Since 2003, Tesla (TSLA) has been established for 14 years. Although it has built the best pure electric mass-produced car on the market, the most important problem it has faced over the past ten years is indeed Very realistic and simple: lack of money. Unlike technology companies, the automotive sector has always been an asset-heavy industry.Tesla’s stock price hits a record high
Lack of money means that even if a car can be designed, there is no way to build a car, even if a car is built, there is no way to make a lot of it Production meets market demand. If there is no way to meet market demand with a large number of mass-produced cars, then it will not be able to make healthy profits and expand production. If there is no way to expand production but the company's development has to burn money, then the health of the entire company is in jeopardy.
There has been a lot of news about Tesla in the past week, and these news are generally positive for Tesla.
First, the SEC documents disclosed that Tencent used $1.78 billion to buy shares in Tesla and became Tesla's fifth largest shareholder. After that, Tesla delivered a total of 25,418 vehicles in the first quarter of 2017, a year-on-year increase of 69% over the first quarter of last year. Furthermore, after the first quarter sales were announced, Tesla's stock price surged 6.7% on Monday, reaching $296.95 per share, which is the highest stock price since the company's establishment, and its market value surpassed Ford. This makes Tesla the second-highest market capitalization company among the current U.S. automakers after General Motors.
In fact, just two weeks ago, Tesla had just "worked out" for money. On March 17, Tesla announced that it had obtained $1.2 billion in financing through the sale of common stocks and convertible bonds. This financing was divided into two parts: a sale of 130 at a price of $262 per share. Ten thousand shares of common stock, 350 million US dollars in hand. The other was through the sale of convertible senior bonds scheduled to mature in 2022 and received US$850 million. In order to increase investor confidence, among the 1.3 million common stocks sold, Musk bought 95,420 shares at a cost of 25 million U.S. dollars.
However, it can be seen from the stock market trend since the beginning of 2017 that Tesla is still relatively optimistic in the market. Everyone is looking forward to Tesla's successful delivery of the entry model Model 3 in 2017. Because once Tesla can deliver the car on time and can deliver the car at the established production speed, even if Tesla has been in the stage of lack of cash flow in the company’s operations, the profit brought by a large number of Model 3 orders is very high. It is possible that Tesla will turn losses into profits and truly have the strength to compete with traditional car manufacturers in terms of sales volume.
In Tesla's 2016 financial report, Tesla disclosed some key information. First of all, although the Gigafactory in Nevada has not yet been fully completed, Tesla has indicated to investors that the location and construction of Gigafactory 2 have been basically determined.
Gigafactory2 will be Tesla’s New York solar power plant, which was originally Solarcity’s solar power plant. In addition, Tesla has planned to start the site selection of Gigafactory 3 and even Gigafactory 4 in the second half of 2017. Although it has not been fully determined, it is not surprising that these two large factories will be established in Europe and Asia. The Gigafactory in Asia is very It may be in Shanghai, China.
The aggressive plant construction plan is actually not an exaggeration in Tesla’s overall development strategy. The original intention of Gigafactory was a battery factory with an annual output of 1 billion cells. Tesla’s current production capacity is facing ModeFor high-end models such as lS and ModelX, sufficient batteries can be purchased on demand. But if you want Model 3 production to meet the demand for hundreds of thousands of vehicles on the market. Now the world’s battery production capacity may be difficult to cope with, so Tesla and Panasonic have cooperated to build the Gigafactory factory, and more importantly, they must work together to promote the development of battery technology and increase the energy density of the battery.
What is certain is that on Model 3, Tesla will use Panasonic 20700 batteries instead of 18650 batteries used in current products. Previously, Tesla mainly used 18650 lithium cobalt oxide batteries provided by Panasonic. The entire battery pack contains thousands of independent battery cells; the battery costs about $250/kWh and can provide an energy density of 233 W·h/kg. After replacing it with a 20700 battery, although the single volume of the battery is enlarged, the energy density is higher. Simply put, with a battery of the same weight, Model 3 can run farther after using a 20700 battery.
So it is completely visible that Tesla’s R&D and plant construction costs are very high. Previous data shows that from 2014 to the first half of 2017, Tesla’s total investment in R&D and capital expenditures It is US$10 billion (R&D 3 billion, capital expenditure 7 billion). Just Model 3, an entry-level model, will cost about US$2-25 billion in capital expenditure before production.
However, in terms of product revenue, Tesla currently only sells two high-end models, ModelS and ModelX, and some Powerwall battery wall products. Therefore, it is foreseeable that before Model 3 mass production stabilizes, continuous losses and the need to use various means to continue life will be the normal state of Tesla.
The burden of Tesla's turnaround is weighed on Model3. Judging from the recent news, Model3's growth process is fairly healthy. In the letter to shareholders, Tesla stated that the development, supply chain, and manufacturing of Model 3 are advancing. In order to support the delivery of the first batch of orders in the second half of the year, at the beginning of February, as part of vehicle design and manufacturing, the Model 3 prototype Tests have been carried out, and the initial crash test results are positive. After the start of production in July, the Model 3 production line will increase its production capacity to 5,000 vehicles per week at a certain node in the fourth quarter of 2017, and continue to increase in 2018 To 10,000 vehicles per week.
Tesla's official display to the outside world is still consistent confidence, and ElonMusk often consciously releases the latest developments about Model 3 on social platforms such as Twitter, in order to maintain the market's optimistic expectations and defend its own stock price.
However, from the current point of view, the delivery and future development of this car will still face many very obvious problems. The first is production capacity. Although the production capacity of ModelS and ModelX is growing very fast, the order of tens of thousands of orders is still a completely different concept of production capacity compared to the hundreds of thousands of orders of Model3.
The Gigafactory, which has not yet been completed, needs to be built while producing. I am afraid that it will be no problem to deliver to the US market. However, when delivering to overseas markets, the cost of transportation and taxation will increase the price of Model3 a lot.
Take China as an example. According to China’s import tax standards plus Tesla’s transportation costs, the import price of Model 3 into China has almost doubled. The entry-level car suddenly became a mid-to-high-end model in other markets. Market competitiveness will also be pulled down. The solution to this is to directly build factories in the market with large shipments, that is, the second and third Tesla's plans will open the Gigafactory in Europe and Asia.
But it costs money to build a factory, and it will take a long time for the factory to be approved for construction and officially put into production. The convenience that the US government can provide to Tesla is not necessarily true if it is transferred to other markets. It is said that time is money, which is not an exaggeration for Tesla, which is not rich, because although ModelS and ModelX can be regarded as the best pure electric production cars on the market, traditional automakers The layout of pure electric vehicles has already begun. After 2019, traditional car manufacturers will officially launch a large number of pure electric products covering high, medium and low positioning. By then, Tesla will have more market competitors.
So in the three years before 2010, the slower Tesla produces Model 3 and subsequent entry-level models, the smaller the market it can occupy, and the greater the competitive pressure it will face in the future.
In addition, for pure electric vehicles, the layout of the charging pile is very important.At present, Tesla's super charging piles are very tight in many markets when facing the charging demand of high-end cars such as ModelS and ModelX. In the future, a large number of Model3 orders will bring more charging problems for Tesla. Tesla can do nothing more than two points: 1. Continue to lay out charging piles; 2. Educate users to install charging piles at home and develop the habit of daily charging at home.
However, the author believes that Tesla’s future prospects are indeed optimistic. There are several main reasons: First, although more pure electric vehicles will be released by traditional car factories in the next three years, in the laying of charging piles, Tesla already has a good foundation, and it will take some time for traditional automakers to catch up.
Secondly, in terms of product leadership, various automakers are currently advocating purely automatic driving that is expected to start commercial use in 2020, but from the perspective of ordinary car owners, Tesla Autopilot's continuously improving driving assistance functions, In terms of practicality and actual capabilities, it is still the industry's leading level. Whether autonomous driving can really be put into use after 2020, but better driving assistance will indeed change the overall experience of the owner's car.
The last point of concern is the speed at which Tesla (TSLA) is increasing its production capacity. At present, Model 3 has received more than 400,000 orders. If the car owners have good word-of-mouth feedback after the initial delivery, Tesla will gain more With more Model 3 orders, the speed of production capacity increase is crucial to the development of the entire company. However, now that Tesla has the ability to increase the production capacity of high-end models ModelS and ModelX in the first quarter of 2017 by 69% over the same period last year. The final delivery of Model3 is still worth looking forward to.