Tag Archives: Tesla

The Double-Batteried Electric Polecat, by Eric Peters

If the only electric car models that can make money are high end speedsters, why are we subsidizing them? From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

The Electric Dementia continues to wax, the latest evidence of which is Volvo’s announcement about its Polestar performance car arm becoming its electrified performance  arm.

Hold up there, chief.

Weren’t electric cars supposed to be a better way to get around – that is, less expensive to own and drive, more convenient – rather than a faster way to get around?

And if speed is now the main EV draw, why is the government still subsidizing them? Isn’t it like subsidizing ribe-eye steaks and sushi for all? Which is a nice idea – if you’re the one getting the subsidized rib-eyes and sushi rather than the one getting the bill.

There is also an environmental affront here. High-performance cars, whether electric or IC, use more energy than cars designed to get from A to B as economically as possible. So why is the government subsidizing cars that are specifically not designed to get from A to B as economically as possible? Which use more energy, gratuitously – just for the fun of it –  and so, more resources and also (here it comes) emit more byproducts – C02, in the case of high-performance electric cars – than they neeeeeeeeeeeeeeed to?

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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.

 

The Profitless Prosperity Sector Will Collapse… by Adventures in Capitalism

There are a lot of hope-and-dream companies sucking up tons of money but generating no profits, with no prospect of doing so in the foreseeable future. The profitless prosperity sector is headed for trouble. From Adventures in Capitalism at adventuresincapitalism.com:

Near the culmination of all great stock market bubbles, at least one of that cycle’s supposed luminaries suffers an epic collapse because of fraud. As a result, fresh capital is restricted from that sector when it is needed most, leading to further crisis and a winnowing out of the sector as competitors cannot raise additional capital. Remember; suckers are always willing to finance bad businesses, but fraud means you immediately sell. It is this fear of endemic fraud tarnishing a whole sector, not economics, that finally ends a bubble.

Following Enron; capital was restricted from pipelines and energy trading. The collapses of WorldCom and Qwest led to a slow-down in fiber-optic buildouts. After the collapses of Ivar Kreuger and Samuel Insull, there was a multi-decade decline in conglomerates and holding companies. Following the collapse of Lehman Brothers, there was a multi-year dearth in underwriting archaic structured products and I’m sure the collapse of Madoff led to a decline in Ponzi investing. There are always second order effects in the sectors where these companies were previously shining lights—along with a lot of carnage. As a rule; if the biggest players were cheating a lot, even the honest guys were cheating a little. With Tesla (TSLAQ – USA) beginning its death rattle it’s worth considering what will happen to the rest of the Profitless Prosperity Sector.

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Teslian eFleas, by Eric Peters

Tesla makes itself part of China’s surveillance state. From Eric Peters at theburningplatform.com:

When corporations get into bed with government, it’s uswho get the fleas. Obamacare, for instance.

Big Med plus Big Government.

Sometimes, you can’t actually see the fleas. But they’re there, just the same.

An example of this unwholesome symbiosis has just emerged – in China. But it involves an American company, Tesla – which sells the same cars here.

Turns out Tesla – which builds electric cars but makes money by leveraging government mandates  – has set up its EVs to live-feed information about where each of their cars is at any given moment directly to the Chinese government.

Their car italicized to make the point that it’s not really your car when someone else has open access to it  – and so, to your life. The car tracks your movements, records where you’ve been, how long you stayed.

The government takes note.

According to the Associated Press, which broke the story, the Chinese government merely wishes to obtain “data points” for the purpose of “infrastructure planning” and – of course – to “improve public safety.”

How isn’t specified.

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Obamacare on Wheels, by Eric Peters

If the government has to force us into electric cars, it will do so. From Eric Peters at ericpetersautos.com:

Ferrari just reported a third quarter sales sales uptick of nearly 11 percent, which it attributes to demand for its V8 powered Portofino. Sales of the V12 Superfast rose 7.9 percent. The best-selling three cars in the U.S. are big trucks – the Chevy Silverado, Ford F-150 and Dodge Ram 1500. These are not being produced at bayonet-point, via mandates – and the people buying them don’t need their palms greased as inducements to buy them.

Contrast this with the sales of electric cars so far this year  – of which there were none.

A number of them did change hands, it’s true. But to describe the exchange as a “sale” is to abuse the language, akin to referring to Bruce as “her.”

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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.

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Elon Musk smoking weed has much more dire consequences than you realize, by Simon Black

Is the long rally for tech stocks, like Elon Musk’s joint, going up in smoke? From Simon Black at sovereignman.com:

An insane event on March 2, 2017 likely signaled the top of the current market…

On that day, shares of Snap (SNAP), owner of the popular Snapchat app, went public at a valuation of more than $30 billion.

But it wasn’t the sky-high stock price that made this IPO special. Nor was it the fact that the company’s co-founders, 26-year old Evan Spiegel and 28-year old Bobby Murphy, became multi-billionaires overnight.

What made this IPO special was the fact that it was the first time in US market history that a company publicly offered shares with absolutely ZERO voting rights.

Snap clearly highlighted the fact in its pre-IPO documents… “to our knowledge, no other company has completed an initial public offering of non-voting stock on a U.S. stock exchange.”

Still, investors piled in, knowing they were buying nonvoting shares… essentially granting totalitarian control of the company to two kids.

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