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Is Tesla going to end up like Tucker Motors?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by GJMcManus, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. GJMcManus

    GJMcManus Member

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    #1 GJMcManus, Aug 21, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2013
    In 1948, a visionary named Preston Tucker tried to change the automotive industry.

    Some components and features of the car were innovative and ahead of their time.

    1) The most recognizable feature of the Tucker '48, a directional third headlight (known as the "Cyclops Eye" ), would activate at steering angles of greater than 10 degrees to light the car's path around corners.

    2) A perimeter frame surrounded the vehicle for crash protection, as well as a roll bar integrated into the roof.

    3) The windshield was made of shatterproof glass and designed to pop out in a collision to protect occupants.

    4) The doors extended into the roof, to ease entry and exit.

    5) A collapsible steering column design.

    6) A glove box was added to the front door panels instead of the more conventional location in the dash to provide space for the “crash chamber” that the Tucker is now famous for. This is a padded area ahead of the passenger seat, free from obstructions, providing the front seat passengers an area to protect themselves in the event of an accident.

    7) The engine and transmission were mounted on a separate subframe which was secured with only six bolts. The entire drive train could thus be lowered and removed from the car in minutes. Tucker envisioned loaner engines being quickly swapped in for service in just 30 minutes.

    All these items are found on cars today and thought of as standard features. Only 51 cars were made before the company folded on March 3, 1949, due to negative publicity initiated by the news media, a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation and a heavily publicized stock fraud trial (in which allegations were proven baseless in court with a full acquittal). Speculation exists that the Big Three automakers and Michigan senator Homer S. Ferguson also had a role in the Tucker Corporation's demise.

    It has happen before, lets hope history does not repeat itself with Tesla..
     
  2. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    • Informative x 1
  3. GJMcManus

    GJMcManus Member

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    Why reinvent the wheel? I should have quoted the source..

    So many of Preston's ideas just like Elon's ideas where/are ahead of the time. Most people laughed and thought they were ridiculous and unnecessary. Just like many of the ICE owners think about EV.

    Look at how many ideas of Tuckers are present in today's cars and in Tesla?
     
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  4. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Good movie but was a little depressing. To me at least.
     
  5. GJMcManus

    GJMcManus Member

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    Yes it was.. I just hate to see something like this happen to Tesla. Since Tesla is picking a bigger fight (all the automotive companies, oil/gas industries, and certain parts government (at least the lobbyist that control the puppets))...
     
  6. hoopty_yo

    hoopty_yo Member

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    Tesla has far surpassed Preston Tucker's achievements and DeLorean's as well. I would group the EV-1 in there too, though not a manufacturer, it was a great idea that was killed off due to an outside force, or many forces, that saw it as a threat. If Tesla were to fail, it would be by their own hand. The only way I can see that happening it through a sale of the company and mismanagement by the subsequent owner. Elon's vision seems clear to me; I don't think anyone else could pull it off. He is just as much Tesla as the car is.
     
  7. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

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    Is Tesla going to end up like Tucker Motors?

    I'll bite, so what is your view? Did Tucker have an equivalent $17 billion capitalization in 1948 dollars?

    Larry
     
  8. GJMcManus

    GJMcManus Member

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    By the spring of 1948, the initial public offering of the stock had only raised $15 million, rather than the expected $20 million.

    $15,000,000.00 in 1948 dollars are worth $116,977,526.12 in 2013.

    While not $17 billion, Tucker did have $116,977,526.12 (in current dollars) to produce his vehicles.

    While I admit the movie makes it out that there was a conspiracy. It looks like financial mismanagement is more likely the cause of the company's downfall.

    My point is the movie portrays the automotive industry killing Tucker motors because it was a threat. Wouldn't gas/oil industries, automotive and certain government lobbyist see Tesla as a threat to their interests and pocket books?

    I know I am speculating/speaking out loud.. To me it is possible for these parties to make it difficult for Tesla.. Make it hard to register/license a Tesla (jump through a bunch of hoops like Texas. Which is a large oil producing state). Or like Virginia that is a coal producing state which would be full support of EV. Except now they are more interested in fracking and natural gas production and not very supportive of EV/Tesla..
    The whole manufacturer can't be a dealership issue stopping from opening up dealerships in all 50 states and selling them.

    (i am sure some of this is not correct/exact, this is from skimming TMC)

    As a TSLA stockholder and future Tesla owner (model x). I am a full supporter of Tesla and want them to succeed.
     
  9. Larry Chanin

    Larry Chanin Model S Perf Sig 1055

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    Thanks very much for the helpful background.

    However, you didn't answer the question.

    What is your view? Is Tesla going to end up like Tucker Motors? :wink:

    Larry
     
  10. johnnyS

    johnnyS Member

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    How many cars did Tucker make? Tesla is approaching 20,000 over the last year and will make more in 2014
     
  11. GJMcManus

    GJMcManus Member

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    I do not believe that the company will fail from inside... If it did fail it would be from outside sources..

    As it was mentioned during Q2 conference call..

    " We have production constraints, not demand constraint. "

    " We are not trying to push it higher than that because it's kind of pointless to push volume when you don't have the production to meet it."

    It is clear that their vendors were not expecting the demand and not able to tool up to meet the demand. So this is a potential bottle neck that could be severely affected by outside sources.. If a major disruption (war, flood, earthquake, embargo, hurricane, etc) happened to Panasonic production facility that effect Tesla battery production. It will really hurt and hamper Tesla's growth especially when ramping up production..

    Another scenario is if Elon gets tired of the EV car world. Sells the company to Toyota like he sold paypal to ebay. At which point the champion/motivator/passion behind Tesla would be gone. At which point the company is swallowed up by Toyota and Tesla becomes just another boring Toyota model..

    I know Elon stepping aside is far fetched and he promise his money ($100 million) in stocks will be last out.. (can't find the direct quote right now)

    The company won't fail on it's own..
     
  12. GJMcManus

    GJMcManus Member

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    51 production cars and 7 test mules..
    So a total of 58 (1947-1948)..
     
  13. brianstorms

    brianstorms Member

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    (Slight difference at least according to http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/ where $15 million in 1948 is $145,391,701.24 today.)

    I assume there was indeed some form of conspiracy against Tucker's business, but I agree that they themselves were prolly equally to blame.

    So far Tesla has been executing pretty brilliantly. The last thing I equate them with is Tucker. I'm a long-term investor and my car is in production right now and I can't wait to get it.
     
  14. AMPd

    AMPd Active Member

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    I don't think so, tesla is not ahead of its time.
    I believe tesla is right ON TIME, all other ice mobiles are just old technology.

    had GM evolved the ev1 perhaps we would have a tesla model s equivalent sooner!
     
  15. Denarius

    Denarius Active Member

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    I think you could have made this comparison early roadster days, but not now.
     
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  16. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Elon Musk once said, "If I had a dime for every time someone brought up Tucker I would not have need any loans to build the Roadster."

    (or something like that)
     
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  17. Jason S

    Jason S Model S Sig Perf (P85)

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    Those are my thoughts. My own parents had basically the same question when I put the deposit down on the Model S. My answer then (almost 3 years ago now) was basically that I might end up with a collector's item and that an electric car isn't as complicated as an ICE. Besides... Roadster.

    The question now might be if Tesla becomes like Saturn. That is very unlikely, but more likely than Tucker at this point.
     
  18. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

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    Has anybody put together a list of all automobile companies in history sorted (roughly) by number of vehicles produced yet? It would be fun to follow Tesla's rise in this ranking.
     
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  19. djplong

    djplong Member

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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the Tucker also have disc brakes and seat belts as standard? I seem to recall that there was a lot of opposition to including seat belts in the industry because they thought that just having seat belts in the car would remind customers that cars ARE dangerous and COULD crash and you MIGHT die from it.
     

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