attractive in person than in photos. If the same is true of the sedan, I think they will sell quite a few on that basis alone.

Hey, if it pans out even a little bit you can roll over some of the proceeds Zuffenhausen way -the 918 Spyder appears very attractive...

Lew Barrett
07-24-2012, 06:28 PM
I'm there Ross but in the wildest positive scenario for Tesla, a 918 is not in the wood! At that point it would be a Tesla! I hear that the S looks great, drives well and that the base model's interior quality could use improvement. The Roadster is arresting but I can barely get into a Miata with the top up, which doesn't bode well for me and a Roadster.

John Smith
07-24-2012, 06:32 PM
Maybe that's because the hybrids and electrics really like to talk about how you save on fuel costs?

People certainly do cost/benefit analysis for conventional cars -- for example the frequent decision to buy a year-old car instead of a new one is a direct consequence of such an analysis :-)

And doing an economic analysis does not mean that it must be your sole criterion for choosing a car.

Kaa

I met a dealer in the waiting room of an eye doctor one day. He sold Toyotas. He actually put together a chart as to how far you'd have to drive a year at varied gas prices to save enough to warrant the hybrid.

If you drove less that the chart showed, you're better off buying a regular car.

It will be interesting to see with all these how the used market works. I'm guessing if it's turned in on the next car, a reputable dealer will make sure it has a good battery before re-selling it.

Many years ago I needed a car pretty instantly. We called our friendly DeCozen Motors where my family and several friends had been loyal customers. Dennis, the guy we bought from told us to come right down. They had just taken in a '59 Plymouth that they had allowed $500 for the trade in. Their mechanics had just given it a thorought look over. It didn't have any immediate need, so I could have it for the $500. If they put the car on their lot, they would give it new brakes, new tires and such and put a $1500 price on it. If they moved it to a highway lot, they'd get their $500 for it.

It's hard to say what a new battery pack will cost the dealer, but I'm sure it will be a lot less than it would cost a private customer.

Ted Hoppe
07-24-2012, 07:06 PM
Inspired by my own arguments on this thread (http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?150572-Any-experience-with-Porsche-944/page4) authored by Ted Hoppe, I took a flier on Tesla today.

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff76/LewBarrett/ScreenShot2012-07-24at122459PM.png

I bought a small position with the hope of adding to it and crowing here if they do well, or licking wounds if they don't.

Want to take about electrics in general and Tesla in particular? Do it here.

Does this mean I have to cover your margins? Give me a few weeks... I am working on selling my last shares of pet.com common stock.

I am seeing more and more plug in stations in private lots, garages and public locations here... This bodes well to the overall outlook of the electric car industry. Once oil goes for 160 a barrel... You might look like a genius.

ron ll
07-24-2012, 08:17 PM
My SO is seriously considering buying a Tesla sedan. They are only about $50,000 and the State of Washington has waived the sales tax on them. The only hesitation is that this is a bleeding edge machine. Whereas the roadster was just a Lotus with an engine swap, the sedan is all new from the ground up.

C. Ross
07-24-2012, 08:25 PM
Good luck Lew!
Purely from an investment standpoint, I'm not sure many durables/auto/industrial companies will deliver outstanding speculative returns. Its just too darn hard to get extraordinary financial leverage out of manufacturing companies. (Before people start posting about how this is Wall Street's conspiracy against manufacturing...the fact that manufacturing companies aren't NASDAQ high-flyers doesn't keep them from raising capital. They can get access to preferantial capital that less capital-intensive companies can't. And lots of investors want reasonable P/E, dividend-producing equities in their portfolios.)
Now, if you want to make Serious Money on Tesla, buy a bunch right before GM or Ford or Toyota buys them.
In the meantime, their cars are gorgeous and will certainly help create mass market electrics of the future.

Lew Barrett
07-24-2012, 08:43 PM
Good luck Lew!
Purely from an investment standpoint, I'm not sure many durables/auto/industrial companies will deliver outstanding speculative returns. Its just too darn hard to get extraordinary financial leverage out of manufacturing companies. (Before people start posting about how this is Wall Street's conspiracy against manufacturing...the fact that manufacturing companies aren't NASDAQ high-flyers doesn't keep them from raising capital. They can get access to preferantial capital that less capital-intensive companies can't. And lots of investors want reasonable P/E, dividend-producing equities in their portfolios.)
Now, if you want to make Serious Money on Tesla, buy a bunch right before GM or Ford or Toyota buys them.
In the meantime, their cars are gorgeous and will certainly help create mass market electrics of the future.

Hi Cris! I have never been strong on automotive issues, and in fact, this is my first ever, and pretty much sure to be the last! I think it's early enough to make this interesting and borders on high tech which can make it just a tad sexy, but you know I agree with you. Anyway, I don't have much to fear as Ted's covering my margins!

Ted Hoppe
07-25-2012, 08:59 AM
I think tesla is into to something that really works for them.

A car that is 60k or more is for the more affluent. these are the same people who own or lease cars for business reasons. they are more apt to buy a car which gives them both a status symbol plus the really big benefit of the underutilized HOV lanes particually in urban areas the time savings is signicant. if ones drives in Places like the San Francisco Bay area, 20 miles on a LA Freeway to downtown, or even from Seattle to Redmond, they shaved off hours off each way every day. More over they drive in these lanes for free at reduced costs. In a society which weighs heavily on "must have" status, personal convenience and get the bump for ecological sustainability, Tesla might very well might be making the Apple like designer car. Once the Facebook, Google, Zenga, Apple and master rappers drive them along with their money people, lawyers, accountants - it could become the game changing multiplier.

Lew - at the very least... I would request paper stock certificates, they might look pretty cool with a few tesla photos and articles mounted in a man cave.

Paul Pless
07-25-2012, 09:07 AM
Want to take about electrics in general. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Do it here.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EI6IhNqGCU&feature=player_embedded

B_B
07-25-2012, 09:31 AM
Chip flies too!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=wPK7649SrDA

C. Ross
07-25-2012, 09:56 AM
Amazing that the plane can fly, carrying the weight of all those electrons. :D

It's fun to imagine something beyond chemical lead/acid batteries. A couple orders of magnitude decrease in weight relative to electron output. Where is the Moore's Law for batteries, or more generically electron generation?

Paul Pless
07-25-2012, 09:59 AM
or more generically electron generation?fuel cells. . .

C. Ross
07-25-2012, 10:01 AM
fuel cells. . .

Exactly. And what lies beyond fuel cells....or order of magnitude more efficient fuel cells...? Or PVCs that generate electrons near the theoretical limit in real time?

LeeG
07-25-2012, 02:08 PM
C.Ross, seems to me that electrics will suffer auto industry downturns worse than the industry average. Isn't that what happened to hybrids?

B_B
07-25-2012, 06:01 PM
Someone really likes the Tesla Model S (http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2012/07/tesla_model_s_test_drive_it_s_electric_it_s_got_gr eat_lines_and_there_s_a_waiting_list_a_mile_long_. html)

Gliding up Manhattan’s West Side Highway in a Tesla Model S, I change lanes and see the traffic before me part as though for Moses.* (http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2012/07/tesla_model_s_test_drive_it_s_electric_it_s_got_gr eat_lines_and_there_s_a_waiting_list_a_mile_long_. html#cx) I stab the gas pedal—er, accelerator—and none of the usual things happen—no noise, no downshift. The car, though, snaps forward like a rubber band, pinning the back of my head to the leather headrest as the scenery blurs by.I prefer not to think of myself as the sort of person who would harbor feelings of superiority on the basis of a material possession. But it is extremely hard, as drivers in their BMWs and Lexuses crane for a glimpse of my ninja-quiet ride, to keep from thinking one thing: suckers.


Such is the insidious appeal of Tesla’s new all-electric luxury sedan, built from the ground up in the nation’s smugness capital, the San Francisco Bay Area. I don’t even own the damn thing. I was merely offered a 15-minute test drive. But in that short time I experienced a level of self-satisfaction that would make a Prius owner blush.


Apparently I’m not alone. The San Jose Mercury News’ Troy Wolverton began his Model S review thusly: “I am now a member of a select club (http://www.mercurynews.com/troy-wolverton/ci_21072869): I'm one of the very few who has driven Tesla's new all-electric Model S luxury sedan.” Well whoop-de-do for you, Troy. And for me. And for the thick-walleted Tesla fanatics who plunked down $5,000 sight-unseen to be among the first to own the new car, which began shipping in limited-edition form last month but won’t be available to the car-buying masses until December at the earliest. Whoop-de-do for all of us: Not since the Model T motored past rows of horse-drawn carriages has a new car offered its early adopters so many opportunities for smugness.
It’s not just the silence and the speed. The Model S, in its most expensive form—that’s a sticker price of $105,400 before a federal tax credit—accelerates from a dead stop to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. (The one I drove, which retails for $77,400, gets there in 5.6.) It’s that there are no gears. No buttons. No dipsticks. When you open the hood, there are no 20th-century tubes, fans, pipes, or hunks of metal. Instead there is a “frunk”—a front trunk, just the place for stashing your reusable Whole Foods bags brimming with POM Wonderful and organic kale.


Instead of a bulky transmission console between the driver’s seat and the passenger seat, there is a nice empty space for parking your briefcase or purse. Instead of analog dials, there is a 17-inch Wi-Fi touchscreen display that handles everything from the navigation system to your MP3 collection to the suspension control settings. On the version I tested, there aren’t even door handles—until you touch the spot where they should be, which prompts them to emerge like the wings of a Golden Snitch (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYR9n5kv_ZM).


Oh, and did I mention you’re saving the rainforests or something?


For those who concern themselves with cars’ sociocultural implications, the Tesla is unique in being a product, not of Detroit or Japan, but of Silicon Valley. Whereas its impractical predecessor, the Tesla Roadster (http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/gearbox/2006/11/its_electric.html), shared much of its frame with the Lotus Elise, the Model S is all-American (or at least, as all-American as any other domestic car these days). On the other hand, the car hasn’t gotten the warmest reception in Detroit (http://blogs.detroitnews.com/politics/2012/07/10/introducing-the-taxpayer-financed-tesla-model-s/), nor from conservative outlets (http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2012/07/20/quick-spin-2013-tesla-model-s/), which tend to lead their reviews by mentioning the $465 million federal loan (http://www.wired.com/autopia/2009/06/tesla-loan/) that Tesla got to help it build this luxury toy.


The Model S’s design reflects its Silicon Valley provenance throughout. With its aerodynamic lines and minimalist decor, it feels a bit like the automotive world’s version of an Apple product. And in fact, it will be sold not from sprawling lots on suburban Auto Rows, but at Apple Store-like boutiques in trendy shopping districts—shops designed for Tesla by former Apple retail executive George Blankenship (http://www.teslamotors.com/about/press/releases/tesla-hires-apple-gap-veteran-revolutionize-car-buying-experience). (If you sign up for a new ride while the hoi polloi gawk at you through the store’s glass windows, you can start smirking about your Model S before you even get behind the wheel.)


The new Tesla isn’t perfect. In fact, we don’t even know for sure yet that it’s well-made. The auto blog Jalopnik has for months been waging an admirable yet lonely crusade against the Tesla hype, partly on the grounds that the company has not let professional reviewers drive the Model S (http://jalopnik.com/5918341/why-you-shouldnt-trust-any-early-tesla-model-s-reviews) long enough to get a feel for its build quality or battery range. (The company’s reps claim that’s because it’s building the cars as fast as it can to meet demand, and hasn’t had any to spare for the media.) The Roadster suffered two recalls, and it’s possible that time will expose the Model S as a lemon.


So far, though, the defects catalogued by the car’s few detractors have been reassuringly picayune. One early buyer was frustrated that the car doesn’t creep forward when it’s in idle (http://venturebeat.com/2012/07/23/tesla-model-s-hands-on/view-all/), as does a gas-powered car—which actually seems like an improvement to me. A post called “Where the Model S Fails” on one of Tesla’s customer forums points out that, in the version without retractable door handles, the chrome gets all smudgy when you touch it (http://www.teslamotors.com/forum/forums/where-model-s-fails). My own most irksome finding was that the cruise-control stalk was where I expected the blinker to be, so that I failed to signal any of my turns until I was halfway through them.


The main obstacle, for those not blessed with great wealth in addition to taste and an environmental conscience, is the price tag. As I’ve pointed out, the widely touted base price of $49,900 (http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2012/06/20/tesla_model_s_new_electric_car_is_practical_afford able_for_the_rich.html) will not get you the standout performance and battery life that set the car apart. In fact, that amount of cash will not get you anything until the company finishes building and shipping its first 1,000 cars, which start at $95,400 before a federal tax credit.


That’s bad news for most of us. But for the lucky few, it’s just one more reason to gloat.


Correction: July 25, 2012: This article originally misstated the name of the roadway that runs along the west side of Manhattan. It's the West Side Highway, not the West End Highway. (Return (http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2012/07/tesla_model_s_test_drive_it_s_electric_it_s_got_gr eat_lines_and_there_s_a_waiting_list_a_mile_long_. html#return).)

MiddleAgesMan
07-25-2012, 07:13 PM
Chip flies too!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=wPK7649SrDA

I'm very surprised to see a conventional configuration used for electric flight. Since efficiency is paramount when you're driving/flying on electricity any aircraft attempting the feat should be using Burt Rutan's design, with the elevator surface ahead of the lifting surface.

In the conventional rear-elevator form the lift from the wings is offset (to a small degree) by an elevator that opposes the lift of the forward wings. Rutan reversed things so that the elevators add lift while doing their job to control flight whether in level flight, climbing, or descending. In his planes there is no loss of lift from the elevators.

Lew Barrett
07-25-2012, 07:35 PM
C.Ross, seems to me that electrics will suffer auto industry downturns worse than the industry average. Isn't that what happened to hybrids?

The Prius (now Prius family) is the number three selling vehicle in the world.
(http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2012/05/toyota-prius-ranked-worlds-third-best-selling-car-so-far-this-year.html)

It is a huge leap, not really even a bridgeable gap, to go from comparing sales of the Prius to Tesla, but it suggests market trends that can be exploited. If the company is adaptable and adroit, the technologies it develops will make it money. I bet on the leadership, not the Roadster. Much as I love pistons, and everybody here knows I do, presuming individually owned transportation pods are germane at all in the future, alternate fuel vehicles are going to be a part of the landscape.

Get with the program, Lee!

(Something I wondered about after re-powering Rita was if her Diesels would seem as cool in 50 years as her gas motors were in 1953).

Lew Barrett
07-26-2012, 11:50 AM
They met estimates but earnings were disappointing. The stock is down since I bought in, but I'm not a short term hold so I'll ride it out. Pretty much all or nothing on this one.

Dan McCosh
07-26-2012, 02:38 PM
Sobering coming from you, but I think I'm gong in eyes open and with a sum I can afford to put at risk. Less cryptic observations always welcomed! The Tucker became one of the more famous auto flyers for lots of reasons. I only recently discovered my uncle's interest when going through some of my aunt's artifacts. A friend of my father, however, was one of the chief engineers on the Tucker, following a stint with Sikorsky working of the first helicopter. I have had some contact with maybe 50 or so similar enterprises, including some launched by personal friends. I would have to say an innovative design is hardly one chip in the effort to create a profitable car company. Tesla has made a handful of interesting prototypes, and sold a few. Its technology seems pretty much off-the-shelf. The demand for electric cars seems almost exclusively the result of the artificial credits offsetting fuel economy regulations currently offered to auto companies for producing them. This is a pretty shaky basis for marketing over the long haul.
As for stock, I would confess I know very little about what drives prices up or down, other than whatever it is has nothing to do with what the company produces. I think speculators call this a "stock with a story", which means people tend to run it up if it fits some kind of current-events scenario.

Lew Barrett
07-26-2012, 06:20 PM
The Tucker became one of the more famous auto flyers for lots of reasons. I only recently discovered my uncle's interest when going through some of my aunt's artifacts. A friend of my father, however, was one of the chief engineers on the Tucker, following a stint with Sikorsky working of the first helicopter. I have had some contact with maybe 50 or so similar enterprises, including some launched by personal friends. I would have to say an innovative design is hardly one chip in the effort to create a profitable car company. Tesla has made a handful of interesting prototypes, and sold a few. Its technology seems pretty much off-the-shelf. The demand for electric cars seems almost exclusively the result of the artificial credits offsetting fuel economy regulations currently offered to auto companies for producing them. This is a pretty shaky basis for marketing over the long haul.
As for stock, I would confess I know very little about what drives prices up or down, other than whatever it is has nothing to do with what the company produces. I think speculators call this a "stock with a story", which means people tend to run it up if it fits some kind of current-events scenario.
This is not encouraging news.

Ross M
08-03-2012, 07:22 PM
This is not encouraging news.

Maybe this will help: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20120625/CARREVIEWS/120629886

In whole, a pretty complimentary test drive review of the Model S...

Lew Barrett
08-03-2012, 07:25 PM
The reviews coming in are encouraging, the stock is about where I bought it, and the analysts, many of whom I don't think much of, but whose pronouncements can move the market, remain generally positive. I remain blissfully optimistic. I want to laugh in Dan's general direction at some point in this ride! You wouldn't resent that, would you Dan? C'mon! Slap on the back and wish me well!

Lew Barrett
08-07-2012, 04:04 PM
TSLA closed at $30.25, about two bucks over my buy, la-te-da.

Hwyl
09-19-2012, 05:31 PM
If the numbers on this are even half correct, it will be a Tesla killer in the short run. I think all electric is the future but this is a heck of a hybrid.

Clearly 70+ mpg and 800 BHP don't compute though.

http://jalopnik.com/5944631/leaked-brochure-shows-porsche-will-let-you-buy-this-gorgeous-800-horsepower-78-mpg-hybrid-918-spyder?utm_source=gizmodo.com&utm_medium=recirculation&utm_campaign=recirculation

Lew Barrett
09-19-2012, 05:41 PM
Tesla's not doing the sports car anymore, it's pure electric (not a hybrid), and the S is not nearly as expensive as the Porsche, not that it's cheap. But Tesla has been a risky venture for a small investor like me from the start. I happen to like their juju and they are getting good press right now, but if a major manufacturer does invade their space, it will spell either trouble or it could verify and enhance their position, and actually be good news. Competition is always good for the breed, and the addition of serious players brings more heat to the game, but does nothing to assure Tesla's survival in the long run. Anyway, I say bring it on!

DanSkorupka
09-20-2012, 01:12 PM
The be all and end all of fast electrics is and probably will remain for decades as the Rimac One.

More peaking power than the Bugati Veyron while almost a ton lighter, 4 motors each faster spinning than the already impressive 22000 rpm of the tesla, turns over 1 G at 180 mph, 300 to 400 mile highway range by the same brutal standard that gave the Nissan Leaf a pessimistic 70 highway miles, longer unattended battery life than DeWalt or Makita LiFe drill batteries, 2000+ deep discharge cycles before 15% capacity loss.
Computer limited to 205 mph and 1G acceleration in economy mode, which CAN be turned off to set world records.

Cost is a cool million euros (actually a bit less but a few grand at this point is ignorable)
It was entirely natively developed and hand built and tested in Croatia by Croatians.

Stiletto
09-20-2012, 05:22 PM
If a large manufacturer decides to go electric and Tesla is ahead of the game, you may find your shares rising in price with a potential buyout on the horizon.

Good luck anyway.

Lew Barrett
09-20-2012, 11:37 PM
Thanks. Lucky is better than smart every time; I'll take either. I think they have a shot. It's the kind of thing you do if you are willing to take a risk on a good idea. It's a risk. A few that I took in the past funded my retirement; one of them funded a lot of people's retirements. I was lucky, lived here and jumped on the bandwagon. Tesla's not so obvious, nor do I have the same hope for it. Well, to be truthful, I had no hope when I invested in Microsoft; it just sort of happened and a few years later, I looked smart. But I know better than anybody what the deal actually was. I was lucky.

Hwyl
09-24-2012, 06:57 PM
http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2012/09/24/161700525/teslas-big-gamble-can-the-electric-car-go-mainstream

Lew Barrett
09-24-2012, 08:06 PM
It's interesting how they say "the company is now unveiling a new network of refueling stations." You'd think that they'd have considered their choice of words a bit more carefully!

Lew Barrett
11-26-2012, 05:26 PM
Car of the Year, Automobile Magazine. (http://www.automobilemag.com/features/awards/1301_2013_automobile_of_the_year_tesla_model_s/viewall.html)

Motor Trend Car of The Year (http://www.motortrend.com/oftheyear/car/1301_2013_motor_trend_car_of_the_year_tesla_model_ s/viewall.html)

This is good! I'm encouraged, and up about 15% in a tough market. Not counting my profit yet though.

Ted Hoppe
11-26-2012, 05:33 PM
Here is an interesting point - I did not see them at the San Francisco auto show over the weekend. But i have seen more of them on the road up and down the 101 and 280 commute. As a car that drives on the HOV lanes and get the drivers to the office twice as fast makes them very desirable in congested areas.

I am pulling for them. The technologies and relationships prove there is something good about the car company.

Lew Barrett
11-26-2012, 08:43 PM
A good friend's son is the chief drivetrain architect for Tesla. He treated his parents to a 200 mile road trip in a new Tesla S sedan, and everyone was quite impressed with it.

I think that Tesla's future is actually being undersold. For one thing, they aren't dicking around with a garage-shop manufacturing effort.... Instead, they've bought the old NUMMI plant and fully equipped it, and are cranking out model S sedans at an increasing rate.

The company that succeeds, long term, in the electric car market, will be the company that pays the dues NOW, accumulating institutional experience for the time when they can produce an 'Everyman' car that gains mainstream popularity.

The mainstream press plugs are a big deal, but if you read the articles, it's the performance resulting from the engineering that they are glowing about. Basically what they are saying is that it's here now. Tesla is promising "high potency" (my words...they call it "supercharging") charging stations coast to coast (95% charge in well under an hour) within (IIRC) 12 months. Anybody who buys a Model S can use them for free so in theory, you can drive coast to coast in a high performance machine, stopping every 250 miles or so for a fast recharge....for free.

By the way...I enjoyed your battery post (the one that became controversial in respect to charging rates) and sent the link to my nephew who is an engineer specializing in battery technology. I asked him his opinions, but he has yet to get back to me. Being his uncle has no pull in this case :D

Gerarddm
11-27-2012, 02:01 AM
FWIW, the reviews are glowing. The NYTimes fairly drooled over it, etc. and isn't it Motor Trend's Car of the Year?

Go for it. I bought stock in a fuel cell company 10 years ago and it never did anything, but I think Tesla has more wings than it did.

Lew Barrett
11-27-2012, 01:09 PM
FWIW, the reviews are glowing. The NYTimes fairly drooled over it, etc. and isn't it Motor Trend's Car of the Year?

Go for it. I bought stock in a fuel cell company 10 years ago and it never did anything, but I think Tesla has more wings than it did.

I bought Tesla this summer thinking the new model was a possible winner, so I'm there.

Norman, the Model S is "there" too according to all who have driven it. Any new machine may have flaws (some potentially fatal) that can't be known until the product gets used in earnest, but as far as what it needs to do to be competitive in it's sector. They are comparing this thing....more than favorably....to the M5. That is an achievement of high order.

Where Tesla needs development is to bring the cost of goods down to the point where the average person can own one. They say they are working on that. Going in at the high end is always a good strategy though. I think they're brilliant, and that's what I bet on. They're also integrating solar ito the charging structure. They are way ahead of the curve, I think. I'm very encouraged.

DanSkorupka
11-27-2012, 01:48 PM
The Tesla S is a great car but is still too expensive.
They should have improved and continued with the roadster if they wanted to appeal to the rich snobs and the racing crowd.
The Tesla S was supposed to come out years ago and a lot cheaper.
Numbers made are so tiny it would be funny if it wasn't real.
Laptop batteries last 3 years use em or not and by then a laptop with a 2 to 4 hour capacity is lucky to run 20 minutes. These are the good japanese and european cells. The korean and chinese ones are typically even worse.
I bought a laptop and ran it on cycle life optimiztion mode (50 instead of 80% discharge with warnings at 30 minutes instead of 10) and had exactly the same results.

IIRC the model S stupidly uses ordinary lithium manganese dioxide laptop cells, over 6000 of them.
It was originally intended to have over 500 kg of the same Yttrium doped LiFePo4 batteries slated for the Rimac one.
How they thought they could do this in an under $40000 car before Thundersky started making non POS large format LiFePO4 batteries is beyond me.

PS.
Thundersky started out making absolute garbage but got better at it and now their product is equal to the offerings of Ping (God's gift to high watt ebikes but too small for cars and a pain to balance) and A123 at a lower price.

Dan McCosh
11-27-2012, 01:52 PM
I think the main drawback is the eight hours it takes to recharge, and that would mean turning off all the electrical appliances and lights in the average house while the car is charging. On a typical 240 V. line--25 hours to recharge.

Greeny
11-27-2012, 06:37 PM
I have spoken to two people wealthy enough to buy the roadster and test drove one. Both said the reason they would not is its too noisy (!) - a high pitched whine coming from the engine behind their head.

Lew Barrett
11-27-2012, 11:11 PM
You guys are a bunch of spoil sports!


I have spoken to two people wealthy enough to buy the roadster and test drove one. Both said the reason they would not is its too noisy (!) - a high pitched whine coming from the engine behind their head.

I am unclear what the science of it might be, but Tesla claims their Supercharger stations will refill the battery in 45 minutes. No charging at home, you fill up on the road for long distance rides. They intend to use solar power to supplement the system as well. Current Model S owners use the stations (when completed) for free.

I understand comments about the Tesla value proposition, but fundamentally, it's no different than the value proposition of any Mercedes or BMW. These are not for regular car buyers anymore than any premium vehicle is. Price will depress volume of course, but that doesn't mean they can't make money selling five thousand cars a year. The challenge at the moment seems to be making five thousand cars a year.

Gerarddm
11-28-2012, 01:47 AM
I mean, look at how many Aston Martins get sold.

Tesla has a real good sory. There are LOTS of drivers who can afford one. They don't need to be priced like an Accord. Apple has shown people will pay for great design and cachet.

Dan McCosh
11-28-2012, 05:34 AM
You guys are a bunch of spoil sports!



I am unclear what the science of it might be, but Tesla claims their Supercharger stations will refill the battery in 45 minutes. No charging at home, you fill up on the road for long distance rides. They intend to use solar power to supplement the system as well. Current Model S owners use the stations (when completed) for free.

I understand comments about the Tesla value proposition, but fundamentally, it's no different than the value proposition of any Mercedes or BMW. These are not for regular car buyers anymore than any premium vehicle is. Price will depress volume of course, but that doesn't mean they can't make money selling five thousand cars a year. The challenge at the moment seems to be making five thousand cars a year. Not much to the science. A typical house has an 11 Kw electric system. The big battery is 85 Kw.

peb
11-28-2012, 07:12 AM
I am not upto date on the tesla story, but it sure seems like a questionable investment to me. They seem to be on the wrong side of the old saying "Sell to the princes and be a pauper, sell to the paupers and be a prince.". And it even takes a subsidy to get the princes to buy.

More importantly: even if/ when electric cars do become economically viable, there will be no real barrier to entry on other car manufacturers. Their moat will be quite narrow, not a good situation for a new company in an established business.

Also, for electric cars to be widely successful must be cheaper, simply relying on int comb engine cars to get more expensive to drive wont cut it.

Just my thoughts.

peb
11-28-2012, 11:32 AM
I don't see much evidence for the wisdom of this wisdom.... in fact, I see the opposite: the biggest dealership on the 'automile' in Norwood, MA, is the recently built Ferrari/Maserati dealership.... and before that, the most recent new dealership was the Jaguar/Land Rover dealership. Appealing to people with big money has always been a moneymaker.

It is hard to think of many public companies that have made purchases of common stock a successful investment who have not had products sold directly (or indirectly) to the masses. Your two examples, Ferrari/Maserati, both almost went broke many times in their history and are owned by Fiat (a company renowned for focusing on the masses). But just for fun, lets imagine that Tesla can reach the point of profit that Ferrari and Maserrati had in 2011 (a combined profit of around 350M according to Fiat's annuall report). With that level of sales, and the current Tesla market cap, they would still have a PE of well over 10. Which is of course, rather cheap, so the market cap would increase substantially, but would the share price? Do you really believe they would reach that level of sales without major dilution of existing common shares?


I'm not so sure of that, either... Tesla is way up on the experience curve, and they're big enough to be making big technological investments in electric propulsion. The others are only dabbling, and since their bread and butter is internal combustion, any investment in electrics comes at the expense of their main business. Since Tesla has no IC technology to protect, it can afford to go 'all in' on electrics.

Dabbling? A rough look at Tesla's numbers suggests that they have total investments so far of around $550M. Through the end of 2011, GM has invested a total of $561M in the Chevy Volt alone. Now, I am the first to admit that a small company can do R&D and early production ramp up more efficiently that a huge company. But still, that is GM's investment in only one model and only one technology. I am very certain of this statement: considering their likely competition, the barrier to entry from competitors will not be significant enough to keep other car companies out of the electric car business if it proves successful. This is the huge red flag from an investment standpoint, at least considering Tesla's current financial status with respect to common stock ownership. If someone can tell what that barrier to entry is, I would be interested.


I agree completely, with THAT statement. However, the changeover will, of course, be evolutionary.... and it will come by gradual reduction of costs, not by any single great technological leap forward (I think that has been true of battery development, for a very long time now). The low end Tesla model S is priced, I believe, at around $60K... which, when you think of it, isn't all that far from the $30K cost of a modern 'full size', reasonably well equipped sedan (for example, a well equipped Toyota Camry or Honda Accord reaches the $30K level). The gap really isn't that wide... give it ten years or so.

Considering they have gross margins of -17%, in the US the range of subsidy for the purchaser is anywhere from $7500 to $12000 (depending on the state), and they enjoy a exceedingly low cost-of-capital (due to both government loans and current interest rate environment); I would say the gap is substantially bigger that you imply. You put it at 100% reduction in costs, I would put it closer to 150%-200%.

On top of that, there are significant regulatory risks in the future. The battery technology has unknown environmental impact (both in manufacturing and disposal) when done on a very large scale. That could also lead to increased costs of production if the technology becomes widely deployed.

All of this is to say, I do not like the investment from a common stock perspective. The cars are cool, and if you want to drop $50K or so for a car with 160 mile range, knock yourself out.

peb
11-28-2012, 11:35 AM
And added note: this is not to say that investing in TSLA may not be a good short/mid term investment at times. But that would be more like speculating. I simply do not see it as a viable long term investment.

Lew Barrett
11-30-2012, 11:47 AM
And added note: this is not to say that investing in TSLA may not be a good short/mid term investment at times. But that would be more like speculating. I simply do not see it as a viable long term investment.

Not many here do, which widens the odds considerably. Tesla is differentiated (as an electric vehicle manufacturer) from GM because it is a pure play. If GM sells 5000 Volts it means very little. Not so for Tesla.

This is a speculative play; we agree there. Selling to the top of the market has long been established marketing technique. The premium product is established and you expand the base by building more affordable offerings with the premium output being the halo products. Pushing up from the bottom is much harder to accomplish. Musk has always proposed this as their strategy.

I don't have huge expectations to be honest. I view this as a socially responsible investment as well as a high risk/high reward venture. Your point about the battery recycling is worth discussion but I don't have the information to answer your query about what the long term ecological implications are. I do know what the social and environmental impact of...let's pick some traditional energy sources.....coal mining or fracking for gas is.......and suspect dealing with the battery recycling couldn't possibly have more impact than that.

Dan McCosh
11-30-2012, 12:10 PM
Might note that Ford is now (this spring) in the process of launching an all-electric Focus, plus two plug-in hybrids that run for 20 miles all-electric, then switch to gas/hybrid. They have built four plants to produce the vehicles and major drive components in a flexible environment, also capable of building more conventional cars. Prices are about $35,000, for a six-passenger sedan. GM is launching an all-electric for $32,000. Also BMW, Mitsubishi, among others. Might add that Ford got a $7 billion federal subsidy as part of their program.

peb
11-30-2012, 02:38 PM
Not many here do, which widens the odds considerably. Tesla is differentiated (as an electric vehicle manufacturer) from GM because it is a pure play. If GM sells 5000 Volts it means very little. Not so for Tesla.

This is a speculative play; we agree there. Selling to the top of the market has long been established marketing technique. The premium product is established and you expand the base by building more affordable offerings with the premium output being the halo products. Pushing up from the bottom is much harder to accomplish. Musk has always proposed this as their strategy.

I don't have huge expectations to be honest. I view this as a socially responsible investment as well as a high risk/high reward venture. Your point about the battery recycling is worth discussion but I don't have the information to answer your query about what the long term ecological implications are. I do know what the social and environmental impact of...let's pick some traditional energy sources.....coal mining or fracking for gas is.......and suspect dealing with the battery recycling couldn't possibly have more impact than that.

I am not saying GM is a better investment than Tesla, not at all, certainly not if the desire is to make a pure play investment in electric cars. My point about GM was simple, they (and other car manufactures) can move in on the success of Tesla relatively easily in the event that the electric car takes off. That does not make investing in GM wise, what it does is raise a red flag towards an investment in Tesla. In Morningstar terminology, they have at best a narrow economic moat, ie no protection from competitors. In other common terminology, there is little or no barrier to entry into their space from likely competitors. In my opinion, this is one of the most important factors to consider when making an investment in a company. This is especially true with a small company in a new market. One looks at an optimistic scenario, the company is successful with their product/service. Assuming that happens, will it be difficult for someone else to move into their market. If you would allow me the hindsight of a company such as Google. Lets imagine they had gone public (like Tesla) when their product (their search engine) was still young. In the event of wide-spread acceptance of their search engine, it would be easy to see an economic moat: users get in a habit of using the same search tool, the more searches done the better the result, hence users are more likely to use their service, advertisers will go to the winner and be hesitant to switch a lesser used product. A big snowball occurs, and hence an economic moat. Of course, that is 20/20 hindsight, but I give it for illustrative purposes only. With Tesla, in the event of success, I see little or no economic moat developing. Hence it is a questionable high risk/reward investment. That is my point.

Dan McCosh
11-30-2012, 05:06 PM
Might add that the Chevy Volt is tracking to sell more than 20,000 this year, and is at the top of Consumer Reports "most satisfied" customer list.

Dan McCosh
11-30-2012, 05:29 PM
Might also note that the only successful post-WWII automotive startup is Honda.

Hwyl
11-30-2012, 05:46 PM
Might also note that the only successful post-WWII automotive startup is Honda.

Kia comes pretty close June 9, 1944, Daf didn't start making cars until 1949

Lew Barrett
11-30-2012, 05:49 PM
Making it past due for another success? Hyundai is excluded?

I started out saying I was taking a flier. I like the leadership, I like a lot of things about numerous aspects of the business model (car dealers have their panties in a bunch over it; too bad) and I like the product and I am not alone in that. I do not have the same sense of anticipation I had in 1994 when I bought Microsoft, but those kinds of opportunities are increasingly more difficult to uncover.

I toast to Tesla climbing the wall of your worry, and if it goes kaboom, I am prepared. It won't be the first time I got smeared. On the other hand, if it pops, it won't be the first time I took that sort of ride either. What they are trying to do is abundantly difficult but they are approaching it from the glam end. When this thread started, the nay was all about electric cars in general. Now it's about Tesla, seeing as how the other guys are popping for them. The odds just improved.

Lew Barrett
11-30-2012, 05:49 PM
Kia comes pretty close June 9, 1944, Daf didn't start making cars until 1949


Cross posted. I think Hyundai (not Kia) is post war.

Hwyl
11-30-2012, 06:07 PM
Cross posted. I think Hyundai (not Kia) is post war.

I was wondering if Lotus could have met the parameters of "successful" they did achieve many goals

Lew Barrett
12-01-2012, 12:31 AM
I was wondering if Lotus could have met the parameters of "successful" they did achieve many goals

Good question; depends on how you view them, I guess. Their research has been interesting. They came up with the noise cancelling technology used (for one) in Bose headphones and now, just about every car that has active noise control. On the other hand, they don't really exist as their own independent car company anymore, and it's interesting for another reason: the Tesla Roadster essentially is a Lotus.

Just about every GM brand, surviving or otherwise, was an aquired marque: Olds (now defunct) and Chevrolet come to mind. Lotus was acquired, as was Kia. So were Rolls and Bentley, Maserati, Alfa and Ferrari, all the French marques that once were independent are pretty much owned by Renault or Peugeot. Death and transfiguration are the MOs of the car business. One day somebody may swallow Tesla. Fine. That could work for me, or they could just dry up and blow away. But I'm betting they make a real good go and smart effort before that happens. Nay sayers have the history of these things on their side, no doubt. I'm just hoping Tesla is (and more importantly, has) the future, which is much harder to predict than the past.

I'll brook no "I told you" sos if they fail. I consider them a responsible social investment and a high risk bet. But who here wouldn't want one? Really?

peb
12-01-2012, 09:19 AM
Norman,

I have wanted to being up appl a couple of times on this thread. If you look at the early days of apple, and follow them through the late 90s, they are a good example if my early point about selling to princes to be a pauper vs selling to paupers to be a prince. They were killed by Microsoft because they sold expensive computers and a couple of times barely survived.

Then look at them since they were at the forefront of mp3 players , yet focused on selling music. What a moat, I started downloading music in iTunes a long time ago, and they have me locked. In the phones, they focused on a great product that lots of people could afford. Tablets, same thing. So their bad times were a result of expensive products, when a cheaper viable alternative was widely available. Their good times are a result if inexpensive products with a wide economic moat.

Where is Tesla right now in these two scenarios? That is obvious. Less obvious is how, when or if they will make a transition.

peb
12-01-2012, 09:24 AM
Good question; depends on how you view them, I guess. Their research has been interesting. They came up with the noise cancelling technology used (for one) in Bose headphones and now, just about every car that has active noise control. On the other hand, they don't really exist as their own independent car company anymore, and it's interesting for another reason: the Tesla Roadster essentially is a Lotus.

Just about every GM brand, surviving or otherwise, was an aquired marque: Olds (now defunct) and Chevrolet come to mind. Lotus was acquired, as was Kia. So were Rolls and Bentley, Maserati, Alfa and Ferrari, all the French marques that once were independent are pretty much owned by Renault or Peugeot. Death and transfiguration are the MOs of the car business. One day somebody may swallow Tesla. Fine. That could work for me, or they could just dry up and blow away. But I'm betting they make a real good go and smart effort before that happens. Nay sayers have the history of these things on their side, no doubt. I'm just hoping Tesla is (and more importantly, has) the future, which is much harder to predict than the past.

I'll brook no "I told you" sos if they fail. I consider them a responsible social investment and a high risk bet. But who here wouldn't want one? Really?

And you will deserve no "I told you so", you have been clear and concise in explaining you investment decision.
And , IMO, your final question is almost good enough to debunk every point I have made on this thread.

Lew Barrett
12-01-2012, 11:26 AM
And you will deserve no "I told you so", you have been clear and concise in explaining you investment decision.
And , IMO, your final question is almost good enough to debunk every point I have made on this thread.

Thanks. As I have told you in the past, I respect your informed opinions on investing.

Norman answered the question about their proposed future direction. Again to be noted, saying and doing are two different things, but with tech products it is a very common strategy to start off with limited runs of highly desirable products and then fill in down-market. Apple almost swallowed the anchor but ultimately came up smelling like a rose. Tesla's ability will likely depend on staying well capitalized since they are in a very capital intensive sector. I think that's the greatest challenge they face.

Dan McCosh
12-01-2012, 02:04 PM
Cross posted. I think Hyundai (not Kia) is post war. Kia and Hyundai were founded post war, as conglomerates that eventually built cars. I can fudge a bit here, as they were not started up as car companies. Kia was effectively absorbed by Hyundai about 10 years ago. Actually Lotus may be a better exception, having likewise been absorbed by other groups. The general pattern has been consolidation via buyouts and bankruptcy, something that has affected a broad range of U.S. manufacturers, as well as many offshore operations. I think Honda is the remaining post WWII independent startup, but someone always find an exception, like the "first" of something. Even Honda started making motorbikes, but at least they had wheels.

Lew Barrett
12-02-2012, 01:05 AM
Kia and Hyundai were founded post war, as conglomerates that eventually built cars. I can fudge a bit here, as they were not started up as car companies. Kia was effectively absorbed by Hyundai about 10 years ago. Actually Lotus may be a better exception, having likewise been absorbed by other groups. The general pattern has been consolidation via buyouts and bankruptcy, something that has affected a broad range of U.S. manufacturers, as well as many offshore operations. I think Honda is the remaining post WWII independent startup, but someone always find an exception, like the "first" of something. Even Honda started making motorbikes, but at least they had wheels.

By any practical definition, but not literally, you could say the same of BMW as they were a mess post war, and production of "cars" was defined by Isettas and the like, built under license and powered by 250cc motorcycle engines. They really were out of the game until the early fifties when they started building the unsuccessful 8 cylinder sedans (and later, the 507 of course), and would have been long gone but for several twists of fate and the foresight (or whatever) of the Quandt family. But no arguing that they did exist as a car manufacturer before the war.

Kia was initially a bicycle manufacturer and just to stick a point (rather a technical one, not as a practical matter), was formed/incorporated in 1944. And, since we're doing this, there's McLaren as well, and they bear some sort of comparison to Tesla as they operate at the extreme high end. But we all agree that making cars is a rough and tumble, capital intensive business that needs you to be tough, smart and willing to accept rejection.

Lew Barrett
02-01-2013, 09:30 AM
So far, so good. Too early for gloating

Ted Hoppe
02-01-2013, 11:18 AM
38 and change. :)

Dan McCosh
02-01-2013, 01:24 PM
I keep trying to understand the PR aspects of this enterprise. There are actually very few who have actually driven it, unlike most new cars entering the market. The vehicles on display are incredibly poorly assembled. I don't have any hard production numbers, etc. The presentations are full of obvious hyperbole. (They are claiming they are averaging 1,000 people a day in their showrooms.) I remain quite skeptical.

Dan McCosh
02-01-2013, 01:39 PM
I should probably qualify my remarks by adding that while I had advance insight into most of the major technology revolutions that have shaped the past four decades or so--any one of which would have made me rich had I personally invested--I failed to take advantage of any of these opportunities. I have a near-perfect track record. Unfortunately the record is for lack of success. I wouldn't take my advice if someone gave it to me.

Lew Barrett
02-01-2013, 01:42 PM
I should probably qualify my remarks by adding that while I had advance insight into most of the major technology revolutions that have shaped the past four decades or so--any one of which would have made me rich had I personally invested--I failed to take advantage of any of these opportunities. I have a near-perfect track record. Unfortunately the record is for lack of success. I wouldn't take my advice if someone gave it to me.

Then I'll heed your advice by ignoring it! Latest production numbers for them are said to be 200 vehicles per week, the first time they have declared numbers to match their goals. I have see a number of somewhat poorly assembled pre production items at shows, even more typical I think for small manufacturers. I expect you see such things in advance of my experiences. By the time they get to Seattle, show vehicles can be pretty tired. What are the chances that Tesla doesn't rotate or refresh their show stock, or has been showing pre-production units?

Dan McCosh
02-01-2013, 01:50 PM
Then I'll heed your advice by ignoring it! Latest production numbers for them are said to be 200 vehicles per week, the first time they have declared numbers to match their goals. I have see a number of somewhat poorly assembled pre production equipment at shows, even more typical I think for small manufacturers. I expect you see such things in advance of my experiences. By the time they get to Seattle, show vehicles can be pretty tired. What are the chances that Tesla doesn't rotate or refresh their show stock, or has been showing pre-production units? They said the vehicle I was looking at was a full-production car, not a prototype. I asked about that as they looked so bad.

Lew Barrett
02-01-2013, 01:55 PM
38 and change. :)

I'm in for the long haul, but there's always a temptation at a juncture like this. :D

Lew Barrett
02-01-2013, 01:56 PM
They said the vehicle I was looking at was a full-production car, not a prototype. I asked about that as they looked so bad.

Tired, or panel fit and the like?

Dan McCosh
02-01-2013, 01:59 PM
As I have mentioned before, the son of a close friend is the chief powertrain architect for Tesla. When his parents visited last, he took them on a trip from near Tesla's facility, to Las Vegas, in a prototype Tesla model S sedan... and they were very impressed.... powerful, smooth, and the range of the battery was impressive (he was driving one with the top-of-the-line battery, of course). According to my friend, they're ramping up production rapidly. Not sure what he is working on, but the people I know are mainly interested in what Tesla has done with electronic controls for battery management. That seems to be their main technical achievement.

Dan McCosh
02-01-2013, 02:01 PM
Tired, or panel fit and the like? Panel fit and the like, plus some pretty weak-looking basic hardware assemblies.

Ted Hoppe
02-01-2013, 02:19 PM
I have seen numerous Teslas in parking lots and on the road around SF and San Jose. The cars are holding up well. The fit and finish is as good as any modern Toyota. The robotics and injectors at the former Numi plant are very good. the ability to make good cars have really changed since computer automation with close tolerances of C&C machining - neary every modern car company most likely can deliver quality products consistently. they still look better than a leaf or a volt in a place where style counts for most whom get satisfaction by the kudos recieved on Facebook.

Tesla technology is not about the body - never was the real strength but very cool nevertheless. if one looks forward to 15 years in the future, we as consumers will create our own personal car bodies with localized 3d printing and C&C customization done at local levels. Think iPhone/IPad rather than GM unibody.

that said - Lew taking 20 present profit beats the street. would have, could have and should have recently happened to my apple stock.

George Jung
02-01-2013, 02:23 PM
Sorry, Lew - your argument would be much more convincing were you posting pics of you driving your new investment!

20% gain? Not bad. I'll always remember the 'flyer' I took - $10,000 in, shot up to $75,000 - which I held, expecting even bigger things, plus, this happened over 6 months and i didn't want the tax bill. So I watched it drop right back down to $10K, and then down to 5K. didn't budge after that. An expensive lesson!

George Jung
02-01-2013, 02:31 PM
I recall you saying that! Hard to bat a 1.000, isn't it! At least you didn't put everything you had into it. A friend, worked for a pharma co, did just that - and went bankrupt when the company fortunes headed south. Diversification helps.

Lew Barrett
02-01-2013, 02:34 PM
This was entered into with the idea that they would succeed based on their management skills and their timing. Electrics have yet to prove themselves in the market, but while 20% is a superb return, and better than my portfolio has achieved in the last two years, I still think there is room for this to stretch. Most new issue stocks are fliers, George.

Ted, I'm not sure it's over for Apple, but their run up looks to have stalled based on the forces at work, and the beginnings of people saying their product lines are showing signs of weakness. If one had been in them long term and wanted to lock in some profit, selling in the last three months would have been wise.
Once they went above $500 a bit ago, I felt the stock was too high to enter into. I sold mine some time ago and missed a good piece of their run, but it's still higher than it was when I sold.

I could say the same for MSFT. I rode it up through many splits but missed it's absolute highs and it was off about 25% when I finally sold it back in 2000 (I think, don't recall the actual date). I don't love the 25% I missed, but solace myself with the many fold increase I gained. I only wish I'd put in more. I would not buy it today. I have to remind myself that ty losses, which I have become considerably more careful about in the last three years, nonetheless have to be counted against the gains for the whole picture.

I think Joseph Kennedy, having spent years (and made fortunes) in the stock market said, after helping Roosevelt try to clean it up, that now knowing what he did, he would never invest in stocks again!

Added, actually, counting today's gains as shown, my investment is up about 28%. Could be gone in a flash or triple depending on things way out of my control.....unless I sell of course!

Lew Barrett
04-01-2013, 10:53 AM
Until one sells, it is pretty academic how things are doing, but Tesla is having a very good day today as they announced they will be profitable going forward (or, at least for a quarter or three). Stock surged about 20% today (plus or minus) after holding onto some solid gains previously. No ner ner ner ners from me; as I said I'm in for the long pull with this one so loss is still very possible with any stumbles.

John of Phoenix
04-01-2013, 11:17 AM
Twenty percent in a day. Have a rum!

bogdog
04-01-2013, 12:14 PM
I thought the Tesla was a gun, go figure...http://finalciak.com/wp-content/uploads/Pistola_Tesla.jpg

Lew Barrett
05-13-2013, 10:34 AM
Twenty percent in a day. Have a rum!

Thanks.

This morning I sold one third of my position. I had several motivations, none really related to my faith in the company (well, maybe just a little as a hedge). First, the stock has (a bit more than) tripled since I bought it. Selling one third effectively means I no longer have my initial stake at risk, and hedges what I think must have the potential for at least a short term retreat at some point in here. Second, the market in general always makes me nervous (and giddy) when it has unrelenting "happy days" as it has these last few months. I could probably convince myself to take a percentage of all my holdings off the table now, but not being a market timer, I rarely act on these impulses. I did today because Tesla is still a higher risk element of my portfolio than most of my other stuff. I bought a third of my standard allocation for positions when I kicked in, and Tesla is now essentially nearly a full position in my portfolio. I had no idea the stock would move so far so fast, and expected a much longer wait for this euphoria. And because I have had euphoria before, I sold a piece. We'll see if that was wise or not down the road.

So, I am now in Tesla for the full ride. Just as it is with electric mobility scooters, I own a small piece of Tesla "at little or no cost to me." (Actually I made a small profit on that third). You go Elon!

GLOAT! GLOAT! GLOAT! :D:D:D

Ross M
05-13-2013, 11:11 AM
IMO, your remaining position still has some legs: http://money.cnn.com/2013/05/13/autos/tesla-sales-bmw-mercedes-audi/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

The article linked also references a Consumers Reports finding that the S is "the best car it has ever tested".

Well done.

Full Tilt
05-13-2013, 11:28 AM
I have seen numerous Teslas in parking lots and on the road around SF and San Jose. The cars are holding up well. The fit and finish is as good as any modern Toyota. The robotics and injectors at the former Numi plant are very good. the ability to make good cars have really changed since computer automation with close tolerances of C&C machining - neary every modern car company most likely can deliver quality products consistently. they still look better than a leaf or a volt in a place where style counts for most whom get satisfaction by the kudos recieved on Facebook.

Tesla technology is not about the body - never was the real strength but very cool nevertheless.
__________ __________________________________________________ ________________________ ____

It is my understanding that until the model S, Tesla cars have been built by Lotus. And Lotus have been getting their engines from Toyota.

Lotus HAS always been "about the body", they virtually invented Monocoque.

Therefore I don't see any relevance to a statement like "The cars are holding up well".

Am I missing something here?

Mike

Lew Barrett
05-13-2013, 11:49 AM
Congrats, Lew... you took a risk on a sketchy pick, and won big!

(I'd probably sell another third, locking in some profit, in addition to retrieving your investment.... but that's just me).



I have none of my original stake at risk (my simple math: I invested $X, it tripled and became $3X, I sold my original $1X stake and the remainder rides for now). It is tempting to take a bit more off the table, but faint heart never won fair lady. I made a small profit on this sale above the recovery of the initial stake. It's in my 401K so no immediate tax consequence, but that will probably come later as we all have to pay the piper eventually. My profit is just enough to buy a new higher end armored motorcycle suit with good ventilation and leaves some gas money (literally) left over. I ordered the suit this morning, and will burn off the gas over the summer. I haven't profited enough to buy a Model S yet and will have to await the model C (Cheapo) Tesla, so I'm still burning carbon based fuels directly, but the bike gets 42 MPG if I go light on the throttle. :D



Regarding Kaa's original comments: I didn't factor the gloat value when I pulled the trigger ( however sweet it may be, having the investment work out is significantly sweeter), and there is still time for me to be proven an ass (if not on this issue, there are plenty of others). But being right is certainly a modestly pleasant reward on its own. I don't agree with Kaa on so many issues so there was little reason to take his advice on this one. I would listen to him when it comes to lenses, perhaps.




IMO, your remaining position still has some legs: http://money.cnn.com/2013/05/13/autos/tesla-sales-bmw-mercedes-audi/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

The article linked also references a Consumers Reports finding that the S is "the best car it has ever tested".

Well done.

Everybody seems to like the car. There are several in my neighborhood. While walking my dog yesterday, I saw a new one parked on the car pad of a neighbor's house under a Tesla branded car cover. I am starting to see them on the streets and highways quite regularly. They have caught on with the tech money people up here, no doubt. It's not over in my opinion as well as yours, but there is still risk. I'm not betting the farm, just a small garden patch. Still, even a small patch can provide a lot of tomatoes.

__________ __________________________________________________ ________________________ ____

It is my understanding that until the model S, Tesla cars have been built by Lotus. And Lotus have been getting their engines from Toyota.

Lotus HAS always been "about the body", they virtually invented Monocoque.

Therefore I don't see any relevance to a statement like "The cars are holding up well".

Am I missing something here?

Mike

I think you are missing a good deal. Right about the chassis regarding the Roadster, but of course not the Model S. That's pretty much the two models delivered so far. Though it is true that the Elise provided the base for the first car, the drive train (broadly speaking) is all Tesla. Also as previously discussed, Toyota holds a (now quite small based on market value) position in Tesla, and they are partnered, if I understand correctly, so that Toyota can benefit from Tesla's motor/battery/energy management developments.

However, that car is no longer being manufactured and the Model S is the standard bearer now. It's pretty much a ground up development of Tesla, and the company has some very fine chassis engineers in full employment. I'd call this superb (and smart) execution. By the way, Lotus of today bears no ownership or real connection to Colin Chapman's era. It is a different company with a similar retail mission (sporting road cars) under new, Asian ownership. The Roadster was simply the first product and a faster path to market. The Toyota tie runs (rather more invisibly) through that car, as Toyota supplied the motors for it (in Lotus form, the motors are actually Yamaha built). I can't personally tell the difference between the old Elise and the Tesla until I get close up to them, but in retrospect it was a good chassis choice for the first product, though obviously with limited appeal. That can't honestly be said of the Model S as it's appeal is more general and broader in my opinion and also seemingly in the market's opinion as well. It is also US manufactured/assembled (batteries and certain other components aside) and is solely a Tesla development. You know all this but no time like now to review. And, they are said to be holding up well.

What was it John said? God bless the early adopters!

Full Tilt
05-13-2013, 12:39 PM
I think you are missing a good deal. Right about the chassis regarding the Roadster, but of course not the Model S. That's pretty much the two models delivered so far. Though it is true that the Elise provided the base for the first car, the drive train (broadly speaking) is all Tesla. Also as previously discussed, Toyota holds a (now quite small based on market value) position in Tesla, and they are partnered, if I understand correctly, so that Toyota can benefit from Tesla's motor/battery/energy management developments.

However, that car is no longer being manufactured and the Model S is the standard bearer now. It's pretty much a ground up development of Tesla, and the company has some very fine chassis engineers in full employment. I'd call this superb (and smart) execution. By the way, Lotus of today bears no ownership or real connection to Colin Chapman's era. It is a different company with a similar retail mission (sporting road cars) under new, Asian ownership. The Roadster was simply the first product and a faster path to market. The Toyota tie runs (rather more invisibly) through that car, as Toyota supplied the motors for it (in Lotus form). I can't personally tell the difference between the old Elise and the Tesla until I get close up to them, but in retrospect it was a good chassis choice for the first product, though obviously with limited appeal. That can't honestly be said of the Model S as it's appeal is more general and broader in my opinion. It is also US manufactured/assembled (batteries and certain other components aside) and is solely a Tesla development. And, they are said to be holding up well.

What was it John said? God bless the early adopters!
_____________________________ ________________ _________________________________________
I assure you Lew, I am not missing anything.

I commented on the statement "the cars are holding up well".

That can't refer to the model S, because the S is brand new!

It can only refer to the roadster which externally is 100% Lotus.

Regardless of who owns Lotus, Colin Chapman's unique and successful design philosophy of lightweight construction has remained constant.

Your speculation on the motives of Toyota wanting to tag along with Tesla's leadership in electrical propulsion is debatable as Toyota may be leading the way in battery design with their new Lithium/Ceramic powered, Pikes Peak racer.

I know the Model S is not being built by Lotus, but whether it's 'holding up well' is yet to be determined.

I think you are missing a good deal.

Mike:)

Kaa
05-13-2013, 12:54 PM
Kaa, in light of your comments of last July, would you care to make a 'mea culpa'? :)

I'm sorry, mea culpa about what?

Kaa

Lew Barrett
05-13-2013, 01:24 PM
_____________________________ ________________ _________________________________________

I think you are missing a good deal.

Mike:)

No, I jumped on a good deal in good time. Being right in the investment game is about making the stake pay off. That was my bet and so far it has worked out. Although there is still room for me to rue not selling the entire stake in this time frame, at the moment all I can say is you are welcomed to being right but I am enjoying making money on this one. Being wrong yet making money works well enough for me.

How it will all work out is speculative. What have I missed? Please feel free to add specifics. I'm always open to discussion.

I'm going to add that of course it will be a matter of years to see what weaknesses the chassis and mechanical/electronic packages might have but the initial
returns are more than just promising. There have been very few (two I believe) reports of bricking, the major concern. Software/firmware updates are dealt with automatically on this very connected car, and are regularly added. Owners are pleased with the drive and overall quality. So far the Tesla Model S's foibles, such as they might be, are either going unreported or are being satisfactorily dealt with under warrant as they would be with any new vehicle.

We've seen many disasters, some quite frequently from the old Lotus vehicles (the Chapman Elan has a terrible reputation for being difficult in a number of areas, some quite serious) but not to exclude, for example, BMW and the infamous E34 540 nikasil issues, and any number of other manufacturers. That doesn't characterize current Lotus production to my knowledge....I'm not a follower in detail, but if you care to laud the Elise, then all you can say about Musk's choice of it as their first platform is.......good call.

Tesla is shrugging off any of the sort of teething stuff that often characterizes low production or new products and moving forward with what seems to be a very well developed package.

Your skepticism might be validated in the future since none can see that far, but nothing in the cars delivered so far suggests other than a well rolled out and thoughtfully developed package.

Full Tilt
05-13-2013, 02:11 PM
Your skepticism might be validated in the future since none can see that far, but nothing in the cars delivered so far suggests other than a well rolled out and thoughtfully developed package.
___ __________________ ______________________ _ ______________________________________

Congratulations on a good investment.

I'm thrilled Tesla and Toyota are doing well.

And Lotus F1 too since I'm a fan of Kimi Raikkonen.

As previously mentioned I am an early adopter of Epropulsion with my boat and bikes.

I am neither a "Skeptic" nor a "Believer", but a "Realist".

I hope the Tesla Model S turns out to be the best car of all time, just like their preliminary review and you get rich because of it.

I was attempting to point out that the observation that "the cars are holding up" is invalid as the cars that are holding up are the Lotus built cars and the car that is putting Tesla into the black is the new, self produced, Model S, which as yet has NO track record!

If you wish to promote Tesla because you have a financial stake in the company thats great, but please don't make premature claims as to their durability and reliability.

All will become clear.

Mike:)

Lew Barrett
05-13-2013, 02:16 PM
If you wish to promote Tesla because you have a financial stake in the company thats great, but please don't make premature claims as to their durability and reliability.


Mike:)

You don't know me very well.;)

By the way, there is no possibility that I will get rich because of it, or at least not rich as I define the term.

Lew Barrett
05-13-2013, 03:38 PM
I'm sorry, mea culpa about what?

Kaa

You cannot strictly speaking be guilty here, but you can be wrong. What if the electric car actually shows some legs or as may be more likely the case leads through evolution to the next step? I think that was Norman's point.

Kaa
05-13-2013, 03:53 PM
You cannot strictly speaking be guilty here, but you can be wrong. What if the electric car actually shows some legs or as may be more likely the case leads through evolution to the next step? I think that was Norman's point.

It looks like my main point was


The car for the 1% :-D

The electrics are still way too expensive and underpowered (on the Ah basis, not Hp basis) for mainstream cars.

I stand by this opinion. Note that this is about now, not about the future -- I don't know where "next steps" might lead us to. At the moment the energy density of the batteries is still too low.

As far as I am concerned electric cars (again, now) have two main application areas: (1) In certain niches, typically with low daily mileage and a lot of stop-and-go. (2) As status symbols for rich people.

Do note that in California, for example, Tesla gets $45,000 in state and federal subsidies for every car sold. This means that on a stand-alone, no-subsidies basis the electric cars are not near the mainstream -- maybe yet, maybe forever.

By the way, I notice a distinct lack of outrage about how corporations are sucking the government teat and how taxpayer money is being used to enrich people with good political connections :-P

Kaa

Lew Barrett
05-13-2013, 05:27 PM
Do note that in California, for example, Tesla gets $45,000 in state and federal subsidies for every car sold. Kaa

This number ($45,000) is certainly not visible in respect to what California offers. You may check their rebate program here (http://energycenter.org/index.php/incentive-programs/clean-vehicle-rebate-project). In addition, here is the complete list (http://www.teslamotors.com/incentives/US/California) of available California benefits (as opposed to tax credits), which vary by locality. Many are related to preferential parking, use of HOV lanes and preferred rates for charging the car, most of which apply if the car is charged off peak hours. No additional tax credits beyond the combined total of $10,000 is available, and California's share of that is $2500. If you mean to imply that California supports the manufacturing of Tesla cars in Fremont with special incentives directly made to the company, be advised that all states heavily subsidize most large scale industrial development. In my world, this falls broadly speaking under the "corporations are people, my friend" special treatment that virtually every large company enjoys to the shame of us all. Singling out Tesla is disingenuous unless you also care to include agra-business, aerospace, technology and virtually anybody who has enough power to lobby it through. In respect to Tesla, the benefits they may or may not receive because they run a business in California is not something I researched. I simply assume that like Microsoft, Intel, Ford, and Kia, they are treated favorably when they move into town because having work is good.


As noted, the Feds offer up to $7500 (http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/taxevb.shtml) as a tax credit for any electric vehicle purchase. This covers all EVs sold in the USA of course, not just Tesla. Adding up the potential in credits is $10,000, not insubstantial, but again applies to all EVs. The remainder of the benefits can surely be monetized depending I suppose on what value you place on being able to use HOV lanes, certain parking benefits, and reduced charging rates, but I don't see how your figure of $45000 supports your claim based on those benefits alone.




By the way, I notice a distinct lack of outrage about how corporations are sucking the government teat and how taxpayer money is being used to enrich people with good political connections :-P

Kaa
You are maybe discussing "job creation" and corporate boondoggling? Why stop (or start) with Tesla? You won't get much argument from me, but I think that's subject of another thread, so, please feel free to expand on that elsewhere.;) Washingtonians are well familiar with these issues since Boeing has made us quite aware of them lately. It becomes, in a funny way, a question of "states' rights." But I'm not here to discuss that. I'd rather crow over how the 1% are helping to drive (so to speak) a market.

Kaa
05-13-2013, 08:53 PM
This number ($45,000) is certainly not visible in respect to what California offers.

http://articles.latimes.com/2013/may/05/business/la-fi-electric-cars-20130506


"When Tesla Motors reports its first-ever profit Wednesday, much of the money will come courtesy of the state of California.

In its zeal to push electric cars into the market, the state has created a system in which Tesla can make as much as $35,000 extra on each sale of its luxury Model S electric sports sedans. That's because the Palo Alto company qualifies for coveted state environmental credits that it can turn into cash.

http://articles.latimes.com/images/pixel.gif
These Zero Emission Vehicle credits could put as much as $250 million in Tesla's coffers this year, according to one Wall Street analyst, and they are a key reason the 10-year-old automaker has survived this long. Tesla gets to sell the credits to other automakers that need them to satisfy tough California regulations.

Tesla's windfall highlights just how far California regulators have gone to promote the electric car — with a system that promotes the sale of trendy $100,000 sports sedans."

Kaa

C. Ross
05-13-2013, 09:04 PM
This morning I sold one third of my position. ... First, the stock has (a bit more than) tripled since I bought it. Selling one third effectively means I no longer have my initial stake at risk, and hedges what I think must have the potential for at least a short term retreat at some point in here. :D

You are my hero. I was a doubter. Forgive me father, for I have sinned.

Lew Barrett
05-13-2013, 11:45 PM
Tesla's windfall highlights just how far California regulators have gone to promote the electric car — with a system that promotes the sale of trendy $100,000 sports sedans."

Kaa

This is excellent news!

Lew Barrett
05-13-2013, 11:49 PM
You are my hero. I was a doubter. Forgive me father, for I have sinned.

Bless you my son. Say three Hail Marys and meet me at Thrive (with your lovely daughter) for lunch next time you are in town. My treat.
Note, this means "next time you are in town." No slipping in and out unadvertised and unannounced, and no absolution without following these instructions.

Please leave the confessional door open for the next sinner. :D

C. Ross
05-14-2013, 06:08 AM
Bless you my son. Say three Hail Marys and meet me at Thrive (with your lovely daughter) for lunch next time you are in town. My treat.
Note, this means "next time you are in town." No slipping in and out unadvertised and unannounced, and no absolution without following these instructions.

Absolutely, father.

I actually haven't been to Seattle since dropping Hannah off at school. She has been home to MN four times, though, and will be home this weekend to see her sister in a play! I know I'll be in Seattle on business in September. So then, if not sooner.

Thank you Lew.

Dan McCosh
05-14-2013, 07:54 AM
I don't pretend to understand the Tesla financials, which ought to be the issue with the stock price. Basically, you are looking at a company with about 80 engineers, a free plant, and $450 million in debt owed to the U.S. government. They haven't built enough cars to get into trouble, or make much money. The operating profit on a $80,000 car ought to be good. Anyway, I now remember a successful startup--Lamborghini. Lamborghini is launching its first SUV.

Michael D. Storey
05-14-2013, 09:13 AM
The Boy toured the plant recently. He has a beard whose father bought one. The building is an old Generous Motors/Toyota plant, allegedly turned over at a 'take my building,,, please!' price. He is smart enough to get himself through Stanford, so I tend to believe what he sez, on some issues. I reckon that there is a good enough chance for me to have pulled up the google tesla stock page too. We'll see, here.

Gerarddm
05-14-2013, 12:19 PM
Drove by a black Tesla Model S the other day on I-5, and I recently discovered that a chap a few blocks away has purchased a white one.

Very impressive presence on the road and in the driveway. If I had the disposable income, I'd buy one.

Meanwhile saw an article that Fisker Karmas, once stickered at $100K, are being sold at >$50K. Article says they are the new DeLoreans.

Concordia 33
05-14-2013, 12:21 PM
Inspired by my own arguments on this thread (http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?150572-Any-experience-with-Porsche-944/page4) authored by Ted Hoppe, I took a flier on Tesla today.

http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff76/LewBarrett/ScreenShot2012-07-24at122459PM.png

I bought a small position with the hope of adding to it and crowing here if they do well, or licking wounds if they don't.

Want to take about electrics in general and Tesla in particular? Do it here.I've made about 160% gain since buying last summer. Not too bad.

Lew Barrett
05-14-2013, 01:51 PM
I've made about 160% gain since buying last summer. Not too bad.

It could even get better, despite flattening share prices today (I expect more of that in the near future). My total returns (on paper) plus my realized gains from my sale are almost identical to yours. But here's where it gets interesting: (http://www.trefis.com/company?hm=TSLA.trefis#)

SOURCES OF VALUE

The majority of Tesla's value comes from the Model X and the Gen III, which will both be launched in the future (2014 and 2015 respectively).
Future model launches
Tesla Motors has recently launched the Model S, a battery electric luxury sedan, in June 2012. The Model S will be Tesla's first volume car, and its success is crucial for the company's ambitious plans of becoming America's fourth automaker. Tesla is targeting sales of 20,000 Model S sedans in 2013. The company's Fremont manufacturing facility will be equipped to produce 20,000 Model S sedans on a single shift, so production can be doubled by operating on two shifts should demand arise. Tesla has also revealed its third model, a crossover SUV called the Model X, later this year. The Model X will be based on the Model S platform and will begin deliveries in 2014. In 2015, the company plans to introduce the Gen-III, a mass-market electric car which is expected to have a base price of $30,000.

I expect some volatility in here as people (perhaps some like me) lighten up a bit to lock in gains, while others may wish to join in. Or the whole thing could implode like a light bulb that gets water splashed on it, but that seems increasingly unlikely right now. I always thought the real reason to buy here was Musk's management and his team and so far they have executed with very few mistakes.

I'm glad to have company on the board in this as it seemed a bit of an outside shot when I laid the money down.

Gerarddm
05-14-2013, 07:11 PM
Here's that piece about Fisker: http://www.nbcnews.com/business/used-fisker-karma-evs-are-new-delorean-prices-tumble-1C9916866

George Jung
05-14-2013, 08:27 PM
Bless you my son. Say three Hail Marys and meet me at Thrive (with your lovely daughter) for lunch next time you are in town. My treat.
Note, this means "next time you are in town." No slipping in and out unadvertised and unannounced, and no absolution without following these instructions.

Please leave the confessional door open for the next sinner. :D


Well. That was opportune (how did you know? Ya'know what I mean?)

Actually don't have much to confess (not till the statute of limitations runs out) but.... I haven't been feeling so hot.... how's about a fresh absolution?

Lew Barrett
05-14-2013, 08:51 PM
Well. That was opportune (how did you know? Ya'know what I mean?)

Actually don't have much to confess (not till the statute of limitations runs out) but.... I haven't been feeling so hot.... how's about a fresh absolution?


Bless you my son. Say five Hail Marys. Take the weekend off starting Thursday and buy your wife something you want. Also do some gardening.

hokiefan
05-14-2013, 08:51 PM
So whats up with this?

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/nc-bill-block-manufacturers-tesla-directly-selling-cars/story?id=19176424

I don't know anything about Tesla, so maybe I'm missing something. But why can't a manufacturer sell directly to a customer?

Cheers,

Bobby

Nicholas Carey
05-15-2013, 07:59 AM
So whats up with this?

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/nc-bill-block-manufacturers-tesla-directly-selling-cars/story?id=19176424

I don't know anything about Tesla, so maybe I'm missing something. But why can't a manufacturer sell directly to a customer?

Cheers,

Bobby

Because most states have ( and have had for decades) explicitly prohibiting auto manufacturers from selling cars directly to customers. Ostensibly, these laws are "consumer protection" laws — the theory being that the dealer will provide much-needed service and parts.

These laws were, as I understand their history, passed due to vociferous lobbying by the owners of auto dealerships, who want legal protection for their highly remunerative cash stream.

The way US car sales work is nuts. An auto dealership has millions of dollars of inventory sitting on the lot. They've borrowed the money to pay for that, usually from the auto manufacturer, so they're paying interest on the sitting inventory every month. Plus, the dealership has had to guess as to how to configure the vehicles they've purchased.

Then, auto manufacturers charge the dealership a additional monthly per-vehicle inventory fee to encourage the dealership to move inventory, so the longer a vehicle sits on the lot, the less profit the dealer can make on it.

Like I said, nuts. Especially in an age of JIT manufacturing. Don't even get started on most people look at buying a car as something akin to getting their fingernails pulled out with a pair of pliers.

If auto manufacturers could sell directly to customers, the model would be different:

- Visit the showroom. Drive one of the 2 or 3 demos they have on hand. Once find something you like...
- Sit down at the computer and configured it exactly they way you want it.
- Buy the thing w/o playing the car sales game.
- Collect your freshly minted car in 2 or 3 weeks.

I bet a manufacturer that could set up something like this would be able to reduce costs significantly.

Dan McCosh
05-15-2013, 08:10 AM
Because most states have ( and have had for decades) explicitly prohibiting auto manufacturers from selling cars directly to customers. Ostensibly, these laws are "consumer protection" laws — the theory being that the dealer will provide much-needed service and parts.

These laws were, as I understand their history, passed due to vociferous lobbying by the owners of auto dealerships, who want legal protection for their highly remunerative cash stream.

The way US car sales work is nuts. An auto dealership has millions of dollars of inventory sitting on the lot. They've borrowed the money to pay for that, usually from the auto manufacturer, so they're paying interest on the sitting inventory every month. Plus, the dealership has had to guess as to how to configure the vehicles they've purchased.

Then, auto manufacturers charge the dealership a additional monthly per-vehicle inventory fee to encourage the dealership to move inventory, so the longer a vehicle sits on the lot, the less profit the dealer can make on it.

Like I said, nuts. Especially in an age of JIT manufacturing. Don't even get started on most people look at buying a car as something akin to getting their fingernails pulled out with a pair of pliers.

If auto manufacturers could sell directly to customers, the model would be different:

- Visit the showroom. Drive one of the 2 or 3 demos they have on hand. Once find something you like...
- Sit down at the computer and configured it exactly they way you want it.
- Buy the thing w/o playing the car sales game.
- Collect your freshly minted car in 2 or 3 weeks.

I bet a manufacturer that could set up something like this would be able to reduce costs significantly.That procedure is available at most major manufacturers today, although few take advantage of it. The anticipation of getting a deal from current inventory is too strong. Many manufacturers have attempted direct sales in the U.S. (It is commonplace in Japan). Most recent was the Smart car, previously Porsche. The Model T was sold through the mail.

Kaa
05-15-2013, 10:33 AM
That procedure is available at most major manufacturers today, although few take advantage of it.

Really? You can buy a car from, say, Toyota bypassing the dealer?

I understand that you can get a list of options, configure the car *exactly* as you want it and then, essentially, custom-order it. But as far as I know you still have to do it through a dealer and haggle about the price with the dealer.

Kaa

Dan McCosh
05-15-2013, 11:37 AM
Really? You can buy a car from, say, Toyota bypassing the dealer?

I understand that you can get a list of options, configure the car *exactly* as you want it and then, essentially, custom-order it. But as far as I know you still have to do it through a dealer and haggle about the price with the dealer.

Kaa You do have to go through a dealer, but you don't have to haggle about the price. The dealer would be quite happy, as would the manufacturer.

Kaa
05-15-2013, 11:51 AM
You do have to go through a dealer, but you don't have to haggle about the price. The dealer would be quite happy, as would the manufacturer.

So it's through the dealer anyway... And yes, I understand that I can not haggle and pay the MSRP any time I want to :-P

Kaa

Lew Barrett
05-15-2013, 11:53 AM
I imagine Tesla will "win" its right to sell direct in almost all of its major markets, and I would like to say that "everybody knows what is driving the automobile dealers to oppose the direct sales scheme." But maybe not everybody does, and maybe I am just a bit cynical on the topic. My own view is that if you don't have a franchise, never had one and haven't been offered one, then you don't have a franchise and can go piss up a rope.

Tesla's argument is that most dealers have an inherent conflict of interest selling both types (a Tesla branded EV and "whatever else they handle') side by side. That seems a bit of a stretch, and I think they could organize reasonable franchise requirements that might work, but clearly they prefer a model where they control all the variables. I see nothing wrong with that at all, anymore than I see the requirement for US consumers to be forced to buy through a dealer network as being good for consumers. To be fair, I could make or acknowledge arguments for both schemes but find the Tesla model to be interesting and bold in the same way I find the entire project to be so.

Dan McCosh
05-15-2013, 12:41 PM
Tesla's most optimistic projections imply dealerships selling about three cars a month. That's the main reason why they would like to do without dealerships. One of the reason for dealerships is service, which is also the big problem with selling direct. The Detroit Electric Co., which was the Tesla of its day, not only did direct sales, it housed the cars and delivered them to the customers fully charged, took them back when you were done for the day to a central storage warehouse.

Lew Barrett
05-15-2013, 04:22 PM
Tesla's most optimistic projections imply dealerships selling about three cars a month. That's the main reason why they would like to do without dealerships. One of the reason for dealerships is service, which is also the big problem with selling direct. The Detroit Electric Co., which was the Tesla of its day, not only did direct sales, it housed the cars and delivered them to the customers fully charged, took them back when you were done for the day to a central storage warehouse.

I can't imagine very many independents setting up for service at the levels of sale currently forecast, though they are selling many times that number here.

Lew Barrett
09-26-2013, 12:18 PM
I sold my stock a few days ago, somewhat reluctantly but for reasons of valuation. I felt that the company's stock was now heavily overvalued even though I remain positive about their general direction. Of course the stock has done nothing but climb since I sold it, but I have to go with some discipline and I can't complain about an investment that has returned well over 400% in less than six months. If it were to correct to something remotely reflecting a proper current evaluation, I would consider buying in again.

I can't say that this will happen in my time frame, but there you have it. Good luck to Tesla longs!

Mrleft8
09-26-2013, 12:39 PM
I sold my stock a few days ago, somewhat reluctantly but for reasons of valuation. I felt that the company's stock was now heavily overvalued even though I remain positive about their general direction. Of course the stock has done nothing but climb since I sold it, but I have to go with some discipline and I can't complain about an investment that has returned well over 400% in less than six months. If it were to correct to something remotely reflecting a proper current evaluation, I would consider buying in again.

I can't say that this will happen in my time frame, but there you have it. Good luck to Tesla longs!
Knowing that Carter's bosses are about to invest in Tesla, and that she's going to be in on the test drive next week, you probably made a smart move... ;)

Dan McCosh
09-26-2013, 12:41 PM
I sold my stock a few days ago, somewhat reluctantly but for reasons of valuation. I felt that the company's stock was now heavily overvalued even though I remain positive about their general direction. Of course the stock has done nothing but climb since I sold it, but I have to go with some discipline and I can't complain about an investment that has returned well over 400% in less than six months. If it were to correct to something remotely reflecting a proper current evaluation, I would consider buying in again.

I can't say that this will happen in my time frame, but there you have it. Good luck to Tesla longs! Smart move.

Lew Barrett
09-26-2013, 01:40 PM
Knowing that Carter's bosses are about to invest in Tesla, and that she's going to be in on the test drive next week, you probably made a smart move... ;)

They should be quite safe as my experience is just the opposite: I sold so there's no place for it to go but up. It's up 18 points since I offed it!


Smart move.

I never thought it would do the bubble thing in quite the way it has. I expected there might be a long term play if they executed well and that it was (hopefully) a harbinger of other green (or greener) technologies, but the meteoric rise, while delightful to ride, was as much a surprise to me as I expect it was to you. Obviously had I any idea of the outcome to date, I would have thrown the farm at it, and now would own five farms outright. As it is, I'm now looking for my next fix.

As I said, I wish them the best and want to thank them for paying off the Ducati.

Dan McCosh
09-26-2013, 02:54 PM
Optimistic analysts are still expecting a 60% or so decline in the stock. I don't think the company can survive, but will probably be bought out by somebody. I don't have a clue what this means to the stock, but it is so high, it would be a silly purchase by another company. Exactly what is keeping it up is a mystery.

Reynard38
09-26-2013, 06:32 PM
I was a little late to the party, in at $84. Got out at $148, and back in at $128. I sold just below $180 a couple days ago.
I'm more interested in who's developing new battery chemistry/construction now. Tesla's 265 mile range is very impressive, but I feel bigger things are coming. Carbon Nanotube battery construction sounds very promising. 4 to 8 times the energy density with fast recharging.
That will be the game changer that makes the electric car truly practical.
Now the trick is to figure out who so going to ddevelop and optimize this new tech.

Lew Barrett
09-27-2013, 12:00 AM
As a stock for trading, I'd predict it will be seen (or at least this moment in time will be looked back upon as) a classic momentum play. As a company (to admire for making something difficult happen) I have nothing but praise for them. As an investment, it seemed prudent to take the money and run. My decision was based on some other rodeos I have attended, a good number of them rather less successfully.

Dan McCosh
09-27-2013, 11:21 AM
I was a little late to the party, in at $84. Got out at $148, and back in at $128. I sold just below $180 a couple days ago.

This is the best explanation of the stock climb. Speculators operating in this fashion.

Lew Barrett
09-27-2013, 12:20 PM
This is the best explanation of the stock climb. Speculators operating in this fashion.

"Momentum" is another way of saying this; capitalizing (or not; it's a risky strategy) on the rapid movements of an issue in one direction or another. I'll say it again; I didn't buy Tesla because I thought it would move so fast and so positively; I liked the idea and management and was prepared to hunker down with it one way or another. I can only wish I had that sort of ability to predict trends and the future, but I don't.

However, I did sell based on my view that these prices are unsustainable in the long (or even near) term, and moreover, that the company's current and foreseeable performance does not justify this valuation. I don't know how many cars they would need to sell to justify a market cap (as of this morning) of 23 billion dollars, almost half that of GM, but I know it's many times more than 20,000 units per year.

Stiletto
09-27-2013, 04:27 PM
Lew, do you do technical analysis? In my limited experience I have found superimposing a sales volume graph on a price graph can show when large investors are leaving and only the less informed remain.

Lew Barrett
09-27-2013, 06:02 PM
Lew, do you do technical analysis? In my limited experience I have found superimposing a sales volume graph on a price graph can show when large investors are leaving and only the less informed remain.

I am not a technician, Grant. In fact "technical analysis" is something I am barely capable of doing for a swimming pool's pH. But I do have a basic understanding (been watching this a long time now) of what moves markets (and stocks). Everything in my head and gut (a rare alignment) shouts bubble.

ljb5
09-27-2013, 11:34 PM
I agree. I bought this stock as a twenty year investment and made twenty years' worth of returns in the first six months. It's still a good company, a great car and a good stock, but I'm out at 190

MiddleAgesMan
09-27-2013, 11:38 PM
I read an article (last week?) about new battery tech Tesla had developed to extend the range to over 400 miles. Two different types of batteries, the main ones like they use today and new ones (much slower to charge) that would only kick in when extended range was desired. I forget the technology but the new batteries were actually cheaper--IE, lower tech--with a slower charge rate as the penalty.

Lew Barrett
09-28-2013, 12:36 PM
I agree. I bought this stock as a twenty year investment and made twenty years' worth of returns in the first six months. It's still a good company, a great car and a good stock, but I'm out at 190

I might wish I'd had your discipline, (to watch it for a few days and sell at 190) but woke up one morning (at around 170) and got the willies. I called in the sell order at that point. I shouldn't complain, but missed the last week's astounding move up.

Paul Pless
09-28-2013, 12:55 PM
It's still a good company, a great car and a good stockcould you see yourself buying one?

ljb5
09-28-2013, 03:27 PM
I might wish I'd had your discipline, (to watch it for a few days and sell at 190) but woke up one morning (at around 170) and got the willies. I called in the sell order at that point. I shouldn't complain, but missed the last week's astounding move up.

"Discipline" has nothing to do with it.

It reminds me of the time I was driving (too fast) across northern Vermont in an ice storm. I came over the crest of a hill and saw two cars in the middle of the road with the drivers standing around inspecting the damage. I slammed on the brakes and executed a beautiful 360 spin clear around the accident. Didn't hit anything or anyone.

That doesn't mean I was in control of anything.

ljb5
09-28-2013, 03:31 PM
could you see yourself buying one?

Absolutely. Everyone who has driven it says it's the best car ever made. Even if you ignore the environmental motivation, the argument for buying it as as good, or better than, every other car on the market.

Unfortunately, my Prius is only three years old and I generally like to keep a car for 12~15 years, so I'm not really in the market. (However, if someone were to steal my Prius (hint, hint), I might be obliged to replace it with a new car.)

Reynard38
09-28-2013, 03:54 PM
could you see yourself buying one?

Absolutely. I've seen about 5 where I live. Very pretty car. I don't however plan on spending that much for a car ever again though.
When they come out with the "model C" that is rumored to arrive in 2016 or so I will take a serious look at that though. It is supposedly going to sell for about the same as a 3 series BMW. By then my 2001 330i will be due for replacement.

Mad Scientist
09-28-2013, 04:24 PM
I read an article (last week?) about new battery tech Tesla had developed to extend the range to over 400 miles. Two different types of batteries, the main ones like they use today and new ones (much slower to charge) that would only kick in when extended range was desired. I forget the technology but the new batteries were actually cheaper--IE, lower tech--with a slower charge rate as the penalty.

Here's an article about Tesla's work with batteries: http://gigaom.com/2013/09/24/whats-a-metal-air-battery-and-why-is-tesla-interested-in-it/

The idea of making a 'battery/battery hybrid' with two different battery chemistries is one of those 'I sure wish I'd thought of that!' ideas. With a bit of clever programming in the power-management software, the vehicle should be able to get more miles out of those batteries (between rechargings) than what the specs of the batteries would suggest. Here's what I mean: use the software to optimize battery discharge during acceleration and constant-speed driving with both batteries providing part of the 'charge' IAW their respective characteristics - and something similar in reverse during regenerative braking.

Sorry, that's a bit long-winded. An EE could say the same thing, more clearly, in ten words or less, I'm sure.

Tom

MiddleAgesMan
09-28-2013, 04:43 PM
That's it--metal air batteries. I read a shorter article which led me to believe Tesla had developed the batteries and were about to add them to their product but your article leads one to believe it's only a concept, with technology yet to be developed.

Lew Barrett
09-28-2013, 04:44 PM
One could do the math on this in respect both to the cars and the company (stock) and come away with sensible valuations for either.

I could not justify the purchase of any car costing what the Model S does as this point in my life. My target is in the $30K range, so a Tesla Model S (or new Corvette) is a step too far for me. They were initially talking abut the Model C priced around $35K or so, and were it to land there and provide true useable range in the 200 (plus) mile range with desired qualities matching the best contenders in the class, I would give it serious consideration.

If the company had a market cap one third (or less) of what it does currently I'd still own the stock, or perhaps consider buying it again, depending on the reasons why it fell to those levels. Of course, it would take a brave soul to see the share price shrink to below $60 from here and then step back in again, and it's my usual preference to not try and catch a stock on the way down. For me, it's much more pleasant to buy them in an updraft, even if I miss a bottom. I am not a market timer; this success, such as it has been, was as usual more a mix of luck, greed and fear for me.

The Model C and its promise is surely what people are counting in this valuation, but even so, how many would they have to sell?

Dan McCosh
09-28-2013, 07:50 PM
That's it--metal air batteries. I read a shorter article which led me to believe Tesla had developed the batteries and were about to add them to their product but your article leads one to believe it's only a concept, with technology yet to be developed. Might note that Toyota currently has the biggest investment in metal-air batteries, and the main development center is in Dayton, Ohio. Crediting this to Tesla is another reason the stock is a favorite of stock speculators.

Dan McCosh
09-28-2013, 07:54 PM
One could do the math on this in respect both to the cars and the company (stock) and come away with sensible valuations for either.

I could not justify the purchase of any car costing what the Model S does as this point in my life. My target is in the $30K range, so a Tesla Model S (or new Corvette) is a step too far for me. They were initially talking abut the Model C priced around $35K or so, and were it to land there and provide true useable range in the 200 (plus) mile range with desired qualities matching the best contenders in the class, I would give it serious consideration.

If the company had a market cap one third (or less) of what it does currently I'd still own the stock, or perhaps consider buying it again, depending on the reasons why it fell to those levels. Of course, it would take a brave soul to see the share price shrink to below $60 from here and then step back in again, and it's my usual preference to not try and catch a stock on the way down. For me, it's much more pleasant to buy them in an updraft, even if I miss a bottom. I am not a market timer; this success, such as it has been, was as usual more a mix of luck, greed and fear for me.

The Model C and its promise is surely what people are counting in this valuation, but even so, how many would they have to sell?

Quick answer is about 300,000 annually, and consistently.

ljb5
09-28-2013, 11:17 PM
It must be odd to know so many reasons why a stock shouldn't go up while everyone else is making so much money on it.

Canoeyawl
09-28-2013, 11:34 PM
"Discipline" has nothing to do with it.

It reminds me of the time I was driving (too fast) across northern Vermont in an ice storm. I came over the crest of a hill and saw two cars in the middle of the road with the drivers standing around inspecting the damage. I slammed on the brakes and executed a beautiful 360 spin clear around the accident. Didn't hit anything or anyone.

That doesn't mean I was in control of anything.

Sounds like Rt 2... I did the very same thing, lucky that anyone lived.

Lew Barrett
09-29-2013, 06:24 PM
It must be odd to know so many reasons why a stock shouldn't go up while everyone else is making so much money on it.
But to be fair, while it was a great call in the 30s, it's a far riskier one as it's priced now. Hindsight in trading shares can reveal we were smart/lucky/whatever to act as we did, but I think we can both agree that it's just as likely we may be proven smart/lucky/whatever to have stepped back from the issue when we did.

Calling bottoms and tops is difficult at the best of times, and both you and I may find to our chagrin that Tesla has a way to run yet, but I think we can both agree it's heavily overvalued here at these prices, wherever it goes in the next few weeks or months. Where we might differ with Dan is in our view of Tesla's (and Musk's) futures (or the quality/value of the product now being offered) but at the moment, skepticism about the share price seems logical and sensible to me.

Mad Scientist
09-29-2013, 07:55 PM
I am compelled to point out that Dan McCosh is, very truly, an expert in all things automotive. So, folks, argue amongst yourselves all you want, but don't go attacking Dan!

And, Dan: if 'push comes to shove', I'll hie myself to Grosse Pointe, and, truly, "I'll have your back!"

Tom

Lew Barrett
09-29-2013, 08:24 PM
I am compelled to point out that Dan McCosh is, very truly, an expert in all things automotive. So, folks, argue amongst yourselves all you want, but don't go attacking Dan!

And, Dan: if 'push comes to shove', I'll hie myself to Grosse Pointe, and, truly, "I'll have your back!"

Tom

We're well aware of that, but it doesn't make disagreement on the fine points of what a Tesla might be wrong. Collegiality and good humor in conversation on the other hand is always appreciated. Dan has done nothing to deserve a lack of cordiality, and never has that I can recall.

Anthony Zucker
10-01-2013, 07:14 AM
Our niece just got one and I drove it. It is the most amazing car I've ever been in. Interior is stunning. The acceleration is beyond what I ever thought a car could or should do. I'm not a car guy but I've ridden in some fancy cars through the years and nothing compares to this. Niece has a garage full of Porche, Shelby, Mercedes, etc and she only wants to drive the Tesla.

Full Tilt
10-01-2013, 08:09 AM
If I won the 'big one' all my family and friends would be driving Teslas.

Mike

Concordia 33
10-01-2013, 08:32 AM
I had Tesla for about a year and sold it about a month ago for a considerable profit (at approx 400%). I agree it is currently overpriced despite being a good car and a good company. Motley fool has not yet recommended it as a sell - though they are not always right, they a right more often than not and are usually a good judge of a company in the context of a well rounded portfolio. They don't hang their hat on any one company or sector.

ljb5
10-02-2013, 03:23 PM
And it begins. Down more than 6% today.

Looks like I got out at exactly the right time, but I'm not claiming that was much more than pure luck.

I hope to someday have a chance to buy back in at a reasonable price and hold it for twenty years, but I have no idea when that might be.

I'm worried that its recent performance will forever brand it as a speculator's stock and, even if it were to show solid performance, it would be considered a failure for never again being astronomical.

Dan McCosh
10-02-2013, 06:00 PM
Might note that a contributing factor to the stock drop was the report of a fire in a Model S apparently caused by hitting some trash in the road. Fires in lithium-ion batteries stemming from collisions are a significant problem in electric car design, which is one of the problems Tesla claimed to have solved.

ljb5
10-02-2013, 08:32 PM
Might note that a contributing factor to the stock drop was the report of a fire in a Model S apparently caused by hitting some trash in the road. Fires in lithium-ion batteries stemming from collisions are a significant problem in electric car design, which is one of the problems Tesla claimed to have solved.

There's definitely a lot of hype about the car and the company, and I think that's likely to cause the market to react erratically to news both good and bad.

Car accidents happen. Car fires happen. That's reality. I would expect a mature market to be able to handle that rationally.

In the last couple of days, I saw that Mazda recalled 161,000 cars, Nissan recalled something like 100,000 cars, Toyota recalled more than half a million minivans and Honda recalled about 400,000 cars.

I noticed that the automotive punditry seemed less floored by these massive recalls than they did by the little Tesla recall.

Wasn't it just a few weeks ago that you were telling us that deaths in Jeeps aren't really a concern because they were associated with an impact, not a defect?

I smell a double standard.

Mind you, I'm not saying the Tesla fire is not a serious issue. I suspect Tesla will take it very seriously. Much more seriously, I suspect, than Chrysler, which you will remember, refused to mount a recall even after several deaths and a request from the government to recall.

Reynard38
10-02-2013, 08:41 PM
It's funny how we are suspicious of a bunch of batteries, but OK with driving around with 17 or so gallons of highly flammable liquid.

ljb5
10-02-2013, 09:25 PM
It's funny how we are suspicious of a bunch of batteries, but OK with driving around with 17 or so gallons of highly flammable liquid.

Stranger still... a couple of months ago, when George Zimmerman 'helped' those people after a car accident, I said that it's usually not good practice to move accident victims... and then we got a lecture about the danger and flammability of gasoline cars.

http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthread.php?165622-Zimmerman-helps-at-accident-scene/page2

So I guess the lesson here is that battery fires in electric cars are a serious concern. But gasoline fires are not serious because they're generally safe, except when George Zimmerman is involved, because in that case, we need to defend him.

Sorry for being so confused.

Landrith
10-02-2013, 09:44 PM
Here is another political spin. I think Tesla is great and American electric cars are great (I still admire Baker), but what if this successful green technology company gets creamed by peace advocates in the administration (surprisingly the military) steering Obama toward long term diplomatic improvements with Iran over the resistance of the Neocons and Iran helps Obama out with sudden cheap oil to provide American consumers cheap gasoline to restart our economy and rescue us from the War/bankster/oil thugs. Tesla loses next years growth expectations.

Lew Barrett
10-02-2013, 11:49 PM
I think that's not a very likely scenario, but big fluctuations in the share price certainly are to be expected based on any news, and at this point, more likely to be down than up: there isn't enough good news in the universe to float this thing much higher. Anybody who bought in the 20s will be fine, but people Hoovering this issue up above 150 or so now might well have a decision to make, or should at least be viewing the near term with a healthy degree of skepticism.

Tesla as an investment is all about momentum at this point. If it loses that, a return to $60, $50 or even $40 per share could easily be in the cards, because the company simply isn't worth the asking price right now . If you believe in this technology, now is a good time to be patient. If you don't it's just entertaining chat in the Bilge. If I were inclined towards such things (I'm not) I'd be shorting it right here.

pkrone
10-03-2013, 08:31 AM
uh oh...
http://jalopnik.com/this-is-what-fiery-tesla-model-s-death-looks-like-1440143525

Reynard38
10-03-2013, 09:41 AM
Just got an alert it's below $170.

Dan McCosh
10-03-2013, 01:59 PM
Lots of random thinking going on here. Might note that the lithium fire issue has been problematic for decades, and is one of the principal reasons Toyota stayed with nickel-metal hydride batteries in the Prius until recently, and has been a primary safety issue on vehicles using lithium batteries. Tesla not only has said it had solved the problem, it even offered consulting services to Boeing when that company had problems with the new lithium-batteries in the 787. If the cars are susceptible to something as common as debris on the road, it would appear to be a significant design flaw. Not that it can't be overcome eventually.

Mrleft8
10-03-2013, 02:05 PM
I think the Tesla people are at Carter's office this afternoon.... She gets to test drive tomorrow, (weather permitting....)

Reynard38
10-03-2013, 02:22 PM
It'll be interesting to see just what the Tesla hit. It was only described as being metal. If it was a coke can they have a problem. If it was something solid and substantial that's another matter.
Apparently the car "knew" there was a problem and gave the driver a warning to pull over. I guess there is some type of system that monitors the condition of the battery pack and alerts for serious faults. Around the Atlanta area its not unusual to find all sorts of large metallic objects in the road. Ladders and lawn mowers seem to be at the top of the list. Thats one big reason I quit riding motorcycles.

Dan McCosh
10-03-2013, 02:23 PM
There's definitely a lot of hype about the car and the company, and I think that's likely to cause the market to react erratically to news both good and bad.

Car accidents happen. Car fires happen. That's reality. I would expect a mature market to be able to handle that rationally.

In the last couple of days, I saw that Mazda recalled 161,000 cars, Nissan recalled something like 100,000 cars, Toyota recalled more than half a million minivans and Honda recalled about 400,000 cars.

I noticed that the automotive punditry seemed less floored by these massive recalls than they did by the little Tesla recall.

Wasn't it just a few weeks ago that you were telling us that deaths in Jeeps aren't really a concern because they were associated with an impact, not a defect?

I smell a double standard.

Mind you, I'm not saying the Tesla fire is not a serious issue. I suspect Tesla will take it very seriously. Much more seriously, I suspect, than Chrysler, which you will remember, refused to mount a recall even after several deaths and a request from the government to recall. Here's something you might ponder: You can't recall more cars than you sold.

ljb5
10-03-2013, 03:05 PM
Here's something you might ponder: You can't recall more cars than you sold.

Funny your should mention that.

According to this article (http://www.nydailynews.com/autos/toyota-sienna-recall-affects-700-000-minivans-article-1.1469412), Toyota is recalling 694,000 Sienna minivans of model year 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009. (nearly all in the US)

According to the sales figures on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Sienna#Sales), only 658,669 Siennas were sold in the US during those calendar years.

(I think we all understand the difference between model years and calendar years, so let's not quibble about it.)

No matter how you look at it, that would seem to be an enormous recall. Large in absolute numbers, large in percentages, went on for years... and noteworthy that some of these have been on the road for nine or ten years.

I suppose you're going to come up with some reason why that recall doesn't really matter and we shouldn't take it too seriously and it's not nearly as significant as a Tesla recall... but honestly, I hope you don't bother.

Lew Barrett
10-03-2013, 03:06 PM
I'm still a fan and positive about the prospects for the product, but I did think yesterday's Dilbert (http://www.dilbert.com/strips/comic/2013-10-02/) was quite specifically pointed.

Dan McCosh
10-03-2013, 03:30 PM
Funny your should mention that.

According to this article (http://www.nydailynews.com/autos/toyota-sienna-recall-affects-700-000-minivans-article-1.1469412), Toyota is recalling 694,000 Sienna minivans of model year 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009. (nearly all in the US)

According to the sales figures on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Sienna#Sales), only 658,669 Siennas were sold in the US during those calendar years.

(I think we all understand the difference between model years and calendar years, so let's not quibble about it.)

No matter how you look at it, that would seem to be an enormous recall. Large in absolute numbers, large in percentages, went on for years... and noteworthy that some of these have been on the road for nine or ten years.

I suppose you're going to come up with some reason why that recall doesn't really matter and we shouldn't take it too seriously and it's not nearly as significant as a Tesla recall... but honestly, I hope you don't bother. Why are you talking about recalls? How about rock slides?

John of Phoenix
10-03-2013, 03:37 PM
I don't think a week goes by without a car fire around here.

An impact damaged Tesla that catches fire is hardly news.

Last year the Interstate was closed because a semi loaded with 20mm ammunition caught fire. That was newsworthy.

ljb5
10-03-2013, 04:09 PM
Why are you talking about recalls?

You're the one who brought it up.

You don't remember?

You seemed to think it was important to mention that Tesla recalled a few cars. You called it "actually quite serious."

It seems you've got some sort of vested interest in trumpeting every negative about Tesla while simultaneously excusing or down-playing every negative about conventional vehicles.

PhaseLockedLoop
10-04-2013, 10:21 AM
I read that it was hard to put the fire out and they turned the car on its side to pour water on the battery. Still didn't work. Wouldn't this be an electrical fire? If so, of course the water didn't work.

Full Tilt
10-04-2013, 11:01 AM
I read that it was hard to put the fire out and they turned the car on its side to pour water on the battery. Still didn't work. Wouldn't this be an electrical fire? If so, of course the water didn't work.


Electricity was the cause, not the fuel.

Reynard38
10-04-2013, 11:30 AM
Stock has recovered a bit. I'm still gunshy to jump back in. I was expecting more of a dip.

Dan McCosh
10-04-2013, 12:01 PM
I read that it was hard to put the fire out and they turned the car on its side to pour water on the battery. Still didn't work. Wouldn't this be an electrical fire? If so, of course the water didn't work. The battery itself was on fire.

Lew Barrett
10-04-2013, 12:22 PM
Stock has recovered a bit. I'm still gunshy to jump back in. I was expecting more of a dip.

I thought she's be emulating Titanic by now, but no! I'm monitoring this with a good amount of patience and even more caution. This is no value play and there is a lot of risk priced in. There always has been.

Nicholas Carey
10-04-2013, 01:03 PM
I read that it was hard to put the fire out and they turned the car on its side to pour water on the battery. Still didn't work. Wouldn't this be an electrical fire? If so, of course the water didn't work.

Water will put out an electrical fire just like any other. The problem is that the fire fighters might get themselves electrocuted.

Gerarddm
04-11-2014, 02:03 AM
Bump.

Meanwhile, back in Norway, Tesla is now the best selling car. Period.

http://m.inhabitat.com/inhabitat/#!/entry/tesla-model-s-breaks-28yearold-sales-record-in-norway,5342c547025312186cf1e784/1

Too Little Time
04-11-2014, 11:38 AM
Tesla (http://www.teslamotors.com/) is reporting that its sales in the fourth quarter of 2013 were the highest ever in the company’s history, with almost 6,900 vehicles delivered.

Compared to the size of the market, not very impressive.

AndyG
07-27-2014, 07:12 PM
I saw my first Tesla today: an orange roadster, going north up the M9 past Stirling, Scotland. It had German (?) plates on.

I overtook it (at 55mph) in my diesel, vaguely wondering how many overnight charges it had taken to get here. Half a dozen? More?

Andy

Reynard38
07-27-2014, 07:38 PM
I saw my first Tesla today: an orange roadster, going north up the M9 past Stirling, Scotland. It had German (?) plates on.

I overtook it (at 55mph) in my diesel, vaguely wondering how many overnight charges it had taken to get here. Half a dozen? More?

Andy

The range of the roadster wasn't that long. The Model S though is up to 265 miles.