Tesla ramps up hiring in face of automotive threats from Apple, others

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Tesla Motors is reportedly planning to hire another 4,500 workers in California alone in the next four years, in the face of impending competition from companies like Apple and Google -- particularly in the realm of self-driving cars.




Tesla currently has over 14,000 existing workers and 1,600 open jobs, according to the Wall Street Journal. The company is said to be especially interested in engineers for Autopilot, its self-driving technology project.

A little over a month ago CEO Elon Musk even took to Twitter to recruit software engineers for Autopilot, noting that while no car experience was necessary, he would be interviewing candidates personally and that the effort was "a super high priority."

A spokeswoman told the Journal that Musk's move "opened the gate to a new wave of exceptional candidates."

Though often considered a leader in electric car technology, with long ranges and even some early self-driving support, Tesla will soon have to fend off not just Apple and Google but traditional automakers, and newcomers like Faraday Future.

Google is believed to be engaged in a non-exclusive partnership with Ford. Apple's effort, codenamed Project Titan, should see the company ship its own electric car in 2019 or 2020. An initial vehicle may arrive without self-driving features, but the company is thought to be working on such systems regardless.

Apple and Tesla have been engaged in a job poaching battle, trying to lure away top talent from each other's ranks. Musk at one point referred to Apple as the "Tesla Graveyard," a place for people who can't make it at his own company. He later softened his position, but still suggested that Apple would have a tough time entering the car market, since it can't just ask manufacturers like Foxconn to build one.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    It will be interesting to see how these "look". It seems that much time and effort is put towards systems and such. As we see with Tesla not a ton of effort seems to go into the external appearance. It is not bad by any means but also something traditional automakers have struggled with.
  • Reply 2 of 26
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member

    Hiring to face concurrence when you're already bleedy money? Huh?

    That's probably the opposite of what you should be doing.

    They should concentrate on PROFIT FIRST.

    Short term their real competition will come from established players like BMW doing hybrids and then full electrics, more than Apple.

    I think they are in trouble.
  • Reply 3 of 26
    Hey remember when Elon Musk mocked Apple's foray into electric autos?  Good times. 
    cornchip
  • Reply 4 of 26
    Won't matter. Since nothing in a Tesla is revolutionary or proprietary there's nothing stopping any manufacturer from building their own to compete against Tesla.

    And those companies have significant advantages over Tesla by virtue of their considerable experience in mass producing automobiles.

    GM is going to show us its Bolt next month and should be selling them later in the year. They'll beat Tesla to market with a $30kish all electric car with 200 mile range by almost a year. Tesla was stupid to waste time on the Model X and should have devoted those resources to their Model 3 instead.

    After GM I'm sure we'll see Honda, Toyota and Ford also release electric cars. Tesla won't be able to compete since they don't actually have any advantage over them. 
  • Reply 5 of 26
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,699member
    Won't matter. Since nothing in a Tesla is revolutionary or proprietary there's nothing stopping any manufacturer from building their own to compete against Tesla.

    And those companies have significant advantages over Tesla by virtue of their considerable experience in mass producing automobiles.

    GM is going to show us its Bolt next month and should be selling them later in the year. They'll beat Tesla to market with a $30kish all electric car with 200 mile range by almost a year. Tesla was stupid to waste time on the Model X and should have devoted those resources to their Model 3 instead.

    After GM I'm sure we'll see Honda, Toyota and Ford also release electric cars. Tesla won't be able to compete since they don't actually have any advantage over them. 
    When the big automakers start cranking-out $30K cars, Tesla will be the electric-car equivalent of an exotic car, so they will have to cater to a more performance/image-concious crowd.  It's no wonder that Musk is pumping crazy capital in other projects like the Giga factory, SpaceX, and Solar.  The Tesla was just a stepping-stone into bigger things.
  • Reply 6 of 26
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,367member
    Love Elon but I'd caution him  to not to assume anything is beyond Foxconn's manufacturing ability!  
    edited December 2015
  • Reply 7 of 26
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,367member
    sflocal said:
    Won't matter. Since nothing in a Tesla is revolutionary or proprietary there's nothing stopping any manufacturer from building their own to compete against Tesla.

    And those companies have significant advantages over Tesla by virtue of their considerable experience in mass producing automobiles.

    GM is going to show us its Bolt next month and should be selling them later in the year. They'll beat Tesla to market with a $30kish all electric car with 200 mile range by almost a year. Tesla was stupid to waste time on the Model X and should have devoted those resources to their Model 3 instead.

    After GM I'm sure we'll see Honda, Toyota and Ford also release electric cars. Tesla won't be able to compete since they don't actually have any advantage over them. 
    When the big automakers start cranking-out $30K cars, Tesla will be the electric-car equivalent of an exotic car, so they will have to cater to a more performance/image-concious crowd.  It's no wonder that Musk is pumping crazy capital in other projects like the Giga factory, SpaceX, and Solar.  The Tesla was just a stepping-stone into bigger things.
    I'd kind of hope Apple (should they enter that market) would be the high end, higher than Tesla.  I can't see Tim settling for offering some mid range, medium priced solution.  That just isn't in Apple's DNA.
    edited December 2015
  • Reply 8 of 26
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,367member

    foggyhill said:

    Hiring to face concurrence when you're already bleedy money? Huh?

    That's probably the opposite of what you should be doing.

    They should concentrate on PROFIT FIRST.

    Short term their real competition will come from established players like BMW doing hybrids and then full electrics, more than Apple.

    I think they are in trouble.
    Maybe headed towards being taken over by one of the auto giants.
  • Reply 9 of 26
    Tesla is pretty much doomed to be a footnote of history anyway.  They have a bad design.  It's unoriginal, un-innovative and just plain wrong. 

    When someone (probably Apple but not necessarily so), finally comes up with a good, innovative model for an electric car, the market will follow that design and Tesla's old-school, rich-boy, Lexus-ish aesthetic will be left in the dust.  
  • Reply 10 of 26
    Won't matter. Since nothing in a Tesla is revolutionary or proprietary there's nothing stopping any manufacturer from building their own to compete against Tesla.

    And those companies have significant advantages over Tesla by virtue of their considerable experience in mass producing automobiles.

    GM is going to show us its Bolt next month and should be selling them later in the year. They'll beat Tesla to market with a $30kish all electric car with 200 mile range by almost a year. Tesla was stupid to waste time on the Model X and should have devoted those resources to their Model 3 instead.

    After GM I'm sure we'll see Honda, Toyota and Ford also release electric cars. Tesla won't be able to compete since they don't actually have any advantage over them. 
    Two comments:

    1) You have to have a source of batteries. Tesla has them now, and has the Gigafactory coming on-line soon. Does GM have the battery supply to build a non-trivial amount of cars?

    2) If GM builds an EV car with 200 miles range...great. How will the driver charge the car 200 miles away from home. A big enough battery to get 200 miles range is big enough that the Leaf/Volt style Level 2 charger won't cut it.

    Tesla has its Supercharger network. What will GM offer to Bolt owners who want to, actually, you know, GO somewhere out of the city?
  • Reply 11 of 26
    jexusjexus Posts: 373member
    Won't matter. Since nothing in a Tesla is revolutionary or proprietary there's nothing stopping any manufacturer from building their own to compete against Tesla.

    And those companies have significant advantages over Tesla by virtue of their considerable experience in mass producing automobiles.

    GM is going to show us its Bolt next month and should be selling them later in the year. They'll beat Tesla to market with a $30kish all electric car with 200 mile range by almost a year. Tesla was stupid to waste time on the Model X and should have devoted those resources to their Model 3 instead.

    After GM I'm sure we'll see Honda, Toyota and Ford also release electric cars. Tesla won't be able to compete since they don't actually have any advantage over them. 
    Musk's end goal is the propagation of the Electric Car. Ultimately, he doesn't care who does it as long as it is done(although he'd like to stay on top). Keeping his advanced patents related to recharging and battery tech to himself was contrary to that goal, therefore he opened them because he was growing frustrated on how slow other manufacturers were progressing to try and compete with Tesla and how bad their offerings were in comparison.

    The second part is ultimately, no average person cares about patents. They'll pick the car that is best for them. Just as the tens of thousands of patents between Nokia, RIM, Motorola and Samsung didn't stop Apple from becoming the champ of the smartphone market. Because regardless of patents, Apple simply made a better product. Similarly, Musk believes that if he can keep his top talent at Tesla, then patents will be a non-concern since in theory Tesla will be able to make products that remain competitive in some market.
    lostkiwipalomine
  • Reply 12 of 26
    You guys are hitting the pipe.  The Tesla is actually a terrific car.  It works, has gobs of performance, nice fit and finish (compared, e.g. to the failed Fisker).  

    Self-driving cars are not going to be a reality for a long long time.  I would have to take a wait-and-see for Apple and any automotive endeavors.
  • Reply 13 of 26
    Anything that accelerates the improvement of battery technology would be welcome. More competitors, please (although it'd be nice if there were no government-provided subsidies interfering with the process).
    equality72521palomine
  • Reply 14 of 26
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,526member
    Something people need to consider is that the customers of traditional auto manufacturers are NOT the end consumer, but rather the auto dealerships.  Dealerships make about 70% of their profits from their service departments.  Consequently, they would much rather sell internal combustion engine cars, with all their required maintenance and thousands of parts prone to failure.  There just isn't much money to be made after the sale of an all electric car.  If any traditional auto manufacturer intends to sell all-electric cars at a volume higher than that required to comply with laws pertaining to sustainable transportation, they will have to find a way to get the dealers on board or find a way to bypass dealers (as the doomed non-innovative Tesla has already done). Currently, auto dealers will try to persuade potential customers away from electric cars.
  • Reply 15 of 26
    focherfocher Posts: 645member
    Standard Tesla Tropes 101

    1. Tesla doesn't bring anything innovative to the market, and all the established manufacturers could produce the same car. Except...why don't they? The Model S is outselling most other luxury sedans in the same price segment. Sure, it's not impacting GM or Ford because they don't compete in that price segment (Cadillac and Lincoln? Right.) But BMW, Audi, and Mercedes sure do and the most they proffer so far are promises of models 2-3 years out. The Model S has definitely impacted their sales. Perhaps they could make such a car, but they're just too invested in the current cars so PHEVs are the most they're willing to do.

    2. Tesla will just get purchased. Except...their market cap doesn't currently even remotely allow that. Sure, market caps change and who knows what will happen but declaring in the current environment is downright silly. And I guess if you believe #1, why would anyone buy them?

    3. Tesla's cars are constantly rated the best cars produced and on the road today. Ask Motortrend, Car and Driver, Consumer Reports, and the myriad other publications that have concluded so. I've yet to meet a person who has actually driven one let alone owns one who doesn't love it. They are very much an aspirational brand. That's why cars like the Bolt, in a compact hatchback configuration that Americans have routinely dismissed many times over, will turn out to be nothing more than a compliance car when its final sales number come in.

    Finally, the company that's going to enter the international market and dominate EVs is BYD. They're already the top selling EV manufacturer in the world, with a range of cars. They just happen to be solely in China right now. But they won't always be.


    freshmaker
  • Reply 16 of 26
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    focher said:
    Standard Tesla Tropes 101

    1. Tesla doesn't bring anything innovative to the market, and all the established manufacturers could produce the same car. Except...why don't they? The Model S is outselling most other luxury sedans in the same price segment. Sure, it's not impacting GM or Ford because they don't compete in that price segment (Cadillac and Lincoln? Right.) But BMW, Audi, and Mercedes sure do and the most they proffer so far are promises of models 2-3 years out. The Model S has definitely impacted their sales. Perhaps they could make such a car, but they're just too invested in the current cars so PHEVs are the most they're willing to do.

    2. Tesla will just get purchased. Except...their market cap doesn't currently even remotely allow that. Sure, market caps change and who knows what will happen but declaring in the current environment is downright silly. And I guess if you believe #1, why would anyone buy them?

    3. Tesla's cars are constantly rated the best cars produced and on the road today. Ask Motortrend, Car and Driver, Consumer Reports, and the myriad other publications that have concluded so. I've yet to meet a person who has actually driven one let alone owns one who doesn't love it. They are very much an aspirational brand. That's why cars like the Bolt, in a compact hatchback configuration that Americans have routinely dismissed many times over, will turn out to be nothing more than a compliance car when its final sales number come in.

    Finally, the company that's going to enter the international market and dominate EVs is BYD. They're already the top selling EV manufacturer in the world, with a range of cars. They just happen to be solely in China right now. But they won't always be.


    Actually, the long term reliability of the Tesla is ABYSMAL, google more. You;re being fed crap by Tesla's marketing.

    It's losing money left and right; going international will just make it lose more money.

    Tesla is basically a money pit.

    If you actually look at BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, etc numbers you'll see that Tesla's impact is close to zero on them.

  • Reply 17 of 26
    crimguy said:
    You guys are hitting the pipe.  The Tesla is actually a terrific car.  It works, has gobs of performance, nice fit and finish (compared, e.g. to the failed Fisker).  ...
    You're kinda missing the point though.  The Tesla is only a "terrific car" in the sense that it's designed like, looks like, and runs like pretty much every other luxury sedan in North America, despite being electric.  What's needed is an innovative, new product, not simply an electric version of a Lexus for rich techies.  

    Nothing Tesla has done is really innovative at all, despite the electric car industry being a hotbed of innovation for the three decades before Musk showed up.  

    To see the flaws of the Tesla, you only have to ask a bunch of women if they would buy one.  Most will see it as what it is.  A hugely expensive "boy's toy" of limited practicality.  I will probably get pilloried for saying it, but the first electric car that appeals to women as well as men, will likely be the winner.  

    Apple's electric car has to be a real working car for everyone, not just a shinny tech gadget you can wank off to while assuaging your first world guilt over owning a luxury car in the first place.  

    edited December 2015
  • Reply 18 of 26
    Actually, the long term reliability of the Tesla is ABYSMAL, google more. You;re being fed crap by Tesla's marketing.

    It's losing money left and right; going international will just make it lose more money.

    Tesla is basically a money pit.

    If you actually look at BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, etc numbers you'll see that Tesla's impact is close to zero on them.

    Another hater. I wonder why, exactly, you care.

    I assume the "ABYSMAL" comment was about the Edmunds report which, they admitted, was on a early production model. They also said the only expense was for tires, everything else was under warranty.

    I have a mid-'13 Model S and have had very few problems; none of which left me stranded and not one of which required me to go to the service center. I have had to visit service because of updates to the built-in charger, failure of one of the tire pressure sensors, and because of a failing 12V battery. I didn't notice any problem with the latter but they emailed me that my car had sent them a message about the battery. I have also received many over the air updates to the operating system which have improved or added new features.

    No oil, no lube, no gas and the thing just keeps getting better. Here in the Pacific NW it costs me ~$2.60 for the electricity to drive 100 miles unless, of course, I'm on the road using the Supercharger network. Then it's free. About 10 trips over 1000 miles and no cost in fuel.

    It is what automobiles should be in the 21st century.
    lolliverpropodfreshmaker
  • Reply 19 of 26
    sog35 said:
    The Model S is looking really fuddgy at this point. No way am I paying $100k for that dated looking car.
    I think you will bar yourself from the website pretty soon if the Apple stock hasn't reach $150 by the end of the 2015.
  • Reply 20 of 26
    foggyhillfoggyhill Posts: 4,767member
    yoyo2222 said:
    Actually, the long term reliability of the Tesla is ABYSMAL, google more. You;re being fed crap by Tesla's marketing.

    It's losing money left and right; going international will just make it lose more money.

    Tesla is basically a money pit.

    If you actually look at BMW, Mercedes, Lexus, etc numbers you'll see that Tesla's impact is close to zero on them.

    Another hater. I wonder why, exactly, you care.

    I assume the "ABYSMAL" comment was about the Edmunds report which, they admitted, was on a early production model. They also said the only expense was for tires, everything else was under warranty.

    I have a mid-'13 Model S and have had very few problems; none of which left me stranded and not one of which required me to go to the service center. I have had to visit service because of updates to the built-in charger, failure of one of the tire pressure sensors, and because of a failing 12V battery. I didn't notice any problem with the latter but they emailed me that my car had sent them a message about the battery. I have also received many over the air updates to the operating system which have improved or added new features.

    No oil, no lube, no gas and the thing just keeps getting better. Here in the Pacific NW it costs me ~$2.60 for the electricity to drive 100 miles unless, of course, I'm on the road using the Supercharger network. Then it's free. About 10 trips over 1000 miles and no cost in fuel.

    It is what automobiles should be in the 21st century.
    Hey, bud, go on actual user groups and their endless list of whines  and spout your crap there. That's all I'll say.
    You got lucky, so what.

    http://www.latimes.com/business/autos/la-fi-hy-consumer-reports-tesla-models-20151020-story.html

    edited December 2015
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