Last February, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he was "certain" the electric-car maker's vehicles would be able to drive without human assistance by the end of 2019. On Wednesday, Musk said Tesla "got pretty close" to meeting his goal and could be a few months away from achieving it. But he suggested that some of Autopilot's new features could have issues upon release. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk on Wednesday walked back a prediction he made last February that Autopilot, the electric-car maker's semi-autonomous driver-assistance feature, would be able to drive without human assistance by the end of 2019. "I think we will be feature-complete full self-driving this year, meaning the car will be able to find you in a parking lot, pick you up, take you all the way to your destination without an intervention — this year," Musk said last year. "I would say that I am certain of that. That is not a question mark." But Musk said during Tesla's fourth-quarter earnings call on Wednesday that he had only said he was "hoping" that capability would be ready by the end of last year, contradicting his comments from the February interview. Musk said Tesla "got pretty close" to meeting his goal and could be a few months away from achieving it. "It's looking like we might be feature-complete in a few months," he said. Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Musk also used a more conservative tone when describing Autopilot's near-future capabilities. "Feature complete just means it has some chance of going from your home to work, let's say, with no interventions. It doesn't mean the features are working well," he said. Musk has a history of making, and missing, aggressive timelines for Tesla's autonomous-driving technology. In 2015, Musk said the company's vehicles would be able to drive themselves by 2017. He also said Tesla would send a self-driving vehicle across the US by the end of 2017, and when the company missed that deadline, he pushed it to the first half of 2018, a target Tesla also failed to hit. While Tesla's progress on autonomous driving has been slower than Musk has predicted, the company has exceeded Wall Street's financial expectations during the past two quarters. Tesla made an adjusted profit of $2.14 per share on revenue of $7.4 billion during the fourth quarter of last year. Financial analysts had expected an adjusted gain of $1.74 per share and $7.1 billion in revenue, according to Bloomberg. Are you a current or former Tesla employee? Do you have an opinion about what it's like to work there? Contact this reporter at email@example.com. You can also reach out on Signal at 646-768-4712 or email this reporter's encrypted address at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Tesla on Wednesday reported a surprise first-quarter profit despite factory shutdowns amid the coronavirus. The company's...Tesla on Wednesday reported a surprise first-quarter profit despite factory shutdowns amid the coronavirus. The company's stock price spiked as much as 8% in after-hours trading following the news. Semi deliveries will be delayed until 2021, Tesla said, as it ramps up Model Y production. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Tesla turned a surprise profit in the first quarter of 2020, the electric-car company said Wednesday, despite being forced to close its main factory because of the coronavirus. Here are the important figures: Adjusted earnings per share (EPS): $1.24 versus an expected loss of $0.34 Revenue: $5.99 billion versus an expected $5.8 billion "Despite global operational challenges, we were able to achieve our best first quarter for both production and deliveries," the company said. However, the company said Tesla Semi deliveries would be delayed to 2021 as it focuses on scaling up Model Y production. Tesla's stock price spiked as much as 8% in late trading following the release. Shares of the company were down about 13% from their recent highs at Wednesday's close, mirroring a similar selloff in wider equity indexes. The profit was fueled in part by growing margins thanks to increasing production at Tesla's Shanghai factory, it said. Ancillary revenue from regulatory credits, which Tesla sells to traditional automakers, also increased from $133 million in Q4 2019 to $354 million in Q1. Model Y deliveries also began in the first quarter, "significantly ahead of schedule," Tesla said, noting that the newest model was contributing profit. The company has not disclosed sales figures for the Model Y. Tesla previously released its first-quarter production and delivery figures at the beginning of the month, which largely topped analyst expectations, despite factory shut downs affected the latter half of the quarter. On a conference call scheduled for Wednesday evening, analysts and investors will likely have questions about the company's cash position going forward given that there's still no end in sight to the coronavirus pandemic. Tesla has furloughed many workers in an effort to cut costs as production lines remain idle. "Tesla (and every auto manufacturer) continues to navigate an unprecedented COVID-19 sales environment that has temporarily closed its flagship Fremont factory and forced the company to make tough decisions such as furloughs and salary cuts to limit near term cash burn and red ink," Daniel Ives, an analyst at Wedbush, said in a note to clients this week. In recent days, Musk has seemed agitated at the continued shutdown. "FREE AMERICA NOW," the billionaire said on Twitter, his usual medium, Tuesday night, along with a Wall Street Journal op-ed suggesting lockdowns aren't effective. Tesla reiterated in Wednesday's release that the reopening of shuttered lines remains in flux. "For our US factories, it remains uncertain how quickly we and our suppliers will be able to ramp production after resuming operations," it said. "We are coordinating closely with each supplier and associated government."Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: What makes 'Parasite' so shocking is the twist that happens in a 10-minute sequence
Tesla CEO Elon Musk is on the verge of a $750 million payday, Reuters first reported...Tesla CEO Elon Musk is on the verge of a $750 million payday, Reuters first reported Tuesday morning. Musk stands to receive an option tranche of 1.69 million Tesla shares if the electric car market reaches a six-month average market cap of $100 billion. With Tesla shares sitting near all-time highs, the company's six-month average market cap just reached $96 billion. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Reuters first reported Tuesday morning that Tesla CEO Elon Musk is on the verge of receiving a massive $750 million payday. The electric-car maker's CEO will receive his first option tranche of 12 tranches total, as outlined in his two-year-old pay package. Each tranche gives Musk the option to buy 1.69 million Tesla shares at $350.02 each. Based off of Tesla stock's Monday closing price of $798.75, Musk could turn around and sell those shares for a total profit of $758 million. Musk will be granted the first tranche of options if Tesla's stock price obtains a six-month average market capitalization of $100 billion. With shares trading just 15% below their all-time high closing price of $917.42, Tesla's six-month average market capitalization is $96 billion. Read more: Tim Bratz went from flipping $14,000 houses to a 3,472-unit portfolio worth $275 million. Here's the 'amazing' investment strategy he employs to build his long-term wealth. If Musk reaches all targets outlined in his pay package, which would culminate with Tesla's market cap reaching $650 billion, the CEO could reap as much as $55.8 billion. However, because new Tesla shares have been issued since this pay package was put in place, that figure is now likely lower. Tesla's current market capitalization of almost $150 billion is more than the combined market capitalization of Honda, Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Mercedes-Benz, and Harley-Davidson. Tesla reports first quarter earnings after the market close on Wednesday.Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why electric planes haven't taken off yet
Billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk says there have been 250,000 preorders for the Cybertruck, an electric...Billionaire Tesla CEO Elon Musk says there have been 250,000 preorders for the Cybertruck, an electric car he unveiled last year. The car is scheduled for production in late 2021. Innovation scholars in the Harvard Business Review credit the company's accelerated growth to using "innovation capital," studying the product's ecosystem, a system of tools that brings value to clients and predicting the needs of future customers. By predicting what a consumer wants before they know it, the company increases its innovation value, or a way of offering product upgrades, and in return cheaper costs. Click here for more BI Prime content. Tesla's Cybertruck not only is bringing in a wave of new customers but is a future revenue model for faster growth. Last year, CEO Elon Musk wrote in a tweet that the electric car received about 250,000 pre-orders in a month, Business Insider previously reported. According to experts at Harvard Business Review, Musk accelerated growth by convincing people to support his ideas, developing ways for the cars to connect with other company products and predicting what the customer will need to use next. "Tesla's innovation strategy — which focuses on transforming the auto industry as a whole — offers enduring lessons for any innovator," writes Nathan Furr, a strategy professor at INSEAD's School of Business and Jeff Dyer, a strategy professor at the Marriott School of Business, in the Harvard Business Review. The Cybertruck case is especially instructive "in terms of how to win support for an idea and how to bring new technologies to market," they added. Over the last five years, companies have invested $3.2 trillion in the innovation markets, according to the strategy consulting firm Accenture. But failing to innovate is pricey. Anthony Ulwick, a founder and Chief Executive Officer of innovation consulting firm Strategyn, estimates that innovation failure costs US companies $100 billion dollars annually. As companies look to Tesla as a model for innovation, it can be helpful to look at how Musk's automaker is repeatedly commanding attention — to a massive stock run-up now putting the company market cap at $145 billion. 1. Innovation capital Furr and Dyer define "innovation capital" as a way of rallying support for new releases. With Tesla's concert-style debuts for products, Musk is making the most of the capital he's created. In this case, as the company's platform grows, they can advance in the market. "When Musk stands on stage and reveals the Cybertruck, he doesn't just talk about the new idea, he materializes it, putting it into physical form to convince skeptics," writes Furr and Dyer. "He also broadcasts the idea through big media launches like the demo for the Cybertruck, which gets third parties talking about the company and generating buzz." While Musk, one of the world's most famous executives, has the bully pulpit of the startup press, his virtuoustic hyping is applicable to anyone with a entrepreneurial streak. Gaining institutional support leads to growth. "Most importantly, we found that no one is born with innovation capital — it is something accumulated over time through thoughtful action," writes Furr and Dyer. For instance, Musk uses his background as the CEO of SpaceX and former head of Paypal to show he can break ground on a range of topics. Through attention-grabbing stunts, Tesla convinces leaders that they are truly missing out on the product. 2. Develop the product's ecosystem Through understanding the networks that can make a brand stronger, a company can potentially increase their sales. A study by Accenture discovered that 59% of high-growth companies use a "carefully managed" ecosystem to "bring the best innovation to customers," meaning they bring a series of upgrades to products that connect. Tesla's "ecosystem," a connection of products that bring value to the customers includes charging stations, self-driving cars, batteries, and a solar-panel factory. According to the Harvard Business Review, Tesla benefits from investing in their current models. Last March, Tesla announced it will offer same-day car repair and will upgrade software on the Model 3, allowing it to go faster and travel longer distances, Business Insider reported. That summer, Tesla also slashed prices for the car. "What makes this part of the strategy truly unique is not just that Tesla produces electric vehicles," write researchers, Furr and Dyer. "But that it introduced a new hardware and software architecture (the way you put the car together)." 3. Predict a consumer's wants Using innovation as a tool to satisfy the customer and simultaneously gain more revenue is explored in "The Little Black Book of Innovation." The book's author, Scott D. Anthony, is a senior partner at the strategic consultancy Innosight, and he observes that predicting the customer's wants allows them to build a connection to the company. "The quest to identify opportunities for innovation starts with pinpointing problems customers can't adequately solve today," wrote Anthony in Fast Company. "Companies think they are selling products and services, but in reality, people hire those products and services to get jobs done in their lives." One example of solving customer problems include Tesla's expanding global charging network. The electric car manufacturer is thriving off of consumers who use thousands of supercharging stations around the world. What's more, a growing focus on environmental sustainability has caused a decline in the number of gas stations across the US. The dropping numbers of gas stations once again offer an opportunity for Tesla to stay ahead. "Acting early enabled Tesla to be the only electric car that could drive long distances because there was an infrastructure in place for charging," writes Furr and Dyer. "In the future, this advantage may erode if other automakers build charging networks and piggyback off their existing dealership networks to potentially offer more convenient service. But for now, Tesla has the advantage." The takeaway: Innovation doesn't happen in a vacuum. The better you build a relationship with your audience, the better you can accelerate ahead to what they want next.SEE ALSO: Tesla raises $2 billion in secondary stock offering priced at $767 a share - 5% below where it's trading now Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Taylor Swift is the world's highest-paid celebrity. Here's how she makes and spends her $360 million.