Tesla - Pimping Elon's Ride?


Could Tesla become an Apple product? Lots of talk recently that Apple wants to get into the auto biz, (and is already experimenting), or risk being frozen out by Google.
19 reasons Apple might buy Tesla.

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how much money has Tesla spent to get where they are now

for a few billion Apple could do much the same, so why spend 75 billion

but the up side is Musk would spend all his time and money on spaceX


Musk really is an incredible visionary.
Far superior than Jobs ever was.


apple should have started on a car back when the opportunity was there (and they were competing against the old incumbents as they were with iphone v1) - its too late now and they lack the vision / opportunity to catch up.

conversely tesla would be mad to sell to apple, they are the quintessential dumb money - they would need to be desperate for cash. everything good apple can offer tesla has already (including the most ambitious / talented staff) - maybe the pushy sales techniques or the artificial obsolescence?

even google (lost in the weeds of vanity AI projects) has at least recognised its place and just given its cash to SpaceX as an investor.

teslas problems are that it has almost too many opportunities and a key man risk in musk. apple would fix neither of those.



That suggestion that Apple might buy Tesla didn’t just fall out of the sky. :slight_smile:

Tesla’s current val is $25B, has been $30B recently, not unrealistic to see it achieve $50B in the next couple of years if there is more good news. Apple is sitting on $180B in cash. Apple currently could buy something like any one of 485 companies on the S&P 500.

Kinda funny to see people far removed from the situation express such dogmatic views.

Something of a convergence of interests here?


renewableenergyworld.com/rea … t?page=all


Tesla is pure dot.com. And without the massive tax-payer subsidies and CARB shake downs from other car manufacturers (especially Honda) is about as real a business model as Pets.com. I spent some time a few weeks ago kicking around the main facility in Palo Alto, its the old HP building between Page Mill and Arastradero, and it looked and felt like just another dot.com. It did not feel like a real manufacturing facility, like Boeing or Lockheed. It did not feel like a car R&D facility. Like Mercedes further up Page Mill or the VW Lab beside Oracle in San Mateo. It felt like just another Palo Alto VC dot.com company.

So another pump and dump operation currently in maximum hype mode angling for the cash out. About as good a deal as AOL circa 2000…

Just ask Time Warner how that particular acquisition worked out…


Tesla shares may be over valued but it is a real manufacturer

they plan on building half a million cars a year in 2017/18 and are building the largest battery factory in the world

they will soon be producing more batteries than the rest of the world combined


not like boeing or lockheed didn’t benefit from tax payer subsidies themselves…

in fairness to tesla, if it is a dot.com pump-and-dump - building one the safest, fastest and most coveted cars in world is a clever marketing stunt. i’d have just run a few superbowl ads and set up an R&D Lab in Detroit beside some has been.



Maybe you should start your research on Tesla here.


Actually I agree with jmc.

Reminds me of pure dot com. Articles usually start with “trillion dollar global market” or some such shite.

Tesla has invested 3.1B in R&D so far according to an article in FTA yesterday.

ftalphaville.ft.com/2015/02/17/2 … buy-tesla/

There has been a lot of pumping of Tesla in the tech financial press over the past few years. Mr. Musk certainly looks to be exiting:

money.cnn.com/2015/02/12/investi … elon-musk/

And please, if that doesn’t signal a desire to exit, get real.

And before you tell me that I “don’t understand” my overall problem with such a statement is that according to a very very brief look at the deeply cyclical, casualty ridden world of automobiles the entire market cap of the industry is c. 720B per Fidelity. His statement that his market cap in going to equal that reminds me of Warrens’s 2000 letter to shareholders where he explained his decision not to invest in dot coms on the basis that he and Charlie had decided that there wasn’t enough profits in the world to justify the market caps.

eresearch.fidelity.com/eresearc … try=251020

Finally, I hate to link to ZH, but the JPM downgrade of the stock is discussed and worth reading:

zerohedge.com/news/2015-02-1 … rade-tesla

IMHO what you are seeing here is the capital markets starting to get concerned. If they are wrong, go for it :wink:


ftalphaville.ft.com/2015/02/17/2 … buy-tesla/


tells you more about how incapable market analysts are at valuing tech / growth companies imho. money x employees != same outcome

the fact that Apple spend $6B a year and can only produce a bigger/smaller phone (and then buy beats…) or Google $10B putting ads on youtube suggests the real issue is not how easy it would be to copy Tesla, but how even with unlimited resources old companies are incapable of building anything new of consequence.




it’s really shocking how much better Tesla is compared to GM/Ford/Fiat’s electric offering


I think Musk’s biggest worry is not electric vehicles from other manufacturers, they’ll be coming fast and thick, but hydrogen fuel cell vehicles from the majors. He has disputed that assertion, and said fuel cells are a no hope option.

California will have limited numbers of fuel cell test vehicles, about 1,000 each from Toyota, Hyundai, and I think Honda, on the road this year, both for lease and sale at $57K. They will still not be as energy efficient as a current electric car, but if they ever crack that nut, then there’s trouble on the horizon for Musk. Electric cars could end up being bypassed entirely in favor of fuel cell. That’s one reason why Musk’s gigafactory investment is seen as a big ballsy bet.



fool cell cars will never be sold in large numbers, not a hope

also Musk wants the other manufacturers to build electric cars, he’s pissed off that they are not building enough and that the ones they build could be far better


I can’t figure for the life of me simply because I haven’t the insight how a company like Toyota for example simply did not tackle this obvious next step in the car market which is electric. It’s just odd or is it?


I’d rather stick to 30 years of personal experience of tech start ups. Companies that have a dot com vibe have…a dot com trajectory.

And almost as long an experience with the politics of CARB. The California Air Resources Board. Without the anti-car green jihadis at CARB in the '80s and 90’s there would be no hybrids. Let alone electric cars. It was the threat of getting locked out of the California car market and the 18 states that mirror CARB regulations that created hybrids. No other reason. From a total energy balance sheet point of view they are just plain bloody stupid. If they had just applied the EPA’s CAFE mileage regulations to suv’s and light trucks they would have saved far more energy in the last 30 years than will ever be “saved” by the so called “zero emission” vehicles.

Originally 50% of all cars sold in California by 2015 were supposed to be pure electric. But by the mid 90’s that complete fantasy was side steeped by classifying hybrids in the same category as pure electric vehicles. Even then and despite tens of billions of taxpayer subsidies over the last three decades the market share of hybrids in California is only about 8% and electric less than 1%. Without the massive subsides there would be no market share.

Take away the hundreds of millions of ZEV credits Tesla “sells” to the other car companies who sell cars in Cal and you see just what a smoke and mirrors operation Tesla really is. Its basically just a subsidy farming operation. Just like the wind farms.


Tesla is certainly exploiting the current ZEV regulatory framework for all it’s worth, and the system is certainly not perfect, but Tesla didn’t design the system, and has no control over other manufacturers reaction to the system, and would be foolish to overly rely on that aspect as a critical component of its biz plan.

Beyond that, Tesla’s ability to exploit the ZEV subsidy will be governed by the number of cars it sells in Ca, vs the total number of cars all other manufacturers sell, minus their ZEV sales. Bottom line is that Tesla currently doesn’t have enough total production capacity available to absorb all the ZEV credits that are required to be absorbed, so even if Tesla sold every car it made in Ca only, it could not absorb all the ZEV liability that accrues to the other manufacturers just for Ca. And 10 other states with a combined population of 90+M have adopted the Ca standard, complicating matters further.

Total Ca vehicle sales are 1.8M, ZEV requirement is 4% by 2018, I think. That’s 72,000 cars. Tesla global sales 2014 were 32/33K.

Tesla has long passed the dot com bubble stage, (sure, it’s share price may not currently be realistic, but that’s a different matter). You’re sounding more like the Microsoft guy who missed the migration to cloud and mobile.


With the rate of technological change continuing to quicken, only a fool would predict that the current status quo will be operative in 5/10/15 years.