Why Tesla Will Fail

Tesla crash

As of this writing, Tesla, the brainchild of Elon Musk, has a current market value of $59 billion. That’s $15 billion more than Ford and $7 billion more than GM, companies that actually make lots of cars at a profit. That valuation is nothing more than a complete hallucination. Tesla lost $397 million in the first quarter of 2017, so what could Wall Street possibly see in this company to justify this valuation, that has seen a 67% increase just this year?

In the near future, Tesla will unveil its Model 3, even though they don’t even have a beta prototype yet. Musk has recently indicated that they will simply skip this rather important step in the process and go straight to production. This will put thousands of improperly tested vehicles on the street with very dangerous possibilities. There’s a reason that the big three put at least 6 months of testing in on every car they release. They’ve all suffered the consequences of devastating lawsuits. Musk seems to think he’s above all that.

And why not? The media fawns all over him like salivating dogs whenever he opens his mouth, no matter how insane his ramblings might be. A hypertunnel in one of the most earthquake prone zones in the world? What could possibly go wrong where the slightest seismic shift would create a 200 mph pile of twisted steel underneath the ground and ruin a multi-billion dollar investment? He’s the poster child for technical self-delusion, a childish thought process where technology solves any and all problems.

His cars have certainly grabbed the attention of the automotive world, but so far, his success has been primarily a myth, and not based in anyone’s realistic version of what might be considered a successful business.

Even though auto writers describe the experience of driving a Model S as incredibly thrilling, they’re almost unanimous in their shock at the incredibly poor quality of the automobiles, basically putting them on par with Soviet era Ladas. That’s not a recipe for success, particularly when their automotive concept is so simple that it can be vastly improved upon with little effort.

Tesla sells cars directly and provides almost no support to the buyer once they drive away in the car, because they don’t have a network in place to support the product, but isn’t that the new method of doing business? Sell it online and you’re done.

Recently, I read an article that indicated current Tesla owners were feeling anxious about the new 3 because it will create too much competition at the charging stations, and there are far too few of those around the country to support any type of mass expansion at the trough. There is a bit of irony there in which those buyers, who wrap themselves in their green-washed blankets of self-congratulations for buying an electric car in order to save the world, are now seething at the thought of having to share their electric resources with the unwashed. That does make me chuckle a bit.

With their resources and knowledge of the entire process of manufacturing, selling, and supporting their products, the major manufacturers will win this battle rather easily, and Teslas will quickly become novelty collectibles.

One positive effect of all this will be a drastic kick in the pants for the major automobile manufacturers around the world. He’s shown them where to go, and now it’s time to sit back and watch the destruction of Tesla.


Review of Paris Can Wait

After viewing the trailer for Paris Can Wait, I thought it looked like a fun, comedic, road movie that might offer some sophistication to an otherwise banal genre of movie themes. What could be better than cruising the French countryside in a classic Peugeot convertible with a beautiful woman?

Paris Can Wait disappointed on absolutely every possible level.

The dialog is incredibly weak and painful to hear, consisting of trite conversation with simplistic questions one would never ask another person if you actually were interested in them or even respected them.

The endless rambling of the French gentleman, who really comes off as nothing more than a cheesy philanderer intent on bedding the wife of his boss by drowning her in an endless sea of food, distraction, and banal complements.  Any woman with an ounce of self-respect would have shut him down immediately and jumped on the train to Paris. He’s an aging, self-important, predatory creep with far too little charisma to make one suffer his presence.

Alec Baldwin literally phones in one of his worst performances to date, and he does have a long list to beat. It’s like he showed up drunk and hung over to the shoots,  just slurred his lines in one take, grabbed the paycheck, and then flew off.

Eleanor Coppola, who wrote and directed this abysmal movie, saved her worst work for the ending, which was absolutely insulting to watch. In the scene, Diane Lane receives a cliché box of chocolates from our sleazy, French Lothario, along with a personal note that he will continue to dog her all the way to California, and her response is to bite a chocolate and wink at the camera. When they sat around wondering how they should end the movie, you know that the last two words from them were, “fuck it.”

It’s a perfectly horrible ending to a perfectly horrible movie.

Are Turo Renters Insane or Just Plain Stupid?

When I first heard about Turo, I thought, “Nobody could possibly be dumb enough to rent their car out to a stranger. Don’t these idiots know what people do with rental cars?”

I regularly rent cars for trips when I don’t want to put the miles on my own car, or when I’m on the far end of an aircraft flight. Considering the surprisingly low costs of renting cars, it frequently turns out cheaper to rent than to use my own car.

I also have little regard for the car, either. Hey, it’s a rental!

Haven’t you always wanted to smoke the tires off a car? Here’s your chance. Going to LA? This guy will rent you his Mercedes Benz SL Roadster for a mere $114/day.  This car has a base price well north of $80,000, and he’s willing to let some unknown from the internet take it for a few days for chump change? I love the renter’s benign, cheery feedback on the rental. You’d almost think they actually treated it with something other than total disdain.

How about this nitwit? $300/day lets you at his Ferrari California. Remember that scene in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? Yeah, that happens every time.

So, if you decide to rent out your beloved BMW because you can’t afford the payments, you’ll find out that you’ve made a huge mistake. Every person, and I mean every, single person who rents it from you, is going to beat the living crap out of it. They’re going to redline that thing more times in 2 days then you would in 10 years of ownership.

Turo states that you’re covered when you rent your car. Sure, you’re covered when the damage is visible, but a 48 hour beating session may not be even remotely visible. There’s a reason why former rentals are not exactly in the recommended used car purchase list. When the odometer reads 30,000, the engine has the equivalent of 150,000 miles on it. Only a buffoon buys a former rental.

Whether or not Turo actually survives as a business remains to be seen, but while it’s still a going concern, I highly recommend getting out there and having a little fun with some sucker’s pride and joy.

Beating on a Bimmer!