Elon’s First Fraud Suit

77
2011
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Elon Musk is being accused of fraud – but not over his cars.

Not yet.

This fraud suit alleges financial flim-flam. That Elon’s very public musings about taking Tesla off the stock market as a publicly traded company were meant to temporarily inflate the value of Tesla stock as a way to generate more Desperation Money (but not by selling cars or making an honest profit) to stave off the inevitable collapse.

The lawsuit – a class-action lawsuit filed in Federal court –  alleges that Musk’s Aug. 7 statements had the effect of “completely decimating” short sellers, people who bet against a rise in the value of  Tesla’s stock.

The SEC is looking into things.

Other things being looked into include sketchy practices to meet Elon’s publicly promised production numbers for the Model 3, the “affordable” Tesla Elon has been touting but failing to deliver for years. Not yet being looked into officially – but arguably ought to be – are Musk’s promises to the thousands of people who put down deposits on the “affordable” Model 3 – the one with the promised $35,000 MSRP – which isn’t being produced.

The Model 3 which is being produced is the much-less-affordable $40,000 model – which has a larger, more powerful battery and more range than the $35k model. But the $5,000 difference makes all the difference to people who cannot afford a $40,000 car – electric or not.

Especially now that the federal tax incentives Elon relied upon to get people to buy his cars are on the verge of going away. This will mean that buying a $40,000 Tesla means paying the full $40,000 – not $40,000 minus whatever the federal government kicks back to the buyer.

But Elon’s biggest sin may not be fraud.

It is incompetence seasoned with a puckish, childish arrogance.

Musk is not a car guy and has no experience in the car business – outside Tesla. Yet he presumed he could teach the car industry a great lesson – with the help of Uncle.

He would show them.

But unlike car guys who do know the car business, Elon made a number of critical mistakes – which have nothing to do with his cars being electric. That just added salt to the wound.

The biggest mistake he made is focusing on sedans at precisely the moment when the market isn’t just moving away from them – it is virtually abandoning them in favor of crossover SUVs. These are now outselling cars and particularly sedans.

The reasons are not hard to grok – for someone who knows cars and the car business.

Sedans are too small for most people – families, especially. Even the full-size ones have relatively tiny trunks and these trunks are isolated from the passenger cabin; the available real estate for cargo cannot be expanded – as can be done in a crossover by simply folding down the back seats.

And speaking of seats.

Because of child saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety laws which forbid parents from placing a kid in a saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety seat facing an air bag, the front seat of a sedan is rendered effectively useless for parents with young kids. They have to be strapped into their saaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety seat in the back seat.

Which leaves room for just two passengers (realistically) in most sedans, which don’t have a third row or a realistic ability to carry three people in the second row because most sedans do not have three-across bench seats anymore. They have sport bucket seats for two, with a wretched middle “seat” unworthy of the designation.

This is one of the major drivers behind the rise of crossovers, which often offer a third row in addition to literally 3-4 times the cargo carrying capacity of any current/recent-vintage sedan.

This isn’t a Tesla 3.

People – women, especially – also like the crossover SUV’s stance. You sit higher up and so can see better.

As crossovers have become more popular, you feel as though you’re sitting even lower if you’re in a sedan surrounded by higher-riding crossovers.

This is why even historically best-selling sedan models like the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry are no longer selling very well – and they aren’t electric or overpriced. They are just a lot less practical than the crossovers which are eating their lunches.

A car guy would know this.

Elon doesn’t.

Instead, he invested the fortunes of Tesla on the success of not just a sedan but a compact-sized one.

The Model 3 has about three inches less backseat legroom (just 35.2 inches) than a mid-sized sedan such as the current Toyota Camry 38 inches) and the Tesla’s seats are low relative to the floor – making them uncomfortable for most adults to ride back there.

And while the Model 3 does have a 15 cubic foot trunk – large for a small sedan – it has nowhere near the space for cargo that even a compact-sized crossover SUV has. For example, the much smaller Toyota C-HR crossover (171.2 inches long vs. 184.8 inches for the Model 3) has 19 cubic feet of cargo space behind its backseats and with those seats folded flat, the available space almost doubles to 36.4 cubic feet.

This appeals to buyers – especially buyers who need a single car that does it all. Crossovers do that. Small sedans don’t. Small sedans are ok for commuting and for single people who don’t have to worry much about how much room there is in the backseats – or behind them. And who aren’t bothered by a weird-looking interior with a distracting/offset-mounted LCD touchscreen which requires one to take one’s eyes off the road to operate it.

But that’s not a mass market audience.

A car guy would know this. Elon isn’t – and so he doesn’t. He is like the guy who brings wool sweaters to the beach.

In the end, his dilettante’s arrogance will probably be the straw the break’s the electric camel’s back. Too expensive was bad enough. But too expensive and too impractical will likely prove fatal.

. . .

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77 COMMENTS

    • Oh this is a good one, Ed. I especially like the flat-out lie that Tesla uses as an excuse, ” this is not how we build our cars”. Well guys, apparently it is, unless someone is out there selling fake Teslas. OK, technically they aren’t lying, no one “builds” a car by having it fall apart, that would be the opposite of “assembly”, yes?
      The fact that driving it in a rain storm can cause it to self destruct…….well, yes Eloon, that IS the fault of your manufacturing, and piss-poor deign as well, apparently. I guess this could be an “emergency weight shedding” feature, you know, to save battery power during inclement weather and all.

      • Hey, Hey! HEY!

        This actually represents an IMPROVEMENT in quality and safety for Tesla: All that happened, was the bumped fell off. The car didn’t burst into flames or steer itself into the path of a semi!

  1. Excellent analysis as usual Eric.
    BTW did you see the news article about Tesla 3 rear bumpers falling off on the way from the dealership?
    /twitter.com/rithesh/status/1028437449318576128

    • Hi Alex,

      Thanks for the kind words – and, yes! I did hear. The quality control issues are serious; serious enough to sink any other car manufacturer.

    • What’s even more hysterical is TM’s excuse. It filled with rain water due to a missing deflector and the weight pulled it off. So they are admitting to a patched bad design. And what would happen to it in places with winter where it would pack up with slush, snow, and ice? Probably even with the deflector.

      • Morning, Brent!

        No other car company would get away with such things. They’d be crucified n the media by various “consumer advocates” and “public citizens.” But Tesla gets a pass – again – because . . . it’s Tesla.

        Affirmative Action for cars!

      • Better yet, if it can’t tolerate a little rain…what would happen to it in AN IMPACT??!!- The bumper is supposed to protect the car….but these bumpers can’t withstand rain?!

        • It’s just the cover, the actual bumper under it remained on the car. It’s also forces applied in the opposite direction of an impact to it. Still it’s crap design to have it a) trap water and b) not be secured well.

          I’ve had the back sides of bumper covers get packed with snow, ice, or slush depending on the prevailing conditions and if I cleaned it out right away or not. No bumper cover ever showed any signs of falling off.

  2. Has anyone else had the thought that this might be Musk’s way of getting off a sinking ship only wet instead of drowned. He does understand Survival of Musk.

    Maybe get into a little trouble with the SEC. Settle by offering to resign and give up all relationships with the company. Sell his stock to some private consortium and watch the whole thing go down in flames in a year or so. He could even then sit back and say “Without me, the company didn’t have chance.”

    I know the little weasel has it in him.

    • Arylioa, good take. Musk is a weasel – an obviously well connected weasel – so it is safe to assume he is going to weasel his way out of his own mess leaving others to suffer the fall.

      • What ever happened to his “flights to Mars” which are supposedly just arouind the corner? Don’t hear much about that anymore. Maybe he has to figure out how to manufacture a few cars here on Earth first, then put the finishing touches on his rocket ships. Yeah, I’m sure that’s all they need!

          • Hey Ya, Eric!

            Ya know, the scary thing is: That we live in a world where so many grown men and women actually believe this huckster’s rantings!

            I mean, it used to be, that people like E-loon were confined to authoring things like Buck Rogers comics, and Captain Video & His Video Rangers TV episodes, for children; and even they realized that it was fiction/BS.

            Today, this baloney is cranked-out for adults…and they buy it up- and we are even forced to subsidize it.

            • Morning, Nunz!

              Elon’s popularity stems from synergies. One, he has had the benefit of fawning press coverage for years. Two, a population that – much more so than was once the case – confuses wishes and feelings with facts and reality; that does not understand economics or mechanical things (“how to make it go,” as the Pakleds on Star Trek put it). Three, his con jibes with the con of our era – “climate change.” Which is even more than just a con. It has become quite literally a religion – a belief system defined by faith as defined by Authority, which must not be questioned.

              • Eric, “climate change” was always a religion. It is probably the oldest power structure religion. Well the first of the present cycle, the last 6 to 12 thousand years. Obey the ruling class or the weather won’t be good. Over and over again this repeats through history. Obey the ruling class, obey the priests, or the weather won’t be good and you will die.

                Everything else is just detail and decoration but it boils down to obeying those that rule over us or the weather will be bad.

                • Brent, and they always require a sacrifice too. Like throwing a virgin into a volcano or a ritual slaughter of critters/humans to appease some god(s). Funny how those who command such sacrifice never seem to be sacrifice material themselves.

                  Climate change is only different in that its high priests now demand that everyone must be sacrificed to a false god. Everyone except them of course.

              • The modern day tendency to fetishize public figures it also to blame. People want to believe Musk is the real life Iron Man (Tony stark).

  3. It looks like the Saudis are going to help take Tesla private. They’ve got enough money, and are always looking for a place to put petro-dollars, so this is as good of a place as any.

    However, they’re an evil regime. I wonder what these do-gooder, wealthy Tesla buyers are going to think about their cars being bankrolled by the modern day Nazis.

    • I wouldn’t give those camel jockeys that much credit. Yeah, that have more money that their whole population has brains, but who wouldn’t when you are sitting on a gold mine like the oil reserves they have? Maybe they believe electric cars are a real threat to their boondoggle, but I don’t see that happening, ever. Besides maybe they just want to buy it and bury it just to be greedy shits like most people with insane amounts of money do. It won’t stop our crony, thieving bureaucrats from finding some other little piss-ant here to throw our tax money down the shitter just for kicks. Ever see videos of their “motorsports”? I used to think Russians were nuts behind a wheel, these people take the proverbial cake! Every video I’ve seen should be titled “what happens when men wear dresses”. This may sound mean-spirited, but damn, they have got to be the ultimate example of the disparity between money and brains! They make the drivers here in Appalachia
      look like brain surgeons, I kid you not!

    • Like all the Europeans are complaining about the no-go zones in the major cities? Oh wait, no one talks about that. Or the chilling of Berlin’s nightlife due to roving gangs of young migrant men who attack women who are “dressed like whores?” Nope no one talks about that either. Or the tent cities springing up in the liberal cities? What are you, some sort of buzzkill? Just step around the human excrement on the sidewalk and don’t make eye contact with the junkie dear.

      Just pretend Islam doesn’t exist. Now just pretend Saudi Aramco isn’t laundering money through TSLA. It’s really easy if you just stay in your 4 block radius.

      • Morning, RK!

        Any competent psychiatrist could tell you that the West is committing suicide. We are now living through something probably very similar to the period just prior to the Dark Ages, the ebbing of Roman law and authority. Caitlyn Jenner isn’t imperator but might as well be crowned our very own Heliogabulus. It is that bad.

        If there is hope, it probably lies East. With the people (and culture) of Russia, or even Asia.

        • Trump is a symptom of this decline as well. I know he has his fanboys on this site, and is doing some sensible things, but he has the temperament of a dictator/emperor.

          • Hi Escher,

            He does- but (sigh) the alternative (her) would surely have been much worse, especially in the shirt term. I regard Trump as a Delayer rather than a Decider… and that may be as good as it gets.

              • Just got back from a row with Wile E, in the dark of night with my laser scope and AFR. Those big eyes belonged to Bambi.

                Wish it had been Hitlery. I’d still be out there in my birthday suit and clogs.
                Someday I’ll learn to put on my boots. Those mesquite thorns go through clogs like a hot knife through butter

          • But if it weren’t for Hitler, who’d stave-off Stalin and the communists?! 😉

            That’s what it amounts to for those who vote. Pick your tyrant; just pick the one whose words are geared more to appeasing your group- because in the end, they will all do the same thing anyway.

            The one spewing tyranny doesn’t sound as bad, as long as their br4and of tyranny is acceptable to their supporters.

            The sad thing is, that people are so far gone, that the average man among the general population is staking their hopes of “freedom” on the Orange Oaf….and those who do not fall into that category are even further gone, because they believe that the ultra-corrupt murderous Bitch is a valid alternative.

            The average person has become so far removed from any notion of personal liberty, that it really doesn’t matter who is paraded before them in the dog and pony show every four years. They support tyranny, and obey and participate, and keep the system alive; and pin their hopes perpetually on “next time- when they will do the exact same thing they did the previous time- and so tyranny stays entrenched.

  4. The $420/share number made many people, including me, wonder if Musk was stoned at the time of the Tweet.

    4/20. Think about it.

    • Hi Greg,

      It might have been; he is a weird dude. And not in a good way. That business of accusing one of the cave rescue workers of being a pedophile for declining his PR-hyped “help is one example. Another is the arrogant treatment of finance media asking him serious questions about Tesla’s operations.

      • Tesla fans I’ve met in Austin are just as arrogant.

        When the first Model 3 deliveries happened in our area, the new variable toll lanes between the hipster neighborhoods and the local Apple campus briefly hit $20 before a Reddit campaign shamed the expressway authority into a $10 cap.

        Thou shalt not interfere with “insanity” mode … or whatever they call it now. Never mind that the variable tolling algorithms don’t function as intended as long as the cap remains.

        • That’s ok – there’s only one toll lane on MoPac, so there’s no passing. And the grandma hippie thats in front of you don’t drive real fast..

  5. With Jaguar bringing an EV SUV to market, soon to be followed by other “real” auto manufacturers, Tesla will soon be trying to make a profit in a very over-supplied market. EVs are, however, are not about profit. They are about forcing people to “do what’s right” (“right” being defined by gov’t entitities) and to submit.

    • Hi Bob,

      Yes, exactly. EVs are not market driven things. They exist – are being produced – almost entirely because of mandates and subsidies. If both were to go way, so would “demand” for electric cars. The reason being that EVs make no economic or functional sense for most people; they are too expensive, too gimped by range/recharge issues. It is a fact that, as a way to get from A to B, any current $15,000 economy sedan is superior to any EV.

      • I love how (you told us) that you can’t charge the dang cars when it’s below freezing temperature outside. That’s just hilarious.

        On another note, you just don’t understand Eric, you see, the Tesla cars don’t HAVE to be built at all or be practical either — it’s all about the fantasy and imagination of what the car WOULD be like if it were real — the buyers don’t live in reality so it doesn’t matter if the car is actually real or not. See, you just don’t have enough imagination, and you don’t live in the matrix, so that’s why you just don’t get it. 😉

        • Morning, Crazy –

          I know! For a long time, I did not get it. I would think about it and try to understand why all this effort was being put toward something which – to me – made no sense at all. But then I had an epiphany. I saw the light. When I realized that the nudge toward electric cars is not about making transportation more convenient, more efficient and less expensive but rather exactly the opposite of those things – in order to nudge people out of cars – then it all began to make sense.

  6. Eric, you’ve said in several articles that the cheapest Model 3 available costs $40,000. Not true! Go to Tesla.com and go through the order process. The cheapest Model 3 available now comes with the long-range battery and the premium interior, and the cost is $49,000. For that price, you get the basic black exterior and super-ugly 18″ Aero wheels. The cost for anything other than basic black paint is $1500 to $2000, and decent-looking 19″ alloy wheels are another $1500 upgrade. So, realistically, the cheapest Model 3 most people would want to buy costs $52,000. And that’s the “real” price, not some unrealistic sticker price that nobody actually pays. Think what you could drive home in if you walked into a BMW or Audi store with a hot $52k in your pocket.

    • Hi Steve,

      Yup! It’s becoming almost too easy to pick apart Tesla – and Elon’s prevarications. But well worth the effort! I mentioned the $40k figure to give him the benefit of every doubt – but you’re right that his marketing of the price is as deceptive as everything else he claims about his cars. Hat tip, sir!

  7. Good article Eric! Something else I’ve noticed, some anecdotic evidence, that corroborates your point here is that I have yet to see more than one person riding inside one of these Teslas. I live in Indianapolis, where we see them all the time because this city has been a test market for Tesla for over 15 years. I see one about 3-5 times a week and always only a “driver” (if you can call them that). The truth is people with families and cargo don’t drive Teslas… at least not when they wish to drive WITH family or WITH cargo. LOL

    • Thanks for the kind words, Mark!

      And, yes – I agree… Teslas seem to be bought for the most part by younger (and childless) hipster types…because they are impractical as family cars.

      • Hey Guise,
        Not sure if what I’ve been seeing online is representative of the real world, but it looks like a lot of Tesla buyers are…..women. Women, who are totally clueless about cars and economics and pretty much everything else in the real world- but who have a few bucks, and are easily swayed by the “green” BS and “the fad”, etc.

        There are some vids on Joutube of some such silly creatures. I remember one, in which the dingbat attempting what should have been a 4-5 hour drive (with NY traffic) one way….and a out-and-back in one day trip…..had her trip turn into a 2 day affair, thanks to charging and a few issues with the electronics….but still was beating the Tesla drum because she thought she had achieved something wonderful by taking 2 days to do what she could have done in even a Yugo, during the daylight portion of one day.

        So this got me wondering just what percent of Tesla suckers, errr, I mean buyers, are women? I’ll it’s a lot! I doubt the “guys at the office” are impressed when “Bob” shows up in a new Tesla. Probably about as noteworthy as if he had bought a Prius…..but the women probably think it’s pretty cool.

        • Nunzio, it depends what you mean by a ‘woman’ I suppose. It can be easy to mistake what is actually a biological male driving a tesla for a woman. These tesla fanboys usually don’t have a good grip on reality. My brother in law was telling me recently why he thought it was a good idea to buy a tesla NOW because SOMEDAY they will have battery swap stations all over the country. Something like a mike’s car wash where they swap your battery instead of clean your car only at every gas station. LOL. While this may be the distant future, it was enough for him to have bought one in the moment (if he had the money), but of course he can’t afford one. To sum up, I agree with you insofar that tesla drivers are women BECAUSE they drive teslas…. but to be honest, I’ve seen a fairly 50/50 distribution of the sexes in a tesla around here.

            • HAhaha! I suspect that people who don’t actually have to drive Teslas, are probably their biggest fans. From what I’m seeing/hearing, for those who actually have to live with the damned things, the bloom comes off the rose pretty fast.

              All the gizmos and gadgetry and flashing lights must get old in a hurry, when you have to live with the annoyances every day…unless of course one is rich enough to just hjave one as a toy to show-off and use occasionally.

              • Morning, Nunz!

                I know – indirectly, through my ex – some Tesla owners and (just as you’ve said) they have other cars, too. In one case, the couple has a Tesla S and a Mercedes SUV. The latter has a “carbon footprint” that’s probably twice that of my little pick-up. But hey, they are signaling their virtue and one cannot put a price on that!

                • Eric, I would guess that that’s the way it likely is with most Tesla owners: They probably own several vehicles, of which the Tesla is their “economy car” (LOL), for showing how much they care about “the environment”. (As long as they can care about it while having superior acceleration, status and style, and remote everything, so as not to even have to lift a finger to open a door….. What the hey- they get a nice subsidy at the expense of others, and then a few years down the road when their dopey toy becomes a brick, they can “recycle it” and have another deposit added to the virtue account! (And I wouldn’t doubt, if before long, if Uncle starts handing out subsidies for recycling the stoopit things!).

                  Heck, and look at even regular IC Benzes and BMWs and the like: These cars which used to hold their value better than almost any others, and last forever, have become essentially fashion accessories, with all of their cheesy plastic parts that break after a few years; and their abundance of sensitive electronics, these cars now lose their value like a Cadillac, and have become essentially disposable after a few short years…which is O-K to those who have become their primary buyers, because any vehicle loses it’s prestige and status symbolism once it is more than a few years old; so these too are intended to be recycled. It’s hard to even conceive of the true waste that such a culture is creating…. but “Buy a Tesla, and it’ll be alright”! -I guess THAT is whom Teslas are aimed at.

                  • Yep, I just spent a good deal of money on a 98′ BMW M3. The new stuff is crap, but some of those old BMWs and Benzes will really take care of you year after year if you take care of them.

                    • Yes, Mark. Germans used to make good stuff. Just like the old John Deere tractors, when they were still made in Germany. (I wouldn’t touch a modern Deere!)

                      The day the Germans stopped making good stuff, you KNEW humanity had turned the corner, and we’ve been circling the drain ever since……

          • Sad thing is, Mark, I know this older guy, who has bulldozers and Mack dump trucks, and excavators….and HE is even on the list for a model 3 (Has been for quite a few years….good luck with that!)

            Really makes ya wonder at the depths to which the propaganda penetrates these days……

  8. As much as I abhor E-loon Musk[rat], and his iPhones-on-wheels, and his crony-[non]capitalism, I think it is a VERY scary precedent to essentially sue someone for fraud based on what amounts to thought-crime. By saying that his statement about taking Tesla private was designed to bolster stock prices, they are essentially presuming to know the content of the man’s thoughts which prompted his speech.

    How does one defend themself against that? “I wasn’t thinking that; I was thinking this!”. And even if the plaintiffs [who are also just as fraudulent, if not more so than E-loon] can’t prove their case- which indeed, should be impossible to prove- just think of the money that it costs to defend oneself against such lawsuits!

    Yet another case of people- in this case, stock players- not raking responsibility for their own actions and choices. You buy [or sell] a stock, ot should be with the understanding that you are doing so in the context of what ever baggage comes with it- i.e. the actions of the company’s personnel; their reputation; and actions, etc. and that their obligation is not to those who buy or trade their stock on the open market, but only to the voting shareholders, who can express their pleasure or displeasure with an executive’s actions by retaining or dismissing him.

    To say that a man’s words were calculated to elicit a certain response, when those words can in no way be proven to be untrue or fraudulent, is indeed the true fraud.

    That needed to be said. Otherwise, Eric, this article was spot-on in every way, and as usual, well-said!!! If only such truth were published in the mainstream! (THEY’RE the ones who should be sued for fraud, for perpetually promoting and fawning over this clown, E-loon!)

    • The result would be the same: Someone would sue. By the SEC taking on that duty, no one who’s been harmed by this statement will recover anything. But the SEC gets to deposit a check into Uncle’s coffers.

    • Nunz, I have no sympathy for fools who hitch their wagon to other fools. Musk is clearly a huckster and anyone who has had anything to do with him have only themselves to blame when their wagon goes off the cliff.

      You knew he was a scorpion, did you not Mr. Frog?

      • Exactly, Skunkz. But what kills me, is that they want to then sue the fool to whom they hitched their wagon. They didn’t mind all of the BS he spewed when they thought it was helping them, but now that things aren’t going their way, they want to suddenly scrutinize their fool’s words.

        I can’t even deal with the fact that we live in a world where the worthless stock of an essentially bankrupt company is worth hundreds of dollars per share!

        You really have to wonder how long this stuff can go on!

  9. I am not a fan of Musk’s pronouncements about “climate change” and other rot, but if I was in the market for an electric car, I would own one. I think that they guy frankly is a lot less politically correct than the nerds that occupy GM or Ford. I am waiting for someone to take a Tesla body shell and stuff an LS V8 in it. That would be cool.

  10. I think this latest drama is his cry for help. He certainly needs it. I’m sure some big institutional investors are probably pushing on him to get some adult supervision anyway. My guess is that there will be some quiet resignations from Fiat/Chrysler now that the leadership is changing and some of them might head out to California. And why not? If your retirement is already fully funded and the kids are out of college why not roll the dice? The worst that happens is your options aren’t worth exercising when they mature. And you’ll be in a position to sell the technology scraps to your buddies in Michigan if the whole thing falls apart.

  11. He wouldn’t be the first smart guy to make a rather basic mistake like this (intentional or not). As a CEO you can’t be saying stuff like this – you *will* get investigated by the SEC (as he is).

    So far as who has the money to take TSLA private at $420 a share? Beats me. Warren Buffet/Berkshire Hathaway has access to the $60bn, but he’s a pretty sharp bargain hunter and won’t pay full price, much less that far above the current trading value.

    My bet is Apple. They have the cash, they don’t really know what to do with it all, and they’ve spent a year or so working on their own autonomous car with poor results. It would make sense to partner with (or flat-out buy) someone who can provide the hardware side of things.

    • Interesting bet chiph. It would be a fitting merger. Elon could then be accused of being the Musky skunk who bit a chunk out of Mac’s Apple if the plan fails in the end.

        • hooey boys, I just read where FElon teared up several times in an interview today and spoke about his insomnia and taking Ambien, either take it or don’t sleep. I can sympathize with him about that being an insomniac myself. Tesla stock fell 8.9% before the closing bell.

          I suspect we’re seeing the watershed moment signaling “The End”.

          • I think you’re right about “the end”. After reading that interview, it sounds like Elon’s personal life and mental health are both unraveling. Sounds like the Tesla board of directors is getting tired of his antics too.

            • Gee, who’d have thunk it? After only a little over a decade of losing millions every year, and failing to deliver on their promised signature “affordable electric”……

              • Morning, Nunz!

                This story hasn’t broken yet in the general press, but the fact is that Elon’s not building the “affordable” Model 3 that he both promised and upon which the survival of Tesla depends.

                Because he can’t build it.

                Note that the Chevy Bolt costs $36k; the Nissan Leaf $30k. These are smaller, not nearly as “high performance” as the Tesla 3. And they are being produced by major automakers, with the resources and economies of scale Tesla lacks. The real Tesla 3 is a close-to-$50,000 small sedan. By definition, this car can never be a mass market car. Even with the rebate/subsidy to the buyer. But take that away…

                Tesla is doomed – and Elon is beginning to realize it.

                • Eric, we knew that all along- now it’s just become so obvious, that’s it’s even becoming apparent to the masses.

                  I remember c. years ago when the guy whom I know put a $1000 down to get on the waiting list for a car that was supposed to be available in a few months- I said to myself (He’s never going to see that car!”.

                  Wonder what’s going to happen to all the $1000 deposits when Tesla folds? Wonder what’s going to happen to the existing cars, when the software updates and pawtches stop coming?

                  Meh….people are so obsessed with these stupid iPhones-on-wheels, someone’ll likely buy Tesla or bail them out, and keep the dysfunctional non-business going for another few years, until the new owners run out of money too…..

                  • Amen, Nunz!

                    I am hoping my cash situation improves in time to get what I have always wanted – an antidote to all this Tesla Dementia… a mid-late ’70s American roller. Olds 98, 88 or maybe a Sedan deVille. Stock, unmolested … to flip the air cleaner lid and hear the Qjet sing!

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