Tesla Model S - The Most Important Car Since the Model T?

Discussion in 'Other Manufacturers' started by NeilBlanchard, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Well-Known Member

  2. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    I like it a lot, Neil. I want mine with the 60 Kwh battery , and Supercharging, please.
  3. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Well-Known Member

  4. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Neil:

    No. The Model T rose to the prominence that it did because it started out affordable and continued to get even more affordable (read less expensive) as Ford grew.

    The Tesla S even with the small pack is in non-obtainable land for the masses and thus it lacks what the Model T provided by the tens of millions.

    Tesla has a good game plan for 2013 but after the initial orders are filled, I worry about the company. Toyota’s deep pockets, DOE loans and the IPO saved them three times now. Not sure what will do it for a fourth time if needed. Talk of more affordable Tesla’s of the future is just talk at this point.

    Did you read our MT COTY story on the S?

  5. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Well-Known Member

    I agree that affordability (the *upfront* costs) of the Model S is the biggest challenge. But in terms of showing what can be done with an electric drivetrain, the Model S is the halo car for all EV's.

    It is maybe the highest performance 5 seat sedan in the world - and it gets about 90MPGe to boot. It is almost 2X better efficiency than the Prius, and more than 2X quicker. With only a little tweaking, the Model S would have easily won the X-Prize - and it is already in production.

    That would make it very significant. The purchase price of longer range EV's will come down.

    The long term costs of driving an Model S are basically the same as buying a $45,000 20MPG car and driving it 150K miles. The fuel cost *and* the maintenance costs of driving an ICE car are all back-loaded, while the cost of an EV are front-loaded.

    The Tesla store in the Natick (say NAY-tik) Mall is open, by the way. I got to see the Model S in person for the first time. :) And yes, I did see the Motor Trend Car of the Year thread.

    I think the most important aspect of the Model S is that it answers Elon Musk's question: if we design a clean-slate car that makes the best choices; rather than falling back on a preexisting and unsustainable fossil fuel infrastructure - what would it look like?
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2012
  6. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    Maybe things will look different if you do a TCO and compare the S with other luxury sedans
  7. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    oops, our posts crossed but as usual yours is more cogent :)
  8. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    It's a beautiful beast, isn't it ?
  9. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Super Moderator Staff Member


    But, it could be very important to the future of automobiles.

    US sales 2011:
    BMW: 247,907
    Mercedes Benz: 245,192
    Lexus: 198,552
    Acura: 123,299
    Audi: 117,561
    Infiniti: 98,461
    Total: 1,030,972

    Tesla's current aim is 20,000 GLOBAL sales per year with a 25% margin. Obviously Tesla's current sales are at 85kWh which at the higher end of the market, but they have the advantages of EV and front-loading of costs. When you then add in that it has little to no EV competition, currently has a long waiting list, limited showrooms so getting test drives is difficult and has an expectation that key component prices will drop I don't see demanding dropping dangerously.

    It would be the Gen III that has the chance to be the most important car, but that would have more competition.

    Right now, it's the Volt that's the front-runner because it's the Volt model that has the greatest potential for the long term.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2012
  10. CRT1

    CRT1 Newbie McNewbster


    I think this S can meet sales projections if they can scale the manufacturing effectively. People in this strata have multiple cars and can probably justify the electric as well as anyone. It is cost competitive with BWM 5-series and the like.

    I saw an interview where Musk said this 6 months is going to make or break the company - scaling the production will be Tesla's hardest challenge to date and of course is necessary for viability/profitability of the company.

    I think the S is significant in its design, but will only be in the margins of history unless Telsa can get over the manufacturing hump. If they do, Musk says there is a design for a BMW 3 series competitor locked and loaded that they will roll out as a 2014 or 2015 model year in the mid-$30k range at much higher volumes. That would really make things interesting!
  11. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi CRT1:

    It is probably going to be close after S demand has been satisfied and 2014 rolls in. While I hope they make it, the prices being charged for the S (the $60K and $70K 40 and 60 kWh pack S’s are nowhere to be found) is ridiculous and any talk of the next gen compact in the mid 30's is just talk. $60K is loaded up 5-Series $’s and the general public cannot in any way shape or form afford anything near it.

  12. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

  13. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    But they DO buy a number of 5-series , E-class , and other equally silly cars.

    Do they buy for power , or prestige ? I think there's a lot more prestige to be had driving a Model S.
  14. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Edwin:

    We'll be watching demand closely as the Tesla S production line finally reached 100% as of last week IIRC?

    I was speaking with a Cars.com rep at the MAMA January business meeting earlier this week and he said it has a lot going for it but there are still miscues with fit and finish.

    I have been in contact with their PR group for an unrelated event and hopefully we will see one in the press fleet this summer sometime? Not sure where we would find a level –II but with 500 miles range from the big boy, I don’t think we need to worry about that ;)

  15. herm

    herm Well-Known Member


    Tesla Model S Production Now at 400 Units Per Week; 20,000 Annually

    "Lastly, if production of the Model S truly stands at an annual rate of approximately 20,000 units per year, then Tesla Motors is roughly on track to produce as many plug-in vehicles in 12 month’s time as General Motors. How’s that for a startup automaker? Is it now time to drop the “startup” and instead consider Tesla a “real” automaker?"
  16. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Herm:

    It has been over 7 months since the first S was sold and there may have been as many as 2,000 reaching customers’ hands since that time. 2,000 in 7 months to 20,000 per year is a reach. What will be telling is when the early hand raisers are satisfied. Then you compete with everybody else.

    In addition, there was a recent stock dilution to raise cash yet again and orders are not as robust as first pronounced. If $200 million in revenue over the last few months was not enough to keep the company’s books balanced, I am concerned. They have already tapped Toyota, the DOE and the stock market. There are not that many more people to tap on the shoulder to borrow a dime.

    Great car but at the expense to build which in turn yields to the extremely high prices, this is not a good situation for any of us.

    Getting back to the Volt, it sold 23,461 units last year and appeared to be accelerating with the lease giveaways. I am not sure about how much more sustainable its sales are for GM but those are pretty healthy numbers. Especially since it is based off the Cruze platform and R&D was a lot less.

  17. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    Musk says 25% profit per car, at 20k per year that adds up quick.. I hope they survive
  18. CRT1

    CRT1 Newbie McNewbster

    I heard a year-old interview with Musk where he said the next car will be a mid-size sedan priced in the thirties. Looks like they are moving toward the luxury-crossover-SUV market (barf) for their next launch instead. Too bad, but probably good strategy for the near term. While their present strategy seems to be focused on high margin luxury cars, Musk clearly intends to compete for the mass market some point in the future. I have a outsized man-crush on that guy. He kicks some serious butt.
  19. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    I'm getting an Elon tattoo :)
  20. owlmaster08

    owlmaster08 Well-Known Member

    After watching the National Geographic episode on Tesla's factory I wouldn't be surprised if they were able to scale up to 20K vehicles for this year. Once you get those robots working correctly and efficiently they should keep doing what they do best! (whatever they are programmed to do)

    I'm rooting for them.

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