What is the most overrated super car

Musk, Elon

Updated January 12, 2021

Elon Musk (* 1971 in Pretoria, South Africa) founded the company with his brother Kimbal in 1995 Zip2 (Media Company Deals), which Compaq acquired in 1999 for $ 307 million. Musk founded the company in 1999 X.com, an online email payment system that merged with Confinity in 2000. The latter had PayPal developed which should become the most important payment system worldwide. In 2002, PayPal was sold to eBay for $ 2.2 billion. In 2002, Musk founded the space company SpaceX, which offers unmanned space flights to launch satellites into space. The first flight of the Falcon 1 rocket took place in 2008.
In 2004 Musk invested in the electric car maker Tesla, Tesla Powerwall energy storage systems have been manufactured for private households since 2015.
In 2006, Musk founded with relatives SolarCity, which manufactures and sells solar power systems. In 2013, Hyperloop: A transport system in double tubes, where closed capsules for 28 people are to be transported at supersonic speed. 2015 became OpenAI founded to research artificial intelligence. In 2016, Musk founded Neuralink, which examines the networking of the human brain with machines. In 2016, The Boring Companythat is to develop an underground transportation system. 2018 became Thud founded a media company specializing in comedy. (From: Wikipedia)
The sale of PayPal brought Musk $ 180 million after taxes: he invested $ 100 million in SpaceX, 70 million in Tesla and 10 million in SolarCity.1


The electric car pioneer. Musk is “the boss and founder of Tesla. The company is now building the most successful electric car in the world at a profit. It has become a status symbol for rich people with a green conscience. (...) Tesla was on the verge of bankruptcy twice in 2008 and 2009, an injection of funds from the US government and the entry of Daimler helped at the last second. "2

The world problem solver. “He wants to solve the great problems of mankind, he says. The earth, it is not big enough, and humans should become a kind of 'interplanetary species', says Musk. This is a big goal, at least greater than the goals that most entrepreneurs had before him. Electric cars, Hyperloop, SpaceX. (...) In the USA they also call the electric car entrepreneur the 'Rocket Man'. And who is the Marvel man really? Is he a genius, a great visionary or a brilliant marketing strategist? "3


Musk in an interview with SZ, February 2014: “And I am the face of Tesla. You have to make people feel that what drives them is important. (…) If traditional automakers were to become a species that is becoming extinct, it would certainly not be our fault. It would be the system that overtook them. One thing is clear: Those who do not quickly reorient themselves will be left behind, and in the worst case even disappear. In a few years, people will look back on gasoline engines as we look back on steam engines today and say, it was a good time, but it's over and never comes back. "4 In return, Musk wants to deliver the super car with a long range and low price - and a lot from the Musk wonderland on top of that: “We should get used to people flying high in a few years. Everyone should be able to travel to Mars. (...) If someone wants to move to Mars, that should also be possible. The United States was also founded at some point. "4

The electrical messiah. Admiration for Musk and willingness to invest money in Tesla is inversely proportional to business success. “Tesla Motors sold just 22,000 cars last year (2013; WZ), posted a loss of 55 million euros and is valued at around 27 billion euros on the stock exchange. BMW brought almost two million cars onto the market, had a pre-tax profit of eight billion euros and is only worth twice as much as Tesla. Above all, the stock market reflects the expectations of a company's future. Seen in this way, Tesla is one of the greatest hope values ​​- with a correspondingly high potential for a crash. "5
And those bad business numbers will last until 2018.

Musk in space. The space company Space X has another business idea: to bring mini satellites into the earth's atmosphere, which transmit the Internet to every corner of the earth. “The man Musk works with here is called Greg Wyler and is considered one of the warhorses in the satellite scene. (...) The plan now looks like this: Musk and Wyler supposedly want to launch around 700 satellites, each weighing less than 120 kilos. So pretty little compared to normal satellites. Musk, who is currently planning a factory for electric car batteries, is also allegedly considering building his own factory for satellites. "6

Musk im mirrorInterview, November 2014. Preliminary remark by the authors: “The acceleration of the 691 hp Tesla Model S P85D projectile is breathtaking. The pace suits Musk, the entrepreneurial star from Silicon Valley, who once helped develop the PayPal online payment system. Since then, the native South African has started one future project after the other: He wants to shoot people to Mars, build a high-speed train from San Francisco to Los Angeles and make the electric car a mass product. "7

When asked why such a car is needed, Musk replied: “Because it breaks the negative perception of electric cars. (...) But if we show that an electric car can be better than a gasoline-powered car, that it can travel far and be sexy, then it becomes attractive. With our car you can show the taillights to almost every other car on the market. That's important, it sets a precedent. It shows that the technology is irresistible. We are thus paving the way for electric cars that also work in the mass market. "7
When asked about the high proportion of electricity from coal in Germany, Musk said that the energy mix would then have to be changed. With sustainable energy production "it is quite obvious what kind of cars we need: electric cars."7
Many environmentally conscious people in Germany see it similarly. They overlook the fact that a growing share of electric cars would mean an immense increase in “green electricity” - with foreseeable consequences for fauna and flora, landscape and aesthetics. See keyword: renewable energies
When asked about the resources in the batteries, Musk replied: “We do not use rare earths from dubious countries in our vehicles. Our motor is mainly made of copper and steel. And our batteries only contain substances such as synthetic graphite or nickel. "7
For example, 50 kilograms of lithium should be built into every Tesla Model S.
When asked about the cobalt, Musk admitted that the Tesla batteries contain ten percent cobalt - which, however, would be obtained from Canada for the future Gigafactory.
On the issue of range, Musk referred to the "supercharger": If the range of the batteries is large enough and there is an adequate network of fast charging stations, a hybrid drive is no longer necessary. The new Tesla software 2015 refers to the closest supercharger.7
Regarding public transport, Musk said, “How about individualized mass transport? Not everyone just wants to squeeze into subway cars. That's not fun. It usually smells bad there, it is impractical because everyone has to get on at a fixed place and get off at another fixed place. "7
Musk then spoke out in favor of new tunnels - and promoted his Hyperloop project. Musk clearly has no interest in ecological goals: the electric cars are only a vehicle for his other gigantic plans, see SpaceX, Hyperloop, etc. One can reasonably justifiably assume that he is a good dose of megalomania.


Growth versus Profit. In January 2015, Musk announced that Tesla would not start making profits until 2020. Until then, you will invest. The new Gigafactory in Nevada alone will cost five billion dollars. Musk: "If we didn't invest in growth, we could make profits faster."8 That wasn't good for business: Shortly afterwards, the share price fell ten percent at times.8

Tesla losses - Musk on top. In February 2015, Musk presented his new vision: “In ten years, his company will be worth 700 billion dollars as much as the IT company Apple. Today Tesla has a market value of $ 25 billion. "9 - But there are also critics: “The stock market value announced by Musk of 700 billion dollars in nine years is just as possible as a terrific failure. Mark Spiegel of Stanphyl Capital Management says, 'Model S sales have flattened out, Model X has so far turned out to be a disappointment. Model 3 will not save this company, it will accelerate its demise. "Those are pithy words, but they are not unfounded when you look at the company and the electric car market. First of all, Tesla is still making huge losses, in the fourth quarter of 2015 it was $ 320 million. "10

Jürgen Schmieder in the SZ: “Musk likes the role of the visionary, the do-gooder, the superhero. Sometimes he is compared to Iron Man, who saves the world in a self-made and solar-powered armor. (...) Musk likes to stylize himself as driven, he demands nothing less of his employees. If you want to change the world, you have to make sacrifices for it. They have hung this mantra on their employee ID. "11


April 2015: Musk presents Model 3. Tesla is successfully selling a car model whose final appearance is unknown, which does not yet exist, whose price is unknown and for which you have to pay $ 1000: the delivery date is uncertain. “People in Hamburg, Tokyo and many other cities around the world stood in front of the company's branches, and many even stayed there to reserve a Model 3 for $ 1,000. (...) Musk explained the company's vision (to save the world) and named the most important details: 350 kilometers range, acceleration from zero to one hundred kilometers per hour in less than six seconds. Enough space for five adults. Five stars in every safety category. Piloted driving. Fast charging stations as standard. $ 35,000 base price. 'Do you want to see him?' He asked. The crowd yelled back, 'Yes!' Then three vehicles came out onto the stage. 'You won't get a better car for this price,' said Musk. Cheers. " (...) Within the past 24 hours, more than 180,000 orders for the Model 3 have been received, he wrote in a tweet later that evening. (...) He wants to be the visionary who was crazy enough to believe in a global energy transition - and who initiated this world saver madness that suddenly sounds damn sensible. "10


"Neuralink". In April 2016 Musk participates in “Neuralink”: The company is working on networking the human brain with computers. “Musk had already said at a conference appearance last year that he considers artificial nerve tissue for connecting computers to be an important technology of the future. There should be a kind of 'direct interface to the cortex'. Humans could keep up with artificial intelligence in this way. "12

From a comment by Thomas Fromm to Elon Musk in the SZ: “Is Musk the ingenious representative of a completely new type of entrepreneur? Someone who does away with the old and puts himself at the top? Or is it a charlatan? In the end a crazy guy? (...)
Musk is already setting the pace for electric cars with Tesla. When Musk starts rocking, a few Twitter entries from Silicon Valley are enough for the new Model 3 electric car suitable for the masses, and car strategists at German corporate headquarters put their heads together and rethink their electric car strategy. You know: If the Model 3 sells well for just under 30,000 euros, Musk and his company are right in the middle of the mass market. A kind of Volkswagen from California, so to speak ”.13

Rockstar Musk presents itself and the electric truck. Fall 2017: “When Elon Musk gets down from a silver-colored electric truck, grown men start screaming. They stretch out their hands to touch their idol for a split second. A spectator in the first row holds out a teddy bear to him. 'Elon for President,' yells another. (...) Musk has set the goal of traveling Mars in the next decade. Later he even wanted to 'colonize' it, that is, to inhabit it. There is talk of a 'multiplanetary species'. In his view, the world's population needs a reserve planet if the earth were to be destroyed by war or environmental disasters. (...) What doesn't fit into Musk's argument has to be wrong. This is also the case with a study by Swedish researchers, according to which electric cars are less environmentally friendly than commonly assumed. During the production of the Tesla battery for the Model S, the scientists found that around 15 tons of CO were generated2. Musk doubted the results, scolding on Twitter: 'To describe this as clueless would be generous.' "14


Does Elon Musk really work “for free”?Tesla announced in January 2018 that Elon Musk will remain CEO of Tesla for the next ten years. He does not get a salary or bonuses, he is only paid if he achieves the set goals: for example, a market value of $ 650 billion (currently $ 59 billion). Musk takes it sportily: "I see the potential for Tesla to be worth a trillion dollars within ten years."15

Musk celebrates in space. In February 2018, its Falcon Heavy rocket launched from the Kennedy Space Center with a delay of a few years. “A little later, SpaceX broadcast the first images of Musk's red Tesla roadster in orbit. At the wheel is an astronaut dummy named Starman, accompanied by 'Life on Mars' from David Bowie. The sticker 'Don't panic' on the dashboard, alluding to the book 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy'. The Tesla is equipped with three cameras and already delivers live images from Starman on the Internet. As a further surprise, Elon Musk deposited a data carrier with a kind of library of human knowledge in his Tesla, as well as a plaque with the names of 6000 of his employees. The electric car is now racing around the sun on the Heavy Falcon at 40,000 kilometers per hour and will eventually pass Mars ”.16

Elon Musk is making an April Fool's Day joke. On April 1, 2018, Musk treated himself to an April Fool's joke via Twitter and declared that Tesla was broke. “Despite intensive attempts to raise money, including a frantic mass sale of Easter eggs, we regret to announce that Tesla is completely and absolutely broke. So broke, you don't believe it. "17 Not the best time: “Elon Musk's supposed fun comes at a time when Tesla investors are actually worried about the company. (...) Investors are losing patience with Tesla and dropped the share by more than a fifth in March. A fatal accident with a Tesla in California, which occurred with the autopilot assistance system switched on, also contributed to this. On Wednesday the share was at $ 250, at the beginning of March the share was still quoted at $ 360. "17

No criticism of the leader. The personality cult takes on bizarre forms - this is not uncommon in Silicon Vallay when you think of the tops of Apple, Facebook or Google. "'A personality cult has been established around Elon," says a former Tesla top manager. 'It's not about solving problems. The only question asked is: does anyone know what Elon thinks about it? So many are paralyzed in their actions. ‘This is taken as evidence Christina Balan, formerly responsible for the interior design of the Model S. In an email to Musk, she complained about the incorrect assembly of the interior - and, she says, had to go. Tesla denies their entire representation. "18

Musk: Tesla Fake News. Andrew J. Hawkins, Editor of the technology portal The Verge, noted on Twitter that Musk is on the way to becoming a “media-baiting Trump figure”: a person who attacks the free press. On May 23, 2018, Musk had attacked the media companies that would operate "self-indulgent hypocrisy". “The fact that nobody trusts the press anymore is also the reason why Donald Trump had been chosen.'You lost your credibility a long time ago.' (...) The background to Musk's failures are probably, among other things, critical reports that Tesla has problems with the series production of its first mid-range model 3 electric car. At the beginning of the week, Musk had against journalists from the non-profit network Reveal who had questioned the safety standards there after accidents in Tesla factories. "19

Musk is laying off nine percent of the workforce. In June 2018, Musk announced drastic job cuts at Tesla: nine percent of the workforce will be laid off. Out of 46,000 employees, 4,100 lose their jobs. “Tesla has already burned billions of dollars and is in the red. The company lost around $ 710 million in the first quarter of this year alone. Investors have been increasing the pressure on Musk for a while and recently wanted to try to remove him from one of his offices. He is currently the chief executive officer and chairman, a kind of supervisory board chairman. "20

What about the Model 3? The Tesla Model 3 is said to cost $ 35,000, but production is stalling. Customers who paid $ 1000 want their deposit back. And investors don't get anything for their investment. “As always, Musk had big plans. But it's the investors who are funding Tesla's growth for the time being. Except that in the end nothing comes out of it for them. In this respect, the downsizing is also a signal to the donors: Musk wants to show that he wants to make a profit now. Trust me!"21
In addition from one SZ- Comment from Hans von der Hagen: “The terminations show that Musk has lost track. That he did not succeed in understanding Tesla as a company for which the obstacles and troubles of the normal corporate world also apply. (…) In fact, there are three large groups for which the entrepreneur has a duty of care, whether he wants to or not. First of all, there are the 46,000 employees. They and their families depend on Musk's decisions. (...) Then there are the customers, most of whom paid more than $ 70,000 for their vehicles. What should you think when Musk announced as an April Fool's joke on Twitter that Tesla was unfortunately broke? They need workshops, they need spare parts and a functioning network of charging stations that sometimes makes Tesla tours possible over 400 kilometers. Finally, Musk is also responsible for his company's shareholders and creditors, no matter how annoying or, as Musk likes to put it, 'boring' questions. "22

The next construction site. Musk's The Boring Company is to connect Chicago's O’Hare Airport with downtown Chicago, 30 kilometers away. “A new vehicle would start every 30 seconds. It offers space for up to 16 people, the journey should take twelve minutes and cost between 20 and 25 dollars. (...) According to the Chicago Tribune Boring is said to have estimated the cost of the project at less than a billion dollars - and raise the money himself. In return, the company receives all the income that is generated through the fare, advertising or sales in the vehicles. "23

Musk: “Only the paranoids survive. Musk's next construction site: A Tesla employee is said to have made changes to production without authorization and given data to outsiders.24 In addition, the production of the Model 3 was allegedly interrupted by a fire. “Here, too, Musk indicated an act of sabotage. It could well be a coincidence, but: 'Only the paranoids survive.' "25

Employee goes to court. Tesla has announced that it will indict the accused employee Martin Tripp.26 He described himself as a whistleblower who wanted to bring disturbing internal information to the press and warn the public. “Among other things, he found out that 1,100 damaged battery modules were installed in the new Model 3. The former employee also denied having hacked into Tesla's production system - he didn't have the skills to do so. "27 - “Now Tripp strikes back. Tesla's lawsuit may be part of a media campaign that was supposed to defame and silence Tripp, claims his New York lawyer Stuart Meissner, formerly Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan and New York. Tripp has now reported Tesla to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, reports the news agency Bloomberg.”28 According to Tripp, Tesla has given the Model 3 production numbers almost half too high. To this end, defective batteries and faulty parts were installed in vehicles. "The US traffic safety authority NTSB has been investigating the flammability of lithium-ion battery packs for electric cars for some time - the starting point of the investigations are several fires with damaged Tesla vehicles."28

Musk and the cave disaster. The diverse activities of Musk are slowly no longer comprehensible. In the cave accident with a trapped soccer team in Thailand in the summer of 2018, Musk came to the rescue with his own mini-submarine, which was not used by the operations management. “When Musk then insulted one of the divers, who had accused him of PR motives, as 'pedo', as a phedophile, it became too much for many well-meaning followers. He has since deleted the offensive tweet. "29
Addendum 1: The busy Elon Musk, however, found the time to his feud with the diver Vernon Unsworth to continue until September 2018 and now also to refer to him as a “child rapist”.30 He filed a lawsuit against Musk in Los Angeles in mid-September 2018, demanding $ 75,000 plus a cease and desist statement.31
Addendum 2: On December 2nd, 2019, Musk is due to appear in court because the diver Vernon Unsworth has sued. Musk had called Unsworth a "pedo guy" and had the detective for $ 50,000 James Howard hired to spy on Unsworth. Unsworth “had said on the first allegations that the boss (and founder) of Tesla, who had then sent 50 employees to Thailand, could put his submarine where it hurts”.32

Hyperloop and Boaring Company. The Hyperloop competition took place in Los Angeles in July 2018 with the participation of 20 teams, including students from the Technical University of Munich: Capsules are to be transported in a tunnel system under vacuum at over 1000 kilometers per hour. Musk attended the event in person. “You can hear from people around Musk that he would like to hold the next competition underground. A giant drill from The Boring Company, which Musk founded in 2016 because the traffic in Los Angeles annoys him, is currently digging the tunnel for it on the SpaceX site. "33

Musk sells surfboardsIn July 2018, 200 surfboards with the Tesla logo sold for 1500 euros per copy: They were immediately sold out. “It's not the first time Musk has caused a stir with fan merchandise. He financed his company The Boring Company, which wants to solve the traffic problems of the future with tunnel construction, among other things with the sale of 50,000 baseball caps, 20,000 flamethrowers for 500 dollars each and fire extinguishers advertised as "overpriced" (price: 30 dollars).
Musk is likely to have made $ 300,000 from the sale of the surfboards. Money that his company Tesla can use: It made a billion losses in the first quarter of 2018 alone. "34

One against Musk. The Wall Wall Street manager Steve Eisman speculated on the crash of Tesla shares in July 2018. “Tesla has had major problems since the beginning of the year, the share price has meanwhile collapsed by 20 percent, and production is still not running smoothly. The fact that Musk does not deliver, as Eisman says, is also the reason why he is betting against the stock. "35

Fateful interview. Musk had that New York Times given an interview where he burst into tears, reported sleeping problems and sleeping pills, his overwork. “The stock market is cruel. No sooner had Tesla boss Elon Musk given his tearful interview in the New York Times, when many securities dealers placed a short command on their monitors: “sell”. By the close of trading on Friday, the Tesla price on the Nasdaq crashed by nine percent. Back from the weekend, the stock exchange traders continued the demotion on Monday. At times the stock tumbled below the $ 300 threshold. Within two weeks it has thus lost over a fifth of its value. "36 The so-called "short sellers" or short sellers rely on the crash of Tesla and sell stocks that are not yet in their possession. Your profit results from the higher sales price. On August 20, 2018 alone, they are said to have earned a billion dollars from the crash of Tesla shares.36

From Billionaires (1): The Hyper-Looper. A Hyperloop test tunnel is to be opened in Los Angeles on December 10, 2018, announced Elon Musk at. A moderate 250 km / h should be achieved, later 350 km / h. According to the motto "who has the longest hyperloop" has billionaire Richard Branson Tests conducted on his Virgin Hyperloop One in Nevada.37

From billionaires (2): The spacemen. Richard Branson competes with his space company “Virgin Galactic” also in the space business with Musk's “SpaceX” - and with “Blue Origin” from billionaire Jeff Bezos.

From billionaires (3): The electric car maker. Vacuum cleaner billionaire James Dyson wants to build electric cars in Singapore in 2020: They are to be delivered from 2021. Dyson plans to invest 2.8 billion euros and research new types of solid-state batteries.38

Musk on Mars. “Elon Musk has announced that it intends to move to Mars in seven years. Experts consider colonization of the planet to be extremely unrealistic. (...) Experts regularly shake heads with Musk with such announcements. "39
I could well imagine Musk on Mars ...

Musk re-tariffs. In December 2018 Elon Musk the SEC provoked again and said on the TV station CBS: "I want to say very clearly: I do not respect the SEC."