Home » Tesla Is Finally Going To Start Advertising As Elon Musk Touts ‘New’ Models

Tesla Is Finally Going To Start Advertising As Elon Musk Touts ‘New’ Models

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Yesterday was Tesla’s annual shareholders meeting and, by and large, Elon Musk acted relatively normal for a CEO who doesn’t believe in norms. And by relatively normal, I mean he talked about new products, addressed succession concerns, referenced Magneto from “X-Men,” and said some typically bizzare stuff that you can engage with (via that link) if you’ve missed arguing with your weird uncle about pizza-based conspiracies. Anyway, in today’s news roundup we’re going to be a little Tesla heavy because, frankly, that’s where the news is this morning. But, if you stick around and don’t try to steal your sister’s iPad, I promise you some updates on a Jeep recall and maybe even a story about BYD.

Tesla Is Going To Start Advertising Like A Real Company

Teslaad2As I write this, totally randomly, the song off of Carolyn Polacheck’s great new album that features Elon Musk’s ex-partner Grimes just started playing. It’s a sign! It’s a sign!

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Elon Musk loves defying the status quo. The whole promise of Tesla was that the car industry was doing it wrong and he could be more successful by not acting like Detroit or Stuttgart. He was, in part, right. While Tesla isn’t perfect, the big bets he made early were mostly the correct ones. This has created a feedback loop wherein Elon Musk is always defying the status quo, even when it doesn’t entirely make sense. Sometimes it feels like Elon Musk now lives in a Cargo Cult of his own design.

One of his earliest decisions was to not advertise in any traditional sense. Why? The media loves covering Tesla, and he can self generate his own interest so why toss money to publishers? This seems to have worked. I’d argue that opening up a bunch of stores in malls and shopping centers is a type of marketing, but it’s not the usual way of doing things.

It sounds like that’s changing. Why? Here’s Automotive News with an explanation of his sudden change of heart:

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Musk said it was “ironic” that as CEO of Tesla, he now owns Twitter. The social media platform is highly dependent on ads and will soon be led by advertising veteran Linda Yaccarino, who he hired last week.

“So I guess I should say advertising is awesome, and everyone should do it,” Musk said at Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting in Austin, Texas. “We will try out a little advertising and see how it goes.”

It underscores his efforts to shore up investor confidence in the automaker’s prospects at a time when rising competition and a slow economy has forced Tesla to slash prices.

In addition to living in a Cargo Cult of his own design, Elon Musk is also a walking monkey paw. I’m sure the folks at big agencies like Ogilvy and BBDO are licking their lips to get some of that sweet, sweet Tesla money, but I’m curious to see what this will actually look like. Will he just run ads on Twitter and call it a day? Will he hire an actual agency or just do it himself?

Just for fun, Jason put together a couple of potential Tesla ads. Neither the ad at the top of this post or the one in this story are real.

Here’s A Render Of A “New” Tesla Product

New Model Y

One of the biggest criticisms of Tesla is that all of its cars are old. It’s not an entirely fair point as Tesla is quite aggressive when it comes to making updates on the fly, though it’s clear Tesla ain’t exactly Chevy in the 1950s. While the Model S has seen improvements in engineering, features, and capabilities, it looks mostly like the car that came out more than a decade ago.

Sure, there’s the Tesla Cybertruck, a vehicle that seems to exist and that some people will eventually be able to buy. The same is true for the Tesla Roadster. I think people who put down a deposit for the Roadster will someday get a car. Just not anytime soon.

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With so many other competitive vehicles out there, it behooves Tesla to come out with new products. Or at least refresh the cars it does have.

Here’s what Musk said at the meeting: “There are two new products that I think you’ll be very excited about. Both the design of the products and the manufacturing techniques are head and shoulders above anything else that is present in the industry.”

Will those be cars? Robots? It’s unclear, but Tesla did show the render above. If I had to guess, I’d say that’s a refreshed Tesla Model Y, which makes sense because it’s the company’s volume leader even if the Model Y is young by Tesla standards (it went on sale three years ago). Still, if you’re going to pick one place to start, I’d start with the Model Y. There are also clearly new Tesla Model 3 mules running around, so it’s possible the Model 3 is the second new product.

Musk also told people he was going to stick around for a while. I assume you could do an entire “Succession” series based on Elon Musk’s many kids trying to take over his many companies. It would be fun to watch. Everyone will have to wait a little longer as Musk announced, to cheers, that he’s not leaving anytime soon.

BYD Hires 4,000-5,000 New Software Engineers

Byd Exterior Rear

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BYD Chairman Wang Chaunfu is an engineer first and a CEO second. Therefore, he’s never seen a problem he can’t throw engineers at. Seriously, Chinese automaker/technology company BYD has 660,000 employees, which is approximately the number of people who live in the entire state of Vermont.

While BYD has been dominating the EV market in China and coming out with exciting new vehicles like the BYD Seagull, the reality is the company lags its competitors in the development of assisted and automated driving technology. The company’s solution? Per Reuters:

Between 4,000 and 5,000 software engineers have been hired recently, BYD senior vice president Stella Li told an investor forum this month when quizzed why the automaker was behind in automation and intelligence technologies.

“We are not ahead of others but we will come up with various types of innovation in two to three years,” she said according to a transcript that was confirmed as accurate by the company.

Current BYD recruiting advertisements for engineers specialising in autonomous driving that target top Chinese universities such as Zhejiang University, indicate that the hiring is ongoing.

Here’s my advice: When BYD says it’s going to do something, believe it.

Jeep Cherokee Owners Asked To Park Their Jeeps Outside

2014 Jeep Cherokee Limited

If you own a 2014 to 2016 Jeep Cherokee, the company would prefer it if you parked the vehicle outside due to a serious fire risk with the small SUVs.

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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an “electrical short in the power lift gate module may lead to a vehicle fire with the ignition on or off. This recall affects 132,099 vehicles previously repaired during a 2015 recall.”

A remedy hasn’t been developed yet, so far now just keep the Jeeps away from anything flammable.

The Big Question/Flush

What should Tesla’s advertising tagline be?

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Chris D
Chris D
9 months ago

Tesla needs to team up with smythkitcars and have a Ute kit made for one of their current offerings. Cut off the upper back half, weld in some reinforcements, install the truck bed kit, attach the lights, and you’re good to go. 90% of the car’s parts are already designed, tested and and available, just change the rear section.

Iwannadrive637
Iwannadrive637
9 months ago

“Conform or Die.”

Sean O'Brien
Sean O'Brien
9 months ago

I generally can’t stand Grimes, but she wrote the intro for ‘Hilda’ my daughter’s favorite cartoon that I don’t mind watching with her, so props to her for that.

Joshua Christian
Joshua Christian
9 months ago
Reply to  Sean O'Brien

Hilda’s great

James Davidson
James Davidson
9 months ago

Tesla: 99 44/100% Pure Musk

Chris with bad opinions
Chris with bad opinions
9 months ago

Not really a tag line but here goes:

Totalitarian
Enigmatic
Smarmy
Loser
Asshole

When you want to buy a car from a company owned by a narcissistic psychopath.

Ryanola
Ryanola
9 months ago

Why is BYD hiring engineers. Why doesn’t BYD just do as the Chinese do and steal all the IP tech they need to pull ahead of the west? Chinese company not just grifting on every advanced society, then building it cheaper and crappier?

Fix It Again Tony
Fix It Again Tony
9 months ago
Reply to  Ryanola

You still need someone to understand what was stolen.

Last edited 9 months ago by Fix It Again Tony
MrLM002
MrLM002
9 months ago

electrical short in the power lift gate module may lead to a vehicle fire with the ignition on or off. This recall affects 132,099 vehicles previously repaired during a 2015 recall

I’ve never had a mechanical rear hatch start a fire nor have I ever worried about that happening as it’s more likely we’ll all die in a nuclear holocaust than a mechanical rear hatch spontaneously combusting.

Kody Dagley
Kody Dagley
9 months ago
Reply to  MrLM002

Amen….I know I sound like an old man yelling at clouds, but could we please go back to simple cars again? All the random gimmicky stuff we add to new cars we don’t really need is so frustrating…

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
9 months ago

So a rich dude changes his mind about something when it’s financially convenient for him. Same dude that attempts to argue that morality dictates that nobody should be working from home (because he thinks they are lazy and not making him enough money). I don’t think I’ve seen anyone more full of himself.

I’m trying to stop listening to anything this guys says… but its so hard because the press is always putting it out in front. Is there an internet filter where I can remove any mention of Musk? I would pay money for that. A Tesla, notsomuch.

ADDvanced
ADDvanced
9 months ago

Tesla’s mission statement was to electrify transportation to reduce carbon footprint…. and like… working from home does that in spades, while simultaneously making traffic better for everyone who IS driving somewhere.

I was a heavy TSLA bull since 2013 and made a decent chunk of change over the years; sold all of it a few months ago. F that guy, he’s off his meds and going full kanye.

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