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3 Nuggets About Tesla customer needs from the 2nd quarter conference call



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Published on July 26, 2019 |
by Zachary Shahan

26. July 2019 by Zachary Shahan


There are many things that slip into the "Tesla story" and common Tesla discussions. Some of these things make sense. Some do not. Some provide insight into the future. Some do not.

Two days ago, just before the second quarter Tesla conference call, I wrote a long and wandering piece about the Tesla demand, and actually wrote that no one knows what Tesla demand is or will be. In the first quarter and much of the second quarter, conventional wisdom was that Tesla's demand (ie sales ) had peaked in the fourth quarter and then fell from a rock. There were several reasons why this was not the case, but was seen as the case, but the important point was that most Tesla analysts, television speaking heads and critics were completely out of the box. The second quarter ended up setting a new delivery record for Tesla. Although CEO Elon Musk noted the conversation (and we, especially Maarten Vinkhuyzen, have said so many times), it is important to remember that Tesla orders ≠ Tesla deliveries. For that matter, even order ørsel demand, especially since Tesla has not entered many markets and even in markets where Tesla is "present," and many customers simply expect a service center to open in the country or the region before buying a car. [19659007] I did not expect much comment or statistics on Tesla customer needs or orders on the conference call, so I was pleasantly surprised when Elon said a little about these. The same thing happened to the CTO Zachary Kirkhorn.

1) The biggest comments in the short term were that Tesla expects that Q3 orders and deliveries would be higher than Q2 orders and deliveries. Elon: “I think demand in Q3 will exceed Q2. It has so far, and I think we will see some acceleration of it. "Zach:" In general, our order price this quarter is higher than where we were in the second quarter. "Earlier in the conversation, Zach also said:" Almost all orders in the second quarter were new – not backlog reservations – and the ordering rate so far in the third quarter is higher. "

In other words, not only was all the chatter completely wrong that Q1 was the new normal and Tesla fell from a demand clap in Q2, but it seems completely out of date in the third quarter.


2) The increasing order speed is basically about Model 3. The Model S & X demand, on the other hand …

Well, perhaps the second biggest shock on the conference call (for news that many years CTO and co-founder JB Straubel is turning into an advisory role) Elon was so open and talked about weak Model S & X demand. Asked why their sales are so much lower than what had been the norm for several years, Elon replied: "We are not entirely sure of ourselves. I think there is some cannibalization. There may be some false expectation in the market about that there will be some major overhauls in the market for S&X, which can then cause people to hesitate to buy if they think there are any radical changes. ”

Elon in other words and team do not really know why the sale of Model S & X has fallen so much, the two possibilities Elon brought up are common hypothesis.

I also don't know of course, but I spend a lot of time with the ear to the ground in the "Tesla community." Things Elon talked about right after cannibalization "That" might "have been a false expectation of a big Model S&X over the corner. However, the term" maybe "didn't fit logically into that sentence. There was definitely a false expectation of this. It blows a little in my mind where then Tesla has dealt with the problem.

Since at least once in 2018, the Tesla fan after the Tesla fan after the Tesla fan has claimed that a "big update" is just around the corner for S&X, comes every day. There has been an expectation that the interior will totally change. As far as I have seen, almost everyone who follows Tesla has carefully assumed this. I never saw solid evidence of this assumption, so CleanTechnica never wrote about it, but so many claimed that it was a sure thing that I also didn't argue much about the assumption and kept an open mind, just noticing from time to time. another that we hadn't seen evidence of an upcoming update.

In recent weeks, Elon on Twitter made it clear that no major update was planned for these vehicles. As quoted above, he also commented on the conversation yesterday. Is it enough to spread the expectation and regret the damage? Definitely not!

The things that blow in my mind about this are that a) it has been obvious for several quarters that people have been expecting large Model S & X refreshments, and surely delayed purchases as a result, b ) The rumor definitely spread to people who did not follow Tesla as well, as people who do so (Tesla fanatics) are often critical of ongoing sales of oral care and in many cases several mainstream buyers told them to wait for the refreshment (some come day), and c) Tesla did almost nothing to crush the rumor until very recently. I really don't understand why. Perhaps the key staff did not have such a strong impression that this was such a high expectation and that it delayed or killed the sale. Maybe they were too busy with Model 3 and didn't focus enough on what was going on elsewhere. Who knows?

But I think this is a remarkable thing. S&X should sell much higher. They surpass the petrol / diesel competition quite massively and objectively. They should perform better in their respective vehicle classes.

Certainly, many people who had previously stretched for an S or X now choose a model 3 instead, but that doesn't mean that S and X shouldn't be beating the BMW 7 series and X5 in many more markets. Demand is artificially lower than it should be due to false market expectations – no doubt about it – and also from many buyers who still do not know the practical or superior features of an S or X compared to all their competitors in the class. [19659007] Moreover, people need to be more clearly informed about what Tesla has improved in S and X over the years. We have a 2015 Model S. It is considerably worse (sorry to say) than a new Model S. A new one has much nicer seats, better interior features and design, much better hardware for autonomous driving, significantly better build quality, a superior glass roof, and much improved batteries, among other things. I don't think all of this has been tied together and presented in one piece.

Elon said on the conversation this week, "S & X today is radically better than those when we started production. … Maybe it's a communication issue where people just don't understand how much better S&X is. “Good start. However, much more must be said and shown.

3) Elon may have challenges with short or medium term warning, but his long-term forecasts have historically been surprisingly sovereign. His simple, back-of-the-napkin forecasts several years out are often scary on the money. With that in mind, this is a great statement: “We probably have to make a reset. I'm not saying as a Master Plan part three, but in some ways the battery day will be like Master Plan part three. What is it like, how do we get from tens of GWh per year to several terawatt hours per year? It's a pretty big increase. That's an increase of about 100. That's more than that when you think of the factories in Japan. And think about how we would like 2 terawatt hours per year. "

Going from battery production of tens of gigawatt hours a year to 2-3 terawatt hours a year implies an expectation that the company will require a massive future. This has been predicted much more generically by Elon in recent months when he spoke (or tweet) about Tesla's "Full Self Driving," Robotaxis, and the company's apparent leadership in this area, but at any time Elon adds some specific figures to the story. becomes much more interesting and tangible.

The first follow-up question in response to these statements was about prices and demand for Model S and X. Elon kept a special way on the topic above while answering the question, saying: "Long-term demand for sales for 3 is probably in The size of 3/4 of a million cars per year, and there are probably 1.25 million vehicles per year for Model Y. Combined for these two vehicles is 2 million per year. S&X is probably 80,000 – 100,000, so 4% of 3 & Y. Then you throw a pickup in there and it just gets smaller and smaller. "

Elon still expects consumer needs for about 2 million Model 3s a year. Add Tesla Pickup, Tesla Semi, Tesla's advanced models and Tesla stationary storage products to get a total level of battery capacity needs.

It is not clear how close the expectations of TWh level is in line with the model requirement forecasts above – we will look into it more closely in the coming days – but it is clear that Elon expects long-term demand for Tesla products to be quite vicious. If you halve Cathie Woods's tweet number (26 million cars a year), you get down to 13 million cars a year. Chanan Bos's recent forecast games came with potential production and sales of more than 15 million Tesla cars a year in 2027. The forecast is not far from the 13 million a year.

How bullish is Elon Musk about the Tesla vehicle demand in the coming decade? Apparently he is very hauss. Expectations may seem a little crazy, but it's Elon's style. He would not be Elon if his goals and forecasts were not considered impossible by a significant number of "very serious people." As ambitious as they can seem, but in a 3 to 10 year timeframe, I couldn't advise Elon.


These are my takeaway thoughts about Elon Musk's comments directly or indirectly related to consumer demand. If you have caught something else that I have failed to mention, see it in the comments. Let us know what you noticed.

No doubt, the giant wildcard is Tesla Full Self Driving. Without it, Tesla cars are competitive enough for 2-3 million sales a year to be a pie. With that, and provided that Tesla has magical formula quarters or years before competitors, demand is difficult to understand and absolutely impossible to predict. Elon Musk and Tesla have a story about achieving the impossible, but that doesn't mean anyone really knows what's coming in the media.


Tags: Elon Musk, EV sales, Tesla, Tesla Model S, Tesla Model S sales, Tesla Model X, Tesla Model X sales, Tesla sales, Zachary Kirkhorn


About the author [19659034] Zachary Shahan Zach is trying to help the community to help itself (and other species). He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as director and editor-in-chief. He is also the president of Essential Media and Director / Founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love . Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy and energy storage expert. He has presented cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the United States and Canada.

Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB – after many years of coverage of solar energy and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these companies and feels they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and will not be responsible for losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.




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