Bob Lutz Paints A More Positive Picture Of Tesla: Video14
Former General Motors vice chairman, Bob Lutz, is often Tesla’s biggest critic. But, in a new interview with CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street,” he had more positives to say about the electric-car maker.
Bob Lutz most recently said Tesla was headed for the graveyard after the SEC sued CEO Elon Musk over his debacle with taking the company private at $420 per share. However, Musk and the SEC have since settled the lawsuit. Musk and the company will pay a fine and the CEO will remove himself from the chairman role. Lutz called it a “slap on the wrist” and said the CEO position is much more important than the chairman role.
While he said Tesla can’t keep running itself on “Hail Mary” type of plays, like surges of production at the end of the month, he said the electric-car maker’s third quarter may be positive.
“Things are looking a lot better. [Musk] may not lose as much cash in the third quarter, and he may even achieve a modicum of profitability,” Lutz said.
The interview wasn’t without his typical pitch about Tesla, though. As always, Lutz said he tries to tell the public that Tesla doesn’t possess any special sauce, so to speak. The batteries Tesla uses are lithium-ion units like any other automaker and Lutz remains skeptical as more automakers begin to roll out their own electric cars. He talked specifically of German premium brands such as Audi and Mercedes-Benz. Both companies have electric crossover SUVs coming in the next two years in the e-tron and EQC.
Tesla delivered 55,840 Model 3 electric cars in the third quarter, which pushed the nameplate to the fifth best-selling car in the United States. However, the deliveries still fall short of the company’s goal to build 5,000 cars per week.
Have a look at the full interview below.
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I never understood why Bob Lutz has always been so negative towards Tesla. I mean the new Mercedes and Audi electric CUV’s couldn’t even provide the technology that a three year old Model X already has and both of those vehicles are about a year away from going on sale. As an American I would love nothing more than for Tesla and every other American company to succeed. Tesla utilizes Space Grade electric boards while other Auto makers are still using car spec ones priced to a certain price.
Tesla is the most all American vehicle company in existence. Virtually every part of a Tesla is made at the Factory in California, from the sheet metal stampings down to the electric motors and display screens. The batteries are made in Nevada. This is more American than a Bolt which has the drive train imported from South Korea. These cars are more American made than any Impala. GM is good at manufacturing mediocre vehicles, Tesla is good at designing and engineering excellent vehicles. It seems that a combination of Manufacturing skill (GM) and Design/Engineering skill (Tesla) would make a great company.
And yet people on this blog love to hate against them. They always say buy American, and diss foreign auto brands. Yet, they don’t even attempt to look Tesla straight in the eye.
Tesla is almost 10 years advanced in technology than the rest of the industry.
Tesla could definitely use better manufacturing advice though or just another factory to be honest.
would you care to elaborate what tech tesla has that will take the rest of the industry 10 years to develop?
Without even thinking. It’s autopilot. Tesla has more sensors in their vehicles out of the factory than any other automaker, and Autopilot is equipped with every vehicle, and it’s activation is dependent on purchase of the feature. EVERY vehicle. It’s not dependent on Trim Level.
GM, Honda, Toyota, BMW, VW can’t touch autopilot.
is this the same autopilot that has been steering drivers into fire trucks?
and you think that it will 10 years for everyone else to catch up to this level of “performance”?
To sort of quote Bob Seger
“10 years now we’re they go, 10 years now I don’t know. But I sit and wonder some times were they’ve gone”.
According to Engadget
“Cadillac outranks Tesla in Consumer Reports semi-autonomous tests
Super Cruise had the edge over Autopilot in safety features.”
Just wait till they add the LIDAR ETC.
Sure. Look up the report from Munro & Associates. They did a complete tear down of the car. It’s not even a competition.
Also, Audi and Mercedes still do not have a battery pack that gets the same overall miles or anywhere near the Speed the Tesla offers and their cars are how many years old already?
The Audi/Mercedes/Jaguar aren’t even on sale yet and are already subpar.
I honestly do not understand the hate for an all American Company like Tesla. They single handedly forced the Auto Manufacturers to do a seismic shift. I love my V8’s as anyone here but our everyday cars could and probably should be battery powered.
anywhere in that report did it say that it will take 10 years for competitors to “catch up”?
i’m sure tesla did some neat things with how they engineered their electronics but to suggest that they did something that will require 10 years of R&D to emulate is ludicrous.
also, didn’t the guy who had a major part in that effort leave the company for apple?
Actually yes it did.
The honesty is lacking on both ends of this argument.
While some appear to think Tesla will cure cancer the other end think it caused it. The truth lies in the middle.
Tesla took the chance to developer high priced electric cars when most never thought it was possible. It worked and these models are profitable in an empty segment.
So kudos to Tesla for showing there was a high end market. Small but slowly growing.
What Tesla has struggles with is the X was way more complicated than needed. It has hurt their growth as it never provided the seed money for the 3. This lead to the late sale of the 3 to fund its production. Next the problems have been mfg and quality. This is on a car that will not supply the very generous profits of the S.
Then Elon melts down by doing drugs in public and tweeting things that could land him in prison.
The fact is in a segment of one the odds are in your favor when you make mistakes. But multiplies to the 7th power when others get geared up.
The others could have rushed out their cars but cost are high and the segment is small as are the lack of profits.
The larger companies are working a game of development and cost reductions over time. They can do that as they have the luxury of many other profitable products to support this.
Tesla has gotten away with no dividends for much longer than anyone else too. That helps them since they can not pay.
Tesla may make it but the Hill gets steeper and the path more narrow.
Some like to claim black magic there but their technology is no more advanced than what anyone else has. GM’s autonomy is on the next level but not yet cost effective. As we have seen Honda is with them as others that may share the cost to make it affordable to us.
Right now the S is going to need to be updated. Styling while nice is getting old. The X needs replaced with a more simple version. The 3 needs just to be built to expected numbers not jus rushed monthly goals.
I hope with some oversight that some of these issues will be addressed. This is why I think Lutz May have changed his opinion.
Many of the other MFGs are working much more advanced systems so they have no interest in reverse engineering Tesla as in this segment changes will come and come fast.
Many of the new products will be the Samsung or IPhone compared to Tesla’s Blackberry.
So I would not write off Tesla but they may have a much more difficult time moving forward.
They really need the 3 capital like 3 years ago and they really need to get mfg figured out. All future products will not get an easy free open segment as the present cars have had.
I also want to note I have been in a 3, S and X model all in the last two weeks.
Nice cars but the 3 while nice materials it has little style. Kind of like the nose.
The X was a little warm on a sunny day. I asked the owner if in the summer it got a little warm. He was honest and said yes. He did with he had more in the way to cover it on a very hot day. He also said the rear doors are cool but said he often wished they were conventional.
It was nice to meet some Tesla owners that were honest with the good and bad. Yes the gave both sides.
There are plenty bad with Tesla. Elon should hire Bob Lutz as a mentor