Detroit Bureau on Twitter

Posts Tagged ‘tesla model 3’

Flood of Long-Range Electric Cars Set to Plug Into U.S. Market by 2020

Many will target affordable niches

by on Aug.09, 2017

Mercedes will introduce a new battery sub-brand and launch it with a version of the Mercedes-EQ Concept.

With last month’s launch of the Tesla Model 3, U.S. consumers now have two “affordable” long-range battery-electric vehicles to choose from. Those with a bit more money in the bank can also opt for the more expensive Tesla Model S sedan and Model X SUV.

There are plenty of other electric vehicles in U.S. showrooms today, though most, like the current-generation Ford Focus Electric, can manage barely 100 miles per charge. The Mitsubishi MiEV, which will vanish at the end of the 2017 model-year, can only make it 59 miles before having to plug in again, according to the EPA.

We'll Keep You Plugged In!

But the new model-year not only will bring us the new Model 3 but a complete makeover of the Nissan Leaf, which will nearly double its range to at least 200 miles per charge. And that’s just for starters. By 2020, virtually every major automaker is expected to have at least one long-range model in its showrooms. Many of them will be in affordable – that is, under $40,000 base MSRP – segments, with plenty more in premium niches.

(more…)

Pressed for Cash, Tesla Issues Junk Bond in Bid to Boost Model 3 Production

Automaker lowers price of Model X SUV to reflect “efficiencies.”

by on Aug.07, 2017

The first "saleable" Model 3 shown after rolling off the line at the Fremont plant last month.

Aiming for a massive increase in production to meet strong demand for its new Model 3 battery-electric vehicle, Tesla is issuing $1.5 billion in high-yield junk bonds.

The announced comes less than a week after Tesla said it had narrowed its losses for the second quarter. During a conference call to discuss the earnings report, CEO Elon Musk indicated the automaker might need a new cash infusion but would try to avoid issuing new stock.

Breaking News!

The new debt offering is meant “to further strengthen its balance sheet during this period of rapid scaling with the launch of Model 3, and for general corporate purposes.”

(more…)

Fear of “Manufacturing Hell” Has Investors Unplugging From Tesla

Model 3 ramp-up could prove seriously challenging, CEO Musk warns.

by on Aug.01, 2017

An SRO crowd gathers for the event marking the delivery of the first Tesla Model 3 on 7-28-17.

After spending months driving up the shares of Tesla, Inc., investors seemed ready to run on Monday after outspoken CEO Elon Musk warned that his company could face a half-year of “manufacturing hell” trying to ramp up production of the new Model 3 battery-electric sedan.

The Model 3 is Tesla’s long-awaited entry into the mainstream market, with prices ranging from around $35,000 to $60,000. The California carmaker is believed to have as many as 400,000 advance reservations. But it will face a serious challenge, Musk acknowledged, boosting production at the Tesla plant in Fremont, California to the point where it can roll out the promised 500,000 vehicles next year.

Breaking News!

Investors aren’t the only ones worried. A group of Tesla workers on Monday asked the company’s board to provide a plan that will, among other things, address worker safety during an aggressive ramp-up aiming to boost production almost five-fold from 2017 to 2018. Tesla has come under fire in recent months over allegations of unusually high injury rates at the suburban San Francisco plant.

(more…)

Musk Wants to Open More Car, Battery Plans

Looking at “two or three” Gigafactories in U.S. alone.

by on Jul.17, 2017

A new Model 3 in front of Tesla's Fremont, CA plant.

The coming months will be the real test for Tesla. With the launch of the new Model 3 we’ll soon discover whether this money-losing niche player can transform itself into an immensely profitable, mainstream automaker.

No surprise, CEO Elon Musk is already looking at what will have to happen as Tesla grows, and grows fast, 2018 volume forecast to hit 500,000 battery-electric vehicles, or six times the company’s 2016 volume. To keep up with anticipated demand, especially with even more products in the pipeline, Tesla is laying plans for a network of new car and battery plants.

Breaking News!

If Tesla hits its target with the Model 3, the company’s Fremont, California assembly plant will be “bursting at the seams,” Musk recently told shareholders. He has been dropping plenty of hints on what will follow, and that is likely to include at least one more assembly plant in the U.S., as well as one in China, while we could see as many as 20 new Gigafactory battery plants.

(more…)

Tesla Adding 100 Service Centers as Model 3 Launches

Move considered critical as automaker goes from niche to mainstream.

by on Jul.12, 2017

Tesla has been launching non-traditional showrooms and displays, like this one at a Nordstrom's.

Tesla plans to add at least 100 new service centers, as well as 1,400 service technicians and a fleet of service vans to keep pace with the planned, rapid ramp-up of production of its first high-volume product, the Model 3.

With sales expected to grow to as much as 500,000 vehicles next year – a six-fold increase over the 84,000 sold in 2016 – Tesla’s current service and repair network would be overwhelmed, many analysts have warned, even if the new Model 3 were to come to market with industry benchmark quality and reliability. Tesla current only has about 150 service centers in operation to cover the entire U.S. market.

We'll Service Your News Needs!

Despite a price tag that runs less than half that of a current Model S, buyers of the new Model 3 “will have high expectations” for their new vehicles, said David Sullivan, a senior analyst with AutoPacific, Inc.

(more…)

Tesla Factory a “Predator Zone,” Claims Female Former Employee”

A.J. Vandermeyden opens up on allegations, lawsuit.

by on Jul.10, 2017

Former Tesla employee AJ Vandermeyden has sued over alleged sexual harassment at the Fremont plant. Photo courtesy The Guardian.

Adding to the list of problems facing Tesla Motors, the automaker is battling a lawsuit filed by former employee A.J. Vandermeyden, who accuses the automaker of tolerating a culture of “pervasive harassment” at its assembly plant in Fremont, California.

That’s the same factory that, just last Friday, produced the first of the automaker’s eagerly awaited Model 3 battery-sedans – and the same factory where a recent report noted Tesla had been experiencing significantly higher injury rates than at assembly plants producing far more vehicles.

The Full Story!

In a report by the Guardian newspaper, the 33-year-old Vandermeyden opened up about why she was suing Tesla for sexual harassment after being fired from her job in Fremont. The paper outlined conditions that many employees described during a Tesla town hall meeting earlier this year as a “predator zone,” where, they charged, female workers were open targets for male bosses.

(more…)

It’s Official: 1st Tesla Model 3 Rolls Off the Line

Pricing still TBD.

by on Jul.10, 2017

The first saleable Tesla Model 3 poses in front of the company's Fremont, CA plant.

Twitter-savvy Tesla CEO Elon Musk has posted a picture of what appears to be the first “saleable” Model 3 sedan to roll off the battery-carmaker’s Fremont, California assembly line, a critical step in Tesla’s push to become a truly mainstream manufacturer.

But the company appears to have pushed back on its promise to start taking official orders for the new Tesla Model 3 on Friday and still has not given a clear sense of pricing for the compact battery-electric vehicle. A visit to the Tesla website only reveals the same information that had been up there for some time, among other things noting a “starting price” of $35,000.

Breaking News!

Tesla has a lot riding on the Model 3 launch. Though there are plenty of skeptics, Musk has outlined a plan that would take the company’s production to 500,000 vehicles in 2018 – a sixfold increase from 2016 – and Model 3 would account for about 80% of that total.

(more…)

A Good Week Gone Bad for Tesla

Update: GM overtakes Tesla as EV maker's stock collapses.

by on Jul.06, 2017

Tesla hoped for a big boost by announcing the production launch of the new Model 3.

(This story has been updated to reflect the continuing plunge in Tesla stock on Wednesday.)

What started out as a week full of fireworks for Tesla may be turning into a dud.

The automaker’s high-flying stock suddenly has taken a nosedive since traders returned from the long Fourth of July holiday, falling 7% on Wednesday and, by midday Thursday dipping nearly another 5 percent. At around $310 per share by mid-afternoon, TSLA was not only off sharply from the record $383.45 set on June 23rd, but with a market capitalization of just under $51 billion. the value of Tesla had slipped behind that of General Motors for the first time in nearly three months.

Insight!

That’s clearly not what CEO Elon Musk had in mind when he tweeted on Sunday that Tesla was planning to start production of the eagerly awaited Model 3 on Friday. That’s the same day, he added, that Tesla would formally begin taking orders for the vehicle that is expected to transform the carmaker from a niche to mainstream player.

(more…)

Tesla Set to Launch Sales, Production of Model 3

Critical test for battery-carmaker set to get underway.

by on Jul.03, 2017

Tesla could hit its mark for the first time by rolling out the first saleable Model 3 this week.

The biggest test Tesla has ever faced is about to get underway, CEO Elon Musk announcing plans to roll the first saleable Model 3 off the line on Friday, the same day customers will be able to place official orders for the new battery-electric vehicle.

The Model 3 will be Tesla’s first entry into the mainstream electric market, with its $35,000 base price running roughly half that of the company’s current Models S and X offerings. Tesla has reported taking over 300,000 advanced registrations for the vehicle, each with $1,000 deposits, but one key question is how many of those will translate into actual orders.

Stay Plugged In!

The other question is how quickly Tesla will be able to meet demand. In a Sunday evening tweet, Musk said he expects that “Production grows grows exponentially, so Aug should be 100 cars and Sept above 1,500. Looks like we can reach 20,000 Model 3 cars per month in Dec.”

(more…)

Tesla Model 3 Taking the Slow(er) Road

First specs, including performance, appear online.

by on May.30, 2017

A Tesla handout shows a pre-production Model 3.

For many owners, one of the most appealing features of the Tesla Model S is its neck-snapping acceleration – with the optional Ludicrous Mode the sedan capable of launching from 0 to 60 in around 2.8 seconds.

While the new Tesla Model 3 will nearly match the range of some versions of the bigger sedan, don’t expect to see it come close when it comes to performance. What appear to be official Tesla figures indicate the new battery-electric vehicle, or BEV, will need about 5.6 seconds to nudge 60. That’s faster than the rival Chevrolet Bolt EV, but just barely, and more in line with what some comparably-sized gas-powered vehicles can deliver.

EV News!

Early EVs were battery-powered stone ponies, barely able to get out of their own way, the little Mitsubishi MiEV, for example, needing a full 13 seconds to get to 60. That’s a key reason, industry analysts suggest, that demand for those first-generation electrics was so poor. By boosting range and performance, however, buyers finally to be sitting up and taking notice.

(more…)