Model S


edited November -1 in Model S
Tesla Loses Two Model S Executives Before Sedan Makes Debut; Shares Slump
By Alan Ohnsman - Jan 13, 2012 4:00 PM ET

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Tesla Motors Inc., the U.S. electric carmaker, said both its chief engineer and director of chassis engineering for the Model S luxury car have left the company just months before the rechargeable sedan goes on sale. Tesla shares fell as much 20 percent following the announcement.
Peter Rawlinson, Palo Alto, California-based Tesla’s vice president and chief engineer, and Nick Sampson, who supervised vehicle and chassis engineering, departed this month, Ricardo Reyes, a company spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement.
“Having completed conceptual and design engineering work on Model S, Peter has decided to step away to tend to personal matters in the U.K.,” Reyes said. Sampson had “fully transitioned” off the Model S at the time of his departure, Reyes said without elaborating.
Tesla, recipient of a $465 million U.S. loan to build its rechargeable models at a plant in Fremont, California, plans to begin building and selling Model S cars by mid-year. The company last month said initial versions, able to travel as far as 300 miles per charge, will sell for as much as $92,400 before a $7,500 tax credit.
Jerome Guillen, formerly an engineer with Daimler AG, will assume Rawlinson’s duties and Tesla hired a former Volkswagen AG executive, Eric Bach, Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief executive officer, said in an e-mailed statement.
Bach “was head of small-vehicle programs at VW and has a lot of high-volume expertise, to help in the final stretch of bringing Model S into production,” Musk said. “Eric reports to Jerome.”
Rawlinson, a former chief engineer at U.K.-based sports-car maker Group Lotus Plc and head of vehicle engineering at consultancy Corus Automotive, joined Tesla in 2009.
Tesla fell 19 percent to $24.86 at 3:59 p.m. New York time, after touching $22.64, the biggest intraday slide since June 29.
To contact the reporters on this story: Alan Ohnsman in Los Angeles at [email protected]
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jamie Butters at [email protected]


  • edited November -1
    Geht es um Qualität? Oder geht es um Bashing?

    Zerriss in der Welt:
    "Tesla Model S: Die weithin gelobte Abwerbung des gefeierten Mazda-Designers Franz von Holzhausen stellt sich bereits nach kursorischer Inspektion der Fließheck-Limousine Model S differenzierter dar. Die Verarbeitung der ausgestellten Exponate ist ein trauriger Tiefpunkt der Messe, und das extrudierte Kunststoffbauteil vor dem Fahrer mit seinem hochkant gestellten, eckigen Bildschirm verdient wie kein zweites in der neueren Automobilgeschichte die Bezeichnung "Armaturenbrett". Ergänzt wird die Stilmelange durch rustikale Lenkstockhebel und eine Lenkradschaltung aus dem Mercedes-Regal."
  • edited November -1
    My German is less than zero, so I used the Bing translator..... Not sure where kolander was going with this - or how it relates to the execs leaving????

    It comes to quality? Or is it about bashing?

    Tore in the world:
    "Tesla model S: the widely acclaimed brain drain of the acclaimed Mazda designer Franz von Holzhausen is itself already kursorischer inspection of the fastback Sedan model S differentiated is." The processing of the exhibits is a sad low point of the fair, and the extruded plastic parts before the driver with a vertical, square screen deserves the name "Dashboard" as a second in the recent history of the automobile. "The style melange is complemented by rustic steering stick arms and a downdraft from the Mercedes shelf."
  • EdGEdG
    edited November -1
    Google Translate did a little better:

    Tore in the world:
    "Tesla Model S: The widely acclaimed poaching of the critically acclaimed Mazda designer Franz von Holzhausen is achieved already after cursory inspection of the fastback sedan Model S differentiated dar. The processing of the exhibits is a sad low point of the exhibition, and the extruded plastic component before driver with its vertically placed, square screen deserves more than any other in recent automotive history, the term "dashboard". melange style is complemented by rustic steering column and a column shift lever in the Mercedes-shelf. "
  • edited November -1
    It helps to know that "Die Welt" is a German newspaper. Apparently, those stupid journalists took the beta model displayed at NAIAS for the real thing and took a joy in bashing its dashboard with all their polemic craftsmanship. Turns out that the snippet probably is sourced from some news agency, rather than an original piece from "Die Welt"; others published the same phrases as well. It is of course a little sad, but hardly surprising in the world of journalism. Nothing to see here, let's move on... ;-)
  • edited November -1
    Blech. Missed all but the last 5 minutes of the broadcast! No recording of the call up on the site yet.

    Heard Elon basically say the 25% margin on the 'S' was an underpromise, though.
  • edited November -1
    Essentially, everything is on track or ahead of schedule. All is good in "Tesla-land." The market response to the executive departure was a gross over-reaction. Elon assured investors that there would be no drop-off in timing, quality, etc., as a result of their departure. Peter Rawlinson truly left for personal reasons (Elon stated that it was not a euphemism for something else) and Nick Sampson was asked to resign for unspecified reasons relating to his relative value moving forward in this next phase of business operations.
  • EdGEdG
    edited November -1
    So it seems that Nick, in charge of chassis engineering, was let go, and they're still working on passing 5 star in some category. I'm putting two and two together, maybe getting the wrong answer, but I'm assuming they didn't get 5 star in one or more categories first time around, and Elon had been assured they would. Therefore: bye-bye.
  • My guess is that the 5 star rating for rear-end collision (with child seats option) is the problem. Not much "sheet aluminum" back there for a proper crumple zone.
  • edited November -1
    lol, come on guys. You all fretted like mother hens on rumors of executive departures and the demise of Tesla and now it's second guessing on the 5 star crash rating. It's no wonder the stock market and the economy in general are in the crapper. Everyone with a degree in economics has an opinion on how we're doing and no two opinions are the same. The only ones that really get hurt are the "little guys". We're just along for the ride. I'm getting my model S this summer and after that you can post your pessimistic propaganda all you want cuz I wont be here.
  • EdGEdG
    edited November -1
    I don't think it's pessimistic that a design change may have to be made. They're saying cars will be delivered on time, maybe earlier. I doubt TM will back off on the 5* rating all around, so what's the difference to us? I've only read the excerpts, but they didn't announce that all testing thus far passed flawlessly, did they? I can only hope the guy got fired for a good reason.

    Chill out. No one's getting hurt. Not with 5* ratings.
  • edited November -1
    Oh, I'm chillin'. I just have to laugh at at how everyone tries to read into the simplest of statements. Who got fired and how does that relate to a failure to achieve a 5 star rating? I listenened to the entire webcast and never heard the word fired. Heard "left for personal reasons" several times. Also didn't hear anyone connect the departures with any issues involving the 5 star rating.
    Personally, I thought there was nothing but positive news put out. But then it really doesn't matter what I think now does it?
  • edited November -1
    I believe Elon alluded on the call that not getting a 5 star crash rating in every category will not delay the delivery schedule of the Model S.

    I had the impression from his comments that it was some very specific cases that were causing the issue. I think he referenced unbelted females in a certain low percentile weight category and also small children in an unbelted condition. Once they post the conference call I'll listen in again to get specifics on that.

    But my takeaway from that part of the call was that a failure to get 5 stars in all crash ratings will not delay the delivery schedule.
  • edited November -1
    Unrelated comments:

    1. I find it remarkable that the NHTSA deducts points for <b>unbelted</b> passenger safety issues. If passengers opt to disconnect their primary safety system, we should care why?

    2. Seems pretty clear that Sampson was Rawlinson's guy. As someone put it on the teslamotorsclub forums, "They both left for the same reason: Peter wanted to leave."
  • edited November -1
    @Robert.Boston - 1.
    You might like the link below, Robert.

    Unfortunately, comments were requested by March 28, 1997 so you'd be a little late in contributing.
    SUMMARY: This document solicits public comments on a petition from U. S. Senator Dirk Kempthorne to amend the provisions in the agency's automatic occupant protection standard concerning the use of unbelted as well as belted dummies in testing air bag-equipped vehicles. The petition asks that the agency impose a moratorium on testing with unbelted dummies. The petition was submitted in response to the deaths of young children and of drivers, primarily short-statured women, as a result of air bag deployments in low speed crashes. The petitioner believes that the necessity of meeting the unbelted test requirement is adversely affecting current air bag designs and causing these deaths. The petitioner also believes that the requirement is preventing vehicle manufacturers from optimizing air bag designs for belted occupants.
  • edited November -1
    brianman, interesting stuff. I had to go check the Euro NCAP website immediately to see if the same nonsense goes on in Europe. That does not seem to be the case, I could not find any reference to unbelted passengers:

    A particularly interesting aspect (in this context) of the Euro NCAP is this one:
  • edited November -1
    Heh. Refuse to drive if your passengers aren't belted. If they object, say, "If my airbags kill you, it'll cost me huge fines. Put the damn thing on!" >:(
  • edited November -1
    A warning message to the passengers. If your lap belt isn't fastened and you are less than XX height and YY weight, airbags will not deploy during an accident. This is for your safety. As an alternative make the selection "Eject seat on collision. However, don't expect the parachute to open. Ha.
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