Bloomberg, TSLA Profitable at lower sales level than competition
I can't imagine how Tesla can get the price down to 200.00 per KWH. Right now, the cost for me to build a comparable 1 KWH pack using lithium 26650 cells exceeds 1500.00. This cost does not include labor and expertise. Plus, I have to take on considerable risk in acquiring the cells from China despite using USA manufactured cells. Apparently it is illegal for USA retailers to sell lithium cells to the public. Lithium cells are not protected by the Second Amendment.
To manufacture a 200.00/KWH battery pack would put Tesla on the map in other applications - home and grid storage. Go ahead and price a 1 KWH lithium battery pack. Count on 1000.00-2000.00 if you shop hard and fierce, and a whole lot more if you want branded. If Tesla could build 200.00/KWH packs, then John Peterson and his ceaseless cheer leading for lead acid would finally be doomed. Reason enough to be hopeful for lithium.
The financial press continues to perseverate on the idea that Tesla is saving money by using notebook computer cells. The 18650 and 26650 packaging yields a cylindrical cell that is faster than prismatic or planar cells. This is in keeping with Tesla's charge for pursuing performance. That notebooks use these cells coincidental. The Nissan planar cells, based on cell phone batteries, are not performance based in the same spirit as Tesla.
Gentlemen, I find it very, very difficult to digest the Tesla comments. What I don't have any problem understanding is the abject stupidity of the comment. While I can certainly GET the concept of selling few and making more money, one must first begin with the premise that production costs are significantly lower, percentage-wise, than any competitor. Since Tesla has yet to hire the first plant employee, I doubt seriously they have any idea of what true S, G, and A costs will be! If they have a target number, I imagine the UAW will have a lot to say about that!
You know, I doubt Tesla ever thought they'd have any problems with the Roadster. Yet, they did/do. Same with the 4 dr. Perhaps Tesla has a concept of what it forecasts to gross with every sale. But unless everything is sold at sticker with no discounts and finance rates stay the same, AND money factors in leasing stay the same, AND the risidual values of the 4dr stay the same, this is all a crap shoot. One glitch in any area and the plans go out the door. Actually, I think the major portion of 4dr deposits will evaporate prior to the 4dr intro. That means Tesla must somehow overcome price objections with some sort of discounting. Keeping in mind the fact Tesla has zero plans to be involved in trade-ins, I see no safe harbor for them if 4dr pricing is higher than anticipated, or any of the other concerns I listed come into play.
In sum, this is too simplistic. It's nothing more than a "perfect world" ideology. This is why Tesla shot itself in the foot with the Roadster and then spun this ridiculous notion that they really weren't in it to make money. Rather, it was all a test. How absurd! Moreover, it's yet another sign of the total arrogance these folks have ingrained within their organization. I guess they haven't figured out yet that consumers, even the well-healed, aren't as stupid as Tesla thinks! Honestly, Tesla screwed up the retail concept for themselves early in the game. This latest blunder is yet another nail in their coffin. When all you have is the retail price with absolutely no safety cushion, ie, trades, finance, leasing, and service warranty, you have little to sell. Think they're going to sell 1,600+ plus 4drs a month to a panting public?? Let's see? Hmmmmm? 25 locations world-wide translates into the absolute NEED to sell 67 4drs PER LOCATION, every single month!! Sounds easy, huh? Well, I can promise you not a single Mercedes or BMW dealership in the WORLD sells anything close to 66 300 class or 5 series a month. But hey, Tesla's the new APPLE! It's easy! LOL! LOL!