Elon Musk goes Off the Rails

A fast car does not a luxurious car make. Plenty of luxury cars are not fast and plenty of fast cars are not luxurious.

I expect a sports car to be performant, I expect a luxury car to be well appointed.

Tesla is somewhere in the middle if that spectrum for me, but I think people look at the large integrated tablet in Tesla’s and the fact the horn can be configured to fart and get convinced that must be a sign of luxury.

I don’t know if I want to live in a world where farty noises aren’t a sign of luxury and class.

Just as aside, that lower “graph” must be the worst graph I’ve seen in my life :D

It really is awful, but I got tired of looking for anything better.

The tesla model 3 performance variant 0-60 is really fun though, and is certainly something you can’t get for the same price in an ICE (50k). Gonna be like double the price to get close. Though, in a longer drag race, it will fall behind real sports cars.

But, to me, if you want performance, you buy a M series BMW or another sports car. The Tesla performance stuff is all built around the torque and acceleration, and is a bit of a gimmick, a cool one, but a gimmick. If I am dropping near 100k on a sports car, I am getting a GT-R or a Mercedes AMG GT.

Tesla is in a really precarious position in the marketplace, their main selling point is being electric, and their competitors are catching up. They need to step up their game with quality and interior features, or they might get left behind.

I disagree. They need to lower prices.

Tesla’s main competition (and the major EV player) is BYD. Of the classical manufacturers I only see VW able to maybe challenge in the space short term.

The challenge as I see it is that they need to stop being a luxury brand and offer sub 30k vehicles (with the same range).

You are both right. Tesla needs to do one or the other. It can’t continue to try to do both, as it will fail on both counts. It can be the premier electric luxury car, or it can be the premier mainstream electric car, but it can’t be both.

Exactly. They have to commit to one or the other. There is a reason there are specialized luxury brands. And with Tesla’s “Model 2” absent from the investor day briefing, as well as little details on how they plan on pushing affordability, it seems like they are going to continue on down the “luxury” vehicle path.

Personally, I think that is a mistake, as the luxury brands that exist already are going to compete with them on price. Does a Tesla feel like a luxury vehicle when Mercedes Benz E class and S class go all electric? Also, being a luxury brand really relies on image consciousness, and well… Elon has kind of fucked that up as of late. Are football (both kinds) players buying Teslas? Celebs? Rappers? Musicians? That pushes the brand for luxury car makers. I don’t see Tesla competing there presently.

It also becomes really difficult for the company to sell their “green energy” focused image when they only sell luxury vehicles. They are really at a tipping point now, with their stock price falling to earth. The next 2-3 years will be crucial for the company to survive.

There is a high-end buyer that will gravitate towards Tesla’s pricier offerings, for sure, but it’s not a demographic that is going to pull in a lot of people who aren’t them, Like you cogently point out. sports stars and music idols can drive fans to brands; techbros, probably not quite as much. And then there’s the kicker–while an average fan who sees a ballplayer driving a fancy BMW, Mercedes, even a Cadillac can find something more or less in the same family for a reasonable price, even if they end up going used. Most luxury brands either have entry models, large fleets of off-lease used models, or affiliated brands (like Honda for Acura, Toyota for Lexus, VW for Audi/Porsche, or Mini for BMW) that can benefit from the prestige of the high end models.

Tesla is limited in its range of models, and there isn’t much flexibility there to capture the wannabes. And the models they do have don’t have the immediate and widespread curb appeal that mainstream marques have, at least, for most run of the mill drivers. No matter how good the cars are–and everything I’ve seen, weird stories about software notwithstanding, indicates that as EVs they are very good–they aren’t operating in a vacuum.

I mean, look at the EVs coming out or nearly here from the traditional luxury makers. There are some slick, luxurious, and decadent rides out there. And while the melted-Bauhaus-on-wheels sort of aesthetic of Teslas admittedly has its own sort of appeal, it simply isn’t going to compete with straight-up old fashioned bling, wood paneling, and pleated leather.

I’d argue that the other main selling point of Tesla is the (super) charging network. They’re opening it up a little to other brands (mostly to get government money, as I understand it), but that remains a strong incentive. The ‘everyone else’ network buildout is going really slowly and unevenly.

Yes, this is huge. It is also not something I see Tesla being able to retain as a distinct advantage forever. Eventually, maybe sooner, maybe later, EV charging will be nearly as ubiquitous and interchangeable as gas stations. Ok, maybe that’s a bit optimistic, but in the medium to long term it’s going to happen I think.

Yeah, but that’s a long time for them to have that advantage, it’s all in saying. The Infrastructure Bill had a ton of money for charging networks Iirc, but even so, it’s going to be slow going. Time for Tesla to get its shit together, get the truck/lower end options out. We’ll see.

I think it’s just a matter of time before fast food chain franchisers and franchisees make charging stations part of the basic offering for their chain.

That is an amazing opportunity that’s going unutilized right now.

Agreed; make hay while the sun shines, because it ain’t gonna shine forever.

On our trip back from South Carolina to home ain’t NoVa, we had to charge at a McDonald’s. So we ate there. Probably the first time in 10 years we had eaten at McDonald’s. So you are obviously, right!

Anyone still doubt it was Grimes that did this to him?

The timing of his heel turn definitely makes that a good theory.

He has become more divorced than you could ever imagine.

We always use Canadian experimental pop artists as agents. Always.

The twist: He was actually the agent sent to influence G. and he never even knew he was an agent. PS (mission failed)