To deliver on your promises of reaching your target two years early, you first have to deliver on building them – and it is a daunting task.
Announcing that the annual production target of half a million cars will be achieved in 2018 was, probably, based on orders and projections. Now, Elon Musk has to find the people who will make that happen. And having the VPs in charge of production and manufacturing leave the very same day doesn’t look that good.
“You’re looking at a company with significant levels of management turnover at the highest ends, people without experience in the planning, design or build of vehicles, and you expect to crank it up at those kinds of volumes?” auto manufacturing consultant Michael Tracy told Autonews, clearly doubting Musk knows what lies ahead.
Reporting losses in Q1 is the least of Tesla’s worries right now: what matters is recruiting personnel with an expertise in the automotive industry, and that’s going to be hard.
A 2015 Deloitte report states that it takes three months to hire skilled engineers, of which there has been a shortage in the US even before the 2008 crisis that nearly destroyed the sector. Plus, Tesla has to compete with established players, like Ford, GM etc., along with newcomers like Apple for the same limited pool of talent out there.
Enticing the young is easy, but old hands with 15-20 years of experience won’t be easily drawn to Tesla, says VP of the Society of Automotive Engineers, Cuneyt Oge, adding that the high cost of living in Silicon Valley is seen as a disadvantage.
So, maybe they should hold back before popping the cork on the bubbly on account of the soaring Model 3 orders. “It’s like reservations for a restaurant that’s not open yet”, exclaimed automotive recruiter Stephen Parkford. “You got the menu, but you don’t have a chef!”