How Elon Musk Took Tesla To Hell And Back With The Model 3
The last time, at least in the US, any car company achieved mass manufacturing was about a hundred years ago and then
Tesla. The issue is definitely not coming up with a car design, it is absolutely all about building the production system. The difficulty and value of manufacturing is under appreciated. It's like relatively easy to make a prototype and extremely difficult to mass manufacture a vehicle reliably and at scale. In 2003, a Silicon Valley startup called
TeslaMotors came up with an ambitious plan that would transform the auto industry. Founders Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning set out to redefine the electric car. Cars that everyone would want â€” affordable, environmentally friendly and fast. Their master plan started with a low volume of expensive but alluring electric sports cars. In 2004, well-known entrepreneur and SpaceX CEO
Muskinvested millions of his own money and eventually became CEO. You're not just buying a sports car, you're actually helping pay for development of the mass market vehicles. In less than 10 years,
Teslareleased the groundbreaking Roadster,
ModelX, all paving the way for its first affordable electric car, the
Model3. By 2016,
Teslahas received almost four hundred thousand orders from its latest car, the
ModelThree Sedan. But over the next year, the company struggled to simply make cars.
Teslawas plagued by manufacturing woes, financial losses and volatile decision...
making from its CEO. This has been an incredibly long and difficult journey. It's been an enormous amount of blood, sweat and tears. Today,
Teslaforges ahead with lofty promises and new vehicles, despite endless lawsuits, mounting competition and inconsistent manufacturing goals. But Wall Street doesn't seem to mind.
Teslanow at session highs. It is up twenty one percent for the day above nine hundred dollars a share. The ambitions have never been bigger and the stakes have never been higher for
Tesla. We created
Teslato make a difference in the world. The world desperately needs sustainable transport. We want to show that electric cars are in fact, better than gasoline.
Teslawas founded in 2003 and they weren't founded by anyone who had any automotive experience. It was consumer electronics, software and battery tech guys. When we started
Tesla, there was two things in the world everybody knew about electric cars, they're dead and they suck. Nobody wants to drive one, that's why they're dead. They're slow, short range. They're ugly. If you look at the original business plan we wrote for
Tesla, we describe in great detail the
TeslaRoadster. And we said once this car's successful, the next car we should make, it's either a large SUV, an expensive SUV or a large sedan. The sedan market is enormously large. It's much, much bigger than the sports car market, the Roadster market. And then below that is the sort of, you...
Model3 segment of that market. And if you're gonna have a big impact, you have to play there. But you can't start there because the capital requirements are just too vast and you don't know what you're doing. You know, you have to learn and develop the technology along the way. Everything was hard, everything. We were inventing from scratch. This was something that'd never been done before. We had customers literally say, like, this is the most exciting thing I've been involved in, even though on some level they just wrote a check, but they believed in the vision enough to write that check. And now they're participating in this process that we were going through. And then we encountered
Elon. Martin and Mark knew that the only other person, perhaps lunatic enough to start something this ambitious and join the sort of EV mission with them would be a guy like
Musk. Part of the PayPal mafia, he had made a good deal of money in software, payment tech, and sold that company to eBay. And he was out in Southern California working on an equally ambitious business, SpaceX. One of the great things about pitching to
Elonin this context is that, a lot of times we would pitch to the VCs and to other, you know, angels and they would say what you're trying to do is so crazy. You know, you're trying to make an electric sports car, that's insane. And we are pitching to somebody who is actually trying to make rocket ships. And so, you...
couldn't really say that. Right in context, Hh was like, oh, yeah, I got that. Now next, we have Martin Eberhard, who is the CEO of
TeslaMotors. And of course, this is one of the great cars,
TeslaRoadster, an electric car that gets two hundred and fifty miles per charge. A test of this one. You hear how silent it is. There's no sound. You can have a car that's quick and you can have a car that's electric. But having one that's both is how you make electric cars popular. I was voted off the island and in a rather rude way. When I left
Tesla, we had just, the Roadster was essentially finished and I'd been doing nothing but
Teslafor five years and I thought it's gonna be another five years. And Martin wasn't there anymore, it wasn't as much fun. Sports car maker
TeslaMotors. Reuters is reporting this Silicon Valley electric vehicle is planning to go public soon. If it does, it would be the first U.S. automaker to go public since Ford did
Teslais best known for its one hundred nine thousand dollar all electric Roadster. At the time
Teslacame to us in the government, they were actually looking for a loan in order to build their first facility to create sedans. We ended up lending
Teslafour hundred sixty five million dollars. And the real premise of that was to be able to get that industry, the electric car industry, up and running. And even to this day, I would argue that we wouldn't have hybrid cars and electric cars to...
the extent that we had if this had not proven out to be a successful transaction and a successful business opportunity. If we were just making the Roadster and doing powertrain business, we'd be profitable as a company, but we're in a massive expansion mode. The latest
modelof the electric car is rolling off
Tesla's assembly line in California today. The
ModelS, delivery starting today in Fremont, California.
Teslais showing off its newest vehicle, it is called the X.
Teslaunveiled its Supercharger network.
Teslamay start construction on three sites as well for its giant battery factory or Gigafactory. You don't just want to be betting on this stock, you want to be pushing all in on
Tesla. For investors,
Teslahas been a wild ride for a lot of reasons. If you look at the history of
Teslashares, they really
tookoff starting around 2010 all the way up through 2013. That's when
Muskfirst said, I'm going to build the
ModelS and then I'm going to build the
modelX. And he laid out a game plan. And when the
ModelS first came out, people might have been skeptical beforehand. But when the reviews came in that this is a solid vehicle that changes the game plan in terms of how far you can drive an electric vehicle and what it feels like to drive an electric vehicle, that's when shares of
tookoff. Over the last couple of years, shares of
Teslahave been extremely volatile. People sometimes get carried away with our...
stock. You know, honestly. If you care about the long term
Tesla, I think the stock is a good price. If you look about the short term, it's less clear. Well, I've been calling it a cold stock. I said last night it's like a wide receiver. I mean, you want them in your fantasy, like what am I going to say? It's a fantasy stock that's reality. I think we have to continue to take a wait and see mode.
Teslais so highly valued at this point. You know,
Teslais still a small car maker in a small niche market. The problem for some investors when they look at
Teslais that they see a company that continues to burn through cash and they constantly are asking themselves, when will this company turn a profit and sustain a profit? It's not enough to be profitable for one quarter in the eyes of some investors. They want to see a company that is solidly profitable quarter after quarter after quarter.
Teslahas been in its stock. It's been a story stock. There's been a lot of, you know, sentiment and positive sentiment around its CEO and founder, who's a massive holder, 22 percent ownership in
Muskhas made himself into the face of the brand.
Teslafans love him and follow his every business. Mr.
Musk, how are you? Congratulations on the promotion. Thank you very much. Those Merlin engines are fantastic. Oh thank you, got an idea for an electric jet. You do? Yeah. Then we'll make it work. I really deeply believed in the vision that the...
company had and the vision that
Elonhad set, which was accelerating the world's transition to sustainable energy. That's what inspired me to join. And I think that's what inspired many people at
Teslato join. I did get to meet
Elona couple times, which was so exciting. The first time I ever saw him, he was wearing a Duff shirt from The Simpsons, their beer brand. And I was like this dude's cool. I already know that. Where you from, boss? Michigan. Oh Michigan, you're in the car business? Uh no, no. Printing.
Musk? Yeah. Wow. I love space. I love the idea of space exploration. So all of his SpaceX stuff fascinated me. The solar power, just pretty much everything that
Elonhas done, I absolutely loved. So the idea of working for him and having his name on my paychecks was just so cool to me. What an honor to meet you. I'm such a fan of
Teslaand SpaceX, all your companies. I'm Howard Wolowitz, Caltech. Nice to meet you Howard. To the extent that
Elon's many side projects, and SpaceX is not a side project, SpaceX is a massive focus for him, it's a big, serious company. I think you could probably categorize Boring Company, Neuralink, OpenAI, Hyperloop, Pravda and a memes web site, whatever else is coming out of his imagination as side projects. But there is an argument that what is good for his celebrity is good for the company. People see him as this great visionary genius that's very...
into the details of all these companies, when in reality, I really see him as a great champion of these causes and a great motivator of people and a great identifier of talent, and he relies on these people to keep his public perception alive. But some investors question whether he has enough operational expertise and focus on
Teslato lead the company in the role of CEO.
Muskhas some good news for you. He tweeted a cheaper mass-market
Teslawill start at thirty five thousand dollars. The company will begin taking pre-orders for the
Model3 in March. Don't get too excited,
Muskcautions production won't begin for about two years. Then going from the S and the X, we finally come to we've come to step three or the final step in the master plan, which is a mass market affordable, affordable car. Do you want to see the car? Well, we don't have it for you tonight. I'm just kidding, of course. Or you will not be able to buy a better car for thirty five thousand dollars or even close. One astonishing thing about the launch of the
Model3 was how many preorders came in immediately after the company unveiled this. The total number of orders for the
Model3 in the past 24 hours has now passed a hundred and fifteen thousand. We found dozens of people lined outside the automaker's Chelsea showroom, hoping to put their name on the list for $1,000 dollars. Potential buyers can reserve one of
Tesla's new affordable vehicles. I got up at 4 in the morning to...
come here to put money down on a car that I have not seen because it's a
Model3 could be the first
modelthat really opens up electric cars to the masses, to the mass market. The reason I say that is
Teslahas gotten hundreds of thousands of deposits on this car, the likes of which, numbers that is, we've never seen happen with electric cars. It could be a tipping point not just for
Tesla, but for the automotive industry. The
Model3 was a huge turning point for
Teslabecause they're starting to get into economies of scale. Manufacturing a car that is intended for the masses instead of your early adopters and people that want to drive a beautiful sports car is a completely different affair than making a niche high end vehicle. Now how are we going to make these cars? OK. Good question. Going from announcing a vehicle to actually building it, it was a very short period of time, so short that I think
Teslarealized this is not going to happen as quickly as we expected.
Teslahad lots of pressure, to produce a low cost car. And as soon as the design of the vehicle was at least viable enough to show the public and viable enough to know that it could be produced, it was released to the public. Most manufacturers don't release cars that early, they don't release the whole vehicle, they don't give specs, they don't give prices. When that happened, the manufacturing part, how to build the car, was first really being thought of. So when, when are...
deliveries? Well, they're next year. So I do feel fairly confident that it will be next year. Welcome
back, everybody. Today,
Teslais making the first deliveries of its
Model3. And this is the day that
Teslafans and customers have been waiting for. The delivery of the first
Model3s. The first of
Model3 is getting delivered over the weekend, but most buyers will have to wait at least a year before getting behind the wheel of
Musk's latest creation. Production grows exponentially, so in August there should be a hundred cars, September above 15 hundred. And then what happens after that? Well, eventually, by the end of December, the production rate, at least according to
Musk, will be twenty thousand vehicles. Thing that's gonna be a major challenge for us over the next six to nine months is how do we build a huge number of cars? Frankly, we're gonna be in production
Model3 was expected to be in mass production by the end of 2017. It wasn't. It was a disaster. And so you had for a year, production
Teslawas struggling to just build these cars for all these people who had deposits down. When I said manufacturing
helland supply chain
hellon Friday, I meant it. I mean, you know, but we know this, signed up for it, not blaming
hell, because we bought the ticket. One of the things which I think
Tesladoes which is maybe a detriment to it, is it tries to do everything itself and in-house. In the
Model3 process, we...
decided we were gonna build cars better than any other auto manufacturer out there instead of just building what was sort of industry standard and guaranteed to work
Tesla's plan for innovating manufacturing was all about technology. They seem to think that humans were the problem and that if you just had robots in there, everything would be better. We did go too far on the automation front and automated some pretty silly things. We tried to automate the placement and bonding of fluff to the top of the battery pack, which is ridiculous. So we had Flufferbot, which was really an incredibly difficult machine to make work. Machines are not good at picking up pieces of fluff.
Teslaeventually removed most of the automation that delivered parts to the line, and they ended up going to an industry standard of moving them by pallet and fork truck and things of that nature, because it was way more reliable, had less issues and complications in terms of bringing it up to scale. We started running
Model3 a lot, I would say, November-December of 2017. February-March we started ramp, the ramp up of
Model3 and we started running a lot of
Model3s. There were probably 500,000 orders of the
Model3, so we knew there was a lot of pressure under us to get those cars out. A lot of us, I think, were willing to do what it
tookto get those big numbers out because we really wanted this company to succeed. In the process, they were so desperate to get that
backon track, they ended up...
building a factory in a tent. They ended up making this outdoor line that is one hundred percent done by humans. There's no robots. They don't they don't do anything. We have a couple hydraulic lifts, stuff to help assist us with putting tires on the car, putting the glass on top, but it is an 100 percent manual line for the
Model3. The company is under tremendous pressure to crank out as many cars as possible. And so it creates a workplace that can be very chaotic, that is, you know, making changes on the fly. You have workers who are being thrown into positions where they say they haven't been trained for. They're getting hurt on the job. They're working tremendously long hours and they're struggling to keep up with these demands. I myself had two instances of heat exhaustion, one which was taken care of, the other one which I was left to basically suffer it out until I literally walked off the line and went outside for 45 minutes because I looked like I'd taken a shower. And I was in my paint suit and I was soaked through and through. I had to walk out because I was sick. I got written up for it, for walking off the line. Even though I had 20 text messages to my boss telling him, you guys are going to carry me out of here on a stretcher. I think we should scrutinize them if they're really doing something fraudulent and they're doing like punishing people or slaving them. But things happen at the workplace. Working conditions are...
hard. When I worked at
Tesla, we worked at the end of the assembly line in a room that had no ventilation, no windows. We had, you know, crappy cereal, we had crappy coffee. I'm not saying no one cared. But most people were not saying, well, that's not why I'm here, I'm not here for the cereal, I'm not here for the coffee. I'm here to change the world. They were supposed to be building half a million of those cars a year at the Fremont factory by the end of 2018, and they still aren't there yet. As they're trying to get the
Model3 production off the ground,
Muskmakes a grand announcement that
Teslais going to acquire a business that he also helped co-found, SolarCity. Then there's
Teslatoday, offering to acquire SolarCity, and this stock deal valued it up to $2.8 billion.
Muskis the chairman, the largest shareholder of both companies, as you know, and he's calling the combination a no-brainer. We think there's really a huge opportunity here to have a highly integrated, sustainable energy company that answers the whole sustainable energy question from generation of power to storage to transport. What is with the timing of this deal? We're also talking about SolarCity shares, which are perhaps not nearly as high as they have been over the course of the past couple of years. All I can say is this, that SolarCity would have gone even lower if he hadn't made this bid. On paper, what
Musklaid out made sense. He was...
going to use SolarCity to ramp up sales of solar panels at home to push the development of solar technology that could be used in a number of different venues. That hasn't happened. This is sort of the integrated future. You've got a electric car, a Powerwall and a solar roof. The key is that it needs to be beautiful, affordable and seamlessly integrated. I think we really started to see some of the the wheels come off, no pun intended, with the acquisition of SolarCity. And that, I think, really brought to light how intertwined
Elon's personal wealth, personal interest, ego and brand were in this company. The directorships of others and the potential conflicts are quite significant. Lyndon Rive, who's the CEO and co-founder, and Peter Rive are brothers, they're both
Musk's cousins. John Fisher's fund is a SpaceX investor, of course, another
Muskcompany. Jeffrey Straubel is a
Teslaemployee and a SpaceX investor. Nancy Pfund was a director at
Teslaprior to it having gone public. By the way,
Tesladid an offering six weeks ago, those shareholders must not be particularly happy, though one wonders whether he had any idea he was going to do this. It just felt a little bit too convenient that
Teslagot to absorb this company that he had funded and was run by his cousins and was going to add enormous financial strain to
Teslaand enormous complexity at a time when it already had a lot of complexity to deal with. This is the worst corporate governance...
I've ever seen in my career in a company. The SolarCity bailout is just an abomination and they should be held to account for that. And they shouldn't be liable for that, because it was nothing but a bailout. Let's stay focused on SolarCity. I mean, I love
Teslaby the way, I own a
Teslamyself so it's - love the car, but lets stay focused. Exactly.
Teslahas gone from production
hellto delivery, logistics
hell. That tweet was in response to a customer complaint about a delivery delay. But in truth, if in fact that's the case, that is progress for the company. One problem for
Teslaas it's trying to deliver these vehicles is that they're supplying customers around the world from one plant in California. Other automakers rely on outsourced delivery companies that will take your car from the factory to the dealer and make sure everything's in good order.
Tesla's doing it all themselves. In fact, they don't work with dealers. They run all their own stores and service centers. We had wanted a
Teslafor a long time and we were pretty excited about it and it just made sense for our new commute. But we
tookdelivery in the dark and we didn't really get to see the vehicle until the next day. The next day I
tookit to work, it was a bright, sunny day and unfortunately it showcased what was an absolutely horrendous paint job like, I have no idea how they got it off the line, how they would put it into the hands of a customer. I mean, it was...
insane. Now the
Teslahas hundreds of thousands of cars on the road and they're going after a mainstream consumer instead of just early adopters. They have a much higher service burden. And the problem is they haven't really scaled service in tandem with that. I was fed up with
Teslacompletely to the point to where today, if they want to touch my car, they're not allowed to touch my car. I'll do my own work on my car now. As soon as I exceeded my warranty period, the help, kindness, interactions all went away. I was treated like I didn't even really own a
Tesla. So in terms of the service part of
Tesla, I do get nervous. When many owners try to schedule a service appointment, the service centers are stretched thin and appointments could be weeks out before a car gets into service. The reason why I started my YouTube channel was to kind of demystify
Teslas in general.
Teslawasn't really sharing much information about them in terms of what's inside of them and how they worked. So I figured to myself, people may actually be interested in this. So as I started tearing into the car more and more, I started taking detailed photos of things, detailed videos. This blue connector goes
backin the door. And just kind of
tookoff from there. This is my
Teslaparts storage. This is where all the used parts or crash parts, I save every little piece. I worked at
Teslafrom May of 2009 through February of 2013. I started out as a service manager for the Seattle...
area. Part of the reason people are having trouble getting their cars repaired is there aren't enough parts. Now specifically with the Roadster, there aren't any parts. And with the newer
models, there just isn't enough parts coming off the assembly line or being reproduced to fix the cars that are in the body shops. There's a local body shop here that has, at times, has over 100
Model3s that need paint work. I have no problem with them being vertically integrated. I have no problem with them running things the way that they do for cars that are in warranty. But if they want to be in the mass market, unless they're going to run every single service center in every single little small town, there's no way it's acceptable to have people for minor issues drive and kill an entire day to go to the service center and get free Keurig coffee. The genesis of the electrified garage was such that a lot of people started reaching out to me because of the YouTube channel, people that wanted to get issues resolved with their
Teslas. And at the time,
Teslawas super busy, they didn't have time to get people in for appointments. So they started reaching out to me and saying, hey,
Tesla's too busy to take a look at this or I own a salvaged vehicle, can you take a look at my electric vehicle? We're hoping the demand is really strong and we're hoping to grow this into more of a franchise type business and almost work alongside
repair a lot of their vehicles as well, because at this point, they need all the help that they could get. One thing
Teslahas done to address the gaps between service centers that may be far apart and hard for customers to come into is to launch this mobile ranger service. These are technicians that come to you, customers who can get their issues fixed by the mobile service love it, but they can't do everything. Over the last year,
Teslaramped its service locations by about 20 percent. And again,
Teslais expecting about a five fold increase in the number of cars that it's going to be shipping. So we're just not sure that the ramp is going to be significant enough. Service totally matters to
Tesla's long-term success. The proposition for the customer of a
Model3 is buy at your own risk. This might come with problems. At the scale it is at now with how many
Model3s that are out in the market, and who its core customer is, there are enough people out there to buy it with that caveat, but that grace period isn't going to last forever. And so
Tesladoes need to sort these problems out before it becomes truly mainstream. I talked to a lot of people who have
Teslavehicles and service is a problem. And you know, everybody's, "Oh
Teslaservice is a problem." Microsoft had no customer service for years. Google had no customer service for years. Apple customer service, until they got the stores, was mostly non-existent. Right? This is not a
unique problem, this is an industry unique problem. Technology companies aren't good at service, period. Stop calling out
Teslafor this because they're a tech company. They're not really a car company. The cheaper
models like the
Model3, they're all over the place. You just have to have a service.
Teslaneeds to step up and provide them that service that they deserve. And if they provide the service they deserve,
Tesla's unstoppable. Let me tell you, this is going to blow this staircase out of the water. I mean, this car will leave a Ferrari in its dust. I think
Eloness has increased over the years. Yeah, I mean, if you wanted to describe
Muskin a nuts
hell, I don't think he would fit in a nuts
hell. It's like
Muskhas been beamed down from another planet to show us mortals how to run, how to run a company.
Muskis a divisive character because he's a difficult personality. Sometimes he's extremely chummy and he's the best person to be around. And you love his points of view and his opinions and the things he says, and he's actually funny. Other times, he's a complete dick. There are times when he is arrogant and obnoxious and insulting. Of the reservations that have actually opened and made available to configure. Can you let us know like what, how, what percentage have actually taken steps to configure? We're going to go to YouTube. Sorry. These questions are just so dry. They're killing me....
How many executives or top executives have left this company in the last couple of years? By some estimates, it's between 40 and 50 who have left the company under
Musk's watch over the last couple of years. Most people confuse
Elon's management style with his vision in a sense. So what
Elon's trying to do is trying to inspire people to come work on a really difficult problem. In my opinion, at least he runs into issues, is trying to do that while at the same time maintaining operational excellence. I've been on a couple of meetings with
Muskwhere people that have disagreed with him have no longer, you know, you never saw them the next day for going that way. And that's what
Muskdoes. We're going that way and either you're going that way or you're not going. He's a great innovator, he's a great visionary. I don't necessarily think he's a great leader. I don't even have a desk or an office anymore, I just basically, I'm just basically standing on the production floor and occasionally meeting in a conference room. We have seen him at the end of the line wearing a
Teslat-shirt and steel toed boots and safety glasses and bump cap, working with the people, doing the physical labor. When the S and X were launched, he was, he literally had a sleeping bag at the end of the line because he didn't even want to leave. He was there so often working on the cars just to make them right and to make sure that...
they were as good as they could possibly be and that production was working. He was there all the time. He slept there and it was true. If your CEO has to be fixing problems on the production line, no matter how brilliant he is or how great his solutions are, there's a systemic failure that's taken place to reach that point. The whole point of running a giant company is to make sure that the whole thing runs as much as possible in an orderly fashion, an efficient fashion, in a profitable fashion, without requiring the constant personal attention of any one person. He should find a partner as quickly as possible who serves the same role at
Teslathat Gwynne Shotwell does at SpaceX, a stabilizing force and making that company made up of humans who have to work together as good as
Tesla's cars are. Another Twitter rant from
Musk. This time it's about media companies. He accuses them of hypocrisy and says the public no longer respects them.
Musk, for most of his career at
Tesla, has embraced Twitter. He believes it is his direct way of communicating with customers, with fans, and to take on critics. I think
Elonspends too much time obsessing about the media and the media's views on him. The media has mostly been extremely helpful to
Tesla. It's free marketing for the company, essentially.
Teslahas a lot of fanboys who have their own kind of media setups, whether they be influential Twitter accounts or YouTube channels or blogs that don't do...
anything except tell the world how wonderful
Muskis. So we tend to have a lot of people that are huge fans and a lot of people that just hate us. And I'm hoping over time we can convince some of the people that hate us to hate us less. I don't think that we felt that production was going to kill the company as much as, I think if anything, we thought that
Elon's stupidity with Twitter would kill the company. The race to rescue a teenage soccer team stranded in a flooded cave in Thailand continues. The options to get them out are few, and all of them are quite risky. He called a guy with probably zero basis a pedophile. He called him out on Twitter. He repeated it to the media. These are not the behaviors of some milquetoast, traditional chief executive. We start with the tweet heard round the world, or at least around Wall Street. CEO
Muskcreating chaos with a single tweet, quote, "I'm considering taking
Teslaprivate. Four hundred twenty dollars funding secured", which led to the stock soaring and then being halted and then soaring once again. Let's go to Leslie Picker. With one tweet, he created stock price movements of huge amounts both up and down. Let's get right to your top money in business story this mornin g, and that is
Tesla. The stock is tumbling. It is down almost 10 percent right now. It's all on news that broke late yesterday, the SEC suing the company's CEO and founder,
Musk, for fraud. The SEC alleges...
Muskmade false and misleading tweets in August where he said he was considering taking
Teslaprivate at four hundred and twenty dollars and that funding was secured. Let's get to our corporate story of the morning, I should say, of the weekend.
Teslafounder and CEO
Muskand the SEC, reaching a settlement deal. He gives up the chairmanship for three years. Two new independent directors will be appointed to the
Teslaboth paying $20 million fines. And this is the most interesting one. There will be oversight by a committee of
Musk's communications. I guess this means we're not going to get as many Twitter bombs in the middle of the night as we've seen over the last couple of years. That was a 20 million dollar tweet. That's 20 million dollars that could have been doled out in profit-sharing or any other way. You saw the confrontation with the SEC, which whenever entrepreneurs in the valley start attacking the government or regulatory authorities or traditional stakeholders in a way that's counterproductive, it ends up being a big problem for a company longer term. It shows that they're so looped into the vision that they're not thinking about the pragmatic operation and functioning of the business. He's got an oversized personality which gets him in trouble on Twitter occasionally. But he also has a vision and he's pushing not just his employees, but he's pushing the industry....
Teslashares tanking Friday after a bombs
hellinterview with CEO
Musk. Shares plunging 9 percent right into a bear market, again on track for its worst week since March. Billionaire
Teslaand SpaceX fame Like we've never seen him before. Smoking pot on YouTube.
Muskappearing on a podcast with comedian Joe Rogan last night, overnight. And yes, he smoked up. Take a look. So is that a joint? Or is it a cigar? No. OK. It's marijuana inside of tobacco. OK. So it's like posh pot tobacco. Yeah, you never had that? Yeah, I think I tried one once. Come on, man. You probably can't because stockholders, r ight? I mean, it's legal, right? Totally legal. OK. How does that work? Do people get upset at you if you do certain things? I'm not touching this stock at this point in time. The stock has clearly not found its footing by any stretch.
Elonis absolutely off his rocker, whether it's tweets or whatever he's recently doing. I mean, maybe the pressure is getting to him, but his behavior just seems odd.
Teslafounder and CEO
Musksitting for a rare interview with Lesley Stahl on this Sunday's 60 Minutes program. I want to be clear, I do not respect the SEC. I do not respect them. But you're abiding by the settlement, aren't you? Because I respect the justice system. There are people who who say that the company cannot survive without you. I don't think that's true. Yeah. And there are people who say...
the company cannot survive with you. Haha, that's hilarious. They say it because of the way you acted over the summer. D oing things that seemed impulsive un-CEOish. Well, first of all, I am somewhat impulsive and I don't really want to try to adhere to some CEO template. That's just the character that
Elonis. And it's really difficult to sto p him being like that. I don't think he's ever going to. He's a divisive figure because he is a divisive person. Those who are here and those who are watching, thank you very much for your support over the years. It's been a
hellof a ride. And I love you too. I love you too. All cars being produced have the, have all the hardware necessary, compute and otherwise, for full self-driving. I feel very confident predicting autonomous robo-taxis for
Teslanext year. I just keep finding that it's a three ring circus with the guy and it's it's kind of annoying, but he's exciting. I mean he's P.T. Barnum, OK? You know, Barnum did pack the seats. Yeah, but he is P.T. Barnum, P.T.
Teslaused to talk up the green angle. Now, the focus is shifting to autonomous. We care about one thing, self-driving. And we expect to be confident enough from our standpoint to say that we think people do not need to touch the wheel, look out at the window, sometime probably around the second quarter of next year. When I first started at
Teslaautopilot was this very new concept for them. It was...
something that wasn't in their branding when I bought my car in 2012 at all. I've never felt that that was a core part of
Tesla, autopilot. But it has become that now. The complete version of autopilot is already in the market for sale, even though the features are not available. He's great at turning consumers into investors as well. A man in Minnesota is blaming his car crash on
Tesla's autopilot feature. A
Teslasedan in autopilot mode crashed into a parked police cruiser yesterday in Laguna Beach, California, which is in Orange County. Thousands of people in the Almaden Valley were without power tonight after a
Teslacrashed into a power pole. There it is right there, sparking a fire. She was on automatic pilot when it happened.
Tesla's autopilot has been both a great promise, as well as a huge headache for this company.
Teslas, they're electric vehicles. Fire departments are still figuring out how to put out a pure battery electric fire. The other question is how much
Tesla's autopilot systems were involved in a crash potentially. This is frontier technology, people are trying to understand it. So
Teslais weathering a lot of scrutiny. The other challenge with autopilot is the question of whether or not drivers were fully briefed, were fully aware of the limitations of the technology. Did drivers understand that this technology could be used in certain select situations? Or did they go into this thinking, I can take my hands off the wheel...
anywhere? It's better cruise control . A true self-driving car would be one that I could say, go to the school, pick up the kids and take them to writing. We don't even know how far we are from that. I don't know if you know that Roomba ships 2 million autonomous vacuum cleaners a year. I think at some level, the Roomba and the self-driving car are at about the same level. Another thing that's challenging to them is the build up of lawsuits. Any growing automotive company is going to see this. But
Teslais dealing with a pretty high volume of lawsuits from small claims to stockholder litigation.
Muskscoring a legal win, all related to a tweet he posted more than a year ago. That SolarCity deal remains controversial to this day. There's stockholder litigation against
Teslathat alleges it was a bad deal that never should have happened. So the fact that he survived the crash when he made eye contact for them to save them is haunting. He built that plant in 10 months. That's extraordinary. The future of any car company is inextricably tied to the future of the auto industry in China. China is about 12 to 15 percent of
Tesla's car sales globally. And China is a very exciting market for them. Their penetration in the auto, especially in the battery EV market, is still very, very low. So I think they can have a long way to go. I feel a successful Gigafactory 3 in China would allow
Teslato shift much of the production for rest of world and maybe...
potentially even North America, i f the economics makes sense. The Chinese customer loves the look and feel of the vehicle.
Muskis sort of a beloved character there, and it's a luxury brand in a market that values luxury brands.
Teslais a company with grand plans, a grand vision, but they don't yet have the proof that
Muskand his team can get there consistently. Look, can this company viably and economically make cars going forward? We believe the world's going electric. We believe that they're showing increasingly that they can make these cars profitably. That makes us feel modestly better about the stock, l onger term.
Teslait was like, it was like listening to a call from a real company that made cars and made money. The stock price literally influences the future of this company. As long as there are enough believers and
Muskcan raise capital, I wouldn't count him out. I don't think this is about
Elonanymore. I think this is about what's going on in the market with cars. You know, consumers are going towards premium and sustainable solutions, they're willing to pay for that sustainability.
Teslahitting an all time high after reporting it delivered 367,000 cars last year.
Teslatoday on track to open at a new record high. C ompany announces a program to build the
ModelY SUV at its Shanghai Gigafactory, delivering its first China built
Model3 cars to the public, and during that ceremony, i f you haven't seen it by now,...
Muskexpresses his joy by dancing onstage, proceeding to strip off his jacket, reveal a t-shirt with a cartoon of the factory. The stock surging and posted its first ever
backnet profits. Earning two dollars and 14 cents a share in the fourth quarter. The estimate in the street, a buck 72. So well above expectations there. Revenue also coming in better than expected at 7.3 8 billion dollars. In six months,
Teslahas almost quadrupled. And dollar trading volume yesterday was a record for an individual stock. I just can't believe this frickin' stock. It's insane. This is a big separation from what you know, those of us like to pull out the calculators and and look at reality. The valuation is absurd. The balance sheet is a disaster. I don't think their total addressable market is big enough for the company to capitalize on. And sooner or later, those balance sheet obligations are going to come
backto bite them. He changed the conversation on
Teslafrom one about whether it can meet its obligations and meet its goals to one of, what's the future? Is there going to be bulletproof pickup trucks? Is it going to be a factory in China that's spitting out hundreds of thousands of cars on its way to millions of cars a year? That's a lot of expectation and excitement for
Tesla. I think global warming is a very serious issue and it's something that we have to address, and the only way to address that is, is to come up with a car that doesn't...
add carbon emissions to the environment. And I think the way to do that is with electric vehicles. Our goal all along has been to try to get the rest of the car industry to go electric. So it's extremely rewarding to see that the rest of the industry is going electric. This is great. Great. This is just the start for
Tesla, and I think that when they really want to drum up demand for these cars, they can start turning on the burners and start to see results pretty quickly. We saw this with the Prius in California. It started off as a very California centric car for eco-minded middle class people and has spread all over the world now. But the Prius is not a sexy car. It's not really a desirable car. The
Model3 is a sexy car.
Teslaearning top marks in new crash tests by the Insurance Institute Highway Safety. The
Model3, the first of
Tesla's vehicles to win that top safety rating. It's a bit of a vindication, we should say, for the company and for
Musk, which, of course, was accused of making some misleading safety claims by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Would Ford and GM and all these companies be producing electric cars if
Teslahadn't done it first and showed them how? He's pushed all these legacy companies to begin to innovate. That is a good thing.
Teslacould die tomorrow. They could run out of money, they could close up and disappoint all of their investors tomorrow, and they would still have been a force for good on...
the planet because of all these legacy companies that they pushed.