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Sandy Munro: Tesla Is “Engineering At The Speed Of Thought”

Sandy Munro recently gave an extended Q&A at TeslaCon Florida 2022. I was there as well, to give a presentation on the state of the EV market and market trends. I recorded Sandy’s Q&A and was happy I did, as it was full of gems and other minerals. Below are a few video snippets of the Q&A and a little text commentary and summary for each.

In this first one, Sandy talks a bit about his evolution from being a major Tesla critic to being a Tesla superbull. For people who followed along back then, Sandy’s original assessment of Tesla vehicles is that they had very poor quality. Some top Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) short sellers and attackers highlighted this with great enthusiasm. However, upon digging in further and as time went on, Sandy became super impressed with Tesla engineering, Tesla’s software approach, and Tesla’s rapid pace of innovation. That said, I can’t say it half as well as Sandy did here (and he’s quite funny and includes some interesting anecdotes here), so I encourage you to watch the video:

Sandy also noted in that video that he and his team only do work on EVs now.

Regarding Tesla’s pace of innovation, in another segment of the Q&A (video below), Sandy noted that Tesla was doing “engineering at the speed of thought.” You can hear much more on that in the video below, but here’s a little bit more from that quote: “I equate Tesla to basically engineering at the speed of thought. They move faster — 10, 20, 100 times faster — than any company I’ve ever seen. We can’t believe how many changes they made in two years on the Model Y.” He also talked about Tesla’s evolution with casting, some exclusive info from the companies making the casting machines and molds for Tesla, and more. Enjoy the video!

One last highlight from that video before jumping to the next one: Sandy included an extremely short presentation before the Q&A. A key part of that was a chart on the Altman Z-Scores of Tesla, Toyota, Honda, Daimler, GM, Volkswagen, Stellantis, Hyundai, Ford, BMW, and Lucid. Tesla was through the roof over at about 15. Honda and Toyota were next best, barely in the “grey zone” (not the “safe zone”), at about 2. Everyone else was in the “danger zone” solidly below 2. This is something James Stephenson has highlighted over on Twitter from time to time for years. Here’s the most recent table from a tweet of his:

According to the link above from Investopedia, “A score below 1.8 means it’s likely the company is headed for bankruptcy, while companies with scores above 3 are not likely to go bankrupt.”

The last snippet I’ll highlight in this article is a short one on Tesla’s self-driving hardware. Chuck Cook (famous for his divided-highway, left-hand turn Tesla FSD testing) asked for Sandy’s thoughts on Tesla’s removal of ultrasonic sensors and low-definition radar from its cars (in favor of “Tesla Vision”). Sandy indicates that he’s a fan of many things Tesla is doing, but not this. His strong preference is to use forward-looking infrared (FLIR) cameras. Learn more here:

That’s it for a first round of highlights from this Sandy Munro Q&A. Stay tuned for more soon. Or go straight to CleanTechnica.TV to catch it all from the horse’s mouth.

(Sorry for the less than ideal audio quality — this was an unexpected, impromptu series of recordings.)

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Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.


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