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Tesla Model 3: Hit or Hype?

Advance reservations pass 250,000 -- but will they actually translate into sales?

by on Apr.04, 2016

Tesla says the base Model 3 will get 215 miles per charge - and start at $35,000.

Even before the new Model 3 sedan was unveiled late last Thursday, Tesla Motors said it had logged more than 100,000 advanced orders. And as of the following Monday morning, the Silicon Valley carmaker claimed the figure had topped 250,000 – a number that would translate into more than $10 billion in retail sales.

The surge of interest is unprecedented in the auto industry, resembling more the sort of frenzy that has greeted the launch of a new Apple iPhone. But at this early stage, at least 18 months before the first car is scheduled to roll off the assembly line, can the new Tesla Model S be considered a hit, or a case of battery-powered hype?


That’s a question which few industry observers seem to agree upon. Investors have clearly been impressed, driving Tesla’s stock price up by over $15 a share since the hours before the electric sedan’s unveiling. That run-up comes despite the warnings issued by some key analysts.


First Look: Tesla Model 3 Battery Sedan

Over 100,000 buyers already plugged in with advance orders.

by on Apr.01, 2016

Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk stands on stage with three of the maker's new Model 3 sedans.

With a standing-room-only crowd cheering him on, Tesla Motors founder and CEO Elon Musk pulled the wraps off the long-awaited Model 3 sedan Thursday night, a vehicle intended to take the battery-carmaker into the automotive mainstream.

A downsized version of the luxurious Model S, the Tesla Model 3 will go for about half the price, starting at $35,000, Musk said, for a vehicle that will deliver at least 215 miles range per charge, launch from 0 to 60 in under six seconds, comfortably fit five adults and surround them with a full range of safety features, as well as the semi-autonomous AutoPilot system.

Plug In!

More than 115,000 advance orders have already been placed, said Musk, noting plans call for the first of the sedans to be delivered “next year.” But in a nod to the fact that the recently launched Tesla Model X fell two years behind schedule, the South African-born executive added, “I feel fairly confident they will begin next year.”


Tesla Set for Biggest Risk Yet as it Reveals New Model 3

Will early interest translate into profitable sales?

by on Mar.31, 2016

A shortage of showrooms could prove a problem taking the new Tesla Model 3 mainstream.

Battery-carmaker Tesla Motors is set to make the biggest bet in its short life Thursday night with the official unveiling of the all-new Model 3.

At an estimated price of $35,000, the new sedan will cost less than half as much as the base version of the current Tesla Model S and, if all goes according to plan, transform the California carmaker into a serious mainstream, rather than niche, manufacturer.

Plug In!

According to some observers, Tesla could very quickly log more than 100,000 early reservations. But not everyone is convinced, one analyst warning that “fundamental headwinds” could prove more substantial than Tesla’s ever-upbeat founder and CEO Elon Musk has anticipated.


Tesla Beats Forecast – Still Loses $75 Mil in Q3

Investors rally despite loss.

by on Nov.03, 2015

The third quarter saw the long-awaited, and long-delayed, launch of the Model X battery SUV.

Tesla Motors managed to beat analysts’ forecasts for the third quarter, but still delivered an adjusted, $75 million loss for the third quarter, or 58 cents a share. Nonetheless, that was two cents better than what was expected, according to S&P Capital, sending Tesla stock up in after-hours trading.

The net loss, using more conventional GAAP procedures, came to $229.9 million for the July to September quarter, or $1.78 a share, compared with a $74.7 million deficit, or 60 cents a share, a year earlier.

Plug In!

The announcement comes at a critical time for Tesla. The maker just launched its second product line, the Model X battery-electric SUV. And it has begun rolling out its new AutoPilot system which permits semi-autonomous freeway driving. But the maker also took some recent hits from a key consumer group over ongoing reliability problems.


Better Late Than Never: Tesla Finally Reveals Model X

7-seat SUV includes new “bio-weapon defense mode.”

by on Sep.30, 2015

The new Tesla Model X spreads its wings -- or, more precisely, its unique falcon doors.

After struggling to pull a “challenging” project together, Tesla Motors finally pulled the wraps off its new Model X sport-utility vehicle at a standing-room-only event in Silicon Valley.

It becomes just the third product line Tesla has ever offered, and the second in its current portfolio, a much-needed counterpoint to the Model S sedan in a market that has widely embraced utility vehicles. If all goes according to plan, the new Model X should help Tesla nearly double its sales next year and set the stage for the even more mainstream Model III due out in 2018.

Product News!

As the California carmaker has attempted to do with the Model S, the new SUV delivers far more range than what other battery-cars can muster. And it’s loaded up with an assortment of surprise-and-delight features – from high-performance “Ludicrous Mode” to an advanced air filtration system CEO Elon Musk jokingly dubbed its “bio weapon defense mode.”


The Moment for Truth for Tesla as Model X Finally Debuts

Two years late, electric SUV the real test for CEO Elon Musk’s venture.

by on Sep.29, 2015

The new Tesla Model X could be outselling the Model S sedan by this time next year.

Has Tesla really sparked a revolution, or is it about to come unplugged? The world may get a better sense of the battery-electric automaker’s future later today when it finally pulls the covers off the new Model X.

The electric SUV will join the Model S as the second car in Tesla’s line-up, and once it reaches market, more than two years behind schedule, it could nearly double the California carmaker’s annual sales volume, at least if founder and CEO Elon Musk’s projections prove accurate.

Your Guide to the Hottest New Products!

While Tesla’s transition into a truly mainstream manufacturer will have to wait a couple more years, with the planned addition of the more moderately priced Model III, the Model X – with its distinctive “falcon doors” — will give both consumers and investors a good sense of whether Tesla is more than just a one-shot wonder.


Tesla Announces First Incentive Program – With a Social Spin

Some buyers also turning to used Tesla as affordable entry.

by on Jul.30, 2015

Tesla wants to find new ways to boost demand before the launch of the Model X SUV.

Incentives have become a way of life in the auto industry, buyers often expecting givebacks and discounts on even the most popular products.

That’s a lesson little Tesla Motors has apparently picked up on. But the California battery-carmaker is adding a unique social spin to its first-ever incentive package, with a program designed to reward both owners and buyers. Separately, a new study suggests that some potential customers are getting around the high cost of a Model S sedan by turning to use versions.

News You Can Trust!

In comparison to some incentive programs, Tesla might be accused of being downright stingy. It will offer $1,000 credit to a new buyer – but with a twist, you have to be referred by an existing owner who will also get a $1,000 spiff, apparently for a future purchase.


When “Insane Mode” Isn’t Enough — Tesla Adds “Luuudicrous Mode”

Battery carmaker adds new base model and introduces even longer-range battery pack.

by on Jul.17, 2015

The updated Model S will now be capable of launching from 0 to 60 in as little as 2.8 seconds.

Anyone who thinks you can’t get a thrill driving an electric vehicle is likely going to be in for a surprise Tesla Model S. Earlier this year, the maker unveiled the high-performance P85d, adding what it dubbed “Insane Mode,” capable of launching from 0 to 60 as quickly as a McLaren.

For those customers who didn’t think it was enough to go “Insane,” Tesla will take things a step further, adding the new Luuudicrous mode. It will allow the 7-seat sedan to launch from 0 to 60 mph in as little as 2.8 seconds while delivering a quarter-mile time of just 10.9 seconds, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced today.

The Last Word!

“Nothing like having your own rollercoaster,” laughed Musk during a phone and Internet media conference. But he revealed Tesla is working on something yet again quicker. An all-new Roadster due out in four years will feature what Musk has curiously dubbed “Maximum Plaid” mode.


Tesla Ready to Launch Model X, Autonomous Driving Tech to Follow

Meanwhile, CEO Elon Musk takes aim at Mars.

by on Jun.10, 2015

Tesla's Elon Musk said the long-awaited Model X will hit showrooms in the last quarter of this year.

After a two-year delay, Tesla finally plans to bring its much-anticipated second product line, the Model X battery-electric SUV, to market within the next three to four months.

The California-based manufacturer also expects to start offering its new auto-pilot, a semi-autonomous driving system, in the coming months, said CEO Elon Musk during Tesla’s annual shareholder’s meeting. Musk also suggested he is looking forward to a time when rocket launches to Mars become relatively routine, possibly by the SpaceX private rocket company he also controls.

We Keep You Plugged In!

The Model X is expected to greatly expand the potential audience for Tesla’s products considering the strong demand for utility vehicles. Like the Model S sedan, it will feature a fully electric drivetrain that is expected to be offered with a variety of different battery-pack sizes and performance levels. (more…)

Tesla Pays CEO Musk Less Than Line Workers – But Stock Run-Up Worth Billions

Maker expected to target stationary battery market.

by on Apr.23, 2015

Why is this man smiling? Over $6 billion in stock might help when added to Elon Musk's meager base pay.

While most automotive CEOs can expect to take home seven- and even eight-figure paychecks, Tesla Motors founder and Chief Executive Elon Musk earned barely as much as one of his company’s assembly line workers last year, just $35,360.

But lest you worry he can’t support his large family, Musk has also benefited handsomely from the surge in Tesla stock over the last two years – while also taking home a paycheck from Space Exploration Technologies, the private rocket launching service he also founded.

Automotive Insight!

Though well off from its 52-week high, Tesla stock has been on a roll in recent weeks, investors betting on a strong first-quarter earnings report – and on the new line of business Tesla is expected to announce next week, the company reportedly planning to enter the stationary battery power market.