Hi, I'm #1246 here and awaiting delivery.
I just read every word of the Conference Call that occurred on 25 Jul 2012. Here's my understanding of the conference call and how it relates to my future car and TSLA stock:
1) Facebook photo postings from my friends that eventually make their way to Consumer Reports (a few of them work there) and will laughably show rear seat plastic cup holders that I buy from WalMart and that hang off the rear seat windows in my new $100k+ car will, unfortunately, likely occur. On the Conference Call, Tesla basically said that 98% of the car is done and that only tiny little supplier issues such as pitting of the chrome plating of the door handles and interior trim details are really the final issues that are being perfected and holding up the ramp up in production.
In other words, the front seat, middle console that offers no concealed storage and awkward cup holder positioning (have to practically tear my shoulder rotator cuff to get drink) that I saw at the Mahwah, NJ event would seem to be the one that I'm going to be seeing in my future Model S delivery. Obviously, this same front-seat, middle console does not have fold-out cup holders for rear seat passengers like my Prius elegantly addresses.
Very unfortunate! For my rear seat passengers, it's either going to be cold hands as they are forced to hold their icey, cold drinks in their hands all throughout the drive OR use plastic Walmart window cup holders...
Oh yeah that removable, rear-seat middle console that I sometimes see photos of is not an option for me b/c it takes up precious passenger space and is a strange solution ...like the third row seat of a 90's Dodge Caravan that has to be user removed to make room. I can already see it now as I take 5 passengers to the next destination ("Hang on...I have to remove the rear-seat middle console so you can fit....oh but wait, now where are you going to put your drinks?").
2) TSLA has approx 12200 reservation holders. They seem to be managing their cash flow issues well. All this by with a lot of unpaid marketing vs paid marketing. Demand and word of mouth is strong. Good for them and bravo. They are even considering raising cash solely as a cushion against unforeseen economic issues and/or for R&D purposes - and they don't even have to raise cash. It's just a way of decreasing risk further. Nice. I should probably buy TSLA at a low and ride it up a little pending no EU contagion.
3) Elon is right about the Leaf - Nissan needs to improve on it. For me, this means increasing range. If range had already been increased in the Leaf to EPA 160 miles, I would have purchased it instead of the Model S! BUT acknowledgment of this fact means that Elon really is in touch and has the vision and insight of great CEO b/c he recognizes what the buyers such as myself are thinking. Bravo.
4) Given that 98% of the Model S is already done, it looks like my Hybrid Escalade stock stereo system will continue to blow away the 580 watt Model S stereo and its weak low-range (bass). In my opinion it doesn't even sound like the Model S has a sub-woofer (at least not near as good as my Hybrid Escalade). Very unfortunate!
Overall, although I'm excited about the Model S, my enthusiasm is tempered, and I'm pretty disappointed with the Model S lack of "creature conforts" which by reading other message boards recently seems to also mean no sun visor lights nor rear seat reading lights.
5) If the gov't or Tesla themselves, remove the ability to load up a webpage while driving, I'll be totally anti-Tesla as this would be the last straw. The ability to load up a webpage while driving may sound stupid and dangerous....but not for the passenger riding with me which is what I'm talking about.
Better start stretching out my rotator cuff now so I can get to my coffee....