Blogs & Comment

Winners & Losers: Tesla charges up its sales, Sears’ CEO splits

Things have to be pretty bad if your big opportunity to move up is the book industry

▲ Tesla Motors

Don’t ask about the rocket

Tesla car

Another one of Elon Musk’s rockets may have recently blown up, depriving astronauts of much needed supplies, but at least he can be happy about one of his other transportation-related pursuits. Tesla sold 11,507 of its Model S sedans in the second quarter of the year, beating its own forecast and setting a company record. Tesla stands in contrast to other car companies, which have struggled to sell electric vehicles in an era of low fuel prices. Nissan sold about 9,000 Leaf cars in the first six months of the year, whereas Tesla sold more than 20,000 vehicles during the same time period. Part of the reason is that Tesla may just make a superior vehicle. The range of the Model S is longer, and it can carry more passengers than other electric vehicles. (It also costs about US$72,000.) But the life of a Tesla owner is not without hardship. Recently, people have started complaining about long wait times at the company’s “free for life” charging stations. They’re intended to be used for those who need to charge up before long road trips, but some owners are using them for local trips, creating line ups. After Musk frowned upon the practice at a shareholders meeting, the company’s web forum was overwhelmed by angry comments from entitled Tesla-owning man-babies. Just think of how they’ll react when they see the line for the Hyperloop.

 Sears Canada

In the future everyone will be CEO of Sears for 15 minutes

Sears storefront, abandoned

Do you want to be the CEO of Sears Canada? Will you stay in the job for at least six months? If so, you’ve probably got a shot. The country’s foremost struggling retailer is once again without a CEO now that Ron Boire has bailed after less than a year with the company. Boire is the fourth guy in four years to lead Sears, which saw sales decline 9.7% in the first quarter compared to the same period last year. This is on top of a terrible 2014, in which same store sales dropped 8.3%, revenue fell nearly 14%, and 2,000 jobs were cut. The company has been sidelined by competition, particularly from Walmart Canada, and has been unable to revive its flagging brand. Analysts are saying the next few quarters are crucial for Sears if it’s ever to turn itself around and be more than that sad place where your dad buys his khakis. Boire, who previously worked at Best Buy and Brookstone (which filed for bankruptcy last year), parlayed his successful tenure of sales declines at Sears into a job as CEO of struggling bookseller Barnes & Noble, where, somehow, we think he’ll feel right at home.