Has Tesla Lost Focus ?

Has Tesla Lost Focus ?

With all the news these days, I have been asking having myself, Has Elon gotten so distracted that Tesla has lost focus.

That question being asked, begs my next question. What is Tesla's primary mission:

1) Facilitating the switch from petroleum based vehicles to clean electric vehicles ?
2) Developing self-driving vehicle technology ?
3) Helping the world switch to solar based renewable energy grid ?

It is hard to know which one of the above is the primary focus of Tesla. And when you add Space-X and the boring company, what is Elon's primary focus ? (Other than sending short-sellers to Mars) | 25. huhtikuu 2019

Why can't all three be the mission? They are all complementary to each other. So I'd say Tesla is laser focused.The biggest distraction is Wall street, who seems unable to comprehend Tesla.

mrburke | 25. huhtikuu 2019

The operative word was "primary". All three missions are great, but Tesla is losing money and they need to make sure they are focused on their PRIMARY mission with laser focus.

jrscarlett | 25. huhtikuu 2019

"to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy." -- all three apply. The second takes a bit more thought as if less people own vehicles when they can autonomously summon them on demand via the Tesla Network.

mrburke | 25. huhtikuu 2019

@jrscarlett - Self driving cars have nothing to do with or at least very very little to do with "to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy." How you get from point A to point B does not matter. The form and amount of energy used to do that does.
Focus on the mission, not the cool stuff along the way.

jordanrichard | 25. huhtikuu 2019

By creating aspiriational cars, more people will want to own them, hence more will buy them replacing their ICE cars.

greg | 25. huhtikuu 2019

Of the 3 you listed:

You can't have 2 without first doing 1.

Musk said so at the Autonomy day and I believe he is right. You will need EVs to have self-driving vehicles.
Or at least you'll need vehicles with lots of onboard electricity storage. And if you have that you might as well use it to move the vehicles as well.

So 2 can't be the primary goal.

3 is a good goal, but we could all still have solar powered houses up the wazoo and end up running around burning fossil fuels for transport. So 3 can't be the primary goal.

That leaves 1, of the 3 you list as the primary goal.

But as other point out there are lots of goals and milestones. Not all of them are "secondary" with one primary.

The true primary goal for Tesla is leading the way and showing it can be done, and how to do it.
In every facet of the areas Tesla and SpaceX gets involved in.

Tesla, doesn't enter the race to come second. Musk stated this in the first autonomy day presentation - he gave the go ahead for the work to create their own FSD computer processor, on the basis of the answer to the "will we win?" question being "yes".

That says it all about Musk/Tesla/SpaceX

Some goals will of necessity need to take a [relative] back seat along the way, either temporarily or permanently.
But Musk's first reasoning principles also provides the way he goes about deciding on where to focus his efforts not just how he decides how to fix the things he decides to fix in the first place.

And in order to show the way, Tesla needs to stay in business.
But that doesn't mean they need to be a publicly listed company to do that.


SO | 25. huhtikuu 2019

Having FSD will make Tesla even that much more attractive to buyers. Absolutely worth doing.

TranzNDance | 25. huhtikuu 2019

One of the issues with owning an EV for some people is not having an easy or reliable way to charge. FSD means not needing to own a car because one could call one up for a ride.

jimglas | 25. huhtikuu 2019

its called multi-tasking
He does it well | 25. huhtikuu 2019

FSD and RoboTaxi service will dramatically reduce the need for cars. As the volume of cars (especially ICE) goes down, it does much to help #1 - get rid of ICE. I expect 2021 to be deadly to many automakers. Why would anyone buy a car that goes down in value vs. a Tesla that generates a profit for the owner and pays for itself in a few years?

A few automakers do understand RoboTaxi type services, but they may be way too late to the party. Maybe one will buy Uber or Lyft and stuff their cars into service (if they can get FSD to work), but with the crazy valuations, that looks to a difficult, slow, capital intensive proposition.

mrburke | 25. huhtikuu 2019

I am not be trying to be critical of anything eldon is doing, with exception of Flame Throwers and Leaf Blowers.

But if #1 is the primary goal, then why is he not selling drivetrains to Ford,Chevy, or Dodge to build an E-Truck. He could then focus on the Y & Semi. Tesla does not have the cash to have 4 projects underway (Y,Roadster,Semi,Pick-up)

lapajgo | 25. huhtikuu 2019

How's this for focus: Tesla - Oil Crisis & Zombie Apocalypse CERTIFIED !

greg | 25. huhtikuu 2019


He is not selling parts to GM, FCA or anyone else, as he knows if he did that then they will end up screwing the Tesla, and the mission due to corporate meddling, pricing and a host of other antics. .

That means that they'll end up putting an ICE in the mix as well, turning the EV only truck/CUV/Semi into a PHEV e.g. PHEV F-150 with mediocre everything, that doesn't sell well - ending up once again screwing the EV transition pooch. Just like GM already did with the EV-1.

Musk is showing the way that you can design, build and sell [at a profit] each of the those types as comparable price points. If he can make each of those a Halo vehicle for its class, like Roadster 2.0 is going to be.

Then, that says to the likes of Ford, GM, FCA et al - you either seriously get on board with EVs, or get out of the business!

It took 150 years to screw the climate with fossil fuels, it won't take 5 years to undo that.
Musk knows its a long haul to get there. But someone has to light the way so others can follow.

Without that the "mission" goes nowhere. | 26. huhtikuu 2019

@mrburke - "why is he not selling drivetrains to Ford,Chevy, or Dodge"

Here's a few more reasons why:

1) Those companies will not buy from Tesla. Very strong Not-invented-here feelings would kill this before it started.

2) Tesla has zero excess battery capacity, they are actually buying batteries from others as the GF doesn't produce enough for Tesla's needs.

3) These other automakers are so slow in purchasing, as it would take at least 3 years for them to specify, contract and then get some OEM components from Tesla. By then, Tesla is on the next generation design. These legacy companies move painfully slow. The total opposite of Tesla.

4) Carmakers are slow to pay and allow for the smallest of margins. Bad for Tesla on profits and cash flow.

My guess is Tesla's EV truck (that is not a useless compliance vehicle) will be available before any of those other automakers. They really have zero interest in EVs, except when forced to make one in China to stay in that market.

jordanrichard | 26. huhtikuu 2019

mrburke, first those other companies need to build a car structure that can fit a Tesla battery pack in. BTW, Mercedes Benz was using a Tesla pack/DU for it's shortly lived B-Class EV, here in the states. Naturally, they overpriced the car and only made it available in 8 states.

JeanMRoyer | 26. huhtikuu 2019

For all of us who are long term Tesla investor, please don't lose Tesla’s vision. Here's the reason the stock market has been and is reacting negatively.
Think about witch/what industries Tesla is disrupting and what kind of short monies these industries can throw at the stock market. Here’s my list of disrupted industries so far as I can phantom.
1. Big oil industry, chain distribution of oil and gas, to the mom and pop gas stations.
2. Big car manufacturer who have stupid monies for TV ads and obviously monies to try to kill Tesla.
3. Big and small car part suppliers who are not ready to join in Tesla's vision.
4. Big and small car dealerships who are afraid of losing their "rip off" sales/service centers.
Now ask yourself has any company like Tesla ever disrupted so many industries? Who else is Tesla pissing off? Please tell me who is on your list
Remember Amazon - They disrupted brick and mortar book stores. Their vision continues.
Remember Apple/Google/Microsoft - They disrupted the whole communications industry. Their vision continues.
Tesla investors, hang in there and remember your focus. You will be rewarded.

fred | 26. huhtikuu 2019

The worst customer service:

Went to the Local Highland Park service location with the same issue I've had previously with my driver's leather seat. First, the claimed they had no recorder of me ever repairing the seat with them. I had to dig through 2 years of emails and found my direct communications with them setting up the appointment. Then it took them also a week to get back to me what they intend to do with the repairs. After lying to me, they respond they issue is not covered under warranty where in fact they have actually repaired the exact thing previously.

MY LAST TESLA I WILLE EVER BUY. I can take my 100K somewhere else1

fred | 26. huhtikuu 2019

he worst customer service:

Went to the Local Highland Park service location with the same issue I've had previously with my driver's leather seat. First, they claimed they had no record of me ever repairing the seat with them. I had to dig through 2 years of emails and found my direct communication with them setting up the appointment. Then it took them almost a week to get back to me what they intend to do with the repairs. After lying to me, they respond the issue is not covered under warranty where in fact they have actually repaired the exact thing previously.

MY LAST TESLA I WILL EVER BUY. I can take my 100K somewhere else.

jimglas | 26. huhtikuu 2019

Fred FUD

Earl and Nagin ... | 26. huhtikuu 2019

Tesla gave those guys the chance to invest in Tesla's charging network. They rebuffed Tesla, spreading the lie that "Tesla is losing money and desperate for someone to bail their charging network out". Now the Europeans are forcibly, through legislation, trying to make Tesla's charging network illegal.
Do you really think all those Ford,Chevy, or Dodge executives, who've been made to look so stupid and incompetent, will allow any money to go to Tesla?

andy.connor.e | 26. huhtikuu 2019

3 is complimentary to the goal of #1. With #1, you can make all the EVs you want, but it all depends where the electricity comes from. If the electrical energy for the EVs comes from solar on your house, its a pretty good transitional system. Better to not replace gas guzzling cars with electric cars that get their electricity from coal burning/gas guzzling power plants. That doesnt make alot of sense.

teslu3 | 27. huhtikuu 2019

JeanMRoyer: 5) Media companies that take advertising $$$ from 1-4.

mrburke | 28. huhtikuu 2019

A few random thoughts.
1)Business makes strange bedfellows. Just look at Apple & Microsoft.

2) Tesla's supercharger network is maybe the biggest private sector moat in the history of business world, but every other car company in the world is trying to breach it.

3) Tesla has many irons in the fire and not a lot of extra cash to execute them.
a) Model Y
b) Semi
c) Roadster
d) The unannounced Pickup.

I would love it if Tesla had $10Billion in the bank and could staff & tool up for all of them. But they don't.
They need to pick their battles and choose allies that they work with.
Focus on the most important thing and work with allies to achieve common goals.

CC396 | 28. huhtikuu 2019

Yes, because instead of EVs, FSD, the main focus should be about saving humanity, what are those when we're not alive? The main mission right now is to ramp up "Not A Flamethrower" and send it up North to Winterfell! Our people need it! Where is Musk when we need him? Watching Meme reviews when he can be on GOT? Elon, please choose your journey and challenges wisely!

carlk | 28. huhtikuu 2019

All three but at this stage it's the self driving robot car for these two reasons.
1. Elon had intimate understanding of AI and automation. Right or wrong, I believe he's right, he sees that self driving car will be a reality. Any company that make conventional cars, or horses, will not going to exist. He wanted to drive the disruption instead of be forced to change by the disruption.
2. Tesla could make just so many cars in the next five or ten years. However if these are robot cars then each car Tesla makes will be able to replace many ICE cars on the road. That's the only way he could reach his goal in a decade or so.

This is what I posted earlier about this subject:
It has just dawned on me we are witnessing the biggest transformation of the auto industry in the entire automotive history. Our resident visionary Elon Musk is conducting this transformation again. No it's not the EV transition but transition to robot cars although the two are pretty related. We have all been beating on wrong bushes.

Let's look at the history:
-- Elon said in 2015 self driving project was Tesla's top priority. People to be recruited will report directly to him.
-- FSD and TeslaNet was put on the master plan deux as a major goal of the company.
-- Tesla put hardware in every car at likely a pretty stiff cost.
-- When asked how much of Tesla's expenditure was on the self driving car project he said (I think sarcastically) all of it.

Two serious questions are raised here. Why cash strapped Tesla would want to spend those serious money over the years on the project that has little to do with making and selling compelling cars? Isn't it a whole lot better to use the money to strengthen the bottom line and profit to boast the stock price? The other one is Tesla sells car because they are nice drive. What's the point of making driving unnecessary and taken away one of its most desirable traits? The only logical explanation is Elon saw robot cars as the inevitable disruption. With his AI involvements he's in the best position to see that. He wanted the disruption to come from Tesla instead of someone else.

There is this eerie similarity of this to what had happened to Netflix, another company I admire a lot. By the later part of 2000's Netflix's DVD by mail model had dominated the video watching business and killed off all competitors. Then Netflix seemed to have abandoned this position and switched the entire focus to streaming. It had caused its stock to drop more than 75% but the rest are of course history. It's very hard to disrupt your own dominate business. Only visionary with greatest confidence is able to take the risk and be rewarded.

You might say I like to drive my car and I want to do it instead of having cars to drive themselves. Elon likes to drive too but he also knows the reality. He can see how this technology will lead us to. It's very likely that in ten years few would drive their own cars and in twenty years no one will be allowed to. Toyota, VW, Mercedes, Ferrari... I don't care who you are. You will die if you can't compete in the robot car business in the future. It won't even take 10 or 20 years for consumers to see writing on the wall. Elon did say buying a car today is like buying a horse. He's not joking.

One more thing why I said this is still related to his mission. Making robot cars is the best and most cost effective way to get rid of ICE cars.

carlk | 29. huhtikuu 2019

My post was to answer op's question if Tesla has lost its focus. It's pretty clear that was the focus since at least 2015. I just saw this nice article that explaines result of that. Things don't just fall off the sky,

El Mirio | 29. huhtikuu 2019

FSD does help combat climate change, it enables shared transportation, decreasing the overall amount of cars needed and therefore reducing carbon footprint per mile.

Roger1 | 04. toukokuu 2019

Tesla's focus at this point is building a viable vehicle manufacturing and marketing business. Established vehicle manufacturers are building electric vehicles and will get better doing it over the next few years. So Tesla must demonstrate excellence as a vehicle builder meaning both quality and low cost. Established companies know how to build cars with good quality and low cost. They are learning how to build them with electric drive trains. At some point in the not too distant future, Tesla will be one of a number of companies selling high quality electric cars. They will need a full set of features to compete which means autonomous driving capability. The heart of the electric vehicle and major cost driver is the battery so Tesla needs to manufacture massive quantities of them at the lowest possible price. Tesla might as well participate in the home power market to create even bigger demand for their batteries.

TranzNDance | 04. toukokuu 2019

It's funny you mention Tesla needs lots of batteries when it has a Gigafactory, and Audi is having trouble with battery supply because LG wants to jack up the price. All manufacturers are going to need batteries, and car building expertise isn't enough. The other manufacturers are going to be behind by at least the number of years that it took Tesla to build the factory and getting it up to speed, or have a reasonable contact from a battery supplier.

There's also the dealers who don't like to sell EVs because they make lots of money on servicing cars and EVs are lower maintenance.

The manufacturers also need to avoid killing the golden goose before they are able to switch over to EVs and be at least as profitable. They make the EV too good, it hurts the ICE business; they make it mediocre and their EVs are less compelling.

It would be great to have more EV makers. The conventional companies have a lot of headwind to fight against.

Nexxus | 07. toukokuu 2019

Tesla now produces 60% of all the li-ion batteries in the world with Panasonic. | 07. toukokuu 2019

I'd also estimate Tesla uses more lithium-ion batteries by kW in a month than all other automakers combined use in a year. That will change, but boy is it slow for others to do more than make compliance vehicles.

92ethancampbell | 08. toukokuu 2019

It don't Tesla has lost any focus.

carlk | 09. toukokuu 2019

@El Mirio Not only less number of cars need to be produced but these cars will all be electric and will replace a lot of gas burning cars on the road.