24% of Tesla Model 3 Orders Cancelled, Cancellations Outnumber New Orders

Guest ROTFLMAO! by David Middleton

From the purveyors of Fake News…

24% of Tesla Model 3 orders have been canceled, analyst says

by Jordan Valinsky @CNNMoney
July 19, 2018

Tesla is finally making enough Model 3s — but an analyst says many customers are growing too impatient to wait any longer for them.

Cancellations for Model 3 orders have picked up in recent weeks. Refunds now outpace deposits for Tesla’s new mass-market electric car, according to Needham & Co. analyst Rajvindra Gill. Tesla disputes that.

In an analyst note delivered to clients Thursday, Gill cited extended wait times for the car, the expiration of a $7,500 tax credit, and the fact that Tesla has not yet made the $35,000 base model of the car available for purchase yet.

About one in every four Model 3 orders is canceled, Gill said, double the rate from a year ago. Customers have to put down a refundable $1,000 deposit to reserve a Model 3, then pay another $2,500 to choose their specific version. They pay the rest when the car is delivered.

The wait time for a Model 3 is about 4 months to a year, and base model customers could wait until 2020, Gill said.

A Tesla spokesperson denied that Model 3 cancellations exceed new orders.


CNN Money

Who do you believe?  Stark Industries Tesla, CNN or the Wall Street analyst?

Tesla has finally topped 5,000 Model 3 units per month, delivering 6,250 and 6,062 in May and June respectively.  Tesla’s monthly Model 3 output is now up to about 55 hours worth of Ford F-Series production.

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July 23, 2018 7:25 am

Makes total sense given the huge number of pre-orders that existed and the time that they were kept waiting. Wake me up when Tesla doesn’t find enough buyers to sell all the cars that they can produce.

Non Nomen
Reply to  Nylo
July 23, 2018 9:23 am

Quite a classic dilemma: Tesla might produce less cars instead of stockpiling them. The stock exchange gurus will take anything Tesla does as what it is: gross incompetence. Tesla is doomed. It may rise again – as a “Model T” Volkswagen or Porsche subsidiary.

Greg Goodman
Reply to  Non Nomen
July 23, 2018 1:00 pm

Yeah, no particular intention to talk it down, but I don’t see Tesla making the end of the year without a major cash flow problem and a share price crash.

Reply to  Greg Goodman
July 23, 2018 1:22 pm
Reply to  Non Nomen
July 23, 2018 1:22 pm
Jeff in Calgary
Reply to  pkudude99
July 24, 2018 6:55 am

It would appear that they don’t have all the parts required to complete these cars. But to get their build numbers up to forecasted levels, they are “factory gating” these vehicles and including them in the count.

Thomas E
Reply to  pkudude99
July 24, 2018 11:43 am

It is certainly possible that with Telsa hitting production goals they are outstripping rail and trucking capacities for getting the cars delivered to customers.

Granted, I don’t know if I completely buy this explanation, there are very few cars being produced in California compared to the 2 million units sold in California. So one could assume there is ample capacity of vehicle transportation East.

It will be interesting to see how the next 3 to 6 months pan out.

Bryan A
Reply to  Nylo
July 23, 2018 9:59 am

Gonna take a bite of Snow Whites Apple? Or prick your finger on the wrong spindle?

kent beuchert
Reply to  Nylo
July 23, 2018 10:25 am

Consider yourself woken up : 1) Tesla changed their ordering, now allowing people to order Model 3s, but only the highly optioned versions. This indicates a lack of
many such buyers on their waiting list (Tesla hides their data – they provide no numbers for their waiting list buyers or their preferences). 3) Model S and Model Y orders have dropped. 4) Tesla will operate at a sticker price disadvantage in their main market when they lose their $7500 buyer tax credit come Dec 31, 2018
5) Competitors will provide over a 120 electric models to compete against Tesla vehicles andmost will arrive within 1 to 3 years. Already the Jaguar I Pace, Porsche Taycan,Buick Enspire , new Nissan Leaf, and Kia SUVs are about to hit the showrooms and Tesla has NO technological advantages to protect their offerings.
Tesla will also lose hundreds of millions in ZEV credit values as the other automakers pour EVs on the road and don’t need to buy them. Everything coming down the pike presents an obstacle for Tesla.

Holly Birtwistle
Reply to  kent beuchert
July 23, 2018 5:35 pm

And where are the charging stations for this ‘flood’ of EV’s? Rich Virtue signallers buy them. Ordinary people need a practical vehicle.

James Beaver
Reply to  Holly Birtwistle
July 23, 2018 8:10 pm

Also, how about the supply of electricity? We’d need massive investment in nuclear and other non-intermittent baseload electricity to sustain a large increase in EV % of the transportation fleet.

Jake J
Reply to  James Beaver
July 24, 2018 10:03 am

If every single automobile were fully electrified, U.S. power generation would need to be increased by 11%-12%, mostly at night. I don’t think it would be a problem. The numbers:

– 105 million automobiles registered
– 13,000 miles/year per car
– 1.365 trillion automobile miles driven/year
– 3 miles/kWh average fuel economy
– 455 trillion more watt hours/year needed
– Current generation ~4 quadrillion watt hours/year
– 455 trillion/4 quadrillion = 11.375%

Reply to  Jake J
July 24, 2018 12:36 pm

You need to increase that by around 50% to account for transmission and conversion losses.

Reply to  Jake J
July 24, 2018 4:43 pm

I have a problem with this low estimate. David Middleton’s numbers (WUWT April 17) came up with 27%, also using an averaging method, while “James” (JoNova March 29) came up with 132%, based on energy replacement of petrol and diesel for cars and light vehicles. I’m not saying which method (averaging or total energy replacement) is the best calculation method, but it’s evident that more work needs to be done on these calculations.

Reply to  Jake J
July 24, 2018 7:20 pm

If I might add further to my comment, I note that you say that there are 105m automobiles registered, while David says that there are 236.6m passenger vehicles in the U.S. Something appears to be wrong.

Reply to  Graeme#4
July 24, 2018 9:36 pm

I believe the difference represents light trucks. Many need an F-150 or Ram truck more than a car, and it is also used as a passenger vehicle. It just underscores the fact that EVs cannot replace even half the vehicles on the road.

Reply to  Jake J
July 24, 2018 10:19 pm

If baby boomers allowed people to work from home. People screw around whether at work or home. Although I prefer the cat free environment at work.

Bob Koss
July 23, 2018 7:37 am

Musk in now requesting suppliers return money they have already been paid for products they already provided.
LOL. Musk seems to be getting more absurd every time I read something about Tesla.

Patrick J Wood
July 23, 2018 7:39 am

The projected total cost of the Model 3 has risen from $35k to $78k , because of increased production costs and phasing-out of government subsidies. Quite a difference!

Doug Huffman
Reply to  Patrick J Wood
July 23, 2018 7:45 am

Just about the new cost of my BMW X5 DIESEL SAV.

Reply to  Patrick J Wood
July 23, 2018 9:05 am

Projected by whom?

July 23, 2018 7:48 am

This isn’t a bad thing for Tesla. Tesla is deceptive with their message – they say they want to make cheap cars (to keep their stock price high, so nobody buys them out), but actually want to profit on luxury cars. Getting 24% of the people who have been waiting for the cheapo cars off their back will let them focus more on selling the pricey model 3 types. Remade Roadster is just around the corner, it will be a profit house.

Reply to  Dave
July 23, 2018 8:27 am

You cannot tell how profitable something is from its price. And how does the stock stay high if making the more expensive cars would make more money? And why would anybody buy them out when they are losing $1 billion a quarter? Aside from that, stock manipulation is actually a crime anyway, so if they are being “deceptive” perhaps the SEC might like to pay them a visit?

Reply to  Phoenix44
July 23, 2018 8:36 am

The stock price is all a lie, I’ll give you that. But did you see that Tesla’s making 30% on the base model of each model 3? Have you seen the amount of infrastructure they’ve built? Noticed the ravenous, and cash-stocked eco-hippy fan base? (Most of these stock holders wouldn’t sell if their stock was track to $1 or if it hit $2000. FWIW, I don’t own any.) Have you looked into the quality of their battery technology?

If Tesla dropped to $50 tomorrow, no doubt companies like Apple would bid, because Tesla is all about the decade of the 2020s.

Reply to  Dave
July 23, 2018 8:46 am

You mean the bubble of the 20s?

Reply to  Edim
July 23, 2018 8:59 am

Amazing, isn’t it? Each stock of Tesla is a tulip bulb that could grow into 20,000 bushels of corn, but only if that belief is maintained long enough.

Bryan A
Reply to  Dave
July 23, 2018 10:04 am

It’ll take a vast amount of extra CO2 to grow that amount of Corn from a single Tulip Bulb
That and a lot of magic fairy dust and Unicorn Flatus

Reply to  Dave
July 23, 2018 4:16 pm

I believe that tesla is now requiring a cow be exchanged for each share of tesla purchased……

Reply to  Dave
July 23, 2018 8:55 am

If Tesla is making 30% on the base model of each model 3, then
1. why aren’t they actually making base models (the much-touted $35,000 car has yet to be actually sold to anyone), and
2. why did they post a net loss of over $360,000 PER HOUR EVERY HOUR in Q1 of this year (total $784.6 million for the quarter)?

Maybe that 30% is not quite accurate? (to put it mildly)

Reply to  MonnaM
July 23, 2018 9:03 am

1) They want to sell the pricey things instead to look good on the books. They don’t believe that there will be any lack of interest when they finally get around to selling the base model 3.
2) Investment in future things to wow investors to keep the stock price high later on keeps them from making good profit. Unfortunately doing 2 requires a boost from 1. They’re riding a razor’s edge.

Bryan A
Reply to  Dave
July 23, 2018 10:22 am

IN 2017 TESLA produced and delivered 103,200 vehicles at a net loss of $2,200,000,000 ($2.2B) which averages to a loss of $21,355 per vehicle sold.
IN 2016 TESLA produced and delivered 83,922 vehicles at a net loss of $674,914 which averages to $8.04 per vehicle sold.

Perhaps they should produce fewer cars thereby limiting the size of their loss
I have to wonder just how much of that Lo$$ that TE$LA is hemorrhaging is being Hemorrhaged into Elon’s Pocket

Monna M
Reply to  Dave
July 23, 2018 2:37 pm

Investment (buying assets in the hope that they will appreciate in value) shows up on the Balance Sheet, not on the Income Statement. It doesn’t affect Net Income.

Shanghai Dan
Reply to  Dave
July 23, 2018 10:35 pm

Gross margin is completely wiped out – and then some – with just SG&A. That’s before things like R&D, capex, or interest on debt. Tesla likes to talk about making a 30% margin – but they actually make a -7% margin on selling each car (gross margin minus SG&A spending).

Reply to  MonnaM
July 23, 2018 9:21 am

Most businesses if they are lucky make a 5% net profit. Why would they be making 30% and why on the base model?

Bryan A
Reply to  Bill_W_1984
July 23, 2018 12:28 pm

Probably used the Climate Models to Model their potential Mass Production cost vs their projected price per unit. Then had the results of the model runs Karlized for maximum future profit potential.

bruce ryan
Reply to  Dave
July 23, 2018 12:04 pm

I believe the story you are referencing about the profit of the 3 model was actually a 30 % loss if the car really sold at 35k.

Roger Knights
Reply to  bruce ryan
July 24, 2018 3:14 am

No, he’s relying on the latest Sandy Munro teardown report, which covers only the cost of materials and labor and assumes average industry production capabilities and costs. It doesn’t get into Tesla’s structural problems like high debt, low cash on hand, a car not designed for automated assembly, managerial problems and turnover, high warranty costs, high delivery and service costs, pending lawsuits, supercharger expense, wrongly based autopilot and Full Self-Diving capabilities, possible SEC investigations, possible regulatory problems, hassles with contractors and suppliers, inability to raise capital, etc.

July 23, 2018 7:50 am

Bubbles collapse spectacularly. I am just guessing here, but there will be a day when Tesla goes to the capital markets and can’t quite raise the capital they need. Since the entire investor market is built on “I bet I’m not the one holding the bag when this goes under” that will be an interesting day. I suspect on that day (probably unfolding over weeks then months) the stock value will collapse, Tesla will stop paying suppliers altogether, lawsuits will be filed in rapid succession, and orders will grind to a halt. As the orders plummet the factories will be shuttered (seriously, who opens a factory in Freemont California?) and pieces sold off to the highest bidder (assuming anyone bids).
What I am really interested in is what happens to the stranded assets since replacement parts will be discontinued, and the supercharger network will likely stop being maintained.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  chadb
July 23, 2018 9:22 am

“seriously, who opens a factory in Freemont California?.”

They took over a defunct GM plant with a railway already there to deliver cars/batteries etc.
Got a great deal

Long ago before the crash a lot of bay area companies ( including one I worked for) had freemont facilities ( look up automall parkway)

great location

Reply to  Steven Mosher
July 23, 2018 9:35 am


Presumably a lot of their eco conscious customers will also come from the general area and presumably they take Bitcoin?


Reply to  Steven Mosher
July 23, 2018 11:09 am

Toyota could not make money at that plant producing ordinary cars.

Reply to  Bob Hoye
July 23, 2018 12:12 pm

Toyota overbuilt their production facilities, and GM pulled out of a joint venture. https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Toyota-closing-Fremont-Nummi-plant-3288232.php

Reply to  Steven Mosher
July 23, 2018 11:05 pm

It’s spelled Fremont BTW, after John C Frémont.

Reply to  chadb
July 23, 2018 4:21 pm

I’ve long contended that tesla should be angling to be AC Delco, and not a major car manufacturer. Imagine if they just supplied batteries, parts, software…whatever it is that they can do well, that can electrify existing lines of vehicles.

Imagine having a Fiat-T, a fiat with Tesla technology. or a Ford F-150-T.

Mass producing cars for the middle market is very hard to do, and has a very low profit margin.

James Beaver
Reply to  chadb
July 23, 2018 8:16 pm

If it gets that bad, the end will happen in hours. Financial traders are ruthless and very, very fast on their feet.

July 23, 2018 7:54 am

“… topped 5,000 Model 3 units per month…” – shouldn’t that read “per week” rather than month?

Reply to  David Middleton
July 23, 2018 8:50 am

Dave ==> To make the chart a little clearer for our readers:
comment image

R. Shearer
Reply to  Kip Hansen
July 23, 2018 11:18 am

Plus, only Tesla’s are as versatile to double as crematoriums.

Philip Schaeffer
Reply to  R. Shearer
July 24, 2018 2:09 am

😀 Yeah, cause they’re the only ones that catch fire in a crash!

I wish for the old days of petrol and diesel cars when you could crash head on at 100mph and nothing would ever catch fire.

Reply to  Bob
July 23, 2018 8:07 am

They could have delivered more that month, I bet. They’re playing the tax game since they’re so close to 200,000, so there’s some delay on deliveries.

Mike the Morlock
Reply to  Bob
July 23, 2018 8:13 am

Hi Bob,
Well it depends on where Tesla is assuming an earth week or a Uranus week ; Pluto no longer being a planet and all.
I think I should stop here


Mike the Morlock
Reply to  David Middleton
July 23, 2018 8:27 am

This could be a nightmare in the making, If they can’t move those vehicles by the end of Dec 2018 they get taxed on them
Lets see for just one month 15,000 X $75,000 per vehicle at 10% tax ooh wait Tesla,, they don’t pay taxes they get subsidies -silly me.


R. Shearer
Reply to  Mike the Morlock
July 23, 2018 11:20 am

China has ghost cities, Tesla may have ghost cars waiting for souls.

Bryan A
Reply to  Mike the Morlock
July 23, 2018 12:36 pm

Perhaps they will do what Burberry did

Reply to  David Middleton
July 23, 2018 8:29 am

Sitting around tying up cash you mean. Stock is working capital.

Reply to  David Middleton
July 24, 2018 3:35 am

If Tesla is manufacturing 5,000 Model 3’s per week; but only delivering 6,000/month… there are a lot of cars sitting around, not generating revenue.

There ARE a lot of Tesla’s sitting around, at least from some of the blog posts I’ve read. Thousands of them setting in fenced in lots doing nothing.

Rumors are starting to circulate that Elon only produced 5000 cars in one week by skipping the parts of the assembly that take too long. So now they have 5000 half finished cars.

Sounds like something a Soviet Factory would do to make their mandated production level, doesn’t it.


July 23, 2018 7:56 am

“but an analyst says many customers are growing too impatient to wait any longer for them.”

seems like demand outstripping supply. Not exactly a failure then!

July 23, 2018 8:12 am

Elon Musk, is an arrogant, egotistical twat & lives off other peoples cash, he needs taking down…maybe with this –

Eustace Cranch
July 23, 2018 8:12 am

OK, I’ll accept maybe Musk really is playing something of a con game, but I’d hate to see the Falcon launch system caught up in his empire’s collapse should it happen. It’s an amazing achievement.

Peter Morris
Reply to  Eustace Cranch
July 23, 2018 12:59 pm

I feel bad for all the Musk fans once they realize Space-X was part of the shell game.

The whole point is the lady isn’t actually on the table, but people seem to think she’s hiding under Space-X.

July 23, 2018 8:15 am

For some reason, they can’t deliver these cars….

Tesla is stocking ‘thousands’ of Model 3’s in parking lots, shorts are freaking out about it

Parking lots full of Tesla Model 3 vehicles have been spotted around California in the past few days and Tesla naysayers and shorts are framing the discoveries as the automaker stockpiling vehicles due to a lack of demand.
One of those facilities is in Lathrop.
In the parking lot of the building, a large number of Model 3 vehicles (estimated at around 2,000) have been spotted this week.
Another lot was spotted in Burbank for an estimated 4,000 vehicles and the usual Tesla shorts and naysayers had a field day about the discovery yesterday:


comment image?w=996&h=665&quality=82&strip=all&ssl=1

Reply to  David Middleton
July 23, 2018 8:26 am

Keep in mind…this was before they produced 5000 in one week….added together it’s about 10,000 teslas

Reply to  David Middleton
July 23, 2018 8:36 am

none and it’s pitiful…like you point out…other car manf do that in almost 1 day

Mike the Morlock
Reply to  David Middleton
July 23, 2018 8:43 am

Hi David,
I was looking for a break down of state by sales, but I stumbled across this.


seems many states do not allow direct sales from the manufacturer. Only through dealerships.
Opens a can of worms I think.


Reply to  Latitude
July 23, 2018 8:57 am

Another point is to get that 5000 in one week, they had to do a lot of resource shifting. This shifting will hurt future production.

Mike the Morlock
Reply to  Latitude
July 23, 2018 9:20 am

Hi Latitude, it just dawned on me, is Tesla paying rent on these lots that they are storing cars on. Next how secure are the lots and if the is security what is the cost?
I do not think the stock piling of vehicles is some brilliant plan. Tesla seems to have the three stooges running the operation.

Reply to  Latitude
July 23, 2018 10:30 am

There maybe two reasons for this type of shell game with the model 3. One they built higher end cars with more bells and whistles that nobody had orders for because they would be profitable if sold. Two these car were built in a rush to make the numbers look good but they are all missing some essential finishing parts. They could be completed to deliver to the customers when these missing parts were available. An example would be they are missing some of the easier replaceable battery packs. The production numbers should be looked at with numbers produced and delivered to customers not just numbers produced.

Peter Morris
Reply to  Latitude
July 23, 2018 1:01 pm

The Tesla store here in Charlotte went from having a relatively empty lot a few months ago to being chock full of Model 3s and Model Xs.

Reply to  Peter Morris
July 23, 2018 2:03 pm

How is that possible if there are hundreds of thousands of people waiting for delivery?

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Latitude
July 23, 2018 5:05 pm

When I worked for Honda (Early 90’s) in Swindon, England, the factory parking lot looked a lot like that, but added to that was triple decked car transporters leaving the factor site every few minutes full of cars. I see only one car transporter in the picture.

Having said that, at that time there was massive over-production and low demand, so the industry kept on making cars. At Honda, one car every 2 minutes came off the line, 24hrs a day. Many car makers had to stockpile on site or even sent off shore to the channel islands.

One thing I can’t see clearly, they all look like they have no protective coating. All Hondas left the factory with protective wax and plastic film coatings that protected the paint and exposed trim items from the weather. Don’t see anything like that on those Teslas.

Jake J
Reply to  Patrick MJD
July 24, 2018 1:35 pm

The one lot in Lathrop, CA is in a very, very hot place. A long, long time ago, when I was much younger and dumber, I hitch hiked through there and came close to heat stroke. Summer temps are regularly well over 100F, and sometimes 110F. It’s inconceivable to me that Tesla would just park those cars outside without making some special provisions.

July 23, 2018 8:27 am

Driving back from SoCal to Sacramento last Friday we passed scores of Model 3’s, some on semis, many driving. It’s got impressive engineering; I just can’t get past the fact that it from certain angles it looks like the tiptoeing octopi (accompanying ‘Dave the Octopus’) in Penguins of Madagascar….
See: http://villains.wikia.com/wiki/File:11_024.PNG

R. Shearer
Reply to  Theyouk
July 23, 2018 11:29 am
July 23, 2018 8:29 am

One must admit that if people are willing to put money up front and wait three years for a car to be built that they’ve never seen in the flesh or driven there’s some impressive advertising and hype going on. I keep waiting for them to run out of low hanging fruit buyers but it hasn’t happened…. yet. There’s only so many people that have the money and can live with EV limitations.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  markl
July 23, 2018 9:27 am

1000 dollar refundable deposit is no a deposit.
its just status signalling.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
July 23, 2018 9:45 am

It’s actually an ingenious interest-free-loan to Elon Musk, with no durable repayment date. My millennial nephew is one of the nearly half-million who contributed to this half-billion dollar loan to Tesla, and he is yet to see a car, even though he told me he had been invited by email to “design his car”. I have no idea where his car is sitting in the queue, whether on a lot in SAC or BUR, or is yet to be built. I hope he decides soon whether to give up and request his G-note back.

Steve O
July 23, 2018 8:30 am

The wait time estimate seems a bit low to me. Over 450,000 units are on backlog, and a recent production week has fallen to 4,330 units. It’s not surprising that there would be more cancellations among those 450,000 customers than new orders from people who are just now getting on the waiting list.

July 23, 2018 8:32 am

Better cancel now, while you still have a chance of getting your deposit back.
When Tesla ends up in bankruptcy, these kinds of deposits go to the back of the pack when it comes to divying up the assets.

In fact, if you cancel too close to the bankruptcy, the bankruptcy judge could order you to return the deposit so it can be redistributed to higher priority debtors.

Reply to  MarkW
July 23, 2018 10:14 pm

In fact, if you cancel too close to the bankruptcy, the bankruptcy judge could order you to return the deposit so it can be redistributed to higher priority debtors.

Would probably be fairer if it went to higher priority creditors.

Reply to  acementhead
July 24, 2018 12:39 pm


Jeff Labute
July 23, 2018 8:39 am

I’d rather get a Chevy Bolt if anything, but over the last 2 years, I’ve seen the price on it jump from $41K to 44K in Canada with a $5000 incentive. It is still $600/mo over 7 years which is still more expensive/month than a low end Mercedes. Still waiting for better battery technology.
Still, I hate to see American companies fail… perhaps somewhere in the near future Musk’s car will become the Chevy or Ford Tesla.

Jake J
Reply to  Jeff Labute
July 24, 2018 9:59 am

If the choice were between a Bolt and a Model 3, it would take me a millisecond to pick the Bolt. Always buy your car from a car company, I say.

Ian Macdonald
July 23, 2018 8:50 am

Stark Industries developed the arc (fusion) reactor, ‘Just to keep the Greens happy.’ Heh.

Which is maybe what we should do. A lot cheaper than their pipedreams.

Steven Mosher
July 23, 2018 9:13 am

“Who do you believe? Stark Industries Tesla, CNN or the Wall Street analyst?”

since the disclosure is material… seems clear

July 23, 2018 9:15 am

I’m no fan of Tesla, but the cancellation stat is a bit misleading.

Tesla opened up ordering to everyone recently, flat $2500 fee. No reservations anymore. Current reservation holders have already paid $1000, but still have to pay an additional $2500 in order to configure their car for a total of $3500 non refundable sitting at Tesla until their car delivers. So, some reservation holders are cancelling their reservation, getting the $1000 back, and then putting in a new order for a car with the $2500 fee instead. In theory, they get their car in about the same time frame, but with $1000 less tied up at Tesla.

Of course Tesla doesn’t report near enough detail to figure out how much of this is going on, but I expect it skews the numbers a lot.

July 23, 2018 9:22 am

While I have not studied Tesla, it reminds me of a similar situation many years ago in the computer industry.

For a while, the Osborne I took the industry by storm.


I was working at a rival computer company at the time and my bosses were having fits about the fact that we could not sell against the Osborne I profitably. They were convinced that our engineers were just a bunch of bone heads that could not design a cost competitive machine.

To help us understand the genius of the Osborne I, we took one apart and costed it screw by screw, chip by chip, and flex cable by flex cable. When we totaled up all the parts and labor, it turned out that Osborne’s design was significantly more expensive than ours. But Osborne sold each one at a significant loss.

Still there was much fear from our management, that once the oft promised Osborne II came out we would be doomed.

It never came out. The excuse was ‘production issues.’ The real problem was that other people’s money ran out and Osborne was bankrupt.

If you want to found a startup with incredible sales and growth, just sell gold and price it 10 or 20 percent under market. If you can get some help from the government, even better!

Ben Wilson
Reply to  Dennis
July 23, 2018 5:44 pm

I seem to recall that once the Osborne II was announced, that people stopped buying the Osborne 1. . . .waiting to buy the Osborne II. . . . .

July 23, 2018 10:14 am

My poor, literally, friends and relatives with low income, are quite shocked when told that the taxes on their low incomes, many of them on pension, help pay for the rich people’s new electric toy.

July 23, 2018 11:47 am

A big bounce for TSLA shares this morning. They are now down 9 to 10 dollars, but earlier were down another 12 dollars on top of that before support came in. Wonder how much of that support comes from Gov Brown?

Roger Knights
Reply to  goldminor
July 24, 2018 3:34 am

The bounce was due to Tesla’s clarification of its begging letter to its suppliers (which the WSJ had revealed earlier in the day)—its implications weren’t as dire as initially thought. Here’s a link: https://seekingalpha.com/news/3372493-tesla-clarifies-supplier-costs-issue

July 23, 2018 12:08 pm

So David’s big breakthrough story is that a number of folks don’t want to wait a year to get a car. Earth shattering news. Telsa pulled off what no other car company has done, to get 500,000 people to put down 1,000 deposit on a car. It’s not surprising that a decent percentage don’t want to wait a year, especially with many other good EVs on the market they can buy with no wait.

Reply to  Chris
July 23, 2018 12:56 pm

“Telsa pulled off what no other car company has done, to get 500,000 people to put down 1,000 deposit on a car.”

Well, yes. You see, other car companies don’t have to get people do to that, because they’re able to actually make the cars their customers want to buy.

Reply to  MarkG
July 23, 2018 3:34 pm

Oh please. Automotive companies are incredibly capital intensive, which is why almost no one starts one. Factories, tooling, robotics equipment – all of that is very expensive compared to, for example, starting a software company. Musk took on a Herculean task, yet all I saw here are folks attacking him.

Reply to  David Middleton
July 23, 2018 7:53 pm

Yes, and therefore (you know, the part you ignore) it is not nearly so easy to start a car company than a software company. It’s amazing that a guy with cojones gets attacked here. The world is full of sheeple that go through life making no mark other than their own footprints.

Jake J
Reply to  Chris
July 23, 2018 8:25 pm

Iron Law of the Internet: He who uses the word “sheeple” is a drooling nutcase. 🙂

Reply to  Jake J
July 24, 2018 9:51 am

Iron Law of the Internet – he who posts without adding any value to the discussion is destined for a life of mediocrity. 🙂

Reply to  Chris
July 24, 2018 12:40 pm

Self awareness is lost on trolls.

Reply to  Chris
July 23, 2018 7:00 pm

If he had done it with his own money, I wouldn’t care.
However he’s a much better subsidy farmer than he is a car manufacturer, and that’s why people give him grief.

Reply to  MarkW
July 23, 2018 7:55 pm

Whose money has he lost? The company IPOed at 19 a share, it’s now at 300.

Reply to  Chris
July 24, 2018 12:41 pm

You can lose millions of dollars a month, yet not lose anyone’s money.
Let me guess, you play an economist at night?

Reply to  Chris
July 23, 2018 7:20 pm

When was the last time Honda asked 500,000 people to send them $1,000 to preorder the new Civic?

They don’t, because they just, you know… make enough cars to meet demand. It’s not rocket science.

Reply to  Chris
July 23, 2018 12:57 pm

It really is fascinating how liberals celebrate a successful scam.

Reply to  MarkW
July 23, 2018 3:37 pm

It’s not a scam. Have you heard of buying condominums off plans? Folks put down 10s of thousands of dollars towards a to-be-constructed condominium development, and then make additional progress payments before taking ownership several years later. Is that a scam too?

Reply to  David Middleton
July 23, 2018 7:47 pm

Mostly, it’s not. Which is the part that gets ignored here.

Reply to  Chris
July 23, 2018 7:02 pm

It’s a scam when they can’t tell you when your condo is going to be ready.
It’s even more of a scam when the company requires large amounts of other people’s money before they can finish building your condo.

Reply to  Chris
July 23, 2018 7:23 pm

What other auto companies ask customers to put down thousands of dollars in the hope that they’ll actually get the car a few years later?

I’m pretty sure I remember Ferrari doing it with the F40, and maybe some of their other limited production models… and that’s about it.

Yet, somehow, this is supposed to be a great success on Musk’s part, because he somehow ‘pulled off what no other car company has done’ in convincing 500,000 people to put a deposit on a car that didn’t yet exist. No other car company needs to do it, because they just… make cars.

Reply to  MarkG
July 23, 2018 7:56 pm

No other car company needs to do it, because they….. have massive lines of credit. You left out the most important point.

Reply to  Chris
July 23, 2018 8:01 pm

Yes, exactly. They’re real businesses following normal business practices.

And yet, somehow, Tesla ends up valued higher on the stock market than they are.

Reply to  MarkG
July 24, 2018 9:59 am

Tesla is a real business. They used an unusual strategy to raise funds. What would you have done if you were Musk? Not even try? Just throw up your hands and say “it can’t be done?” when you have a capital intensive business and traditional lines of finance are not available to you due to your small size?

Reply to  David Middleton
July 24, 2018 9:54 am

So Musk tried a different approach because the traditional avenues were not available to him. And before he did that, he put all of his money in. So why are you so critical of him? As I noted above, down payments are used in other sectors, such as real estate. Yes, it hasn’t been done in automotive outside of high end niche cars, but so what? He didn’t force anyone to put down their $1000.

Reply to  Chris
July 24, 2018 12:42 pm

They have lines of credit, because bankers believe that they actually have a chance of turning a profit and paying back the loans.
They fact that they can’t get lines of credit is just another indicator that it’s all a scam.

Reply to  MarkG
July 24, 2018 12:18 pm

Jaguar did that with the XJ220. That erupted into many lawsuits when they delivered a turbo V6 powered car instead of the promised V12 that couldn’t crack 200mph.
That Musk asked potential customers to pony up money, I’m okay with. It’s the government loans, tax breaks for Tesla directly, and the tax breaks those same customers enjoyed to purchase the cars.

Reply to  David Middleton
July 23, 2018 7:57 pm

Except you left out the most important details, as David Hoffer noted above.

Reply to  David Middleton
July 24, 2018 10:01 am

Of course it is relevant to a higher drop out rate. Good grief. You don’t think being asked to pony up 2.5K on top of 1k is going to cause some drop out on their waiting list?

July 23, 2018 12:41 pm

Meanwhile reviews of the car are extremely good.

Roger Knights
Reply to  Simon
July 24, 2018 3:37 am

Not all of them by any means. By focusing on its good points the car looks good; by focusing on its bad ones it looks bad.

Wiliam Haas
July 23, 2018 12:47 pm

I would love to have an all electric car and a solar powered charging system to go with it. The solar power system needs to have a battery so that the car can be charged up over night. I cannot afford any of this so one of the rich countries like China will have to provide this system for me for free.

July 23, 2018 3:05 pm

Tesla should close up shop & stop the bleeding. Other EVs are just as good or better and certainly less expensive.

Reply to  David Middleton
July 24, 2018 6:59 am

I’ll take your word, David, but it’s way too much for the avg working Joe.

Johann Wundersamer
July 23, 2018 5:13 pm
Holly Birtwistle
July 23, 2018 5:43 pm

Perhaps Musk will sell the money losers Tesla, and Solar City, to ‘green ‘ companies, and focus his attention on Spacex, his only company that seems to have a future, and can pay its own way without tax-payer subsidies.

Scott Bennett
Reply to  Holly Birtwistle
July 23, 2018 11:32 pm

Tesla Motors Inc., SolarCity Corp. and Space Exploration Technologies Corp., known as SpaceX, together have benefited from an estimated $4.9 billion in government support.

Tesla and SolarCity continue to report net losses, despite the stocks of both companies soaring on their potential.

SpaceX – a private company – does not publicly report financial performance!

But, public funding is still public money:

5.5 billion in government contracts from NASA and U.S. Air Force.

And $20 million in economic development subsidies from Texas to construct a launch facility.

The public-private financing model underpinning his long-shot start-ups is a common theme running through his emerging empire.

Reply to  Scott Bennett
July 24, 2018 8:07 am

I give SpaceX a plus 100. The other two, minus 100s. I give that from their performances.

John Hardy
July 23, 2018 10:30 pm

There is billions shorted on Tesla, hence a lot of financial firepower devoted to talking the stock down. I’d be very surprised if they run out of purchasers:


July 23, 2018 11:14 pm

I think Musk underestimated the needed expertise and experience to build cars at a profit. It’s a brutal market and they might easily not survive the competition in EVs from Chevrolet, Ford, BMW, Toyota, Nissan etc. All who have vastly more experience and resources.

Hocus Locus
July 24, 2018 2:08 am

Now IF ONLY we could keep those cancelling customers MENTALLY OCCUPIED with something for a few months… so they fail to notice that as bankruptcy looms, the distressed price of these unsold vehicles is plummeting headlong towards the affordable sticker price Musk had promised… and we could snatch them up ourselves.

If any one of your social media contacts gripes that they have cancelled their Tesla order, send them a dozen links to new stories bashing Donald Trump (or in the UK, Theresa May). That should do the trick.

Roger Knights
July 24, 2018 3:42 am

To follow the near-daily Tesla soap opera, click here: https://seekingalpha.com/symbol/TSLA

FWIW, I think the company will manage to seem to turn a corner in a couple of months and stagger on for another six months or so, until the pent-up demand is mostly satisfied, and competition begins to really bite, and the tax credit is mostly gone, and other headwinds take their toll.

July 24, 2018 4:03 am

Anyone can lend this guy money to buy one of his cars in a couple of years. I don’t mind at all. What I DO mind is taxpayer funded credits to buy.

July 25, 2018 4:24 am

In Ontario, there was recently a provincial election, won by Doug Ford, often labelled by opponents as “Ontario’s Trump”. As the old saying goes “elections have consequences”. Ontario’s electric vehicle rebate has been cancelled. With Ontario being Canada’s most populous province, that has to have at least a minor effect on Tesla.

July 25, 2018 4:56 am

I just learned something VERY sobering about the Tesla Model 3. It has usability issues that cannot be fixed through a software change.

There are NO physical controls of any kind for many functions that need to be stored in muscle memory for the driver, and dead simple for casual passengers. Things like…
– Side mirror adjust
– Air vent adjustments
– Windshield wiper speed
– Glove box opening
– Etc

ALL of those and more are accessible only through the central touch screen menus, and possibly a smart phone app. Distracted driving, here we come, to say nothing of emergency response situations.

This is a car designed to be used by a computer, not a human. There’s a reason for physical controls, and it is not because nobody knows how to make computer touch screen menus.


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