Tesla's New Enthusiasm Problem: There's Too Much Of It

This is The Morning Shift, our one-stop daily roundup of all the auto news that's actually important — all in one place at 9:30 AM. Or, you could spend all day waiting for other sites to parse it out to you one story at a time. Isn't your time more important?

1st Gear: Tesla's Enthusiasm Problem

Tesla's New Enthusiasm Problem: There's Too Much Of It

Tesla is a company that has yet to find equilibrium. At first, the market and the media and just about everyone who wasn't a TTB (Tesla True Believer) was bearish on the company. They exceeded those lower expectations by designing a great car and ramping up production.

The market then seems to have overcorrected in the other direction as TTBs and others drove the price way into the stratosphere, leaving Tesla with a market cap somewhat equivalent to if Jesus and Steve Jobs came back to earth and opened up a chain of fried chicken restaurants.

You could hear Elon Musk, usually the biggest TTB there is, start to push back against this in the last few weeks as he had to deal with people whispering that they'd build 7,000 cars in the third quarter, pushing earnings past the expected $0.11ish-per-share. He admitted the stock was overvalued for where they are at the moment.

Alas, the company only delivered 5,500 of Model S electric cars, which is still a great number. They also complained of entirely reasonable production constraints that had to do with battery supplies (which they're working to resolve).

It's honestly not a bad quarter for Tesla, they hit $0.12 per share and are continuing to grow. Yes, the stock was down in after-hours trading, but the stock went up before the post-close announcement so it's only reasonable to expect it to rationalize a bit.

Unfortunately, at least as indicated by a few people freaking out on the Tesla Motors Club forum, some of the same TTBs who helped drive the price way up (and benefitted) may have tried to take advantage of a post-earnings bonanza and made a few short-term plays while the price was quite high.

It's an inverse of the same thinking that sent nonbelievers running to cover their shorts before they lost their shirts. Since going back to that thread and checking out the response, it seems many of the calmer investors there see this as another opportunity to pick up shares when if it drops a bit today.

2nd Gear: Is Tesla Going To Build A Giga-Factory For Batteries?

Tesla's New Enthusiasm Problem: There's Too Much Of It

Tesla thinks they could build more vehicles if the had more batteries, mentioning in yesterday's earnings call that they could maybe build a giga factory, reports Mark Rechtin, to meet the long-term goal of building 500,000 EVs a year.

That would leave him cornering the world's market on lithium ion batteries, which we still use in other things.

"If we were to produce 500,000 [cars], we need cell capacity commensurate with that. That might be more, or at least on par with, all lithium ion production in the world today. We're in the process of figuring that out. There might need to be some giga-factory built," Musk said in a conference call with analysts.

"Raw materials are not an issue. I would not worry about lithium supply. The main constituents, by weight, are nickel, cobalt, aluminum, then lithium," Musk said, adding that the plant would be, "a green factory, a lot of solar power. No toxic elements are going to come out of this plant."

Even when he's talking about activities he believes are good for the earth, it still sounds like he's Hank Scorpio.

3rd Gear: Toyota's Rich, Bitch

Tesla's New Enthusiasm Problem: There's Too Much Of It

Cool guy Akio Toyoda has a lot to celebrate this week, with Toyota announcing a quarterly profit jump of 70% to $4.4 billion from a year earlier.

Per the AP:

Profits at Japanese automakers have surged in yen terms as the Japanese currency weakened against the U.S. dollar over the past year, helped by a mammoth Bank of Japan effort to expand the money supply and ignite inflation to end years of economic stagnation.

It's not all great news as global sales slipped ever so slightly, but when you're making more money on each car you sell abroad you probably learn to live with the disappointment.

4th Gear: And Now The New Stupidest Recall

Tesla's New Enthusiasm Problem: There's Too Much Of It

Chevy may have to recall some 2013 and 2014 Camaros because the small sticker on the visor that warns folks the airbag could be dangerous is slightly peeling off.

I share Chris Woodyard's bemusement at this news, especially since no one ever reads that warning anyways.

Chevy says in its letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that it may replace the label if its peeling. Or in some case, it may replace the whole visor.

If, for some reason, you've damaged your visor on your 2013 Camaro I recommend pulling the sticker off slightly so you can get a new one.

5th Gear: Cadillac's New Head Of Marketing Comes From BMW

Tesla's New Enthusiasm Problem: There's Too Much Of It

Cadillac has made it clear they're not targeting Lincoln or Lexus. They're targeting BMW. They proudly proclaimed the ATS was benchmarked to the BMW 3-Series. Now, they've poached a former BMW marketing guy Uwe Ellinghaus to lead Caddy's marketing arm after Don Butler left for mysterious personal reasons.

What's he going to do? Automotive News reports that the idea is to help move people's perception of a Cadillac as something you get for free with a Cialis prescription closer to reality.

In Cadillac's case, the reality is that they build fucking great cars.

Reverse: A Lot Of Good That Did

On November 6, 1998, President Bill Clinton declares that part of Detroit will become an "Automobile National Heritage Area." The designation restricted land use and drew attention to what Michigan Congressman John Dingell called "the automobile's contribution to our history and economic strength and the role of organized labor in that history."

[HISTORY]

Neutral: How Much Is Tesla Really Worth? Do you think the company is overvalued, undervalued, or juuuuuuust right?

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