Category Archives: Daimler

Daimler recall is a double-shot of “duh”

Diesel Weasel TeslaMondo

The company now looks super-stupid thanks to its massive diesel recall.

  1. It’s basically admitting it tried to defraud regulators, just like fellow diesel weasels VW and FCA. Chalk up a another demerit for “clean” diesel tech, and for ICEs in general.
  2. And, of course, Daimler can’t fix anything with an elegant over-the-air update like you-know-who. It has to drag millions of customers into its service centers for software updates. It’s another free advertisement for Tesla.

So in one recall action, Daimler has doubly dumbed-down itself in the public mind. Then again, the public is so scandal-fatigued that nobody cares anymore. “They’re all scumbags.” A fitting dismissal.

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Shareholders rap on Darth Dieter’s helmet

Darth Dieter TeslaMondoSome Daimler shareholders think the Tesla rebel alliance has crept too far onto Daimler home turf. A glance at regional sales suggests they’re not wrong. Tesla has spread like an oil stain into Europe, even Germany. So now Daimler CEO Darth Dieter Zetsche suddenly finds himself in the doghouse for letting this happen under his nose, despite his supposedly excellent Force Disturbance Detector. It’s tempting to kick him while he’s down, but Tesla fans must refrain. Why?

Reason One: He’s your daddy. A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Darth Dieter saved Tesla from the abyss with an 11th hour battery contract for the electric Smart and a purchase of TSLA shares. Musk recalls:

“There were a couple of near-death situations. One is where I had to basically take all of my personal reserve capital in 2008 and invest that in Tesla. I literally had to borrow money for rent. …  I was totally tapped out. That was enough to get us through the second half of 2008 and into early 2009 and then, thankfully, Daimler, with whom we had a small deal to produce battery packs for the Smart [ED] actually invested $50 million into Tesla in the nick of time. It wasn’t some huge altruistic gesture, but nonetheless, they had to have faith that their $50 million wouldn’t go down the drain.

 There was the potential to get an investment from another car company – not Toyota – but I don’t know if they would have actually followed through or not, but they did express interest. I think Daimler was maybe aware of that. Either way, they put $50 million into Tesla at a time when they themselves were cash strapped. Dieter Zetsche had to go to Abu Dhabi and raise emergency cash for Daimler and then reserve $50 million for Tesla. When someone is hungry themselves and they give you a bit of food, you’ve got to be grateful for that.”

Years later, however, Dieter succumbed to the dark side. He let his Mercedes USA chief talk trash about Tesla. Then he passed up a chance to invest in the Gigafactory. TeslaMondo found Dieter’s lack of faith disturbing. Well, now he’s getting his black bell rung by shareholders, for sleeping on the job. That’s risky behavior on the part of the shareholders. You don’t talk back to a Sith Lord, because of reason two.

Vader chokehold TeslaMondo

Reason two: It’s bad for your respiratory health. The last time someone tried it — at a shareholder meeting of sorts — the dude got his windpipe pinched until his attitude improved.

Here come the battery also-rans

Tesla unveils a slick, powerful and coveted electric car.
Big automakers respond — with inferior stuff.

Tesla Energy unveils a slick, powerful and coveted energy storage solution.
Daimler responds — with inferior stuff.

Poets would call this an “a-b-a-b” pattern.
Music producers would call it a “Beatles/Monkees” pattern.
TSLA shareholders should call it a “$$$$” pattern because it will make us rich.

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Jerome Guillen opens up to German mag

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.
Magazine: Time-frame?
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.

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