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Tesla is 'going out of business,' says former GM exec Bob Lutz

  • Tesla is a "losing enterprise" that won't last, Bob Lutz, former vice chairman of General Motors, told CNBC on Friday.
  • "There is no secret sauce in Tesla. They use the same lithium-ion batteries as everybody else," he said.
  • He said "at this rate they'll never get to 2019."

Tesla is a "losing enterprise" that won't last, Bob Lutz, former vice chairman of General Motors, told CNBC on Friday.

"The company, folks, is going out of business. At this rate they'll never get to 2019," the well-known Tesla skeptic said in an interview with "Power Lunch."

Among the issues facing the electric-car maker are fixed costs that are out of control, an inefficient manufacturing operation and no dealership network, Lutz said.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk shows off the Tesla Semi as he unveils the company's new electric semi truck during a presentation in Hawthorne, California, U.S., November 16, 2017.
Alexandria Sage | Reuters
Tesla CEO Elon Musk shows off the Tesla Semi as he unveils the company's new electric semi truck during a presentation in Hawthorne, California, U.S., November 16, 2017.

Plus, there's nothing about Tesla that can't be easily duplicated by other automobile companies, he argued.

"There is no secret sauce in Tesla. They use the same lithium-ion batteries as everybody else."

In fact, he thinks GM might even have an advantage because its batteries are arguably more capable and lower cost.

Tesla revealed a new electric semitrailer and sports car at an event Thursday night. On Friday, large trucking company J.B. Hunt Transport Services said it reserved "multiple Tesla Semi tractors" and Wal-Mart said it wasgoing to test the new trucks.

Tesla shares were up nearly 3 percent Friday morning but gave back much of those gains, closing 0.8 percent higher.

Lutz believes the announcements were a way to deflect from the company's financial troubles.

"They are hemorrhaging cash. They're going to have to go for another capital raise," he said.

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

— CNBC's Robert Ferris contributed to this report.