Why Are "Thousands" of Teslas Sitting In a Field in California?

"There's so much inventory here, it's crazy."

When Tesla finally met its Model 3 production run rate target, astute investors and analysts pointed out the use of the word "factory gated" in the company's press release: “Not only did we factory gate 5000 Model 3’s, but we also achieved the S & X production target for a combined 7000 vehicle week!” Musk wrote in an email to his staff that week.

It was a term that Tesla hadn’t used before.

Now, thanks to a couple of sleuths on Twitter, we may have just found out what the term means. Twitter Tesla sleuth @ISpyTSLA, with the help of others, has been trying to figure out exactly where all these vehicles are winding up. @ISpyTSLA found that it appears that "thousands" of vehicles are being stored "in a field" 500 E Louise Ave, Lathrop, CA 95330.


A google map visual of the address:

According to public records, the property was also available for lease just 6 months ago, suggesting that Tesla leased it recently. Why?

Perhaps as a place to temporarily dump cars that should be 'off the books' or as some said,' "There's so much inventory here, it's crazy."

The accompanying video appears to show "thousands" of Tesla vehicles just rusting in the open air under the scorching California sun.

Additional video shows the Twitter users initial approach to the property, which appears to have a gate with a warning sign that the premises are being video monitored.

The Twitter user notes that trucks seem to be bringing cars in, but not out. Follow up Tweets noted  that "there's no real activity in the inventory lot" before noting that "some cars are coming out".

Meanwhile, as another Twitter user noted, another just as vast pile of Model 3s can be found near the Burbank Hollywood Airport.

The reaction from Twitter was underwhelming.

But why stash the cars there? Is it to optimize net working capital and give investors - and auditors - the impression of more liquidity than is actually available?

Surely this will, or should, be one of the "boring" questions asked on the company's conference, if PricewaterhouseCoopers doesn't ask first. 

Meanwhile, Tesla already had to fend off a downgrade from Needham this morning, who warned that Model 3 refunds were moving faster than deposits, something we documented here over a month ago.

"Based on our checks, refunds are outpacing deposits as cancellations accelerate," wrote analyst Rajvindra Gill in the note Thursday. "The reasons are varied: extended wait times, the expiration of the $7,500 credit, and unavailability of the $35k base model."

"In August '17, TSLA cited a refund rate of 12%. Almost a year later, we believe it has doubled and outpaced deposits. Model 3 wait times are currently 4-12 months and with base model not available until mid-2019, consumers could wait until 2020," Gill added.

This morning Tesla refuted this, however, with the discovery of this new lot Tesla's PR spin job for today may only be getting started.


Hugh_Jorgan Manthong Thu, 07/19/2018 - 16:35 Permalink

There probably aren't any batteries in them. These cars are in various states of technical completeness. Processes that were too time-consuming and parts that were not readily available were skipped in order to complete their ridiculous publicity stunt. No one likely knows the missing bits for any given car so they are junk. This is what happens when you are able to do what you're doing because of lots of "other-people's money". 4th turning bitchez, gross waste and abuse. All the big manufacturers are doing it, why shouldn't Tesla?

In reply to by Manthong

mkkby Skateboarder Thu, 07/19/2018 - 17:29 Permalink

Because Tesla is the ONLY ONE that needs to raise billions in order to produce junk that sits rusting away.

The other car makers turn a profit, have an actual dealer network, have millions of independent mechanics that can service their cars.

As I've said here many times, when interest rates are too low it just results in waste.  It's too easy to raise money for projects that would never see the light of day if rates were a normal 5-7%.  Greenie libtrards think the earth is important.  What about their cult leader taking tons of valuable mineral resources and just throwing it away in secret dumps like this?  It's indecent and immoral.

In reply to by Skateboarder

El Oregonian bamawatson Thu, 07/19/2018 - 21:11 Permalink

Man, I know that TPTB "Installed" Musk (as they did with Zuckerberg) and almost all these so-called young lions of industry, who are the place-sitters for these dark, murky, shadowy, entities who actually run these idiots, through the cabal known as a den of snakes.


His MK-ULTRA training has reached its apex, only to find it wasn't what he expected... Now the long road down...

In reply to by bamawatson

Endgame Napoleon mkkby Thu, 07/19/2018 - 20:34 Permalink

Elon Musk manufactures here in the USA.

Most American car manufacturers, other than Ford, took bigly bailout money from American taxpayers and then set up shop in racially homogenous, cheap-labor countries in China & Latin America. Ford went straight to Mexico, bypassing the bailout cash. 

“Profitable” American car manufacturers still do some production in the USA, mostly hiring groups of young temps. They pay the youthful, blue-collar temp workers more than most white-collar temp jobs around here offer.

About 5 years ago, a local car manufacturer was paying temps $17 per hour, as opposed to the typical $10 per hour offered to white-collar non-college-grad office workers or $12 per hour for white-collar college-grad office workers. I recently saw an article, suggesting that the same American car manufacturer is now paying young temps even more, quite a bit more.

The article was adorned with a photo of an aging union worker, but no explanation was provided about how this system really works, with the young temps hired to do the bulk of the physically demanding labor. Due to senority, a small group of old union workers avoid that work, doing the cushier tasks. 

The liberal agenda pusher who wrote the article, sticking a photo on it with an especially aged union worker, was probably promoting the faulty idea that America needs more immigration to fill those jobs due to an aging population, when, in fact, the young Millennial generation is BIGGER than the aging Boomer generation. 

Furthermore, American citizens often get on lists to fill those high-paying temp jobs in car manufacturing. Applicants often have six-month waiting periods due to the massive number of job seekers, chasing those rare, high-paying TEMPORARY jobs.

Much like state jobs, US citizens must wait to get a good-paying temp job with those car manufacturers, and if the person who wrote the article had talked to temps who actually worked those jobs, s/he would know it. But it might not matter; advocates of mass-scale immigration gonna advocate. 

In reply to by mkkby

Withdrawn Sanction 1982xls Fri, 07/20/2018 - 07:02 Permalink

And...?  Ford did not declare bankruptcy, nor did it manhandle its creditors like the General did...well, the General did w/the help from Uncle.  It screwed its senior secured bond holders in favor of workers and pensions allowing the workers to jump the line.   

Maybe some people think that's a good thing, and maybe it is, but it upsets decades of established bankruptcy/liquidation/reorganization practices and it's just another illustration of the "just us" principle of modern lawfare.  

And before anyone says it, yes Im sure a lot "wealthy" investors got screwed by the General's malfeasance, and neo-Marxists think that's a good thing.  However, a lot of ordinary investors got screwed too...you know, people with insurance policies, annuities, pensions, and 401-Ks who were invested in the General's bonds.  

The General's reorganization also obviated several lawsuits against it, like the ignition issue.  So people who were injured by the General's negligence, were injured a second time.   

So your equivocation on the Big 3 is just that:  an ill-informed attempt to have it both ways.  The two are similar in that both do take resources from government....who takes resources from us...but the outcomes were vastly different.  

Finish your homework.

In reply to by 1982xls

Captain Nemo d… Endgame Napoleon Fri, 07/20/2018 - 02:58 Permalink

racially homogenous, cheap-labor countries in China & Latin America.

Why, oh why, does race have to get into everything.

Latin America is now racially homogenous? Like a mix of white, black, native american and probably now even some middle eastern too? By the way all Chinese may look the same to outsiders but I am sure there are many peoples within that country as well.

Musk is manufacturing in the US because originally he is from South Africa. So by that token he is doing the same thing American capitalists are doing: going to another country and setting up shop there. Why do they all do that? Probably because they cannot stand the locals. Too familiar with them.


In reply to by Endgame Napoleon