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    • Amidst the constant Tesla hype, another Silicon Valley EV designer named SF Motors is shaping up to become Tesla's worst nightmare. They're working on a Model S/X competitor that will probably become a serious threat to Tesla's sales. And they're talking about producing hundreds of thousands of these cars in 2019. Not sure why more people aren't talking about them but it seems like this is a pretty big deal in the high-end EV space.

      US-based SF Motors has some unique advantages over Tesla because of their China-based parent company, Chongqing Sokon. First off, SF Motors has tariff-free access to China's emerging EV market. Chinese Tesla customers are subject to a 25% tariff. SF Motors customers in both countries will be immune to tariffs because SF Motors plans to manufacture on Sokon's assembly lines in China AND in a recently acquired Hummer plant in Indiana.

      And unlike Tesla, SF Motors has access to the deep pockets of cash from their profitable parent. They're hiring the best talent of Silicon Valley, including a former Tesla CEO. They're also acquiring key drivetrain technology.

      They say their cars are going to be epic. 1000 horsepower. Beautiful. Probably self-driving shortly after they launch. But, there are still big questions like price point, quality, and manufacturing capacity.

      What do you think? Is this really a threat to Tesla?

    • Brian Strong

      Time will tell, but this kinda reminds me of the hype that Faraday Future had. They almost ran out of cash but I guess got a $2B investment at the last minute.

      Either way, competition is probably a good thing, but it is amazing just how much money it costs to get even an early prototype out there.

    • Faraday Futures faced a tough uphill financing battle because it's an independent startup just like Tesla was. It's remarkable what Elon Musk did to get Tesla off the ground. That's a hard act to follow. Props to Faraday for getting this far. Looks like we should see a production car from them by the end of the year.

      But SF Motors is different. They presumably have access to huge amounts of cash, amounts bigger than a lot of VC funds. They're saying they'll produce 50,000 cars in the US and 150,000 cars in China next year. If that's true, they'll be very competitive with Tesla on the supply front.

    • So far I have heard nothing on the product itself. Tesla has a great design and superb user satisfaction. I imagine SF Motors, like everything Chinese, will just copy it. Still, the copy quality remains to be seen.

    • Chris MacAskill

      Why have I not heard of these companies? I must be living in a cave.

      The funny thing is I knew Martin Eberhard well when he founded Rocketbook. He kept calling on me when I worked at Fatbrain (a popular online bookstore in its day) about selling his ebook reader. I didn't think it was going anywhere, but he sold it for >$100 million to Gemstar and used that money to found Tesla. I know Elon likes to say he was the founder, but it was Martin. Elon came later, as an investor for the Series A and board member.

      So now Martin, having been fired by Elon and having Elon write him out of history, is chief innovation officer for SF Motors? Oh man, blood feud.

    • But SF Motors is different. They presumably have access to huge amounts of cash, amounts bigger than a lot of VC funds.

      So did Faraday Future. The parent company, LeEco, is a giant Chinese conglomerate. It sounds super lofty to be producing 50,000 cars next year in the US when they just showed off their prototypes this March. 🤔

    • And they're talking about producing hundreds of thousands of these cars in 2019.

      I think Tesla is proof positive that it's easier to talk about ramping up production of a new car than it is to actually do so.

    • I think GM and it's defunk GEM did the heavy lifting so Tesla could exist and each electric car manufacturer since makes it easier for those that follow. Living in San Carlos CA. while being surrounded by the team that built the prototype for the Model S in what is now Devils Canyon brewery was enlightening. I remember at lunch one day I over heard the former designer from Mazda/Ford discussing what Teslas would sound like and I never thought about the lack of sound from an electric. The list of eletric manufactures keeps on growing but the emphasis on the huge Chinese market is smart by SF .I still think Tesla has the head start but the one issue is local news obsession with Tesla failing.The idea that a Tesla catching fire is news when petroleum vehicle's blow up all the time is forgotten. I trust in Tesla as an aspirational brand but it can't go to far down market unless Tesla builds a sub brand like BMW did with Mini. Minus a world wide recession Tesla should be golden.

    • The idea that a Tesla catching fire is news when petroleum vehicle's blow up all the time is forgotten.

      I think this is indicative of the public's polarized sentiment towards Tesla, and right now a lot of it is related to stock price. To Wall Street, Tesla is this massively overvalued company, but there are so many dreamers out there that are buying and holding the stock. There's so much controversy over the company, not because it is creating beautiful, safe cars but because of this competition of betting and shorting the stock. Issues of crashing cars and production are signals everyone is looking for, and the news is using that to their advantage.

    • Tesla is, IMHO, a massively overvalued company. I wouldn't own their stock at this point in time. That said, I hope the company eventually thrives. How could I not -- I don't want my Model S to be orphaned!

      I believe there is room for additional electric car companies. SF Motors can be a success without effecting Tesla. Everything is not a zero sum game.

    • Yeah...

      General Motors trades at a fraction of the valuation that Tesla Inc. (TSLA - Get Report) does, although GM generated more than $9.4 billion in profit last year. Tesla has no profit, GM has loads of it. Tesla burns through cash, GM returns it to shareholders and still yields 3.4% despite the near-30% rally so far this year.

      Given recent news, do you think that perhaps Tesla is not overvalued to certain parties, like Saudi Arabia, even at $420 a share?

    • Haven't a clue. When it comes to investing I tend to be a value guy... I prefer to see positive earnings with a low multiple. Low debt, too. Perhaps if I had the billions that Saudi Arabia has to play with I'd think different.

    You've been invited!