Experts Say Tesla Has Repeated Car Industry Mistakes From The 1980S

from ars technica

Production had been halted for much of last week in Tesla’s car factory in Fremont, California, and its battery factory near Clark, Nevada. In a Tuesday note to employees, CEO Elon Musk said that the pause was necessary to lay the groundwork for higher production levels in the coming weeks. Musk said he wants all parts of the company ready to prepare 6,000 Model 3 cars per week by the end of June, triple the rate Tesla has achieved in the recent weeks.

The announcement caps a nine-month period of turmoil that Musk has described as “production hell” as Tesla has struggled to ramp up production of the Model 3.

Tesla had high hopes for its Model 3 production efforts. In 2016, Musk hired Audi executive Peter Hochholdinger to plan the manufacturing process, and Business Insider described his plans in late 2016: “Hochholdinger’s view is that robots could be a much bigger factor in auto production than they are currently, largely because many components are designed to be assembled by humans, not machines.”

A year later, Musk himself was touting Tesla’s advanced robotics expertise. “We are pushing robots to the limit in terms of the speed that they can operate at, and asking our suppliers to make robots go way faster, and they are shocked because nobody has ever asked them that question,” Musk said on a conference call last November. “It’s like if you can see the robot move, it’s too slow.”

Musk now admits he was wrong about this. “Excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake,” Musk tweeted recently. “To be precise, my mistake. Humans are underrated.”

“We had this crazy, complex network of conveyor belts,” Musk told CBS News. “And it was not working, so we got rid of that whole thing.”

Musk is discovering that large-scale car manufacturing is really hard, and it’s not easy to improve on the methods of conventional automakers. And while automation obviously plays an important role in car manufacturing, it’s not the magic bullet Musk imagined a couple of years ago. Far from leapfrogging the techniques of conventional automakers, Tesla is now struggling just to match the efficiency of its more established rivals.

More here.

, , ,

17 Responses to Experts Say Tesla Has Repeated Car Industry Mistakes From The 1980S

  1. Connor Wiedeman April 27, 2018 at 7:47 pm #

    Tesla, or more specifically, Elon Musk himself is a man who makes a lot of promises, and likes to set his sights high. There is even an entire website created to track Musk’s promises and which ones are kept and which ones have fallen through. Relating to this article, Musk has been setting his sights on automating the production process of Tesla’s vehicles, and was seemingly sure that capitalizing on robotics to manufacture his electric cars was the be all end all solution, but as he found out the hard way, it was not. Musk is a unique innovator, and isn’t the guy who does things the conventional way, or by the book, so it is not surprising that he took the risk of going all out on automation. While Musk’s plans may have failed in a lot of ways, (wasted capital, wasted time, production setback, etc.) I personally feel that he deserves credit not only for his all out attempt, but for owning up to his errors after the fact. The article states “Excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake,” Musk tweeted recently. “To be precise, my mistake. Humans are underrated.” I think it takes a very smart person, which Elon Musk obviously is, to realize when a mistake has been made before it is too late to correct it. An interesting quote relating to Musk’s situation is “When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” –Will Rogers. Although Musk’s error cost his company a fair amount of money and time, he has realized his error and is on track to correct it.
    The article also discusses the comparison between Musk’s failure with Tesla’s automation attempt, and GM’s failed automation attempt in the 1980s. While many people are dishing out criticism that Musk has repeated a failure already known from history, I think that it was not too far fetched that Musk gave automation another attempt. Robotics in the 1980s and robotics that are available now is like comparing a walkie talkie to an iPhone. With many advancements made on machinery and advanced robotics, it is understandable that Musk felt he could accomplish a majority automated production line successfully. It is also understandable that Elon Musk felt that this was a risk worth taking for his company. If Musk had actually been able to automate mos t of his production line with robotics successfully, that would mean less workers on Tesla’s payroll, less room for human error when assembling the cars, and an overall more efficient production line.
    The article also addresses Musk’s disregard for auto industry expert’s advice. The author puts some partial blame on Musk by saying “Musk likely could have spared himself a lot of short-term headaches if he had relied more heavily on auto industry veterans to warn him against repeating mistakes made by other car companies in previous decades” but I disagree and feel that if Musk just took everyone else’s advice on things, a lot of the genius things he has created would not have been created. Musk is a rare person and is someone who is going to blaze his own trial no matter what the “industry veterans” say. He has said that he learns from his mistake, so each mistake he makes just makes him that much more of an experienced innovator and businessman.

  2. Ryan Mack May 4, 2018 at 1:59 pm #

    Everyone has a learning process, and for most people it comes from picking yourself up after failure. Elon Musk and Tesla is no exception. In fact, he is considerably one of the best learners from failure who is also persistent and a quick learner. Building off of his mistakes, he could turn Tesla into a very successful car company, but has to deal with some frustrating growing pains first. According to an article on Arstechnica by Timothy Lee, Tesla is repeating the same mistakes the car industry had made in the 1980s in rushing to make their factories fully autonomous. Musk had been really pushing for the robots and hired Audi executive Peter Hochholdinger in 2016 to design the manufacturing process. Last fall, a year later, Musk had been bragging about Tesla’s advanced robot capabilities on a conference call and even said “It’s like if you can see the robot move, it’s too slow.” He now admits he was wrong. Designing and implementing robots to completely automate automotive manufacturing is a very complex and tedious thing to do with dozens of places something can go wrong. It turns out that when it’s rushed it becomes more inefficient than efficient, taking longer, costing more and creating more problems that it was hoped to solve. In response to increasing competitive pressure from foreign car manufacturers such as Toyota, General Motors in the 1980s had built a plant in Detriot-Hamtramck Michigan, clearing a whole neighborhood for it to be built. GM had spent billions on robots and computers in an attempt to fully automate the manufacturing process but ended up getting no return on that investment. The spray paint bots in the body painting section began spraying each other instead of the cars leaving GM to truck them across Detroit to a 57 year old Cadillac factory just to be repainted. Another issue at the plant was a large computer-controlled welding machine smashing car bodies, and when it happened, the entire production line had to stop and the workers couldn’t do anything but wait around while the plant’s managers contacted the robot contractor’s technicians. Although robots are more sophisticated today, they still can’t be rushed to design and implement. And that goes for almost any technology. Something is bound to go wrong with it if its rushed, like when Apple rushes their iOS releases. Lastly, automation is supposed to reduce the amount of workers in a factory, but in Tesla’s situation there seems to be more workers on the payroll. This is suspected to be due to the fact that Tesla is more vertically integrated than other car manufacturers who would otherwise have their suppliers handle some of the work Tesla is doing themselves. Fully automated car factories might be seen in the future, and Elon Musk could build Tesla to be one of the best and most efficient there is, but as for now, while all that technology both hardware and software is being perfected, that human element of manufacturing needs to stay.

  3. Michael Polito May 4, 2018 at 2:35 pm #

    Tesla is the world’s largest fully electric car company, and they have run into some problems recently with the production of their cars. Tesla cars are one of the hottest cars on the market and have become very popular with the people who can afford them. Tesla is getting too many orders for cars and they cannot keep up with them. One thing they have done to speed up the process of making their cars is they are using more robot technology and they have made the robots go faster so they can get more production. As good as this idea sounds it really has not worked out too well for the company because of the fact that the robots are not doing as good of a job as Musk thought they would do. Tesla has made the same mistakes that many car manufactures have made in the 80’s and 90’s. Technology is not always the best way to get things done and Tesla and Elon Musk have learned that the hard way. They wasted countless amounts of dollars on trying to speed up this process and make the robots faster and ultimately it did not work so well. Sometimes humans are the best option, but in this case they are the best option. Robots do not have the same precision as a human, they might be faster but the product overall will be sloppier. There are so many things differently that they could have done with that money to make produce cars more efficiently.
    Robots are a helpful tool in making cars and with the help of humans like the original Tesla set up was is a way more efficient way then using all robots. Instead of making the robots powerful and using more of them the smart idea would have been to use the money that they wasted to help pay the humans to work a little harder. Incentive pay to the people who are actually making the cars could have sped up production greatly and made everything faster. If Musk offered people more money to maybe work harder or faster Tesla could have produced way more cars and operation could have been a lot smoother than with just robots. As I mentioned before humans work with more precision then robots that are going too fast. Robots are built to go a certain speed and if you speed them up their precision will not be as good as if it was done by a human. Musk should have done his research and he would have realized that General Motors faces the same problems in the 80’s and 90’s but he did not. This is a problem that is very old and if he just asked other car manufactures this could have been avoided and s boat load of money could have been saved but instead he did his own thing and he lost a lot of money because of it. This is a valuable lesson for all car manufactures and it is a small win for humans because in a world that is getting so technologically advanced. We are being replaced by robots and this is a good win for us.

  4. Nathaniel Valyo May 4, 2018 at 7:01 pm #

    Elon Musk is probably my favorite business executive, or at least the one I find the most entertaining to watch. If you look at numbers alone, Tesla has not done very much and in fact is perpetually struggling just to catch up, but yet Musk is still able to sell Tesla as if it is one of the leading car brands in the nation. He kind of reminds me of Donald Trump during his real estate days, and how Trump’s casinos brought in little to no profit, but yet he was able to sell on name recognition alone and end up with billions of dollars in the end. It is remarkable how the CEO of a struggling car company like Tesla can still impress investors with his SpaceX missions, even though there is a very little proposition for its success. Musk, although wildly inconsistent with his promises and sales, has a gift for marketing that is unmatched by any salesman.

    Musk has loads of raw talent, but he is still a bit immature and rather impulsive. If he really wanted to make a name for himself in car sales, he would have done his research and learn that GM tried the exact same thing he tried, and failed rather quickly. Instead, Musk decided to go for the flashier, press-worthy automatic assembly line inputs, which made it seem like he would be a pioneer of the fully automatic car manufacturing era. Instead, Musk learned his lesson quickly, which was that fully automatic car assembly lines will never be as efficient as humans. I have a feeling that this lesson learned will only lead us to Musk’s next wild and crazy adventure.

    We as business students can learn a lot from an executive like Elon Musk because his positive and negative qualities shed light on what is most effective in any business situation. For example, regarding his immaturity and pride, we can see that it only ends up biting him in the end, which is an incredibly valuable lesson for anyone to learn, not just business students. But, we can also learn from his resilience and determination to correct past mistakes, which can prompt us to continue fighting to be the very best in our fields. Elon Musk is incredibly fun to watch and observe because no matter what he does, it will be a learning lesson for many.

  5. Jacob Abel May 4, 2018 at 7:53 pm #

    This article offers a unique view that goes against the modern trends that we usually see today. Given that there is so many negative feelings towards globalization and automation its interesting to see that moving too quickly towards automation can cause so many issues. The other interesting point that the article offers up is that moving too quickly towards automation requires more people to fix the mistakes of the robots. The aspect that I found to be the most surprising was that this is happening at Tesla. Tesla is supposed to be on the cutting edge and it is seemingly making mistakes that the big car companies were making decades ago. It seems as if the company didn’t do its research before trying implement this technology. What is even more surprising is that Elon Musk made this mistake. I suppose this happens when you are pushing on the cutting edge. Tesla may have gotten caught up in its own cutting edge culture which led it to implementing this automation strategy without fully thinking through it. This experience also offers us another unique lesson: people are still very valuable in factories and you may never be able to fully replace them. We clearly are not quite to the point were humans can be completely taken out of the equation and this is something we should seek to learn from now. The technology will probably soon be to the point were we don’t need people and this could be a big issue.

  6. Daniel Colasanto May 4, 2018 at 8:29 pm #

    As the author of this article stated, car manufacturing is not easy. It is common in society that when a big industry with a lot of potential revenue develops, the most efficient and strategic businesses usually eliminate most competitors until there are only a few businesses remaining. It has happened in the airline industry, social media, internet service providers, banking, etc. Among highly lucrative industries made up of only a few oligarchical corporations is the automobile industry. Not only is it extremely difficult to start a car company these days but it is even harder to maintain let alone make it anywhere near profitable.
    I have a lot of respect for Elon Musk. Establishing the Tesla was a admirable feat he accomplished. Becoming a competitor in the automobile industry and developing it well. Making advancements in technology and rethinking every traditional approach in the book, Elon Musk has been able to establish a foothold in car manufacturing for over 15 years. It is unfortunate that Elon Musk recently made the mistake of introducing too many new components to his assembly line and had to take a very significant loss in capital. Of course every entrepreneur will make mistakes but a mistake with a billion dollar price tag hurts, and is a profound learning experience. The number of people Elon Musk has on his payroll from ivy colleges and on HB1 visas are certainly going to be working overtime to clean up his mess. Robots are supposed to allow production of more cars with fewer workers, but one ironic consequence of over-automation is that it can actually require more workers. And as Elon Musk said in this article, he certainly “underestimated humans”. Better luck next time Elon, I still support your hard work ethic.

  7. Antonio Chirichiello May 4, 2018 at 8:35 pm #

    I understand that the CEO Elon Musk has future plans for his company but, did he really have to stop production for future strategies. To add to a halt in the production of vehicles, he wants the company to increase production. This is triple the rate then the company has achieved in the prior weeks. Instead of halting production and then reopen only to increase production and stress, the company could have continued their strategy. Halting production would put a negative effect on profits by hindering sales during those off weeks. What if the demand of Tesla vehicles increases and the supply is low due to halt of production, they would lose revenue.

    According to the article, it seems that they already have tried to increase production and failed. In my opinion, maybe the company should try a new approach to reach their goals. The article also states that, the robotic technology used at tesla is not as efficient with producing cars as they hoped. The capabilities of technology probably have not reached its pinnacle yet. We are still learning and improving with technology but, we are far from our limits. The advances in technology have not been beneficial for increasing production and human labor is still a vital source of the workforce.

    The statement that CEO Elon Musk said “humans are underrated” really intrigued me because, as technology becomes advanced each year it still has not completely surpassed a human being. It seems like he does not know how much labor, he will need in order to produce his target goal. It is also surprising to see how their machines work much slower than their employees. They eliminated a conveyor system because, it was to slow the employees were working faster without it. I feel that they should only get rid of the outdated machines but, also incorporate the new technology that is beneficial.

    In conclusion, it seems like production issues for Tesla may be the reason they have not been able to produce the desired number of cars. It might not be a bad idea to halt production and strategize, the company goal. If they are planning to triple the production amount they better have, a cost effective approach. The key is to increase production by increasing costs as minimal as possible. The goal for a company is to profit, if it cannot manage that it will not survive. The frustration the CEO faces is only imaginable to a person who has experienced that pressure. All he can do now is plan to strategize, a new plan for future success to increase sales and profits.

  8. Chris Goldfarb May 4, 2018 at 8:43 pm #

    Reading this article was slightly disheartening because I am a huge fan of Elon Musk and his attitudes towards business and innovation. For a company that is supposed to be the future they do seem to be repeating a lot of the mistakes of the past, as pointed out by the article. That being said the author did make some very persuasive points at towards that end that helped keep my faith in Musk. Before I address what keeps my faith in Musk it is important to address what shook it a bit.
    Elon Musk is an icon at this point, he has built this image of a visionary pioneer ready to take the human race on a journey to a better tomorrow. As a self-made billionaire that taught himself to program at 12, it is hard not to be inspired by him. That image starts to falter as the article describes his failings at automating the manufacturing of the Tesla Model 3. The article recounts how General Motors went through a similar debacle in the 1980’s and how the concept of complete automation leads to a wide array of problems. This is reinforced by the fact that the factory is producing the Model 3’s at a much less efficient rate than its predecessor who used the factory prior to Tesla.
    Despite this there is a light at the end of the tunnel and I am confident Musk will be able to utilize what he has learned from his time wallowing in production hell. This incident is the perfect time for Musk to prove exactly what he has been telling us since the beginning, he is an innovator. The exact definition of innovating is to take some old or broken and make it new and successful. That means Musk stands at the center of a huge opportunity to show the world that we do not know as much as we think we know. He will teach us to question thing we once held true about the industry just like he has done so many other times before.
    As the article says no one thought SpaceX would ever fly a rocket let alone recover one and no one thought the world was ready for electric cars and now Elon Musk has proved both of those long held assumption wrong. So why should he listen to experts when they “you can’t do it like that”? What we see now as mistakes may very well be the lessons Tesla needed to reach the next stage of automated manufacturing. Given Musk’s history I just do not think we should count him out just yet.

  9. Daniel Schreier May 6, 2018 at 2:09 pm #

    Tesla is one of the most innovative companies in the history of humanity. Their products will definitely revolutionize the market, and create a new era in transportations modals. By personally having the opportunity to be in touch with a Tesla vehicle, I can safely assure it is something extraordinary. The car itself has a futuristic design, complemented with state of the art technology and offers an incredible experience for the driver and passengers. Moreover, it has a relatively cheap maintenance cost, since its engine possess only 39 moving parts, instead of the 2000 of a regular car, which basically means one can drive more than 1 million miles without having to get any sort of full maintenance. The only disadvantage is still most cities, houses and buildings do not offer the infrastructure for the cars to be charged with high voltage and faster, the Tesla “SuperChargers”, which can fully charge a Tesla Model X in a little more than 2 hours, something amazing for our current standards. Tesla is just one of the many enterprises that Elon Musk, one of the great personalities of the 21st century possesses. Musk is an innovative entrepreneur who is not afraid of taking risks and challenges. His ideas and innovations surely will change the future of society, especially in transportation, with Tesla and Hyper Loop, a new method of transporting many people in high-speed from two places with aren’t close. Like many others, Musk is getting into areas which he doesn’t have the expertise in, in instance Car Manufacturing, this can be a reason which Tesla is suffering with some issues that GM, Toyota and Volkswagen probably aren’t facing, due to their expertise and know-how on the area. As a 21st century entrepreneur, Musk truly believed, and probably still believes that machines and AI can fully replace the human being on daily affairs, however, as the Ars Technica article describes, this was a mistake, as Tesla production has been struggling because sometimes, the human is still the best alternative. In my view, all this constant search for methods to replace humans in some tasks is just a waste of time and money, since there are stuff which humans are better than machines. The human body is reportedly, and according to pretty much the entire scientific community the best machine ever created, and as such, we should show more respect to it.

  10. Christopher Karant May 7, 2018 at 4:33 pm #

    Artificial Intelligence may not be as far along as we thought. Tesla is facing a production crisis because of their implementation of robotics at their California based production plant. The CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, is a leading innovator in his field and is changing the way business is done around the world. Musk is a titan in the electronics division and his company SpaceX will change the way people are going to live in the future. However, he is learning that this approach is not feasible in the automotive industry.
    Tesla has taken a big hit in production because their methods of production were not efficient enough. Musk used a Silicon Valley approach to output and used a complicated string of production lines and robots to produce his cars. He recently came out and said, “humans are underrated.” His vertical integration system was not working so he started over from scratch. This shows us that the robotics industry still has time to develop. As for Elon Musk, he must find out how to integrate robotics to speed production while maintaining enough labor to find an equilibrium. This challenge may be tough, but if anyone can figure it out, it would be Elon Musk.

  11. David Kline May 22, 2018 at 8:00 pm #

    Tesla is virtually new car manufacturer that clearly has a lot to learn still. Being the “future” of cars, Tesla is really trying to ramp up that image a lot. However, some time old habits can be better for now than new things. CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, has learned that the hard way as he has had to stop production a couple of times now due to robots not working the way he intended them too. Everybody knows that robots and computers are the way of the future, but that does not mean they are right now. Being as new as they are, there is still a huge learning curve to this new technology and it is ok to take it slower. The name of the game is to make money and make sure that your product is as good as it can be. This is especially true when talking about Tesla. When you think about Tesla, you think of the new wave of the future, you think of luxury electronic cars that are supposed to be made the right way. So why screw that up because you think robots can make cars better or faster? That being said, the statistics show that human beings are a better way to manufacture cars than robots right now. They make cars with care, and you know for sure that they will make it the right way. The unpredictability of robots makes them extremely unreliable. One minute they can be working fine, and then the next minute they can be spray painting each other. Musk got a little ahead of himself with this new technology and lost a lot of money doing so. Not only did he have to shut down operations, but he also had to hire more worker to keep up the robots with less production.
    The lesson that needs to be learned in this situation is “slow and steady wins the race”. What I mean by this is exactly what is said in the article. Musk needs to gradually add robotics to the assembly line so he can learn what bugs need to be worked out and also what works the best. Maybe there is a spot in the assembly line that will never be ready for robotics. Sometimes a human touch is the perfect thing for a product. However, he will never learn the perfect formula if he just throws all these robots in there and expect them to work at max speed all the time and get the perfect results. I feel as though Musk’s heart is in the right place and everybody knows he is just trying to optimize his assets to make the most money, but he clearly has a lot to learn and if he does not learn from other people’s past mistakes or even his own, he is going to be in a lot of trouble in the future.

  12. Shaunak Rajurkar September 7, 2018 at 8:54 pm #

    Tesla’s struggle with over-automation comes alongside a strategy that values quantity over quality. At the beginning of their rise as an automaker, Tesla’s Model S was praised by experts from Forbes, Autoweek, and Consumer Reports to be “the ideal car.” Tesla had focused its efforts on building a superior product with more pragmatic features than gimmicks. Tesla, by itself, has catalyzed the auto industry into a race to mass produce the electric car for the sake of affordability. Musk claims that his initial vision for Tesla was to pressure the rest of the industry into making environmentally friendly vehicles the new norm. As time has progressed, Tesla has sacrificed their vision (which should be fueled by quality instead of quantity) to become a sizable competitor in the industry it intends to pioneer. Musk has faced the single greatest pressure a modern executive can face: after taking the company public, is it no longer enough to simply innovate and catalyze – investors want to see profits. This has forced Tesla into what Autoweek Magazine calls “Tesla’s new production mantra: build first, and fix later.”

    The stock market has come to realize a tough truth in recent years: Silicon Valley inspired tech companies that intend to innovate and emphasize growth before profits are simply not compatible with Wall Street’s traditionalist valuation methods. It is reason why Netflix can still be seen as a strong investment while shares trade with a radical price to earnings ratio of nearly 147. It is ironically the same the reasoning that leads investors to call Apple overvalued as a result of their slowdown in product expansion and innovation at a price to earnings ratio of 23.

    Musk has consistently spoken with disappointment at his decision to take Tesla public in 2010. This is the sole reason that Tesla has been pressured to make the mistake of valuing automation as an exponentially superior alternative to human labor. The technology is simply not consistent at this point in time. The points listed above dive only into the financial perspective of automation – but the ethical questions still stand. Is it too soon to try to automate all physical labor? Would this entail a full reformation of our economic system? What jobs would replace those taken over by automation and machine learning?

    Musk has expressed his fondness for the idea of omnipresent automation, and has even discussed his vision for this version of the future. Musk has consistently alluded to the concept of UBI, or universal basic income. In his version of the future, physical labor is not the only “sector” at risk for automation. With the rise of AI and machine learning, jobs in finance, accounting, teaching, and perhaps even technical positions throughout the bureaucracy will be replaced by machines. Universal basic income may address some socio-economic problems, but his theory leaves a significant hole in the role that humans will play in the economy. What will be our role in the future? Is it inevitable that humankind will collectively and unanimously devote our time and resources to increasing the efficiency of machines? Musk has raised fears in the idea of empowering machines, citing a concept straight out of science fiction, “that humankind will one day become slaves to the same machines that we built.”

    Is this a plausible reality in the future? What will be the role of humankind as automation becomes the norm?

  13. Paul Lee September 7, 2018 at 9:07 pm #

    Elon Musk is one of the most innovative and powerful people in the technology world, he is a man that drastically wants to improve the life on earth through technology. However, reading this blog and other new articles on Tesla and on Elon Musk, himself, it seems that Tesla is spinning out of control. He is failing to meet bond deadlines where the company needs to pay more than one billion dollars which is due over the next year. Another problem is that he believes that bringing in as many automation instead of human beings will work efficiently and produce more Teslas than human beings would. However, this was a simple mistake that Elon Musk could have avoided, same car production mistakes that occurred in the 80s and 90s. He is falling behind in production and creating stress for im by running into simple mistakes. Many believe that Elon Musk will have redemption and push Tesla to match its more established rivals. However, I believe that Elon Musk will not do well with his electric motor company. Reading different articles concerning the problems with Tesla this past year, there are way too many negative factors in the way of Tesla’s redemption. One of the factors that I believe Elon Musk should address is his employees’ hours and well-being.
    https://www.businessinsider.com/tesla-employees-describe-intense-conditions-life-under-elon-musk-2018-8
    This is an article is from BusinessInsider that talked to forty-two Tesla current and past employees where they talked about life in Tesla or the “Tesla Life”. These Tesla employees have said that their famous CEO is very innovative but very demanding on what he wants. They have all described intense work environment and very long working hours that these employees have called the “Tesla Life”. Many employees at Tesla are trying to create a union so that they can have better working conditions and reasonable working hours.
    This article makes me believe that Tesla will not last long if Elon Musk does not solve his employees concerns and problems. He has tweeted himself that “Humans are underrated” but he demands so much from his employees as if they were robots running on endless electricity. Many have quit from Tesla because for these reasons and said working there is difficult and not worth it. These employees are the backbone of the company or the foundation, if the foundation of a company crumbles then everything will fall. The world should know that Elon Musk is very smart and trying to change the world but he does not make up all of Tesla. These employees will be the one to push the company to a better state.
    I believe that Elon Musk should take care of his employees, then the problem with the company production will follow smoothly afterward

  14. Jonathan Rodrigues September 23, 2018 at 1:45 pm #

    Elon Musk is a genius, a concept designer and one of the most disruptive engineers on the planet, more so than Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos, because of the width and complexity of the products he has successfully built. Musk managed to build an electric car from scratch faster than Detroit churns out a new conventional model. He co-created X.com, which went on to become PayPal. He was behind Solar City — cheaper solar panels for everybody. He also created SpaceX, so he’s a real-life rocket scientist who keeps sending rockets into space and bringing the reusable booster rockets back to Earth.
    But because Musk isn’t following the traditional playbook, says the mainstream, Musk is an impractical visionary who should probably be replaced by a more seasoned executive. Musk is, in short, a lousy CEO, and that’s 100 percent true and 100 percent great, because “seasoned” CEOs have an abysmal record when it comes to making changes inside large companies.
    As an innovator, Musk starts with a complex, expensive prototype and uses the experience of that process to rapidly create a simpler, less expensive product.
    As a manager, Musk is doing the same thing. He created a Tesla organization that’s complex and expensive to run. Now he’s using the experience of that process to rapidly create a simpler, less expensive company.
    Musk has made mistakes, he’s learned from his mistakes, and he proves to us time and time again that he just makes things work. So as @Chris Goldfarb said earlier in this thread.. given Musk’s history I just do not think we should count him out just yet.

  15. Dominic L September 25, 2018 at 11:05 pm #

    Tesla is one of the youngest, if not the youngest, major automobile companies in the United States. The company is an infant compared to organizations like Ford and General Motors. As smart as Elon Musk is, he will make mistakes purely on inexperience. Just as GM tried and failed to do in the 80’s automated car manufacturing is not plausible yet.

    Elon, the mad scientist of Tesla, failed to learn from the mistakes of others. When Roger Smith tried automating GM the technology was not where it needed to be. Almost forty years later, this is still the case. The giant robotic arms that are currently used to make cars are not advanced enough to take humans out of the manufacturing process. I think Musk was negligent in the research, design, and testing of this automated process. He just built this giant conveyor system that cost Tesla huge sums of time and money all for nothing. David Cook from the Center of Automotive Research said most toolmakers and car companies “make some vehicles so they can test them and find out if the tooling is good. They said that that was standard procedure at every auto company except for Tesla.” I really think it was foolish of Musk to jump on this task without any small scale tests.

    I do think it was noble of him to blame himself instead of the technology. He did admit that “humans are underrated” and I believe this reflects his intelligence, but shows that he is not wise due to his inexperience. History repeats itself, and this is a prime example. Musk and Tesla are like any teen going through the “I know everything” phase. He thought he could do it, failed, and is now paying for it, when he could have listened to experts and avoided this setback.

  16. Justin Tiso September 28, 2018 at 12:57 pm #

    It seems like every week for either good or bad Elon Musk or Tesla is in the news. It never surprises me when I hear that Tesla has a set back as the company always seems to try to take a massive lead forward and then ends up taking two steps back. I always question Elon’s thought process with Tesla as it just seems like he has so much going on. For example, between his boring company which produces flame throwers to him trying to create a train that goes from Washington D.C to New York in very little time, I always wonder where his true focus is. For a CEO that barley leaves work throughout the week, he try’s to engineer so much with so little time, so for the young electric car manufacturer to have a lot of set backs doesn’t surprise me.

    One thing that really caught my eye in this article was when Elon talks about how he is asking for his robot suppliers to make the robots go even faster to get more out of them. I find this very interesting because he is having issues currently with manufacturing and now he wants to make things go quicker? I feel like something that he does is he promises a lot, but he doesn’t always deliver. Something to understand though is that Tesla is still a very young company, and with any young company there are going to be many bumps and mistakes along the road. It’s going to be very interesting to see where Tesla is in five to ten years from now as they have really drawn a lot of criticism over some of the moves they have made.

  17. Kent Flores September 28, 2018 at 6:39 pm #

    After reading the article “Experts Say Tesla Has Repeated Car Industry Mistakes From The 1980S” by ars technica, I truly understand why Tesla’s cars seem to be the “next best thing,” but at the same time its cars are a liability due to potential manufacturing risks. My parents had always told me that if a car company has been in business for more than 20 years, then it knows what it is doing. Tesla, in the words of my dad, is “too new to be considered a successful company,” he says this because he knows that a car company has to go through vigorous mistakes and experience with the industry itself, in order to truly build an efficient car at a profitable price. As the article suggests, Musk does have an advantage, when making Tesla profitable, it is their loyal fan base and an upper hand in the technological field. These two factors allow for Tesla to charge a premium for its electrical vehicles. Its defects still outweigh its advantages, since Tesla might not be able to get a great return on its assets, which in turn would cost the company billions of dollars lost in revenue. If I would have been Tesla, I would have researched if other competing car companies had tried to do what it did, and if so, what were the results. By researching whether or not it is a great idea to implement a bunch of technology at once, Tesla would have learned that General motors had attempted the experiment with a huge implementation of technology and failed. For now, Tesla only has mistakes to show for the past 9 months, but if Elon Musk uses these short term mistakes, he can easily turn Tesla’s production line into full gear for the long term. In 12 years from now we will all see whether or not Elon Musk was a genius or whether he was someone who bit off way more than he could chew. As someone who is in the stock market, I would not invest in Tesla until it gets a steady growth. Lucky for me, I was not persuaded by Elon Musk’s marketing ideas about Tesla being the “next big thing,” because I would have a 50/50 percent chance of losing my investments into a company that promises it all and delivers nothing.

Leave a Reply to Christopher Karant Click here to cancel reply.