Portrait of the Con Artist as a Stung Man

Rolling Stone’s recent profile of Elon Musk revealed Mr. Musk’s plans to shape the world. But much more than this it revealed how the world has shaped Mr. Musk. The panegyric to this man of genius without limit is more the portrait of the con artist as a stung man.

What Truly Drives Musk?

Perhaps I reveal my own jealous pettiness. Who would not wish to be Mr. Musk?

He has been an innovator on the internet and raced to the lead in electric cars, solar panels, spacecraft, self-driving technology, tunnels, artificial intelligence and human-computer interfaces. In his fans he has the loyalty of thousands. He commands the respect of millions. His is a fortune in the billions. To Big Oil companies he is Shiva the Destroyer, a Juggernaut made flesh. They do not see him as “Iron Man” but as Darth Vader. [Continue Reading]

Musk blames Chinese customers for Tesla debacle. Wait until you read this

Last look from our Beijing penthouse. Rare sunset. Power stations in the back. No chargers downstairs

Last look from our Beijing penthouse, we are leaving. Rare sunset. Power stations in the back. No chargers downstairs

When Elon Musk came to Detroit yesterday, people expected announcements of new Tesla cars, because that’s what car companies usually do at the Detroit Motor Show. Tesla proudly is unlike any car company, so Elon Musk talked about trouble in China, and he did what car companies usually are loath to do, he blamed the stupid Chinese customer. Sales in China are “a little weaker,” Musk said, because “there was a misconception that charging was difficult in China.” The misconception part was right on, the rest wasn’t. Elon Musk so far has misconceived both the dangers, and the opportunities of the Chinese market. [Continue Reading]

Musk’s pants on fire: September was a record high? Definitely not in terms of Model S sales

September high

September high

(Preface: I know, the Daily Kanban looks like a Tesla fanzine lately. Gomen nasai, but there’s just too much out there to be passed over.)

On October 27, 2014, the Wall Street Journal wrote that sales of Tesla’s Model S are “declining in its home market.” The Journal said that “through September, Tesla sold 10,335 Model S sedans in its home market, down 26% compared with the same period in 2013.” At Tesla, Musk disagreed.

In the rest of the auto business, an errant writer would have been ignored, for fear a reaction could create more waves. Or the reporter would get a phone call to set matters straight (I get those all the time.) Tesla is not like the rest of the auto business, therefore,  the Wall Street Journal got an angry tweet from Elon Musk himself: [Continue Reading]

Daimler isn’t the only high-profile investor that has lightened-up on TSLA stock

Good God, stop the selling

Good God, stop the selling

Yesterday’s news that Daimler sold its 4 percent stake in Tesla weighed on the already beaten down stock of the electric carmaker. Daimler on the other hand is all smiles, having turned a $50 million initial investment into a cash flow of $780 million – not counting what it had received after selling a 40 percent chunk of its initial holdings to the Dubai government in 2009. Wall Street sources surmise that the sell was not a strategic decision, but the result of hedging. With the Tesla stock having retreated some 50 points from its September peak, options may have been exercised. According to a Daimler statement, the Stuttgart carmaker hasn’t simply cashed-in on its shares, but rather “has terminated the share-price hedge it initiated in 2013 and has sold its stake in Tesla of approximately 4%.”

Daimler isn’t the only high-profile investor that has lightened-up on TSLA stock.

[Continue Reading]

Optimistic Musk sees 10,000 Teslas per year in Germany. Let’s look a little closer

Musk in Germany - Picture courtesy siliconbeat.com

Beginning in 2015, Tesla wants to “sell some 10,000 cars per year” in Germany, Elon Musk told Germany’s Welt. And they will be powered by sunlight. “By end of March 2014, half of Germany will be covered by Superchargers,” Musk promised. “By the end of 2014, the whole country will be covered. That’s 40 to 50 stations.”

The stations will be powered by solar panels. “A Tesla driver should need no more than sunlight,” Musk told the paper. He is a very optimistic man.

Germany is a 3 million unit car market, give or take a few. 10,000 Teslas would mean a market share of 0.3 percent. To assist Tesla in its projections, here some data on the German car market. [Continue Reading]