Tesla – Model 3 Test Drive and Winning Big

Tesla – Model 3 Test Drive and Winning Big

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In recent news, people who wouldn’t ordinarily care about cars are obsessing about the numbers of Tesla, a billion dollar corporation. They’re laying down strategies and pleading on Twitter with Elon Musk to see things another way. But will he? Should he?

Let me ask you something – when was the last time you spent more than your salary on a bet, like starting a business or perhaps an investment, where you directly contributed to the end goal? I think the vast majority of people would say that they have never done it and that they don’t know the first thing about managing themselves, never mind operating a company with 30k employees. Not only is it almost inconceivable from that perspective, it’s impossible to fully comprehend.

That’s why people with no money or experience in the auto industry can have a voice going play-by-play with Tesla on the internet. The news is promoting negative outlooks, and I think the advice is formulated for investors – not the long-term successes but the short-term payouts. All you have to do is read the news to drown in the numbers on last week’s growth. But who’s controlling the narrative, the investors? How about propaganda from the competition? Renowned Twitter experts can see that 3,750 + 1,250 (25% more) = 5,000, which is their calculated proof of the company’s future outlook. It’s simple, right? Let me try to break this down, at least from the tiny window we all look through while trying to figure out what’s going on inside of Tesla. Mind you, I’ve done little research, but I keep up with the barebones facts and Tesla’s statements, in general.

Tesla’s Fremont manufacturing plant was aiming to produce 2,500 cars per day. This was less than 90 days ago and under a different leadership. It looks to me like Elon is doing what most leaders can’t and won’t do – he’s getting out of the office chair and down on the production floor to see his goals come to fruition. It’s exciting and awe-inspiring. I’d be honored to work there right alongside him in that battle.

The problem with these news reports is that they’re from the perspective of contributors who are hung-up in their own concerns (When can I leave?? 5 pm? Ugh!), and have limited visibility into the big picture. I’m sure the guy in the paint shop knows a ton about what’s going on, and I trust his casual observations from the floor without any question or hesitation. Wait, isn’t he supposed to be busy painting? The Fremont location alone has increased by 4,000 employees since June of 2016. Most of the haters Tesla talks about are either:

  1. Betting on the losses,
  2. Working with the competition, or
  3. Not qualified or informed enough to make an assessment.

Or maybe I’m just optimistic. I know what it’s like to work hard when everybody around you is doubtful, cynical, and spreading the worst outlook possible.

The Model 3 isn’t a myth. It’s a reality, and I know so because I drove a privately owned one recently for 3-4 days (VIN #9257). I’ve owned a variety of vehicles including Infiniti, Chrysler, Pontiac, Lincoln, Ford, and several others. In the last few years, I’ve rented at least 100 cars including Audi, BMW, Fiat, Mercedes, Lexus, Cadillac, Volkswagen, Subaru, Dodge, and the list goes on. Generally, the vehicles would have cost anywhere from $30k-$70k. I used these during my travels and would casually leverage a significant discount (50%) that I have with one company that’s local to my area. I’m not an expert on cars, but I have driven many of them, especially recently, so I know how frustrating all the quirks can be every time I change models and drive a different car around for two-and-a-half years. I’ve been frustrated by the unknown and puzzled by features, even where to pop the gas tank. How about Bluetooth issues? Ever reboot your phone or pair it five times to hear just five minutes of music? I’ve had dead batteries, overheating engines, and cars from hell that wouldn’t drive straight. And the majority of them were new cars with 0-20k miles!

The Model 3 was smooth on user experience, had tons of torque, and generally was fun to drive, unlike many other small, cramped, uncomfortable cars. I took several trips from Providence to Boston and back, only needing to recharge one time, and I started the trips with 20% battery. The technology was great and offered one of the most intuitive NAV experiences I’ve had to date. The car was just online, not tethering or using my phone as a hotspot. Tesla knows that small things make a difference, and the way the OS was set up is very intuitive. Overall, this car is reliable, and I’d be happy to own it after some time passes with the first generations. I think the key is just jumping in one and driving it on your terms. I highly recommend Turo.com for that, and then, only then, should you render an opinion. You could read about them for days and look at every picture of them on the internet. Just get in one and get going. They rock!

Whether you bet for or against Tesla, they are still a winner. The company is about disruption and pushing the limits, done in the spirit of being up against impossible odds. The story is just as exciting to me without having to know or consider thinking about how it will end.

Also see: The War on Tesla, Musk, and the Fight for the Future



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