Tesla CEO Looks Past Today, And Into The Future: “We’re at a measly 30,000 unit a year run rate”

JAN 31 2014 BY JAY COLE 25

It's Not About Just Building The First Wave Of The Tesla Model S Anymore

It’s Not About Just Building The First Wave Of The Tesla Model S Anymore

Last week while promoting the Tesla Model S going on sale in China (at a aggressive price), CEO Elon Musk took some time to play down where the company is now in order to focus squarely on the future.

Tesla Sold About 1,000 More Model S Sedans Than Expected In The Fourth Quarter Of 2013

Tesla Sold About 1,000 More Model S Sedans Than Expected In The Fourth Quarter Of 2013

Hot on the heals of pre-emptively beating a Q4 sales estimate of slightly less than 6,000 all electric sedans sold (the company actually sold about 6,950), Mr. Musk told Bloomberg that beating the estimates put on his company was something he likes to do…and wants to see more of in the future.

“I’d like to get into the habit of exceeding expectations”.

And while producing about 600 Model S sedans a week after selling almost 23,000 in 2013 gave the company a $21 billion dollar market cap, Musk has clearly moved on – and is now looking forward to maxing out Tesla’s Fremont, California assembly facility.

“We’re at a measly 30,000 unit a year run rate.”

Tesla says that facility can make upwards of 500,000 cars, and Musk is already considering options for a second plant in order to make even more, perhaps in China where Tesla expects to sell about half of all international sales in 2014, about 5,000 cars.

Mr. Musk also noted that in 2015 more cars may perhaps be sold in China than the US, making it Tesla’s largest market – the CEO did stop short of getting too far ahead of himself saying that “I don’t want to get overexcited about it.”

Tesla Model S Design Studio In China (via Tesla Motors)

Tesla’s First Model S Design Studio In China – And Certainly Not The Last (via Tesla Motors)


Categories: Tesla


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25 Comments on "Tesla CEO Looks Past Today, And Into The Future: “We’re at a measly 30,000 unit a year run rate”"

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Way too few to really hurt the big automakers….

…and yet they’re still scared. The reactions from other CEOs about how they’re making a Tesla fighter or a Tesla competitor shows how truly scared they are of Tesla’s potential.

I think “scared” is a bit strong. At worst, they are annoyed that Tesla will push them to EV before they want to go there.

Scared is appropriate. If it weren’t for tesla, they’d have a chance to kill EV mandates by saying it can’t be done.

I’ve noticed that even the luxury EV’s the other car makers are making are kind of crappy in that they have low ranges of 80 miles and yet cost as much as a Tesla. A example of this is the BMW one where it’s almost $50,000 has only 80 miles of range and it has a crappy gas range extender with a two gallon tank. Then you also have the Cadillac ER which is $75,000 still runs off of gas only has 40 miles of range. While for the same price you could get a Tesla model S with super charging access.

I really think the other auto makers are bull headed still thinking this is 1957. In that they only seem to be rebuilding and re planning their cars right now only do to the fact that uncle Sam told them that they have to get a few extra miles out of their gas guzzlers.

I really think if Tesla dies then the EV’s future dies with it.

I think they are already scare, reason why are investing heavily in R&D that otherwise without Tesla they wouldn’t do. Tesla has been disrupted in the Automobile industry and the gasoline is fairly cheap compare with the 2 previous years, which means the public is getting educated and accepting EVs as an alternative car.

I think it’s the threat of EV’s gaining popularity that is holding down gas prices such as when gas prices got up to $4.27 in the US and a barrel of oil went up to a $140 there was not a single main steam EV on the road in 2007 that you could buy at a dealership. Also does anyone notice that gas prices jumped up out of control once the EV-1 and several other EV’s where scraped. Now that we have several companies like Nissan, Mitsubishi and Tesla raising production of EV’s gas prices have now dropped down under $3.00 with no real signs of pressure in the next few months that would raise gas prices to $5.00

Now we are starting to have problems where battery production can’t keep up with EV demand.

You don’t understand exponential growth.

They already have hurt the big automakers by outselling BMW 7-Series, Audi A8, Lexus LS, Porsche Panamera and Mercedes S class. When they come out with the Model E, it will be serious competition to all automakers, including popular models like the Camry and Accord.

True, but as a disruptive technology Musk and company have already done much to implement Tesla’s stated goal: to electrify the transportation industry. Car companies are falling all over themselves to come out with electrified vehicles. i think we can safely conjecture that without Tesla this acceleration to the change to fully electrified vehicles would be quite a bit slower.
“In this modern world we can certainly say that the past was very different”.
Fire Sign Theater (circa 1971)
How can you be two places at once, when you’re not anywhere at all?

“Car companies are falling all over themselves to come out with electrified vehicles.”

It would be easier to agree with this statement IF I lived in one of the “Select Markets” where all EV’s are available. As far as available to purchase by me if cost was no barrier: Tesla Model S, Leaf, Focus EV and then the Ford Energi model plug-in hybrids and the Volt. No electrified: Fiat, Fit {for sale to anyone, anywhere AFAIK}, Smart {yet, told coming soon}, Spark, etc.

IMHO, Tesla is changing the world to the chagrin of the companies that make a bundle on servicing and maintaining the ICE. Very hard for them to say it can’t be done when it’s being done marvelously right here in America by some relative newcomer.


Here is a link to the Livestream Munich event. You do need a Livestream account to view the videos.


Totally agree we wouldn’t be where we are now without Tesla. No Leaf, no Volt, nothing. I wouldn’t buy one of their cars yet, because they’re too expensive. But I’m very glad they’re around to help accelerate mass-market EVs.


I’m an optimist. 60 000 Tesla’s sold in 2014.

I think they would be lucky to get 40,000 to 45,000 this year in that the battery production is really holding them up also they have said that they are in the process of buying and installing several million dollars of machines which will take a couple of months to install. But I think most likely now the battery production will really hold them back this time around.

You’re probably right, but I’ll keep my optimistic outlook. 🙂

Other OEMs are not scared. They are just annoyed that Tesla is exposing their line of “EVs are not ready for prime time” as a falsehood.

The big automakers REEEALLY begin to look downright stupid when Tesla spends
nothing on advertising and will break the 50,000/yr sales barrier. Musk is a
genius at free PR – he plays social media like a violin and pops in a Bloomberg
interview or a NYT visit in here and there for flavor.

When he takes his family cross-country and gets FREE local TV interviews, and
makes controversial statements he is just showing the big guys they are still living
in the past, and building machines that only refine 19th Century explode and burn

Future = Tesla

Old and Tired = everybody else.

Tesla should FLOOD the market with Tesla cars. They will all sell.

To flood the market, Tesla needs to build them. They don’t have the capacity, yet. I hope they ramp up fast. The biggest risk to Tesla is if the large automakers with their big facilities, were to manufacture BEV’s and PHEV’s by the hundreds of thousands and treat them like loss-leaders i.e., selling at a loss, in order to absorb Tesla’s market base like a sponge and snuff Tesla out. I don’t think their buddys at Big Oil will let them do this, so they better get ready to move over. To survive, Tesla has no choice but to go big. Until it does, it’s vulnerable to being squashed.

Gen III will really wake up the automakers if they haven’t waked up now.

I think GM has already openly acknowledged that. But Toyota, Honda and VW are openly denying that….

I long to see gasoline cars in museums, instead of on the streets…

As of now the only car I picture raising there range right now is the Nissan leaf and the in that they now have a active poll on how much would someone be willing to spend on buying a 150 mile leaf. But even then I think they are going to to wait to the bitter end before Tesla’s model E will hit the roads.As for everyone else I really don’t think they care that much in that most of them seem to be running after the hydrogen dream.