Video: Reuters Presents the Elon Musk To-Do List For 2014

DEC 31 2013 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 29

Model X Coming in Late 2014

Model X Coming in Late 2014

2013 was a rockin’ year for Tesla Motors, but later tonight the ball will drop in Times Square and the calendar will flip to 2014.

According to Reuters, Tesla “faces hurdles in 2014” and will need to work even hard to make next year as successful as this one.

What must Elon Musk and Tesla do in 2014 to ensure continued success?

  • React better to public relation issues
  • Deal with the constant up and down stock valuation
  • Launch Model X

Those are just a few of the hurdles that Reuters think Musk and Tesla Motors will have to deal with in 2014.

What do you think will be Tesla’s biggest 2014 hurdle?

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29 Comments on "Video: Reuters Presents the Elon Musk To-Do List For 2014"

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What would be Tesla’s biggest hurdle in 2014?! The same as any year before, dealing with BS from the big media, like Reuters, the New York Times, the BBC, etc.

I have been pondering if Tesla really needs to get into the weeds and make “affordable” EVs. Since the company has been successful so far by not doing that, why not continue on the path of innovation and of making dream cars, and leave the mass market to the GMs and Nissans of the world?

I think getting down into the entry luxury segment is probably as far as Tesla wants or needs to go, which the Model E and it’s variants will cover nicely.

I would agree with that. Better margins in that range anyway, doesn’t dilute brand, and that still allows for huge potential sales numbers.

As @vdiv noted, there’s nothing wrong with leaving the mid/low end market to Nissan, GM, and whomever else. We can bag on Nissan and GM as much as we like, but to be fair they’re doing a good job getting reasonably priced cars (given the battery economics and new technology issues) to those who can afford them.

I think Tesla will always be a premium brand. Their “affordable” car will still not be affordable to the everyman. But it will certainly be a lot more affordable to upper-middle-class people. I definitely think they need to move beyond the Model-S because I suspect there are only so many super-wealthy people waiting to buy one.

The reason Elon started Tesla was to push the big auto companies to electrify the automobile not to build cool cars for rich people.

If Elon gives them quarter they will shelter in the profits of mainstream ICE vehicles for as long as possible. Like when the Detroit Big 3 withdrew to gas guzzlers when the Japanese made small fuel efficient cars.

Gen 1 $120K+
Gen 2 $70-130k
Gen 3 $35-$65K
Gen 4 $20-$30k

They can even start a sub brand for the sub $35k cars so as not to dilute the brand for Model S and Roadster owners.

The Gen 4 can be the Nikola 1. A Corolla/Civic/Focus size car but better handling and interior volume because of the floor located battery and with better acceleration.

Somewhere in there a full sized pick up truck like the F-150 and SUV/CUV like the Ford Expedition.

No quarter. Electrify or Corporate Bankruptcy.

vdiv +1

I guess Aston Martin, Ferrari, Maserati and Porsche are broke 🙁 They don’t build mass market products.

Ferrari and Maserati are part of Fiat. A lot of parts we don’t see are sourced from Fiat allowing those two premium brands to make money.

Porsche is part of Volkswagen now. They held out as long as they could but meeting all international standards on a budget that must be supported by 30k cars is tough.

Aston Martin is independent but Ford made there engines and Aston sourced their transmissions through Ford as of 2013. 2014 Mercedes’ AMG division will supply their drivetrains.

Tesla must get between Mazda’s 1.3M and BMW’s 1.8M units ASAP to be viable long term as an independent company.

Tesla’s #1 to do for 2014: don’t get bought out by a large vehicle manufacturer.

The EV revolution is started, its going along well in its early stages. But I fear that if Tesla gets bought and then is bungled or buried by GM or Ford or whoever, a lot of EV momentum vanishes.

Maybe in 2020, when the EV revolution is at full speed, and the Gen3 cars are successful, and other automakers are successfully selling averaged-priced EVs that go 250-300 miles, then if Tesla gets bought that’s fine – their work is done and Elon can go to work on putting people on Mars.

Well, I am not selling my 3 shares of TSLA to GM, are you? 🙂

My impression is that, barring a shareholder revolt of some type, they will not get bought until the E comes out as Elon as emphatically stated. I think he’s so passionate about that issue that he’d risk it all to ensure Tesla stays independent for the next several years. After that point (which I suspect would be Elon’s view of passing the tipping point, not ours), then anything is up for grabs.

But yes, I do agree with you that NOT getting bought is key.

They need to partner with a dealer network to get. into states they can’t sell in now

Indeed. I know it will be irritating for Tesla, but I think they are going to have to give in for the time being in some states like Texas and go ahead and partner with a dealership franchise.

I respectfully disagree. If they go with a dealer in even one state, that dramatically weakens their legally stated arguments in a host of other states. Not worth the risk. The US is a big country; they can do fine without Texas.

In what states can someone not own and/or register a Tesla?

I know Tesla has been restricted from having a physical ‘store’ in a few states: Arizona, Maryland, Texas, and Virgina. In each of these states Tesla has display gallery, and all but Virgina have at least one Tesla service center. Tesla now has a presence in 23 states, with 9 more ‘coming soon’. http://www.teslamotors.com/findus/service

As of Dec 1, 2012 Tesla had delivered less than a 1,000 Model S’s … for 2013, more than 21,000 Model S’s delivered. That’s some pretty impressive sales growth! Not really seeing a lack of dealer access slowing buyers.

Beyond the States, Tesla is set to go global in 2014: 11 countries in Europe and 4 more in Asia. It is possible that over 30% of Tesla sales could be exports in 2014, perhaps over 50% with its planned expansion. China’a auto market volume (alone) is larger than the U.S. market.

screw the few states that don’t want Tesla dealerships. If you live in one of those states, go talk to your state lawmakers. They are the problem.

You’ve nailed that Nix. That’s the way to handle it. Whilst they’re struggling to keep up with demand elsewhere, don’t fight the fight you don’t need to.

They can sell via the Internet and have showrooms. The main limitation is that they can’t talk pricing. Since they don’t negotiate prices this isn’t a big deal for now.

Not a practical, primary vehicle for a family? The guy in the video is on crack. It’s expensive, that’s the only drawback.

Elon’s real to do list for 2014:
End battery production bottleneck. Or lay the foundation to end it in ’15 or ’16. They could ramp to half a million cars a year without the battery bottleneck.

I agree 100%.

NBNS! (No Battery – No Sale!)
NPNS!
Volt#671

Wow – wasn’t he a smart guy. I hope Elon saw that video so he knows what he needs to do. /sarcasm

I think that two issues will make a dramatic impact to the future Tesla share price

The first one is the new battery technology which will enable much smaller battery packs to be used. This could be in the next couple of years .

The second one is the introduction of the cheaper family car.

I am not sure of the pricing model for the cheaper car but if you look at all the advantages of the electric car verses the internal combustion engine then it is hard to understand why it should not be quite a bit cheaper. The electric motor is a lot simpler than the internal combustion engine has much fewer parts and really the main hurdle to overcome is the expensive battery pack . This should only be a few more years away.

1. More batteries (= more production)
2. More batteries closer to production
3. More batteries starting own factories
4. More super chargers
5. More presence in the countries where cars have been sold (stores, repairs, service etc.)
6. Expand to more countries

And of course fixing the small kinks on the cars, always improving it.

react differently? He did

Top of the list for Tesla — Ignore Reuters.

This editor left out a lot more in his to do list considering Musk’s other company SpaceX will be conducting launch abort tests of their human rated space capsule. They will also be testing the Falcon Heavy and Grasshopper 2.

+1

Top of the list – when Elon does his cross country family road trip in the Model S in March, have another family do it in parallel in a non-electric vehicle. Video key highlights -SuperCharging versus gas stations and other major stopping points- then make HUGE news of it showing the costs in gas versus 100% free supercharging – make sure to make it big enough news that everybody across the country sees what can be done, including all of the people living under the rocks with their ICE cars.

Reuters 2014 list:

Once again attain relevance in financial services.

I think that Elon knows many solutions to the comments put forward by many of us. He is a clever guy with a great team. He proved that by hiring qualified people from Apple. The big challenge will be the adequate supply of the efficient batteries at competitive price. Tesla has a niche market and they must keep this orientation and not dilute his sales by targetting everybody. Tesla Motors must work to furnish a top-of-the-range car and stay the high tech car reference in the car industry. Tesla Motors also has to have humility to listen to his first users to make better his products ; their experiment and early adopters passion are the way forward.