Elon Musk – CEO of Tesla Motors – revealed recently that the company’s first car was a complete failure in so many ways.
Other people noticed this as well when it first came out – people like Jeremy Clarkson from Top Gear who said that the car couldn’t survive an entire day on his show’s tracks. However, Teals Motors was denied it thoroughly.
Thirteen years later, Elon Musk admitted to his shareholders that the first manufactures Tesla car was, in fact, very flawed. He also told them that the company had a measly 10% chances of surviving on the market at the beginning and that they were completely clueless as to what to do to keep the business afloat.
The initial business plan for Tesla Motors was based on the idea that profit could be made from licensing drivetrain technology from the AC Propulsion startup and that proved to be impossible because that particular technology could not be reproduced, not to mention commercialized for various reasons, one of those being the battery type.
In the end, Tesla Motors converted the Roadster battery pack to something more efficient and redesigned the suspension and braking systems so it could pass the Lotus Elise crash test.
But even after all of those changes and improvements were made, the Tesla Roadster was still very inefficient. At one point, in 2006, at the Roadster launch party, the cars were destroyed by those who were offered a free test ride. Musk also confessed that the car was certainly unsafe, it broke down often and it just didn’t actually work like a car is supposed to.
Despite all of this, the company survived and the production peaked in 2008 – 2009 when Tesla changed their component suppliers and started manufacturing their own batteries.
Elon Musk said that it was important to tell this story so that young entrepreneurs that enter unfamiliar business environments should know that there is always a chance at success it you don’t give up.
Apart from the confessions, Musk also told the shareholders that the release of the next Tesla electric car, Model 3, was delayed. Also, he said that something will be done to make the doors on the Model X more useful and less ridiculous.