Tesla Motors just wrapped their 2013 Annual Shareholder Meeting in Mountain View, California on Tuesday night…and with CEO Elon Musk doing a presentation, fielding some Q & A, and a company now flush with cash after a recent stock offering, you just knew there would be some flashy announcements and a light-hearted atmosphere.
The CEO started out with some light hearted banter about why the Model S only achieved 99 out of 100 on the electric sedan’s very high profile, near perfect, Consumers Report rating. That result was actually tied for the all-time best rating with the Lexus LS 460L in 2007.
(For the record, some questions about the availability of the rapid charging infrastructure perhaps limited the freedom of Model S owners stole that last point)
Of more interest was an update on the upcoming, less expensive 3rd generation offering.
On that subject Mr. Musk noted it would basically be“a smaller version of the Model S at half the price.” The Model S, with the deletion of the 40 kWh entry level offering, currently starts at $69,900 (before incentives), meaning this future car will have a price around $35,000.
The Tesla founder notes the following tidbits on the Gen III car:
- now expects the car to arrive in 3-4 years (which is later than the original estimate, but a sooner arrival than the last update/tweet when the car’s arrival was pegged in the 2017-2018 timeframe)
- 200 miles of range (in fact Tesla notes that all their cars will now always have at least 200 miles of range)
- working with Panasonic with new cell electrochemistry to make affordable 200+ mile ranges happen
- “strong family resemblance” to the Model S
- use of ultra-capacitors that “the public doesn’t know about”
- all cars to utilize supercharge
Other notes of interest from the meeting…which we have video embed below if you care to watch: (and you should, as it is fairly entertaining from around the 7 minute mark when Mr. Musk takes the stage by mocking ‘the shorts’)
- Musk notes that if you add up all the revenue from the Model S in the first quarter, it is greater than all the other plug-in cars combined
- Future growth on the Model Splatform? Model X and “potentially will do some other products on that platform”
- Tesla raised “more money than they think they need” after last financing round – $760 million in cash after repaying government loans on hand. Will use funds as an insurance blanket against unforeseen market conditions
- Model S demand in US estimated at 15,000/year
- Europe deliveries of Model S will “be on the boat” in June, arrive in July
- Asian deliveries in Q4
- Musk sees worldwide demand for Model S at 40,000 (although company ‘notes’ display 30,000). A big portion of future sales will be generated virally
- Boutique stores to increase by 50%, or 34 to 50 this year
- Service centers to increase to “over 75,” multiples service centers in some areas such as Los Angeles
- Model X to still be available “late 2014,” will go after 7 passenger seating/minivan market
From the Q&A Mr. Musk also had some interesting comments:
“Any plans to add noise to the motor?” – from some old lady
-challenge is to avoid noise pollution, and to have proximity sensors to direct a pleasant noise in the direction of someone who walking. So it is the least amount of noise, going in the direction it needs to go
“Are you having fun yet?” – are there any serious/normal people asking question?
- “I’m having a lot more fun these days! <laughs>” Past achievements are more enjoyable in recollection, but were extremely stressful at the time. But there is a steady improvemnt now
“Cars in the category of Model S tend to have a 6 year refresh cycle. Sales typically peak in 2-3 years, so what the life cycle of the Model S? Where could sales peak?” – sharehold (who doesn’t own a are)
- We don’t have an existing service and sales infrastructure. I think peak sales will probably be in year 3 or 4, because it will take us a while to fully build out sales and service of the Model S…we want to make sure the car is available worldwide. ”In terms of when there will be a significant redesign of the Model S it is probably in the 6th or 7th year…with a mild refresh in the 3-4 year point”
Also be sure to check out a nice rant from the CEO on Tesla’s interactions with state franchise associations at around the 50 minute mark:
…big hat tip to Josh Bryant on the video linkage!