Beyond the Numbers: Tesla's Q1 Tale of Economic Turbulence and Technological Promise

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla Q1 Numbers Under the Lights
Tesla Q1 Numbers Under the Lights

In case you missed it, Tesla’s first-quarter numbers came in, and they have Wall Street running for the hills, with critics cheering: “I told you so.”

The company reported its first quarterly drop in deliveries in nearly four years, a moment some have termed a stark deviation from its historical trajectory of relentless growth. However, it’s worth delving deeper to understand the factors at play.

Economic and Competitive Landscape

First and foremost, the broader economic landscape cannot be overlooked. With rising interest rates dampening consumer spending power, the cost of living soaring, and the global economy showing signs of strain, the automotive sector, especially the EV market, has not been immune to these headwinds. Therefore, Tesla's sales performance this quarter cannot be viewed in isolation but as part of a larger economic tableau that has also left its mark on other sectors. The company also expected this, which prepared investors for a difficult year during the last earnings call.

Moreover, the competitive landscape has been intensifying. BYD, Tesla's closest competitor and a powerhouse in its own right, briefly overtook Tesla in sales in the last quarter of 2023, only to experience its own significant sales drop of 43% in the first quarter of 2024. This parallel trajectory underscores a shared challenge: navigating a market that is becoming increasingly saturated, competitive, and sensitive to pricing dynamics.

Musk's Commentary

In the wake of Tesla's reported delivery numbers, Elon Musk took to his platform X, which he has 180 million followers, to address critics directly. Musk's response to investment analyst Ross Gerber's continued criticism, stating, "He’s such an idiot that he can’t even tell he’s an idiot," defending Tesla's position by highlighting BYD's significant sales drop and asserting, "This was a tough quarter for everyone."

Amidst this, Tesla's disproportionate share of media scrutiny makes these numbers seem even worse. For example, Reuters's story on BYD's 43% decline in deliveries was less than 400 words, while Tesla’s miss on deliveries was more than 800 words. The company's every move, statement, and quarterly performance is magnified, analyzed, and debated, creating a narrative battleground that extends far beyond the confines of financial spreadsheets, production lines, or even fair play.

Tesla’s Technological Innovations Extend Beyond the Car

Tesla's commitment to pushing the boundaries of technology remains unwavering, especially in the realm of Full Self-Driving (FSD) capabilities. The company's confidence in this revolutionary technology is apparent in a new offer of a complimentary one-month trial of its FSD software.

This bold move underscores Tesla's belief in the transformative potential of its autonomous driving technology and its readiness to showcase this innovation to a wider audience, inviting them to experience the future of driving firsthand.

Moreover, Musk's pinned post on X offers a visionary glimpse into Tesla's future, emphasizing the transformative potential of Tesla's Full Self-Driving technology.

Most people still have no idea how crushingly good Tesla FSD will get. It will be superhuman to such a degree that it will seem strange in the future that humans drove cars, even while exhausted and drunk!

The Future of Tesla and the EV Market

Tesla's strategic decisions, including price adjustments and the anticipation of a slower growth year, reflect a calculated approach to these challenges. The company's focus on ramping production for the updated Model 3 and navigating unforeseen disruptions, such as the Red Sea conflict and an arson attack at its Berlin factory, speaks to the operational hurdles it faces amid a complex global environment.

For Tesla and BYD, this period is a chapter in a longer saga of adaptation, resilience, and relentless pursuit of a future where electric vehicles are at the heart of global mobility. As the dust settles on this quarter's developments, the focus inevitably shifts to the strategies, innovations, and decisions that will define the next phase of growth for these electric vehicle titans.

420 Anyone? Tesla's New Release is the Most Powerful Model 3 Ever

By Kevin Armstrong
Courtesy of @BooDev/

The latest Tesla Model 3, the fastest yet, is poised to make a significant impact on Tesla's lineup. Speculation suggests the updated Performance Model 3, potentially named "Ludicrous," could be unveiled soon—possibly on April 20. This would, of course, be on 420, aligning with Elon Musk's fondness for the date, which falls 69 days before his birthday—nice.

Revamped Performance and Engineering

"Welcome to the Most Powerful Model 3 Ever," announces the Great Britain Model 3 configurator source code teaser, setting the stage for an electric sedan that surpasses its predecessors in every metric. The heart of the new Model 3 Performance lies in its all-new high-performance drive units, rumored to deliver a combined output of over 500 horsepower. This power upgrade is not just about higher numbers but also about how it translates to the asphalt.

Tesla has reengineered the vehicle with an all-new adaptive suspension system. This system, powered by bespoke in-house software, ensures enhanced body control, maintaining comfort without sacrificing performance. The result is a vehicle that can handle daily commuting as smoothly as it navigates tight corners on a race track.

Advanced Design and Aerodynamics

The Model 3 Performance features redesigned front and rear fascias and a rear diffuser that enhances visual appeal and improves high-speed stability. A carbon fiber spoiler adds to the aerodynamic efficiency while asserting the car’s sporty aesthetics.

One of the standout features of the new model is the Forged Performance wheels. These lightweight, staggered wheels are not just about style; they enhance the vehicle’s turn-in response, improve predictability, and increase traction out of corners, all while optimizing aerodynamics.

Where Comfort Meets Performance

Inside, the Tesla Model 3 Performance introduces a completely revamped interior. The all-new seat design includes enhanced side and cushion bolsters to hold occupants securely in place, which is crucial during high-speed maneuvers. Ventilation is built into the seats to keep the driver and passengers cool and comfortable, reflecting a thoughtful balance between performance and luxury. The cabin's aesthetic is elevated with lightweight carbon fiber décor and a refined weave pattern unique to the Model 3 Performance.

A significant highlight is the Track Mode V3, an innovative feature that allows drivers to tailor the handling balance, stability controls, and regenerative braking to their preferences. This mode integrates a performance-optimized powertrain with adaptive suspension controls, creating a driving experience that is not only responsive but also enjoyable.

The unveiling of the Model 3 Performance is imminent, as indicated by its addition to the configurator source code. There is speculation about a media embargo lifting on the 23rd, possibly coinciding with Tesla’s earnings day, which could provide further details or even see the official launch. My money is on 4/20, which will give a weekend for all influencers who got an early look to ramp up the views and bring that stock (down 40% year to date) some time to rebound before the earnings call.

First Look at Tesla's V12 User Interface, Full Screen Visualizations and New Media Player [Updated: Photos and Video]

By Not a Tesla App Staff

Tesla's latest V12 user interface will change the look and feel of some of the vehicle’s operations. This new interface, announced on X, is already partially available on the Cybertruck but will now be rolled out to the Model 3 and Model Y, equipped with AMD Ryzen processors according to Tesla. However, the new Model S and Model X will likely receive it as well, although possibly not at the same time. It integrates several new features and aesthetics that set new standards in vehicle interface design.

The new interface will become available in Tesla update 2024.14, which started rolling out to employees yesterday.

New Parked Vehicle Visualization

A standout feature of the v12 UI update, not to be confused with FSD v12, is the centralized vehicle visualization, which dominates the display while parked (video below). This design choice enhances visual appeal and improves functionality by placing critical vehicle performance metrics, and status updates front and center. Similar to the layout in the Cybertruck, this feature provides drivers with a clear and immediate view of their vehicle's status and shows off the gorgeous 3D model.

New Media Player

There’s a new media player that’s larger and easier to use. By increasing the size of the media player, Tesla is now able to fit additional options that were hidden before, such as EQ and audio settings, the search icon and shuffle and repeat options.

The new media player appears while the vehicle is parked, driving or while the visualizations are in full-screen mode.

The media player is available on the Model 3 and Model Y and according to Tesla it’ll be limited to vehicles with the Ryzen-based infotainment center.

Tesla adds a new media player in update 2024.14
Tesla adds a new media player in update 2024.14

Improved Navigation

The navigation system will see several improvements. You’ll now see a little trip progress bar that lets you visually see how far along you are on your route.

If your vehicle has a rear screen, as in the new Model 3, the redesigned Model S or Model X, then trip information such as ETA will also be displayed on the rear screen.

Tesla already has the ability to update your route if a faster route becomes available. You can change some of these settings under Controls > Navigate. However, now the vehicle will show you if a faster route becomes available and gives you a chance to cancel the updated route if needed.

Expanded Autopilot Visualizations

Tesla is now bringing its full-screen visualizations outside of North America. However, there will be some improvements as well. In addition to being able to have the visualizations go full screen, there will now be a small map displayed in the corner as well.

That’s one of the issues with the full-screen FSD visualizations right now. If you make them full-screen, you lose your navigation map completely and only have the next turn available.

This will be the first time full-screen visualizations are available outside North America. It’s not clear whether all the FSD visualizations will be available such as traffic lights, curbs and more will be displayed, but Tesla has slowly been adding additional visualizations for non-FSD users, so there’s a chance that this feature will finally display all FSD visualizations to users outside of North America.

It’s not immediately clear whether this feature will require Enhanced Autopilot (EAP) or FSD.

Update: The full-screen visualizations do not require FSD or EAP, but unfortunately the visualizations displayed are still the same ones as in previous updates, so it won’t display the surrounding environment and curbs.

Full-Screen Browser Support

With this update, Tesla will finally let you manually make the browser full-screen. While this will make Tesla’s Theater apps a little redundant since they just loaded the website of the selected streaming service, you’ll now be able to stream any video service full screen, as long as the service supports Tesla’s browser.

As expected, the full-screen button will only be available while the vehicle is parked.

Checking Compatibility

Owners can verify their vehicle’s compatibility with the new full-screen visualizations while parked and driving by navigating to Controls > Software > Additional Vehicle Info on their Tesla’s touchscreen. This update is tailored for Tesla vehicles equipped with the AMD Ryzen processor.

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