Tesla hasn’t generated much news lately — but made up for it Monday. The Gigafactory became more real, thanks to Panasonic’s planned mobilization of troops. This fall, we’ll see hundreds of Panasonic workers descend on Storey County, Nevada, said Reuters. Such announcements make the Gig less abstract. And every time that happens, TSLA stock rises as doubts ebb.
We also heard from Bob Lutz, the man who would be Elon but for just a few more brain cells. He said Tesla Energy doesn’t deserve this much attention because battery storage isn’t new. He’s right, of course. Same goes for cars and rockets. Old stuff, both.
At this point, everyone knows Lutz is like a game show contestant who hits the buzzer first but then fumbles the answer. Tesla has pulled off several feats GM tried and failed to do, despite GM’s timeliness and vast resources:
* First, GM tried and failed to go factory-direct in 1999. Result? A much more entrenched and vigilant dealer lobby. Thanks a lot.
* Then it literally crushed the EV-1 in an infamous misread of electric vehicle potential.
* Then Tesla inspired GM to build the Volt, and, presumably, the Caddy version that everyone except GM knew would bomb.
* Then GM set up a special team to study Tesla’s business model.
* Then, when Tesla unveiled plans to get serious about battery storage, GM decided to fire up its old battery storage business it all but abandoned years ago.
* GM has vocally opposed Tesla’s factory-direct business model on grounds of, “Hey, no fair. How come Tesla can skip the middleman but we can’t?”
* And now Lutz is trying to sprinkle ants in Tesla’s picnic basket, telling crowds that TSLA is too expensive and Tesla Energy is no justification.
Moving on, tomorrow’s shareholder meeting should provide plenty of news fodder. We’ve reached a point where anything Musk says or does, no matter how trivial, is a headline.