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Could TMC make investor specific 30 min interview with Elon to happen?

Discussion in 'TSLA Investor Discussions' started by Zzzz..., Jul 22, 2014.

?

Such interview would be a

Poll closed Aug 11, 2014.
  1. good idea.

    53 vote(s)
    93.0%
  2. bad idea

    2 vote(s)
    3.5%
  3. no opinion

    2 vote(s)
    3.5%
  1. Zzzz...

    Zzzz... Member

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    I always felt that financial medias do not ask right/deep enough questions. And here we have got a community of people who vigorously follow every Tesla related development/news. I do feel like interview with questions from Dave would be more interesting to read than 99% of what is published out there.

    Well for such thing to happen there are few things that are needed:

    1) Blessing from whoever runs TMC so it would be kindof official(Doug?).
    2) Someone to approach Elon to check if it is Ok with him (many of us know direct Elon's email).
    3) And someone to actually conduct the interview, well seems like DaveT is willing and is a perfect candidate...

    Interview could be done by phone(with recording), email or using Google Hangout/Skype.

    PS. Please do not scare out the guy telling him right away that he will be bugged every month or two... If first one go well, may be second one could happen in half a year or so...
     
  2. Benz

    Benz Active Member

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    Nothing is impossible. My vote is "good idea".
     
  3. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    Tesla Motors regularly scans these forums. Sooo, ummm, someone has undoubtedly read this line already. Just sayin'.
     
  4. TSLAopt

    TSLAopt Active Member

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    My guess is that Elon would be open to this...I think the google hangout anyone can watch live is a great idea with DaveT running it.
    lets make this happen somehow
     
  5. RobStark

    RobStark Active Member

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    Can I time travel to 2010 and invest my entire portfolio into TSLA?
     
  6. SteveG3

    SteveG3 Active Member

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    Good idea. Something like Google hangout Elon could literally do in like 20-30 minutes from just about wherever he is. I think he very much likes discussing the bigger picture with informed and enthusiastic people and this would be a super efficient way for him to do it. The talk was DaveT's idea, and I'm sure he'd do a good job. Would be great to at least test it out with one.
     
  7. mitch672

    mitch672 Active Member

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    I think it's fine idea, the issue as always would be timing.. Elon being CEO has to be careful giving "forward looking statements", so their might be some questions he can't answer, also of course he probably won't comment just before an earnings report or a SpaceX launch. Timing is everything.
     
  8. vgrinshpun

    vgrinshpun Active Member

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    I think that this is a very good idea, and knowing what I know about Elon, I bet he would be happy to do this, particularly because it would have grass roots character to it, and will allow TM to be completely innovative in yet one more area.
     
  9. bonnie

    bonnie Oil is for sissies.

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    doug would be the person to contact, if you wanted to represent this as a TMC activity. So before this goes too far, you might want to get #1 nailed down. Contact doug.
     
  10. DaveT

    DaveT Searcher of green pastures

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    I’d like to share some background on this idea of having a long-term investor rep interview Elon (and/or other management) on a regular basis.

    The idea originated back in May 2013 when I started to feel at a disadvantage compared to some institutions who seemed privy to certain information.

    In May 2013 I read about Goldman Sachs meeting with Tesla management (Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) Envisions Selling Around 500K Units: Long Term). It appears that Goldman Sachs was given information regarding long-term goals and product numbers, specific manufacturing improvement, production ramp info, demand info and battery cost projections. Although the article summarized key information, it didn’t provide the specific color that I would have hoped for and I was left feeling like an investor excluded from key information needed. In this situation since specific numbers were shared, I felt like an audio recording of the meeting should have been released publicly. Or at least long-term investors (or a representative) should have been given an opportunity to discuss the projections and numbers shared.

    It left me thinking: what other information am I missing out on that the institutions have access to?

    In March 2014, I read that Barclays had hosted some investor meetings with Tesla across Europe (Barclays On Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) European Expansion). In the published article they briefly noted some projected battery costs estimates. However, later I was able to read Barclays private report that they sent to their clients in which they go into further detail regarding the content of the meetings in Europe (note: this report was not available to retail investors who were not clients of Barclays). Here are a few examples of some times shared in the report available only to Barclays clients:
    - "Tesla believes that battery cost of $100-150/kWh is the point where total powertrain cost could be equal to or lower than luxury ICE OEMs when taking into account that Tesla spends less on energy conversion (i.e., motors, gears)."
    - "Tesla reiterated that its production ramp for Models S/X is weighted toward the back half of 2014 as it adds a second production line. The original line was sized for annual production of 40k units of Models S/X, but the new line allows for production of ~50k units/year."
    - "Moreover, although some have questioned chemical supply constraints for the pack, Tesla noted that there is a large lithium mine in Nevada which can supply a large number of EVs, and similarly chemical supplier Rockwood noted that it expects to play a large role in lithium supply"
    - "Although some of have raised concern that Tesla demand in the U.S. has stalled, Tesla pointed out that it has held back on spurring demand – i.e. it has withheld marketing and opening store locations.”

    Again these are just a few examples of what was shared in the private report but not available to the many retail investors who aren’t clients of Barclays. The lack of access to this information for retail investors (ie., investors on TMC) like myself puts us at a significant disadvantage regarding our investment position in TSLA compared to institutions who have access to such meetings with Tesla management. This is unfortunate because the some of TSLA’s retail investors are the biggest fans and owners of Tesla’s products (Roadster, Model S, X reservation).

    On April 10, 2014 I read that Goldman Sachs met with Tesla management in Chicago/Denver (http://www.streetinsider.com/Analyst+Comments/Tesla+(TSLA)Panasonic+Relationship+Hasnt+Changed%3B+Model+X+Looks+Strong+-+Goldman+Sachs+Citing+Management/9369354.html). While I was able to later email Investor Relations and get confirmation about the 700 cars/week number the article mentioned, still I felt at a disadvantage because the investor meetings were not recorded and publicly shared. Again, it felt like institutions had special access to Tesla management while us retail investors were left out.

    As a long-term investor, I have the majority of my personal assets in TSLA stock and I plan to hold most my TSLA shares for the next 10-20 years. As a result, my focus in not on trying to guess the exact eps or revenue numbers of Tesla’s next quarter. Rather, my focus is trying to keep a pulse on the health of the company and its future plans. I want to know more about Tesla’s long-term plans, and I’d like to be able to have access to Tesla’s management like certain institutions have. Now I understand and accept that not every individual investor can realistically have access to Tesla’s management. However, I do think that if even retail investors can join together and pick a representative, then that representative could interface with Tesla management (ie., interview Elon or key executives on a regular basis) and provide all the recordings for all investors to have access to.

    Currently it appears that analysts and media are the two main groups that have access to Tesla management. The reality about analysts is that they are serving their own clientele and often only share information with those clients who are part of their firm. Further, the long-term commitment to Tesla from many institutions/analysts is questionable at best. For media, often journalists might interview Elon or other management but their questions are usually surface level since the journalists aren’t full-time researching and thinking about just Tesla. For the long-term investor with a majority of their assets in TSLA, they are often thinking about TSLA every day and on a very deep level. We have questions that we’d love to get answered, but we don’t have access to Tesla management and the publicly available interviews and articles are not addressing our questions.

    I think it would be a good idea for Tesla to set up a special channel where a representative from TMC (representing long-term investors) could interview Tesla management once every two months. The interview would only be 30 minutes and would be recorded and published for everyone to have access to. The nature of the interview would be a deep-dive into the many questions that long-term investors have. It would be great if Tesla could allow not just Elon to be interviewed, but JB Straubel, Chris Porritt, Jerome Guillen as well.

    Now I think there could be other ways to give retail long-term investors more information and access to Tesla management. But I think it would be a great start for Tesla management to allow such interviews every 2 months. I for one will be very grateful, as it would make it immensely easier for me to keep tabs on the health of my long-term investment in TSLA.

    - - - Updated - - -

    A Google hangout would be a great idea. People could view it live or view the recording later.
     
  11. mershaw2001

    mershaw2001 Member

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    Dave, thank you for pursuing this.
     
  12. Jackl1956

    Jackl1956 Member

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    I would suggest that interviews include all members of the executive staff.
     
  13. clmason

    clmason Member

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    Agreed, thanks.
     
  14. c041v

    c041v Member

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    This is my concern as well. I'm all for levelling the playing field between Barclays/Goldman Sachs, but TMC-based questions would have to be carefully crafted to find the optimal balance between informative and answerable.

    Looking forward to see how this plays out.
     
  15. Muskol

    Muskol Member

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    This would be great, you have my support.
     
  16. adiggs

    adiggs Active Member

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    I like this idea plenty, and am also on board with the groundswell of Dave conducting at least an initial discussion and seeing how that works (for all parties). I'm curious Dave - since you typed out "two", that looks intentional, but it seems like that would put repetition on an odd cycle relative to quarterly reports and quiet periods. Is that intentional on your part? Any particular reason for the 2 month cycle you mention? I ask because I would think a 3 month cycle, staggered to land somewhere in the middle of the quarter so it's reliably away from quiet periods, would make more sense.

    I also think that thinking about repetition before even doing it one time is an example of cart in front of horse. You need feedback from doing this once to see how big of an effort it is on your part, Tesla needs feedback from doing it to see if it's time well invested (good questions, good information sharing, ....). As you say, we'd like this to become a vehicle for getting a point of view on Tesla out that has a focus on the long term investor.

    I too am a long term investor. I rarely if ever dip into the short term threads, and find that much of what's written hither and yon is of little or no value to me. A concise collection of information focused on the long term investor is something I'd be lapping up like ambrosia :)

    - - - Updated - - -
     
  17. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    #17 ecarfan, Jul 23, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014
    DaveT, as a TSLA investor I like your idea and your underlying reasons. However every two months is probably highly unlikely. I would initially ask for one meeting with Elon only and then if it goes well try again in six months. He is quite "time constrained", as he has pointed out more than once.

    The reality is that the institutional investors get more access than us lowly individuals. But your request might appeal to Elon's innate sense of fairness. So I am hopeful...good luck!
     
  18. Zzzz...

    Zzzz... Member

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    Nothing wrong with having just one interview initially, and then after it is done asking if it would be Ok to approach Elon for more somewhere in the future...
     
  19. arondaniel

    arondaniel Il Sessanta Caricato

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    Questions couldn't be any worse than those from the last conference call. No asking Elon for lunch dates.
     
  20. wart

    wart Member

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    So I've been thinking, if there are people at Tesla who read the forums, they must already be aware of the sorts of questions we'd like answered. I wonder if they might consider hiring a "community relations" person who can post on the forums in an authoritative capacity? Has there been any official participation from Tesla here since George B. retired? I think it's possible that Tesla and Elon are already giving us all the long term guidance they can give us, or are willing to give us, via the blog on the Tesla Motors Web site. I suppose I should spend more time poking around the official TM forums but there just seems to be more better info here!

    Despite my skepticism I did vote "Good Idea" on the poll. Like Johnny Five, I always want "more input!"
     

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