Tesla's Model Y is on track to be the best-selling passenger vehicle in the world, but it can't come soon enough for the company's Chief Designer Franz von Holzhausen. The 54-year-old father of two wouldn't put his family in anything other than a Tesla for several reasons, but one stands higher than the rest — safety.
Tesla has a lot of selling points, zero emissions, cutting-edge technology, incredible performance, and fantastic style, but von Holzhausen thinks its most significant selling point should be safety. "(Teslas are) far safer than any other car out on the road. I have a family with kids, and I shudder to think of putting my kids in any other car because it's less safe."
The designer of the Model Y, as well as the Model S, X and 3, said on theRide the Lightning podcast, "if you want to do the right thing for your family and have the lowest probability of injury, then you have to put them in a Tesla."
Like many of us, von Holzhausen saw the astonishing images of the horrific crash in northern California over the holidays. A Model Y plunged 250 feet off a cliff, rolling to a rocky beach. Fire responders called it a miracle when all four occupants survived. In fact, the children were unharmed, and two adults were treated for minor injuries. It was later determined the driver intended to crash the vehicle and was charged with attempted murder. "Even when somebody wasn't looking out for their family, Tesla was," said von Holzhausen.
Examples of Tesla's Safety
Rhys Samson shared his story on Twitter of his family walking away from this crash
That crash got a lot of coverage, but it caused many Tesla owners to share grim pictures of crashed Teslas, but the occupants survived. Twitter user, @cybrtrkguy posted several crash images, @TeslaShawn responded with a picture of his mangled Model X and posted: I survived head on drunk driver. While @samsonusmc shared a picture of a Model 3 that was t-boned, he posted: This is why I own @Tesla. My family walked away with just scratches from this.
Elon Musk has repeatedly stated that he believes full self-driving, autonomous vehicles will save countless people from injury and death on our roadways. He's right, but Tesla is already saving lives, and the company is still improving and producing better and safer vehicles.
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Tesla's fourth quarter and 2022 earnings call with investors was mostly good news unless you were planning to drive a Cybertruck soon. While company executives eagerly jumped on every question asked by investors, there was a noticeable pause when a point-blank question was asked about Cybertruck's mid-year production date.
Elon Musk responded "um, we do expect production to start, I don't know, maybe sometime this summer. But I always like to try to downplay the start of production because the start of production is always very slow. It increases exponentially, but it's always very slow at first. So I wouldn't put too much thought in start of production."
Volume Production Next Year
If the millions of people with Cybertruck reservations were in attendance, you might have felt the air leave the room. The previous belief was mass production would start by the end of 2023. There may be some stainless-steel beauties on the road by then, but only a few. "It's kind of when does volume production actually happen, and that's next year," said Musk.
Perhaps sensing some disappointed buyers, Lars Moravy, Tesla's Vice President of Vehicle Engineering added, "(I'd) like just to emphasize on that, we've started installation of all the production equipment here in Giga Texas, castings, general assembly, body shops. We built all our beta vehicles, some more coming still in the next month, but as you said, the ramp will really come 2024."
The Cybertruck Will be Elon's Next Car
Cybertruck was originally announced in 2019 at the memorable event that included the unbreakable armor glass smashing. Musk was wearing the smashed glass Cybertruck t-shirt while taking questions from investors. While the wait continues, he is adamant that it will be worth it, "So it's an incredible product. I can't wait to drive it personally. It will be the car that I drive every day… it's just one of those products that only comes along once in a while, and it's really special."
The original release deadline was set for 2021. However, the production date has been delayed due to unforeseen circumstances, like a global pandemic. Nevertheless, it is a positive sign that beta vehicles have been produced. Images of what appears to be a Cybertruck were leaked a few months ago.
Recently, chief designer Franz von Holzhausen did confirm that the Cybertruck was ready for production, but it's a work in progress. Every Tesla beta product gets thoroughly examined and meticulously reviewed before the next step. But at least it's a step in the right direction.
Tesla set new records in production and deliveries while beating analyst expectations.
Tesla published their Q4 2022 and full-year financial results, setting new records in production and deliveries while beating analyst expectations. Tesla’s annual profit rose to $12.6 billion in 2022, from $5.5 billion in 2021. Annual revenue rose to $81.5 billion, from $53.8 billion the year prior. Tesla reported fourth-quarter revenue of $24.32 billion beating analysts' $24.07 billion estimate. The automaker also reported earnings per share of $1.19 beating analysts' $1.12 estimate.
Tesla’s stock rose more than 5% in after-hours trading following the earnings release and surged more than 10% the next day.
Tesla's Q4 2022 revenue set a new record for the company, up 59% from a year earlier. In addition to automotive revenue of $21.3 billion, Tesla recognized $324 million of deferred revenue from the company’s driver assistance systems.
FSD Beta Numbers
Tesla reported that 90 million miles have now been driven with FSD Beta, up from 58 million miles in the previous quarter. The company also confirmed that they have about 400,000 FSD Beta users in North America, a sizeable increase since the last report. With such a steep increase in miles driven and FSD Beta becoming widely available in North America, Tesla is making significant progress with its autonomous driving software.
In late 2022 and into this year, Tesla began cutting prices on its cars globally. Elon spoke about how recent price cuts have fueled a surge in demand for Tesla: “Thus far in January we’ve seen the strongest orders year-to-date than ever in our history. We’re currently seeing orders of almost twice the rate of production.” He added: “These price changes really make a difference for the average consumer.” Tesla acknowledges that average sales prices have to decrease over time because affordability is part of Tesla's mission to grow into a company that sells multiple millions of cars annually.
Price cuts will impact profitability, but margins should remain healthy, Tesla CFO Zach Kirkhorn affirmed. Tesla has wider operating margins than the industry average, which allows them to make such price cuts.
Elon issued an uncertain forecast for 2023, saying Tesla planned on 1.8 million vehicles for the year without specifying whether that was a target for production or deliveries. If the company were to deliver 1.8 million vehicles in 2023, that would result in 37% annual growth.
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