I have never seen anything quite like this. I have an app called EV News that collects press stories about EVs plus stories on individual companies that make them. The overall tone is intensely negative for EVs in general and Tesla in particular. The complaints about EV's... consumers don't want 'em... too expensive... range anxiety... children forced to mine cobalt and lithium... you all know the litany. When it comes to Tesla... wow. Someone opined Tesla may be the most hated company on Wall St; I think they're right. Thought it might be somewhat entertaining to go through some of the common themes.
1. Tesla's sales are in the toilet and will be shortly bankrupt.
Musk recently laughed that one off adding that he expects TSLA to turn a profit starting in the third quarter. The "analysts" don't like that. Lately, the meme has shifted to "They'll have to borrow more money this year no matter what Musk says." Really? How do they know this? Inside EVs, known for cataloguing EV sales, has a story up indicating that Tesla became the world's top EV maker in the first quarter with 29k+ cars delivered. In April in the US alone, Tesla delivered 3,875 M3's, 1,250 MS's, and 1,025 MX's, a total of 6,150 vehicles. April 2018 compared to April 2017: 3,875 M3's to 0 [+100%]; 1,250 MS's to 1,125 (+125) [+11.1%]; 1,025 MX's to 715 (+310) [+43.7%]. Year to Date: MS: 7225 in 2017, 6550 in 2018 (-675) [-9.3%]; MX: 5,015 in 2017, 5,525 in 2018 (+510) [+10.1%]. Globally speaking, in the Q! Tesla sold 29,980 vehicles to rank #1 compared to China's BYD @ #2 which sold 28,545. BMW finished third with 24,108 cars delivered. March was the second best month ever on record for plug-in electric car sales @ 142,000, up 53% year-over-year. This is not a market niche falling apart and Tesla is leading the pack.
2. Here's a headline from Forbes I found fun: "No Way to Run A Factory: Tesla's Hiring Binge Is a Sign of Trouble, Not Progress"
The thesis here is that Tesla's continued hiring is putting hundreds of untrained workers on the assembly line coupled with an inference that they shouldn't be hiring at all. Ahem, maybe I truly am an old fossil, but hiring new workers used to indicate growth. That was a good thing once upon a time. Adding a third shift means somebody out there wants what you're making and you're working to accommodate them. Now it's a negative? Really? I watched my father rotate shifts from days to evenings to nights at Y-12 in Oak Ridge, TN to make nuclear warheads and nobody ever jumped Union Carbide over having that much business. Third shifts are a sign of strong demand, not desperation.
3. Tesla can't make well constructed cars. (This is fueled by the Munro breakdown where he criticized the gaps and so forth in M3s).
Munro took a couple of early built M3s and tore them apart. He was critical of the early build quality -- Tesla did point out the gap deficit has been reduced 40% and build quality is now comparable to BMW, Mercedes ICE vehicles, etc. What isn't highlighted is that the technology in the M3 absolutely blew Munro away. He called what Tesla is doing head and shoulders above anyone else in the industry. Munro also lauded Tesla's battery packs and management system. The rest of the press doesn't mention that much. They also don't mention that a couple of M3's have made their way to Germany where various car company engineers, after letting executives drive them for a while, tore them apart to practice a little reverse engineering. What they found scared them to death. The M3 absolutely wowed and terrified them at the same time. Don't hear much about that do we?
The forums here are a solid indicator of what goes on. When Tesla first introduced the MX in 2016, that forum was full of posts complaining about this and that. Go over there now and look, it's fairly quiet. Why? Because the early pangs of manufacturing a new model were worked out. I own an MX and it's fantastic. I had a couple of small nits after picking it up, which Tesla happily rectified, and it works great. No complaints, only praise from me. The M3 forum is full of the same kind of chatter that was on the MX forum for the first year or two — most of it fueled by ignorance. Guess what? These will decrease over time as well. There was one poster there who bitched about everything Tesla. Then his M3 arrived. He put up a post saying he loved his car and they haven't seen him since.
That's just the way it is with any new model, ICE or EV. The early vehicles off the assembly line have some problems. These are worked out and after 1-2 years no more bitching.
BTW, there's another story I loved that suggests Tesla should merge with Fiat Chrysler to take advantage of its balance sheet. Chrysler? The company notorious for churning out poorly made cars? That Chrysler? You have got to be kidding.
4. There is even a thesis out there that Tesla's revenue is going down because the M3 costs less.
Say what? For years you "analysts" hammered Tesla for not making an "affordable" EV for the masses. Well, now they are, at least for a much bigger segment of the market. And now you're criticizing them because revenue per unit is bound to be down? If Tesla is still selling plenty of MS's and MX's, which they are, and they're adding revenue from thousands of M3's headed out to customers every month, whatcha talking about, Willis? That doesn't even make bad sense.
I could go on, but it comes down to this: Tesla has them running scared and the auto press is falling in line dutifully thinking up any angle they can to criticize. Amazon went through the same process. If you go back and look at what analysts were saying in 2010, the criticisms that Amazon couldn't turn a profit were white hot. Most were predicting imminent failure and bankruptcy. You don't hear that much any more. These days, the fear is that Amazon is going to drive every other retailer in America out of business. Amazon is swallowing everything. What the "experts" failed to realize in 2010 was that Amazon was plowing every dollar it made and then some into growth. They weren't concerned about making a quarterly nut and paying out a nice dividend; Bezos saw a way to turn the entire retail industry upside down and he went ahead and did it.
Demand for the M3 remains strong, reservations are not falling. Production is increasing with the usual hiccups. Demand for the MS/MX is still strong and growing despite the hefty price tag. Does the MS need a refresh? Yeah. So what? It'll happen.
Inside Business, Forbes, CNBC, either really figure out what's going on with EV's, particularly Tesla, or STFU. You're boring me... and ticking me off.