Miscalculations and high Costs can Company to the brink of bankruptcy. How to deal with crises Courage and skill overcomes, Tesla has shown.

tesla elon-musk-bankrupt

Saving and spending money

Tesla has had personnel costs since its Foundation quite cleverly saved - but not so with Technology and material. That soon paid off. Instead of hiring experienced engineers who probably wouldn't have worked really hard even for $120.000 a year, the company hired fresh Stanford graduates for $45.000.

When it comes to technology and materials, however, Tesla was frighteningly willing to spend. Nobody liked the in-house software that was supposed to be used to capture materials invoices, so some people used it and some didn't - and those who did often made serious mistakes.

Costs poorly calibrated

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So sometimes they just took the cost of parts for the prototypes and estimated how much cheaper they would be if you bought them in bulk instead of getting specific offers for them.

The software once stated that each Roadster would cost $68.000, which would have meant a profit for Tesla of around $30.000 apiece. Everyone knew that number was wrong, but it was passed to the board anyway. Around mid-2007, Watkins turned his observations to Musk.

When the numbers ruin relationships

He was prepared for poor numbers, but confident that costs would rise over time through production process tweaks and increased sales clear would sink. "But then Tim had some seriously bad news for me," he says. It looked like each Roadster would cost up to $200.000 to produce - and Tesla only wanted it for around $85.000 sell. "Even at full production volume, it would have been about $ 170.000 or something insane," says Musk. "Of course it wasn't that important because every third car just fucking didn't work anyway."

Eberhard and Musk had argued over some design issues for the car for years, but overall they got along well. Neither of them could be stupid People endured and certainly they also shared many visions for battery technology and its Significance for the World. However, the costs determined by Watkins for the roadster were too much for their relationship.

The deposition of the CEO

It looked to Musk like Eberhard had made serious management mistakes by letting the cost of the parts soar. Then he had in Musks Eyes tried to hide the difficult situation from the board, which was essentially fraud against the company. On the way to one Rede Outside the Motor Press Guild in Los Angeles, Eberhard received a call from Musk. In a short, ugly Conversation he learned that he would be replaced as CEO.

In August 2007, the Tesla board removed Eberhard as CEO and made him President of Technologywhat the Problems however only aggravated. "Martin was so bitter and disruptive," says Straubel. "I still remember him going through that Office ran and spread dissatisfaction while we tried to finish the car that Money was running out and everything was on the brink." In Eberhard's eyes, other people at Tesla had foisted on him weak financial software that made it difficult to track costs accurately.

The problems are increasing

He also believed that Watkins made the situation worse than it actually was. Startups in Silicon Valley see chaos as a normal mode of operation. “Valor was more used to older companies,” says Eberhard. “They found a mess and couldn't do anything with it. But it was just typical startup chaos. " Apart from that, Eberhard had already asked the board to replace him as CEO and to find someone with more production experience.

As 2007 wore on, Tesla's problems mounted. The carbon fiber body, the so nice to see proved to be immensely difficult to paint.

A complete restart

And Tesla had to try several companies to find one that did the job well. Sometimes there were faults in the battery packs and occasionally short circuits occurred in the motor.

There were visible gaps between the body panels. The company also had to face the reality that there would be no two-speed gearbox. About the Roadster anyway fast enough to accelerate from 0 to 100, the engineers had to redesign the motor and inverter and save some weight. "We basically had to do a complete reboot," says Musk, "it was awful."

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