AD #2685 – Tesla to Hit Sales Milestone, EVs Could Cost People Their Jobs, Williams Develops Innovative EV Battery

September 27th, 2019 at 11:49am

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Runtime: 8:39

0:07 Tesla on Track to Top 100,000 Sales This Quarter
0:46 Problems with Tesla’s Autopilot Name?
1:08 EVs Could Cost People Their Jobs
2:48 Williams Develops Innovative EV Battery
4:18 Traditional OEMs Focus on EV Reliability, Not Range
5:29 2020 Charger Lineup Pricing Release
6:33 UAW Strike Hitting Suppliers Hard

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71 Comments to “AD #2685 – Tesla to Hit Sales Milestone, EVs Could Cost People Their Jobs, Williams Develops Innovative EV Battery”

  1. Brett Cammack Says:

    I guess those suppliers ought to join a union, eh?

  2. Brett Cammack Says:

    Meaning the employees of those suppliers, of course.

  3. Larry D. Says:

    1, 2 The supplier companies themselves too! The 3 automakers have too damned much power over those suppliers, they are the only three buyers and there are 1,000 suppliers. They should form a cartel, but it is illegal within the US

  4. bradley cross Says:

    There is an issue with some older ModelS/X batteries known as voltgate & chargegate.
    Tesla has neutered some batteries, hopefully temporarily.
    But yes in general the unicorn Tesla has great tech. And is the choice if you are driving long distances in the US.

    Ironic that the Union have to strike basically for internal politics and PR. The interesting part will be if they have to pay even slightly more for their platinum healthcare, say 5-10% instead of current 4%.

  5. cwolf Says:

    You have to understand that “Autoline” is driven by its sponsors, so showing any support for a union is like committing Hari-kari.
    ALD is in a tough spot. Kinda like being labeled “Industrial Muppets” as sometimes referred to.

  6. Lambo2015 Says:

    1 If the workers are treated fairly and payed appropriately then their isn’t a reason for a union. Smaller companies cannot afford $65 an hour workers and the nonsense that comes with union labor. When you don’t show up for work a few times your fired. Lazy employees are not protected.
    Besides the only thing that the UAW will accomplish with anything they get from this strike, is make it more attractive to move jobs out of the US. The only thing I can see them fighting for is a more level pay from worker to the top. There is no reason Mary should be making 22 million a year while the average pay for fortune 500 CEOs is 10.5 Million.

  7. cwolf Says:

    I wonder why no one hasn’t ever tried to bargain contracts (at least part of it) in terms of “Dollars”, then let the union distribute it any way they wish and for what?
    If you think about it, it doesn’t matter what specific gains were made, it’s about the total transfer of money of them.

  8. cwolf Says:

    Don’t you think non-union wages are based upon union wages? When these people bargain, what’s the first comparisons made for their “wants”…union wages, paid holidays, health care and a set of rules that just don’t favor only the employer.

  9. Lambo2015 Says:

    John; I’m a little confused on the Tesla sales breaking 100k in a quarter. The single and only factory producing cars for Tesla was pushing to produce 5000 cars a week and 12 weeks makes up a quarter they would only have 60K to sell. So did they have a 40k stockpile of cars waiting to be sold or is this just more fuzzy math?

  10. Kevin A Says:

    If you are a UAW member working at a GM supplier company, I understood you don’t get anything when you are laid off due to the UAW-GM strike. … so no benefit from being a UAW member.

  11. Lambo2015 Says:

    8 No not at all. I have worked at both union shops and non-union plants and the pay at the supplier shops is always less regardless if there is a union. They typically benchmark themselves against each other so large suppliers like Lear, Magna, Continental, Denso they have a rate that is competitive with each other but not with the manufacturers. Closer in-line with the non-union plants like Toyota or Honda. In fact when many of the assembly plants are shut down from Christmas thru New Years some suppliers only pay workers for 4 days off and the rest is either vacation or not paid. This goes back to what John was saying about some of the things they negotiate for is great for them but makes it worse for suppliers.

  12. Kit Gerhart Says:

    9 According to this, Tesla sold 128K Model 3s globally for the first half of the year, but didn’t mention Model S and X sales, which might be ~15K for the six months.

    Maybe they would have had thousands of RHD Model 3s on the dock, before they started shipping them, which could result in a lot of sales in the 3rd quarter. I never heard if any Teslas were on the boat that sank a while back.

  13. Lambo2015 Says:

    8 Don’t get me wrong cwolf I’m not against unions and I understand their benefit and purpose. What I have a problem with is the unskilled, high school graduate making 100k a year for a factory job. That job should not garner those wages and it doesn’t anywhere else but in the US auto plants and GM is the highest paying of the bunch. So while they complain about the company moving jobs away they in complete conflict of that goal are asking for more money when they are the highest payed already. The higher their pay the more attractive it makes to replace them robots or just move the job to a supplier or out of the country all together. They have a pretty sweet deal and if anywhere else they would get a 2.5 to 3% raise to cover just over the cost of living increase.

  14. Lambo2015 Says:

    12 Kit even 5000 a week for 24 weeks is only 120K cars so sure they might have worked weekends and produced 128K but to make 100k a quarter means they were making 8,333 a week for 12 strait weeks.. Just saying I don’t believe it.

  15. Kit Gerhart Says:

    14 I think they are now able to produce more than 5000/week, but there would need to be a lot of them sitting around from last quarter, to be sold this quarter, to hit 200K.

    That 128K, with the Ss and Xs might be 140-some thousand, but yeah, 200K is a lot more that 140K.

  16. Larry D. Says:

    9 NO. their CAPACITY has been, for about half a year or a year now, 7,000 a week or higher. And I am not sure this even is with 3 shifts, maybe they can add one.

    How many of the 110,000 in Q3 were sold in the US, how many in Europe, China and “other”?

  17. Lambo2015 Says:

    16 Okay even at 7000 a week that’s only 84K cars, it would need to be 8333 a week. It doesn’t matter where they are sold they are only being built out of a single plant right now.

  18. Larry D. Says:

    When I first read the title I thought they were off by a zero and the story was about Tesla making its One Million-th Vehicle. This milestone will also arrive soon.

    And when the China Gigafactory, which I hope to see in Nov in Shanghai, it will have an “initial production rate target” of 250,000 Tesla vehicles a year, presumably many more later.

    Hang on to your Buggy, “Joe”!

  19. Larry D. Says:

    17 they sure had inventories too that they could not deliver earlier, I remember stories about volunteers (existing owners) that offered to deliver new cars to other owners.

  20. Larry D. Says:

    For many reasons, incl. political and tariff threat related, Tesla also needs to build a Gigafactory 4 In Europe. Not a brand new plant, one of the former OPEL plants would be perfect (it took OPEL $20 BILLION in losses before Mary Barra sold it to the French- and good luck with that!)

  21. Larry D. Says:

    5 If this is not the lamest of the lame excuses. If what you say is true, and given that TESLA never gave ALD A DIME (nor anybody else, I never saw a Tesla AD), would you think the ALD Sponsors would enjoy the day after day very positive stories on Tesla in ALD, AND in AAH with Munro?

  22. Lambo2015 Says:

    I could be wrong but the latest news I saw was 7000 a week was a target (never heard it was achieved) but that 10k a week once the China plant comes online at the end of 2019. I suppose its possible, but I never heard they were able to ever produce more then 7k a week out of Fremont.

  23. Kit Gerhart Says:

    16 I read somewhere that they plan to build 7000 model 3s a week by the end of the year at the Fremont plant, using 3 shifts. The total number should be much higher than that, if the Shanghai plant gets running by the end of the year. This says Q2 2019 production was 72,531.

  24. Kit Gerhart Says:

    The Shanghai plant has started practice runs.

  25. Kit Gerhart Says:

    From elektrek:

    Over the last quarter, Tesla also says that it improved Model 3 production:

    “The production rate of Model 3 continued to improve gradually throughout the quarter, breaking a monthly record in May and then again in June. All manufacturing equipment in Fremont has demonstrated capability of a 7,000 Model 3 vehicles per week run rate, which we continue to work to increase. We aim to produce 10,000 total vehicles of all models per week by the end of 2019.”

  26. John McElroy Says:

    #9. Lambo, Dang, I like your math and I should have done it myself! You’re right, Tesla would have had to average 8,333/week to hit 100,000 for the quarter. Most likely they had a pile of inventory to work off, especially in Europe and China.

    #5. cwolf, I don’t have any problem with UAW members getting more money. They’ve earned it. By my back of the envelope calculations they’re going to get at least $26,000 more over the next 4 years than they earned over the last contract and that does not include profit sharing. But I do have a problem with the UAW strike causing hardships for others. I’ll have more to say about this on Monday’s show.

  27. Wim van Acker Says:

    @TESLA: I am wondering whether the final assembly of vehicles sold in Europe are included in the production figures mentioned or come on top of those. The final assembly of those (mounting battery pack and motors into the vehicles prefab’d in Freemont) takes place in Tilburg, Netherlands. The Tilburg plant currently has a final assembly capacity for 450 vehicles per week.

  28. Wim van Acker Says:

    @27: 450 vehicles/week for Model S and X. Don’t know about 3.

  29. Larry D. Says:

    27 Have you used that shop you asked me for the other time?

    450 for both S and X is barely 2,000 a month. Is this for all of Europe?

  30. Wim van Acker Says:

    @29: not yet been to the shop, the weather is nice so I am driving the vehicle as much as I can. It goes to the shop when the weather gets bad, but before the road salt is used.

    It is my understanding that all European sales are finished there. The TESLA’s are very expensive in Europe. I only know the price in the Netherlands. All cabs at the Amsterdam Airport are TESLA Model S, EUR 160,000 a piece, so $176,000. A little government regulation and subsidies do wonders…

  31. Kit Gerhart Says:


  32. buildmore2doors Says:

    In my neck of the woods the Dodge Charger drivers are the biggest menace on the highway so I would love to see the price of them go up as much as possible so all the little boy racers and yahoos who love to cut in and out of traffic so they can try to impress everyone with the sound of their cars wouldn’t be able to afford them.

  33. cwolf Says:

    John McElroy,
    Hope you realize I meant no disrespect.

    I am expecting updates from old friends working for GM, Chry and Ford. Haven’t made contact yet. I hope the strike ends ASAP, just like everyone else.

  34. Kit Gerhart Says:

    That is almost half as many sold in Europe as are sold in the U.S. A total of 51,845 “S” plus “X” were sold in the U.S. in 2018, about 1000 a week. That’s more than I would have expected.

  35. Kit Gerhart Says:


  36. Kit Gerhart Says:

    34,35 A higher percentage sold in Europe than I would have expected. Those sales in Norway add up.

  37. Kit Gerhart Says:

    32 At least they don’t normally block the passing lane, like the various assorted SUVs and CUVs.

  38. Drew Says:

    I have been traveling in Europe. I have seen Teslas in the UK, France/Monaco, and Italy. Not many, and mostly Model S. I was surprised to find a couple of Teslas parked on the streets in a residential area of central London. I believe that area of London requires Euro Stage 5 or cleaner emissions, but a didn’t see any chargers.

  39. Kit Gerhart Says:

    38 Were there right hand drive Model Ss? They are now making RHD Model 3s, but I don’t know about S or X.

  40. Larry D. Says:

    34 That’s largely because of Norway. The rest of Europe has few BEVs so far, but this should change soon.

    There are also the S and X sold in China, until a few months ago the Model 3 was not available there.

    In 2016, I saw no Teslas the three weeks I stayed in the Shanghai area, but it was a rather remote campus from downtown. (they used to be downtown, the U was founded in 1909, but recently they wised up, sold the land for a huge amount, the Government gave them free land by the coast, which apparently was no good for agriculture and thus sparcely populated, and they used the $$$ to biuld a humongous campus that takes 30 mins to walk across.

  41. Larry D. Says:

    30 So the S that costs $100k in the US costs $176 in the NL? Do you know how much of the difference is an import tariff? And how much is the VAT, 23%?

    All of this further reinforces my earlier post that Tesla should buy a plant in Europe and start building there ASAP.

  42. Larry D. Says:

    These are European Tesla (only! no other BEVs included) sales up to 2018.

    It is clear that it is only a two-country game so far, tiny Norway with its 4 million people and the NL with 15 are the two big ones. Amazingly, in 2018 the NL sold as many as Norway (wonder if it is due to the Model 3).

    After the top two, Germany of the 80 million with a disgracefully low number (same as France with over 60 mill population, in no 5)

    Tiny Switzerland with its 5 or so million and Sweden with its 8 or 9 million round off the top. Maybe there are others that do not publish sales that are up there too.

    Country 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
    Norway 1.983 4.040 4.039 3.481 8.460 8.614
    Netherlands 1.195 1.469 1.891 2.149 3.317 8.604
    Germany 204 814 1.582 1.908 3.332 1.905
    Switzerland 213 496 1.556 1.701 2.024 1.452
    France 37 328 708 945 1.368 1.252
    Sweden 5 265 996 1.160 1.283 1.228

  43. Larry D. Says:

    42 China was as important a market as Norway and the NL for Tesla up to 2018, but this year it took off, sales are surging as proven by registration and insurance data at CNBC.

    And this is before Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai made a single car.

  44. Larry D. Says:

    Highlight from the link:

    1. Piper Jaffray estimates Tesla’s third quarter deliveries – a closely watched measure of the company’s sales – in China are up more than 175% compared to the same period last year.

    and more importantly,

    2. “Even in a market like China, where EV models are commonplace … Teslas are among the only electric vehicles (EVs) that consumers actually want to buy,” Piper Jaffray said.

  45. Larry D. Says:

    9 speaking of fuzzy math, a quarter does NOT have 12 weeks as you allege. The third quarter specifically had (J-A-S) 62+30=92 days, and easily, assuming even 7,000 a day, they made 92,000 units, from there it needs just 8,000 from the huge inventory to break 100,000.

  46. Larry D. Says:

    45 I MEANT 1,000 a day, 7,000 a week. The quarter had 13 weeks and 1 day.

  47. Kit Gerhart Says:

    45 I figured a quarter was 365.25/4 which is 91.3125 days or 13.045 weeks.

  48. Kit Gerhart Says:

    45,47 On a more serious note, is a quarter, for financial reporting, or car sales purposes, the calender days as 31+31+30 for the 3rd quarter as you mentioned?

  49. Larry D. Says:

    48 I’d assume it’s strictly calendar days and precise ones. It’s like when we do our taxes, it is calendar 2018 and not a day more or less

  50. cwolf Says:

    I’ve looked at the Tesla numbers you guys have been throwing out, then Larry’s wonder why they aren’t building in Europe.
    I’m wondering if it is the right time for Tesla to build in Europe just to take advantage of the lead they have over all others. On the other hand, it shouldn’t be that many years before others begin to claim more of the market share. Some say the car frame and battery pack will become more universal and only differentiated by lesser important body styles.
    I’m asking; Do you really thing it is worth the investment and risk for Tesla to build a Euro. production plant?
    Because battery technology has been the real focus and improvements are constant, I’m not sure if the costs and risks out weigh the need for a European plant.

  51. cwolf Says:

    Tesla has about $1B debt due soon and $3B in cash.
    Still think it’s a good time to expand or just better to keep improving output?

  52. Kit Gerhart Says:

    50 The Shanghai plant might be able to supply both China and Europe, which could work out, unless a trade war errupts between the EU and China.

  53. Larry D. Says:

    51 I’m sure Musk is very worried. If anything, he MISSED the opportunity to get started with the European plant a year or two ago.

  54. Larry D. Says:

    52 Not all the diff between $100k and $176k (in Europe) for an S is due to the VAT which is at most 24%.

    China will not solve the problem of rampant European protectionism (vs non-EU products), Musk needs to build them in Europe.

  55. Larry D. Says:

    50 Europe, unlike the US (esp CA which is saturated with EVs) is a RAPID Growth Market for Tesla and even the much lesser EVs.

    As I explained in 54, Musk cannot make them in China and export them to the EU because of the damned protectionism, tariffs and other forms, they have to be made in the EU and there are plenty failed OPEL and other plants he can buy for a song.

    The exponential demand growth, as other, much bigger EU nations, follow the lead of Norway and the NL, is guaranteed.

    Now I get why so many in the US hate Tesla, many are seriously worried they will lose their UAW or not Auto jobs, because making an EV is far simpler than making an ICE, and battery production is automated and needs few workers.

  56. Larry D. Says:

    Another market with huge EV potential and a big and wealthy economy is Japan, where the ugly Nissan Leaf was the best selling EV and the Model 3 will not arrive there until end 2019. It should be hard to crack this market open, but after the US, Europe and China it;s the only other major market for its BEVs. I don’t expect India to ever shape up in this respect, despite the fact they need BEVs more than any other nation on earth, maybe with the exception of CHina.

  57. Kit Gerhart Says:

    56 It looks like, so far, EVs are not doing at all well in Japan. The top 4 cars in sales are Kei mini-cars, and after that, come Nissan Note, Prius, and Toyota Aqua (Prius C in the US).

    Leaf sells at about 1/10 the rate of the top selling ICE and hybrid cars. Maybe there is no place to charge EVs in Japan.

  58. Kit Gerhart Says:

  59. ChuckGrenci Says:

    Hopefully the transition of jobs will be a natural progression as EV’s continue to take more market share. It shouldn’t be an on/off switch for jobs; currently the EV invasion has been very predictably slow with some increases of gains of late and projected. Every automotive worker should take precautions that a job switch may be in their future but the journeymen workers should be fairly safe (during the transition to equilibrium).

  60. Kit Gerhart Says:

    59 The change in manufacturing employment should be gradual enough, and maybe small enough to not be too disruptive. If EVs become a big part of the market, the dealer, repair shop, and parts store employment might be affected a lot more. There are more than twice as many people employed in vehicle and parts sales, and vehicle service, than in manufacturing. Presumably, those businesses would be affected a lot, if cars don’t need oil changes, and need 1/3 as many brake jobs, etc.

  61. Bob Wilson Says:

    A TSLA stockholder, I am interested in production numbers but the “shorts” have thrown out so much bolvine fecal matter that I only go by SEC reported facts and data. By Friday, we’ll have credible numbers.

    Full disclosure, I have 13,400 miles on our 6 month old Model 3 costing about $300 in electricity. About 90% using AutoPilot that is already in its 4th version. One lesson learned is AutoPilot is different driving and needs to be taught or you’ll scare yourself. Would you drive NASCAR without training?

  62. Bob Wilson Says:

    I did not mention the free, 26 miles charging, I got while making my post at #61. Merchants have discovered EV owners: (1) don’t 5-finger discount, (2) pay a fair price for fair service, and; (3) repeat customers for less than a dollar of free charging.

  63. Kit Gerhart Says:

    62 Where you are must be a lot different from where I am in Florida. Here, you have to pay $15 for parking at a pier to access two Tesla “destination” chargers. The only businesses that have chargers are a few hotels.

  64. Kit Gerhart Says:

    62,63 Well, the nearby Lincoln-Jaguar-Land Rover store has a charger, for their i-pace demo.

  65. Bob Wilson Says:

    #64 – Locked up on Sundays and outside of business hours, it is a favorite place to park their ICE inventory.

  66. Kit Gerhart Says:

    65 Yep, pretty much

  67. Larry D. Says:

    59, 60 The service Dept of the dealers will suffer most, esp profits wise. Not that I feel bad for them, given their outrageous charges. As I have stressed many times, this is where they make their considerable $s, not from new, not even from used cars, but from service.

    63 that’s a ripoff. My public library has an adjacent private lot with 5 or so underground floors, the lot is free Sundays, and it has probably 20-30 EV chargers, which probably are not free (but I could not find how much it is per KW even reading the fine print when I got close to them)

  68. Larry D. Says:

    61 As a shareholder, tell them to buy a plant in Europe last year (!) and to investigate why Japan, which can easily afford EVs, and whose traffic patterns are ideal for hybrids and evs (monumental traffic jams, crawling at low speeds), has so few.

    Europe and Japan are the next two big markets for Tesla, and then the rest of the US (except CA) depending on agreements to sell Teslas in the 22 or so states they are forbidden to sell now.

  69. Kit Gerhart Says:

    68 Two of the top selling non-kei cars in Japan are hybrids, and maybe a lot of the top selling Nissan Note are the series hybrid version. While it would be a gas hog in highway driving, it might approach the mpg of other hybrids in stop and go driving. I haven’t been to Japan, but I suspect few people would be able to charge EVs at home, which might be why few are sold.

  70. Larry D. Says:

    69 I also surprisingly have never been to Japan except at Narita airport on my way to Shanghai in 2006. Given Japan’s miniscule crime rate, even if most Japanese cannot charge at home, they can use this system for street charging.

  71. Phred Says:

    Thank you for “calling it as you see it”. This program is based upon “reporting the news and events” of the auto industry. Sometimes popular and sometimes unpopular.