Musk Keeps Space X in Flight; Struggles with Tesla Numbers
Elon Musk is at it again.
And as always, whatever Musk does, its an immediate media sensation. Especially when it has to do with his Space X rockets or his car company, the electric automaker, Tesla.
In mid-April of this year, Space X had another successful launch and is preparing for another launch on May 1st. However, if Musk could get Tesla to perform as well as Space X then perhaps his latest announcements would hold a little more weight. In an article from Aarian Marshall at wired.com, it’s clear that Musk is one of the great salesmen of modern times.
Marshall reports that at this year’s inaugural “Autonomy Day,” Musk and other Tesla execs urged listeners to believe that as early as next year Tesla will have put robotic Tesla taxis into service, even though no fully self-driving cars currently exist. A Tesla bought today, they stated, will soon be able to make up to $30,000 a year for its owners by ferrying passengers around when they don’t need it, Musk said.
“It’s financially insane to buy anything but a Tesla,” Musk said, arguing that the vehicle would appreciate in value over time.
While that may or may not come true, you have to admire Musk’s drive and dreams. However, in spite of Tesla’s two quarters of profits, its first quarter earnings were dismal with a $702 million loss after Musk lowered the price of Model 3 sedans to $35,000 and made it harder to order them by closing showrooms.
Here’s a review of Tesla’s history, from start-up to today’s electric car leader, according to Wikipedia:
In addition to its corporate headquarters, the company operates multiple large factories for making vehicles and their components. The company operates showrooms and galleries around the world.
United States: Tesla was founded in 2003 in San Carlos, CA. It’s first retail stores were in Los Angeles, Menlo Park, CA and in Manhattan’s Chelsea art district, followed by others in major U.S. cities. In 2010, Tesla moved its corporate headquarters to Palo Alto, where it opened a powertrain development facility.
Tesla’s first assembly plant occupies the former NUMMI plant in Fremont, California. It is known as the Tesla Factory. As of 2016, the plant was not highly automated—it was expected to produce some 80,000 cars with 6,000 workers compared to a “typical” plant that might produce 250,000 cars with 3,000 workers. In 2015, Tesla acquired Riviera Tool & Die (with 100 employees in Michigan), one of its suppliers of stamping items. In 2017, Tesla acquired Perbix Machine Company, a manufacturer of automated manufacturing equipment, that had been an equipment supplier for over three years.
Tesla has a second factory in Fremont, a few miles from the original plant.
Gigafactory 1 is located outside Reno, NV. It produces Powerwalls and Powerpacksas well as battery cells in partnership with Panasonic. It also produces Model 3 battery packs and drivetrains. The factory received substantial subsidies from the local and state governments.
The Gigafactory 2 is located in Buffalo, NY on the site of a former Republic Steel plant. It is operated by Tesla’s SolarCity unit. The $750 million, 1.2 million square foot facility directly employs 500 workers.
Tesla’s first “new design” store opened on November 16, 2012, in the Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto, Ontario. As of May 2017, eight Tesla stores/galleries operated in Montreal, Quebec City, Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver.
Tesla opened its first European store in June 2009 in London.Tesla’s European headquarters are in Amsterdam. A European service center operates in Tilburg, Netherlands, along with an assembly facility that adds drivetrain, battery, and software to the (imported) car body to reduce EU import tax. Musk confirmed in June 2014 and November 2016 its long-term plans to build a car and battery Gigafactory in Europe.
In late 2016, Tesla acquired German engineering firm Grohmann Engineering in Prüm as a new division dedicated to helping Tesla increase the automation and effectiveness of its manufacturing process. After winding down existing contracts with other auto manufacturers, Grohmann works exclusively on Tesla projects.
As of February 2018, Tesla is building a small research and development office in Athens, Greece
In July 2018, it was reported that Tesla was exploring building its first major European factory in Germany or the Netherlands.
Tesla Motor’s Japanese showroom in Aoyama, Tokyo, which was the first showroom opened in the country
Showrooms and service centers operate in Hong Kong, Beijing, and Shanghai. Tesla opened its first Japanese showroom in Tokyo, Japan, in October 2010. In South Korea, it opened two showrooms in March 2017 and a service center in late 2017.
In July 2018, Tesla signed an agreement with Chinese authorities to build a Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai, China, which is Tesla’s first Gigafactory outside of the United States. On January 7, 2019, the groundbreaking ceremony was held onsite.
Tesla opened a showroom and a service center in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in 2017 as the first expansion of Tesla in the Middle East. Five ultra-fast superchargers were also built between cities with a planned 50 destination chargers in the United Arab Emirates by the end of 2017 The Dubai Department of Economic Development stated that it will assist Tesla expansion across the United Arab Emirates as well as neighboring countries in the Middle East. One of the first Tesla customers was Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority which ordered 200 Tesla Model S and Model X vehicles that were added to Dubai Taxi Corporation’s fleet.
Tesla opened a showroom in Sydney in 2010, followed by a showroom and service center in Melbourne in 2015.
So besides being worldwide in scope, Musk and Co. have shown Tesla is capable of designing, supplying parts, building the cars and selling the cars. Now if his sales can keep up with his promises all should be well. Stock Market spokesman Jim Cramer still has faith in Musk’s driving of the company. The Motley Fool, however, has concerns.
Either way, believe in Musk or don’t believe in Musk, it’s still obvious he has no intention of giving up on his autonomous vehicle.
“The only criticism, and it is a fair one, [is that] sometimes I am not on time,” Musk said during the beginning of a presentation. “But I get it done.”
read more at wired.com