Rocket-Powered Tesla Roadster Delayed For Bulletproof Cybertruck

Illustration for article titled Rocket-Powered Tesla Roadster Delayed For Bulletproof Cybertruck
Screenshot: Tesla

Tesla delays its sports car for the Cybertruck, everybody is back in business in Michigan May 18, Uber is hitting some negative firsts, and more in The Morning Shift for Friday, May 8, 2020.


1st Gear: No Rocket-Boosted Coupes Yet

Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the electric automaker has delayed the upcoming second-generation Tesla Roadster—set to potentially come with Musk-promised rocket boosters on some trims. It’s because he’d rather rush his Cybertruck out the door.

From Reuters:

“Roadster is kind of like dessert,” Musk said. “We gotta get the meat and potatoes and greens and stuff.”

Musk also said Tesla should produce the Cybertruck, a futuristic-looking medium classification truck, before working on the Roadster.

Tesla announced the Roadster, a battery-powered four-seater, at the end of 2017 and at the time said the car would be faster than any street-legal production car. Musk in the past has said Roadster sales would begin after a revised version of its Model S sedan is released, which was widely expected to be at the end of 2020.

On the podcast, Musk also claimed the current lockdown mandates over COVID-19 in the U.S. are unconstitutional and wouldn’t hold up in court—says the billionaire with a factory to reopen. Moving on.

This doesn’t make complete sense as the Cybertruck is far from a traditional “meat and potatoes” model, but it would likely sell better than a Roadster. As usual, I’m suspicious because Tesla has a knack for rarely accomplishing its plans as planned, whether it’s producing the Model Y half a year early, or the perpetual delays of the Model X.


2nd Gear: Michigan’s May 18

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has officially lifted working restrictions in the state for May 18, clearing a path for the big three American automakers to resume key production.


From Auto News:

UAW President Rory Gamble - echoing a statement issued when General Motors and Fiat Chrysler announced restart plans — noted the union will continue to focus on “health and safety protocols in which we have the contractual right to protect our members.”

Ford executives last week said they believe they cleared another benchmark cited by Gamble: whether executives would be comfortable sending their own families inside the plants.

“Absolutely, I would feel comfortable my family coming back to work at a Ford facility,” Farley said. “I completely trust the process we’ve come up with.”


Some factories will first open this upcoming Monday, May 11, to allow the flow of materials and supplies to begin, so the lines are prepped for production the following week. It seems we’re inching back toward something recognizable as normal!

3rd Gear: Uber’s First Booking Decline Ever

In rather large and surprising things I’ve never really thought about before, Uber has apparently never had a quarter-to-quarter drop in people booking rides through its app—until now.


From Auto News:

Uber Technologies Inc. said quarterly bookings from ride-hailing customers declined for the first time ever, a sign that the coronavirus is arresting growth of businesses that have only gone in one direction.

The San Francisco-based company has never turned a quarterly profit, but it inched closer to that goal in the quarter. Uber’s first-quarter loss excluding taxes, interest and other expenses declined 30 percent from a year ago to $612 million. That was better than an average of analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

However, its net loss in the quarter was $2.9 billion, which included a $2.1 billion pretax writedown of the value of some of Uber’s minority investments.


It’s not all bad for Uber, though, since they weren’t making money to begin with. The surge in food delivery using Uber Eats has also helped keep business going, with “a 52 percent increase in food delivery gross bookings to $4.68 billion in the first quarter.” That’s a lot of McDonalds shuffling around.

4th Gear: The Great Derigging

Another first—the number of gas and oil rigs currently in operation in the U.S. is about to reach its lowest figures in 80 years, as the market is flooded with cheap oil with global demand at a standstill.


From Reuters:

“The great coronavirus derigging kicked off mid to late in the first quarter, impacting well starts across the major U.S. oil shale plays,” analysts at Enverus Rig Analytics said, noting the rig count was down 38% in April and 62% over the last year.

Analysts expect companies will keep pulling rigs for the rest of the year and will be hesitant to activate many new units in 2021 and 2022.

Raymond James projected the oil and gas rig count would collapse from around 800 at the end of 2019 to about 400 by the middle of the year and 200 at the end of 2020. The investment bank expects an average of just 225 operating rigs in 2021.

The count in Canada already fell to a record low of just 26 rigs two weeks ago, according to Baker Hughes.


We simply do not need the oil right now!

5th Gear: The Ghosn Conspiracy

A bunch of people just got in big trouble for helping former Renault-Nissan Alliance Chairman Carlos Ghosn flee custody in Japan for his escape to Lebanon, because they made a very illegal pitstop in Turkey.


From Auto News:

Turkish prosecutors have prepared an indictment charging seven people, including four pilots, over former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn’s escape via Istanbul to Lebanon after fleeing Japan, a lawyer for one of the suspects said on Friday.

The lawyer said the indictment, accepted by an Istanbul court late on Thursday, formally charged the four pilots and a company executive with “migrant smuggling”, a crime carrying a maximum sentence of eight years in jail.

Two flight attendants were charged with failing to report a crime, which can carry a jail sentence of up to one year, lawyer Mehmet Fatih Danaci told Reuters.


Look, I want to give the flight crew at least the benefit of the doubt. Just because they may or may not have seen a man crawl out of musical case being carried by a paramilitary force, who then likely asked for champagne, doesn’t mean they know to say something. It’s an easy thing to overlook.

Reverse: Victory In Europe

Neutral: What Have You Been Uber Eating?

I feel like most of you likely don’t get food delivery very often, but if you’ve been racking up those food delivery charges, what’s on the menu? I’ve been quarantining with a lot of chicken nacho plates.

Reviews Editor, Jalopnik


tina belcher, burner id lost to history

Neutral: What Have You Been Uber Eating?

We haven’t.

Uber, Grubhub, et al take a massive cut of restaurant money and that’s the last thing they need right now. We’re getting our own takeout via curbside pickup or the restaurant’s own delivery drivers. (and tipping generously, OK, Salty?)