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  #101  
Old 11-02-2017, 12:58 AM
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Originally Posted by echoreply View Post
Mine had been November 2017 - January 2018 for a $49k long range premium model or February - April 2018 for a $35k standard model. Mine now shows January - March 2018 for the long range, and "Early 2018" for the standard. I have a March 31, 2016 reservation, but I am not a current Tesla owner, and I don't have any relationship to the company (other than loaning them $1000, this one time).
Mine was Nov-Jan, and now shows Dec-Feb (LR model). Interesting. I'm not a current Tesla owner, but had an early Mar 31 reservation (~10:20 am) at the Fremont location.
  #102  
Old 11-02-2017, 12:58 AM
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Amazon doesn't manufacture anything.
A statement that is not actually completely true (Kindle, Fire, Echo, entertainment content ...) but debating it is immaterial.

And?

The question is why investors kept pouring into AMZN during the extended period of their running losses. Why for the many other companies that have seen their stock prices go up during periods of losses and why now they price it at such a high P/E?

And the answer is always that investors believe, sometimes correctly sometimes not, that the losses are because the company is spending wisely positioning themselves for the future and that the future therefore includes dramatic growth, the sort of growth that comes from being completely disruptive to an industry (or at least one). True enough that few traditional manufacturing concerns have ever promised such sorts of growth. Well AAPL did, and it stayed afloat in the '90s while running losses, but by the time they were demonstrating how disruptive they could be to industries they were no longer running losses.

TSLA is pitching themselves as that disruptive actor in vehicle manufacture. And there are enough who believe they are on track to be such and who want a piece of that action to keep them far from "tanking" even as they run losses consistently for a few years and run three or likely even six months behind their target dates for ramping up production.

If they do ramp up during next year to that 200K+ annual rate then those who see the possibility of their being that disruptive force, of their being the AMZN, the AAPL, the Uber, of the vehicle manufacturing world, will keep buying the story. A several month delay is nothing to that story. A minor bump.

Now longer term I do not think they will be. Personally I do not buy it. I think the automotive industry has seen disruptive actors in other sectors and are not sitting on their asses. Chevy is willing to compete in quality and price in the space even if the name does have the same cachet right now. Others are going to enter as well over the next several years (Volvo is most vocal about going "all in" on electric architecture for all new models over the next few years and a planned release of a model right in the Tesla 3 and Bolt space to be released likely by the 2021 model year, but most are similarly investing in their own lines). Within a few years the pent up demand for the Model 3 will be met and there will be others who also look fine on the dance floor and know all the newest steps. The industry is prepared to be disrupted. (I am expecting my next car will be a Volvo all electric and likely one that is minimally semi-autonomous for example. Tesla has no special appeal to me and I am in no rush as my five year old PHEV, a Ford C-Max Energi, will do me just fine for more than enough time for them to have come out with what I want and to have a year or so to work any bugs out.)
  #103  
Old 11-02-2017, 06:11 AM
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None of the early numbers are meaningful in the long term (like a year).. .
Well, I agree with you there, because Tesla will sure have moved on to its next unbelievable promise that will grab people's imaginations, and all of the earlier deceptions will be forgotten... because Elon is the real life Tony Stark or whatever.
  #104  
Old 11-02-2017, 09:09 AM
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That you think the speed of an individual vehicle has any relevance to the overall throughput of a line speaks volumes. I'm sure Tesla is capable of adding some buffer space before this station so that the line behind it can progress while this is happening.
That buffer space would be occupied by vehicles in other car plants.
  #105  
Old 11-02-2017, 12:40 PM
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That buffer space would be occupied by vehicles in other car plants.
And if Tesla has a start-stop method of running the line which improves efficiency? I don't know. I mean, Tesla is known for doing things differently than other car makers, they may have arrived at a line setup that works for them, but is different than what others use. Or not, and they could be at 10k/week and profitability if they just moved their line at all steps of assembly.
  #106  
Old 11-02-2017, 03:29 PM
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That buffer space would be occupied by vehicles in other car plants.
Sure, in some cases. But like I said, Tesla's not the only one doing this; it's just somewhat unusual. Here's the dashboard install for the Mercedes C-class:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zZn...outu.be&t=5m5s

Robotic assembly; line isn't moving. On the other hand, here's the seat install from the same video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zZn...utu.be&t=9m11s

It's like jz78817 described, where the line keeps moving. It requires a moving platform system so that people can walk around it, and clearly has costs of its own. So it goes both ways, and obviously is situation dependent, but Tesla has leaned more on the automation side here than most others.
  #107  
Old 11-02-2017, 03:40 PM
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Well, I agree with you there, because Tesla will sure have moved on to its next unbelievable promise that will grab people's imaginations, and all of the earlier deceptions will be forgotten... because Elon is the real life Tony Stark or whatever.
Yes, they'll have moved on because by then they'll be quietly making tons of Model 3s and no one cares if you made 100 or 1000 cars/month during bringup if you're making 20-40k cars/month now.

The X was 2 years late and then took like another year to work out the production kinks. Today, no one cares and Tesla is selling as many Xes as Ses. All those articles about the Falcon Wing Doors or whatever being unmanufacturable were so much bullshit in the long run.

Tesla stock is down 7% today, which a laughably tiny dip. Oh no, they're only 50% over the price from a year ago. So investors don't care either.
  #108  
Old 11-03-2017, 08:13 AM
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Of interest to all potential EV buyers, the tax reform bill introduced by Republicans yesterday includes an elimination of the $7,500 tax credit as of December 31, 2017.

https://insideevs.com/house-republic...dit-this-year/

I would think this might not be a huge deal to most Tesla buyers, I think many of which are interested in the Model 3 because they couldn't quite afford a Model S at twice the price, but I think it would really be a huge blow to the entire EV lease market. EVs have terrible residual values, and the tax credit is what made leases affordable (or even cheap). Without that subsidy, the cost of leasing an EV would probably skyrocket by $200 a month.
  #109  
Old 11-03-2017, 09:37 AM
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Of interest to all potential EV buyers, the tax reform bill introduced by Republicans yesterday includes an elimination of the $7,500 tax credit as of December 31, 2017.

https://insideevs.com/house-republic...dit-this-year/

I would think this might not be a huge deal to most Tesla buyers, I think many of which are interested in the Model 3 because they couldn't quite afford a Model S at twice the price, but I think it would really be a huge blow to the entire EV lease market. EVs have terrible residual values, and the tax credit is what made leases affordable (or even cheap). Without that subsidy, the cost of leasing an EV would probably skyrocket by $200 a month.
The article you link to includes some interesting details.

1) The credit was already structured such that it would begin phasing out soon for both GM and Tesla (and Nissan), at the 200,000 vehicles sold mark. To some degree eliminating it helps those companies as otherwise the playing field gives a leg up to those companies entering the EV field later than them in the next few years, who are well below the 200,000 vehicle sold mark, whose vehicles would still qualify for the credit for a good long time.

2) The interplay between the Fed tax credit and the need to meet state ZEV mandates, of most note as set by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and followed by nine other states making up about a third of all U.S. new car sales, is also interesting:
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... an immediate unseen ‘back channel’ EV credit business for today’s over-producing BEV makers would immediately be born (which has long been why we have felt Tesla CEO Elon Musk has never been too vehemently opposed to the prospect).

As an example, even though Tesla would lose out on the incentive for its upcoming Model 3, each one of Tesla’s excess ZEV credits (as well as for Nissan who have a bunch extra themselves) would immediately be worth their full-value (~$5,000 a pop) to other non-compliant OEMs with no shot at hitting the CARB numbers.

Loosely translated, each future $35,000+ Tesla Model 3, or $29,995 Nissan LEAF sold in a CARB state would potentially come with a ‘backdoor’ bonus to those companies of upwards of $20,000 per sale (as each delivery of a 200 mile LA4 rated EV = 4 ZEV credits). ...
Seems though that it would result in wider marketing in those CARB states and less motivation to sell in other ones. The list, besides CA: Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
  #110  
Old 11-03-2017, 11:10 AM
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https://jalopnik.com/tesla-shipped-c...ays-1820113207

this would be considered disastrous at any other car company. It would certainly mean a stop-build/stop-ship scenario.

and they're trying to spin this as a positive:

Quote:
In a statement, a Tesla spokesperson said that, “Unlike other car companies, which do not change their cars for at least a year at a time, Tesla is constantly improving its cars with over-the-air updates and often design and hardware improvements.”

“As but one example, that means occasionally we will even send, say, new certified parts to meet a car at the delivery center if those items have been upgraded after the car has shipped,” the spokesperson said. “This process may be unfamiliar to some, but has worked very well for us, as our customers know that if we can add value or make something better, we will do everything we can to do it right away.”
spin, spin, spin. maybe don't start shipping cars until the design is done?

But hey, if Tesla thinks it's wise to burn millions of dollars constantly changing production tooling, more power to them. But that just means their path to profitability just got longer.
  #111  
Old 11-03-2017, 11:19 AM
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That story cracks me up.

When Lockheed builds the F-35 that needs a lot of things fixed and tweaked after it leaves the factory floor, it's called "rework" and is a sign of how screwed up the program is, because inefficient and expensive touch labor is correcting things that should have been done efficiently in sequence.

When Tesla pushes out a car without key parts, it is a clever upgrade program to insure customers love their car.

I'm starting to wonder whether Tesla is even less honest than Enron.
  #112  
Old 11-03-2017, 06:55 PM
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Any source for what the context of the Tesla statement was. Because I am suspicious that it was not in reference to the issue Jalopnik juxtaposed it with, but a statement that a Tesla spokesman indeed made ... but in a different context.

But yes, IF cars end up getting delivered without having passed quality control then the company would be seriously hurt. If standard operating procedure is to finish assembly at dealer sites then they will be a failed company.

It remains to be seen whether or not Tesla can indeed ramp the scale and do so with efficiency. Reports like these though do not seem to me to inform on the question.
  #113  
Old 11-03-2017, 07:24 PM
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Any source for what the context of the Tesla statement was. Because I am suspicious that it was not in reference to the issue Jalopnik juxtaposed it with, but a statement that a Tesla spokesman indeed made ... but in a different context.
it's not my job to disprove your suspicions.
  #114  
Old 11-03-2017, 07:40 PM
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Yes, they'll have moved on because by then they'll be quietly making tons of Model 3s and no one cares if you made 100 or 1000 cars/month during bringup if you're making 20-40k cars/month now.

The X was 2 years late and then took like another year to work out the production kinks. Today, no one cares and Tesla is selling as many Xes as Ses. All those articles about the Falcon Wing Doors or whatever being unmanufacturable were so much bullshit in the long run.
as there were no luxury EV's to compete against it wasn't much of a market hit. Apple could be 2 years late on each phone if there was no competition. The Model 3 has competition. The Bolt alone has produced 17,000 units this year. That's 77 times the number of Model 3's. That's from a company that has the experience to produce cars in large numbers and back them up with dealership service.

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Tesla stock is down 7% today, which a laughably tiny dip. Oh no, they're only 50% over the price from a year ago. So investors don't care either.
so far Tesla has produced 220 of the 1500 units they planned this year. They're at 15% of their goal. They're not quietly making tons of anything except debt and promises.
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Last edited by Magiver; 11-03-2017 at 07:41 PM.
  #115  
Old 11-04-2017, 12:10 AM
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I'm starting to wonder whether Tesla is even less honest than Enron.
You guys are a hoot. The only dishonesty here is among moronic financial journalists, and clickbaity Gawker network crap.

Anyone that pays even a modicum of attention to Tesla knows that they have a continuous upgrade cycle instead of model years. They upgrade stuff as soon as it's ready instead of bundling a bunch of things together. Criticize it if you want, but they've been operating this way for years and made no secret of it. Anyone surprised by this should not be covering Tesla.

As for shipping incomplete cars, I have a hard time believing that other car manufacturers have never done the same thing (just less frequently). It would be unbelievably dumb for them to stop a line while waiting on, say, a replacement headlamp assembly that's been recalled, when they can just ship it to the dealer and let them retrofit it later. Shipping cars is slow... why would you ever hold that up for parts that can be trivially swapped in later?
  #116  
Old 11-04-2017, 12:22 AM
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The Model 3 has competition. The Bolt alone has produced 17,000 units this year.
All credit to the Bolt--it's selling ok, though not fantastically. It's a very decent EV, if not for everyone. A coworker has one and says it's great.

But it's not really competition to the Model 3. The Bolt just isn't suitable for someone looking for a sporty EV sedan. It's too practical-looking, it's not fast enough, and the handling isn't good enough. As best I can tell, people disappointed in Model 3 delays are switching to... a Model S. An entry-level S is not much more than a loaded 3, and has some advantages.

Personally, I can wait. I don't see any circumstances where I'd buy a Bolt, not because it sucks but because it's not what I want in a car, EV or not.

Anyway, I think it's great that EVs don't have to be competition to each other. They're mainstream enough that they can exist across a wide variety of niches--large luxury sedan, SUV, small luxury sedan, hatchback, commuter car, etc.
  #117  
Old 11-04-2017, 12:32 AM
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it's not my job to disprove your suspicions.
True 'dat. And not my job to get you to think critically about what you read

Meanwhile Dr. Strangelove, I do not think that the big automakers do that completing assembly at dealers. One, it leaves a final inspection outside of the QA process. Two it just does not work with any sort of volume. Three there just is not usually the urgency of high unmet demand in which saving a wee bit of time matters so much. Tesla can get away with creating some time efficiency by not waiting at the factory on final parts that may have been updated or retooled with the teeny tiny low volumes they are running now. But that will not fly in a ramp up phase. They will need to have adequate inventory available there even if it is "just in time."

Still, they are not in the ramp up phase yet. They are running at least a few months behind schedule to get there. The question that matter involves that "at least" ... if it stretches much farther, or if there are significant build quality issues as volumes come off the line, then tank talk is indicated.
  #118  
Old 11-04-2017, 04:39 AM
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Meanwhile Dr. Strangelove, I do not think that the big automakers do that completing assembly at dealers. One, it leaves a final inspection outside of the QA process. Two it just does not work with any sort of volume.
To be clear, I'm not talking about ordinary assembly stuff--that's surely Tesla exclusive. But dealers do recall rework all the time and somehow they manage. Surely there are cases where a known defective component was either shipped with a vehicle or left off, and it was the dealer's responsibility to replace it.

It's illegal to sell a new car with unfixed recalls, so at a bare minimum any cars in transit when a recall is issued must be reworked when they arrive at a dealer (or sold as used). I have a hard time believing that some would not take it a step further and knowingly ship vehicles that require a rework. It would be dumb to shut down the entire production and transportation chain for relatively easy replacement jobs.

My point is really just that Jalopnik seems to be shocked and appalled at the very idea of a vehicle needing a dealer rework before being handed over to the consumer, when really that happens all the time. Tesla's takes it to a new level but there's nothing unique about the basic idea.
  #119  
Old 11-04-2017, 05:52 AM
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You guys are a hoot. The only dishonesty here is among moronic financial journalists, and clickbaity Gawker network crap.

Anyone that pays even a modicum of attention to Tesla knows that they have a continuous upgrade cycle instead of model years. They upgrade stuff as soon as it's ready instead of bundling a bunch of things together. Criticize it if you want, but they've been operating this way for years and made no secret of it. Anyone surprised by this should not be covering Tesla.

As for shipping incomplete cars, I have a hard time believing that other car manufacturers have never done the same thing (just less frequently). It would be unbelievably dumb for them to stop a line while waiting on, say, a replacement headlamp assembly that's been recalled, when they can just ship it to the dealer and let them retrofit it later.
The issue here is that you clearly are paying attention only to Tesla and assuming you know everything you need to know about how to manufacture cars. You are in error.


And no, this is NOT how the industry works in general. If you don’t have parts, the line stops. You don’t build new cars with parts that are known subject to recall; once updated/fixed parts are available the priority is to fill the pipeline at the plants then provide service replacements. If you have a run of bad parts from a supplier, you issue a stop build order and haul the supplier in to sort and certify their parts.


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Shipping cars is slow... why would you ever hold that up for parts that can be trivially swapped in later?

Because it’s a hell of a lot less expensive to quarantine cars in a yard hold at the plant or a marshaling lot for rework by plant personnel than it is to ship parts around the country and pay dealers to finish the cars for you. Do you know how much it costs to ship something the size of a seat via common carrier?


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My point is really just that Jalopnik seems to be shocked and appalled at the very idea of a vehicle needing a dealer rework before being handed over to the consumer

Jalopnik is “shocked and appalled” because this is not normal. This is not what goes on in the industry, your refusal to believe that is your own problem. This is not a case of “oh we identified a defective part after the fact, dealers replace this part before delivery.” This is a case of “we couldn’t build a complete car so you have to do it once we ship you parts.” Trust me, Jalopnik has at least a couple of writers on staff who are industry veterans, they know that this is all kinds of fucked up.


Tesla is shooting for F-150 volumes on the Model 3, and this kind of behavior assures they’ll never make any money on it.
  #120  
Old 11-04-2017, 06:15 AM
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You guys are a hoot. The only dishonesty here is among moronic financial journalists, and clickbaity Gawker network crap.
Wait - this isn’t an issue of tabloids making stuff up. You can’t cry FAKE NEWS. Remember how Elon talked about his management style being based on setting unrealistic deadlines to force his people to work as hard as possible?

Well, for each unrealistic deadline that is put forth just to up the pressure on his workers, that same statement is taken by customers as what Elon is going to deliver on. To me, that’s a pattern of deception.

And there’s plenty of industry analysts saying similar things; and these analysts work for places like JP Morgan, not clickbaitlisticle.com. You can’t dismiss this issue of basic honesty just because you like the product.

Quote:
As for shipping incomplete cars, I have a hard time believing that other car manufacturers have never done the same thing (just less frequently). It would be unbelievably dumb for them to stop a line while waiting on, say, a replacement headlamp assembly that's been recalled, when they can just ship it to the dealer and let them retrofit it later. Shipping cars is slow... why would you ever hold that up for parts that can be trivially swapped in later?
You are free to go find evidence of manufacturers doing the same thing.
  #121  
Old 11-04-2017, 10:16 AM
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...
And no, this is NOT how the industry works in general. If you don’t have parts, the line stops. You don’t build new cars with parts that are known subject to recall; once updated/fixed parts are available the priority is to fill the pipeline at the plants then provide service replacements.
...
I'm not disputing you, but the snip here raises some questions.

ISTM that most recalls affect vehicle/model years no longer in active production. The statistical discovery and government decision process is so slow that by the time they realize that some particular turboencabulator is defective, it's 4 model years out of date.

So in that case, the running factories & fresh-built-as-yet-unsold vehicles wouldn't be involved. Part would only need to go to dealers for eventual refit as customers bothered to bring in their vehicles.

Certainly there can be bad parts batches caught at the factories and in-service problem discoveries that are not (yet) recalls. But unlike a recall, in that situation there's no unequivocal legal mandate to prevent building and shipping cars with the less-than-ideal parts while replacements are designed, prototyped, tested, their production spooled up, and the pipeline filled.

Clearly there's a tradeoff here where the corporate legal dept has a balancing act. Minor problems can be dealt with in service, more major ones stop the line. Safety, liability, profitability, and brand image all go into the mix.


With all that intro (and please revise any/all of it as needed) here's the questions:

What percentage of actual government recalls are swift enough that they affect current production vs. are well after the fact? Of self discovered non-recall problems, how many are severe enough to disrupt production vs. are handled on a forward fit as available basis?

I'm trying to get some feel for the overall shape of the landscape here.
  #122  
Old 11-04-2017, 10:27 AM
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Clearly there's a tradeoff here where the corporate legal dept has a balancing act. Minor problems can be dealt with in service, more major ones stop the line. Safety, liability, profitability, and brand image all go into the mix.
You need a service infrastructure in order to service something. Not a problem if you're making low numbers of cars. MAJOR problem if you're producing them in large numbers.
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  #123  
Old 11-04-2017, 10:29 AM
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I'm not disputing you, but the snip here raises some questions.

ISTM that most recalls affect vehicle/model years no longer in active production. The statistical discovery and government decision process is so slow that by the time they realize that some particular turboencabulator is defective, it's 4 model years out of date.
it isn't even so much about the discovery and engineering analysis taking time, it's that it could take years in service before a recall-able safety problem shows up. like the rear axle breakage on the Windstar. the problems didn't even start showing up in notable numbers until long after the thing went out of production.


Quote:
Certainly there can be bad parts batches caught at the factories and in-service problem discoveries that are not (yet) recalls. But unlike a recall, in that situation there's no unequivocal legal mandate to prevent building and shipping cars with the less-than-ideal parts while replacements are designed, prototyped, tested, their production spooled up, and the pipeline filled.
yes. See: Takata.


Quote:
What percentage of actual government recalls are swift enough that they affect current production vs. are well after the fact? Of self discovered non-recall problems, how many are severe enough to disrupt production vs. are handled on a forward fit as available basis?
I don't have any numbers, sorry. I can (again) point to the Takata situation as an example; Some companies are continuing to use Takata ammonium nitrate inflators while alternate solutions are being spun up.

but aside from all of that, I don't know why you all are focusing on recalls. we're talking about a company which is shoveling incomplete cars out the door then later shipping parts (at what must be considerable expense) to stores to complete assembly. That's asinine, that is not "the norm," regardless of what a couple of posters here want to believe, this is a big deal, and talking about how recalls are typically handled in the industry is beside the point.
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Old 11-04-2017, 11:10 AM
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Thanks for all that.

I'm a latecomer to the thread and have no particular interest in Tesla. If indeed they're knowingly shipping incomplete vehicles for field completion that sounds utterly unprecedented plus grossly uneconomic and makes me wonder what the hidden reason is. Perhaps a loan covenant or governmental subsidy issue where the rules say they need to "ship X units by Dec 31" to meet some gate and they're playing games to meet the number X since nobody ever said the "shipped" vehicles had to be, you know, fully saleable as-is.


You were talking about line stoppages and I was curious how often that stuff happened given my anecdotal experience that recalls tend to affect only prior model years. I understand that you were responding to earlier questioners. And that recalls are a very different situation from whatever Tesla is apparently doing.

I understand your answer and we have the same kinds of problems and solutions in my industry. When stuff proves less durable than planned (or downright failure-prone) it's still used as-is until a replacement can be fielded. Perhaps with more active watching for signs of distress before the actual failure. Even our equivalent of "recalls" generally involve continuing to operate the "defective" parts until they can be replaced in a phased non-disruptive manner.

The exceptions to this gradual approach are so disruptive, and so rare, that they're headline news not only in the industry, but in the ordinary press as well. With Wall Street duly taking note and tanking the shares of whoever screwed the pooch.

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  #125  
Old 11-04-2017, 11:32 AM
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There seem to be several issues being conflated in this discussion.

Tesla is in a unique position for an automaker and in a particular position that they will be in only once - either because they will succeed at becoming a high volume producer and possibly in a disruptive manner, or because they will fail at it and become the Edsel of tomorrow.

The unique position for an automaker bit includes not only that they are an EV but that they are re-inventing aspects of the production and consumer process and bring a tech company product release and update cycle to an industry that has never functioned in that manner before. Will "different" be better, or worse? Obviously posters here have strong thoughts about that. Some of us less strong and will wait and see. But different is not automatically either better or worse.

The unique position for them bit includes that they are in a critical juncture point. trying to build and ramp up into a high volume (and presumptively narrower margin) production (supply, manufacture, to delivery and immediate support) phase is something they will only do once, succeed or fail. Judging how the system will perform when fully launched by how it works as they are building it is silly. And while flawlessly meeting all of their goals would build confidence that they will succeed, stutters in the launch phase are not too surprising and processes that will not work well at full production levels may make sense for a variety of reasons during this unique period of time.

To me the shipping to complete some in the field is part of that unique time. It is, I think, unprecedented, but what they are doing is unprecedented, both for them and for the industry. If it was going to be long term standard operating procedure it would be grossly uneconomic, but if it is awkwardness associated trying to break out of a chrysalis and unfold, so to speak, then those costs are small in the scale of the company's transition period.

Again, longer term, say a decade from now, I doubt Tesla will succeed in being the disruptive actor in auto manufacture. A moderately successful company with a loyal following maybe, and possibly a (but not the only) leader in vehicles for autonomous driving fleets. But in terms of predicting that arc their doing things differently than others do, a few months behind on target dates, and short term fixes on the fly during the launch build process, just do not seem like "big deal" things that assure their doom to me.
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Old 11-04-2017, 11:33 AM
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(edit: this was in response to LSLGuy, DSeid posted while I was writing this)

the other thing is that the Takata situation is its own massive pooch-screw on an unprecedented scale. I don't think there's been anything which as been anywhere near as big and affected so many car companies in one go. I do remember reading that the affected automakers had to jump through a lot of hoops to be able to talk with each other on how to handle it (anti-trust/collusion concerns.)

But in general, my experiences with assembly plants is that if you're in regular production the goal is to keep the line moving. A defective part won't necessarily stop the line; e.g. if they install the dashboard and at a later station power the vehicle and find out that the radio doesn't work, they don't stop the line; they just tag the VIN, finish building the vehicle, divert it to the repair bay to have the radio replaced, and re-run it through final. in this case, they're still building complete vehicles, just one ends up needing a part change and re-inspection before it's OK To Ship.

A "Stop Build" event is almost always due to either a part shortage or non-conforming parts which can't physically be installed. At that point it makes the most sense to halt production until the problem is fixed because vehicles could be in various stages of completion and you don't know if only one part is non-conforming or they all are. Why would you keep building them with missing parts if you have to then have someone take half of the damn vehicle apart to install it once available? So they stop, haul the supplier in to sort and certify good stock, and re-start the line once that's done.

a "stop ship" is where an issue is found which may affect vehicles which are already built and out in the holding yard. It might be called for because of something found in the plant e.g. a tool out of calibration which wasn't caught right away, or if a supplier notifies that vehicles may have been built with non-conforming parts. At that point no vehicles can be shipped out to dealers, people have to go out to the holding yards and inspect/tag affected vehicles which then have to be brought back in to the repair stations. any vehicles already shipped, the receiving dealers will get a notice of a "delivery hold" on those vehicles which mean they have to be repaired before they can be sold to a customer.

So yes, it does happen where cars & trucks might need something addressed at the dealer before sale, but it's not business as usual and God help you if you're a supplier responsible for a stop build or stop ship. it will cost you dearly.

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  #127  
Old 11-04-2017, 11:54 AM
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Tesla is in a unique position for an automaker and in a particular position that they will be in only once - either because they will succeed at becoming a high volume producer and possibly in a disruptive manner, or because they will fail at it and become the Edsel of tomorrow.
I don't think it's as either-or as that. they may succeed (which is going to take a lot more discipline and realistic goal-setting), they may go bust completely and become the "next Edsel" which I think is unlikely. More likely is that they can't continue operating as an independent company; they'd need a JV or merger. But their brand is too valuable and they have too much valuable IP for them to just fizzle away.

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The unique position for an automaker bit includes not only that they are an EV but that they are re-inventing aspects of the production
are they really, though? Some of the stuff I read says that they're having difficulty with basic stuff like spot welding, which the rest of the industry has been doing for, oh, 100 years. and it 's not like they have to learn how to do it "organically," there's plenty of people out there who are either retired from other car companies or looking to make a move who know how to do the "nuts & bolts" of building cars.

but they're not very good at that either. They got the Model S designed and built because they were able to hire on a lot of experienced professionals who had been laid off or taken buyouts/early retirements from the Detroit 3. but I'm told a lot of those people got burned out and left in a hurry.

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and consumer process and bring a tech company product release and update cycle to an industry that has never functioned in that manner before. Will "different" be better, or worse? Obviously posters here have strong thoughts about that. Some of us less strong and will wait and see. But different is not automatically either better or worse.
Well, I do feel strongly one way. It's great to do things their way for software-related things such as OTA firmware updates, OTA electronic feature adds, and stuff like advancements in Autopilot. But when it comes to hard parts, you simply cannot expect to make changes every day or every week. Stamping dies are expensive and incredibly time consuming to make (and modify.) You can't make constant changes to fixtures and tooling. That goes against the very principle of mass production. It's like the whole "we're skipping the beta test phase" think Tesla did. Automakers don't spend millions to billions of dollars on validation testing and prototype vehicles because they like setting money on fire, they do it because you've pretty much got to get it right before you build the final production tools. 'cos modifying them after the fact is incredibly expensive and disruptive (not in the good way) and it also means you have cars which are not like each other.

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The unique position for them bit includes that they are in a critical juncture point. trying to build and ramp up into a high volume (and presumptively narrower margin) production (supply, manufacture, to delivery and immediate support) phase is something they will only do once, succeed or fail.
the problem is that there are literally thousands of people out there who know how to do this. Yet Tesla does not appear to want to hire them or listen to them. Probably because they'd say "I'd have to work 110 hours a week? F that S." (or have hired them and they later quit.)

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Judging how the system will perform when fully launched by how it works as they are building it is silly. And while flawlessly meeting all of their goals would build confidence that they will succeed, stutters in the launch phase are not too surprising and processes that will not work well at full production levels may make sense for a variety of reasons during this unique period of time.

To me the shipping to complete some in the field is part of that unique time. It is, I think, unprecedented, but what they are doing is unprecedented, both for them and for the industry. If it was going to be long term standard operating procedure it would be grossly uneconomic, but if it is awkwardness associated trying to break out of a chrysalis and unfold, so to speak, then those costs are small in the scale of the company's transition period.

Again, longer term, say a decade from now, I doubt Tesla will succeed in being the disruptive actor in auto manufacture. A moderately successful company with a loyal following maybe, and possibly a (but not the only) leader in vehicles for autonomous driving fleets. But in terms of predicting that arc their doing things differently than others do, a few months behind on target dates, and short term fixes on the fly during the launch build process, just do not seem like "big deal" things that assure their doom to me.
I don't think any of this is as "unprecedented" as you seem to think it is. It's basically accepting Tesla's explanations at face value.
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Old 11-04-2017, 12:49 PM
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...
are they really, though? Some of the stuff I read says that they're having difficulty with basic stuff like spot welding, which the rest of the industry has been doing for, oh, 100 years. and it 's not like they have to learn how to do it "organically," there's plenty of people out there who are either retired from other car companies or looking to make a move who know how to do the "nuts & bolts" of building cars.
...
Thanks for for your last couple of posts. Makes complete sense.

Ref the snip above ...

This same criticism has been leveled at Musk's SpaceX. They chose to "disrupt" a lot further back into the settled production engineering than seems to make sense. And have suffered considerable teething pains there.

The charitable interpretation is that what's settled is actually old and slow and ripe to be replaced. Existing factories and engineering staffs have legit path-dependent reasons for how they got there, and therefore legit reasons for staying there or evolving only slowly. Reasons that don't apply to SpaceX's brand new factories and teams.

The uncharitable interpretation is these guys led with their egos & wallets and simply dismissed hundreds of thousands of man-years of hard earned knowledge as "NIH and therefore stupid. Unlike us." Cue Hubris, Nemesis, and all that jazz.

So far they're essentially re-living the entire history of rocket booster development. They're living it faster than the original process from 1950 did. But they're aways short of the other guys, and arguably vastly behind where they would have been if they'd chosen to stand on the shoulders of the folks before them rather than obsessively going clean-sheet.


Sounds like Tesla is cut from the same cloth. Which doesn't surprise in the least.
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Old 11-04-2017, 03:19 PM
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This same criticism has been leveled at Musk's SpaceX.
Not just what you said, but the same criticisms in a much more specific way.

SpaceX also uses a continuous improvement process, to the point where basically each of their rockets is unique. Big bureaucratic organizations like NASA or the Air Force don't really like this (or didn't, earlier in SpaceX's history). They want to certify a rocket and not touch it for years.

Well, that doesn't work when you're trying to develop reusability or other technologies at the same time. So SpaceX uses more of a differential certification process so that they can constantly tweak things: adding landing legs, uprating the engines, changing the grid fin design, switching to an autonomous flight termination system, etc.

Fortunately, the Air Force and others seem to have gotten over their hesitation and embraced the style in light of the advantages. The criticisms were never very convincing in the first place, and, like with Tesla, largely amount to "that's not the way we've always done things."
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Old 11-04-2017, 03:28 PM
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What SpaceX is doing with rockets has as much to do with mass producing automobiles as it does with potato farming.
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Old 11-04-2017, 03:55 PM
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Well, you also have to remember the history here.

The NASA engineers thought they were the heroes of the story and they were the only ones who needed to have input on anything. The first astronauts were merely 'cargo' in their eyes, did not need to have any instruments or tools on board and didn't even need a window to look out of.
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Old 11-04-2017, 04:48 PM
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What SpaceX is doing with rockets has as much to do with mass producing automobiles as it does with potato farming.
The similarity I intended to highlight is a corporate culture that rejects industry standards on settled issues such as how to spot weld. And instead prefers to import "talent" from inexperienced outsiders.

Beyond that you're right there's not too much similarity; certainly not much in scale.
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Old 11-04-2017, 05:00 PM
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This same criticism has been leveled at Musk's SpaceX. They chose to "disrupt" a lot further back into the settled production engineering than seems to make sense. And have suffered considerable teething pains there.
In some instances, this has paid off; ask anyone about landing and reusing boosters prior to SpaceX coming along, and they would have considered it impossible or so impractical that it would actually *raise the cost.

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So far they're essentially re-living the entire history of rocket booster development. They're living it faster than the original process from 1950 did. But they're always short of the other guys, and arguably vastly behind where they would have been if they'd chosen to stand on the shoulders of the folks before them rather than obsessively going clean-sheet.
Citation needed. SpaceX has the bulk of the market share for rocket launches in the U.S. this year. They're going to have the bulk of the market share for the whole world in 2018:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/spac...cket-launches/

Starting from scratch is admittedly a stupid idea in a firmly established market such as mass-produced consumer cars.

But doing so in a niche industry where single-use items were running for billions of dollars apiece, was *necessary to get anywhere. Following the mold of other private launch companies would have ran SpaceX directly into the ground. The reason they've grown to dominate that market in only 10 years is because they threw established practices out of the window and started from scratch. As it happened, the new processes managed to drastically slash the cost of the business, and so naturally they took that market over.
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  #134  
Old 11-04-2017, 06:47 PM
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The similarity I intended to highlight is a corporate culture that rejects industry standards on settled issues such as how to spot weld. And instead prefers to import "talent" from inexperienced outsiders.

Beyond that you're right there's not too much similarity; certainly not much in scale.
The thing is (and hopefully this is the last I'll have to talk about SpaceX in this thread, they're a completely separate company which has nothing to do with Tesla) is that SpaceX's biggest advantage is being a private entity. They can do whatever the heck they want, wherever they want to do it, as quickly as they want to do it. NASA, on the other hand, is a government agency and has to derive all of its funding from the .gov. So if NASA ever wants to do anything- say, build a new space launch system to replace the shuttle- in order to get the funding for the program they have to climb mountains of bullshit appeasing this Congressweasel who wants part of their new rocket built in his state/district, another Congresscritter who wants something built in their district, and every bit of new funding they need requires them to kow-tow before a panel of Congressvermin to get it.

plus, the whole culture of "getting things into orbit/space" accepts the risk of catastrophic failures. NASA had tons of rockets blow up before Alan Sheperd made it up there. the Apollo program killed three astronauts before the first mission left the ground. 14 astronauts died in Space Shuttles. And there were at least a few commercial payloads lost when Titan and Delta rockets decided to do a convincing impersonation of a firework. SpaceX has the luxury of doing what they want, including short turn-around times, and being able to work on stuff like landing booster stages after the primary mission (which pays the bills) is complete.

Getting back to Tesla. We're not talking about an occasional launch of a rocket which is highly stressed and the cost of its failure is baked into the launch price.

we're talking about a company which has had three disastrous launches in a row- each worse than the previous- finally trying to pull people out of their Accords, Camrys, Fusions, etc. who expect their car to be a trouble-free appliance. It's one thing to sell Roadsters, Model Ss, and Model Xs to early adopters who just have to have a Tesla and will put up with anything. It's quite another thing to get someone out of a stone-dead reliable Honda Accord into a Model X whose doors won't open consistently.
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Old 11-05-2017, 05:05 AM
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The uncharitable interpretation is these guys led with their egos & wallets and simply dismissed hundreds of thousands of man-years of hard earned knowledge as "NIH and therefore stupid. Unlike us." Cue Hubris, Nemesis, and all that jazz.

So far they're essentially re-living the entire history of rocket booster development. They're living it faster than the original process from 1950 did. But they're aways short of the other guys, and arguably vastly behind where they would have been if they'd chosen to stand on the shoulders of the folks before them rather than obsessively going clean-sheet.

Sounds like Tesla is cut from the same cloth. Which doesn't surprise in the least.
Now, SpaceX has blown a lot of rockets and a lot of deadlines. But, uh, they aren't behind. They're now ahead of every other rocket company in all of history. Nobody else has working landings, or rockets made new for an economical cost. And have you seen the carbon fiber tank that's supposed to be for an upper stage of their massive rocket? Nobody else has one of those - I think the only time one was even attempted was for the X-33 project.

And part of the reason, per Musk, is because they started over. The reason why they had some many oopsies is because most of SpaceX's parts were clean sheet, not bought from conventional supplies. And that's because the conventional supplier parts are way too expensive, especially if they need to be customized. Musk explained that the competitors are so risk averse that their engineers are reluctant to use a part in a rocket that hasn't been flown before - and thus it probably has a 20+ year old design because rocket launch volumes are so low.

This was the only way to achieve SpaceX's goal of economical rockets - to develop new, cheaper to manufacture parts and go through the teething process for them.

Now, this same strategy probably won't work in automotive. It might, but probably not. In automotive, an enormous amount of innovation has already happened, innovation the rocket industry skipped, and so even if Tesla can do better (machine learning for better factory automation), the cost advantage won't be very large.
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Old 11-05-2017, 05:34 AM
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Now, this same strategy probably won't work in automotive. It might, but probably not. In automotive, an enormous amount of innovation has already happened, innovation the rocket industry skipped, and so even if Tesla can do better (machine learning for better factory automation), the cost advantage won't be very large.
Agree. Tesla has to focus on what CAN be innovated in the EV market and leverage that against the industrial power of his competitors. Musk is at a huge disadvantage with the scale of his automotive ambitions. It's the equivalent of Ferrari trying to build economy cars in a market that requires the splitting of nickles.
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Old 11-05-2017, 05:59 AM
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It's the equivalent of Ferrari trying to build economy cars in a market that requires the splitting of nickles.
You keep saying variations of this, and frankly it makes no sense for two basic reasons:

1. Tesla isn’t trying to build economy cars.
2. Plenty of carmakers build only premium cars and are very successful businesses - BMW and Mercedes for example.

I agree that Tesla needs to cut out the BS and focus on delivering, but it isn’t like Tesla is a patently unreasonable business proposition, unlike the way you talk about.
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Old 11-05-2017, 06:37 AM
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You keep saying variations of this, and frankly it makes no sense for two basic reasons:

1. Tesla isn’t trying to build economy cars.
2. Plenty of carmakers build only premium cars and are very successful businesses - BMW and Mercedes for example.

I agree that Tesla needs to cut out the BS and focus on delivering, but it isn’t like Tesla is a patently unreasonable business proposition, unlike the way you talk about.
I would call the Model 3 an economy car. It's certainly an entry level/mass produced model that's a significant departure from it's other models.
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Old 11-05-2017, 09:15 AM
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I would call the Model 3 an economy car. ...
Hmm. The car starts basic at $35K and most planning on buying one are expecting to pay $45 to 50K for the package.

You travel in a different circle than many of us if you think of that as "economy car." The Honda Fit starting at about $16K, now that's a well rated car that hits the edge of being called an economy care by most. The Chevy Spark, the Mitsubishi Mirage ... the Tesla 3? No.

A no options Tesla 3 is priced slightly above the middle of the pack of new cars bought in the United States. (Average price new car purchase currently about $34K.) It is of course the entry level Tesla (and the Mercedes-Benz C-class is the entry level Mercedes, and the BMW 3-series the entry level BMW), and yes the whole friggin' point of the vehicle is that it is to be mass produced in a significant departure from its other models ... if they can pull that transition off.

The question will boil down to whether or not the established systems of the majors in the auto manufacturing world have legacy procedures that are inefficiencies today, for these sorts of cars, in today's and tomorrow's market, that a fresh slate can avoid (even with teething pains as it gets off the ground), or if Musk is instead trying to re-invent a wheel and will discover that, no the wheel design being round actually is still the best for the job.
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Old 11-05-2017, 10:54 AM
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I would call the Model 3 an economy car.
Do you call BMW 3-Series or Mercedes C-class “economy cars?” If so, what do you call Toyota Corollas and the like?
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Old 11-05-2017, 10:59 AM
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(edit: this was in response to LSLGuy, DSeid posted while I was writing this)

the other thing is that the Takata situation is its own massive pooch-screw on an unprecedented scale. I don't think there's been anything which as been anywhere near as big and affected so many car companies in one go. I do remember reading that the affected automakers had to jump through a lot of hoops to be able to talk with each other on how to handle it (anti-trust/collusion concerns.)

But in general, my experiences with assembly plants is that if you're in regular production the goal is to keep the line moving. A defective part won't necessarily stop the line; e.g. if they install the dashboard and at a later station power the vehicle and find out that the radio doesn't work, they don't stop the line; they just tag the VIN, finish building the vehicle, divert it to the repair bay to have the radio replaced, and re-run it through final. in this case, they're still building complete vehicles, just one ends up needing a part change and re-inspection before it's OK To Ship.

A "Stop Build" event is almost always due to either a part shortage or non-conforming parts which can't physically be installed. At that point it makes the most sense to halt production until the problem is fixed because vehicles could be in various stages of completion and you don't know if only one part is non-conforming or they all are. Why would you keep building them with missing parts if you have to then have someone take half of the damn vehicle apart to install it once available? So they stop, haul the supplier in to sort and certify good stock, and re-start the line once that's done.

a "stop ship" is where an issue is found which may affect vehicles which are already built and out in the holding yard. It might be called for because of something found in the plant e.g. a tool out of calibration which wasn't caught right away, or if a supplier notifies that vehicles may have been built with non-conforming parts. At that point no vehicles can be shipped out to dealers, people have to go out to the holding yards and inspect/tag affected vehicles which then have to be brought back in to the repair stations. any vehicles already shipped, the receiving dealers will get a notice of a "delivery hold" on those vehicles which mean they have to be repaired before they can be sold to a customer.

So yes, it does happen where cars & trucks might need something addressed at the dealer before sale, but it's not business as usual and God help you if you're a supplier responsible for a stop build or stop ship. it will cost you dearly.
There's also the "stop sale" recalls that can be for a major item, or for something seemingly trivial. I remember when I sold Buicks and GMC's in 2015. We had a stop sale recall on the Buick Encore (their most popular model, a small crossover, built in South Korea) because the sticker in the driver's door didn't indicate the proper tire pressure and wheel size for the vehicle! That lasted about a week, then it was determined that new stickers would be shipped to dealers as soon as they could get them. The fix in the meantime from a genuine GM bulletin? Have a service technician with a fine-point Sharpie write in the necessary inflation and wheel size information neatly in the space that was unintentionally left blank. I'm not kidding.

Then when the stickers were delivered, the service department had to go out to each and every Encore we had and remove the old ones and put in the new, while the sales department had to arrange with customers that had already purchased Encores before the discovery to meet with them somewhere (usually their homes) and apply the new stickers themselves. The utter irony of a huge kerfluffle being made over this versus the tragic and defenseless lack of an intial recall for GM's ignition issues that actually KILLED people and was actively swept under the rug for years was not lost on me. The pendulum has certainly swung really far in the other direction, as it were.
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  #142  
Old 11-05-2017, 11:01 AM
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I would call the Model 3 an economy car. It's certainly an entry level/mass produced model that's a significant departure from it's other models.
It's an economy car for a Tesla, when compared to the costs of their other models. It's certainly not, by price point, in the regular economy car spectrum.

Heck, I drive a 2015 Buick Regal, a midsize luxury sports sedan that's almost completely optioned out as a Premium II model and it stickered for $38,800.
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Old 11-05-2017, 02:17 PM
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Hmm. The car starts basic at $35K and most planning on buying one are expecting to pay $45 to 50K for the package.
I was factoring in the savings in gasoline as part of the cost but if that doesn't align it with the cost of economy cars then I stand corrected.
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Old 11-05-2017, 06:41 PM
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I was factoring in the savings in gasoline as part of the cost but if that doesn't align it with the cost of economy cars then I stand corrected.
Ah, I see. For reference sake, a Corolla costs about $1,200 a year in gas; and a Model 3 would probably cost $600 or so in electricity.

Considering a Corolla costs around $24,000 with every option maxed, there is no way the math of fuel savings works out for a Model 3 to be considered a competitor in any way.
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Old 11-05-2017, 07:59 PM
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Ah, I see. For reference sake, a Corolla costs about $1,200 a year in gas; and a Model 3 would probably cost $600 or so in electricity.

Considering a Corolla costs around $24,000 with every option maxed, there is no way the math of fuel savings works out for a Model 3 to be considered a competitor in any way.
Actually <nasal voice>, for base model early purchasers of the Model 3, they will get a 7500 tax break. $35k-7.5k = $27.5k. So for those folks, technically they would make up for the cost difference in gas in about 5 years, maybe less if electricity is cheap where they live.

But that's the government basically just giving some free money away, it doesn't change the math on the manufacturing side, and the gravy train of tax credits only applies to the first set of M3 purchasers who pre-ordered
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Old 11-05-2017, 08:21 PM
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Actually <nasal voice>, for base model early purchasers of the Model 3, they will get a 7500 tax break. $35k-7.5k = $27.5k. So for those folks, technically they would make up for the cost difference in gas in about 5 years, maybe less if electricity is cheap where they live.

But that's the government basically just giving some free money away, it doesn't change the math on the manufacturing side, and the gravy train of tax credits only applies to the first set of M3 purchasers who pre-ordered
And them only if it is not removed as part of a tax package, if one actually happens.
  #147  
Old 11-06-2017, 06:15 AM
Ravenman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamuelA View Post
Actually <nasal voice>, for base model early purchasers of the Model 3, they will get a 7500 tax break. $35k-7.5k = $27.5k. ... the gravy train of tax credits only applies to the first set of M3 purchasers who pre-ordered
You’re overlooking that the production of the bare-bones M3 is going to be pushed to focus on the higher cost M3’s, with the increased range and options, per Elon himself.

So the early deliveries are going to those paying $45k or so. Tesla seems very likely to hit its 200,000 vehicle cap early in 2018; so the credit will be cut in half by late summer 2018.

The only question is whether Tesla will have more or less exhausted the reservations of people wanting well equipped M3s by late summer. I’m guessing no. The production seats make this even more unlikely.

That’s why I’ve been saying the odds of more than a very small percentage of M3 buyers have any hope of paying less than $30k, despite the widespread belief to the contrary.

But, there’s zero question that an M3 is a better car in probably all respects than a Corolla. That’s why it costs more than a car that costs $18-24k.
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Old 11-06-2017, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenman View Post
That’s why I’ve been saying the odds of more than a very small percentage of M3 buyers have any hope of paying less than $30k, despite the widespread belief to the contrary.
You are absolutely correct and I was wrong. This almost never happens....
  #149  
Old 11-06-2017, 09:07 PM
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If Tesla can't produce the cars promised then the economic might of established car makers will quickly fill the void. Any options that Tesla adds to their cars will be quickly duplicated by companies with deeper pockets and the ability to put them on the road in a timely manner.

I think economic forces will eventually move Tesla into a components distributor.
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  #150  
Old 11-07-2017, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Magiver View Post
If Tesla can't produce the cars promised then the economic might of established car makers will quickly fill the void. Any options that Tesla adds to their cars will be quickly duplicated by companies with deeper pockets and the ability to put them on the road in a timely manner.

I think economic forces will eventually move Tesla into a components distributor.
Depends on your definition of “quickly.” Look at any EV being designed and tested by any of the largest manufacturers: VW’s offerings are supposed to trickle out in the early 2020s. GM made a huge priority for the Bolt, and is now teasing several variants in the next five years or so. Toyota and Honda seem to be mostly uninterested in EVs.

For as much as I think Tesla has been dishonest to its customers, the idea that they are going to leave “voids” that persist for several years just doesn’t make any sense.

Plus, to Elon’s credit, he’s never argued that Tesla is going to be the only, or the majority, of the EV market in the US. He’s said several times that I can think of that he’s happy to have other car companies jump on the bandwagon.

And it is clear that Tesla is going to beat the snot out of some competitors. The VW e-Golf SEL, for example, costs the same as the Model 3, has like 60% of the range, has double the 0-60 time, and the 2018 model has about the same availability as the Model 3. And did I mention that they are the same price?
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