Tesla, and its founder Elon Musk, have been in the news almost constantly since the Model 3 missed its first delivery target.
Prior to this vehicle, Tesla cars had meant luxury prices for vehicles that ran on batteries and often lacked the luxury features of other cars in the same price range. Then the Model 3, the “affordable” Tesla, was offered to buyers who need only deposit $1,000 for the electric vehicle that started at just $35,000.
Since then, the Tesla Model 3 has been plagued by questions, drama and negative sentiment coming from frustrated depositors wanting to know just where their cars are right now. Those aren’t the only responses that Tesla is dealing with lately, though. Various amateur sleuths have taken to unraveling the mysteries behind parking lots full of Tesla cars that seem to be in need of repair or transport, or, as some have alleged, buyers.
Tesla’s History of Disappointment and Spending
There are more than a few companies that are children of the Internet Age with bumpy starts. Amazon, for example, took a long time to achieve profitability because it was constantly re-investing revenue into diversification. It was a smart move for the online giant, clearly.
Then there’s Tesla. For Musk, a billion dollars here and a billion dollars there don’t add up to enough to worry about, a chronic practice that has investors on edge and those betting against him rubbing their hands together with glee. The same early August night that Musk wrote the tweet that landed him in the SEC hot chair, he also sent a company-wide email that was fairly eyebrow-raising.
The New York Times reports these troubling statements were within the email. “One more day of going super hardcore and victory is ours!! We are very close to achieving profitability and proving the naysayers wrong, but, to be certain, we must execute really well tomorrow [Sunday]. If we go all out tomorrow, we will achieve an epic victory beyond all expectations. Go Tesla!!!”
We are Very Close to Achieving Profitability
Although Tesla reported a 50 percent increase in production over the second quarter in the third, making 80,142 cars doesn’t mean a company is making a profit.
Of the 83,500 cars that were delivered during the same period, 53,239 were Model 3s. This could be a sign that the company might finally make a profit after 15 years in business, but it’s also part of the mystery that has random regular people sneaking into and flying drones over car lots full of Teslas.
Tesla spokesman Dave Arnold emailed The New York Times to explain that these lots were being used as “logistics transit hubs.” Noting that “anyone observing these lots will see a change from one day to the next.” The nationwide crack team of hobby gumshoes, however, noted that many cars are observed with bar codes or grease pencil markings indicating mechanical or cosmetic defects that require attention.
It does appear that the rush to get Tesla 3s into the hands of the public has created more cars with problems, but it is equally obvious that the company cannot ship the number it’s producing. Between the two issues, Teslas with and without owners eagerly waiting their deliveries are scattered across the country, encouraging even more curious onlookers to ponder the purpose of the ghost lots, as well as the future of Tesla itself.