Category Archives: TSLA

Pardon that brief intermission

The last post, a rhapsody about Tesla cranking out the $35k car, turned out to be premature. The company wasn’t financially ready for that car yet. More than a year later, the “affordable Tesla” is finally edging toward the on-deck circle.

Stuck with a post about an imminent car that wasn’t imminent, TeslaMondo had two choices:

  1. Modify or delete the post to reflect reality, and then continue writing more articles as if no misstep had happened. That would have been the easy route. Too easy.
  2. Freeze the site and wait for reality to catch up to the post. Only an utter shmegegge would entertain that option. Perfect!

So TeslaMondo has been quietly observing the game from the bleachers this whole time, watching as Tesla’s dirty opponents, their bookies, their beholden cheering squads and a posse of crooked referees try to disallow a Team Tesla victory in Model 3 and profitability. The default metaphor is “moving the goalposts,” but that doesn’t capture the desperation of these nincompoops. They’ve installed a row of exact-change-only tollbooths at the goal line. And they’ve covered the end zone with a tarp that makes it look like more gridiron to conquer. So a Tesla touchdown, like, totally can’t happen.

  • Model 3 backlog is swelling? Tesla has no supply.
  • The backlog is shrinking? Tesla has no demand.
  • Production hits 2,500k/week? A fluke.
  • Production hits 4k/week? Another fluke.
  • Tesla becomes profitable in 2018? Another fluke.
  • And if this stuff isn’t a fluke? Then the company is doomed.
  • Tesla is stealing customers from the Germans? Only until the Germans catch up.
  • The Germans aren’t catching up? The Japanese are.
  • The Japanese aren’t? The Americans are.
  • The Americans aren’t? The Chinese are.
  • The Chinese aren’t? The FBI is.

And so Tesla will never get a cheer even in victory, and even on home turf. The crowd is stacked. This is why Musk can employ dirty tactics, such as jolting the stock market to rattle short sellers, without looking like a bully. This isn’t a mere game. It’s a dirty theater of war with no rules of engagement, and everyone knows it.


Let’s check in on TeslaMondo’s cast of characters. It’s been a while.

Darth Dieter TeslaMondo

Darth Dieter is stepping down as Daimler CEO next spring. He’s open to another duet with Tesla, like the plug-in Smart and Benz cars of yesteryear. But at this point, what could Tesla possibly gain from collaborating with anyone?

Marchionne Godfather TeslaMondo

Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, died this summer. While other Big Auto CEOs tried to belittle Tesla, Sergio gave credit to Elon Musk. He also begged everyone not to buy his compliance car, the electric Fiat 500. So he was honest, at least.

count-carlos-teslamondo

A couple years ago, Nissan chief Count Carlos surveyed the walls of his castle and laughed at the notion of a raid. “I know the media love to say we have a new superman coming here, and it’s going to make all of you look like dinosaurs,” Ghosn said. “But, frankly, the likelihood that this is going to happen in our industry, in my opinion, is very limited.” Musk would be the first to agree. Yet it’s happening.

Diesel Weasel TeslaMondo

Germany’s diesel weasel scandal culminated with Audi’s CEO going to jail. But nobody knows or cares. This is the car business. A rap sheet comes with the territory.

max-headroom-bob-lutz

The climax of his multi-year Tesla Sux media tour came late September, when he said Tesla was headed for the graveyard. A month later, Tesla’s Q3 results proved it’s hardly moribund, while reinforcing the suspicion that Lutz and his old-school mindset are exactly that.

 

Faraday Future breaking ground

Speaking of moribund, here’s Faraday Future digging its own grave along with Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval, who somehow missed the ground with his shovel. He also missed the abundant clues that this company consisted of boring people who could never break into a padlocked industry like autos. It’s now common knowledge that a successful auto startup in the 21st century must be led by an insomniac, manic-depressive, verbally abusive, sociopathic, megalomaniacal, narcissistic, schizophrenic, substance-abusing, autistic savant who whips up brilliant products in between bouts of head-butting a wall and kicking a cat.

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Chevy Bolt “officially” in trouble

Despite the media narrative of late, the Bolt is stinking up the joint. GM is idling its Bolt plant and has a 111-day supply. So who beat whom? Remember, the Honda Insight beat the Prius to the US market by a few months. And the rest is history.

Officially in trouble TeslaMondo

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Korea tweaks incentives to include Tesla

Tesla debuted in Korea this spring, with some fanfare — but with zero tax incentives because Tesla charging time exceeded the max allowed. Today the local news says the Korean Ministry of Environment will stretch the charging time standard to get Tesla under the umbrella. The changes take effect in September.

You win some, you lose some (Hong Kong).

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So, about Los Angeles

While vacationing in LA, TeslaMondo was so unconcerned about the TSLA selloff, and so unintrigued by the anticlimactic* Model III kickoff, that both warrant no more than this single sentence.

So let’s chat about LA. Unfamiliar experiences make life worth living, yes? Here’s what, say, an East Coaster may find unfamiliar in LA:

  1. Sometimes back east, if you want fresh air, you open the windows. Sometimes in LA, you close them.
  2. Back east, when you go to Pizza Hut to pick up your order, you simply walk through the door, state your name, take your food and pay the clerk. At the Pizza Hut on West Temple St. in Silver Lake, it’s a little different. You wait behind a wall of bulletproof glass, yell your name, wait for the guy to slide your food under the bulletproof wall via a bulletproof tray, then you slide your credit card back to him. Sounds like a rough city, right?
  3. Yet a short drive away, on Rodeo Drive, you’ll become so sick of seeing Bentleys, Lambos and Aston Martins that you’ll start taking pics of the interesting fire hydrants instead.IMG_7428
  4. Back to Silver Lake for a second. Can anyone explain why McDonald’s would have daily market pricing for oatmeal? McDonald’s is several steps removed from the oat harvest.IMG_7405
  5. Back to Rodeo Drive. You’ll spend more than a few seconds per day looking directly at women’s** nipples. That’s for two reasons. First, because bras aren’t quite the staple they are back east. And second, because female tallness isn’t awkward like it is back east. In fact, tallish women in LA use strategic footwear to make themselves even taller. So, in fact, you’re staring right at ’em. Sorry, no pics.
  6. Why? How? Here’s some typical Doug fare.IMG_7245
  7. Back east, in Times Square especially, hawkers try to hand out pamphlets about restaurants or comedy clubs. On Hollywood Boulevard, hawkers try to hand out CDs of their own performances. Other examples of self-promotion abound.IMG_7285
  8. In LA you’ll see very old car models that the East Coast has totally forgotten. Some are quaint. Others just ain’t.IMG_7339
  9. But the most unfamiliar experience is seeing this phrase painted on every single exotic car you encounter:

If you ask around, you’ll find it’s a reference to the fact that the quiet new guy in town makes all of ’em seem slightly, but notably, bygone.

 

*We’ve learned much more from man-in-the-street pics than from Tesla’s official images.

**Gender in LA falls on a spectrum, so TeslaMondo is really just referring to unspecified humanoid nipples.

A visit to car cuckooland

TeslaMondo is heading to LA, the very seat of hedonism, for a week of auto-erotic exploration. With minimal soreness, one hopes.

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This retro-tastic pic has nothing to do with LA — or does it?

Let’s see Porsche put a spin on this

Isn’t it splendid when a video ends with a twist?

Sprockets! BMW

“Gott sei Dank war es nicht uns.”

TeslaMondo drops Amazon. It’s scary.

Amazon is drinking the blood of stores that many of us grew up with and kind of like. Granted, we don’t like them enough to continue doing business there despite Amazon, but still, Amazon will eventually face a backlash for erasing so much of our childhoods and making it hard for anyone else to sell us anything.

In a few years, if this company isn’t reined in, you’ll have no reason to leave the house to acquire anything. That sounds fine, you say? Well, America is becoming socially inept, cynical, obese, diabetic and depressed. Kids don’t leave the house because their parents corral them too much, and parents corral themselves too much. We’re becoming Amazombies. Why leave the house when an electronic wafer can manage all interaction with the outside world? Why move when you can make stuff move to you? Inertia for the win! Wait, someone is coming up the front steps.

Ding-dong. That must be the Amazon paint for upstairs. Too bad for the Ben Moore guy down the street.

Ding-dong. That must be the Amazon bark mulch. Too bad for the nursery down the street.

Ding-dong. That must be Rent-A-Rocco, Amazon’s home hair stylist. Too bad for the Rocco down the street.

Maybe Amazon will never face a backlash. Maybe TeslaMondo will miss out on a fortune by sticking with crummy ol’ Tesla and Nvidia instead of Amazon. Decisions, decisions. Where’s a therapist when you need one?

Ding-dong. That must be Amazon’s home shrink service. So quickly? How did Amazon know to send her? Guess that’s a question for Neuralink. They must have hooked up with ShrinkLink, the rascals.

So TeslaMondo prefers the status quo in shopping — mabye even the status quo ante, before the cell phone. Nowadays, if you need sales help at Kohl’s, you need to leave the store and go around to the receiving door, near the dumpster. The employees hang around back there, smoking and texting. Or maybe they’re not texting. Maybe they’re ordering stuff from Amazon.

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Copy and paste. Another Tesla first.

Gas engines aren’t known for their connectivity to each other. Sure, Bugatti managed to hook up two ICEs for the Veyron. But overall, ICEs aren’t easily linked. They’re not modular. They’re not Legos.

But Tesla’s products are indeed Legos. Note the company’s E.Z. copy-and-paste stationary battery installations. This simple modularity will underpin the Tesla Semi (and the pickup). It’s just a multiplication of the existing Tesla powertrain. Take your basic quarter pounder, stack a few of them, and you’ve got an instant heart attack for Big Oil.

It’s funny how sophisticated stuff can be so simple. Isn’t that right, Steve Jobs, wherever you are?