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Westlake Legal Group > Tesla Motors Inc

Tesla Value Hits $100 Billion. Will Elon Musk Get a Big Bonus?

Westlake Legal Group 00tesla-facebookJumbo Tesla Value Hits $100 Billion. Will Elon Musk Get a Big Bonus? Tesla Motors Inc Stocks and Bonds Musk, Elon Executive Compensation Electric and Hybrid Vehicles Bonuses Automobiles

Tesla’s share price hit a record high on Wednesday, surpassing a threshold that could ultimately unlock hundreds of millions of dollars in bonus compensation for its chief executive, Elon Musk.

The award is contingent on a $100 billion market capitalization for Tesla — the milestone reached Wednesday — over a sustained period. The stock closed at $569.56 per share, giving the company a valuation just shy of $103 billion.

If the market capitalization remains above $100 billion on average over a six-month period, including at least 30 consecutive days, Mr. Musk will have the option to buy about 1.69 million shares at about $350 each — a payout worth more than $370 million before taxes at the current stock price.

Forbes and Bloomberg estimate Mr. Musk’s current net worth at about $32 billion, about half of it composed of Tesla shares.

Tesla’s gain of more than 4 percent in Wednesday’s trading extended a recent surge in which its share price has more than doubled in three months. Along the way, Tesla’s market value surpassed that of General Motors and Ford Motor combined, reflecting a faith among some investors in the company’s ability to disrupt the automotive industry.

At the same time, the stock is also one of the biggest targets of short-sellers, ranking alongside much larger companies like Apple and Microsoft in interest from investors who hope to profit from what they see as an inevitable decline in the share price. According to S3 Partners, a financial technology and data firm, the number of Tesla shares shorted has hovered around 26 million or 27 million — about 20 percent of the shares available for trading — for some time.

“The amount is just telling you that the soap opera continues,” said Bob Sloan, the founder of S3 Partners. “The company’s stock has doubled, and the doubters are still the doubters.”

Tesla’s stock started surging in October when the company reported an unexpected profit for the third quarter after recording a $1.1 billion loss in the first half of 2019 as it struggled to produce and deliver its Model 3 sedan. Earlier, in September 2018, Mr. Musk had agreed to step down as chairman in a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission after it had accused him of misleading investors with a claim on Twitter about having “funding secured” to take the company private.

Even with that settlement, Tesla remains under regulatory scrutiny. Last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that it was considering a request to investigate claims that some Tesla vehicles have accelerated on their own. The company dismissed the claims as “completely false” in a blog post. The author of the request, Brian Sparks, acknowledged in an interview with CNBC that he was shorting Tesla’s stock.

The highway safety agency is also investigating at least 14 crashes involving Tesla vehicles in which Autopilot, its driver-assistance system, is believed to have been engaged. The National Transportation Safety Board is meeting next month to look into one such crash in Mountain View, Calif., in 2018.

Despite its difficulties, the company has become a force in its industry, said Colin Rusch, an analyst at Oppenheimer.

“We’re looking at a company that we think has a very sturdy and insightful strategy in terms of the narrowness of the focus on the technology and really looking at disrupting the industry in a way that consumers find compelling,” he said.

Mr. Rusch is one of several Tesla analysts who increased their target price for the company’s stock this month, reflecting growing faith on Wall Street that the company can manage a global expansion and steal market share from established automakers that have been slow to develop and sell electric vehicles.

The company has shown that it can learn quickly from its mistakes and has displayed “larger ambition” than its peers, Mr. Rusch said in a research note. It also benefits from a large fleet of vehicles on the road collecting data that could be used to train future autonomous driving systems.

In a CNBC interview on Wednesday, President Trump reflected the enthusiasm that many investors have for Mr. Musk, comparing him to Thomas Edison and describing him as “one of our great geniuses.”

Tesla managed a difficult transition last year as it ramped up production of the Model 3, which accounted for more than 80 percent of the cars it produced and delivered in the fourth quarter of 2019. This month, Tesla began delivering cars built at a new Shanghai factory. The company plans to start deliveries this year of the Model Y, a sport utility vehicle that Mr. Musk has said could become the company’s most popular offering.

The bonus that Mr. Musk stands to receive for his stewardship of the company is part of a unique compensation plan Tesla laid out two years ago that includes 12 components. Under its terms, Mr. Musk, who does not take a salary, would be allowed to buy just over 20 million shares of Tesla stock at a deep discount as the company meets a mix of revenue, profit and valuation targets.

“It’s certainly a very unusual compensation plan,” said Ken Bertsch, the executive director of the Council of Institutional Investors, which represents pension funds, endowments and other investors.

The council’s members are divided on the plan, he said. Proponents say it wisely provides an incentive to Mr. Musk, whose leadership they view as crucial to Tesla’s success. Opponents say it overemphasizes his role and could lead to decisions aimed at increasing Tesla’s market capitalization, such as making acquisitions, even if they don’t make sense for the company.

Should Tesla achieve all of the goals laid out in the compensation plan, including reaching a $650 billion market capitalization — or roughly double Walmart’s valuation today — Mr. Musk could receive up to $55 billion in compensation, a number that could change if the company issues more stock.

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Tesla Reports Record Output as Elon Musk Achieves Goal

Westlake Legal Group 03tesla-facebookJumbo Tesla Reports Record Output as Elon Musk Achieves Goal Tesla Motors Inc Musk, Elon Factories and Manufacturing Electric and Hybrid Vehicles Company Reports

Tesla on Friday said that it had produced over 100,000 vehicles and delivered even more in the fourth quarter of 2019, meeting a goal it had laid out to investors and ending the year on stronger footing than it began.

In a statement, the electric-vehicle maker said it delivered 112,000 cars in the final three months of last year and produced a record 104,891, showing healthy demand as it continues to focus on global growth.

“When you deliver more cars than you produce, you get into your bank more cash than you spent,” said Pierre Ferragu, an analyst with New Street Research. He said that would enable Tesla to continue its expansion, including its manufacturing presence in China, where cars are beginning to roll off a Shanghai assembly line.

Mr. Ferragu estimated that Tesla delivered about 60,000 vehicles in North America and 52,000 internationally in the fourth quarter. The company did not provide a breakdown.

Friday’s figures put Tesla’s total deliveries for 2019 at 367,500, which the company said was 50 percent more than in 2018. It had forecast deliveries of 360,000 to 400,000 for the year, and analysts say that the company could deliver as many as half a million vehicles in 2020.

The news caps a volatile year for Tesla, which turned a corner in the second half of 2019 after the strain of a $1.1 billion loss in the first half. After falling as low as $177 in June, the company’s stock price started to soar in late October, when Tesla reported a third-quarter profit. The stock closed Thursday at $430.26 and rose more than 3 percent after the announcement Friday, briefly reaching a new high, even as the overall market declined.

The share price last week surpassed a milestone of $420. It was at that price that Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk, said in 2018 that he had “funding secured” to take the company private. The deal turned out to be less solid than Mr. Musk had made it seem, attracting the scrutiny of federal regulators and resulting in his stepping down as chairman.

Expectations for the year ahead are mixed. Some analysts predict Tesla’s stock will rise above $500 because of increasing interest in electric vehicles and the company’s strong recent performance. Others say the company is greatly overvalued.

By most accounts, however, Tesla underwent a difficult yet successful evolution in the last year as it ramped up production and sales of its less-expensive Model 3, shifting away from its larger and lower-volume Model X and Model S.

“Those transitions are usually never seamless, never easy,” said Jed Dorsheimer, an analyst with Canaccord Genuity. “They’re bumpy and they can be ugly. But the company executed pretty well.” He expects Tesla’s stock to reach $515 as demand accelerates for electric vehicles.

The Model 3 accounted for more than 80 percent of the cars produced and delivered by Tesla in the fourth quarter, according to the figures released Friday.

Tesla this week announced the first deliveries of the nearly 1,000 cars it has produced so far at its Shanghai factory, less than a year after breaking ground. Until now, Tesla output had been limited to its assembly line in Fremont, Calif. The company said it had demonstrated an ability to produce more than 3,000 vehicles per week at the Shanghai plant.

Such news has heartened optimistic analysts like Mr. Ferragu and Mr. Dorsheimer, but others are more skeptical about the year ahead for Tesla.

While the company has been a leading maker of electric vehicles, it faces growing competition from established carmakers and start-ups alike, said Craig Irwin, an analyst with Roth Capital Partners.

“Yeah, they’re the innovator,” he said. “Yeah, they’re aggressively out there first on the technology, and they’ve done a superb job. But others will be in that market, too. It’s not just going to be exclusively for Tesla.”

To Mr. Irwin, the company’s stock is “egregiously” overvalued because many investors still treat Tesla as a company defined by aggressive growth even though it has matured into something different.

“Now it needs to be treated like an automotive company,” he said.

Tesla had also benefited in recent years from a federal tax credit on electric vehicles that effectively lowered the cost of its vehicles by as much as $7,500. But the credit began phasing out after Tesla sold 200,000 qualifying cars and was fully eliminated at the end of last year.

That may be an advantage for Tesla rivals that are able to offer the credit. But analysts do not expect the loss of the tax credit to have a major long-term effect on sales for Tesla, a well-known brand at a time when demand for electric vehicles is rising.

In addition to its global expansion, Tesla plans to begin deliveries of its all-electric, midsize sport utility vehicle, the Model Y, in the fall. Thanks to a significant overlap in components with the Model 3, the company should be able to save on production costs for the Model Y, analysts said, though some question whether the new S.U.V. will eat into demand for the Model 3.

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Tesla Stock Hits Elon Musk’s Magic Number: $420

Westlake Legal Group 23tesla4-facebookJumbo Tesla Stock Hits Elon Musk’s Magic Number: $420 Tesla Motors Inc Stocks and Bonds Prices (Fares, Fees and Rates) Musk, Elon Electric and Hybrid Vehicles

Back in August 2018, Elon Musk casually announced on Twitter that he planned to take Tesla private at a price of $420 a share, a 20 percent premium at the time. He added that he had “funding secured.”

The announcement turned out to be much less secure than Mr. Musk had suggested, and it landed him in hot water with securities regulators, who asserted that he had misled investors. For more than a year after that, troubles seemed to mount for Mr. Musk and his electric-car company — including distribution challenges, a sales slump, quarterly losses, a liquidity scare and more legal problems for Mr. Musk.

All of that weighed heavily on Tesla’s share price, which fell as low as $177 in June.

But in recent months the company has seemed to turn a corner. Rising sales lifted Tesla to a profit in the third quarter, it unveiled a fourth car for its model line, and it completed a factory in China, a market of vast potential growth.

On Monday, its stock reached a milestone, rising to an intraday high of $422, exceeding the price that Mr. Musk once appeared to offer. Even though Tesla shares ended the day slightly below $420, they are up more than 60 percent in two months.

“It’s pretty dramatic how sentiment has shifted about the company’s outlook,” said Mike Ramsey, a Gartner analyst.

Tesla’s fortunes have risen as Mr. Musk has presented a more measured presence on Twitter this year, refraining from clashing as often as he did in the past with short-sellers — investors betting against Tesla’s stock — and other detractors online.

And Mr. Musk scored a legal victory this month when a jury in federal court in Los Angeles cleared him in a defamation case brought by a British man whom Mr. Musk had referred to as a “pedo guy.”

“It removes a major issue that was hanging over the company that could be really damaging to the brand,” Mr. Ramsey said. “Now he’s off the hook.”

Tesla did not respond to requests for comment.

Mr. Musk hasn’t eliminated all irreverence from his Twitter feed. After the stock passed the $420 mark on Monday, he tweeted, “Whoa … the stock is so high lol,” apparently a reference to the association between the number 420 and marijuana use.

Right after Mr. Musk proposed taking Tesla private at $420 a share, he appeared to take a puff of a marijuana cigarette during a podcast interview, one of the actions that had raised concerns about his behavior among investors and his own board members.

Tesla still faces plenty of challenges. Sales of its most profitable cars, the Model S luxury sedan and Model X sport utility vehicle, have plunged. It is spending heavily to ramp up production in China, build a plant in Germany and finish development of two new vehicles — a roomier version of its Model 3 sedan called the Model Y and a wedge-shaped pickup known as the Cybertruck.

On Jan. 1, Tesla will have exhausted the federal tax credit available to its buyers, effectively making its cars slightly more expensive just as more competing models are arriving on the market.

Mr. Musk has also promised to have a million self-driving cars on the road by summer, while other industry executives have concluded that autonomous vehicles are still several years away from widespread use.

Nevertheless, cost-cutting and continuing increases in sales of its most affordable car, the Model 3, have put the company into the black. It reported income of $143 million for the third quarter, when many analysts had expected a loss. It sold 97,000 cars in the period, helped by rising sales overseas.

Tesla needs to sell 105,000 cars this quarter to reach sales of 360,000 cars for the year. It had forecast 360,000 to 400,000.

The new factory outside Shanghai should help Tesla continue its growth streak. China is the world’s largest market for electric cars, but Tesla has been held back because import duties make its vehicles more expensive there. The new plant will produce the Model 3. The car will be eligible for incentives offered by the Chinese government aimed at encouraging purchases of locally made electric cars.

At the same time, Mr. Musk’s more measured presence on social media has eased concerns about the company’s decision making, Mr. Ramsey said.

“I have always felt the only thing that could truly derail Tesla was Elon going off the rails with his behavior,” he said. “And he has been more professional.”

In October, Mr. Musk said the Model Y would be available in the summer and probably outpace the Model 3 in sales. Last month, he unveiled the Cybertruck, although production probably won’t start for at least two years.

Tesla may be beaten in the race to offer an electric truck by another start-up automaker, Rivian Motors. On Monday, Rivian said it had raised $1.3 billion from investors including the fund manager T. Rowe Price, Amazon and Ford Motor. Earlier this year, Rivian announced three other rounds of funding totaling more than $1.5 billion.

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Elon Musk Is Cleared in Lawsuit Over His ‘Pedo Guy’ Tweet

Westlake Legal Group 06musk-facebookJumbo Elon Musk Is Cleared in Lawsuit Over His ‘Pedo Guy’ Tweet Unsworth, Vern twitter Tesla Motors Inc Rescues Musk, Elon Caves and Caverns

Elon Musk did not defame a British cave explorer by calling him a “pedo guy” on Twitter, a jury concluded on Friday in Los Angeles. The verdict ended a short trial based on an acrid dispute between the men over the high-profile rescue of a group of children trapped in Thailand in the summer of 2018.

“My faith in humanity is restored,” Mr. Musk told reporters after hearing the verdict.

The explorer, Vernon Unsworth, sued Mr. Musk in September last year, arguing that the billionaire had used the tweet to insinuate that Mr. Unsworth was a pedophile and damage his reputation. Mr. Musk, the chief executive of Tesla, and his lawyers countered that “pedo guy” was a generic insult borrowed from his youth in South Africa.

Both men had become involved in the rescue shortly after rising waters trapped a boys’ soccer team in a cave in June 2018. Mr. Unsworth had firsthand knowledge of the cave system, while Mr. Musk flew in a team of engineers and proposed an unorthodox rescue plan using a minisubmarine.

After Mr. Unsworth slammed the idea in a televised interview, suggesting that Mr. Musk “stick his submarine where it hurts,” the billionaire lashed out on Twitter, describing Mr. Unsworth as a “pedo guy” in a post to his 22 million followers at the time.

“I felt it to be disgusting,” Mr. Unsworth testified on Wednesday, the second day of the trial. “I was effectively given a life sentence without parole.”

Mr. Musk and his lawyers argued that Mr. Unsworth was not appreciably harmed by the post, which Mr. Musk deleted shortly afterward with an explanation that it had been written “in anger.” Specifically, a lawyer for Mr. Musk pointed in court to a photograph of Mr. Unsworth standing next to the British prime minister at a ceremony, as well as video of the explorer smiling and celebrating the rescue.

It was not the only time that Mr. Musk’s posts on Twitter have created problems for him. Also last year, he was replaced as chairman of Tesla’s board as part of a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission over a tweet in which he said the company had “funding secured” to take the company private. He later explained in a blog post that he had mistakenly believed such a deal to be closer to completion than was really the case.

Even after deleting the tweet about Mr. Unsworth, Mr. Musk did not let the dispute go, later telling BuzzFeed News in an email that Mr. Unsworth was a “child rapist,” an assertion offered without evidence. The accusation was based on information from a man he had hired who claimed to be a private investigator and, it turned out, had been convicted of fraud in Britain.

While that story was brought up in the trial, the judge overseeing the case, Stephen Wilson, instructed the jury that it was not the subject of the case.

On the witness stand this week, Mr. Musk apologized for using the term in the first place and drawing attention away from the ultimately successful effort to save the children.

“It should’ve just been, ‘Here’s a rescue, and that’s great,’” he testified.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Elon Musk Is Cleared in Lawsuit Over His ‘Pedo Guy’ Tweet

Westlake Legal Group 06musk-facebookJumbo Elon Musk Is Cleared in Lawsuit Over His ‘Pedo Guy’ Tweet Unsworth, Vern twitter Tesla Motors Inc Rescues Musk, Elon Caves and Caverns

Elon Musk did not defame a British cave explorer by calling him a “pedo guy” on Twitter, a jury concluded on Friday in Los Angeles. The verdict ended a short trial based on an acrid dispute between the men over the high-profile rescue of a group of children trapped in Thailand in the summer of 2018.

“My faith in humanity is restored,” Mr. Musk told reporters after hearing the verdict.

The explorer, Vernon Unsworth, sued Mr. Musk in September last year, arguing that the billionaire had used the tweet to insinuate that Mr. Unsworth was a pedophile and damage his reputation. Mr. Musk, the chief executive of Tesla, and his lawyers countered that “pedo guy” was a generic insult borrowed from his youth in South Africa.

Both men had become involved in the rescue shortly after rising waters trapped a boys’ soccer team in a cave in June 2018. Mr. Unsworth had firsthand knowledge of the cave system, while Mr. Musk flew in a team of engineers and proposed an unorthodox rescue plan using a minisubmarine.

After Mr. Unsworth slammed the idea in a televised interview, suggesting that Mr. Musk “stick his submarine where it hurts,” the billionaire lashed out on Twitter, describing Mr. Unsworth as a “pedo guy” in a post to his 22 million followers at the time.

“I felt it to be disgusting,” Mr. Unsworth testified on Wednesday, the second day of the trial. “I was effectively given a life sentence without parole.”

Mr. Musk and his lawyers argued that Mr. Unsworth was not appreciably harmed by the post, which Mr. Musk deleted shortly afterward with an explanation that it had been written “in anger.” Specifically, a lawyer for Mr. Musk pointed in court to a photograph of Mr. Unsworth standing next to the British prime minister at a ceremony, as well as video of the explorer smiling and celebrating the rescue.

It was not the only time that Mr. Musk’s posts on Twitter have created problems for him. Also last year, he was replaced as chairman of Tesla’s board as part of a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission over a tweet in which he said the company had “funding secured” to take the company private. He later explained in a blog post that he had mistakenly believed such a deal to be closer to completion than was really the case.

Even after deleting the tweet about Mr. Unsworth, Mr. Musk did not let the dispute go, later telling BuzzFeed News in an email that Mr. Unsworth was a “child rapist,” an assertion offered without evidence. The accusation was based on information from a man he had hired who claimed to be a private investigator and, it turned out, had been convicted of fraud in Britain.

While that story was brought up in the trial, the judge overseeing the case, Stephen Wilson, instructed the jury that it was not the subject of the case.

On the witness stand this week, Mr. Musk apologized for using the term in the first place and drawing attention away from the ultimately successful effort to save the children.

“It should’ve just been, ‘Here’s a rescue, and that’s great,’” he testified.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Tesla’s Winding Road to Berlin

GRÜNHEIDE, Germany — The visitors from Palo Alto, Calif., were shown how Berlin, a hive of tech start-ups that likens itself to Silicon Valley, is just a short commute away.

They were promised building permits in four weeks rather than the customary 11 months.

And they were taken aloft in a 44-year-old Russian biplane for a leisurely tour of the site.

And it worked. Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla, decided to build the carmaker’s first major European factory in Grünheide, a village just outside Berlin and surrounded by undeveloped tracts.

Mr. Musk made the announcement during seemingly impromptu remarks at an automotive awards ceremony in Berlin last week.

But the decision was months in the making, involving an elaborate courtship by local officials eager to attract not only the jobs that Tesla would bring — an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 within two years and eventually as many as 7,000 — but also the prestige. Somehow, the officials managed to keep the negotiations secret until Mr. Musk sprang the news.

A lot of things could still go wrong. Tesla, which has opposed unionization at its plant in Fremont, Calif., may chafe at German labor laws that give workers a say in management and limit overtime. Environmental groups may object to manufacturing on land near a nature preserve. The notoriously unpredictable Mr. Musk could change his mind.

Still, the decision was hugely significant for Germany, where cars are the biggest export and the backbone of the economy.

The news has temporarily quieted rising alarm that the German auto industry faces serious disruption from a transition to battery-powered cars like those made by Tesla.

A recent government study concluded that the switch to electric vehicles could cost Germany 114,000 jobs by 2035 and shave 0.6 percent from its gross domestic product. That is because electric cars have fewer moving parts and are simpler to make.

Grünheide’s mayor, Arne Christiani, pointing out the factory site on a land-use plan in his office.Credit…Andreas Meichsner for The New York Times A vehicle charging station in Grünheide. Tesla’s Model 3 is the best-selling battery-powered car in Europe.Credit…Andreas Meichsner for The New York Times

In addition, battery cells are made almost exclusively outside Germany and must be imported. German suppliers of parts for internal combustion engines, like pistons, ignition systems or emissions control equipment, face declines in sales.

Tesla’s assembly plant would offset some of the job losses, and the company also plans to build batteries in Germany.

Based in Palo Alto, Tesla has already been taking market share from the German manufacturers BMW, Volkswagen and Daimler, the maker of Mercedes-Benz cars. The Tesla Model 3 has become best-selling battery-powered car in Europe, a segment that is small but growing fast.

With Tesla near Berlin, the established German carmakers “will have a better view of what Tesla is doing,” said Felipe Munoz, a senior analyst at the market research firm JATO Dynamics. “They will need to accelerate their electrification plans.”

Tesla did not respond this week to requests for comment, but Mr. Musk indicated that one attraction of Germany was its automaking tradition and deep pool of engineering expertise. That could be a reason he did not choose a country like Poland or the Czech Republic, where labor costs are much lower.

Tesla is ahead of the German carmakers in designing electric cars that people want to buy, but Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen can teach it a lot about how to churn out cars by the millions. While Tesla has had well-documented problems scaling up its manufacturing, Volkswagen has just begun mass producing an electric hatchback in Zwickau that will undercut the Model 3 on price.

“Some of the best cars in the world are made in Germany,” Mr. Musk said while appearing at an industry event in Berlin last week alongside Herbert Diess, the chief executive of Volkswagen. “Everyone knows that German engineering is outstanding, for sure.”

The state of Brandenburg, which includes Grünheide and was once part of East Germany, was a long shot to win the Tesla plant. The center of gravity of the German auto industry is in the southern states of Bavaria, home of BMW, and Baden-Württemberg, home of Daimler. Brandenburg, on the other hand, is known by some as the home of Berlin’s new airport, whose construction has been plagued by technical problems and cost overruns and is seven years behind schedule.

The local effort to persuade Tesla officials was led by Jörg Steinbach, the economics minister of Brandenburg and a member of the left-leaning Social Democratic Party. He set out to prove that the sometimes ponderous state bureaucracy could move at Silicon Valley speed, and he was the one who promised the expedited permits.

Mr. Steinbach also chartered the Antonov biplane to sell executives on the virtues of the proposed factory site. (The plane seats up to 12 people, and Antonovs are maneuverable enough to be used as crop dusters.) It helped that the site had already been approved for a factory that BMW decided to build in Leipzig instead.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_164684256_103d9292-cc4b-4a4d-8229-b1f7588b7e7c-articleLarge Tesla’s Winding Road to Berlin Tesla Motors Inc Musk, Elon Factories and Manufacturing Electric and Hybrid Vehicles Berlin (Germany) Automobiles

Mr. Christiani, on the Tesla site, said local officials hoped the factory would lure working-age people back from the cities.Credit…Andreas Meichsner for The New York Times

Arne Christiani, the mayor of Grünheide, said officials had strained to be helpful because they hoped the factory would lure back working-age people who had left for the cities. He joked that Teslas could be rolling off the assembly line sooner than planes begin taking off from Berlin’s much-delayed new airport.

“We’ve been making bets on what happens first,” he said.

There was a tense moment when, during a conference call between German officials and Tesla executives, it emerged that Mr. Musk was under the impression that the site was in Berlin proper.

“I told him, ‘Well, not quite,’” Mr. Steinbach recalled. “‘It’s actually in Brandenburg.’”

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall 30 years ago, Berlin has spawned a thriving arts and start-up scene. It was obviously important to Mr. Musk to be there, Mr. Steinbach said, noting that the plant would be called Gigafactory Berlin in the Greater Berlin Region.

On Nov. 12, Mr. Musk met with the team from Brandenburg in the Hotel Adlon, which once stood in the shadow of the Berlin Wall and is freighted with history. Tesla and the local officials signed a one-and-a-half page letter of intent. Hours later, Mr. Musk delivered the news while receiving a Golden Steering Wheel award from the Bild newspaper.

“I actually have an announcement, which I think will be hopefully well received,” Mr. Musk said from the stage. “We’ve decided to put the Tesla Gigafactory Europe in the Berlin area.” The audience gasped and applauded.

Questions remain, particularly about how Tesla’s high-intensity, 24/7 work ethic will adapt to Germany, where factory managers are expected to consult with employee representatives before making major decisions.

“The labor laws are distinctly different here,” said Olivier Höbel, head of the IG Metall union in Berlin, Brandenburg and Saxony, which represents autoworkers.

But he added, “We are very happy about the decision.” The union will work with Tesla, he said, “to create the perfect climate that the project becomes a full success.”

Christopher F. Schuetze reported from Grünheide, and Jack Ewing from Frankfurt.

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Tesla Reports Profit for Quarter, Sending Shares Soaring

Westlake Legal Group 23tesla2-facebookJumbo Tesla Reports Profit for Quarter, Sending Shares Soaring Tesla Motors Inc Tax Credits, Deductions and Exemptions Musk, Elon Electric and Hybrid Vehicles Company Reports Automobiles

Tesla surprised Wall Street on Wednesday by reporting $143 million in net income in the third quarter as cost reductions more than offset a slight decline in revenue.

The electric-car maker said it had earnings of $1.86 per share on an adjusted basis. Revenue was $6.3 billion in the quarter.

Analysts had expected a loss of 46 cents per share and revenue of $6.4 billion, according to FactSet.

“Investors will love the results,” said Erik Gordon, a business professor at the University of Michigan who follows the auto industry.

The news sent Tesla’s shares up 17 percent after the close of regular trading.

Tesla said it removed “substantial cost” from its operations.

“Operating expenses are at the lowest level since Model 3 production started,” the company said in a statement. “This year our focus has been on cost control and preparing for our next phase of growth.”

Tesla said capital expenditures totaled $385 million in the quarter. That was more than the $250 million spent in the second quarter, but down from $510 million in the third quarter a year ago.

At the same time, it said its cash on hand grew to $5.3 billion, an increase of $383 million.

The company said that construction of its Shanghai factory was ahead of schedule and that trial production had started there. Its next vehicle, the Model Y, a roomier version of the Model 3, is now expected to be in production by next summer. Previously, Tesla had said that car would not arrive until late next year.

Tesla reported this month that it delivered 97,000 cars in the third quarter, up from 95,000 in the second quarter. But the sales gain reflected demand for its least expensive offering, the Model 3.

The most affordable version of the Model 3 sells for $39,500. The Model S luxury sedan and Model X sport utility vehicle sell for $80,000 and up, but their sales have fallen as Model 3 production has increased. In the third quarter, Model S and X sales totaled 17,400 vehicles, compared to Model 3 sales of 79,600.

Before the earnings report on Wednesday, Tesla’s stock closed at $255, down about 18 percent since the beginning of the year, although Tesla still has a market value of $46 billion, about $10 billion more than Ford Motor.

Tesla has forecast it will sell 360,000 to 400,000 cars this year, and to reach the bottom of that range it will need fourth-quarter sales of 105,000 vehicles.

Automakers typically see strong sales in the year’s final three months, and Tesla could benefit if consumers in the United States rush to take advantage of the $1,875 federal tax credit available to buyers of Tesla vehicles. The tax credit will cease at the end of the year.

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Tesla’s Record Deliveries Aren’t Enough for Investors

Westlake Legal Group 02tesla1-facebookJumbo Tesla’s Record Deliveries Aren’t Enough for Investors Tesla Motors Inc Musk, Elon Electric and Hybrid Vehicles Driverless and Semiautonomous Vehicles Company Reports Automobiles

Tesla reported record quarterly deliveries on Wednesday, putting the electric-car maker within reach of its goal for the year. But analysts remain skeptical that the company will show a profit for the period.

The company said it delivered 97,000 new cars in the third quarter, a rise of almost 2 percent from the previous period. Production rose to 96,155 cars, a 10 percent increase. Tesla said that it took in a record number of net orders in the quarter and that it was entering the fourth quarter with a growing backlog.

The sales report was released after the stock market closed. Tesla’s shares were off 6 percent in early trading on Thursday and are now down almost 40 percent from their 52-week high.

Last week, Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk, told employees in an email that the company had “a shot” at delivering more than 100,000 vehicles in the quarter, adding that “demand is strong.”

One challenge in translating demand into profits lies in the figures for individual models.

Tesla said it delivered 79,600 Model 3 sedans in the quarter, an increase of 2.6 percent from the second quarter. But deliveries of its larger, more established offerings — the Model S and the Model X — totaled 17,400, a decline of 250. Analysts say that is a problem for Tesla, since those vehicles often sell for $90,000 and produce far more profit than the Model 3, which sells for as little as $39,000.

Jeffrey Osborne of Cowen & Company said in a recent note to clients that unless Tesla cut costs enough to make money on the least expensive version of the Model 3, “margins are likely to continue to be under pressure and we don’t see sustainable profitability in the near to midterm.” He added that Cowen saw “a lot more that can go wrong than can go right.”

Tesla lost $408 million in the second quarter even as it reported record deliveries and a substantial increase in revenue. Its third-quarter financial report is due in the weeks ahead.

So far this year, Tesla has delivered about 255,000 cars. To reach the low end of the range it has forecast for the year — 360,000 to 400,000 — it will need to sell more than 100,000 in the fourth quarter, only a slight increase from the third quarter but a milestone it has not yet achieved.

Since introducing the Model S in 2012, Tesla has become one of the top producers of luxury cars in the United States, rivaling more established brands like BMW and Mercedes-Benz. But the company has yet to turn an annual profit since its founding in 2003. And automakers including Porsche, Volvo and Audi are rolling out competing electric cars at a time when Tesla is at least a year away from the next addition to its lineup, the Model Y, a roomier version of the Model 3.

[Read more: A police Tesla nearly ran out of power during a chase. The department isn’t worried.]

Mr. Musk has promised that by next year a million Tesla vehicles will be on the road with the ability to drive themselves and operate as driverless taxis. Other automakers working on self-driving cars say it will take several more years for the technology to be put into widespread use.

Tesla is also spending heavily to build a factory in China, develop an electric pickup truck, improve customer service and expand its network of charging stations.

One handicap that Tesla has faced in the United States this year resulted from its own success. Its cumulative sales reached a threshold at the end of last year that cut the federal tax credit available to buyers by half, to $3,750. That figure was halved again on July 1, and the credit will cease at the end of this year.

There have also been concerns about the capabilities of Tesla’s Autopilot driver-assist system. Last month, the National Transportation Safety Board said Autopilot was at fault when a Tesla vehicle ran into a stopped fire truck in California in 2018. “The system was unable to immediately detect the hazard and accelerated the Tesla toward the stationary truck,” the agency said.

And on Wednesday, federal safety regulators said they were looking at a new Tesla feature called Smart Summon, which is supposed to enable a vehicle to navigate from a spot in a parking lot to a waiting driver. “Your parked car will come find you,” the company website says of the technology.

But since Tesla began adding the feature to some cars in recent days through a software update, videos have appeared in social media showing crashes or near accidents while Smart Summon was in use.

In a statement, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it was aware of reports about Smart Summon and was “in ongoing contact with the company and we continue to gather information.” The agency’s action was reported Wednesday afternoon by Bloomberg.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Tesla’s Record Deliveries Aren’t Enough for Investors

Westlake Legal Group 02tesla1-facebookJumbo Tesla’s Record Deliveries Aren’t Enough for Investors Tesla Motors Inc Musk, Elon Electric and Hybrid Vehicles Driverless and Semiautonomous Vehicles Company Reports Automobiles

Tesla reported record quarterly deliveries on Wednesday, putting the electric-car maker within reach of its goal for the year. But analysts remain skeptical that the company will show a profit for the period.

The company said it delivered 97,000 new cars in the third quarter, a rise of almost 2 percent from the previous period. Production rose to 96,155 cars, a 10 percent increase. Tesla said that it took in a record number of net orders in the quarter and that it was entering the fourth quarter with a growing backlog.

The sales report was released after the stock market closed. Tesla’s shares were off 6 percent in early trading on Thursday and are now down almost 40 percent from their 52-week high.

Last week, Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk, told employees in an email that the company had “a shot” at delivering more than 100,000 vehicles in the quarter, adding that “demand is strong.”

One challenge in translating demand into profits lies in the figures for individual models.

Tesla said it delivered 79,600 Model 3 sedans in the quarter, an increase of 2.6 percent from the second quarter. But deliveries of its larger, more established offerings — the Model S and the Model X — totaled 17,400, a decline of 250. Analysts say that is a problem for Tesla, since those vehicles often sell for $90,000 and produce far more profit than the Model 3, which sells for as little as $39,000.

Jeffrey Osborne of Cowen & Company said in a recent note to clients that unless Tesla cut costs enough to make money on the least expensive version of the Model 3, “margins are likely to continue to be under pressure and we don’t see sustainable profitability in the near to midterm.” He added that Cowen saw “a lot more that can go wrong than can go right.”

Tesla lost $408 million in the second quarter even as it reported record deliveries and a substantial increase in revenue. Its third-quarter financial report is due in the weeks ahead.

So far this year, Tesla has delivered about 255,000 cars. To reach the low end of the range it has forecast for the year — 360,000 to 400,000 — it will need to sell more than 100,000 in the fourth quarter, only a slight increase from the third quarter but a milestone it has not yet achieved.

Since introducing the Model S in 2012, Tesla has become one of the top producers of luxury cars in the United States, rivaling more established brands like BMW and Mercedes-Benz. But the company has yet to turn an annual profit since its founding in 2003. And automakers including Porsche, Volvo and Audi are rolling out competing electric cars at a time when Tesla is at least a year away from the next addition to its lineup, the Model Y, a roomier version of the Model 3.

[Read more: A police Tesla nearly ran out of power during a chase. The department isn’t worried.]

Mr. Musk has promised that by next year a million Tesla vehicles will be on the road with the ability to drive themselves and operate as driverless taxis. Other automakers working on self-driving cars say it will take several more years for the technology to be put into widespread use.

Tesla is also spending heavily to build a factory in China, develop an electric pickup truck, improve customer service and expand its network of charging stations.

One handicap that Tesla has faced in the United States this year resulted from its own success. Its cumulative sales reached a threshold at the end of last year that cut the federal tax credit available to buyers by half, to $3,750. That figure was halved again on July 1, and the credit will cease at the end of this year.

There have also been concerns about the capabilities of Tesla’s Autopilot driver-assist system. Last month, the National Transportation Safety Board said Autopilot was at fault when a Tesla vehicle ran into a stopped fire truck in California in 2018. “The system was unable to immediately detect the hazard and accelerated the Tesla toward the stationary truck,” the agency said.

And on Wednesday, federal safety regulators said they were looking at a new Tesla feature called Smart Summon, which is supposed to enable a vehicle to navigate from a spot in a parking lot to a waiting driver. “Your parked car will come find you,” the company website says of the technology.

But since Tesla began adding the feature to some cars in recent days through a software update, videos have appeared in social media showing crashes or near accidents while Smart Summon was in use.

In a statement, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it was aware of reports about Smart Summon and was “in ongoing contact with the company and we continue to gather information.” The agency’s action was reported Wednesday afternoon by Bloomberg.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Tesla Reports a Record Quarter for Its Deliveries

Westlake Legal Group 02tesla1-facebookJumbo Tesla Reports a Record Quarter for Its Deliveries Tesla Motors Inc Musk, Elon Electric and Hybrid Vehicles Driverless and Semiautonomous Vehicles Company Reports Automobiles

Tesla reported record quarterly deliveries on Wednesday, putting the electric-car maker within reach of its goal for the year. But analysts remain skeptical that the company will show a profit for the period.

The company said it delivered 97,000 new cars in the third quarter, a rise of almost 2 percent from the previous period. Production rose to 96,155 cars, a 10 percent increase. Tesla said that it took in a record number of net orders in the quarter and that it was entering the fourth quarter with a growing backlog.

Last week, its chief executive, Elon Musk, told employees in an email that the company had “a shot” at delivering more than 100,000 vehicles in the quarter, adding that “demand is strong.”

One challenge in translating the sales into profits lies in the figures for individual models.

Tesla said it delivered 79,600 Model 3 sedans in the quarter, an increase of 2.6 percent from the second quarter. But deliveries of its larger, more established offerings — the Model S and the Model X — totaled 17,400, a decline of 250. Analysts say that is a problem for Tesla, since those vehicles often sell for $90,000 and produce far more profit than the Model 3, which sells for as little as $39,000.

Jeffrey Osborne of Cowen & Company said in a recent note to clients that unless Tesla cut costs enough to make money on the least expensive version of the Model 3, “margins are likely to continue to be under pressure and we don’t see sustainable profitability in the near to midterm.” He added that Cowen saw “a lot more that can go wrong than can go right.”

Tesla lost $408 million in the second quarter even as it reported record deliveries and a substantial increase in revenue. Its third-quarter financial report is due in the weeks ahead.

So far this year, Tesla has delivered about 255,000 cars. To reach the low end of the range it has forecast for the year — 360,000 to 400,000 — it will need to sell more than 100,000 in the fourth quarter, only a slight increase from the third quarter but a milestone it has not yet achieved.

Since introducing the Model S in 2012, Tesla has become one of the top producers of luxury cars in the United States, rivaling more established brands like BMW and Mercedes-Benz. But the company has yet to turn an annual profit since its founding in 2003. And automakers including Porsche, Volvo and Audi are rolling out competing electric cars at a time when Tesla is at least a year away from the next addition to its lineup, the Model Y, a roomier version of the Model 3.

Mr. Musk has promised that by next year a million Tesla vehicles will be on the road with the ability to drive themselves and operate as driverless taxis. Other automakers working on self-driving cars say it will take several more years for the technology to be put into widespread use.

Tesla is also spending heavily to build a factory in China, develop an electric pickup truck, improve customer service and expand its network of charging stations.

One handicap that Tesla has faced in the United States this year resulted from its own success. Its cumulative sales reached a threshold at the end of last year that cut the federal tax credit available to buyers by half, to $3,750. That figure was halved again on July 1, and the credit will cease at the end of this year.

There have also been concerns about the capabilities of Tesla’s Autopilot driver-assist system. Last month, the National Transportation Safety Board said Autopilot was at fault when a Tesla vehicle ran into a stopped fire truck in California in 2018. “The system was unable to immediately detect the hazard and accelerated the Tesla toward the stationary truck,” the agency said.

And on Wednesday, federal safety regulators said they were looking at a new Tesla feature called Smart Summon, which is supposed to enable a vehicle to navigate from a spot in a parking lot to a waiting driver. “Your parked car will come find you,” the company website says of the technology.

But since Tesla began adding the feature to some cars in recent days through a software update, videos have appeared in social media showing crashes or near accidents while Smart Summon was in use.

In a statement, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said it was aware of reports about Smart Summon and was “in ongoing contact with the company and we continue to gather information.” The agency’s action was reported Wednesday afternoon by Bloomberg.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com