Expectations of Tesla’s new master plan are mixed

Global Business

Elon Musk looks at space capsuleIn this Wednesday, June 13, 2012 file photo, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, second right, and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, right, look at the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft at the SpaceX Rocket Development Facility in McGregor, Texas. Americans haven’t rocketed into orbit from their home turf since NASA’s last shuttle flight in 2011. SpaceX and Boeing expect to resume human launches from Cape Canaveral in another year or two. (Duane A. Laverty/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP)

Elon Musk has been called a visionary- a billionaire entrepreneur who wants to save the world. His name has become synonymous with high-end electric cars and an ambitious space exploration company.

But now some are arguing that he has bitten off more than he can chew with his latest move.

CCTV America’s Ahmad Coo has more.

Expectations of Tesla's new master plan are mixed

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk recently issued an updated version of the "master plan," receiving mixed reactions. CCTV America’s Ahmad Coo has the story.

If he were any other billionaire, the public would have been left scratching their heads. But Elon Musk isn’t your typical entrepreneur- his companies SpaceX and Tesla were once considered so-called moon shots. But they’ve become the avant-garde in their respective industries.

Still some say this time he’s flown too close to the sun literally and figuratively- especially with his Master Plan, Part Deux.

Musk’s Master Plan involves making Tesla and his recent purchase, SolarCity, complement each other. More specifically, the plan is to combine home energy production via solar panels and then store it on home batteries and using them to power cars and the house.

Musk believes the merger will make Tesla a one-stop shop for clean energy needs.

The market, however, isn’t so convinced.

Some believe the merger makes no sense- because both companies have quoted ‘zero business synergies’ in the past.

Engineers also say it’s unrealistic to expect the whole country to install solar panels in their homes considering the cost.

Others cite a conflict of interest for Musk, as he owns 21 percent of Tesla and 22 percent of SolarCity.

Moreover, SolarCity’s co-founder and CEO Lyndon Rive is Elon Musk’s cousin.

Tesla has taken the biggest hit from this master plan. When news of the SolarCity deal broke, more than $4.5 billion were wiped from Tesla’s market value- more than double SolarCity’s.

Despite the numerous drawbacks, there’s some cautious optimism.

According to T-REX Group’s Chairman and CEO Benjamin Cohen, chances are that when people look back in a few years they realize that this was a potentially brilliant move on his part. “It could also be a very dilutive move for what was a very focused and accelerating business in Tesla,” Cohen says. “Even if it did have its own problems, this could be very distracting from this perspective.”

Regardless of the outcome, Musk believes his master plan makes perfect sense.

But should it fail, his vision might follow the trajectory of SpaceX’s early rocket launches- a spectacular ascension to the heavens, with an equally disastrous fall back to earth.

Ashlee Vance discusses Tesla’s new master plan

To further discuss Tesla Motors’ new master plan, CCTV America’s Rachelle Akuffo spoke to Ashlee Vance, author of “Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future.”

Levi Tillemann on Tesla, US car sales

To further discuss Tesla’s Master Plan Part Deux and U.S. car sales in general, CCTV America’s Rachelle Akuffo spoke with Levi Tillemann, managing partner with Valence Strategic and author of “The Great Race: The Global Quest for the Car of the Future.”