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RationalOne

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  • The NYT's John Broder takes Tesla's (TSLA) Model S up and down the East Coast from Washington on Interstate 95, where the company has installed Supercharger stations 200 miles apart. Things start dandily enough, but then the weather cools, and Broder has to endure freezing feet and white knuckles because he has to turn the heating off to preserve power. Eventually, he needs a tow truck to pick him up because the car runs out of juice[View news story]
    After dozens upon dozens of rave reviews, after getting Motor Trend's Car of the Year, after building one of the highest performing production sedans in the world, after achieving a five star safety rating in all categories, after selling EVs at 400 per week (full production capacity) and maintaining a 15,000 person waiting list at $5000 a pop, after moving rapidly toward profitability in 2Q13, and after indicating that DoE loans will be repaid in the coming two years, the shorts and naysayers have finally found one negative article and have latched on to it like a drowning man grabs a straw. The reporter pushed the Model S to fail so he'd have a story and he succeeded. The shorts and naysayers respond with glee. Tesla will have the last laugh.
    Feb 10, 2013. 09:22 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla - The Next Government Financed Alternative Energy Debacle [View article]
    Not selling?? You're comparing apples (Tesla Model S) with oranges (Volt & Leaf). The "average Joe" is not the demographic that Tesla is targeting with the Model S.

    Tesla has pre-sold 13,000 of them BEFORE the car even hit the road. And you think it's only the "green" crowd? Again apples and oranges. Tesla competes directly with and in many ways beats BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Lexus, and other luxury brands. It's market is buyers of those cars and as an owner on one of them, I can tell you that Tesla competes in aesthetics, crushes most of them in performance, in handling, in interior storage, in crash safety, just about every category. Don't believe me—read Car & Driver, Motor Trend, Edmunds, R&T, and virtually every other Car mag.

    And spare me the range and time to charge argument. Very few people drive more than 265 miles each day, and what about time to charge? You plug-in the Model S at your house at night and when you wake up, you've got the equivalent of a full tank. And even better, a "fill up" costs about $8.00, rather than $60 or more for an ICE car.

    If you don't think those are compelling pluses for the model S, you really don't understand the automobile business.

    An aside: I lean conservative politically and it astounds me that some on the right (in other posts, not yours) are so negative on an AMERICAN car company that has created over 1,000 jobs in the USA over the past two years. So they took a DoE loan? Not every loan is a bad investment and not every company is Solyndra.
    Sep 27, 2012. 09:39 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla - The Next Government Financed Alternative Energy Debacle [View article]
    "I believe the company will eventually join the ranks of Solyndra and the Chevy Volt from General Motors (GM) as testaments to the folly of government financed investments into the alternative energy space."

    I note that you fail to mention that (1) the company has about 13,000 pre-orders (at $5K a pop) with the trend of pre-orders increasing month over month, (2) that it has begun delivering cars and that the rate of production and deliveries is increasing each week as the ramp-up smooths out (natural for a new production line and technology), (3) that the company has opted for an emphasis on early quality rather than production quantity (bad for stock price but the right thing to do to establish a brand), (4) that it has announced a supercharging network that should lead to reduced range anxiety and an increase in orders during 2013, (5) that "burning through cash" is what start-ups have to do to reach the market with a quality (potentially transformational) product, (6) that second round stock offerings are not exceedingly rare in the technology space, (7) that every (literally, every) major auto mag has raved about the Model S, and that that can only help sales in 2013, (8) that the Model S does not compete in or can be compared to commuter EVs (e.g., Leaf), but rather is competitive with and is compared to the more robust luxury car brands.

    So ... Solyndra? Yeah, I sure a lot of shorts fantasize about that. Too bad it just won't happen.
    Sep 26, 2012. 12:46 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Morgan Stanley lifts Tesla Motors (TSLA) two notches to Overweight after having the electric vehicle maker slotted at Underweight. The key part of the comments out from the investment firm is that it thinks fears that Tesla is having a manufacturing slowdown are "overdone." TSLA +7.9% premarket. [View news story]
    My Tesla Model S will be delivered in about 2 weeks. The ramp up in production is real, deliveries are occurring every day in numbers, and new pre-orders are coming in at a very good rate. Once this car hits the streets in numbers across the USA and once people test drive it -- look out! TSLA is going to do VERY well long term.

    BTW, the nay-sayers on this stock have become very quiet as of late. They're the ones who have said Tesla would never build the car and that it was vaporware, then, would never achieve good range (EPA 265 miles), then, would never deliver the car (already happening), then, would never sell more than a few (current pre-orders top 12,000), then, would not achieve the margins they claimed (will happen by mid-2013), then, would never sell their self imposed quota of 20,000 vehicles per year (easily accomplished in 2013). Wrong on every count.
    Sep 17, 2012. 09:09 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The rave reviews for Tesla Motors' (TSLA +2.9%) Model S aren't quite done pouring in after Motor Trend just returned from a Vegas-to-L.A. test drive that proved both the 265 mpg equivalent rating and zero-to-60 mph acceleration in under six seconds are valid. The company has the highly-anticipated Model X slated for 2014 if production wrinkles are worked out. As for cash burn, Elon Musk says as long as there aren't a "bunch of screw-ups," the automaker should be in good financial shape. [View news story]
    Be careful when you use the word "moron," Galtmachine.

    Only a "moron" would drive 600 miles in one day and not expect to rest at least once or twice. Within a year, there will be superchargers on almost every major interstate that will fully recharge a Model S in about 40 minutes, just enough time to grab a bite to eat, stretch and proceed. And if you regularly drive 600 miles in one sitting, you're among 0.01 percent of the driving public. In that case, buy an ICE car. Tesla won't miss you.

    And as far as the tax credit, I agree that all should be eliminated, but with a name like Galt, I'm surprised you're playing the class warfare card ("the poorest among us") when in fact, the poorest among us pay virtually no income taxes at all -- but that's an entirely different subject.
    Sep 7, 2012. 09:40 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • A $43 Billion Tesla: Musk's Incentives Of Interest [View article]
    "The bull case would have you believe people will be trading in their BMW's and Porsches for an S model. AS a 3 series driver,....well I don't think so."
    I know this is OT, but have you driven a Model S? If you have, you'd realize that the Model S blows the doors off BMW 3, and 5 series (except M5) and that it is a viable alternative to a Panamera. Drive it first, then comment. Every first look review (there are now well over 30) is positive and many are raves—every one! And all of those reviewers can't be in Elon Musk's pocket.
    Aug 7, 2012. 04:53 PM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The good news for Tesla Motors (TSLA +0.4%) investors is that reviews on the new Model S are smashing, but the bad news is that a boost in revenue for the company could be slow in coming. A buyer today for a Model S has to plop down a $5K deposit, but the balance isn't due until the delivery date - which currently averages about 11 months down the road. Execs with Tesla say they hope to cut the wait time down to 3 months. [View news story]
    So it's "bad news" that a company has an 11 month backlog of orders on a product that has received uniformly rave reviews on its introduction? I suspect that most companies would welcome that kind of "bad news."

    Tesla's revenue stream will begin in earnest in about one month and will accelerate through the remainder of this year. By year's end the company will book about a half a billion dollars in revenue on 5,000 delivered vehicles. Next year $1.5 billion or more in sales based on the existing order backlog and very conservative projections for follow-on orders to 20,000 vehicles sold in 2013. And that's "bad news" how, exactly?
    Jun 28, 2012. 10:33 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The first reviews for the Tesla (TSLA) Model S start to pour in, largely on the positive side. The electric vehicle boasts impressive acceleration, a smooth ride, and a massive infotainment system chock full of delights, according to the writers. With demand for the model uncertain, and its success seen as an all-or-nothing watershed moment for the company, early buzz on the car is viewed as critical. (Reviews: Engadget, Motor Trend, Wired, CNET[View news story]
    This from a Motor Trend review (http://bit.ly/MDCqmq) that raves about the car's performance, styling, and overall capabilities:

    "So is it the best car in the world? This fourth production example built may not be, but I'd rank it among the top few percentile, and at the rate these automotive greenhorns [Tesla] are improving things, it might well be the best car in the solar system by version 2.0."

    Virtually every early review is positive, and some are raves. The Model S is being favorably compared to BMW 5 series, MBs, and Audis at similar price points.

    Tesla is a worthwhile investment.
    Jun 23, 2012. 10:34 AM | 6 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Motors (TSLA) trades a bit lower, 0.5% premarket, as concerns over production problems for the automaker are raised by Capstone. The firm sees a short-term rise in shares as euphoria takes hold over the highly-publicized EV launch, but warns that as glitches and problems crop up investors will want to have exited their long positions. [View news story]
    What exactly are the "production problems" that Capstone (whoever they are) foresee? Is their assessment based on hard data or pure speculation?

    Tesla has met virtually every production date and every promise associated with the Model S. They have a state of the art factory, they're projecting 25% margins. They're on track to sell 5,000 cars this year and 20,000 next year (achieving profitability in 2013). They already have close to 12,000 pre-orders at $5,000 deposit each, and that's before the cars have hit the road and before any advertising. Why on earth "exit" the stock?
    Jun 21, 2012. 01:45 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Electric vehicle charging stations will be cropping up at select Kroger (KR) and Cracker Barrel (CBRL) locations as part of the government's national EV project. The low driving range of electric cars has been one of the biggest strikes working against the industry from it gaining mass appeal, although Tesla Motors (TSLA) hopes to turn the tables with the launch of the Model S this week. [View news story]
    Yeah, gee, let's think about that for a moment. There are 33 car fires every day among ICE cars -- every day!! There have been exactly 2 car fires over the entire first year of EV use and one occurred three weeks after a crash test when the car sat in a wrecking lot. If anyone needs fire extinguishers, it's owners of ICE cars.

    There are legitimate reasons why you might choose not to buy an EV, but car fires? Seriously?
    Jun 19, 2012. 08:13 AM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Motors: Automaker Or Graphic Novel? [View article]
    Back in the mid-20th century, music was delivered on something called "records." These were plastic disks that recorded music in analog grooves that were cut into them. When the plastic cracked and the record broke, the music would skip, repeating itself over and over again.

    John Peteren is a perfect example of a broken record. He repeats the same tired arguments denigrating Tesla over, and over, and over again. Week after week, we read Petersen's broken record rants about how poorly Tesla will perform, even as the company meets every milestone, has 10,000+ pre-orders, projects margins of 25%, is American made, and will deliver cars ahead of schedule in an industry that rarely, if ever, accomplishes that.

    Somehow, Petersen's broken record performance seems appropriate, because in his world, he can't seem to process that new technologies evolve and are not always financially defensible in their early stages.

    Petersen's motives are suspect. Why? Because no disinterested party would spend as much time as he does bashing one relatively small company. He's a broken record, an artifact of the 20th century, and the music he plays is dissonant.
    Jun 15, 2012. 01:02 PM | 7 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Optimists Vs. Pessimists [View article]
    Most of us who believe that Tesla will succeed do NOT suggest that EVs win the economic argument today. On a pure dollars and cents basis, ICE vehicles still win.

    But (to use your example), no one can justify a Porsche on purely economic grounds, yet the car and the company thrive. You and I both know why that is. Porsche buyers "... like it [and] ... want it, period." The same will hold true for model S buyers.

    The Tesla Model S and the X that will follow are premium or luxury cars that focus on a demographic that generally does not use economic justification as its primary buying criterion.

    In addition, a growing number of those in the 30 - 60 age group (Tesla's target demographic) are environmentally conscious, and EVs give them something that ICE vehicles don't -- green cred. I'm not very impressed by that, but no matter, it's a strong sales point and marketing angle within the target demographic.

    To date Tesla is unknown to most car buyers, when the car hits the streets over the next 6 months and advertising begins in late 2013, I suspect the company will easily exceed their 20,000 sales target.
    May 24, 2012. 09:12 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Optimists Vs. Pessimists [View article]
    I've been a project manager for major tech projects, so I have a little experience with Murphy's Law and all of it's corollaries. I can state unequivocally that what Tesla has accomplished is noteworthy at the least, and extraordinary for most observers.

    For the past three years, the company has kept all of its promises -- product functionality, product price, and product production and delivery -- and that doesn't happen very often. Few other companies even commit to those promises until a few months before delivery. Think AAPL as an example of a "no promises" approach to new products.

    It seems to me, King Edward, that you're lawyering this in an effort to find failings or obfuscation on the part of Tesla where none exists. Sure, there's hype as there would be with any new product. Sure, there are areas where reasonable people can disagree about approach, design, or anything else associated with a product. But to suggest that Tesla hasn't accomplished something important and to denigrate the potential for this company is wrongheaded, IMO.

    I'll admit that I'm long on TSLA. I'm curious, what's your position?
    May 23, 2012. 09:09 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Optimists Vs. Pessimists [View article]
    Wow, if what you say is true, Tesla is doomed!

    It's interesting, though, that what another poster called "rookie engineers" have beaten their own projected delivery dates without pre-production problems. It's interesting that the same people who "ignored" engineering best practices have produced a vehicle with a 5-star crash rating (announced this morning). It's interesting that the people who have "painted themselves into countless corners" haven't yet experienced any significant project schedule problems (you'd think some of you "corners" would have crept in by now) and have kept virtually all of their technology promises to date.

    Normally, when a company is a sloppy as you claim Tesla is, problems surface from the beginning. The fact that they haven't doesn't mean they won't, but it sure does make me a bit skeptical about all of your claims.
    May 22, 2012. 10:55 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Optimists Vs. Pessimists [View article]
    King Edward: You read an awful lot into a simple historical analogy. The "similarities" I was referring to were the attitudes of the nay-sayers who argued against the Model T simply because it was different. The nay-sayers invented objections to the Model T in much the same way that modern nay-sayers (a few of them commenters here) are inventing tenuous objections to the Model S and Tesla. I would argue that they do not have the foresight to see a whole new industry emerging.

    I never suggested that the Model S and the Model T are equivalent (in intent, in history, or in anything else). The Model S is targeted at a high end demographic, not everyman. It is intended for relatively small production runs, not millions of units. It is a premium automobile at a premium price, not a car for the masses. If anything, your use of Henry Ford's quote is interesting but irrelevant, because Tesla has no intention of making the Model S a mass market car. Tesla does, however, have plans for a "Gen III" car that will focus on the mass market in the second half of this decade.
    May 19, 2012. 01:22 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
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