Q4 Conference Call excerpts

Red text means direct quotes. Paraphrased otherwise.

China: The biggest issue, which we’re still fighting to address, is this perception that it is difficult to charge your car in China. This is false. It is not difficult to charge your car in China. Unfortunately, and this sounds kinda brain dead, our sales team was telling people that it was difficult to charge in China.

I’m confident that, certainly by the end of this year, that we’ll be in really good shape in China. Hong Kong is doing well despite high-rise population density, because it isn’t facing the misperception about charging agita. Tesla is seeing high demand in every other part of the world, and China will follow.

Chinese scalpers were buying up the Model S early-on, with intent to re-sell. TeslaMondo has predicted the Model X will get scalped to $250,000 in some parts of the world.

Tesla should be able to hit 55k cars this year even without China.

Patents: Will there be rival products using Tesla patents? I’m quite sure that there will be. But it could take about three years for a Tesla patent to apply to an actual product, so don’t hold your breath waiting for a Tesla-inspired car.

Model X and III: We don’t want the delays that affected the X to affect the Model III. We’re really being quite conscientious about this. There are things we could do with the Model III platform that are really adventurous but would put the schedule at risk. So what we’re going to do is have something that’s going to be an amazing car but it won’t be the most adventurous version the Model III to being with. But we will then have the more different version of the Model III, on the Model III platform, following the initial version. Musk already said Model III won’t look like other cars. Perhaps the tame version will, but not the wilder version to follow. Hmmm . . .

Falcon doors and second-row seats caused the Model X delay. But they are also the signature features of the vehicle. Regarding the doors: Getting that right and making sure it works really well and isn’t a gimmick but is a fundamental improvement in utility and aesthetics for the cars, is extremely difficult. There’s a reason other people haven’t done this. And then the second row seats on the Model X are a piece of sculptural beauty. They’re amazing. They’re the nicest second row seats you’ve ever seen in any car, ever. That actually might have been harder than the door. And there are some other things about the X that people don’t know about yet. And those things will remain a secret until Model X is delivered.

Secret weapon: I do have sort of a secret weapon on the demand side that I’ll probably start to deploy later this year, for demand generation, and we’ll see how that goes. It isn’t totally necessary, but it could get pretty interesting, and I could work it against the dealers.

Tidbits: Tesla home battery coming in about six months, with an unveiling in about a month. Positive cash flow by the end of this year, thanks to Model X, despite massive capital expenditures. Full-year GAAP profit by about 2020. Major software release next month that will affect the entire fleet.




4 thoughts on “Q4 Conference Call excerpts

  1. […] interesting nuggets from the EV Iron Man.  For example, it sounds like the falcon doors on the new all-electric SUV […]


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  3. […] like other cars, Elon said during a Reddit AMA. Sounds pretty radical. Ah, but a more adventurous version will come afterward. More adventurous than something that already doesn’t look like other cars? […]


  4. […] like other cars, Elon said during a Reddit AMA. Sounds pretty radical. Ah, but a more adventurous version will come afterward. More adventurous than something that already doesn’t look like other cars? […]


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