Tesla: Focus on standard-range Model 3

Tesla has today published a blog and according to it, the company will cut workforce by 7 % in order to meet the targets regarding the Model 3 production and focusing also more in mid-range models.

-Starting around May, we will need to deliver at least the mid-range Model 3 variant in all markets, as we need to reach more customers who can afford our vehicles. Moreover, we need to continue making progress towards lower priced variants of Model 3.
Right now, our most affordable offering is the mid-range (264 mile) Model 3 with premium sound and interior at $44k. The need for a lower priced variants of Model 3 becomes even greater on July 1, when the US tax credit again drops in half, making our car $1,875 more expensive, and again at the end of the year when it goes away entirely, the CEO Elon Musk writes.

-Sorry for all these numbers, but I want to make sure that you know all the facts and figures and understand that the road ahead is very difficult. This is not new for us – we have always faced significant challenges – but it is the reality we face, he continues.

– As a result of the above, we unfortunately have no choice but to reduce full-time employee headcount by approximately 7% (we grew by 30% last year, which is more than we can support) and retain only the most critical temps and contractors. Tesla will need to make these cuts while increasing the Model 3 production rate and making many manufacturing engineering improvements in the coming months. Higher volume and manufacturing design improvements are crucial for Tesla to achieve the economies of scale required to manufacture the standard range (220 mile), standard interior Model 3 at $35k and still be a viable company. There isn’t any other way, he says.

Tesla shares were trading down, -9,9 % to 312,79 dollars, after the blogging in Wall Street on Friday. Company also reminded that it made 4 % profit during the Q3. The last quarter figures of the year 2018 are not yet published.

– In Q4, preliminary, unaudited results indicate that we again made a GAAP profit, but less than Q3. This quarter, as with Q3, shipment of higher priced Model 3 variants (this time to Europe and Asia) will hopefully allow us, with great difficulty, effort and
some luck, to target a tiny profit, he estimated.

 

 

Lifestyle Travel

Car journey in Europe with Tesla

This was my second time with a Tesla Model S after nearly a year and a half , but still something new. This time it was my first drive in Europe and in cities with no driving experience. Yes, I finally decided that now is the time to do something new and try to drive a Tesla in places I have no driving experience at all.

 I started the journey in Zurich City, Switzerland. First my drive almost ended while I was figuring out how to get the car from the parking place. After some try and error I finally found the right button and the journey could start:). Luckily the morning rush hour had passed.

 It is remarkable how driving a car can be similar to cycling. Once you have done it, you can remember it again. And so it was with my driving with the Model S. It was a pleasure to drive in the city with Google Maps, showing the real time traffic information and the navigation was made easy. No worries when to turn left or right, and when to go forward. And now it was time to set the destination.

I decided to visit Northern Switzerland with cities like Winterthur and St. Gallen and crossed the boarder to Germany also in Konstanz. Driving the highway with a luxury car is easy, while safety is one of the key functions in the car. Tech and car companies have done a lot to avoid different kind of traffic accidents, but there is of course a lot to do still. Autonomous cars or driverless cars can be common thing in the coming couple of years.

 The bad thing with highways is that you only see a part of the country, so I decided to look for the local roads. Yes, here you can see the old buildings with jugend style, beautiful gardens, see scenery and take a break.

 During my way back to Zurich I went to a Supercharger place. It was easy to see from the panel that there were only 2 other cars in that station, so there was room for my test car as well. And charging was fast with the Supercharger, with the battery being nearly at full capacity in less than an hour.

 When taking a tour in Europe, it is rather easy with Superchargers, while there are plenty of stations to choose. But for example in the Nordic countries like Northern Sweden and Finland, it is better that you can calculate your route beforehand in the navigation in order to avoid power shortages.

 It is expected that the power station network is going to be the main thing when car companies & utilities are calculating the electric car demand and supply.  What is the standard, what will it cost for the car users and what are the governments doing on this topic?

 Tesla (TSLA:US), as the forerunner in electric cars and charging, has got a new international owner from China, the internet-operator Tencent. With 5 % ownership this investor might be looking for a new platform for their games..? At the moment although all videos and games are not allowed on the Tesla car’s screens due to safety reasons, but maybe during the charging..?

Anyway, my last kilometers to Zurich Airport were fine with Led-lights on and the parking inside the parking house was a piece of cake. Yes, driving should be fun, easy and safe!

Päivi Härkönen

Technical details of the Tesla Model S:
Power: 422 PS
Price: From 89.100 Euro in Finland (Model S 90D 114.100 Euro)
Transmission: 660 NM
Energy: 90kWh
Electric Autonomy: 557 km (NEDC)
Passengers: 5 regular seats + option for 2 rear-facing seats for children
Powertrain warranty: 8 years with unlimited kilometers

Lifestyle Tech

Tesla and Solarcity to have a merger confcall today

Tesla (TSLA) and Solarcity have announced that they will have a confcall today at 8 am EST. It is about the merger between the two companies. According to Tesla´s web site the aim of the merger is to create the world´s only integrated sustainable energy company.

The merger would create the industry´s lowest cost solar & storage offering with also 150 million dollars cost savings and synergies in the administration.

In the offering Solarcity owners would get 0,110 Tesla shares from  each Solarcity share. The merger needs approvals from the stakeholders & authorities, but it is expected to be in force during the last quarter of this year.

Tesla is to announce its second quarter interim report this Wednesday also. The company share closed up 1,8 % on Friday to 234,79 dollars in New York.

Robots

 

Business Tech

Tesla to integrate energy generation

Tesla (TSLA) announced yesterday its second master plan or vision for the future. CEO Elon Musk also wrote also about his ideas of sustainable energy, new segments of Tesla and self-driving cars.silver_2

Tesla´s idea is to integrate energy generation and storage.  According to Musk the company is bringing Tesla and SolarCity together in order to get better and integrated services for customers.

Musk also wrote about the automotive production:

– What really matters to accelerate a sustainable future is being able to scale up production volume as quickly as possible. That is why Tesla engineering has transitioned to focus heavily on designing the machine that makes the machine — turning the factory itself into a product. A first principles physics analysis of automotive production suggests that somewhere between a 5 to 10 fold improvement is achievable by version 3 on a roughly 2 year iteration cycle. The first Model 3 factory machine should be thought of as version 0.5, with version 1.0 probably in 2018, he said.

Tesla, market cap of 33,6 billion dollars,  is also seeking new segments in autoindustry. According to Musk  there are two other types of electric vehicle needed: heavy-duty trucks and high passenger-density urban transport. Both are in the early stages of development at Tesla and should be ready for unveiling next year.

– We believe the Tesla Semi will deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport, while increasing safety and making it really fun to operate, he said.

Musk also made comments regarding the self-driving cars.
– When true self-driving is approved by regulators, it will mean that you will be able to summon your Tesla from pretty much anywhere. Once it picks you up, you will be able to sleep, read or do anything else enroute to your destination, he wrote.

Tesla shares ended yesterday to 228 dollars, up 1,38 percent in New York. The company is announcing the next interim report in the 3rd of August.

 

Business Tech

Musk: Tesla to become the world leader in manufacturing

According to Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla (TSLA:US) the company is aiming to become the world leader in the manufacturing processes in the automotive industry. Speaking in the company quarterly meeting, Mr Musk said that he believes in manufacturing and that the most potential innovations in the automotive industry is there.

– We believe in manufacturing and that is why Tesla wants to become the leader in the manufacturing in automotive industry. We believe that in production there are more potential for innovations than for example in design. We are increasing our vertical integration, he said on Wednesday.

He also explained about the problems in the manufacturing process at the moment with 6000-7000 components and how it will affect the whole manufacturing process, timetable and quality if some of the components are missing. – That is also why, we are exploring ways, how to minimize risks in our production, but also that our R&D cycle is 2-3 years, not 6 years, he stated. This also means that the current supply chain has to adapt to the new cycle of doing things.

Tesla also announced that they are expecting to reach the mass production by the second half of next year and that would give the company the benefit to scale rapidly by using modern technology and design.

In the interim report Tesla also estimates that they will be producing 500.000 cars by 2018. Mr Musk was expecting that 100 000 would be S-cars, 150.000 X-cars and the rest of, 250.000 the new model 3-cars.

Musk did not want to comment about the possible new production plants in the near future. – It is obvious that California is not the best possible place for shipments for example to Asia. This will happen at some point, when we have reached the mass production and it is up and running, he said. In the first quarter report the company says it will open more than 70 new sales & service locations globally.

The orders of the new Model 3 have reached 400 000 and 93 % of the customers are new, according to the company.  Musk also pointed that the way Tesla is differentiating from its competitors like Google and Apple, is that they have their own production and he believed that by this way Tesla can attract the best manufacturing talent as well.

During the first quarter, the company revenues were 1,1 billion dollars and net loss was 278 million dollars. The net loss per share was 2,13 dollars compared to 2,44 dollars at the year end. Elon Musk did not want to disclose any plans for new capital for this year. Tesla share jumped after the full-year delivery forecast, but ended down 4,2 percent to 222,56 dollars in New York.

IMG_3046-Edit_HiRes

Business Tech