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Fortune Magazine: Tesla's wild ride

Discussion in 'News' started by TEG, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Fortune: To Hell With $4 GAS. Drive This!

    July 21 Fortune magazine:

    fortune_20080721_150.jpg
     
  2. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Drive this!
    Building the world's first electric supercar was never going to be easy - even without the hubris, infighting, and mismanagement that nearly sent Tesla spinning off the road. By Michael V. Copeland
     
  3. Tesla R1

    Tesla R1 Member

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  4. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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  5. malcolm

    malcolm Active Member

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    Thanks for the link.

    The trouble is that Tesla is still something new and strange - a car company we all care about. Perhaps unreasonably so.

    Fans are.... fanatics. Not always healthy. Or balanced

    I know that Elon has tried to tell his side of the story but the only way to draw attention away from a pioneer-with-a-vision is to be another pioneer-with-a-vision.

    Make Model S much better than the Roadster.
     
  6. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    Thanks - I was in the newsagent just 10 minutes ago looking for the paper version, but we are still on last month's edition.
     
  7. Iz

    Iz EVs are here to stay

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    Very good article. Thanks for posting it.

    The article indicates model S is going to be a hatchback. :confused:
     
  8. Iz

    Iz EVs are here to stay

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    It almost brings us up-to-date on TM's progress (and in some instances, lack thereof). Would be nice to get a count showing how many Roadsters have been delivered.
     
  9. flabby

    flabby Member

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    #9 flabby, Jul 9, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2008
  10. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Flabby - those were pseudo SUVs...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
     
  11. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    I'm waiting to get the comments from x CEO's wife
     
  12. Chris H.

    Chris H. Member

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    I call them "Sputes" :smile:
     
  13. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Some stuff I learned from that article that I didn't know before:

    • $4million penalty to Lotus for delays (ouch!)
    [ Seems reasonable of Lotus to have a contract that ensures that their customers are serious about following through. ]

    • 80% of the parts for hundreds of cars already purchased.
    [ I supposed that is a good thing considering that the price of so many things has been going up, and expecting everything to still be available at the last minute would have been risky. They must have quite a warehouse somewhere to store all that stuff. ]

    • The exact list of founder's series roadster owners.
    [ I think we more or less could have guessed, but there it is in print now. ]

    • 30 of 1000 changed their minds on deposits.
    [ Not that many so far... ]

    ...plus lots of anecdotes of the company history so far, which is interesting to know, but painful to contemplate...
     
  14. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    My "learned" list is exactly the same as TEG's.

    So why is having 80 percent a problem? The article suggests the cars are not paid for but the are.

    In advance.

    We know that 100 2008 buyers paid 100 percent and let's say half of the remaining 500 paid 50k and the other half 30K. plus the 400 5k deposits on 2009 models. Seems like enough for parts.

    30 back out. Probably most from the 2008 first 600. That's 5 percent.
     
  15. Finkenbusch

    Finkenbusch Member

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    #15 Finkenbusch, Jul 10, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2008
    That describes exactly the ultimate nightmare every car-producer (small or big) must avoid by all means.

    You have bound investment in parts and are inflexible in (unforeseeable) changes / developments. Ideally a car modern producer is getting parts on-time from different vendors by the hour, not day.

    THAT is the major part of car-producing / key to success = logistic, logistic & logistic.
    Equals organization of parts in quality exactly on time - never before or to late.

    To have 80% of parts stored (and still struggle with water entering the car and no power-train) having serious management problems, means basically Tesla, as we know, is probably already gone.

    How true
     
  16. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    I would think a small car company needs to be more careful. A parts vendor with a huge contract to sell to a big car company would keep the parts available indefinitely because of the payoff. A small car company could get the "we are sorry, we don't make that anymore" line from a vendor that isn't too worried about losing the small volume business. I could understand how a company like Tesla would want to amass the parts ahead of time as a safety measure. Yeah, I know there would be tradeoffs (like getting stuck with last years' technology), but it might be worth the trade-off.

    I wonder about the Li-Ion batteries that have a lifespan in calendar years that starts ticking away as soon as they are manufactured. You wouldn't want to create new battery packs with 2 or 3 year old cells. The packs are a significant part of the car price, and supposedly the price of cells drops over time so you would think that they would want to wait until the last minute there.
     
  17. flabby

    flabby Member

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    pseudo SUV, hatchback, crossover...what's the difference? Isn't is just a name?

    I'm curious: why don't people in the USA like hatchbacks? Is it because of the awful styling of hatchbacks in the past? What's the image that comes to mind when a vehicle is called a hatchback?
     
  18. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #18 TEG, Jul 10, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2008
    I'm not totally apposed to hatchbacks. In a way my first car (Rx7) was a hatchback of sorts. It can be very handy having a large passthrough in the rear for things like surfboards, bicycles, musical equipment, etc.

    On the other hand, I think many people think of a trunk (or 'boot' for those in the UK) as a secure storage area. Locked up with valuables out of sight, it offers a bit more piece of mind for things left in the parked car.

    I commute in an EV, but I have a gas car for longer trips. It has a trunk and makes a good "free air" subwoofer enclosure for the upgraded stereo.

    Subwoofer Enclosures
    " A free-air system consists of woofers mounted to a board attached to the rear deck or placed in the trunk against the rear seat. The trunk of the car acts as an enclosure which houses the subwoofer and isolates sound from the back of the speaker, solving the sound cancellation problem of subs without an enclosure. Free-air systems save space and have flat frequency response. The woofer must be specifically designed for free-air use. The lack of a box makes them more convenient to install."
     
  19. Kardax

    Kardax Member

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    I doubt that lithium ion cells are included in the 80%-parts-inventory thing. There's no need to horde those, they're being built by the millions every year; laptops aren't going away anytime soon :)

    -Ryan
     
  20. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    Martin's reaction from over on his Founders blog:
     

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