I’ve driven in a Tesla. It’s for real. If you are making parts for internal combustion engines, I am warning you – things are changing. Tesla means it when they tell us they are coming out with their BMW 3 Series competitor in 2017. They plan to price it between $30,000 and $35,000. They think they can sell as many as they can make. The Fremont, California, plant (San Francisco) may be able to ramp up to 500,000 units per year.
Some people sneer when they see Tesla Motors stock valued higher than Nissan. Scoffers always doubt the real movers and shakers – like Elon Musk.
Tesla made 6900 Model S cars last quarter. They can sell as many as they can make at $80,000 a pop – because it is the sweetest car on the road. They have just been cleared to sell in China. Roomy, quiet as your bedroom, beautiful ride, fabulous sound system, superb amenities, no hump in the front or back, and trunks in the front and rear because the engine is underneath the car. You get a $7500 tax credit if you buy one, $2500 more in California. The equivalent of a $60 gas fill up costs you $12 in electricity. They give an 8-year guarantee on the battery, but it may last a lot longer.
My son-in-law wants to replace his 13-year-old BMW 3 model to accommodate his three growing girls. He liked the Audi A6 – until he drove the Tesla with me in the backseat.
The contest for signing the 25-year-old Japanese pitcher, Masahiro Tanaka, was fascinating. The New York Yankees finally signed the phenom, who went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA in Japanese professional baseball last year. By all accounts, Tanaka’s stuff was amazing last year – his splitter was unhittable. Japanese pro ball is stiff competition, but is Tanaka the real deal? How do you value a pitcher who has never pitched against Big Papi, Joey Votto or Miguel Cabrera? How do you gauge the likelihood of an arm blowout like that of last year’s wonder boy Steve Harvey, or a flameout like Daisuke Matsuzaka’s career a few years ago?
I have been listening to the sequel to Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime, the excellent book about the 2008 Presidential election. John Heilemann and Mark Halperin’s new book, Double Down: Game Change 2012, gives the inside baseball of the 2012 election. We learn how a wounded Barack Obama easily defeated a damaged, flawed Mitt Romney by being shrewd and allowing Romney and the Republicans to self-destruct.
The 2016 election is already being played out in the media. The Chris Christie traffic scandal is clearly an attempt by Christie’s enemies in both parties to dirty him up in anticipation of his 2016 Presidential bid. We’ll see the same thing with Hillary Clinton soon.
The cynicism of Washington politicians seems to have no bounds. No wonder we get mediocre candidates vying for the Oval Office. The best ones, the smartest ones, don’t think it’s worth it.
Question: Do you have any faith in Congress to pass worthwhile legislation?