Tesla’s $ 40 million loan that kept the lights on and what it teaches us all

Often many of us forget to look around and realize how lucky we are to have what we have. At a time when tensions are relatively high due to the current election, a pandemic, and a string of bad luck that we all seemed to embrace throughout 2020, there are a few appropriate times that allow us to look ahead. back and realize how grateful we really are. should be, even when things aren’t looking very promising.

A perfect example of this came earlier this week on November 3. On that day, just twelve years ago, we were reminded that Tesla secured a $ 40 million loan that kept the lights on and gave the unlikely small carmaker a chance to succeed. It was “the last hour of the last possible day,” CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter. “We were three days away from bankruptcy.”

The story of Musk and Tesla’s near-destruction twelve years ago puts a lot in perspective. To me, it’s reminiscent of an old saying: “It’s not over until the fat lady sings”. Although comical, it is true, and it shows that anything can happen as long as there is still time.

Musk and Tesla were trying to start an auto business in arguably the toughest time for the American auto industry in the country’s history. Many businesses were looking for government help to keep their doors open, jobs were disappearing, and the once-booming U.S. economy was crippled by the 2008 financial crisis.

Not only was it one of the worst times financially to start an auto business, but Tesla wasn’t aiming to build a regular gasoline car. He wanted to completely change the look of what a car was like in America. Battery cars were not popular and were not widely accepted. They were a dream for many, but no one ever thought they would be a successful source of passenger transportation anytime soon.

Well, everyone except Elon Musk and his team of engineers at Tesla.

Musk recognizes the difficulties of the time. “Extremely difficult to raise money for an electric car start-up (considered super eccentric at the time), when mainstays like GM and Chrysler were going bankrupt,” he added to his chain of Tweets regarding the situation. And while he suffered to keep Tesla’s lights on, Musk concluded that the only way would be to put the last of his money into the bankrupt company. “I put in my last money, even though I thought we would always fail. But it was either that or certain death for Tesla.

Fast forward a few years to 2017. Tesla is doing well, but it is working on ramping up efforts to mass-produce the Model 3. Finally, an electric vehicle that can fit the budgets of many people around the world, Tesla was working on creating a battery-powered car that had good performance and acceptable range. But it was not easy, and it almost bankrupted the company.

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Asked about the Model 3 ramp, Musk said Tesla was “about a month away” from going bankrupt once again. “The Model 3 ramp has been extremely stressful and painful for a long time – from mid-2017 to mid-2019. Hell of production and logistics, ”added Musk.

A few more years: let’s look at 2020.

Tesla is the world’s most valuable automotive company. It has recorded five consecutive profitable quarters. It comes out with the highest number of deliveries and production numbers in a quarter ever. He’s building more Gigafactories.

Most importantly, Tesla is influencing the auto industry. Companies that never believed in electric vehicles are forced to develop them. If they don’t, they will inevitably fall behind.

Through all the tough times and adversity Tesla faced, it always has been. An unlikely competitor entering a market with new technology at a time when companies were keen to keep their doors open by whatever means necessary, Tesla somehow survived.

At a time when the country is almost evenly divided over who it would like to lead the United States for the next four years, conflicting views about a global pandemic are regularly voiced and other social issues are addressed on a daily basis, it is still important to remember. stories like these. With almost a negative chance of winning, Tesla sort of coped twice. Patience, hard work, and a little luck have led the unlikely automaker from the depths of Chapter 11 to become an auto industry superstar.

If that’s the only bit of positivity you’re reading this week, I really hope it helps you realize how grateful you should be in the grand scheme of things. Sometimes the cards just aren’t in your favor and you have a few setbacks that make you wonder if what you are doing is the right thing. Dark times are certainly harsh, but without darkness then light would mean nothing to us.

I use this newsletter to share my thoughts on what’s going on in the Tesla world. If you want to talk to me directly, you can email me or reach me on Twitter. I don’t bite, be sure to reach out!

Tesla’s $ 40 million loan that kept the lights on and what it teaches us all

About Paul Cox

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