Monday, 9 april 2018 | Brenda Rodríguez López
As one of the leading companies in electrical innovation in the automotive sector, it is not surprising that, many times, Tesla's image is tarnished by critics. However, the company has just faced one of the darkest periods in its history. The "explosive cyclogenesis" was triggered by the confirmation of a fatal accident aboard one of its vehicles, a case that is currently being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board. Since then, there are many news and rumors that have pointed to both the collapse of the company and its early recovery. Are the critics that Tesla gets only scratches on the bodywork? Have the company's batteries overheated? How does the firm survive the pushes?
Elon Musk announced the bankruptcy of his company on the networks on the first day of this month, leveraging the April Fools' Day celebration. It is not the first time that the CEO of Tesla uses Twitter as a platform to combat the firm's critics with humor. In this case, the multidisciplinary business owner chose to publish a series of tweets that spread the news of the catastrophic company's collapse. Imitating a journalistic style, but without avoiding the use of irony, Musk's first tweet ensured that despite intense efforts to raise money, including a last-ditch mass sale of Easter eggs, Tesla reports the complete and total bankruptcy. A publication that ended with the following sentence: <<So bankrupt, you can't believe it>>.
A second tweet with a sarcastic tone completed the previous one specifying that the bankruptcy has several chapters and as the critics so rightly pointed out, Tesla had them “all”, including the worst one. As a final point to the April Fools' joke, Musk discloses a last post on the platform where he attached a picture of him passed out next to a Model 3 holding a broken sign advertising of Tesla that sentenced "bankrupt”. This is the unexpected and original response with which the company's CEO seems to combat s the multiple critics that the firm confronts for a few weeks.
There are several fronts that Tesla faces, but the most serious is the one triggered by the sinister of March 23rd. One of the Model X vehicles of the company suffered an accident on the California Highway 101 when it activated the Autopilot (autonomous driving system of the firm). The car collided head-on with the edge of the central track and was hit by two vehicles on the rear side. The incident caused the death of the driver. The data on the cause of the accident are inconclusive, it is currently being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). This has been a blow for the brand. Apart from putting its reputation in check, it has also been reflected in the consequent decline in the company's shares in the Stock Market. Less than a week after Uber's fatal accident, this news reopens the debate about safety in the autonomous driving.
It is not the first time that the company registers a fatal accident in one of its vehicles under the modality of automatic pilot. In May of 2016, it was a Tesla Model S the one that was damaged. A report published by the NTSB determined that the probable cause of the accident were a truck driver’s failure to yield the right of way and a car driver’s inattention due to overreliance on vehicle automation. The NTSB also noted that the design of the vehicle allowed a prolonged disengagement from the driving task and enabled the driver to use it in a way that was inconsistent with the manufacturer’s guidance and warnings.
In the middle of the storm, Tesla has asked for the voluntary review of 123,000 cars of the Model S series, manufactured before April 2016, to replace a part in the power steering system. The company has reported that there has been no accident because of this defect. This preventive measure is due to that the piece could corrode and lose its functionality in contact with the salt used on roads to melt snow or ice in winter. In an email sent to the owners of these models, the firm claims: <<If the bolts fail, the driver is still able to steer the car, but increased force is required due to loss or reduction of power assist>>.
Before the explosive cyclogenesis arrival, if anything had given headaches to the company were the bottlenecks in the manufacture of the Tesla Model 3, its "economic" electric vehicle with a long waiting list. Unexpected delays and production problems have occupied the headlines of the specialized press for a long time. However, Tesla now seems to finds shelter under the umbrella of the figures of its production in the middle of the storm.
Tesla has described the first quarter of 2018 as the most productive in its history. According to the data provided, the company would have reached 34,494 vehicles manufactured in this period of time -24,728 units correspond to Model S and Model X, and 9,766 to Model 3-. With these figures, Tesla would have managed to increase its growth by 40% compared to the last quarter of 2017. The automobile firm could even leave behind the production problems of the Model 3 that has quadrupled the figures compared to the last quarter of last year and, in the last week, has reached the production figure of 2,020 units. The company considers that it could even reach 5,000 production units per week in an approximate period of three months. Will Tesla leave behind the storm sheltered under this umbrella?
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