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Tesla Cutting 7% of Workforce, Warns “Road Ahead is Very Difficult”

Move comes days after cuts at CEO Musk’s SpaceX announced.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.18, 2019

Tesla chief Elon Musk, in atter to employees announced plans to cut 7% of the company's workforce.

Warning that Tesla faces some serious challenges, despite delivering a solid third-quarter profit, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced plans to cut 7% of the battery-carmaker’s staff in a letter sent to employees on Friday.

All told, that would work out to about 3,150 of the people who work at Tesla’s headquarters in Silicon Valley, plants in Fremont, California, and Reno, Nevada, and other facilities. The move comes just days after Musk outlined plans to cut 10% of the workforce at his SpaceX rocket company.

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“I want to make sure that you know all the facts and figures and understand that the road ahead is very difficult,” Musk said in the memo sent to the Tesla workforce, adding that, “While we have made great progress, our products are still too expensive for most people.” (more…)

Musk Puts Halt to Tesla Referral Program to Cut Costs

CEO says its too costly to keep the program.

by Michael Strong on Jan.17, 2019

Musk is cutting the referral program as the EV maker looks to cut costs and improve profits.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk means business when he talks about cutting costs to improve profitability. The company’s founder tweeted the company will eliminate the customer referral incentive plan on Feb. 1.

Musk wrote the referral program is ending because “it’s adding too much cost to the cars, especially Model 3.”

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The program was introduced in 2015 by the EV maker, aimed at luring buyers and creating disciples. The owners were given personal referral codes providing them with six months of free supercharging and prizes for existing owners such as launching personal photos into deep space or invites to a Tesla event.  (more…)

Tesla Breaks Ground on New Shanghai Gigafactory

Musk expects plant to be completed by midyear.

by Michael Strong on Jan.07, 2019

Tesla's Elon Musk said he expects the new Shanghai plant to be complete during the second quarter.

Tesla chief Elon Musk extended his vision of a world dominated by electric vehicles by traveling to Shanghai, China, to break ground for the company’s newest plant, Gigafactory 3.

Always the optimist, Musk said he expects construction on the massive 210-acre facility to be complete by the middle of this year with finished products rolling off the assembly line and out the doors by the end of this year.

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“With the resources here, I think we can build the Shanghai Gigafactory in a record time,” Musk said during the rain-soaked ceremony. (more…)

Tesla Misses Sales Target, Cuts Prices – And Investors Are Not Amused

Company cuts prices $2K to offset drop of $7,500 tax credit to $3,750.

by Paul A. Eisenstein on Jan.02, 2019

Tesla shareholders aren't entirely thrilled with the company's 2018 results and the stock price reflects it.

Tesla’s New Year is off to a shaky start, investors driving down its stock price while fretting about the company’s unexpectedly weak fourth-quarter sales and the potential hit the carmaker will take in 2019 as it watches its federal tax incentives phase out.

It wasn’t all bad news. Tesla’s total 2018 sales nearly matched what the company had delivered in all previous years combined, and after suffering through what CEO Elon Musk had once described as “production hell,” the Tesla assembly plant in Fremont, California, appears to be humming along. But deliveries during the final three months of 2018 fell about 1.5% below analysts’ expectations. And now, Tesla has to worry about what will happen as the $7,500 tax credits offered by the federal government begins to phase out.

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“We are taking steps to partially absorb the reduction of the federal EV tax credit (which, as of Jan. 1, dropped from $7,500 to $3,750),” Tesla said in a statement, adding that, “Starting today, we are reducing the price of Model S, Model X and Model 3 vehicles in the U.S. by $2,000.” (more…)

Tesla Pushing Midnight Sales to Clear Backlog of 3K Model 3s

Musk offers big incentives to Tesla employees to buy a new car.

by Michael Strong on Dec.31, 2018

Tesla's Elon Musk is looking to sell Model 3s all the way til midnight to make sure buyers get the full $7,500 tax credit.

Two nights ago, Tesla boss Elon Musk sent out a tweet telling his millions of followers that there was 48 hours left to buy a new EV and still qualify for the full $7,500 tax credit from the U.S. government.

Nothing wrong for being a shill for your company and its products on social media, but it’s becoming more clear as to why he was so motivated to try to drum of up sales for a company that supposedly has a lengthy waiting list for new Model 3 sedans.

Happy New Year!

Tesla has more than 3,000 Model 3s left in inventory in the United States as of Sunday, according to website Electrek, which cited people familiar with the matter. (more…)

Tesla Sets Up Leasing Company in China, Adds Two New Directors

Company as Oracle founder Ellison to board of directors.

by Michael Strong on Dec.28, 2018

Tesla Inc. established a leasing operation in China: another step toward growing sales in China.

Tesla Inc. is growing internationally while simultaneously resolving its battle with federal regulators in the United States.

The California-based electric-vehicle maker registered a wholly owned financial leasing company in China, with registered capital of $30 million, according to China’s National Enterprise Information Publicity System.

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The move to open a leasing operation in China falls in line with its plans to begin selling and building its cars in China. The company is seeking contractors to build its $2 billion gigafactory near Shanghai. The company has been moving quickly to establish a hold in China since the government eased local ownership laws for foreign EV makers. (more…)

Tesla’s Newest Easter Egg is a Gas … or Gaseous Anyway

Company includes new fart sound in latest update.

by Michael Strong on Dec.17, 2018

Looks like the new Tesla Easter egg is a lot hot air, or at least is sounds like it.

If you’ve ever been in a car on a trip when a smell invades the cabin of your vehicle, then good news: Elon Musk and Tesla have the audio to pair with your olfactory experience: a fart app.

Musk confirmed the company was working on it in a tweet: “Tesla (fart emoji) app almost done. Important to get every note right!” The fart app can be found in the Easter egg drawer of Tesla models that have received the most recent software update.

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To be clear, it’s not a euphemism for something else, instead, yes, it sounds like someone in the car – or the car itself – is passing gas.  (more…)

Could a Pickup Truck be Tesla’s Next Vehicle?

Musk wants to make truck "so bad."

by Michael Strong on Dec.12, 2018

A rendering shows the Tesla pickup bears a striking resemblance to the Tesla Semi.

Tesla’s next vehicle will be the second-generation roadster, right? Oh wait! It’s supposed to be a small sport-utility! Maybe neither of them.

Co-founder Elon Musk has often mentioned his desire to bring out a pickup, but he’s never put a firm date to when it might show up: until now.

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In response to a tweet, Musk yesterday suggested the prototype will be unveiled sometime next year with production plans to follow shortly thereafter. (more…)

Tesla’s Musk Expresses Interest in Closing GM Plants

Exec expresses disdain for SEC, twitter approvals.

by Michael Strong on Dec.10, 2018

Elon Musk expressed interest in buying one of the plants General Motors plans to close in the near future.

Tesla co-founder Elon Musk is ready to play “Let’s Make a Deal” with General Motors — again.

Not, Musk doesn’t want to challenge GM CEO Mary Barra to appear on the television game show, but he did tell reporter Lesley Stahl on the CBS news show 60 Minutes he would be willing to buy one of the plants GM plans to shut down in the near future.

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“It’s possible that we would be interested. If they were going to sell a plant or not use it that we would take it over,” he said during the interview. (more…)

Tesla Promises Model 3 Delivery by Dec. 31 to Meet Tax Deadline

Order by end of month, get by end of year, Musk tweets.

by Michael Strong on Nov.16, 2018

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the company would deliver any Model 3 ordered by the end of November by Dec. 31.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk claims that Model 3s ordered in the U.S. by the end of November will be delivered by Dec. 31 — a delivery rate that is much faster than for earlier Model 3 sedans.

The edict, issued by Musk via Twitter, is designed to push sales to get them completed in time to take advantage of tax breaks for buyers. The move comes as Tesla and General Motors are lobbying government officials to extend tax incentives for EV buyers.

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“Tesla just acquired trucking capacity to ensure Model 3 can be delivered in U.S. by Dec 31 if ordered by Nov 30,” Musk tweeted on Thursday. He late clarified how they’re going to get this done. (more…)