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Tesla "just can't be a mainstream electric-car company."

Discussion in 'News' started by emchen, Jan 6, 2016.

  1. emchen

    emchen Member

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    So says Jessica Caldwell, a senior analyst for Edmunds.com.

    Here is the quote in context: “Nobody has ever been successful with company stores, though plenty of manufacturers have tried them,” Bob Lutz, former vice chairman for GM, wrote in October. “When I came to BMW in the Seventies, it had five factory stores,” Lutz continued.He added: “The idea was, like Tesla, to be in control of the retail environment and give customers an upscale experience. They were all money pits.”


    “They just can’t be a mainstream electric-car company,” Edmunds.com senior analyst Jessica Caldwell said.
    She added: “They tried to do something different,” but it hasn’t worked as intended primarily because they focus on designs, not production.






    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2016/01/06/new-electric-car-startup-looks-to-capitalize-on-teslas-stock-tumble/#ixzz3wW7XMh7C
     
  2. gordo

    gordo Member

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    Huh??

    So BMW had 5 factory stores in the 1970s... Therefore Tesla can't be successful with company owned stores? Do you think there might be some glossed over differences in the two approaches? Do you see dealerships falling over themselves to sell EVs? I don't think Tesla has a choice here if they want to spearhead a new market segment.

    I think delivering 50k cars last year is pretty execution oriented for a young car company. This is like knocking Facebook early-on because they focus too much on 'preppy kids at Harvard'. It takes many years to build up a portfolio of mass produced physical goods as complex as cars. Come back in 5 years and then make your crazy judgments.
     
  3. emchen

    emchen Member

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    Couldn't agree with you more. Seems Edmunds.com analyst Jessica Caldwell needs to define what a mainstream electric-car company is, if not Tesla.
     
  4. CHG-ON

    CHG-ON Still in love after all these miles

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    No fan of Bob Lutz. I simply do not understand why he is so revered. Look at his history. He may be a car guy. But his corporate record is shameful at that high level.
     
  5. Vger

    Vger Active Member

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    Comically brain-dead. This is exactly the antithesis of Elon's way of thinking. They say, "it has never been done that way, so it cannot be." Elon says, "the way it has always been done sucks, so let's re-think the whole thing."

    This obsession with "production problems" is also just ludicrous. Tesla had NO FACTORY 3.5 years ago!!! Going from zero to 50,000 cars a year in that span seem totally incredible to me. That is not a production problem, it is a triumph against all odds.

    - - - Updated - - -

    That too. When I heard him speak in Seattle a few years ago, I found him to be arrogant and shallow— no visionary.
     
  6. Yggdrasill

    Yggdrasill Active Member

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    This sort of resistance to innovation is common in larger companies. "We tired it once - it can't be done."

    We had a great motivational speaker at a company event once, who talked about how that point of view really doesn't make sense. Like if you're trying to learn a new language, and after the first day, you say "yeah, I tried learning a new language - it can't be done". Successful innovation requires dedication and effort.
     
  7. emchen

    emchen Member

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    Ironic that Mary Barra, current CEO and Chairman of GM, famously implored her employees, "no more crappy cars"... referring to many of the cars that Bob Lutz had a hand in.
     
  8. GoTslaGo

    GoTslaGo Learning Member

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    The article states that Tesla is a subsidized automaker to the tune of 5 billion dollars. Is this true or is he mixing loans with grants? Just curious.
     
  9. macpacheco

    macpacheco Member

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    The author must think sales of cars to the public are a subsidy... That's the only way to justify that crazy number.
    TSLA has certainly broken the US$ 5 billion in FY 2015 sales. Nothing to sneeze at. But still the lunatics continue to do just that.
    I wanna see them try that when Tesla breaks 100k cars / yr and US$ 10 billion / yr in sales while sustaining skyrocketing growth.
     
  10. anxman

    anxman Member

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    There's a bit of false assumption in an article like this. She is inferring that because a previous brand failed to execute correctly, it would apply to future companies as well.

    On the other hand, Gateway Computers tried to sell directly to consumers through retail establishments but failed miserably, whereas Apple is doing it now 10-15 years later successfully and profitably.

    The nuance comes in the product quality and commitment to customer experience. As a former BMW loyalist, the experience of buying BMW vehicles at retail is miserable whereas buying a Tesla is amazing.
     
  11. GoTslaGo

    GoTslaGo Learning Member

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    I'm quoting myself b/c after researching it some more, apparently the 5 billion figure reflects the subsidies and breaks to Tesla, Solarcity, and SpaceX. Not Tesla itself. Misleading point in the article.

    Furthermore this compares quite favorably to the amount that we taxpayers paid to bailout GM. Last article I can find dated Feb 4, 2015 indicates 16.6 billion dollars lost (townhall .com; I'm not sure how reputable it is so I won't make a direct link), and another article on dcclothesline .com, Jan 2015. Also Time article quoting 11 billion lost, April 30, 2014. That is what we lost, not what was poured into GM to prevent it from liquidating.

    I point this out b/c I am getting annoyed by GMs belligerent, hyper-competitive attitude in general to Tesla.

    Please reference:

    Tesla Could Be Poised For Big Win: FTC To Hear Pros Cons Of Franchise Laws - Page 6,

    and tinm's excellent transcription of Todd Maron's speech (post #60). Please read it!

    At least the 5 billion INVESTED in Tesla/Solarcity/SpaceX is CREATING the future, instead of 11 billion (actually a lot more) trying to keep GM from dying. Then again, I'm always comforted by the fact that GM is doing the advertising for Tesla....
     
  12. Ulmo

    Ulmo Active Member

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    That's a bit like saying no one has ever flown in a plane back when no one has ever flown in a plane.

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    I'm going to skip verifying if GM is being like that, because there's a better point I have to make here: if in fact anybody was being like that, then that's awesome flattery.

    It's somewhat akin to the fact that when I get negative that Tesla did something less than stellar, it's because I really like them.
     
  13. GoTslaGo

    GoTslaGo Learning Member

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    Great point!
     
  14. LetsGoFast

    LetsGoFast Active Member

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    The 11 billion figure is the correct one, although its really 10 and change when you take out the GMAC part. Its also ironic because ignoring the bailout, GM remains the 4th largest recipient of government subsidies to the tune of $3.7 billion.

    I don't think there is any way to easily quantify the innumerable benefits in the tax code specific to the traditional auto makers, but we do know that a sweetheart ruling on carry-forwards was potentially worth $45 billion to them. We know that Michigan has extended huge tax credits to the big 3 going forward, but I believe the exact value has not been publicly disclosed. I'm actually not sure how the non-disclosure is even legal.

    The fact is that if you are starting a manufacturing business (or almost any large business) and you don't work the system for tax subsidies, you are a terrible manager and should probably do something else. I wish it didn't work this way, but any company that plans to even move a branch office negotiates with state and local governments for tax credits as part of the deal. This applies to shopping malls, headquarters and especially manufacturing facilities. Tesla is in no way unique to receive these kind of breaks.
     
  15. scaesare

    scaesare Active Member

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    "Dell can't be a serious computer maker because nobody has ever done built-to-order direct PC sales successfully."

    -Some Industry Pundit in 1985
     
  16. 335eye

    335eye Member

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    What I like most about Tesla is the founder. Credit card companies said the same thing about PayPal.. It can't be done, too much fraud. Well, it was difficult to overcome but PayPal did it. This ain't Elon's first rodeo.
     
  17. EvilNuff

    EvilNuff Member

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    The comparison to BMW in the 70s is silly if for no other reason than the internet exists today and provides the means to reach masses of people that simply was not possible back then.
     
  18. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    North Americans would never purchase radial tires either.
     
  19. Jopo43

    Jopo43 Member

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    Bob Lutz ......Chevy Volt......look we have one but don't really want to sell it ...........why pay attention to the old ICE manufacturers they are more than likely making a big deposit in ms Caldwells bank account..... who killed the electric car... you think they really want one now.....Don't say look the Chevy Bolt.... how do we charge it no charger network....... support Tesla !!!!! Stop comparing Tesla to the old its the new!!!!!
     
  20. DMC-Orangeville

    DMC-Orangeville 85D and John Deere 5100E

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    What is not stated, is that the Ontario and Canadian Governments also participated in the bail out of GM and Chrysler. They "invested" $13.7 billion in the 2 automakers, due to the fact that GM has 4 factories, and Chrysler has 2 in Ontario. It also really saved Magna, Linamar, and a number of other auto parts manufacturers. They received preference shares. Saying that, when they cashed in their stock, they got back $10.2 billion - making it a $3.5 billion dollar gift.

    GM has invested almost nothing in Canada since. Chrysler revamped the Windsor assembly plant

    So in that we are 1/10 the population of the US - we actually contributed more per capita. Good investment?
     

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