Tesla has a really strong marketing team, the general consensus is that they're outselling the big manufacturers, but looking at the fine print, they're outselling the big manufacturers in a single model comparison (this is key). In the short term, I think they're going to do quite well. Their technology is being used by big manufacturers as well (specifically, Toyota and Mercedes) so they're going down the right path.
The problem is long term. They can churn out all the Model X's they want, but they will have problems scaling up quickly to 10, 20 models like the big manufacturers. Look back at the Tesla promises, and you'll see that they've had delays and problems ramping up to target production numbers over the years. As with any leading edge company, they'll get fucked over if they can't scale fast enough. The big manufacturers can design, develop, and manufacture at rates that makes Tesla look like a backyard operation. If they feel like it's time that the market is ready for EV's, where all the showstoppers have been ironed out (quick charge, convenience of a gas vehicle, etc), they'll make Tesla look stupid. This is why Toyota and Mercedes is relying on Tesla today, it's a cheap way for them to get into the EV market and test the waters, without a heavy investment, and with a product that's proven with today's technological barriers.
EV's are still a novelty, anyone that think it will take over the world in the short term is dreaming. There needs to be so much infrastructure built to properly support it to make it fesible for critical mass. It can be the best product out there, but once it reaches critical mass, it doesn't matter. Shitty products sell, and is what rakes in the money. With that being said, Tesla needs to be able to scale up from a boutique manufacturer to a real manufacturing level to beat the big manufacturers. That means they'll need hundreds of billions of dollars behind them to all bet on EV being truly the path of the future, and take losses for a decade or 2 to be able to compete at that time. I don't see enough big investors willing to take that gamble with that much money.
I like to compare Tesla to Tivo, who introduced the world to DVR's with a product that was so awesome, it knew what you wanted to watch, and recorded stuff that thinks you might watch. They patented the shit out of those features so nobody could copy them. The box was perfect, and people started buying tons of them. Satellite and Cable providers partnered with Tivo and sold expensive Tivo boxes. Then, as DVR's reached critical mass, Satellite and Cable providers came out with shitty DVR's, which we still use today. It was cheaper, it wasn't anywhere near as smart or intuative as Tivo, it was a shittier product, but the key was that it was cheap. The masses chose the shittier mass produced products, and Tivo has been in decline since.
That's my take on Tesla.
Originally posted by SEANBANERJEE
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