Monday, November 9, 2015

"Tesla Now Faces a Billionaire-Backed Competitor Staffed by Its Former Engineers" (TSLA)

When Elon was calling engineers who left Tesla names: "Musk Says The People Apple Hires From Tesla Are The 'Failures' (TSLA; AAPL)", he didn't mention those who joined this company.
From New York Magazine's Daily Intelligencer:
Is there room enough for both Tesla Motors and Faraday Future in our electric-car, uh, future? A Chinese billionaire is backing what hopes to be a rival to Elon Musk's enterprise. The 18-month-old company, based out of Southern California, aims to roll out its first long-range, premium model, comparable to Tesla's Model S, by 2017. The engineer who oversaw the chassis design of the Model S, Nick Sampson, is now Faraday's research-and-development chief. 
The billionaire backer is Jia Yueting, founder of LeTV ("China's Netflix"). A partner of Yueting is listed on the incorporating documents as chief executive. There have been some rumors of the company being an Apple-affiliated venture; Apple is said to want to get into the car business. In any case, Sampson has said the car will be more like a smartphone. 
“Our business model is not based around moving a car out of the dealer,” Sampson said. “We envision this like a smart phone. The revenue starts once you get the device in the owners’ hands. We’re looking at subscriptions and apps and other opportunities.” This could include car-sharing services, which already operate off your phone. 
The concept syncs with Yueting's background in streaming services, combined with his massive Chinese market success in the mobile-phone game. (LeTV claims to have sold 1 million of its Le Superphone in just five months.)...MORE