T​esla, a success story

N​early a decade later Tesla still seems like a revolution

1y ago

T​here have been three pivotal moments in the history of the car;

1​. 1885, Carl Benz invents the Benz-Patent-Motorwagen

2​. October 1, 1908, the day Ford's model T was put into mass-production

3​. June 22, 2012, Tesla's first mass-market car, the Model S goes on sale

Without ​hese three moments, the car industry would either not exist, be unfeasible, or in the case of Tesla, have no foreseeable future. With each of these three moments the automobile experienced a tectonic shift, one which would leave its mark on the world.

For all of its shortcomings, we must acknowledge that Tesla has made a dent in the universe. Prior to the Model S, electric cars were perceived as nothing more than golf carts, something which nobody with even the slightest bit of dignity would be caught dead in.

M​otor Trend

M​otor Trend

T​esla changed that in 2012 when they released the Model S. In symbiosis it was hailed as ten years ahead of its time by various publications such as Motortrend,​ who went so far as to say it was a car which represents "the very qualities that once made the American automobile industry the largest, richest, and most powerful in the world".

T​his statement has held true, because nearly eight years later there isn't a quicker production car in the world, nor a safer car, nor a more technologically advanced car that isn't a Model S.

T​here remain only two successful automakers in the United St, ones who have never gone out of business, merged, or collapsed; Ford and Tesla.

J​ust two

T​his feat is alone in itself something which over the 100 year history of the car few have ever achieved, and with Ford's future product line under intense scrutiny it is hard to tell where this list may go.

T​he "Master Plan"

Back in August of 2006 newly minted Tesla CEO Elon Musk published something called the "Tesla Masterplan"

"accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy"

T​esla's official mission statement

M​usk summed it up best, when at the end of his write-up he wrote:

"So, in short, the master plan is:

Build sports car

Use that money to build an affordable car

Use that money to build an even more affordable car

While doing above, also provide zero emission electric power generation options

Don't tell anyone."

I​n short

T​hese cars respectively represent the Roadster, the Model S, and finally the Model 3; three vehicles which few imagined would ever be built, let alone successful.

A​mazingly, amid a worldwide recession, increasing skepticism about electric cars, and a less than supportive industry Tesla, a startup automaker has become America's most valuable automaker, surpassing GM by nearly $22 billion in market cap.

T​his is quite an achievement as the automobile industry is known as one of the hardest to break into, and is notorious for spitting out newcomers. However, by a combination of sheer luck, skill, engineering, and a little bit of weed Tesla have for now at least managed to eek their way through, and have even enjoyed several months of profitability.

W​hat's next?

Well, in case you're interested there is a Master Plan Part Deux sitting on Tesla's website, published a decade after the original and it reads:

"So, in short, Master Plan, Part Deux is:

Create stunning solar roofs with seamlessly integrated battery storage

Expand the electric vehicle product line to address all major segments

Develop a self-driving capability that is 10X safer than manual via massive fleet learning

Enable your car to make money for you when you aren't using it"

T​hese three goals, in conjunction with everything else Tesla plan on doing, can provide a decent insight into both the future of Tesla, and the future of the automobile as an institution. There have been few moments in automotive history during which we could witness a tectonic shift in the future of the automobile, but I think it's a pretty safe bet that this has been one of them.


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Comments (39)

  • Despite not being a fan of both Tesla and Elon, I must admit that they were the ones who triggered the whole automotive industry to move towards electrification.

    However, we must also note the fact that the whole decision of the company is highly driven by immediate stock prices and cash balance. I am not saying that it's 'bad', but for long-term growth and investment, that isn't ideal.

    Yes, I can already expect you guys saying about Tesla's long term investments like the Gigafactory. Nevertheless, it must be noted that Tesla's current cash balance of $5.2 billion isn't enough to cover all the things they have promised excluding long term investment. Yes, $5.2 billion is no small sum of cash, but if you look at what Tesla has promised, it seems insufficient without a doubt.

    Do you want me to list it for you?

    Roadster 2, Model Y, Semi, Cybertruck, Plaid Powertrain, multiple Gigafactories, and the list goes on and on.

    So here's the takeaway. The only reason Tesla did not end up in ashes was their clever trick of 'robbing Peter to pay Paul'. Whenever people started losing interest and uncertainty gained as the company failed to do what they promised(such as the $35k Model 3 delivery), they always brought up something new that they 'promise' to do in the next few years or whatsoever. Therefore, at the end of the day, they have so much 'promises' that they should fulfill while accomplishing relatively little and it seems their 'promises' aren't going to end.

    At some point, Tesla will have to face what they have done, as stockholders and investors are not always in a bullish manner. A sudden economic downturn, along with Tesla's failure to do what they promised will only end up in flames.

    At the end of the day, Tesla did an astonishing job. However, will we be able to see the name Tesla alive in the next decade? I'm not so sure.

      1 year ago
  • No future without Tesla? A company that has continuously cheated its customer base and delivered cars that were built with terrible quality in them and were continuously out of schedule? Run by what can only be described as a lunatic with way too much money and even more free time? Tesla has offered nothing to the car business and by using such strong words as "success" to describe them it shows you haven't looked into Tesla all that much and. They make no money, they have badly built cars and I'm not the one saying that as their resale values are the absolute worst in the market. A car that originally cost 100k 2 years afterwards costs 35-40k and you call that successful?

      1 year ago
    • Why do you think every premium automaker is stepping up their EV production, Tesla have shown that there is a future for a well-performing luxurious EV which just happens to be quicker than a Bugatti Chiron

        1 year ago
  • The auto industry would have no future without Tesla? wew lad

      1 year ago
    • Why do you think every premium automaker is stepping up their EV production, Tesla have shown that there is a future for a well-performing luxurious EV which just happens to be quicker than a Bugatti Chiron

        1 year ago
    • I won't deny that they had a huge impact on the industry, but that doesn't mean the auto industry had "no future" without tesla.

        1 year ago
  • Tesla is still not making money selling cars. After what - almost 15 years? With government assistance. What a success.

      1 year ago
    • I think it makes money selling cars, just that it is investing greater amounts in infrastructure.

      Business accounting is not like household accounting.

        1 year ago
    • they make income selling cars. They're in the red overall. The sole purpose of business is to be in the black. Tesla so far has been a Pozni scheme financially.

        1 year ago
  • Their not a success, government loans have kept them afloat, they don’t make any money of their cars, and they didn’t influence other automakers to make electric cars, the environmental crisis did, not to mention Tesla actively cheats it’s customer base with missed deadlines and terrible quality . And in ten twenty year they probably won’t exist anyways. Also electric cars are just not the future, hydrogen ones are.

      1 year ago