Google Translate is far from perfect, but it’s good enough to get the gist of this interview with Manager Magazin Online. This is TeslaMondo’s summary, with emphasis added. The statements in bold typeface are provocative indeed, assuming Google Translate accurately captured what was actually said.
Magazine: Daimler just sold its TSLA shares. Surprised?
Guillen: Next question …
Magazine: Daimler wanted to expand its product collaboration beyond the B-Class, but Tesla declined. Why?
Guillen: Right now we’ve got more than enough on our own plate.
Magazine: Why did you leave your position as Business Innovation chief at Daimler, where you created the Car2Go program, for a little company like Tesla?
Guillen: I enjoyed Daimler, but Tesla offered me the job of producing the Model S. Sexy stuff. Risky, but sexy.
Magazine: There were many doubters.
Guillen: Oh, they still exist. They doubt Model X and our battery manufacturing goals. No worries. Musk set out to build the best car in the world, electric or otherwise, and we’ve delivered it.
Magazine: What about fuel cell technology?
Guillen: Our product is hot, limited only by capacity. Nuff said.
Magazine: But shouldn’t Tesla diversify powertrains or something, rather than banking on pure EVs only?
Guillen: Big companies can spread risk like that. We need to focus what we consider the best technology. Laptops don’t have a backup gas engine. Cars don’t need one either.
Magazine: But laptops don’t have to travel far. What about long road trips in an EV?
Guillen: We’re expanding the Supercharger network. People in France have witnessed plenty of tourists who drove in from Norway. No worries.
Magazine: What do you think of your competition? Any standouts?
Guillen: I’m impressed with BMW’s i3 and i8. The world needs more such innovation.
Magazine: You want more competition?
Guillen: Tesla would benefit from a broader EV acceptance, yes, and so would the planet.
Magazine: What if product demand sags before the Gigafactory is built?
Guillen: Don’t be ridiculous, dude. We expect to build 500k units per year.
Guillen: Maybe in 2020, maybe earlier. And any extra capacity will go toward the stationary energy storage market.
Magazine: So you’ll make newer-generation batteries?
Guillen: Batteries will be optimized. Musk has mentioned a cost savings of 30 percent, but that’s a very conservative estimate. Halving the cost should be possible.
Magazine: Where does Tesla stand in, say, 15 years?
Guillen: Can’t say for sure, but we’re going to be a very large company.
Magazine: As big as Volvo? BMW?
Guillen: We’ll see. It depends on the third model.
Magazine: You mean the one comparable to a BMW 3-series?
Guillen: Yes, this will boost our sales significantly. And then we’ll see what happens. One thing to remember: Tesla works very fast.