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Long-Term Fundamentals of Tesla Motors (TSLA)

Discussion in 'TSLA Investor Discussions' started by Robert.Boston, Feb 24, 2013.

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  1. smorgasbord

    smorgasbord Active Member

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    Is this not the fastest "I called it," ever? ;^)

    OK, so only partial credit for the why - it was indeed cost driven, they just decided to raise prices to save stores sooner rather than wait until they could make production more efficient.

    Those who were so gung-ho on store closings should take a moment to consider what data someone showed Elon to change his mind. Or, maybe this was Elon's "Actually Secret Master Plan" after all? He did this in order to have a "Sale" on Tesla vehicles to spike up demand just when Tesla needed it the most. And so now Teslas gets to have a sale without actually calling it a sale. So clever....
     
  2. DriverOne

    DriverOne Supporting Member

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    Good call, smorgasbord. My guess is simply that whoever made the stores-are-all-closing decision hadn't realized they are on long-term, 3-5 year leases and so they'll still be paying for the property. Given that, may as well staff a few of them.
     
  3. mongo

    mongo Well-Known Member

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    From Twitter:
     
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  4. Doggydogworld

    Doggydogworld Member

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    Solar cash/loan installations have been remarkably flat at ~50 MW per quarter since TSLA acquired SCTY. The percentages changed a lot as they wound the leasing program down. Solar cash/loan revenue have probably declined a bit over time due to price cutting.
     
  5. wjhepworth

    wjhepworth Member

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    When I got my Tesla there were zero stores. I got my test drive via the service center and it was an awesome experience. The whole store concept never made sense to me. We had a stored in Tyson's Corner, VA that was just one mile from the service center. The store had nothing in it. Tesla couldn't seem to make up their mind what it was supposed to be so it never went beyond display booth. You couldn't buy much in the way of accessories. I think Tesla thought Apple Store but never followed up with cool accessories so I could actually buy something and help them justify the store. Imagine going to an Apple store and being told they cannot sell it to you, you had to buy it online and also had 1 or 2 accessories. They would also be closing.
     
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  6. wjhepworth

    wjhepworth Member

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    I think the main thing you are missing in neroden's responses is twofold:
    a) Tesla lowering prices and accelerating delivery were intentional from day 1 and Tesla always said it would be aggressive and hard. It was. They did it though. Most people think it took too long.. you seem to feel it was rushed. Differences of opinion.
    b) Neroden is pointing out that the peak in "Growth" of ICE is at hand. It is. ICE vehicles will not see a major resurgence in GROWTH. Sales maybe if there are some unforeseen breakthroughs. The growth side favors EV for the next decade.. I promise you.
    c) You see thrashing and fear where I see Tesla consciously not opening the door to competitors to walk in. They have always been increasing features and changing their line up. This year was no more so or less so than previous years.
     
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  7. wdolson

    wdolson Supporting Member

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    Tesla tends to lurch from crisis to crisis rather than fix underlying problems before they become a problem. That's why I've said they need a COO like SpaceX's. They may have intended the stores to sell accessories and swag, but never managed to stock them probably for the same reasons their spare parts have been hard to come by. It wasn't enough of a crisis and all the energy was going into fighting other fires.

    Tesla has probably lost out on a lot of sales to fans of hats, t-shirts, jackets, etc. by not having stocks of them in stores. Especially the mall stores. If they had stocks of reasonably priced knick knacks at mall stores, they probably could have gone a long way towards covering their rent on the stores through merchandise sales. There are lots of people who love Tesla but can't even afford any new car. The average age of cars on US roads is 12 years.

    A lot of those people would buy some sort of Tesla branded merchandise. Most of the super car brands sell a lot of merchandise to people who will never own one of their cars.

    The US car fleet has been aging for decades. When I was a kid, my father, made the point that most cars became too expensive to keep around age 10. About that time, the car would have a cascade of maintenance issues and would end up costing more than it was worth. My sister went through that with her hand me down 1967 Chevy when she was in grad school. She couldn't afford to replace it, so she got nickled and dimed for a couple of years. One month it would be the alternator, then the water pump, etc. The car was right around 10 years old. She handed it down to me when I got my license and she was in a position to buy a new car.

    The effect of the Japanese invasion of the 70s and 80s resulted in all car companies stepping up their quality and making cars more reliable. As a result, I sold a 24 year old Buick I bought new when I bought my Model S and it was still in great running condition. My mechanic said the transmission looked new the last time it was serviced.

    The bulk of the population may like some gadget in cars, but at the end of the day they want something that will get them from point A to point B with little risk of breakdown. Add to this that the cost of new cars has climbed out of reach for most car buyers and there are a lot more older cars on the road than there used to be. A new Chevy Malibu isn't competing with new Toyota Camrys and Honda Accords, it's also competing with 2015 Malibus which are significantly cheaper and have most of what most car buyers want.

    The ICE market has nothing compelling that can lure in a new buyer. I looked to replace my Buick from time to time and other than the infotainment system (my Buick had a cassette player), there really wasn't anything in new cars that made me want to bite until I came across the Model S. With ICE they get a lot more out of smaller engines than the V-8 in my Buick, but the Buick had much more low end torque and produced it's horsepower over a much wider spread of its range. Plus the fuel economy of newer cars is really not much better than 1992. My 1992 got better gas mileage than my 1981 which got far better gas mileage than my 1974, but comparing fuel economy between 1992 and new cars, there wasn't much difference once you got past the smoke and mirrors. A car with 75% of my Buick's cargo capacity with equivalent 0-60 time (enough to get onto the freeway without getting lunched, but nothing special) may actually have worse fuel economy.

    ICE have reached the end of what they can do. The laws of Physics limit them from getting any better.

    On the other hand, the Model S blew away my Buick in every category. It has 3X the cargo capacity, 1/2 the 0-60 time, and 4-5X the energy efficiency. The Model S is actually a little smaller too. The wheel base and width are virtually identical between the Model S and my Buick, but the wheels are closer to the corners, so the nose and tail of the Model S don't stick out as far. I don't have to be as careful parking in just the right spot in the garage like I did with my Buick.

    Technologically ICE are dinosaurs in an age of mammals and the public, on some level, knows it.
     
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  8. ZsoZso

    ZsoZso Active Member

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    There is another big problem for wide-spread Lidar use. Some time ago someone posted some pictures showing how Lidar can burn out sensor pixels in digital cameras, i.e. after taking a photo of a Google Lidar car, there was a burnt out vertical line in every photo taken with that camera. If Lidar became prevalent on many cars on the street and they started burning out camera sensors that would generate a huge backslash against the technology.

    Furthermore, that got me thinking if the sent out laser scanning can be that harmful for camera sensors, it would also most certainly generate laser noise for other Lidar sensors in the vicinity. Which makes the whole Lidar technology a self-defeating proposal, where it stops working reliably when there are too many cars with them on the road as they "pollute" each-others "vision" field.

    This makes the passive camera approach of Tesla far superior to Lidar.
     
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  9. mongo

    mongo Well-Known Member

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    As much as I am not a fan of lidar, this (multiple sensors in one area) should not be a problem. The sensor is only looking at a very small point, so the odds of two sensors illuminating the same point at the same time is quite small. The signal itself can be encoded with data to allow discrimination for its specific return.
    The biggest issue I see would be when one sensor directly illuminates another potentially blinding it for that instant.
     
  10. ZsoZso

    ZsoZso Active Member

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    Yes, thats the scenario I was thinking about. With only 2 cars close to each other it is still not a big deal, they just lose a "frame" per Lidar cycle. But once you get more than a dozen Lidar equipped cars at a busy intersection, then the amount of dropped frames can easily become an issue for the vision AI, i.e. the input becomes too noisy for object recognition.

    ps: this can get even worse if they have more than one Lidar per car (some new designs I have seen have 4 Lidars, one on each corner in stead of 1 big on the top)
     
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  11. mongo

    mongo Well-Known Member

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    Gotcha. I don't think it should not be a whole frame though. If both lidar use the same scan rate, then only one scan line would be impacted. They would likely be at slightly different speeds, so the blanked line would shift around due to timing. At close range the point could is dense, so yeah lots of opportunities to be pointed at.
     
  12. Doggydogworld

    Doggydogworld Member

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    I don't follow. Except for flash LIDAR, which nobody uses yet, the 32/64/whatever lasers and detectors are angled half a degree or so vertically from each other. I don't see any way one LIDAR could directly corrupt another beyond a single point, and only then if the timing were nearly perfect. It'd be like bullets colliding during a battle.
     
  13. mongo

    mongo Well-Known Member

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    If they are fixed beams, then yeah one point at most. I was thinking if it mechanically scans with a fixed optical center.
     
  14. JROB415

    JROB415 Member

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    I have been thinking for quite some time about investing in real estate associated with Tesla sales locations and/or service centers. I've seen a few quality locations come on the market recently for pretty attractive returns. Does anyone have experience with Tesla as a Tenant? What are people's thoughts on Tesla real estate?

    Seems like a good way to participate in the upside of the company but still maintain some residual value... thoughts much appreciated.
     
  15. gnuarm

    gnuarm Model X 100 with 72 kW chargers

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    A few months ago I would have agreed with you. But more recently my personal experience coupled with the present estimated demand of Tesla EVs says we are not yet ready for the EV experience. I have not spoken to even one person who is seriously interested in buying an EV. In spite of the fact that I drive a somewhat flashy EV (the FWDs always attract attention) no one has ever asked about it in the sense of being interested in buying one rather than just curious or actually trying to get the skinny on just how "bad" EV ownership is.

    The auto industry is cyclical, that's a fact. We appear to be heading into a period of reduced demand which will not be good for any automaker including Tesla. Don't sing the death march of the ICE just yet. Pickups and SUVs are still very much in vogue and can easily stage a resurgence of ICE growth when the next cycle begins.


    Really? While you see Tesla "changing up" their line, I see a company circling the wagons to deal with the loss of demand and sales. But it is too early to sing the death march of Tesla as well. I'm just concerned that Q1 is turning out so poorly. If Q2 is equally as bad I'm not sure Tesla will survive. The stock market is already awash with reports of the financial problems which are not all malarkey. At some point it will be enough that Tesla becomes the next American Motors. Would anyone like to test drive a Gremlin?
     
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  16. gnuarm

    gnuarm Model X 100 with 72 kW chargers

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    Anecdotal reports do not show cause and effect. I'll wait for more convincing evidence.


    I don't think it works that way. Cell phones all use the same few sets of frequencies. Some phones literally all use the same identical frequency as every other phone on that network like Verizon and Sprint. That other cars on the road are using the same LIDAR system doesn't mean they will interfere with each other. It is hard to imagine the developers haven't considered this aspect very early on in the development process.
     
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  17. EVMeister

    EVMeister Lover of Tesla, driver of I-PACE

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    #4917 EVMeister, Apr 15, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
    Then you haven't spoken to the right people. Here in England there is tremendous interest in EVs. They aren't affordable for everyone yet and not practical for all. But I get plenty of questions thrown my way when I drive around and charge my EV. Not one single person I've spoken to about my experiences has then decided they're a bad idea. Completely the opposite. The alternative is simply unsustainable, it's a crumbling market.

    Also, you're completely misreading Tesla's demand in pretty much every post you've made recently. I'm quite sure of it, and I'm quite sure the Q2 delivery reports will highlight this. If you're just looking quarter to quarter like Wallstreet, though, then you're extremely short-sighted.
     
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  18. elasalle

    elasalle driVIN(188xx) it !!

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    Don't think SC is at epicenter of EV do you? Better to look at Cali, EU, China etc to understand trends and reasons.

    In NOVA, MD I see increasing numbers of M3's and Teslas in general. I am usually seeing like 4-5 M3s these days, 6 mths ago I hardly saw even one.

    Also, I think SR+ & lease ( less $$) has chance to penetrate SC and other inland markets in US as well.
     
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  19. JRP3

    JRP3 Hyperactive Member

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  20. abasile

    abasile Conscientious investor

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    Absolutely true. The $35k (or $39.5k) Model 3 with incentives is quite competitive relative to brand new ICE sedans, but that's only a fraction of the market.

    In our particular community, most people buying new vehicles want AWD (Subaru is quite popular here). That may not be true in most of the rest of California, but the desire for AWD is quite strong in many areas of North America and perhaps Europe. The trouble is, to buy a Model 3 with AWD, you have to pay up for the Long Range battery and premium interior, so you're looking at a vehicle that's significantly more expensive than a Subaru. Specifically, a Model 3 LR AWD is $49,500, or closer to $40k after incentives/savings. Searching Autotrader in our area, I see that a new Subaru Impreza (comes with AWD) can be purchased for as little as roughly $20k, or a larger Subaru Outback for about $30k.

    Of course, the auto market as a whole has shifted toward CUVs, SUVs, and pickups, and the Model Y won't be available in volume for close to two years. Plus, most vehicle transactions take place on the used market, where there are even fewer EV/Tesla choices.

    In North America, most people still have to be convinced to pay more for a Tesla. The electric drivetrain and Autopilot are huge Tesla selling points, but most consumers have yet to be educated on the advantages. Advertising might help, but it's hard to say. Full Self Driving would be a giant shot in the arm, if it's anywhere near as close to fruition as Elon claims.

    I think Tesla needs to raise more capital and just keep plugging away. Although the timing is uncertain, the market will continue to shift toward EVs. In the meantime, I hope Elon can avoid unnecessary controversy with the SEC, preferably without undue restrictions on his tweeting. (I generally see Elon's presence on Twitter as a big positive, and I wish the SEC would just bug off.)
     
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