What's Really Going On

What's Really Going On

I visited a buddy yesterday who had been on the reservation list with me until he grew impatient about not knowing whether the 60Kw car would have a supercharger. He canceled his reservation earlier in the year.

First thing out of his mouth yesterday is, "are you still going to get your car in Dec.?" I'm P2124 and have a confirmed order for a 60Kw car)

Turns out Tesla has announced a change in the production schedule and somehow my buddy knew about it before me (NY Times article).

Just the day before I had gotten an email telling me I owed another $1000 for the Supercharger which I had thought was included when I saw "no charge" on my order form. Now I think I'm supposed to ignore that email, but I'm not really sure.

And just last week we find that Tesla is issuing another round of stock despite assurances earlier in the month that everything was fine. This after a bizarrely scheduled late night unveiling of the Supercharger Network.

When you've been waiting for something for 2 1/2 years for a car and have money invested in the company, perhaps you get impatient. However, Tesla's chosen to have all of us along for its ride, so perhaps it could clue the passengers in to what the heck is going on.

mrspaghetti | 1 October, 2012

So your buddy reads the news before you do.

You're supposed to ignore the email, yes.

Tesla needs more cash, so they're issuing more stock. They never said they wouldn't do that, and it doesn't imply that everything is not fine.

Nothing bizarre about the timing of the supercharger unveiling. It wasn't that late on the West Coast (where they happened to have the actual ceremony, along with the superchargers they've already completed). Also, since they had some lasers and stuff, it was probably best to do it after dark.


TheAustin | 1 October, 2012

Dan, I totally agree with you, and shared some of my concerns and suggestions for Tesla here:

The long and the short of it: Tesla has a good record of customer service with the Roadster owners, and has done OK with (eventually) responding to concerns/criticism...But they need to be more proactive with communicating to it's customers/reservation holders/etc.

You mentioned the whole 60Kw battery/SuperCharger debacle...I'll re-mention this ongoing production "batching" issue: For weeks, people have been wondering and asking on here why some higher reservation numbers are getting called before lower numbers, posters are compulsively comparing configurations, trying to find some explanation, some conspiracy theory paper-trail of configuration details that explain why some cars are shipping earlier than other...All it's no official word from Telsa's heads on exactly why this is happening, and what people in various areas of the country with various configurations can/should expect.

And that's the key right there: Expectations...They have to do a better job of managing people's expectations...Most of us have been waiting 2+ years for our car, and especially now that there seems to be some delays, Tesla HAS to keep us in the loop, keep us engaged and make us part of the conversation, rather than just treating us like a bunch of starving people stranded on a deserted island, waiting for a food (information) air drop. The once-a-month or so blog posts from George are usually very informative and enlightening...They should be more frequent, even if they are less "Big Picture." In fact, maybe that's their problem...If something is not "Big Picture" they don't seem to worry about it...But there are a lot of Medium Picture stuff that's still really important, and that still needs to be addressed.

So, that's my take on it...Tesla, I hope you're listening, and I hope you have a re-vamped communications plan in the works. Thanks!

DanD | 1 October, 2012

Yep. The notion that I'd have to subscribe to the NY Times in order to know when my car will be delivered seems a bit odd Spaghetti.

And yes, 11pm Eastern is a strange time to schedule a market affecting announcement. Turns out that most of the population and press in this country actually live on the East Coast. This was especially weird given that the next morning the stock offering was made public.

And, earlier in the year the Company did say it have funds to ramp up production and start paying back the US load early.

I get that things don't work out but this has been a big flurry of press that's left the market and reservation holders wondering.

mrspaghetti | 1 October, 2012

It would be odd if you found out from the NY Times that there was a change of your delivery date, but you have not indicated that is the case. You wrote that there was speculation by a third party that your delivery date may have changed, based on a story in the NY Times.

Has your delivery date changed?

DanD | 1 October, 2012

If only 3000 cars are to be made and I'm a 60Kw order and reservation #P2124 and there are at least 1000 signature owners ahead of me.

You tell me.

The problem is, I would think it would change, but I don't know. Certainly the production forecast changed from 5000 to 3000.

It seems impossible now that I'm in the first 3000.

mrspaghetti | 1 October, 2012


As for the flurry of press and the big deal they're making about everything, the bottom line is that:

1) They're issuing more stock. So what? Companies do it all the time.
2) They're expecting to deliver, what, 3000 cars in 2012 vs. 5000, and still on track to do 20k plus units next year. Again, in my mind it's no big deal. If they were delivering 500, I'd be concerned, but we're talking about maybe a month or two behind schedule.

As for the supercharger timing - population density of the east vs. the west coast is a non-sequitur. Elon lives on the West Coast. The superchargers they were unveiling are on the west coast. If you want to see lasers, it should be dark, so they did it after dark on the west coast. Which is where they were.

I love a conspiracy theory as much as anyone, but come on.


I don't disagree with your point that TM has room for improvement in their communications. My point is that I think it's obvious enough that it need not be said. It's kind of like telling someone who's already working on something to work harder - it just isn't helpful.

weeandthewads | 1 October, 2012

It was my understanding that they where only producing the 85Kwh cars in 2012. Produce 5K or 3K or how ever many they would be 85Kwh models. It doesn't matter what you number is if you want anything other than a 85kwh model it is going to be a while.

Aleksandyr | 1 October, 2012

I was close to buying a roadster 2 years ago, they clearly said all roadster owners would be bumped to the front of the line. Can we not assume the people with higher numbers getting delivery are roadster owners? Seems to simple to explain, but any confirmation?

Theresa | 1 October, 2012

Aleksandyr, As a Roadster owner I can attest to the fact that we had a chance to get in on the early delivery but we had until sometime late last year to lock that in. Those that didn't (like me) are treated the same as other reservation holders i.e. if you ordered the Sig you went to the front of the line (behind the Roadster owners) and if you ordered a standard version then you were in the line where you reserved the same as any one else.

mrspaghetti | 1 October, 2012

@rtesta: On the design studio page it says the 40 & 60 batteries enter production in December & November 2012, respectively.

Jhall118 | 1 October, 2012


Tesla has a SUPPLY problem. There is zero demand problem. It will probably be that way for a year! At this point, 100% of their focus should be on making as many cars as they can, as fast as they can. Once a month, someone should sit down and write a blog to keep us updated, but I would be worried if I saw more than that. It would be a waste of time and resources.

TheAustin | 1 October, 2012

@tesla.mrspaghet - You would think so, yet they keep doing it...I took the opportunity to bring it up in a (semi) public forum as a way to let them know that, as customers, we notice it, and we're not happy about it. In order to know exactly how bad of a mistake you made often requires the people that it has affected to verbalize that it has in fact affected them, and to what degree.

sergiyz | 1 October, 2012

It's not unusual for tesla to unveil things late at night, take their
Model X announcement.
They are doing a lot of things that are non-traditional, brings more attention.
I don't think it's a bad thing.
Clear and proactive communication is still lacking though.
I barely received any communication from them since I've finalized
my order back in mid-June.
They did call me about 3 weeks ago to notify me of the new delivery window.
My original delivery time frame was Sep, it is now Oct 5-19, but no hard date yet.
You can always email or call them though, they have been responsive so far.
They could probably send a status update email from time to time just to let me know they are still alive and kicking, since they do owe me money ;)

Brian H | 1 October, 2012

+1, +1 Jhall118, t.m.

You'll just have to reconcile yourself to sometimes staying up late or waiting till the next day to find out what's happening with TM. The world is round; inconvenient, I know. <;p