Tesla: It’s Distraction Time – Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA)


Anyone that has adopted Elon Musk and Tesla (TSLA) in recent times is aware of that delays come very often. After telling the general public that the corporate would unveil its semi-truck in September, the occasion was pushed again to October after which once more to November 16th. We are lastly just some days away from the reveal, which proper now could be probably only a well timed distraction from the remainder of the corporate’s issues.

(Source: Most current semi-truck rumors)

It’s clear proper now that the corporate’s supporters are doing no matter they’ll to shift focus away from the Model three delay. From articles telling you the corporate, which derives nearly all of its income from automobile gross sales, is a software program agency with billions in potential gross earnings from a Tesla Network that does not exist but (and was speculated to be mentioned extra this 12 months) to badysts saying that Tesla is to EVs what Apple (AAPL) was to smartphones, properly, apart from the money movement and earnings – there’s clearly an effort to shift the present narrative.

You know issues are out of contact with actuality when badysts begin throwing out guesses that make completely no sense. On the identical day that Electrek reported Tesla constructed 180 Model three items in October, probably ending the month at a construct price of some dozens per week, RBC’s Joseph Spak guessed that the present price was 700 per week and going to 1,200 to 2,000 per week by 12 months’s finish. I am very curious to know the way he sees the corporate going from a couple of dozen to 700 per week in lower than 10 days, but not attending to greater than 2,000 with a further 50 days. I am undecided if that represents an exponential, stepped exponential, or another non-linear improve sample, however it does not appear to make sense. It jogs my memory of December 2015 when one other Tesla badyst stated the corporate could be producing 800 Model X items per week by the tip of that month and it took Tesla a number of extra quarters to get to that price.

There are many questions left for Tesla to reply this week regarding the semi-truck. The most up-to-date rumors recommend it’ll have a spread of 200-300 miles, however what battery dimension will that be, and the way a lot will it value? At that vary, it is probably solely fitted to quick or medium time period hauling. At the current Tokyo Motor Show, Daimler (OTCPK:DMLRY) unveiled its personal electrical transport truck with an estimated 220 miles of vary, beating Tesla to the punch. Elon Musk thinks that Tesla will have the ability to scale manufacturing of the truck in 18 to 24 months, however his timelines are at all times questionable. If the corporate cannot get the Model three to customers 18 months after its reveal, how on the planet is Tesla going to get a more recent, bigger, and extra complicated product accomplished in an badogous time-frame? We do not even know the way Tesla plans on making this semi-truck, given its Fremont plant appears to be bursting on the seams already. Will there be a shock about manufacturing of the semi at both gigafactory 1 in Nevada or 2 in Buffalo?

I’ve additionally questioned whether or not Tesla might think about using this week’s semi-truck reveal as a way to boost extra capital within the quick time period. While administration plans on the Model three bringing in large quantities of money beginning within the subsequent few months, we have heard a number of instances earlier than that capital raises weren’t wanted. With Tesla shares properly off their 52-week highs, the latest junk providing doing fairly poorly as seen within the chart beneath, and rates of interest beginning to rise forward of the anticipated December price hike, now would appear like a great time to get a money cushion simply in case Model three plans do not come to fruition as quickly as presently anticipated.

(Source: Finra web page for Tesla’s 5.three% coupon bonds)

One factor I ought to be aware concerning the timing of Tesla’s occasion. Doors open at 7 PM Pacific time, so like most of the firm’s previous occasions, they are going to be after extended-hours buying and selling closes. At the second, Musk’s different firm SpaceX presently has a scheduled launch in Florida for Eight-10 PM Eastern the night time earlier than, and there’s some query of that occasion resulting from climate considerations. With the traditional subsequent alternative launch window being 24 hours later, do not be stunned if the semi-truck occasion begins just a little late if there’s a SpaceX launch that very same night time. This is what occurs when you could have a part-time CEO.

Finally, what’s the “big additional surprise” that Musk has teased will come alongside the reveal of the semi-truck? Will Tesla present only a teaser picture of the Model Y crossover that is anticipated within the subsequent couple of years, and possibly the corporate begins taking deposits on the Y and semi to alleviate money movement considerations? Are we going to listen to extra concerning the “Tesla Network,” particulars of which have been speculated to be coming this 12 months, and we nonetheless haven’t gotten something concrete? Whatever the shock is, there are some on the market extra excited for this different merchandise than the semi-truck itself.

In the tip, this week’s semi-truck occasion for Tesla is probably going nothing greater than a distraction within the close to time period from the Model three issues. With so many questions left to be answered, it’s unlikely that the semi will present any materials contribution to Tesla anytime quickly. With lots of negativity surrounding Tesla for the time being, the launch of one other product cannot actually occur till Model three’s issues are fastened. That course of took a success late final week when a key firm badyst discovered the match and end of the automobile fairly poor, and this was speculated to be one of many firm’s higher manufacturing fashions.

Disclosure: I/we’ve got no positions in any shares talked about, and no plans to provoke any positions inside the subsequent 72 hours.

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