Bad News for Elon…

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The Clinton News Network (CNN) has announced that Tesla is laying off another 7 percent of its workers – having previously laid off  9 percent of them last summer.

So, 16 percent of its workforce is no longer working because Tesla – despite all the infusions of taxpayer dollars – cannot afford to pay them.

Kind of like the Post Office.

What CNN does not mention – or rather, what CNN misreports – is that Tesla has failed to deliver on its much-touted promise to get a $35,000 version of its Model 3 to market (so to speak).

Instead, CNN says that:

“The cheapest version of the carmakers’ most affordable model currently sells for $44,000. The goal is to reduce the price to $35,000 this year.”

Italics added.

This is either blatantly dishonest or egregiously incompetent (you decide).

Musk talked all last year – and the year prior – about the $35,000 Model 3. This was supposed to be the “most affordable” Model 3 and the one which was both the key to mass production and Teslian profitability.

Instead, the car people can actually buy – with help from Uncle, who helps himself to other people’s money in order to provide the “help” – stickers for $44,000 to start and actually transacts for more than $60,000.

This for a car that – its electric drivetrain aside – is essentially an entry-luxury compact sedan that ought to be priced around $32,000. In other words, a $12,000 premium to drive something like an Audi A3 or BMW 3 that happens to be battery powered.

Which maybe worth it to those who get wet over thoughts of driving a battery-powered car – but for the non-EV-addled, paying $12,000-plus extra to drive a car that can only go half or less as far as a non-electric car that also makes its owner wait for hours to recharge isn’t particularly enticing, even if virtue signaling.

So, Elon’s having trouble. He says Tesla is “…up against massive, entrenched competitors” (he means, competitors who make a profit because they have products people want to buy at a price that includes a profit for the company) and must work “…much harder than other manufacturers to survive while building affordable, sustainable products.”

Well, the affordable part is good. But “sustainable”? What – other than virtue signaling – does this mean?

A product either sells on its merits – or it does not. If it does, it is by definition “sustainable.”

If it does not, it isn’t.

Teslas don’t – but Elon thinks his (and his fanbois’) emotional attachment to electric cars – their “sustainabiity” – ought to matter more than whether EVs make economic and functional sense.

He is like a little boy, playing with his action figures – imaging a world of his own creation. Which would be okay if Elon were a little boy – rather than a middle-aged man with the backing of the government to make his dreams come true.

Meanwhile, Tesla’s on deck to lose more money in the fourth quarter.

Tesla (TSLA) shares fell 8% in premarket trading.

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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17 COMMENTS

  1. when ever i read an article at one of the tech sites, it is full of musk fanbois. and i always get flamed when i ask the question(s), who is the CEO of united launch alliance? who is the CEO of ford motor company? who is the CEO of GM? who are the CEOs of any number of other automobile manufacturers? they don’t see the point. and the point is when articles are written about tesla or spaceX or solar city, they are not written about in terms of the company. they are written about musk. i recently deleted Ars Technica from my bookmarks as i could no longer tolerate the comments about musk being OWED taxpayer money.
    musk is not about engineering or innovation.
    musk is about a cult of personality. it is his presence at a location that matters, not what the company has done.
    corey glover said it best:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xxgRUyzgs0

    • Hi Paul,

      Musk worship is exactly that – a kind of religion, with all the irrationality that attends. Simple – and fair – questions such as those presented by myself arouse a torrent of non sequiturs and outrage; it is like questioning the divinity of the trinity.

  2. From one of the publicly funded (in other words, I am taxed for this crap) universities in my state:

    WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE DESIGN?

    “Sustainable design is a philosophy that guides design practice to ecologically benign, socially equitable and economically viable outcomes. Also known as good design, the intention of this philosophy is to use designed spaces, objects or messages to prompt meaningful behavioral changes that advance a sustainable society.

    The interior design, apparel design and merchandising fields present exciting challenges for future professionals to apply this philosophy to commercial and residential interior spaces, apparel design and manufacturing, as well as merchandising strategies. The Department of Design, Housing and Merchandising offers curriculum opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students that will prepare practitioners to mobilize their industries for a sustainable future.”

    Maybe someday the football team will have a university they can be proud of.

    • Hi Trevor,

      Ugh.

      The Left is winning because almost no one ever challenges the Left’s definitions. What, exactly, does “ecologically benign” mean? Who gets to define it? Same for “socially equitable” and all the rest. Vague, agreeable-sounding pabulum that masks creeping Stalinism, soon to be galloping.

      I briefly endured listening to that loathsome Ocasio-Ortez woman being interviewed. She spoke of “contributions” – and of course the interviewer did not question her meaning let alone correct her.

      • “contributions” means people like myself are supposed to work longer and harder for the benefit of others who don’t work much or not at all.

  3. “Which maybe worth it to those who get wet over thoughts of driving a battery-powered car – but for the non-EV-addled, paying $12,000-plus extra to drive a car that can only go half or less as far as a non-electric car that also makes its owner wait for hours to recharge isn’t particularly enticing, even if virtue signaling.”

    $12,000 will buy 5,853 gallons of E10 in my area, or 5106 gallons of real gasoline. If one would buy a car that gets 30mpg and use the $12,000 on fuel this equates to 175,590 miles of driving with E10 (not accounting for the normal drop in mpg with E10), or 153,180 miles on real gasoline.

    One would have to be an idiot to go electric with the price disparity.

  4. Musk should live out his boyhood dreams, just on his own money and that of anyone who gives him theirs voluntarily. But alas there must be some rule that once you have more than some amount of money then you get to use the taxpayers’ wealth instead of your own to the greatest extent you can negotiate with elected office holders and bureaucrats for.

    BTW If you do the math, Tesla Motors has laid off 15.37% of their employees. 100-9=91 7% of 91 is 6.37. 9+6.37=15.37

    • Indeed, Brent… and the thing I suppose I will never grok is partaking of stolen goods. I am by no means a moral avatar (ask my ex-wife) but I’m not violent and I’m not a thief. Bad enough to steal when you’re poor and it’s a plausible necessity (e.g., to obtain food) but when you’re a billionaire? Elon’s net worth is around $24 billion… why can’t he fund Tesla on his own dime (he has many of them)? What is it that enables him to actively stick his hands in the pockets of people like you and I, who haven’t got even 1 percent of Elon’s net worth?

        • Amen, Brent – me too.

          It drives me almost to chewing the carpet when I hear Musk referred to as a “Libertarian.” If he is one, then Mencken was a communist and Rand a liberal.

          • Another piece of the puzzle.

            “It drives me almost to chewing the carpet”

            So indeed, Eric is a lesbian trapped in a man’s body.

  5. Someone should ask Elon how long a company can be unprofitable “sustainably” in the USSA without government assistance.

    He should be an expert on that topic.

    • you will recall, that on multiple occasions, musk has said tesla is not about making money.
      his fanbois hear that and they get moist.
      the guys at in-Q-tel and citadel could not care less.

  6. Eric – get with it – the newspeak definition of “sustainability” has nothing to do with people wanting to buy and making a “profit”…. another thing which is evil to even speak of….

    • Well, even when “sustainability” is meaning the “environmental reasons” for it, it fails at that too. If anything an electric car is worse for the environment than a ICE car….

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