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Posts Tagged ‘Tesla’s Elon Musk’

Grohmann Quits Tesla After Feud With CEO Musk

Leaves after disagreement over handling of previous customers.

by on Apr.27, 2017

Tesla CEO Elon Musk lost another top executive, Klaus Grohmann, after the two disagreed about how to handle Grohmann's now former customers.

As Tesla CEO Elon Musk continues to play whack-a-mole trying to eliminate potential roadblocks to getting the EV maker’s mainstream model, the Model 3, into production on schedule, there have been a few glitches.

The most recent being departure of Klaus Grohmann, who left last month after a clash with Musk. Grohmann was leading the company’s efforts to improve the “machines that build the machines” at Tesla.

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The pair disagreed over Musk’s insistence on shedding long-time customers – and competitors to Tesla – from Grohmann’s company, which Tesla had acquired in November, according to Reuters. The carmaker wanted all of its new engineering subsidiary’s resources focused on bringing the Model 3 to market on time, with high quality and in large numbers: 500,000 units annually by 2018. (more…)

More Worries as Tesla Strains Finances Rushing to Launch Model 3

Stock analysts as analysts issue new warnings.

by on Feb.27, 2017

Investors are growing increasingly worried about Tesla's finances, sending its stock tumbling again.

Tesla shares took another sharp dip on Monday, continuing a decline triggered by the maker’s weak fourth-quarter earnings, and the admission by CEO Elon Musk that the battery-carmaker’s finances were “getting very close to the edge.”

Shares were off 4.2% at the end of Monday trading, to $246.23, as Goldman Sachs became the latest to turn on Tesla, analyst David Tamberrino downgrading the maker’s stock from “neutral” to “sell.” The market turned bearish when, last week, Tesla reported that it lost $121.3 million, or 78 cents a share, during the final quarter of 2016.

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That might have been taken in a more positive light, considering that was less than half the $320.4 million deficit posted during the fourth quarter of 2015. But Musk struck a cautious note when advising analysts and media during a conference call that the company has been burning through cash at a frantic rate as it prepares to introduce its new Model 3 sedan over the summer. (more…)

Tesla’s Musk Claims Autonomous Car Critics Are “Killing People”

Too much attention to crashes scares off the public, CEO claims.

by on Oct.20, 2016

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the media is complicit in the 1.2 million global traffic deaths each year because it writes stories about autonomous vehicle crashes.

Critics of self-driving cars may be “killing people” by building consumer resistance to the technology, said Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk.

Proponents of autonomous vehicles – including not only Musk but also U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx – contend the technology could eventually result in the elimination of most, perhaps all, highway deaths. But early prototypes, as well as vehicles equipped with semi-autonomous systems, have been involved in a number of crashes, including a May 9 accident in Florida in a Tesla Model S that resulted in the death of a former Navy SEAL.

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Nonetheless, the South African-born Tesla founder, said that reporting on such events is counterproductive because when, “you write an article that effectively dissuades people from using an autonomous car, you’re killing people.” (more…)

China Fatal Crash Focuses New Attention on Tesla Autopilot

"No way of knowing" if semi-autonomous system was to blame, says Tesla.

by on Sep.14, 2016

Dash cam footage chronicles the second fatal crash involving Tesla's Autopilot program. This one was in China in January. Photo credit: Jalopnik.

A second fatal crash, this one in China, may have been the result of a malfunction by Tesla’s semi-autonomous Autopilot system.

The incident, which occurred last January but is only now being revealed, took the life of 23-year-old Gao Yaning, the son of the Model S owner. A video captured by a dash camera mounted in the car showed that it appeared to hit a street sweeper at highway speeds, rather than moving aside.

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The crash preceded a May 9 collision between a Model S operating in autonomous mode and a truck that turned into the battery-car’s path. Tesla confirmed the Autopilot system was operating when that accident, which took the life of a 40-year-old former Navy SEAL, occurred on a Florida highway. Because of the extent of the damage in the China crash, Tesla says there is “no way of knowing” if the system was enabled. (more…)

Shareholder Files Suit to Halt Tesla’s $2.6B SolarCity Acquisition

Investors nervous about taking on solar panel maker.

by on Sep.13, 2016

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has been serving as chairman of SolarCity, raising conflict of interest concerns.

Tesla shareholders generally seem to have a lot of faith in founder Elon Musk, who has overcome a number of challenges without raising the ire of outside stockholders, who might be expected to raise a few questions.

But Tesla’s $2.6 billion acquisition of SolarCity – Musk is the chairman of both companies and owns nearly 20% in each – seems to testing the confidence of some shareholders.

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At least one shareholder of Tesla Motors Inc. asked a Delaware Chancery Court judge to expedite her derivative suit against the company related to the deal. (more…)

Tesla Updating Autopilot Within Two Weeks, Musk Says

CEO claims Autopilot-equipped models safest cars on road.

by on Sep.12, 2016

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the new version of Autopilot will be updated within two weeks.

Tesla vehicles equipped with Autopilot will be the safest cars on the road once the company completes the over-the-air update to the program in the next two weeks, according to CEO Elon Musk.

“The Model S and X are by far the safest car on the road. I don’t think there is another car that’s within a multiple of the S and the X,” he said during a press conference announcing the upgrade.

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The upgraded version of Autopilot required new software to allow the system to become more reliant on the systems radar-based sensors. Prior to the new system, the semi-autonomous program relied on camera-based sensors to recognize objects on the road. (more…)

Another Tesla Autopilot Accident Reported in Beijing

Did Tesla salesperson oversell car’s capabilities?

by on Aug.10, 2016

Another Tesla Model S has been involved in an accident while in Autopilot mode. This time the minor collision happened in China.

With two federal safety investigations already underway in the U.S., Tesla Motors could face scrutiny in China, as well, in the wake of an incident involving a Model S sedan operating in Autopilot mode.

The crash last week was relatively minor – unlike the fatal accident in Florida on May 9 – but it raises questions about both the capabilities of Tesla’s semi-autonomous technology and the way Autopilot is being sold and explained to the public. The driver, a 33-year-old computer programmer, claims he was told by the dealer’s staff that Autopilot allowed the vehicle to be operated hands-free.

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Tesla confirmed the crash, but noted that the driver, Luo Zhen, was not following its guidelines. “As clearly communicated to the driver in the vehicle, autosteer is an assist feature that requires the driver to keep his hands on the steering wheel at all times, to always maintain control and responsibility for the vehicle, and to be prepared to take over at any time.” (more…)

Musk Flings Open Doors of Tesla’s Gigafactory

Musk believes Model 3s coming in 2018.

by on Jul.27, 2016

Tesla's Elon Musk said recently that if the automaker reaches its production goal of 500,000 units, it would absorb all of the world's current lithium production. Credit: Tesla

Tesla flung open the doors of its still-in-progress Gigafactory to show the world what kind of progress it’s making on what will likely be the birthplace of every battery stuffed into every Tesla EV sold for years to come.

The company’s founder and CEO, Elon Musk, took the media on a tour of the plant, which is only 14% complete, and announced the facility would begin producing batteries at the end of this year. The first automotive power sources weren’t due to roll off the line, so to speak, until sometime in 2017. Tesla shareholders and owners will get a private tour later this week.

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The plant is already producing Tesla’s Powerwall and Powerpack energy storage units, using cells from Panasonic Corp. The Japanese company is a partner, investing $1.6 billion into the site, which is expected to cost $5 billion once it’s completed in 2020. (more…)

SolarCity Board Names Two-Person Committee to Review Tesla Takeover

Company has just one board member with no ties to EV maker.

by on Jun.28, 2016

Tesla CEO Elon Musk pitched a $2.8 billion takeover bid of SolarCity Corp.: another company he heads up.

To answer the rising chorus of criticism, SolarCity Corp. said on Monday it has formed a special committee to evaluate Tesla Motors Inc.’s $2.8 billion takeover offer by Tesla.

To show that everyone involved is a little tone deaf to the chorus, there are only two people on the committee. Tesla and SolarCity are so entertwined that five members of the board recused themselves from serving on the committee due to conflicts.

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Even still, one member of the committee, Nancy Pfund, has ties to both companies. The committee will evaluate the offer and “a broad range of strategic alternatives,” the top U.S. solar panel company said in a statement. (more…)

Tesla Loses Nearly $900 Million in 2015

Stock price jumps after Model 3, profitability news.

by on Feb.11, 2016

Tesla CEO Elon Musk delivered sour financial results, but the company's stock rose 9% anyway on bright product news.

Tesla announced it lost more money in the fourth quarter of 2015 than it lost in all of four quarters of 2014 — $320 million compared with $294 million – and its stock rose 9%.

In fact, Tesla lost $889 million on revenue of $4 billion for the full year compared with a loss of $294 million on revenue of $3.2 billion in 2014 on an unadjusted basis. Tesla’s adjusted full-year revenue of $5.29 billion was slightly below analysts’ forecast of $5.38 billion.

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Despite the annual loss coming in three times higher, investors were happy for three reasons. (more…)