Categories
GeekWire

Trump tweets support for Elon Musk and Tesla

Tesla car factory
Tesla’s factory in Fremont, Calif., became the focus of a coronavirus conflict. (Tesla Photo)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s dispute with county authorities over the reopening of the company’s California car factory was injected into President Donald Trump’s Twitterstream today.

Get the news brief on GeekWire.

Categories
GeekWire

Tesla’s Cybertruck rollout shatters expectations

Elon Musk at Cybertruck rollout
Tesla CEO Elon Musk introduces the Cybertruck, which sported cracked windows after a demonstration of the truck’s toughness. “Don’t mind the glass,” Musk said. (Tesla via YouTube)

Amid clouds of smoke and “Blade Runner” hype, Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled a hard-edged, all-electric pickup truck that will cost as little as $39,900 and is due to hit the market by as early as 2021.

And then, with hundreds of fans cheering him on, Musk brought out one more thing during his laser-show presentation at Tesla’s design center in Los Angeles: an all-electric, all-terrain vehicle that rolled right into the Cybertruck’s bed for recharging from an onboard outlet.

There’s no sign that the ATV is for sale … yet … but Tesla is already taking refundable $100 deposits for the Cybertruck.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

Categories
GeekWire

Tesla gets a boost after $2.7 billion offering

Elon Musk and Model Y
Tesla CEO Elon Musk checks out the Model Y during its unveiling in March. (Tesla via YouTube)

Tesla has increased the size of its stock and bond offering to $2.7 billion, and CEO Elon Musk has raised the amount of stock he’d be buying, sparking an additional rise in the controversial electric-car company’s share price.

The company’s revised plan calls for offering almost $850 million in stock and up to $1.84 billion in convertible notes, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Tesla said Musk plans to buy $25 million worth of Tesla shares, which is more than twice what he committed to in previous filings.

Tesla shares closed at $255.03 at the end of the trading day on May 3, representing a 4.5 percent rise for the day. That figure is still well below the 52-week high of $387.46, however.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

Categories
GeekWire

Despite big losses, Tesla plans new products

Elon Musk with Tesla Semi and Roadster
Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveils the Semi truck and an updated Roadster in 2017. (Tesla via YouTube)

Tesla today reported wider-than-expected financial losses in the first quarter — due to what the company said were delivery challenges, a seasonal dip in demand and the unanticipated effects of pricing decisions.

Despite the downturn from what had been a profitable couple of quarters, Tesla CEO Elon Musk was bullish on several fronts, including rollouts for the company’s Semi truck and Model Y crossover SUV, plus the opening of Tesla’s Gigafactory in Shanghai, China.

Musk is even planning to offer car insurance policies starting next month, with pricing determined by the data that’s received from the company’s cars.

“We have direct knowledge of the risk profile of customers and the car,” he explained during today’s teleconference with financial analysts. “If they want to buy Tesla insurance, they have to agree to not drive the car in a crazy way. Or they can, but then the insurance rate is higher.”

Get the full story on GeekWire.

Categories
GeekWire

Tesla’s Elon Musk unveils Model Y crossover SUV

Elon Musk and Model Y
Tesla CEO Elon Musk checks out the newly unveiled Model Y. (Tesla via YouTube)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk finished spelling out an all-electric acronym by lifting the veil on the Model Y, a crossover SUV that’s due to hit the market in the fall of 2020.

“We are bringing ‘sexy’ back, quite literally,” he told hundreds of Tesla fans who gathered for the Hollywood-style unveiling at Tesla’s design studio in Hawthorne, Calif.

Musk didn’t quite literally lift a veil to reveal the new model. Instead, he built up the suspense by giving an “extended history lesson” about Tesla’s decade-long history of vehicle production, starting with the Tesla Roadster and moving on to the Model S, Model X, Model 3, the Semi truck and the remade Roadster.

Along the way, Musk explained the ins and outs of his naming convention, including the fact that he couldn’t use the name “Model E” because Ford had it trademarked.

“Ford killed SEX,” Musk joked.

As he described the vehicles, each model was driven into the spotlight. Finally it was the Model Y’s turn. Cheers and whoops went up from the crowd as a shiny blue car pulled into its place alongside the Model S, 3, X. Y completed the acronym.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

Categories
GeekWire

Tesla sells $35,000 cars and shifts to online sales

Tesla store
The Tesla store at Bellevue Square in Bellevue, Wash. (GeekWire Photo / Kurt Schlosser)

Tesla is finally following through on its pledge to sell its Model 3 electric cars at the standard price of $35,000, but says it’s shutting down on-the-spot showroom sales to remain “financially sustainable” at the lower price point. Going forward, worldwide sales will shift to online only, the company says.

Many of Tesla’s stores will be shut down over the next few months, the company said on its website. A small number of stores in high-traffic locations will remain open as galleries, showcases and information centers, but would-be buyers will have to go online to close the deal.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

Categories
GeekWire

Tweets get Tesla’s Elon Musk in trouble again

Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s Twitter habit has sparked gyrations in the stock market. (Tesla via YouTube)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is in trouble again with the Securities and Exchange Commission, this time over a 13-word tweet.

The SEC filed a motion in federal court on Feb. 25, claiming that a tweet that Musk sent out last week violated the terms of an agreement aimed at settling a securities fraud case brought last September. After the motion came to light, Tesla’s shares lost as much as 5 percent of their $298.77 market-close value in after-hours trading. The price crept back to somewhere around its previous level overnight, however, as traders digested the news.

It’s the latest in a series of ups and downs caused by Musk’s Twitter habit.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

Categories
GeekWire

Tesla places future bets of Model Y — and China

Model Y
Tesla has teased the design of its Model Y car, but the big reveal is still ahead. (Tesla Image)

As big as the Model 3 electric car is for the future of Tesla, the sport utility vehicle known as the Model Y could be bigger, according to CEO Elon Musk.

“I would expect that the demand for the Model Y would be … maybe 50 percent higher than Model 3?” Musk said today during a teleconference reviewing the company’s fourth-quarter financial results. “Could be even double.”

Get the full story on GeekWire.

Categories
GeekWire

GM Cruise works to get Seattle operation in gear

GM Cruise Bolt
Cruise Automation’s self-driving Chevy Bolt took a scenic tour of Seattle, including the Pike Place Market, over the weekend. (Cruise Automation Photo / Stephen Brashear)

The Seattle “tech talk” sponsored this week by GM’s autonomous-vehicle subsidiary, Cruise Automation, had all the hallmarks of a recruiting event for software engineers, plus an extra twist: the self-driving Chevy Bolt that was parked outside the Flatstick Pub in Pioneer Square.

Sure, there was free beer, free food and free mini-golf — but the Bolt drew a crowd as well. And that level of interest tickled Dan Kan, the former Seattleite who went on to become Cruise’s co-founder and chief operating officer.

“Being able to start to see it coming to your city is pretty exciting,” Kan told GeekWire before Jan. 15’s tech talk and party. “We were just out yesterday, taking some photos, and people wanted to talk to us about it. They wanted to come up and say, ‘Hey, how’s this going to work?’ ”

Get the full story on GeekWire.

Categories
GeekWire

GM shifts its president to CEO spot at Cruise

Cruise Automation executives
Cruise Automation’s newly reshuffled executive team includes chief operating officer Dan Kan,; Kyle Vogt, who will become president and chief technology officer; and GM President Dan Ammann, who will become Cruise’s chief executive officer. (GM Photo / Noah Berger)

General Motors has shuffled its executive team to put its president, Dan Ammann, into the CEO spot at its autonomous-vehicle subsidiary, Cruise Automation.

Cruise co-founder Kyle Vogt will move out of the CEO role and partner with Ammann to set the company’s strategic direction and lead technology development as its president and chief technology officer, GM and Cruise said today in a news release.

The executive shift is effective Jan. 1, 2019.

San Francisco-based Cruise has grown from 40 employees to more than 1,000 during Vogt’s tenure as CEO. Just last week, Cruise announced that it would be setting up a Seattle-area engineering office with plans to add up to 200 employees by the end of next year.

Get the full story on GeekWire.