As skepticism about Tesla's sedan project builds, new Tesla top dog Elon Musk has resorted to playing defense with crotchety idioms. According to the Jan/Feb issue of the Stanford alumni magazine:
[Tesla's] brash ambitions make some industry observers scoff. "I wouldn't call it Tesla Motors yet. I would call it the Tesla prototype company," says James Hall, vice president of industry consulting firm AutoPacific, in Southfield, Mich. "My concern is that there are people in charge who don't have a realistic view of the car industry."Setting aside our skepticism of automotive punditry coming three months prior to a magazine's publish date (Hall left AutoPacific back in November) — while reading this, we were immediately reminded of Les Blank's famous 1980 documentary "Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe," in which on a dare madman German film director was compelled to... well, cook and eat his shoe. We're gonna keep close tabs on the WhiteStar
Hall estimates Tesla will need 30 to 40 years to turn a profit and $700 million immediately to successfully develop and mass produce a lower-priced model. Traditional automakers typically spend between $500 million and $1 billion to put out a new car—and that's without building a company from scratch first.
Musk calls Hall's thinking generic and conventional. "I will eat my hat if we spend anything close to $700 million on our model-2 car," he says.