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Is Tesla A Game Changer?

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  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,955
    edited March 20

    That's something to think about with Tesla - service. Are there many garages for them? I know they are relatively new cars that shouldn't yet need much intense work, but as time goes by, some will mile up and components will wear out. Would a Ford dealer take that on? I don't think I can drive to my local Tesla dealer in the second level of a mall for servicing.

    That shared sales idea could be workable, and wouldn't hurt the Ford/Lincoln image.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,261
    edited March 21

    Here's another problem Tesla (and all EVs) might have to face:

    http://simanaitissays.com/2014/03/16/quick-charge-quick-degradation/

    Tesla claims, or rather, I read where someone claims that Tesla claims, that their batteries are liquid cooled and therefore not subject to degradation. That sounds unlikely, although the numbers could be less than for the Nissan Leaf. I'd like to see this guy test a Tesla.

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,228

    @fintail said: That's something to think about with Tesla - service. Are there many garages for them? I know they are relatively new cars that shouldn't yet need much intense work, but as time goes by, some will mile up and components will wear out. Would a Ford dealer take that on? I don't think I can drive to my local Tesla dealer in the second level of a mall for servicing.

    That shared sales idea could be workable, and wouldn't hurt the Ford/Lincoln image.

    The arrangement could be that it would be Tesla's responsibility to service and repair Teslas and Ford would be responsible for Lincolns. The two brands would share dealership facilities, including trade-in and certified pre-owned departments. They wouldn't have to share sales people.

    Tesla and Lincoln would complement each other because very few customers would cross shop them.

    Lincoln appears to be stuck, and desperately needs a shot in the arm. It's struggling to compete because its vehicles are unexceptional rather than aspirational. Meanwhile, Tesla might benefit from an established distribution channel, in addition to the direct distribution model. Sharing dealership facilities may be an out-of-the box solution that could benefit both brands. It would most likely increase showroom traffic, thereby potentially benefitting Lincoln, buying time until Lincoln introduces more compelling products. For prospective Tesla buyers it would allay the concerns of those who feel more comfortable buying from a dealer instead of directly from the company.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,261

    Tesla needs dealers. I can't imagine a factory fulfilling the 24/7 service needs of customers, especially those far from the factory stores (which obviously will not be anywhere near as numerous).

    On the other hand, I think you'd be kind of nuts to invest in a Tesla dealer franchise, so maybe factory stores will be the company's only real option for survival short-term.

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,273

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  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,778

    Wow, this must be the land of Teslas! I saw FOUR on Thursday in my neighborhood. All different colors! Sorry, I just don't get it!

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,955

    I see that many every day, day in day out, in Bellevue. They are a very trendy thing for the local 1%.

  • bwiabwia Boston Posts: 1,266

    @fintail said: I see that many every day, day in day out, in Bellevue. They are a very trendy thing for the local 1%.

    I saw a black one at dusk--whoa, this creature looks beautiful at night. Sort of reminds me of a panther on the prowl.

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,228

    For the first time I saw two Teslas at the same intersection yesterday, coming from different directions.

    A day doesn't go by that I don't see at least one Model S, leading me to believe that it's the latest luxury car status symbol.

    Haven't heard much about the so-called $5 billion giga lithium ion battery factory lately, though. An article in last week's Barron's said that the giga factory is too ambitious. Also, the chief automotive executive for Panasonic, the front running potential partner for this factory, suggested that Panasonic is somewhat wary about the viability of this mega project. This factory is key to Tesla's ability to effectively break into the higher end of the mass market, to become a credible 3-Series competitor.

    The giga factory is a chicken and egg situation. Tesla is counting on this factory to reduce its battery costs by ~30%. Without it Tesla doesn't have the competitive advantage to muscle into the mass market. However, Tesla has to sell 500,000 cars per year to justify the $5 billion investment. This makes the giga factory a risky moon shot.

    Tesla stock entered bear territory last week, suggesting that investors are apprehensive about the company's valuation, and on Musk's ability to execute on his grandiose ambitions than when the stock topped out at 265 recently.

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,955

    Tesla is definitely a trendy status symbol right now - and are probably the new "thing" in Silicon Valley and the Seattle-Bellevue tech havens. If I had the money for such a toy (as I don't see them being used as replacements for other high end cars), I might do it myself. If I had such money though, I might just get a new S-class, which is pretty amazing itself.

    I am hoping Tesla plays hardball with a few certain states in regards to dealer operations - wooing them with a factory by making them change their rules - then moves elsewhere. Sometimes you have to fight jerks with jerkiness.

    Mass market is the final frontier.

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,228

    @fintail said: Tesla is definitely a trendy status symbol right now - and are probably the new "thing" in

    I am hoping Tesla plays hardball with a few certain states in regards to dealer operations - wooing them with a factory by making them change their rules...

    Mass market is the final frontier.

    Musk appears to be on a crusade regarding direct sales. Opposition seems to be crumbling. I don't think government should interfere with how manufacturers distribute their product, unless there's a consumer safety issue. In this case the laws are for the dealers' protection, although the original intent may have been, at least partially, to protect dealers from unfair practices by the auto manufacturers.

    Time will tell whether Tesla succeeds with direct sales, but they should have the freedom to try it. If it's a good business model the consumer will benefit, and if it isn't Tesla will default to authorized dealer distribution.

    The mass market will be more difficult for Tesla than the high end market because the middle and low ends are fiercely competitive. Also, whereas the Model S caught the industry by surprise, by now all the major manufacturers have heard the wake-up call. They're well aware of what Tesla's plans are. In some ways it's comparable to when Toyota launched the Lexus Division. The Germans took a hit but came back stronger than ever.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,261
    edited April 7

    Without a comprehensive service network, Tesla's plan is toast, IMO. Electric cars need service and maintenance just like any other car---and warranty claims, etc. So either Tesla funds all the dealers out of their own money (and I don't think they have enough to do that), or they'll have to authorize franchises.

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  • MichaellMichaell ColoradoPosts: 6,372

    @MrShift@Edmunds said: Without a comprehensive service network, Tesla's plan is toast, IMO. Electric cars need service and maintenance just like any other car---and warranty claims, etc. So either Tesla funds all the dealers out of their own money (and I don't think they have enough to do that), or they'll have to authorize franchises.

    There is a family who we regularly deliver pizza to who has a Tesla. I'm curious as to how / when / where it gets serviced. If I see them again I'll ask.

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,261

    Well it's a pretty new car and from the few owners I've spoken to, they don't pile up miles very quickly---they are 2nd or 3rd cars for these people.

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,228

    @MrShift@Edmunds said: Without a comprehensive service network, Tesla's plan is toast, IMO. Electric cars need service and maintenance just like any other car---and warranty claims, etc. So either Tesla funds all the dealers out of their own money (and I don't think they have enough to do that), or they'll have to authorize franchises. @MrShift@Edmunds said: Without a comprehensive service network, Tesla's plan is toast, IMO. Electric cars need service and maintenance just like any other car---and warranty claims, etc. So either Tesla funds all the dealers out of their own money (and I don't think they have enough to do that), or they'll have to authorize franchises.

    The issue is whether a car company should have the legal right to choose its distribution model, not whether distributing through a traditional authorized dealer network is a wise business decision.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,261

    Oh I'm all for letting Tesla do as it wishes for distribution, although I have no idea why they think this is a good idea.

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  • texasestexases Posts: 5,647

    @hpmctorque said: The issue is whether a car company should have the legal right to choose its distribution model

    That's common in many industries, the companies determine who can market their purses/industrial engines/whatever. This is not unique to the carmakers.

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,228

    @texases said: That's common in many industries, the companies determine who can market their purses/industrial engines/whatever. This is not unique to the carmakers.

    Correct, the companies, not the state governments, determine who markets their wares.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,261

    Unless it's a pyramid marketing scheme. :)

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,228

    @MrShift@Edmunds said: Unless it's a pyramid marketing scheme. :)

    I know you said that in jest, but I'm sure we can agree that pyramid schemes are consumer protection issues. Therefore, government has a legitimate role in those.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,261

    yeah, I was just pointing out that the government can interfere, and does, in aberrant marketing. You may recall that's what happened to Preston Tucker and his car. Tucker pushed the limits of a known system by pre-selling the options on the car to owners before they got the car (such as the radio, or other gadgets you could add). The government interpreted this as a form of securities fraud, contending that he had no intention of selling the actual cars, but was using the optional equipment sales as a form of corporate fund raising. They also said the SEC had jurisdiction because factory-dealer agreements fall under the Securities Exchange Act.

    I don't think the Feds would jump on Musk but state governments most certainly will. The Feds might need Space X to help build rocket motors, since the Russian rocket engines, which are currently the best in service, are limited in supply--and what with Crimea and all.....

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,228
    edited April 11

    Listed for sale by private seller in the Washington Post: "2013 S, 85kw, pearl white w/blk lthr, pan roof, tech pkg, Obeche wood, only 700 mi, showroom cond, $92,000."

    It would be interesting to know how quickly this car sells, and at what price. It's not listed as a 85P (P for performance), so one has to assume that it's neither the most expensive nor the cheapest S, but somewhere in the middle.

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,228

    That same 2013 Model S was advertised yesterday for $89,000.

    Will it sell, or is the price still too high?

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,778

    Man, I can't get over the number of Tesla S's around here!

    Saw THREE within five minutes of each other!

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,228

    @isellhondas said: Man, I can't get over the number of Tesla S's around here! Saw THREE within five minutes of each other!

    Yeah, but you probably wouldn't find many in Rapid City, SD, Shreveport, La or Hattiesburg, MS, just to name some random cities.

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,778

    Or in Casper Wyoming or Butte Montana.

    You've got to remember I''m in Microsoft Country along with Amazon Google and others. The geeks that work there like cars like that and many can afford them!

    Just made a run to the Post Office and saw yet another one!

    It seems like they are either white, red or black.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,261
    edited April 15

    Tesla stock taking a beating right now. Down to 184, about 55 points down last 30 days.

    Oops, back up to 193 now.

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,273

    Another example of why I still think this is "the" way to fix cars.

    "A recent software update added a crawl feature that rolls the car forward when the brake pedal is released, just as in a normal automatic transmission-equipped car."

    2013 Tesla Model S: Driving Impressions and 20,000-Mile Update

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,261

    That's nothing new--that's just geek-bonding :)

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  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,778

    The Seattle/Eastside area HAS to be the Tesla capital of the U.S.!

    I can't go a day now without seeing at least two or three. Yesterday I followed one.

    It's license plate said NO FUMES

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