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Tesla delays electric SUV, speeds government loan payment

Original post made on Mar 12, 2013

In February of last year, Palo Alto-based Tesla Motors said it would begin production on it newest line of all-electric vehicles, the Model X, at the end of 2013. According to its most recent SEC filing, that no longer appears to be the case.


Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, March 12, 2013, 12:23 AM

Comments (21)

Posted by Telas--Cars-For-America's-Elites, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2013 at 10:03 am

>However, it incurred a net loss of $396.2 million in 2012,
>which adds up more than $1 billion in net losses
> since the company's inception in 2003.

At $100K per vehicle, Tesla will have to sell about 10,000 vehicles to recoup this debt. However, this simple calculation does not take into account all of the operational costs of running the company in the future, so the number of sales to bring the company to profitability will be many times larger than this number.

What's also missing in this discussion are the externalities associated with creating an ecosystem of charging stations. For the most part—these costs have been funded by the American taxpayers, through Federal/State/Local subsidies. These costs need to be identified, and not forgotten.

Most people can hardly afford a $30K auto these days. Only 1%-ers can afford Tesla. So—if they can't produce a vehicle in the $15K-$20K—what good are they?


Posted by An American Elite, a resident of Gunn High School
on Mar 12, 2013 at 10:19 am

For the first commenter...
Tesla's stated goal was to first make a low-volume high-priced sports car (the Roadster) to validate their technology -- DONE. Next to make a mid-volume, mid-priced luxury sedan (Model S) and SUV (Model X) -- Model S is DONE and exceeding expectations. Then they plan on making a high-volume, low-cost sedan. These things take time. The market is not concerned about their previous losses, so you shouldn't be either. If you don't think Tesla will work out, then short their stock. But don't be surprised if you lose money.

Have you tried buying a new car recently? What can you buy for $15k? This isn't the 1980s -- new cars run $25k+. Tesla is proving that electric cars are the wave of the future.

I'm proud that my government is taking the initiative to help enterprises build technology that reduces our dependency on the Middle East for oil. A much better investment than the $1 trillion spent on wars there.


Posted by Boom, a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 12, 2013 at 10:35 am

Boom!


Posted by Tesla-Cars-For-Americas-Elites, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2013 at 10:46 am

> A much better investment than the $1 trillion spent on wars there.

That $1T was spent to attempt to insure that country after country did not fall to Islamic terror, and that at some point, having gained sufficient strength and belief in their cause—that they not bring their toxic belief system to the US.

And by the way, all those "wars" that you seem to have so much contempt for have done more to stabilize the modern world than any other investment to date. WWII brought stability, peace and prosperity to Europe. US commitment to "war" overturned two very evil governments in Germany, and Japan—which have now become very prosperous countries, and it's very likely neither of these two countries will ever again attack their neighbors.

The Korean war opened the door for South Korea to enter the modern world. There simply is no comparison between life in South Korea, and life in North Korea. Without the US's involvement, the North would have prevailed.

Vietnam was a bit of a failure, in large part because of a cowardly American middle class—which had come to believe that America didn't have a role in opposing Communism in Southeast Asia.

You might spend a little time reviewing the history of Islamic conquest/terror. It's a little hard to provide definite numbers, but it would not be hard to provide an estimate of somewhere between 150M and 250M people killed/enslaved by Islam since its inception. These numbers need to be considered, relative to the 55M people killed during WWII, and the 100M killed by Communism since 1917.

At the moment—there is little evidence that the US investment in Tesla will be worth the risk. Certainly, investment in companies like Fisker have proven nothing but folly—

Web Link


Posted by duveneck neighbor, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Mar 12, 2013 at 11:28 am

Palo Altans as a group, perhaps more than any community in the US, should use their education and wealth to take the lead in supporting Tesla by buying more of these cars. Once we can achieve "escape velocity" so to speak in terms of critical purchasing mass, they will become more accessible for the rest of the US.

It would be great to see more local folks buying these cars. Vehicles contribute to 40% of California emissions, and purchasing a Tesla and some solar panels would be a simple way to bring your carbon footprint down to near nil.

In our community, spending $20K extra for a car and $20K (minus tax credits) for solar panels should be no sweat. Anyone pimping a big $3million house in Crescent Park shouldn't even bat an eye at the pricetag knowing the environmental impact could be huge.


Posted by An American Elite, a resident of Gunn High School
on Mar 12, 2013 at 11:45 am

To "Tesla-Cars-For-Americas-Elites" - You misinterpreted my statement about wars. I'm an avid supporter of war, when it is necessary. WWI, WWII, even Korean War were necessary. Afghanistan in 2002 -- wholeheartedly supported. Iraq -- not so much. We should have continued the focus on Afghanistan rooting out the fundamental Islamists there. Iraq under Saddam was terrible. But at least he had a firm grip on the Islamists. As a hater of Islamist, I'd think you would support dictators like Mubbarek, Hussien, etc. who keep/kept the Islamists suppressed.

I'm a realist. The Middle East situation is not going to get any better. We've made it worse with the Iraq war, but independent of that, my prediction is that sooner or later we're going to have to have an all-out war, blowing up that region to smithereens. If/When that happens, I sure hope that we've figured out a way to be independent of middle east oil -- perhaps Tesla is a step in that direction.

And lastly, when you list the numbers killed due to Islamic terror, don't forget to include the numbers killed in history to due Christianity -- don't know if its a high as the number you credit to Islamic, but its not a small number. I'm not anti-Islamic, anti-Christian, but rather anti-"killing people simply because they don't believe in what I believe in".


Posted by MadamPresident, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 12, 2013 at 12:06 pm

operating expenses = executive compensation at tesla is too high


Posted by Tesla Investor, a resident of Hoover School
on Mar 12, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Executive compensation is too high? Elon Musk takes a salary of $33,300 per year...

From BusinessWeek: Web Link

2011 Compensation Numbers
Mr. Elon R. Musk
Co-Founder
Age: 40
Total Annual Compensation: $33.3K

Mr. Deepak Ahuja
Chief Financial Officer and Principal Accounting Officer
Age: 48
Total Annual Compensation: $325.0K

Mr. Jeffrey B. Straubel
Chief Technical Officer
Age: 35
Total Annual Compensation: $251.0K

Mr. George Blankenship
Vice President of Sales & Ownership Experience
Age: 59
Total Annual Compensation: $325.0K

Mr. Gilbert Passin
Vice President of Manufacturing
Age: 51
Total Annual Compensation: $260.0K


Posted by Baloney, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 12, 2013 at 1:32 pm

The model S Tesla is NOT a mid-price car. My husband went to see about buying one, and was quoted $101,500 taxes and extras not included, cash in advance only, thank you.


Posted by Soon to be Tesla Owner, a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Mar 12, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Not sure how he could have been quoted for that much. My Model S is on order for a cost of $60,000 (plus I'll get a $7500 fed tax credit for 2013 taxes). The Model S Signature cars, which are sold out, might reach $100k with taxes and extras, but a base Model S shouldn't be that high.


Posted by Soon to be Tesla Owner, a resident of Los Altos Hills
on Mar 12, 2013 at 1:54 pm

While you do have to put a $5000 deposit down when placing the order, the remaining balance isn't due until the car is delivered. I'm not financing, but I do believe there is a financing option as well.


Posted by Scott McMahon, a resident of Menlo Park
on Mar 12, 2013 at 2:56 pm

I have been coveting a Tesla S, and at the showroom, the prices I recall seeing were something like $50,000 -$70,000 depending on how big a battery (and driving range) you want.

FYI: I just looked on the Tesla website (Web Link). The base model is $52,400, and has a stated range of 160 miles. The model with the biggest battery is $72,400 and is nominally good for about 300 miles on a charge. The model S strikes me as quite luxurious, and spacious as well. It's not a small car.

I hope and expect Tesla will do well. We can't keep burning fossil fuels. Electric cars, like Teslas, can at least be charged on Solar or Wind generated energy. I support that.


Posted by SteveC, a resident of Menlo Park
on Mar 12, 2013 at 5:11 pm

"Tesla cars for America's elites". The vietnam war had nothing to do with stopping communism. It was an attempt by the French to re-establish themselves at a former colony. We bankrolled it and provided advisors and equipment, all because of a deal made with the French to allow the allies to land at Normandy and fight the main thrust of WW II on French soil. Middle Americans opposed the war because they knew it was a crock of Sh**. Even McNamara fessed-up to make his peace before he cashed it in, admitting many of the lies that were told to the American public.


Posted by deep throat, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 12, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Read up past articles about Elon Musk. His divorce (or divorces), his conflict with other execs...wow. 'Nuff said. Not someone I would ever work with or risk my money with.

Tesla and Solyndra did not represent the best options for investment by the US Government.

Political connections, anybody?


Posted by Jerks make you money, a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 12, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Many leaders of startups are jerks. Steve Jobs was a total a**hole to work for. Larry Ellison is a power-hungry, womanizing jerk. But to say that you wouldn't want to invest with is foolhardy. I wish I could have given $100,000 in startup money to any of these guys!

And Elon Musk was in Ironman 2, so he has that going for him!


Posted by LA Lady, a resident of Los Altos
on Mar 12, 2013 at 9:44 pm

"That $1T was spent to attempt to insure that country after country did not fall to Islamic terror, and that at some point, having gained sufficient strength and belief in their cause—that they not bring their toxic belief system to the US."

How on earth does that apply to Iraq?


Posted by Tesla-Cars-For-Americas-Elites, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2013 at 11:13 am

> don't forget to include the numbers killed
> in history to due Christianity

Perhaps in some other context that would be appropriate. However, the US has never gone to war against a Christian nation because of Christianity. The wars being fought now against Islamic terror are definitely being driven by Islamic extremists, and it's possible that we might well find ourselves up against Iran one of these days, which is clearly an Islamic theology.

> total number killed by Christianity.

Sadly, there are not hard numbers here. The 30-Years War, fought Christian-against-Christian, probably resulted in the highest death counts over the past 2,000 years.

> How on earth does that apply to Iraq?

While the initial attack was about "regime change" (Sadam out, democracy in), the last several years have been spent trying to stabilize a political situation between Islamic forces utilizing terror inside of Iraq (Sunnis vs Shites). While these parties did not clearly threaten the US (at the moment), it would not be hard to see Iraq falling into questionable hands, post-Sadam.

> The vietnam war had nothing to do with stopping
> communism. It was an attempt by the French to
> re-establish themselves at a former colony.

Ah .. Ho Chi Minh approached the US before, and after, WWII—asking for US help to not restore French control of Vietnam after the end of WWII. Sadly, the US seemed to be more interested in putting all the pieces back on the board, as best they could, before the onset of world-wide war. Ho was a communist, and make no claim to the otherwise.

At the time, the US was firmly behind the "domino theory". Russia fell, East Germany was gone, every country that had been occupied by the Red Army during WWII was now ruled by Communists. North Korea had invaded South Korea, and a bloody surrogate war was being fought between Kim Il Sung and the so-called UN forces, mostly under the watchful eye of Joe Stalin, and ultimately some 2-4M Chinese troops marched into the war to effect a win for the Communists.

It would be very hard to claim that it was bad strategy on the part of the US to see the world in terms of dominos that could have been lost—one at a time.


Posted by LA Lady, a resident of Los Altos
on Mar 13, 2013 at 1:16 pm

"> How on earth does that apply to Iraq? -> While the initial attack was about "regime change" (Sadam out, democracy in), the last several years have been spent trying to stabilize a political situation between Islamic forces utilizing terror inside of Iraq (Sunnis vs Shites). While these parties did not clearly threaten the US (at the moment), it would not be hard to see Iraq falling into questionable hands, post-Sadam. "

So therefore invading Iraq caused the potential for what you call the "fall to Islamic terror".

Hence the trillion bucks just made us less safe, and killed thousands of Americans to boot, plus tens of thousands of vets injured or disabled. Thanks again to Bush and the idiots who supported him.


Posted by David Pepperdine, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 13, 2013 at 2:43 pm

> That $1T was spent to attempt to insure that country after country did not fall to Islamic terror, and that at some point, having gained sufficient strength and belief in their cause—that they not bring their toxic belief system to the US.

And here I thought W had gone silent after he left the White House!
Seriously? There was no justification, ZERO, for invading Iraq. It has created so much resentment towards the US throughout the Middle East.

Oh, wait. There was a reason for it. Poppy Bush didn't finish the job. So Sonny Bush (W), who was tutored in foreign affairs by Condi just before the election in 2000, had to go in and mark his territory.

What a load.


Posted by GoElectric, a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 14, 2013 at 12:47 pm

When you buy Model S you're funding the development of their Gen 3 low-cost car! Help the world #GoElectric! Web Link


Posted by Tesla Employee, a resident of another community
on Mar 23, 2013 at 3:21 am

Remember people, Tesla is a new company. A start up company. Prices will go down. Remember when flat screen tv's first came out? They were 10 grand! Now you can get bigger and better ones at Wal-Mart for 500 bucks! Tesla is a luxury automobile, compare to a 5 series BMW. Greener, non-gas reliant vehicles will be important in the future, for our children, and grandchildren when gas costs keep rising. Tesla vehicles run on pure sunshine! Keep an open mind, look to the future.


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