Fast Company’s Story on Tesla Motors.
I really enjoyed the recent article on Tesla Motors in Fast Company. I had 3 observations:
- I never realized right from the get go that Musk had a clear goal to get to a mass produced electric car. Start with the most profitable car (high end sports car) and keep iterating down toward a more mass market car
I was definitely guilty of thinking that the whole thing was rather elitist. So good to be proven wrong there.
- The enormity of the task that they’re taking on. To quote the article: “What could go wrong?” says Adam Jonas, an auto analyst at Morgan Stanley. “New technology, new factory, new manufacturing techniques, new company, new distribution channels—there are very few things here that aren’t new.”
Is there a middle ground? It seems as though, with something so high risk, that you would reduce risk where you can. Yet it seems Tesla believes, to do something this revolutionary, you need to have a clean sheet for everything. If that’s true, it’s probably a cultural issue that overrides practical reasoning.
- No mention of Brand: Concerns about the success of Tesla were couched in relation to the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf - the two current electric cars on the market. However, the term “Tesla” is a technology brand akin to Apple, Google or Facebook vs an Auto brand.
Think brand doesn’t matter? If you stripped out the Toyota Prius from hybrid sales the category would be a complete disaster. Put the Prius back in and it’s a very dynamic segment. In 2011 there were a 136 000 Prius’s sold. Next best? A paltry 15 000 or so Honda Insights. People aren’t buying hybrid’s as much as they’re buying Prius’. I think the same thing will happen with the Tesla.
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