On the second, one Edward Nowack wrote, in comments:
There is just an awful lot of BS with this new “machine that builds the machine” nonsense. I am the sales manager of a company that makes a specialized industrial control product that is used in auto assembly plants all over the globe. In that capacity I visit body welding robots in auto assembly plants around the world several times a year.
Auto assembly is perhaps the highest expression of industrial automation. Modern plants produce 1000 to 2000 cars per day. Hundreds of very large welding robots do their work to an accuracy better than 1 mm. There are no secrets about how to do it. Robot makers in Europe and the U.S. will sell the same machines anywhere in the world.
No one who understands auto assembly would take seriously the claim that manufacturing engineers at GM, Ford, Honda, Nissan, or Toyota don’t know what they’re doing. Yet that’s what Elon would have you believe, along with the fiction that he has a better idea of how to do it.
I’ve been inside the Tesla plant several times, and I’ve heard the stories from experienced engineers who report finding arrogance combined with inexperience. And incredible pressure to perform. At the same time, they have a lot of smart people, and I’ve met some of them.
I personally think that Elon’s forecast of his production ramp on the Model 3 is nonsense, and I’d love to short TSLA. But I stop myself because the guy somehow seems to pull stuff from a hat. Is this where magic meets hard core reality?