Tesla has taken the auto industry hostage and has been making demands for years. However, no one really took Tesla seriously until now. In fact, Tesla was mocked and laughed at for its audacious goal of trying to change such a large and old industry, one that is set in its ways. With legacy automakers still digging in their heels and focusing on fossil fuel engines instead of electrification, it’s no wonder they are feeling the squeeze.
Tesla has taken legacy automakers by the throat, and unless they get serious about electrification, they will continue to lose air. Let’s take a look at just how Tesla has brought things to this point and what the demands are.
Tesla basically has legacy auto hostage.
They can either
1) Just pay Tesla for credits
2) Build EVs, which is essentially marketing for Tesla and helps the company and its long term mission
— Whole Mars Catalog (@WholeMarsBlog) July 23, 2020
If you look at Tesla’s mission, you can clearly see the demands:
- Transition to sustainable energy
- Better vehicles
- Quicker vehicles
Tesla issued a challenge to other automakers by creating a vehicle that meets these demands. In fact, the challenge is so dire that if other automakers do not focus on creating an EV that lives up to these demands, they may lose air. Ford and Porsche have stepped up some. Ford has its beautiful Mach-E vehicles. Porsche has the Taycan. But these early efforts at competition clearly are not enough.
If you look at what Tesla has done differently from legacy automakers, you can see that its approach is far different from theirs, not just to electrification, but also to customer satisfaction. Tesla has created a product and mission that its customers do not just love, but rally around to support. One thing Whole Mars noted in his tweet above is that legacy automakers will have to pay Tesla for credits or build their own EVs — and the latter is just marketing for Tesla. Even “Tesla killers” are marketing Tesla. It’s in the name.
The idea of a “Tesla killer” was an EV made by a legacy automaker that would make Tesla go bankrupt. Today, Tesla is the most valuable automaker in the world. Many legacy automakers seemed to have given up on making “Tesla killers” and have instead focused on distractions such as hydrogen and hybrids. As you can see, the auto industry is struggling to meet Tesla’s demands. So just how did Tesla take them hostage?
How Tesla Took The Auto Industry Hostage
Let’s take a look at Tesla’s products and how Tesla handled its own challenges. How Tesla was able to meet its goals is key to how it took the auto industry hostage. In 2017, Tesla was struggling to make the Model 3. The headlines that dominated this time reflected just how hard Tesla was fighting. One thing that Akshay Anand, executive analyst for Kelley Blue Book, noted was that if “Tesla is solving its ‘production hell’ issues, it has a chance to get on track toward its lofty expectations. Regardless, the reality still remains: Tesla needs to get the Model 3 right in order to succeed as a company.”
Problem Solving By Innovation
In 2018, Tesla figured out a way to do just that. In order to meet its demand, Tesla had to go outside — literally. It built a tent to expand Model 3 production in June of 2018. All of the analysts and industry executives thought Elon Musk was crazy for doing this. However, it worked. The Model 3 is the safest car rated by the NHTSA and Tesla has factories in three countries while other countries are begging for Elon Musk to come and build a factory.
Tesla has factories in China, one being built in Berlin, and a new one just announced in Austin. Elon Musk is even talking about Terafactories (as has CleanTechnica since 2018). There’s speculation that Giga Austin might just be its first Terafactory.
Listening To Customers
This is just one facet of how Tesla has taken the auto industry hostage. Another piece of evidence is that Elon Musk listens to his customers. Thanks to customer feedback, any particular Tesla vehicle has become more interactive than a typical car. When parked, you can have a karaoke session, for example. Not to mention play games such as Atari or keep the climate cool for your children or pets while you run into the store for a quick errand.
Elon Musk often takes to Twitter to ask his customers what they like or don’t like in a vehicle. He often asks for feedback and even used Twitter to help create the Tesla Cybertruck. Several suggestions for the creation of the Cybertruck included:
- Off-road capabilities
- On-road performance
- Low price
- 300–500-mile range
- Bed or camper shell lined with solar cells to help with regen
Tesla Is A Tech Company
Just recently, Elon Musk stated that Tesla is close to reaching Level 5 autonomy, that Full Self Driving functionality will be released by the end of 2020. Of course, we need to take into consideration Elon Time. Sometimes he’s late on things — but even late, he almost always delivers on his promises.
Technically, Tesla used an AI chip to take the auto industry hostage. Developing autonomous vehicles is far more advanced than just making a car to go to and from work. Tesla is focused on making vehicles that can self-monetize for both Tesla and its customers.
Tesla, The Energy And Battery Company
In order for Tesla to tighten its hold on the auto industry, it had to find a way to make its vehicles efficient and affordable. Developing its own batteries is key and batteries are the link to Tesla’s success in both the auto industry and the energy industry.