eIn his first interview, after his electric car maker Tesla made a profit for the first time in years, lon Musk has declared the critical phase over. "Tesla is no longer staring at death," he said in the podcast "Recode Decode" by American journalist Kara Swisher. "I think we are over the mountain."
After massive difficulties in the production start-up of the middle-class car Model 3 in the months of July to September Tesla had a surprisingly high profit of over 311 million dollars (273 million euros) retracted. Musk expects that the company will make sustainable money in the electric car business in the future. In September Spitz pointed out that this situation was over. Tesla will probably never need additional capital again, all investments of the future could be financed from their own profits.
Musk said it was "incredibly difficult to survive as a carmaker". All attempts in recent years to found a new manufacturer, had failed. "It's absurd that Tesla is still alive – absurd," Musk said. "Tesla must not die because Tesla is incredibly important for the future of sustainable mobility." Only the success of Tesla have also driven the other carmakers to electric mobility.
"You have to go crazy if you work 120 hours"
The only possible success was because everyone at Tesla worked 100 hours a week. He acknowledged that this workload had also overburdened him. "This year was incredibly painful, the worst year of my career," Musk said. He is now working 80 to 90 hours a week, but there have also been weeks with 120 working hours this year.
"You have to go crazy a bit if you work 120 hours a week," he admitted, conceding that the congestion had also caused him to make mistakes. He also included the announcement to take Tesla from the stock market, which he had spread via Twitter and later had to withdraw. In a comparison with the stock exchange supervisory Musk not only had to pay a fine, but also cede as Chairman of the Board of Tesla.
He's been dealing with some of the problems of the past few months, Musk said. "My brother said if you hurt yourself, can not you at least turn the knife in the wound?" He said. He does not do this intentionally, but because he is under massive pressure and does not get much sleep.
Musk did not want to move away from his media criticism, which he had also frequently expressed in recent months via Twitter, but also in the presentation of balance sheets. "The prestige of the media has dropped quite dramatically for me. The amount of untruths written is unbelievable, "he claimed.
Journalists who write the wrong things are "terrible people". "Take this to heart and make it better," he said. He himself is not particularly sensitive to criticism. Nevertheless, he regrets the verbal attacks on journalists. "I probably should not have attacked any journalists," Musk admits at the end of the conversation.
Tesla should be unassailable in a self-driving car
At least on Twitter, he will attack in the future probably less critics. Musk confirmed that the settlement with the Exchange Supervision also includes requirements for its use of the Short Message Service. According to Musk, he should no longer tweet about Tesla during the stock market trading hours, "if it should be something that could trigger a substantial move of the price".
However, you do not have to worry that Musk will communicate only in the meantime, or not at all. When it comes to autonomous driving, the Tesla boss used to be self-confident: "I do not think any competitor is even close to Tesla when it comes to developing a basic solution for self-driving cars." While he could not completely rule out that it was still somewhere give a very top secret development project. "I would be very surprised if any other car maker overtook Tesla in the self-driving car," he said.
Tesla's Autopilot assistance system should be able to drive anywhere in 2019, Musk claimed. At most, he sees Google's offshoot for autonomous driving, Waymo, as a serious competitor. He does not trust the classic manufacturers. "They are simply not good with software and that's a software problem." Manufacturers like BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen are currently developing autonomous driving functions that they want to bring to market in the coming years.