Leaked Letter Shows Tesla Is Facing Pressure From Group of Investors

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla is facing pressure from a group of investors
Tesla is facing pressure from a group of investors
TED

Tesla is under pressure from a group of long-term investors holding over $1.5 billion in shares. These investors have voiced concerns over the company's governance and leadership and human rights issues within its operations and supply chain. They have called for changes in the composition of the Board of Directors, greater focus from CEO Elon Musk, and increased transparency in the company's practices.

Long-term Investors Voice Concerns

In a letter obtained by Teslarati and addressed to Tesla's Board of Directors, the investors expressed their worries about the Board's meager oversight of CEO Elon Musk and other critical aspects of corporate strategy. They believe this lack of oversight exposes the company to substantial legal, operational, and reputational risks, jeopardizing its long-term value. The investors are particularly concerned that Musk's multiple outside commitments, including his roles in SpaceX, The Boring Company, Neuralink, and as owner and CEO of Twitter, Inc., may distract him from addressing the strategic and competitive challenges facing Tesla.

Moreover, investors have pointed out that Tesla's stock has suffered since Musk's involvement in Twitter, with the company losing $582.4 billion in market capitalization within a year. As competition in the EV market intensifies with legacy automakers launching comparable models, they argue that Tesla's shareholders need their CEO to be exclusively focused on resolving the company's issues.

Calls for Changes in Board Composition, CEO Focus, and Increased Transparency

The long-term investors have urged Tesla's Board to announce a plan to ensure that the company has a CEO who dedicates enough time and attention to the company. They propose limiting the CEO's outside commitments or implementing a succession plan. Furthermore, they request an overhaul of the Board's composition, including removing directors with close ties to Musk. The investors believe that the current governance structure, board composition, and director compensation practices contribute to poor oversight and prioritize personal relationships over the needs of Tesla and its shareholders.

Workplace Issues and Human Rights Risks Draw Attention

The investors also highlighted a series of lawsuits, complaints, and allegations involving workplace equity, safety, and human rights violations within Tesla and its supply chain. These issues include racial discrimination, sexual harassment, unsafe working conditions, wage theft, and retaliatory termination. They noted that Tesla workers are bound by mandatory arbitration and non-disclosure agreements, which could potentially obscure the full scope of harassment and discrimination claims raised by employees.

Additionally, the letter pointed out Tesla's sourcing practices that expose the company to significant human rights risks, such as using cobalt from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where child labor is pervasive, and potential connections to forced labor in China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region (XUAR). The investors emphasized the growing momentum in the US to enforce import bans on goods produced with forced labor and the increasing public attention on child labor and forced labor in supply chains.

Lastly, the investors call for increased transparency in the company's human capital management practices, workplace conditions, and human rights policies better to assess the company's risks and overall performance.

In light of these concerns, the investors have requested a meeting with the Board by May 25, 2023, to discuss their concerns and proposed remedies. As Tesla faces increased competition and scrutiny, addressing these issues will be crucial to maintaining its position as a leader in the EV market and ensuring the company's long-term success. The outcome of this meeting, and the letter itself, and the Board's response to the investors' demands may significantly impact Tesla's future and its relationship with shareholders.

Tesla Targets Sentry Mode Vampire Drain: Upcoming Update to Slash Power Use by 40%

By Kevin Armstrong
Sentry Mode Update is Coming
Sentry Mode Update is Coming

In an exchange on X, Drew Baglino, Tesla’s Senior Vice President of Powertrain and Energy Engineering, addressed the concerns regarding the power consumption of Tesla’s Sentry Mode. Responding to a user inquiry, Baglino confirmed the company’s commitment to reducing the feature's energy use by approximately 40% through a software update expected in Q2, which begins on April 1.

This announcement follows feedback from Tesla owners regarding the 'vampire drain' experienced when using Sentry Mode, highlighting Tesla's responsive approach to customer feedback and its dedication to continuous improvement. Another X user stated that there should be a breakdown or battery usage. This information already exists, but Baglino politely responded: The energy app provides a wealth of information about where your energy goes. He also linked to our Not a Tesla App article explaining that system.

Understanding the Drain of Sentry Mode

Sentry Mode is an advanced security feature for Tesla vehicles, leveraging the car’s cameras and sensors to monitor and record surroundings for potential threats when parked. Sentry Mode has proven invaluable for vehicle security by activating various deterrents, including pulsing headlights and alarm sounds.

Despite its benefits, the feature’s energy consumption, referred to as “vampire drain,” has been a concern, with estimates suggesting a small yet consistent drain on the vehicle's battery life. By optimizing Sentry Mode's power usage, Tesla enhances the feature's efficiency and extends the usability for owners, particularly when parking for extended periods without access to charging facilities.

Battery Management: Recognizing the importance of battery preservation, Sentry Mode automatically deactivates when the battery level falls to 20%, ensuring that the vehicle remains operational for essential travel.

Activation and Customization: Owners can activate Sentry Mode via the vehicle's touchscreen or mobile app, with options to customize settings, such as disabling sounds or excluding specific locations, tailoring the security feature to individual preferences and requirements.

Tesla's forthcoming software update aims to significantly reduce Sentry Mode's power usage, making it more adaptable for various situations without impacting the car's range or battery longevity. This enhancement aligns with Tesla's commitment to continuous improvement via over-the-air updates, directly responding to customer feedback with practical solutions. Owners looking forward to this change appreciate the balance between maintaining Sentry Mode's security benefits and preserving battery life for everyday needs.

Tesla Adds 'Rose Gold' Cybertruck Wrap and Two Other New Colors

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla now offers Cybertruck wraps in five colors
Tesla now offers Cybertruck wraps in five colors

Remember when there was concern that the appeal of a Cybertruck would die down because there would be too many stainless steel beasts on the road? True story. If there was a concern, it appears to have been handled with wraps; not only Tesla’s wraps but more customized wraps are showing up on social media daily.

More Tesla Wraps

Firstly, Tesla has expanded its palette of Cybertruck wrap options, introducing three vibrant new colors. The chic Satin Rose Gold, the deep Satin Abyss Blue, and the sleek Slip Grey are joined in the lineup alongside the classic Satin Stealth Black and Satin Ceramic White. However, several Cybertruck owners are not waiting for Tesla wraps as more unique Cybertruck wraps are showing up on social media.

Priced at $6,000, while the newly introduced Satin Rose Gold and Satin Abyss Blue wraps are slightly pricier at $6,500. This differentiation in pricing reflects the unique appeal and quality of the new wrap colors.

Tesla outlines several key features and advantages of their Cybertruck color paint film, including:

  • A self-healing, urethane-based film that is significantly more durable and twice as thick as the average vinyl wrap, ensuring superior protection against scratches.

  • An environmentally friendly alternative to traditional vinyl wraps, covering all exterior stainless-steel surfaces of the Cybertruck, enhancing its aesthetic appeal and resilience.

Customized Wraps are Taking Off

Since Tesla wraps were introduced, the company has been criticized for the price point being far too high, while consumers can go to other wrap companies and get their own customized look. Even the unique wraps spotted on the Cybertruck before the delivery event are unavailable. But that is not stopping consumers.

It was after Investor Day in 2023 that Morgan Stanley's managing director, Adam Jonas, a well-known figure within the investment community and someone who has been dubbed a Tesla Bull. Jonas outlined several reasons why he believed the Cybertruck might not fulfill the grand visions held by Elon Musk and the Tesla team, describing it as potentially becoming a "financial side-show," a marker of cultural zeitgeist, and a niche product for enthusiasts.

Jonas argued that the Cybertruck, with its avant-garde design, might not align with this broader affordability mission. He believed that the unique aspects of Cybertruck would be lost and that "indescribable something," when several were on the street,

Yet, the landscape around the Cybertruck and Tesla's position within it has continued to evolve. Contrary to concerns, the burgeoning market for custom and aftermarket wraps for the Cybertruck tells a different story. This vibrant ecosystem of personalization options highlights the vehicle's position as a mode of transportation and a canvas for individual expression.

The concern that the uniqueness of the Cybertruck could diminish with its popularity overlooks the creative solutions that owners and enthusiasts have embraced. From bespoke wraps that offer myriad designs outside of Tesla's offerings to the DIY spirit that has taken hold among the Cybertruck community, it's clear that individuality remains a cornerstone of the Cybertruck experience.

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