5 surprising things Elon Musk just said about Tesla
Tesla (TSLA) held its annual shareholder meeting yesterday, where it teased a number of interesting tidbits in its presentation to investors.
Perhaps the most talked-about moment is the fact that Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk plans on staying at the electric car company for at least four or five more years. Musk didn’t preclude staying even longer, saying that he’d reevaluate his role in 2018 or 2019. This is notable because Musk—who first made his fortune at PayPal—is also the CEO of SpaceX, the private space exploration company that was in the news recently for developing the first private spacecraft that could take astronauts to the International Space Station.
Musk noted that it us “quite difficult” to serve as the leader of two companies at the same time.
Shareholders and Teslaphiles were also able to learn of a few new technical innovations that the company has brewing.
One of them is crowdsourced directions for Tesla’s navigation system. Tesla drivers looking for help getting to their location will be able to get directions that are influenced by traffic and by patterns gathered from other Tesla drivers in the area. So, Musk explained, the more Teslas that happen to be in an area, the better the driving directions will be. (Tesla drivers in the San Francisco area, parts of Los Angeles, and other affluent neighborhoods, therefore, will likely have better data than someone cruising through Montana.)
Musk also said that he was flying to London this weekend to make the first delivery of cars in a country that drives on the left-hand side of the road. Soon Tesla hopes to sell cars in other left-hand driving markets including Japan and Hong Kong.
Another hot topic was the upcoming X Series car, instantly recognizable for its DeLorean-like doors dubbed “falcon wings” in official Tesla parlance. The X Series was first announced in 2012, and is set to begin manufacturing this year. Musk said that the delay was because of problems in perfecting the engineering, saying the company had to choose to “either produce an amazing car that I think is going to blow people away or produce a pretty good car.”
Obviously, Musk chose to go the former route, saying that the “falcon wings” and the back row of seats were a particular challenge, going so far as to say that “if you open up the door, it should be an amazing experience. It should make you say ‘Ahh!'”
In a moment that surely provoked plenty of “Is he joking or serious?” questions from the audience, Musk said that he had wanted to create a third line of cars called the “E Series,” meaning that the full-line of Tesla vehicles would spell out S-E-X and induce juvenile chuckles from many car enthusiasts. He noted that corporate bigwigs would not allow this.