Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA) Stock Price Tumbles Nearly 3% This Week Amid Management Shake Up

Shares of Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) tumbled nearly 3 percent this week as the electric-car maker announced it was reorganizing its sales team. The move comes just a month after a report revealed CEO Elon Musk was preparing to fire some of the company’s international executives after poorChina sales.

Tesla will appoint new regional sales leaders for North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific, the company said Friday. The electric-car maker also said it plans to reassign its global sales chief Jerome Guillen to another role once it appoints new executives in those three regions. “We are interviewing candidates for those roles and expect to bring them on board later this year,” the company said in a statement Friday.

The shake-up also comes after the company posted earnings that missed Wall Street expectations. For the fourth quarter, Tesla reported a net loss of $108 million, or 86 cents per share, on revenue of $956.7 million, compared with a loss of $294.04 million, or $2.36 per share, on sales of $3.2 billion during the same period a year earlier.

The company turned in an adjusted loss of 13 cents per share, widely missing analysts’ expectations of 31 cents, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Although Tesla built 11,627 cars last quarter, it failed to deliver as many cars as it said it would. Tesla delivered 9,834 vehicles in the fourth quarter, below previous expectations of 11,200.

Tesla Gigafactory construction in Reno Nevada still super secret and ahead of schedule

tesla site

STOREY COUNTY, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) — The Tesla construction site at the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Park looks a lot different than it did six months ago. Back then there were earth movers grading, smoothing and preparing the ground for a 10-million square foot Gigafactory. There was a security gate with a sign identifying the site as “Project Tiger.” Today, the secrecy remains and so does the sign however, enormous steel beams are now rising out of the desert. The steel skeleton of the $5-billion dollar Gigafactory is now in place.



High winds blasted through the region halting heavy construction yesterday and today. The mix of dust, low visibility and heavy machinery was not a good combination. Developer Lance Gilman said, “We’re clocking winds out here measuring 70-to-80 miles an hour. Anywhere else in the country that would be called a hurricane and everybody would stay home from work. You know, we’re all still just out here doing our thing.”

Tesla-Gigafactory-570x277-56143Gilman said Tesla was allowing him to bring his prospects on a tour of the facility but not anymore. Gilman said, “They don’t want visitors. They pretty much put everyone in the company, their subcontractors, all of us in the county, on notice. They do not want visitors.” He added the facility contains proprietary components Tesla does not wany anyone to see up close.

Despite the wind, a Tesla spokesperson said construction is ahead of schedule. Gilman said that doesn’t surprise him. He added, “They’re all hands in the cook, if you don’t mind me using an old rodeo term. I mean they are very, very busy. I think there are 250 steelworkers alone here right now.”

Nevada Legislators need a backbone in probing Tesla

Tesla Motors logoIn 1993 Mercedes set off a competition for a new U.S. auto plant and several states—Alabama, North Carolina, and South Carolina—ended up pitted against each other in a bidding war. Alabama won it with a $250 to $300 million incentive package, the equivalent of $397 million to $476 million in 2013 dollars. The locals really fought back. Alabama industries said they were being put at a disadvantage, education leaders said the incentive denied funding to schools. “It’s gone from euphoria to fright,” said one analyst after the initial enthusiasm died out.
The governor began driving a Mercedes “loaner”, which seemed to symbolize the deal. It was a statewide scandal, with some political consequences. The plant got built, anyway, but legislators and press did their jobs—subjecting the deal to terrific scrutiny. Among the things that came to light were unannounced provisions like a promise from state government to buy 2,500 vehicles.

      If there is such a thing as a “Nevada way of life,” the Tesla deal will undercut at least two elements of it—an aversion to corporate welfare and limited heavy manufacturing with its attendant problems. Until now, only Henderson has been a center of such factories. And Nevadans have paid less for corporate subsidies than any other state, $12 per capita, according to theNew York Times (neighboring Arizonans pay $230). When he was running for governor in 1998, I spoke with Kenny Guinn about incentives and he started shaking his head even before I finished my question. Now Gov. Brian Sandoval seeks to alter that sensible tradition.
Tesla demanded half a billion dollars from whatever state it gave the battery plant. That would be 15.6 percent of Nevada’s current fiscal year state government budget. Sandoval is offering Tesla more than twice that amount in abatements, which would be more than 31 percent.
Sandoval is pushing the notion that Tesla in California pays higher than most manufacturing in Nevada pays, which is quite an admission, but is entirely true. The Wall Street Journal reports that Nevada manufacturing pays 31 percent less than California, which speaks volumes about how the state treats workers. But Sandoval’s implication is that Tesla will be paying the same here as they do there. Will the legislators make sure we get that in writing, along with a guarantee of cost of living rises as time goes on?
Many supporters of corporate welfare are trying to divert the public’s attention from the huge amounts of revenue that would be abated under the Sandoval deal at a time when Nevada would get the children of 6,000-plus workers to educate and whatever other services must be provided. They keep urging that the public look at the “long term.” At Forbes magazine, columnist Joe Harpaz quoted Nevada conservative and liberal leaders who are critical of the deal and then wrote, “Populist sentiment aside, a more apt question might be what kind of long term impact the development of this factory might have on the region.”
First, let’s not put populist sentiment aside. Second, if we ignore the near-term consequences of this deal, we will have no basis for complaining if they damage the state. Educators are said to be staying out of the way of the Tesla deal for fear of offending the governor. They will have to live with the consequences of their silence.
State legislators are planning a one- or two-day special session. If that’s the case, it will just be rubber-stamping the deal. Far better would be for the legislative leaders to go into session, then promptly recess it with a statement like this: “We’ll take our time and scrutinize this deal within an inch of its life. This is our decision, not the governor’s.” Then they turn the legislative legal and fiscal divisions loose to examine the Sandoval deal with a fine tooth comb for a few days and report back. It would be nice to be certain that they don’t end up buying 2,500 rich people’s cars for the state motor pool. They could also examine closely the impact of both thousands of new residents and a mammoth factory on our limited resources. Tesla has reportedly bought its own water rights, but that doesn’t create any more water in this desert state.
Most of all, lawmakers should not hurry. In 1926 the Nevada Legislature met in special session to clear the way for construction of a hotel that was never built. Sometimes it pays to take a little more time.
Whenever state officials try to give out-of-state firms these kinds of deals, I’m reminded of a 1990s three-county vote on whether to provide tax support to a private company to rebuild the Virginia and Truckee Railroad. Part of the deal was that the taxpayers in those counties would end up with part ownership of the railroad. How much of Tesla will Nevadans own for their forgiveness of a billion dollars-plus in taxes?

source: http://www.newsreview.com/reno/newsview/blogs#BlogPost-14817424

Tsla punked Nevada: Tesla’s Musk says Nevada will get 6k jobs, not 6.5k

punkedTesla CEO Elon Musk told Fox Business News today that he expects to create 6,000 direct jobs in Nevada, lower than the 6,500 often touted.

When asked about unfair tax breaks in Nevada, FBN reported: “According to Musk, Nevada is a state that ‘knows the house’ and if you have ever been to Vegas, you know that the house always wins.

One more tidbit: Musk said that on average, a new Tesla supercharger station goes live every 20 hours.

You should be able to watch the full interview below. If not, go here. Also, there’s a Fox Business summary with additional details not in the video here.

USA Parkway Extension will cut Tesla commute

USA parkway nevadaSTOREY COUNTY, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) — Driving from Silver Springs to Reno, or vice versa, is not exactly the most direct route.

See video here: http://www.mynews4.com/news/local/story/USA-Parkway-Extension-will-cut-Tesla-commute/ktHlFNMXtEe62hauiG2QzA.cspx

Drivers have two choices to get to Interstate 80 to U.S. Highway 50. The first option is to drive south and through Carson City, or the other way is to drive through Fernley. The trip takes about an hour without traffic, and without speeding.

That will soon change. With the Tesla Gigafactory coming to the Reno-Tahoe Industrial Center, the Nevada Department of Transportation said there is more emphasis to complete the USA Parkway Extension Project.

It has been in the works since 2011. Lance Gilman Commercial Real Estate held the property where USA Parkway ends. Part of the Tesla legislation meant the state bought the right of way for $43 million. That is on top of the original $60-65 million cost estimate for the project.

Gilman said the extension is not just about delivery logistics, but enabling people to get to work at TRI faster. “Once the highway is complete. 15 minutes to work.”

Fifteen minutes from Silver Springs to USA Parkway. That means it could take only 30 minutes to get to Reno, a big improvement from one hour.

How soon will this major connector be a reality? It is currently in the environmental assessment phase. The report will be released in October.

NDOT’s goal to finish the construction is 2019, but the fine print notes “Design/construction schedule currently being finalized.”

Tesla has a strict deadline to have the gigafactory up and running by 2017. So, NDOT said it is racing to finish the USA Parkway Extension by the same time.

“Last Friday I got tipped off that the Tesla battery gigafactory had broke ground east of Reno at the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center.”

Tesla Lithium Ion Batteies

Denis Phares, CEO of Dragonfly Energy, holds a battery at his workshop in Reno, Nev. Right now, Dragonfly, which pays some of the rent as a middleman for selling China-made batteries online, is aiming for big-money backers to fund research into making lithium-ion batteries faster, cheaper and easier.

tesla motorsRENO, Nev. (KRNV & MyNews4.com) – A tech blog claims Tesla Motors has broken ground at a construction site in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center, and may have laid off construction workers yesterday. News 4 learns that is not the case.

The construction site is guarded, and is only identified by the name “Project Tiger.”

It is one of the largest projects moving dirt in the center, according to Lance Gillman, Director of the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center.

Due to a non-disclosure agreement, the contractors and brokers cannot confirm nor deny if the company behind the gates is Tesla Motors.

Gilman, says that workers were not laid off yesterday as some have claimed. The workers have been working day and night for the past few weeks.

Mark Twain at Tesla lab

Mark Twain at Tesla lab back in the day!

“They’ve reached the end of the first phase,” says Gilman. “And so I can tell you that there’s been a full mile long path built in about 3 and half weeks. And so the first phase of construction process is completed and there is a halt at this time.))
Gilman and two project managers tell News 4 they’ve been waiting on a week-by-week basis for the company behind “Project Tiger” to reveal their identity. Until then, it’s all speculation.

Nevada, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona are finalists for the $5 billion gigafactory. It’s estimated to create 6,500 jobs.

The owner, Elon Musk, has been quoted saying ground will be broken in at least two states before a final location is chosen.

A spokeswoman from Tesla Motors declined to comment.

source: http://www.mynews4.com/news/local/story/Secret-Construction-Site-Fuels-Tesla-Factory/_JTtfImGAUC7D7bNRQZwpw.cspx

EAANN banner





RENO, NV (07/25/2014)–Last Friday I got tipped off that the Tesla battery gigafactory had broke ground east of Reno at the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center. I went out there on Sunday and sure enough, a huge construction site was in full operation with over 50 tractors leveling a building pad.

I shot a lot of photos on Sunday, again on Tuesday and very early morning hours of Wednesday.

Two articles about the project were published. A detailed piece that I wrote is posted at Transport Evolved. Also Greentech Media wrote up a piece for their website as well.

Last night we received word that the suspected gigafactory site east of town was shutdown and all of the employees were laid off because the project was too far behind schedule.

Sadly, two sources, close to the project, confirmed that construction was way behind schedule.

I believe the site east of town is/was a gigafactory site that may now be closed. I’m going out there tomorrow to confirm. The site was dark early this morning, but that doesn’t mean a lot (see the articles).

What is really down right scary is the fact that Elon Musk said, “What we’re going to do is move forward with more than one state, at least two, all the way to breaking ground, just in case there’s last-minute issues. The No. 1 thing is we want to minimize the risk timing for the gigafactory to get up and running.” (Bloomberg.)

To add to the concern, there will be a Tesla earnings call on Thursday, July 31st. Clearly, they plan to announce the gigafactory site(s).

I hate to read it this way–and there are many other possibilities–but it looks like two gigafactory sites are/were under construction to see which would performed the best: and Reno lost.

Note: Watch channel 8 tonight, they sent a reporter out there today.

What do you think?

See you all at the picnic!

Bob Tregilus

UPDATE: Ed Pearce, with KOLO TV, just called. He said the site is open, but there’s little activity going on and he saw some trucks leaving with large equipment loaded on trailers. 😦

Referenced articles:

Guest Post: Top-Secret Groundworks Outside Reno, NV Marks First Tesla Gigafactory Site by Bob Tregilus

RENO, NV–Every so often throughout the day, when Elon Musk’s attention wanders for a moment, he must giggle at the thought of how his company has mobilized thousands of legislators, bureaucrats, local officials, and a myriad of other stakeholders–across five states–all vying to win the “big prize”: a Tesla Motors’ battery Gigafactory.

There’s more >>>

DEVELOPING: Reno Locals Claim Workers Laid Off At Top-Secret Site Believed To Be Tesla Gigafactory Site by Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield

Yesterday, we brought you news that groundworks at a top-secret site allegedly being developed as Tesla’s first Gigafactory battery processing facility was under way in Reno, NV. After hiring what appears to be large numbers of workers to carry out ground work at the Taho-Reno Industrial Centre, work on the site has reportedly been running seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. What’s more, said Reno local Bob Tregilus, there was little doubt among people working there that the new project was part of a ‘big battery factory project’ and that the end client was none other than Tesla Motors. But overnight we’ve received reports from multiple sources in Reno claiming that the site has been either temporarily or indefinitely closed, and the workers laid off.

There’s more >>>

— Lithium-ion batteries are not exotic, complicated or big.

But if Tesla Motors locates a “gigafactory” here, the lipstick-sized batteries could change Reno’s whole universe.

An announcement isn’t expected for months about which among five states would ultimately land the electric car-maker’s battery factory, though Tesla is expected to start breaking ground on two or three spots this summer.

If northern Nevada ultimately wins the factory, the region will need a crash course in “li-ions,” (pronounced “lie-ions”) as they are known. Reno already has some experts.

Before Tesla was a gleam in Reno’s eye, Denis Phares was planning to make lithium-ion batteries here.

Phares formed Dragonfly Energy in 2012 and was joined soon after by partners Justin Ferranto and Sean Nichols. He’s a former USC instructor and current executive MBA student at University of Nevada, Reno. The partners have picked up several business-competition wins and will head to the Cleantech Open finals in October.

Right now, Dragonfly, which pays some of the rent as a middleman for selling China-made batteries online, is aiming for big-money backers to fund research into making lithium-ion batteries faster, cheaper and easier — and here.

“It’s the highest energy and power density combined of any energy-storage medium,” Phares said. Li-ions are also safer and longer-lasting than conventional batteries. That’s why Tesla uses them and wants more.

Dragonfly’s west Reno lab is strewn with battery parts, tools and tables. They’re developing streamlined methods to build their own lithium-ion batteries in Nevada — not specifically to power electric cars, but for electric power grid applications and as replacement batteries for lead-acid models currently used elsewhere.

Dragonfly has a patent pending for their more efficient battery-making system.

“The goal is to bring manufacturing back home,” Phares said.

Making a li-ion battery is easy. Essentially, anode and cathode foil strips are coated with lithium salt mixed with carbon and packed into a case. A reaction takes place, causing an electron to travel between anode and cathode, and voila: You’ve got power.

But there are challenges.

For example, getting lithium. Most of the metal is now mined in China, South America and Australia, said Russ Fields, director of UNR’s Mackay School of Earth Sciences and Engineering.

It is mined underground, in open pits and from brines on salt flats, he said.

Potentially rich lithium sources have been identified in North America, though the only operating U.S. lithium mine is in Silver Peak, near Tonopah.

“It’s going to happen. The lithium is here,” Phares said. “We are not getting to it. But we will.”

Another challenge is the sheer number of battery cells needed for electric cars: 7,000 of the little blue tubes go into one Tesla Model S. That puts the “giga” in Tesla’s factory plans, which run to 10 million square feet.

Nearly all li-ion batteries, including those used in Tesla cars, are made in huge China plants. It’s too costly to produce them anywhere else.

“When you make things in high volume, you can get the cost down,” Phares said.

Far from being competition for Dragonfly’s efforts, a Tesla plant would draw even more energy-storage research and jobs to Northern Nevada, Phares said.

“There’s plenty of market out there,” he said.

His company is aiming for a different battery market: People replacing lead-acid batteries with li-ion models, and, eventually, producing viable energy-storage cells for the electric grid.

“Ultimately, if we’re going to get off of fossil fuels and start using intermittent sources like power and wind, there has to be an energy buffer that can power our houses when a cloud comes through or when the wind dies down,” Phares said. “There has to be a lot of energy storage to stabilize the grid for those intermittent resources.”

But if Elon Musk came calling on Phares and Dragonfly Energy?

“If he wanted to talk, we would talk.”

Tesla Motors my come to Reno, NV – The Car Company They’re Scared Of And Why + Is Apple Looking to Buy Tesla? The Inside Scoop + Apple is moving forward on the next phase of its data center project in Northern Nevada


ImageApple is moving forward on the next phase of its data center project in Northern Nevada with the planned addition of four more facilities at its Reno Technology Park complex. Washoe County records show that the Cupertino, Calif.-based company submitted permit applications this year for four new data cluster buildings. The facilities will be built within 25 feet of Apple’s current structures at the technology park and will total about 103,000 square feet combined, said Don Jeppson, Washoe County building official. …

Apple has provided the first look inside its data centers in a series of media interviews designed to promote its use of green energy, including a short …

Why Reno, Nevada (not Arizona) is likely to land Tesla’s $5B gigafactory



Senior Reporter-Phoenix Business Journal
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Northern Nevada is the front runner to landTesla Motors’ $5 billion electric battery factory, though the California automaker is still talking to Texas, Arizona and New Mexico officials about incentive packages for the 1,000-acre site selection.

Multiple business and political sources in the Phoenix area say the Reno area in northern Nevada is the odds-on favorite to land the Tesla plant, which would encompass as much as 10 million square feet and employ 6,500 workers. Those officials asked not to be identified.

One real estate executive said Tesla may already be talking to Nevada officials about permits, zoning and land-use aspects of the gigafactory. The executive — who also asked not to be identified — said that is not happening in the other Southwestern states in contention.

One possible Nevada location for Tesla is the 5,000-acre Reno-Stead Airport. The airport has 3,000 acres available for development, a rail spur option and sits 15 miles north of Reno. It is the site of a former U.S. Air Force base.

Tesla needs plenty of land and railroad access for the plant, which will be powered by an adjacent solar and renewable energy field.

The Reno area has the advantage of being on the railroad to Tesla’s Fremont, Calif. assembly plant, and it’s closer than other sites under consideration — including ones in the Phoenix and Tucson areas.

Tesla officials did not respond to requests for comment nor did Reno-area economic developers.

The site selection process comes as Arizona, Texas and other U.S. states consider whether to allow Tesla to sell their high-priced electric cars directly to consumers — not through dealerships. Car dealerships are battling Tesla at a number state capitals, including Phoenix.

Jimmy Hamilton, one of Tesla’s lobbyists at the Arizona Legislature, said lawmakers’ eyes are on finalizing the state budget right now and then perhaps there could be some movement on legislation, House Bill 2123, to allow Tesla sell directly to consumers in Arizona.

Hamilton said the sales rules are not part of Tesla’s site-selection decision where to land the plant.

“It’s sole and separate,” Hamilton said.

Bobbi Sparrow, president of the Arizona Automobile Dealers Association, is also waiting to see what the Legislature does with the Tesla bill after the budget is completed. Sparrow said sales rules have also been a backdrop in Texas, which is contending for the plant and is considering dealership changes. “They are definitely using it in other states,” said Sparrow.

When asked about Arizona’s odds of landing the Tesla plant, Sparrow said “zero.”

Greater Phoenix Economic Council spokeswoman Michelle Kauk declined comment on Tesla . Officials at the Arizona Commerce Authority did not respond to a request for comment.

The Arizona Legislature is considering some tax break bills this session that will help AppleInc.’s new manufacturing plant in Mesa. Those tax breaks for renewable energy used at manufacturing plants and equipment write-offs for companies already receiving a lower 5 percent property tax rate are geared toward Apple, but could also benefit Tesla. Apple also has a large data center in Reno.

While Nevada has a proximity advantage to Tesla’s Bay Area factory and could also offer tax breaks to Tesla, Texas and New Mexico could also offer big incentives to land the plant. Texas has used big incentives to grab automakers and technology companies.

Tesla’s search efforts in the Valley have focused on farther-out suburban locations — such as Buckeye and Pinal County — with plenty of land and direct access to the railroads. Local and regional economic developers also declined comment. Companies such as Tesla and Apple often require interested parties, business recruiters and elected officials to sign non-disclosure agreements not to talk about projects.

Jim Dinkle, executive director of Access Arizona, a Pinal County economic development group, also declined comment on Tesla landing in Casa Grande or Picacho Peak — both of which sit on a Union Pacific railroad line.

“No comment other than to say that Pinal County would welcome Tesla and that it makes sense they would want to be along the Union Pacific mainline to the Port of Long Beach, at the intersection of Interstates 8 and 10 and equidistant between Phoenix and Tucson,” Dinkle said.


Mike Sunnucks writes about politics, law, airlines, sports business and the economy.

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