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Retirely in The things you own end up owning you,

Tesla loses more than $4,000 on every car sold, says it’s following the tried-and-true dot-com model of volume to ultimate success

People were willing to hand over nearly 100k for the latest upper middle class merit badge, would it really have been a big to them to pay 105k? How much did they lose making each Roadster?  $25k?  Even at $110,000 per, they were losing a bunch on each one.  Economies of scale take time, you don’t get profitable on tens of thousands of units of just about anything, you need a few hundred thousand per year, even with high-ticket items.

“Tesla’s stock is still about 70 percent higher than it was two years ago, and 8 percent ahead of its level on Jan 1. With a market capitalization of $31 billion, Tesla is worth more than Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, the much larger maker of Ram pickups and Jeep Grand Cherokees.” According to

“A capital raise, given the way they’re burning cash today, given the fact that they have future investment needs, seems very likely at some point,” said UBS Securities analyst Colin Langan, who has a sell rating on the stock.

The thing is, Tesla isn’t just building cars, it’s building a battery factory and a nation-spanning network of solar-powered charging stations.

The internal combustion equivalent would be Ford building not just the Model T, but a series of oil refineries and a million gas stations to go along with it, and paying for the infrastructure buildout using only the revenue streams from the car segment of the business.

Buy whatever car you like, but some of its batteries will be made in a Gigafactory. Top off the car at home however you like, but every time you go on a big road trip, you’ll be taking at least one 15-20 rest break at a Supercharger. By the way, did we mention that even gas stations don’t actually make their money selling the fuel, but by selling refreshments? So after we’ve paid to install the solar panels, our fuel might as well be free, because gas stations aren’t really in the business of selling fuel.

That sort of CAPEX comes with a stiff price tag, but if Tesla can build out that network out without having to raise too much additional cash, they will have a vertically-integrated monopoly on next-generation transportation. Not a bad gamble.

But if Ford or GM were to do that, they’d be slapped with “antitrust” accusations.

Maybe true, but the day Tesla’s market share is big enough to actually have to worry about that is the day anybody who invested in Tesla has long since ceased to care, because they’ll all be gazillionaires. TSLA presently trades at about half F’s market cap, which suggests that the market is still pricing in some non-zero probability of success.

Since this is a car company, let’s have a computer analogy: Compare the Microsoft/IE/ActiveX/Office stack ca. 1999 – bundling a browser to embrace/extend/extinguish Netscape at a time when Apple was on its deathbed and Linux was something for tinkerers and servers only – was an act worthy of an antitrust suit. Microsoft doing exactly the same with Windows/Edge/OneDrive/Cortana ca. 2015 is not an antitrust issue because the consumer can choose between the walled gardens of OS X (AAPL), Android (GOOG), or Windows (MSFT), all of whom are battling for mindshare, and even has the option of abandoning the walled garden approach and running Linux.