Category Archives: Master Plan Deux

Tesla’s Master Plan contains dark matter

In a couple months, while everyone fusses about the Model III ramp, the Tesla Semi will rush from the shadows and shock us. Tesla’s vast commercial applications will suddenly tickle the brain more than the bland ol’ Model III ramp.

It’s tempting to say the Semi kicks off the second part of Tesla’s master plan, but the plan never mentions big rigs at all*. It never mentions the Roadster either. Yet we know both are coming. This means the master plan is like Loch Ness. It’s vast and inky. Big things could lurk within. Things as big as a city bus, or a school bus. BYD currently builds the former, and now Blue Bird has a contract for the latter.

What creatures lurk in Tesla’s Loch Ness Master Plan? Paging Mr. Nimoy . . .

Screen Shot 2017-07-13 at 12.43.11 AM

*Bullshit. Read comments below.

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Part II likely easier than Part I

2006: Tesla had no brand cachet, no scale, no supplier relationships, no manufacturing experience, no charging network and not much capital. Yet its master plan called for puncturing its way into mainstream automobilia, the most heavily-armored industry in recent industrial history. The initial bayonet was a — wait for it — a modified Lotus Elise. Yes, a niche car among niche cars. A thumbtack, basically. Despite near-zero odds of success, and despite the Great Recession, Tesla punctured, germinated and started splitting cells con brio.

2016: Tesla DOES have brand cachet, scale, supplier relationships, manufacturing expertise, charging network and capital. Sure, it will need more capital, but Tesla knows from the Model III experience that people will abide a capital raise if it funds a compelling product. Basically, we are the Shark Tank venture capitalists. Tesla shows us something exciting; we pony up. TeslaMondo expects this cycle to continue.

Anyone surprised at TSLA’s slump today should think back a bit. The stock slumped a day after the Q1 conference call this year, when Musk predicted 500k Model IIIs in 2018 instead of 2020. A day after he unveiled the dual-motor Model S, the stock slumped just the same. There’s often an anticipatory stock run-up before his revelations, followed by a selloff due to profit-taking and head-scratching. Tesla is trying to change the world — a bit of a grind, eh? — without alienating shareholders along the way. This is bound to do funny things to the stock.

And anyone shocked about Tesla’s migration into heavy trucking, as TeslaMondo was yesterday, should consider the origins of car companies all around us. Migration is the norm.

Nissan–Military trucks
Toyota–Automated looms
Subaru–Aircraft
Lamborghini–Farm tractors
Honda–Piston rings and aircraft propellors
BMW–Motorcycles
Porsche–Consultant on VW’s original Beetle project
VW–Auto supplier to the Third Reich
Jeep–Military Transport
Ferrari–Manager for Alfa Romeo race cars
Jaguar–Motorcycle sidecars
Peugeot–Coffee, salt and pepper grinders

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