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Tesla Exhibit at the Detroit Show (NAIAS 2009)

Discussion in 'News' started by graham, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. graham

    graham Active Member

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    #1 graham, Dec 18, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 19, 2008
    From the article:

    Is that not contrary to what we have heard before? Or perhaps we have only heard that the Model S won't be introduced at Detroit, but Tesla still plans to present something?

    I wonder if this is Roadster related or maybe finally announcing their Drive Train customers?
     
  2. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    Maybe when the CEOs of the big three bundle Elon out of the keynote speech and into Lake St Clair?
     
  3. Joseph

    Joseph Member

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    #3 Joseph, Dec 18, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2008
    "We also hope to make a splash at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit next month, starting with the media preview beginning Jan. 11."

    Because of the economy, many automakers have announced they will not be attending the Detroit auto show. This creates an opportunity for the little automakers to show up, one of the most prominent being Tesla, imo at least.

    Since the slur of announcements from the car makers to withdraw or reduce their presence at the Detroit auto show has been recent, I bet it was just a last minute decision.
     
  4. graham

    graham Active Member

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    I think you are exactly right, Joseph.
    Auto show grows despite woes | detnews.com | The Detroit News

     
  5. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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  6. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Tesla having a booth of their own (and not being a showpiece in Yokahama or JVC booth) is HUGE.

    Tesla is a company that to date been operating on a zero advertising budget. They have been relying on two years of free marketing as a must see/must drive car.
    Having floor space at a car show probably starts at $50K.
    That said, I think it's a brilliant call. While the ponderous dinosaur comapnies are sleeping in pools of oil, the nimble electric car will show the world what to future looks like.
     
  7. graham

    graham Active Member

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    You make a good point! I wonder why after years of not spending any money on advertising they decided to splurge on this one?

    I am glad they are, though!
     
  8. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    I wonder where their space is wrt where Fisker's is located. The media may play it up as the battle of the electric cars, particularly if there's a surprise reveal of a certain four door sedan...
     
  9. graham

    graham Active Member

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    Hee! You sir, are an optimist! :biggrin:
     
  10. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    Well, they have to get value for money out of that $50k.
     
  11. tomsax

    tomsax Member

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    Perhaps it's because they are now producing Roadsters at an increasing rate, so now selling more cars is both more feasible and more important to their long term success.

    I hope they starting showing more of the Model S soon. That will really help their public image and get them out of the caricature of only building cars for the Hollywood jet set.
     
  12. graham

    graham Active Member

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    Could not agree more!
     
  13. Joseph

    Joseph Member

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    I'd like to think Tesla is going to show Whitestar, but I kind of doubt it. They probably don't want Whitestar to turn out like the Volt: everyone loved the concept car, but the production form was so-so.
     
  14. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    It is slightly ironic that Tesla closed their Detroit office before exhibiting there.
     
  15. dpeilow

    dpeilow Moderator

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    Unless Tesla rip the design up and throw it in the trash (like GM did), I can't see that happening. If they now have a running prototype, I doubt they could afford to do that either.
     
  16. Palpatine

    Palpatine Banned

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    I am concerned that Tesla will chew through their backlog quickly and be in trouble. They are currently producing between 15 to 20 Roadsters per week and aiming for 30 per week.

    In this economy, does anyone really think that Tesla is selling 30 per week in new deposits?

    I think about 900 of the 1,200 deposits are between $60,000 to fully pre-paid. The rest are at the $5,000 level. I have not heard any updates about the current level of deposits. Last I heard in September was 1,200.

    So with 120 delivered Roadsters, they are about 10% through the backlog already. At 20 to 30 per week, that is about 9 to 12 months of work.

    What then? Suppose they are only taking about 10 new orders per week. Is Tesla profitable at 10 per week? I doubt it. I think they need at least 30 to 40 per week to be cash flow positive on the Roadster.
     
  17. Tdave

    Tdave Member

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    What's the sell rate of other profitable supercar manufacturers?
     
  18. graham

    graham Active Member

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    I have had this same mental exercise myself. The plan is to bridge the company to the point where the State and Federal money kicks in to produce the Model S. I think the Roadster (being essentially hand built by a small handful of guys) does not require a lot of sustaining orders to keep up the manufacture of it.

    By the time the backlog is done, they plan to have most of the company working on the Model S, and sustained by that inflow - hopefully until that car is produced. The plan was never to build a company that would run off of making a sports car -- everything is pointed to the Model S, the Bluestar and the drive train. With 0 additional development being done on the Roadster, they do not need a large rate of orders to maintain the guys making them (hopefully).
     
  19. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    The Volt was just a design exercise they already had in the pipeline. When Lutz decided that Tesla was doing something worth copying, they stuck a plug on the side and called (the mockup) a hybrid. It was not until much later that they got serious about it and found it sucked in a wind tunnel. Classic case of doing better backwards than forward.
     
  20. Palpatine

    Palpatine Banned

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    #20 Palpatine, Dec 22, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2008
    We asked that question at the September meeting in Seattle. Siry was saying that 2,000 per year made sense to Tesla Motors considering the rest of the market. He also said that it did not make sense to go above 2,000 because that would require a second production line at Lotus. At 2,000 per year they are profitable, but at 2,500 per year they would be losing money because of the second production line costs. So it might take 3,000+ Tesla Roadsters per year before they would be profitable again.

    Lamborghini was doing between 2,000 to 3,000 annually before this recession.

    Automobili Lamborghini Anounces Another Record Year
    2,087 sold in 2006.
    But they also have 100 dealers selling the cars worldwide.

    According to this article, they are up to 2,400 worldwide in early 2008.

    Maserati is doing about 7,000 cars per year.
    This recent article also says that Lamborghini is down 15% and Bentley is down 30%.

    Maserati is too Sexy (and Smart) for the Recession | Autopia from Wired.com

    It looks like Ferrari is around 6,000 to 7,000 with 200+ dealerships.
     

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