by Paula Mints
In June, Tesla (TSLA) announced it would shut down some of its solar installation stores, end its agreement to sell solar systems through Home Depot and either lay off or reassign affected workers. Tesla indicated that this was part of its overall plan, that is, business as usual.
Comment: In 2016, Elon Musk, oops, Tesla adopted, oops, acquired, SolarCity from his cousins, oops, SolarCity shareholders for $2.6-million, oops, $2.6 billion, ramming the deal down skeptical shareholder’s throats, oops, making an economically rational case for the deal. A shareholder lawsuit is working its way through the courts. SolarCity, the pioneer of the money losing, highly flawed solar lease model, was never profitable, which is likely the reason for the lawsuit.
Lesson: Almost always a bad idea to mix business with family, particularly when it involves buying a business that had never (ever) been profitable. Layoffs, sadly, were a matter of time and are
Paula Mints is founder of SPV Market Research, a classic solar market research practice focused on gathering data through primary research and providing analyses of the global solar industry. You can find her on Twitter @PaulaMints1 and read her blog here.
This article was originally published in SPV Reaserch’s monthly newsletter, the Solar Flare, and is republished with permission.