Tesla Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) [Detail Analytic Report] jumped up over 4% before market sesssion after it announced that it would step up annual production plans to a half-million vehicles two years ahead of schedule, but the electric-car manufacturer will be doing so without two top manufacturing executives, WSJ reported. Tesla Motors nearly doubled its Q1 loss versus same period a year earlier, even as sales of its pricey sedan and sport-utility vehicle continued to climb. Tesla abandoned a plan to generate positive cash flow this year as it pours money into its coming Tesla Model 3, a $35,000 and up car that it now says will help it sell 500,000 cars by 2018. Tesla aims to start churning out Model 3s in the second half of 2017. Tesla has a goal of building a total of between 100,000 and 200,000 by the end of year.
Tesla reported that two high-ranking executives involved with output, Greg Reichow, Production Vice President and Josh Ensign, Manufacturing Vice President have already left or will be leaving the firm. Reichow had been with the firm since 2011 and had run its powertrain engineering before taking over production. Tesla disclosed that he will stay until a replacement comes on board. Ensign headed manufacturing and has left the firm. The firm has lost a number of executives during the past year as competitor electric-car startups and technology firms recruit its employees.
The billionaire Chief Executive of Tesla Motors, Elon Musk stated in a conference call with investors that Tesla is going to be hell-bent on becoming the best manufacturer on earth. Thus far, he thinks they’ve done a good job on design and technology on their products. The key thing they need to do in the future is to also be a leader in manufacturing. It’s a thing they need to obviously solve if they are going to scale and scale rapidly.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. (NYSE:FCAU) [Detail Analytic Report] and Alphabet Inc’s (NASDAQ:GOOGL) disclosed that they have agreed to work together to build a fleet of 100 self-driving minivans, marking the first time that a Silicon Valley firm has collaborated with a traditional carmaker to develop an autonomous vehicle. The deal marks the first time that search engine giant has worked directly with an automaker to integrate its self-driving system, including its sensors and software, into a passenger vehicle.
Fiat Chrysler and Google engineers will work closely to fit Google’s autonomous driving technology into the Pacifica minivan. Some engineers for both firms will work together at a facility in Southeast Michigan, where Fiat Chrysler has its major North American engineering centre, the firms reported. Google reveled that it is not sharing proprietary self-driving vehicle technology with Fiat Chrysler, however, and the vehicles will not be offered for sale to the public.
Fiat Chrysler has a net debt pile of $7.6 billion and Sergio Marchionne, its CEO has been trying unsuccessfully for over a year to persuade competitors, including GM, to consider a merger to help spread the rising costs of R&D. Working more closely with Fiat Chrysler could help Google refine its systems as a step towards offering them in regular production cars. The agreement doesn’t preclude either FCA or Google from collaborating with others, and Google reported that it is not sharing with Fiat proprietary self-driving technology developed for another prototype vehicle.