Tag Archives: Elon Musk

Waiting For Elon, by Eric Peters

Tesla has kept some buyers waiting three years for their cars, and they still haven’t delivered. From Eric Peters at theburningplatform.com:

Three years is a long time to wait for a new car. It makes you want to buy another car – which is exactly what a large number of frustrated Teslians are doing as they lose hope of ever getting behind the wheel of the Model 3 they put thousand dollar deposits on as far back as 2016.

That is to say, of ever seeing the affordable Model 3 Elon promised to build for them. The one Elon promised he could sell them for $35,000. The one which – by dint of its affordability – Elon swore on a stack of battery packs would game-change the EV business, which has been financially flummoxed to date when it comes to figuring out how to build an electric car that can be sold at a price people can afford andat a profit.

It looks like Elon can’t do it, either.

H will sell you a $94,000 Model S – or a $44,400 Model 3 (the Model 3 he isbuilding and which you can buy). But he can’t afford to sell you affordable models like the $79,000 version of the Model S, which has been pulled from the Tesla lineup.

And he apparently can’t build the promised $35,000 model 3 because he can’t afford to lose the additional almost $10k difference between it and the $44,000 (to start; more like $60,000 out the door) version, which is the only version he is building.

Meanwhile, his customers grow restless.

If you want to call them that.

It is customary for a customer – properly speaking – to get something in returnfor his money. Thousands of Elon’s “customers” have only received empty promises, so far.

For example, Nevine Melikian of Phoenix, AZ- who put down cash almost two summers ago and has yet to get anything in return – except for Elon’s “pedo” Tweets. Automotive Newsreports that the Melikian family has purchased to Toyota Prius hybrids in the meanwhile – probably because they wore out too many pairs of shoes.

“They need to get their act together, ” says Melikian.

Actually, Uncle does – for consistency’s sake, at least.

How is that Tesla is permitted to get away with what any other automaker (or business generally) would be Hut! Hut! Hutted! – or at least, SEC’d – over? It is generally considered fraud to promise people things, take their money – and give them nothing.

Tesla has taken $905.8 million from Model 3 prospects, which buys a lot of cannolis.

Some customers have done the “Tesla Stretch” – the term used by Teslians themselves to describe giving up on the $35,000 Model 3 bait and accepting the $60,000 switch. Automotive News quotes Janelle Tarman, who bought the $60k (well, $58k) Model 3 which Elon is building  . . .because she fears the $35,000 version will “never materialize.”

Meanwhile, VW was literally hounded into Ned Beatty-esque squealing like a pig over pedantic “cheating” on recondite government emissions tests, which “cheating” amounted to a hill of nothing in terms of any fraud perpetrated on customers or harm to anyone or anything, including the Earth.

VW has been almost bankrupted by the government – and forced by the government to stop selling cars that people loved and which VW delivered. The company has had to finance embarrassing ads touting the products of its rivals – electric cars, of course.

Keep in mind that not one VW customer ever bitched about not getting a car – or expressed any dissatisfaction with the function of the “cheating” cars. Overwhelming, VW’s customers loved their cars – and regardless, actually got them when they paid for them.

Meanwhile, Elon…

It is interesting to speculate as to why he is given such a free hand, treated almost like a beloved child by its indulgent parent.

I think I know why.

Tesla was a kind of electric cat’s paw. Its purpose was to get EVs into the spotlight – to get the public used to the idea of electric cars, at least conversationally. To normalize them, to make them seem “cool” and “hip” – while non-electric cars were systematically portrayed by a complicit (because wholly owned by the same interests)  as “old” and – of course –   “dirty.” Which is a fraud far worse than pocketing $905.8 million from a bunch of starry-eyed rubes.

To force the issue, in other words.

EVs were going nowhere – not merely not very far – before Tesla suddenly (interestingly) became das wunderkind, with almost constant – and almost universally favorable – media coverage. The idea seems to have been to make EVs seem inevitable – The Future, as we have been hectored to accept as Truth and Fact for years now – and also to make them seem oh-so-sexy.

Note that Elon touts the speed and styling of his cars, which they do deliver. This is important; any ad man or marketing Jedi who knows his marks will tell you so.

Elon’s job, then, was to sex up the EV – which previously had been homely and boring as well as overpriced and functionally gimped. This would generate buzz. Which would create perceived pressure. And it would keep people’s minds off the overpriced and functionally gimped part, just long enough…

It would help force the entire industry to go EV. Make it seem like a grand idea. The public would never accept overpriced electric Trabants – but it might be gulled by speedy, good-looking ones.

Tesla’s job was to float the illusion– just long enough to assure the inevitability. To roll along – on government indulgence and taxpayer dollars – just long enough to get the rest of the industry to commit. To embrace the EV tar baby with both arms and hug it so tight – in terms of pouring billions into R&D and “electrification” of their lineups – that it would be nigh impossible for them to ever extricate.

This has just about been achieved.

Which renders Tesla increasingly no-longer-necessary. Expect the boom to be lowered sometime this year. Elon will be lionized as a seer, a kind of latter-day Preston Tucker.

Meanwhile, his customers will wait.

And the rest of us will get the bill.

 

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$20 Million Isn’t Much, by Eric Peters

The fine recently meted out to Elon Musk is similar to the meager fines meted out to banks and bankers stemming from the financial crisis. The fines are meager for a reason: the perpetrators are politically connected. From Eric Peters at theburningplatform.com:

If you’re a billionaire.

Count it out. One billion dollars is one thousand million dollars. If you have one thousand million dollars, $20 million is of the same consequence as losing a $20 under a sofa cushion is to the rest of us.

Elon Musk is reportedly worth somewhere in the vicinity of $23 billion. For him, the  $20 million fine imposed by the SEC for fraud amounts to the same as losing a pennybehind the sofa cushions for the rest of us.

So, effectively, a slap on the wrist – for fraud. For actually causing harm.

Contrast the kid-glove treatment meted out to Elon with the NKVD-style inquisition visited upon Martha Stewart – a productive woman whose businesses didn’t have a taxpayer pickpocket division.

Continue reading

Tesla’s Death Dive, by Eric Peters

Tesla and cryptocurrencies are plunging, which means the universe of hope-and-a-prayer investments is shrinking. What are the get-rich-quickers to do? From Eric Peters at theburningplatform.com:

It is beginning.

Actually, it’s been happening for a long time – like a slowly metastasizing cancer. The afflicted can no longer hide the underlying disease.

Tesla is dying.

Elon is panicking – and executives are bailing. Yesterday, the company’s chief accounting officer, Dave Morton, resigned less than a month after taking the job. What do you imagine he  . . . took account of?

Left column, right column. What didn’t add up?

“Since I joined Tesla on August 6th, the level of public attention placed on the company, as well as the pace within the company, have exceeded my expectations,” Morton said a statement released by the company in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. “As a result, this caused me to reconsider my future.” Continue reading

Fool me once, shame on Elon. Fool me twice. . . by Simon Black

How many lies will Elon Musk be allowed to tell before his adoring shareholders turn on him? From Simon Black at sovereignman.com:

There’s no doubt you know the story…

On August 7, in the middle of the trading day, Tesla founder Elon Musk surprised investors with a tweet saying he was considering taking Tesla private at $420 per share (a $72 billion valuation) with “funding secured.” He quickly followed up with “Investor support is confirmed.”

Shares of Tesla soared 13% to $387 on the cryptic social media update from Tesla’s exalted chief.

The news created a media frenzy around the already red-hot company (and prompted the SEC to investigate Musk and Tesla for potentially lying to investors about a takeover). A single tweet – while the market was still open, no less – was an odd and informal way to announce such a major event.

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Did Musk consult Tesla’s board of directors before making this public? Did they even know of his plans to take the company private? Is any of this even true?

It didn’t matter to Tesla’s shareholders, who believe Musk walks on water and his tweets are gospel. So the stock price soared.

And the deal made sense for Musk…

Investors, including himself, would make a fortune.

And he would no longer be bothered by those pesky short sellers, reporting enormous losses to the public and nagging production deadlines (which Tesla continually misses)…

As a private company, Musk wouldn’t even have to ask shareholders’ permission for a $50 billion pay package.

Only, Tesla isn’t going private.

Last Friday, in a blog post (you know the announcement has got to be important if it’s escalated to blog post formality) Musk announced Tesla would stay public.

He gave a bunch of excuses for the decision, including going private would be more time consuming than he realized and that his beloved retail shareholders (his congregation) couldn’t own shares in a private company.

To continue reading: Fool me once, shame on Elon. Fool me twice. . .

Geniuses of The Left and the Glory of Cars, by Tom Luongo

Cars that must feed off the electric grid are a bad idea, and their chief proponent, Elon Musk, is a darling-of-the-left “genius” who has brilliantly promoted a solution that’s not a solution. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes is most likely going to jail.  She wasn’t Steve Jobs with a vagina, she was a fraud.

George Soros is not a “billionaire philanthropist” anymore than Hillary Clinton is the “most qualified person to ever run for President.”  He’s a cross between a virus and a vulture, first indiscriminately killing whole colonies of prey and looting their corpses long after they are dead.

Mark Zuckerberg is not the kid who brought the world together.  He’s just a creepy stalker with powerful friends.

Elon Musk isn’t “the smartest guy in the room”.  He’s a huckster.  A talented huckster, for sure.  But, the lies of the huckster always catch up with them, like right now.

All of these people are the New Geniuses championed relentlessly by the Left. They are the media darlings of the past decade presented to us as the new faces of capitalism while pulling the strings of the political system to prove to us there is a better way forward for humanity.

But, there isn’t.  This con job of Soros’ “open society” is nothing more than a front for the same Utopian Trotskyism that destroyed Russia a century ago.  They are the same tired, pampered control freaks, the forces of centralization I call The Davos Crowd, set upon us to steal our wealth and and limit our choices.

Musk, in particular, is the worst of the three innovators listed above.  Why?  Because he’s trying to destroy the car.

And the car is the most important invention of the 20th century.  It gave us freedom of movement in ways our ancestors could only dream about.

Freedom of movement enhances trade and resource collection/distribution by orders of magnitude.  It gave us on-demand mechanical advantage not capable with block and tackle or teams of horses.

And Musk wants to tie the car to the centralized, massively inefficient electrical grid, owned and operated around the world by the State.  He wants to chuck a century of perfecting the internal combustion engine be it powered by gasoline or diesel.

To continue reading: Geniuses of The Left and the Glory of Cars

No Tesla Deal! Musk Backpedals Furiously Friday Night, by Wolf Richter

The water’s leaking into the Tesla rowboat faster than Elon Musk can bail. From Wolf Richter at wolfstreet.com:

Turns out, “Funding secured” was a lie, conceived in order to manipulate up the share price.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has superseded the infamous August 8 tweet — “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured” — which had caused market capitalization to spike by about $6 billion, with a blog post late Friday in which he says that funding was never secured, but that instead it was his “belief” there was “more than enough funding,” and that the buyout isn’t going to happen at all.

We’ll get to some of the rigmarole in a moment, but deep down in his blog post, Musk says this:

After considering all of these factors, I met with Tesla’s Board of Directors yesterday and let them know that I believe the better path is for Tesla to remain public. The Board indicated that they agree.

So the mind-deal is off.

Here’s what he says about the advisors he hired after the “funding secured” tweet, and not before:

I worked with Silver Lake, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, who have world-class expertise in these matters, to consider the many factors that would come into play in taking Tesla private, and to process all the incoming interest that we received from investors to fund a go-private transaction.

And then there are the current shareholders to consider:

I also spent considerable time listening to current shareholders, large and small, to understand what they think would be in the best long-term interests of Tesla.

He did this after all hell had broken loose following his tweet, including a market reaction that indicated that there was a zero percent chance the buyout would happen at $420 a share, given that shares were trading as much as $120 below the buyout price.

And so, “based on all the discussions that have taken place over the last couple of weeks,” there are now – late Friday, August 24, not August 8 when he was tweeting-while-driving — “a few things” that are finally “clear” to him:

Given the feedback I’ve received, it’s apparent that most of Tesla’s existing shareholders believe we are better off as a public company.

Additionally, a number of institutional shareholders have explained that they have internal compliance issues that limit how much they can invest in a private company.

To continue reading: No Tesla Deal! Musk Backpedals Furiously Friday Night

Saudi Arabia’s PIF and SoftBank Not Interested in Tesla Buyout, by Wolf Richter

Did Elon Musk lie, and therefore open him to civil and perhaps criminal liability, when he said Tesla had secured funding for a buyout that would take Tesla private? From Wolf Richter at wolfstreet.com:

Two often-cited suspects are axed. So where’s the “secured” funding supposed to come from?

The whole scheme kicked off when Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted during trading hours that he was “considering” taking Tesla private, “Funding secured,” which caused the already ludicrously overvalued shares to spike. Later he added, “Investor support is confirmed.” But no details, no names, no tidbits, not even a tease. Two days earlier, he’d tweeted that “even Hitler was shorting Tesla stock.”

We can brush off the Hitler tweet as just one more Musk idiocy gone awry, but “Funding secured” and “Investor support is confirmed” are big-ass phrases for a public-company CEO discussing a buyout that would be valued at $72 billion.

Now some folks, including those at the SEC’s San Francisco office, are wanting to know where exactly this money is going to come from – and if funding was even remotely “secured.”

The Tesla true believers instantly figured that a deal had already been worked out, either with SoftBank or with Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), or with both, or whatever.

Turns out, it’s not going to be SoftBank, and it’s not going to be the Saudis, either. They’re not interested in creating the magic to pull this off.

Reuters reported today that a source “familiar with PIF’s strategy,” said that the fund was not, as Reuters put it, “currently getting involved in any funding process for Tesla’s take-private deal.”

PIF had made headlines recently when it came out that it had acquired a stake in Tesla of just below 5% by buying its shares (TSLA) in the market. None of this money went to Tesla. It went to Tesla shareholders that wanted to get out.

PIF has also heavily invested in other tech companies in the US, including a $45-billion investment in the Vision Fund, a venture capital fund that SoftBank, a Japanese holding conglomerate, has put together by pouring $100 billion into it.

To continue reading: Saudi Arabia’s PIF and SoftBank Not Interested in Tesla Buyout