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Dr Pepper
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i think the bigger picture is that tww garage is made up of more gearhead/performance oriented users than those who are enamored with alternate drivetrain designs.

4/5/2013 11:14:59 AM

0EPII1
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Owing to recent events, the thread should be re-titled:

The End of Fisker Automotive

4/6/2013 8:18:45 AM

synapse
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http://jalopnik.com/experienced-loser-calls-tesla-a-loser-472428465

4/11/2013 10:10:59 AM

dtownral
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Quote :
"bunch of haters"

they aren't out of the woods yet, they are using accounting tricks (including future orders) to make their latest report look good to boost stock price

4/11/2013 11:16:29 AM

BlackJesus
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4/11/2013 11:26:11 AM

Noen
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^^ Yeah boy, having a high-end vehicle that is essentially back-ordered for entire model year, with high margins (25% compared to 20% for Porshe and Aston Martin, 11% for Mercedes) with a break even production volume of 8,00 vehicles per model year. Which they will break through either this month or next most likely.

Reaching for straws doesn't even begin to account for the reaching that you're attempting to do with that post.

4/12/2013 4:47:05 AM

dtownral
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their return is boosted by their strong report which was boosted by accepting payments now for those future orders so that they could be narrowly cash flow positive. this means that they will be cash flow negative in the next report.

other liabilities include the buyback program which could be an issue for future cash flow, their new financing model is built on assumed tax credits that are not guaranteed to stay, and that margin is great but they haven't shown they can keep it while producing at volume and as they expand their line into higher volume segments that margin is going to suffer there too. most analysts have moved them up, but they aren't out of the woods yet. jp morgan is still neutral and merrill lunch and BoA still have underperforming ratings.

4/12/2013 6:36:05 AM

BlackJesus
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Aren't you assuming that the orders will stop? If they continue taking orders/receiving payments won't they always be cash flow positive? I got a C in econ so ignore me if I'm wrong.

4/12/2013 9:15:57 AM

smc
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There's a time limit on how long people will overpay for trendy products to satisfy their good intentions.

4/14/2013 9:43:43 PM

Igor
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Yes, just looked at those overpriced iDevices. People stopped buying as soon as the novelty wore off and Apple is now facing bankrupcy

4/14/2013 9:53:05 PM

1in10^9
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bought tesla stock at $39. two weeks later at $50. lovin it.

4/22/2013 6:37:17 PM

CaelNCSU
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Finally got to drive a Roadster on Saturday and checked out a super pimped out Model S. They are a hell of a lot of fun to drive. The internal chassis and the interior on the Model S is gorgeous, and after getting a chance to be in one I can't see a world where they don't sharply eat into the luxury class sales, even if the battery technology never gets as good as gasoline.

4/22/2013 7:24:13 PM

Noen
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^Yep, that was exactly my thought. Forget it being a well designed and built electric car. The model S is just a well designed and built luxury car, period

4/23/2013 12:22:26 AM

CarZin
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Yea, that is what I just got done telling someone. The luxury class market is large, and at 70-100k for a Tesla S, can you really say there are many better cars than the model S in that price range? Not really. With a 0-60 that would compare well to just about anything BMW makes in that price range without sacrificing luxury, and in a car that stands out far more than any traditional luxury maker, it is a win win.

Now that Elon has found a way to mass produce, I think Tesla could be very dominant in the not too distant future.

4/23/2013 12:50:19 PM

TKE-Teg
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I'm assuming that you're comparing Tesla to BMW for performance reasons, but the Mercedes-Benz AMG line is faster and more luxurious than the BMWs overall. I would think Audi and MB are better comparisons since they actually make attractive cars inside and out. You can't say that for BMW.

4/23/2013 1:36:48 PM

synapse
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Quote :
"Tesla Model S Scores 99 Out Of 100 In Consumer Reports Test"


http://jalopnik.com/tesla-model-s-scores-99-out-of-100-in-consumer-reports-498501639

5/9/2013 2:10:03 PM

TKE-Teg
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Impressive.

I'm also impressed that the state of California, while teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, is generous enough to pay Tesla hundreds of millions of dollars indirectly.

5/9/2013 2:15:28 PM

CaelNCSU
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^ Investing in new opportunities is why California has the 8th largest economy in the world and NC is well, NC--scared of change.

Relevant: http://insideevs.com/hearing-on-tesla-selling-cars-in-north-carolina-set-for-may-7th-but-you-can-take-action-now/

I saw 3 Model S's this morning


[Edited on May 9, 2013 at 3:53 PM. Reason : a]

5/9/2013 3:52:06 PM

TKE-Teg
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Eh? California is a huge state. And their gov't will default in our lifetime. And their population is suffering from an net exodus of citizens.

Would be cool for Tesla to set up shop here though. Oh nevermind, that's just to be able to SELL cars here since they don't have franchise dealerships.

[Edited on May 9, 2013 at 4:03 PM. Reason : let'em sell!]

5/9/2013 4:02:54 PM

CaelNCSU
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^

I guess that's why a studio apartment in SF costs as much as a mansion to rent in NC and has increased by 25% since I left the city last year. Houses in Santa Monica are increasing in price 10% year over year with a small 2 bedroom costing over a million dollars. We may be losing lower skilled and lower income people, but the amount of new college grads who saw the Social Network are flocking here by the googols.

5/9/2013 4:40:19 PM

1in10^9
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CA is doing just fine TKE

5/10/2013 12:39:54 AM

wdprice3
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NCGA is trying to outlaw tesla's in NC.

5/10/2013 8:32:37 AM

TKE-Teg
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^

5/10/2013 8:59:26 AM

smc
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There are good reasons that manufacturers aren't allowed to sell direct to consumers, most of them involving anti-trust regulations. If big corporations sell directly to customers but refuse to sell their product to other retailers they can effectively destroy their competition. In the early days of the automobile industry in particular, everyone and their brother was manufacturing cars and selling them mail-order. These cars sucked, replacement parts were non-existent, and customer support was "mail-order" at best. In many cases you would just be stuck with a lemon from a no-name car company with little recourse; certainly not the ability to look a salesperson in the eye and give them a piece of your mind.

To combat this scourge, the dealership model was developed. Introducing a middle-man resolved many of the inherent conflict-of-interest problems and non-competitive temptations of manufacturers selling direct to consumers, and provided a well-regulated brick-and-mortar business that was an integral part of the community. You buy your car from Dealer Joe, and Joe will still be there for service and advice long after the current product line is retired. Joe's interest is in keeping your business over a period of decades, and if he fails his store is on the line.

You can argue the drawbacks of our distribution system, but allowing Tesla a "internet-order" showroom is ignoring the lessons of the wild-west of the automobile industry, and should be done with great caution. Again, I would argue that fans of Tesla are being manipulated into a "damn the man", "us against the world" cultish PR campaign that in the long run will only leave them high and dry with impossible-to-maintain cars and feelings of betrayal. See: Delorean Motor Company

5/10/2013 8:52:56 PM

Hiro
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I see your point, however, I do not like it.

[Edited on May 10, 2013 at 8:57 PM. Reason : .]

5/10/2013 8:57:19 PM

HaLo
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The wildwest of the auto industry was almost a century ago. Asymmetry of information, transport issues and a brand new product type all combined for those issues. I think we can agree though that the current market is much different than the 1920s-40s.

5/10/2013 9:15:49 PM

Restricted
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Quote :
"There are good reasons that manufacturers aren't allowed to sell direct to consumers, most of them involving anti-trust regulations. If big corporations sell directly to customers but refuse to sell their product to other retailers they can effectively destroy their competition. In the early days of the automobile industry in particular, everyone and their brother was manufacturing cars and selling them mail-order. These cars sucked, replacement parts were non-existent, and customer support was "mail-order" at best. In many cases you would just be stuck with a lemon from a no-name car company with little recourse; certainly not the ability to look a salesperson in the eye and give them a piece of your mind.

To combat this scourge, the dealership model was developed. Introducing a middle-man resolved many of the inherent conflict-of-interest problems and non-competitive temptations of manufacturers selling direct to consumers, and provided a well-regulated brick-and-mortar business that was an integral part of the community. You buy your car from Dealer Joe, and Joe will still be there for service and advice long after the current product line is retired. Joe's interest is in keeping your business over a period of decades, and if he fails his store is on the line.

You can argue the drawbacks of our distribution system, but allowing Tesla a "internet-order" showroom is ignoring the lessons of the wild-west of the automobile industry, and should be done with great caution. Again, I would argue that fans of Tesla are being manipulated into a "damn the man", "us against the world" cultish PR campaign that in the long run will only leave them high and dry with impossible-to-maintain cars and feelings of betrayal. See: Delorean Motor Company
The dealers don't want to see Tesla walk in and not pay the fees they pay to the state and the State won't profit"

5/10/2013 10:57:25 PM

Specter
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^

5/11/2013 10:48:24 PM

Noen
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In response to SMC:

The dealership model was necessary in the 1920's during the infancy of the automotive industry. All of the problems that dealerships solved back then are largely, if not completely, irrelevant today.

The "mail order support" problem still exists today with every single low-production vehicle on the market. Ferrari, Lamborghini, Spyker, Bentley, Rolls Royce, Bugatti, Lotus all have the same issue.
And even with larger brands like Porsche, BMW and Mercedes, many of their low volume models have near zero part stock at local dealers.

This has all been solved as the manufacturing and distribution systems in the US have matured over the past 40-50 years. Today if you're Tesla breaks down in NC, they give you an instant loaner to keep you from being stranded (which btw, many dealerships dont do). The car comes with a very clear warranty and warranty process, and lemon-laws all but prevent any of the behavior you mentioned.

At the end of the day, a car is no different than any other product. Amazon has proven that an internet-only model can not only compete on price, but also on customer service. If the consumer wants to purchase a car online, they should have the option to do so.

Nothing about the NC legislation is protecting the consumer, or looking out for their well-being. They are preventing competition, plain and simple.

5/15/2013 4:26:06 AM

TKE-Teg
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^agreed.

Quote :
"And even with larger brands like Porsche, BMW and Mercedes, many of their low volume models have near zero part stock at local dealers."


Oh, and good luck rolling up to a local Honda dealership and finding any S2000 parts in stock

5/15/2013 8:26:25 AM

dtownral
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You have to agree though that it is not fair to the dealers, who have to operate under that model by law.

The solution of course though is to not have that law and allow dealers to operate however the would like. I buy equipment every day where the manufacturer refers me to a regional distributor, and they work just fine with that business model without a law requiring it.

5/15/2013 8:44:40 AM

wdprice3
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Shit, I can't even find wipers for my car locally. Well, except those that cost $100/pair

5/15/2013 9:30:28 AM

TKE-Teg
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^^I think there should be a distinction for low volume retailers.

5/15/2013 11:47:05 AM

synapse
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^^ I'm afraid to look for my 335i...

5/15/2013 11:54:35 AM

dtownral
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Quote :
"^^I think there should be a distinction for low volume retailers.
"

why should the dealership model be protected by law for anyone?

5/15/2013 11:59:55 AM

Noen
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Quote :
"You have to agree though that it is not fair to the dealers, who have to operate under that model by law.

The solution of course though is to not have that law and allow dealers to operate however the would like. I buy equipment every day where the manufacturer refers me to a regional distributor, and they work just fine with that business model without a law requiring it."


By what law? Dealers are bound by contracts, not law (to my knowledge at least). The only thing stopping a dealer from selling their own brands direct to consumer is they would be violating their auto manufacturer contracts in doing so.

The dealership model has completely broken down anyway. Originally, dealerships were completely tied to ONE manufacturer. Today's megadealerships are all turning into CarMax for new cars. Many dealers carry a dozen different brands, not specializing in anything (which totally negates the support claims smc makes). They also carry EVERY brand of used vehicles, which are usually a much larger percentage of their total sales.

And anyway, the dealership model has done NOTHING to stop anti-competitive practices by the big auto manufacturers. Ford took a loss on every Focus for years just to undercut Honda and prevent them from gaining marketshare for a platform generation.

The fleet model for businesses completely avoids the dealership model and accounts for a MASSIVE amount of vehicle volume in the US, which caused huge lock-in problems (ever wonder why the shitty Ford Taurus was made for 20+ years?).

The rental market also completely avoids dealers, and between rentals and fleet vehicles, these account for an incredible amount of the used car market, which serves to crush new entrants to the automotive marketplace. They never have a chance to compete in either market (rental companies sign exclusivity contracts with manufacturers, and fleets are ALWAYS single-manufacturer and are locked in for 20+ years regularly(.

5/15/2013 12:45:08 PM

TKE-Teg
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very well said.

5/15/2013 1:02:10 PM

dtownral
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No, there really are dealership laws in NC. You can't buy a Ford from Ford in NC by law. That's my point.


http://www.lawserver.com/law/state/north-carolina/nc-laws/north_carolina_laws_20-305-2
[Edited on May 15, 2013 at 1:08 PM. Reason : its the same reason you can't buy a Ford or Chevy online, franchise laws]


[Edited on May 15, 2013 at 1:27 PM. Reason : .]

5/15/2013 1:05:47 PM

Noen
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^Ah, thanks for finding that. Wow. Looks like it's time for reform

5/15/2013 2:15:37 PM

BobbyDigital
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^ yes.

disruptors come along and shake up existing business models, and ultimately for those existing businesses to survive, they must adapt, innovate, or die.

artificial bolstering of antiquated business models is why the big three put out shit cars for 3 decades before giving a shit about what consumers wanted, and in the meantime foreign car companies ate their lunch.

5/15/2013 3:18:44 PM

MattJM321
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Quote :
"^

I guess that's why a studio apartment in SF costs as much as a mansion to rent in NC and has increased by 25% since I left the city last year. Houses in Santa Monica are increasing in price 10% year over year with a small 2 bedroom costing over a million dollars. We may be losing lower skilled and lower income people, but the amount of new college grads who saw the Social Network are flocking here by the googols."


People are definitely leaving San Francisco county. This map doesn't show income, but there has been a net loss from 2005-2010. http://www.forbes.com/special-report/2011/migration.html (They don't have an updated map for the past 3 years.) And to clarify - people are moving to Silicon Valley.

5/16/2013 9:34:22 AM

smc
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Quote :
" Many dealers carry a dozen different brands, not specializing in anything (which totally negates the support claims smc makes)."


I would argue this supports my claim. Dealers that carry multiple auto makes are beholden to their customers, their community and their individual business success. The dealership requirements simply ensure a satisfactory level of facilities and vehicle support. The megadealers are a good thing; they alone have the power to stand up to manufacturers and negotiate properly, as the wholesale business model is intended. The rise of megadealers will cement the importance of dealership laws for decades to come.

If Tesla can't even convince a small network of dealers(who, by your own admission, will buy and sell anything) to commit to maintaining and servicing their cars for a decade-long contract, why should consumers be willing take that risk?

5/16/2013 12:33:15 PM

synapse
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^ No one cares what you think.

Your credibility on this subject is complete shit due to your creation of this thread and its title.

5/16/2013 12:54:31 PM

Igor
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Quote :
"If Tesla can't even convince a small network of dealers(who, by your own admission, will buy and sell anything) to commit to maintaining and servicing their cars for a decade-long contract, why should consumers be willing take that risk?"


For the same reason Apple set up their own network of retail stores when everyone else was selling thought the big-box electronics stores: they want to be able to control the entire user experience

5/16/2013 1:25:23 PM

dtownral
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smc doesn't understand how the franchising laws work

which is fine since he is just trolling

5/16/2013 1:44:17 PM

smc
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Apple does sell through big box stores in addition to their stores.

5/16/2013 4:12:39 PM

CaelNCSU
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Quote :
"People are definitely leaving San Francisco county. This map doesn't show income, but there has been a net loss from 2005-2010. http://www.forbes.com/special-report/2011/migration.html (They don't have an updated map for the past 3 years.) And to clarify - people are moving to Silicon Valley."


It's useless if it doesn't take the past three years into account. The amount of startups and big companies that have moved there in the past three years is off the charts. Google, Twitter, Dropbox and a lot of other big guys have offices in the city. A lot of the valley startups relocated in the city because all the hipsters want to be in the city.

It is next to impossible to find an apartment in SF. If you show up to an open house there will be 40 people for even shitty apartments and some asshole will offer to pay cash for 6 months up front and take it. They have 3 - 4 high rise buildings for apartments under construction last time I was there and more planned.

It could still be its decreasing in number, but that's just from the poor people who can't afford $2500 studios and $300 a month parking that are moving out.

5/16/2013 4:30:49 PM

Igor
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^^NOW they do, this has only been happening in the last few years when the sales volumes got too big for Apple to handle by themselves. They already built up the brand and people know what to expect from the product. Even in the big box stores, they often have an Apple-designed display area and specially trained employees. Service and support is still done through the Apple stores though.

5/16/2013 4:32:53 PM

Noen
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Actually Apple is great example of why a pure distributor middle-man model is anti competitive and bad for consumers.

Lets go back to the pre-iPod days. Apple had a presence in every major electronics retailer of the day: CompUSA, Babbages, Best Buy and Circuit City. But it was a shit deal for Apple. They had zero control or influence over the way the big box retailers sold or presented their products to consumers. This meant that the "Apple" section commonly rested in the back corner of the store, completely separated from PC products. There was typically ONE staff member per shift assigned to this section of the store.

This meant Apple never even had a chance to compete. No opportunity to do side by side comparisons, because staff aren't cross trained, and merchandise is at opposite ends of the store. The retailers had no incentive to price promote Apple products, because they couldn't staff promotions and kept very low inventory compared to the much higher volume PC products.

This is a perfect example of how direct to consumer brick and mortar is better for the consumer and the manufacturer in todays modern world. Apple returned to big box retailers recently, but they now control the consumer presentation and retailers have incentive to price promote products (because they are in competition with dedicated Apple stores).

This isn't an either/or model. In large markets, direct to consumer is a win-win. In smaller market regions, working through a distributor makes sense. Tesla is currently so small that they are only focused on massive market regions. In 3-5 years of their current growth there will be a natural extension to add distributors to the mix to continue expanding market reach in an economically efficient manner.

The advent of consumer protection laws, distributed part suppliers, reliable multi-party frieght infrastructure and the internet for research and communication has rendered the mandatory dealership model completely obsolete and anti-competitive to new entrants.

This is also a prime reason why new entrants to the cell phone market have such a hard time in the US. Each carrier has Zero incentive to push a new product line. It means training more staff, carrying more inventory and taking more risk. Instead they can just push their biggest sellers more and more until the lake runs dry. Look at the cell markets in Korea and Japan where consumers have the choice of hundreds of new models yearly. Compare that to the US market with its franchised, subsidized distribution model. Big difference and its not a good argument for the forced distributor model either.

5/17/2013 12:59:46 AM

smc
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Tesla Still $600 Million in Debt, gives up the low-interest government loan a decade early in a desperate bid to improve the company's image as a boondoggle.

http://blogs.wsj.com/corporate-intelligence/2013/05/17/tesla-has-a-fresh-1-billion-and-lots-of-ways-to-spend-it/

5/18/2013 7:37:06 AM

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