Volume boutique

Toyota hasn’t yet pulled up stakes in Torrance and headed to Texas, but already their California operation has been eclipsed in size — by Tesla, which now employs 6,000 Californians, comfortably outnumbering Toyota’s 5,300.

Somehow this seems impossible, given Tesla’s occasionally parlous finances — much of their revenue has come, not from selling whiz-bang electric cars, but from trading California emissions credits — yet it is inarguably so. About the only automotive factoid that could shock me more would be finding out that Morgan, the 104-year-old maker of three-wheelers and wooden-framed sports cars that look 104 years old, or seventy anyway, is the largest British automaker still under British ownership.

Which, apparently, they are.


  1. Charles Pergiel »

    17 May 2014 · 12:58 pm

    Parlous? Me thinks you are showing off said the illiterate curmudgeon.

  2. CGHill »

    17 May 2014 · 1:06 pm

    Just don’t get me started on “desuetude.”

  3. canadienne »

    17 May 2014 · 9:52 pm

    The Oatmeal dude is pretty chuffed with his Tesla

    Parlous is indeed a great word. I may try to work it into a conversation. If that link is any indication, Mr. Oatmeal’s Tesla will not fall into a state of desuetude any time soon.

  4. CGHill »

    17 May 2014 · 10:10 pm

    The NHTSA chided Tesla for that “5.4 stars” thing, claiming it was an improper use of their rating scale, but otherwise, there wasn’t anything arguable in the whole rapturous litany.

    I figure Tesla, unlike some of the other boutique makers, has a pretty good chance of survival: the products are built to a high standard, and they’ll have the benefit of tax credits for a while longer yet. If they can ever get that range up to about 350 miles, I may have to put my name on the waiting list.

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