If only you knew how close Tesla was from going under.
In the beginning, life was crude and cruel. There weren’t modern conveniences like cars and medical procedures killed more patients than they healed, but things gradually got better. The same idea applies to Tesla, because unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years you know that the young company hasn’t exactly had it easy. At a recent shareholders meeting, Elon Musk detailed just how tough things were by mentioning how he felt about the Tesla Roadster. According to Musk, the car was a complete disaster.
What’s more is that he thought that the automaker only had a 10% chance of survival in the beginning. The company was started after its founders thought that they could turn a profit by selling a re-branded Lotus Elise with an electric drivetrain licensed from a company called AC Propulsion. Of course things quickly got hairy when engineering nightmares arose. Tesla had to invest serious time and money redesigning almost the entire car and Musk even compared the finished product to remodeling a house until only the original basement wall was left. Quality problems plagued the car left and right, and at one point Musk even uttered three phrases to highlight just how bad things were.
He said the car "was completely unsafe," "broke down all the time," and "didn't really work." At a 2006 Roadster launch party, Musk said that a few of the test cars on hand were completely destroyed by the end of the night, but despite these shortcomings, Tesla was finally able to turn a profit on the car in 2009. Years later it appears like quality is still an issue for Tesla, something that may be due to the company’s Silicon Valley mentality. After all, Tesla is more of a tech company than it is a tried and trusted automotive brand. As of late, Musk has been working and sleeping at the end of the Model X assembly line so that he can personally oversee quality control. Hopefully this will solve Tesla’s issues as it tries to expand.