Currently reading: Inside the industry: Tesla's success starts on the playground
Elon Musk's marque is cool (like it or not), and it's looking more and more credible long-term
Jim Holder
News
2 mins read
22 June 2020

There it was, in black and white: a few weeks ago, fleetingly, Tesla was the most valuable car maker in the world, based on its stock price. In these tumultuous times, investors have been backing it like never before, pushing it beyond Toyota and the Volkswagen Group (it had long since eclipsed Ford, General Motors et al).

It’s a remarkable tale that I can validate only through talking with my 12-year-old. Where I see sales figures over 17 years that have only recently topped one million, full-year financial results that have never seen a profit, an endless (but admittedly reducing) stream of quality complaints and aftersales issues, plus a borderline relationship with common sense as far as Autopilot is concerned, he sees the future. Emboldened by Top Trumps, he and his mates are genuinely more excited if I bring home a Model 3 than a Ferrari 488 Pista, such is Tesla’s playground cachet.

And there’s the rub. So-called experts have spent recent days trying to justify Tesla’s dizzying valuation, citing everything from it having more advanced battery technology than its rivals (hard to believe) through to it now producing a credible, decent-selling four-car line-up globally (hardly impressive against the opposition). But my suspicion, in the absence of any genuinely hard facts, is that the stockbrokers have caught playground fever.

And that’s not a criticism. There’s no rational reason why ‘legacy’ marques can’t make EVs just as capable as Tesla’s (or better, if you want to argue the toss over the likes of the Jaguar I-Pace and Porsche Taycan). But while the perils of listing on the stock market are all too obvious (just ask Aston Martin), the latest evidence suggests that, by moving first and fast, Tesla has seized the initiative for a generation or more. There isn’t a car maker on Earth that wouldn’t like a sprinkle of its stardust right now.

Where will it end? The straight-talking ex-BMW, Chrysler, Ford and GM boss Bob Lutz recently labelled it “psychosis”, suggesting that the constant ramping of hype just keeps pushing the price higher, generating more hype and so on. To heavily summarise Lutz’s views, bubbles always burst.

However, just 18 months ago, Lutz claimed Tesla was “heading for the graveyard”. I wouldn’t have bet against him then. But now? I’m not prone to committing the thoughts of stockbrokers or children to print, but even if that market valuation is grounded in turning fiction into reality, and even if reality ends up biting hard, you have to acknowledge that Tesla is probably both too big to fail yet small and well-funded enough to adapt to a rapidly changing landscape better than most.

READ MORE

Tesla linked to new UK gigafactory in Somerset 

Saloon showdown: Tesla Model 3 vs BMW 3 Series 

Tesla applies to generate electricity in UK

Join the debate

Comments
32
Add a comment…
fadyady 25 June 2020

Tesla is a generation ahead

Tesla is a generation ahead of the competitors. They may have more resources and bigger sales revenue, but Tesla owns the future. That is what's getting in the rave investments. More valuable than VW, BMW and Mercedes! Eh!
artill 22 June 2020

Jim, Go pick your kids up

Jim, Go pick your kids up from school in a convertible V8 Mustang, all the kids in the playground would be asking you to rev it. They might think a Tesla is cool compared to a diesel Golf. I think the rumble of a proper V8 might have them. 

Did the kids think the Zoe you rented was cool, Jim. I doubt it. So is it just American cars that are cool to kids? (and the kids in us too!)

typos1 23 June 2020

artill wrote:

artill wrote:

Jim, Go pick your kids up from school in a convertible V8 Mustang, all the kids in the playground would be asking you to rev it. They might think a Tesla is cool compared to a diesel Golf. I think the rumble of a proper V8 might have them. 

Did the kids think the Zoe you rented was cool, Jim. I doubt it. So is it just American cars that are cool to kids? (and the kids in us too!)

But Zoes ARE cool, much cooler than a Tesla or a Mustang V8.

coolboy 22 June 2020

Same old story again

I never really understood why Mr. Lutz is taken with so much reverence, he is just "a guy in the system" which isn't really very good at anything, but capable on seemingly everything... so many people say it is, doubt it.

Then there's Tesla, same story, but in this case, a carmaker and his vehicles. 

Many fanboys say they are the future, now. I very much hope not: I do not want all future cars with just glass roofs, or with just 1 single point of interaction, a screen, even more if it isn't an automotive grade product, in which, if I have to adjust a seat, I have to press on that screen, obviously in the sub menu for seats. And don't even get me started if after a few days on, the car is "updated" with de-content features and specs, so that the carmaker tries to erase imprints for rightful litigation bases. Oh and that you have to take it as is and then moan by the Application on your DumbPhone. And that, other than the expected depreciation, you have to factor in  the 'price discunts' that periodicaly said carmaker runs, so that he can attract customers. Yeah, that future. Here's hoping for, at least, another additional seventeen years of "non the future ownerships".

 ... and looks like Volkswagen group, Toyota and any others that sell way more or just more than 1 million cars every couple of months give any seriously *crap* to "market valuation" either. It will all end up in tears on the Tesla ecosystem.

typos1 22 June 2020

coolboy wrote:

coolboy wrote:

I never really understood why Mr. Lutz is taken with so much reverence, he is just "a guy in the system" which isn't really very good at anything, but capable on seemingly everything... so many people say it is, doubt it.

Then there's Tesla, same story, but in this case, a carmaker and his vehicles. 

Many fanboys say they are the future, now. I very much hope not: I do not want all future cars with just glass roofs, or with just 1 single point of interaction, a screen, even more if it isn't an automotive grade product, in which, if I have to adjust a seat, I have to press on that screen, obviously in the sub menu for seats. And don't even get me started if after a few days on, the car is "updated" with de-content features and specs, so that the carmaker tries to erase imprints for rightful litigation bases. Oh and that you have to take it as is and then moan by the Application on your DumbPhone. And that, other than the expected depreciation, you have to factor in  the 'price discunts' that periodicaly said carmaker runs, so that he can attract customers. Yeah, that future. Here's hoping for, at least, another additional seventeen years of "non the future ownerships".

 ... and looks like Volkswagen group, Toyota and any others that sell way more or just more than 1 million cars every couple of months give any seriously *crap* to "market valuation" either. It will all end up in tears on the Tesla ecosystem.

You make some valid points, but when people say "Teslas are the future" I tihnk they mean electric cars generally, not specifically Tesals or the features/points you make.

 

Over the air updates are generally a good thing, they are for computer/smartphone companies who dont abuse them as you mentioned Tesla has at times.

 

I particularly hate the fact that if you remotely unlock your Tesla, the signal does not go directly from your phone to the car as it could and should do, or no, it goes to Teslas HQ, then to the car, very, very, very creepy, not good for privacy in the slightest.

Torque Stear 22 June 2020

typos1 wrote:

typos1 wrote:

coolboy wrote:

I never really understood why Mr. Lutz is taken with so much reverence, he is just "a guy in the system" which isn't really very good at anything, but capable on seemingly everything... so many people say it is, doubt it.

Then there's Tesla, same story, but in this case, a carmaker and his vehicles. 

Many fanboys say they are the future, now. I very much hope not: I do not want all future cars with just glass roofs, or with just 1 single point of interaction, a screen, even more if it isn't an automotive grade product, in which, if I have to adjust a seat, I have to press on that screen, obviously in the sub menu for seats. And don't even get me started if after a few days on, the car is "updated" with de-content features and specs, so that the carmaker tries to erase imprints for rightful litigation bases. Oh and that you have to take it as is and then moan by the Application on your DumbPhone. And that, other than the expected depreciation, you have to factor in  the 'price discunts' that periodicaly said carmaker runs, so that he can attract customers. Yeah, that future. Here's hoping for, at least, another additional seventeen years of "non the future ownerships".

 ... and looks like Volkswagen group, Toyota and any others that sell way more or just more than 1 million cars every couple of months give any seriously *crap* to "market valuation" either. It will all end up in tears on the Tesla ecosystem.

You make some valid points, but when people say "Teslas are the future" I tihnk they mean electric cars generally, not specifically Tesals or the features/points you make.

 

Over the air updates are generally a good thing, they are for computer/smartphone companies who dont abuse them as you mentioned Tesla has at times.

 

I particularly hate the fact that if you remotely unlock your Tesla, the signal does not go directly from your phone to the car as it could and should do, or no, it goes to Teslas HQ, then to the car, very, very, very creepy, not good for privacy in the slightest.

Firstly the seats are controlled by buttons on the side. The mirrors and stearing wheel are controlled by touch screen but you only have to adjust them once as they are tied to your profile on your phone.

You generally don't remotely unlock the car as it normally just opens when you pull the handle as it detects your phones blue tooth. The remote unlock defaults to a mobile signal as you can do that at any range.

As for creepiness look up the welsh crossbow killer's Landrover, he was convicted on the basis of his car recording where it was and how long doors were opened. Most modern cars are recording a lot of data, but it is all subject to GDPR so there are hard limits on what car manufacturers can use the data for.

typos1 23 June 2020

Torque Stear wrote:

Torque Stear wrote:

typos1 wrote:

coolboy wrote:

I never really understood why Mr. Lutz is taken with so much reverence, he is just "a guy in the system" which isn't really very good at anything, but capable on seemingly everything... so many people say it is, doubt it.

Then there's Tesla, same story, but in this case, a carmaker and his vehicles. 

Many fanboys say they are the future, now. I very much hope not: I do not want all future cars with just glass roofs, or with just 1 single point of interaction, a screen, even more if it isn't an automotive grade product, in which, if I have to adjust a seat, I have to press on that screen, obviously in the sub menu for seats. And don't even get me started if after a few days on, the car is "updated" with de-content features and specs, so that the carmaker tries to erase imprints for rightful litigation bases. Oh and that you have to take it as is and then moan by the Application on your DumbPhone. And that, other than the expected depreciation, you have to factor in  the 'price discunts' that periodicaly said carmaker runs, so that he can attract customers. Yeah, that future. Here's hoping for, at least, another additional seventeen years of "non the future ownerships".

 ... and looks like Volkswagen group, Toyota and any others that sell way more or just more than 1 million cars every couple of months give any seriously *crap* to "market valuation" either. It will all end up in tears on the Tesla ecosystem.

You make some valid points, but when people say "Teslas are the future" I tihnk they mean electric cars generally, not specifically Tesals or the features/points you make.

 

Over the air updates are generally a good thing, they are for computer/smartphone companies who dont abuse them as you mentioned Tesla has at times.

 

I particularly hate the fact that if you remotely unlock your Tesla, the signal does not go directly from your phone to the car as it could and should do, or no, it goes to Teslas HQ, then to the car, very, very, very creepy, not good for privacy in the slightest.

Firstly the seats are controlled by buttons on the side. The mirrors and stearing wheel are controlled by touch screen but you only have to adjust them once as they are tied to your profile on your phone.

You generally don't remotely unlock the car as it normally just opens when you pull the handle as it detects your phones blue tooth. The remote unlock defaults to a mobile signal as you can do that at any range.

As for creepiness look up the welsh crossbow killer's Landrover, he was convicted on the basis of his car recording where it was and how long doors were opened. Most modern cars are recording a lot of data, but it is all subject to GDPR so there are hard limits on what car manufacturers can use the data for.

Clearly you cant work a computer - I never mentioned where the seat, wheel or mirror controls controls were - learn to read and quote correctly. But seeing as you mention it the seats and mirror controls are tied to the profile on the car not your phone, at least on the S and X. I should know, I ve driven more Teslas than I can remember, more than 60 at the last count.

I never said what you "generally unlock" the car, I said how Tesla remote unlocking works, so going on about how bluetooth unlocking works is totally irrelevant and also misses the point - bluetooth only has a 10m range, so not enough for Tesla HQ to become inovled in your private business of who you remotely let drive your car, that you paid for. And how owners "generally unock" their car depends on them - you cant speak for all owners, so you may "generally unlock" it via bluetooth, but you dont know what all the other owners do, so you cant say. Not that any of that was relevant to my point. Which was that its creepy and unecessary that remote unock goes via Teslas HQ, it should go straight to the car.

Your last post does, I guess make a valid point, that some nutcase was convicted cos of creepy data logging.