In my opinion, Tesla needs some new energy. But are they gonna get it? Tesla’s design styles are aging, their models are all similar & sanitized-looking. And while not ugly, they’ve become very generic-EV at this point. (For example, all these photos are different models.)
Tesla ended 2022 with significant discounts, which suggests an excess of inventory. But does that mean unsold models are just sitting around collecting dust? Or does that just mean that Tesla is much better at EV production than everyone else. <—Yes.
Other car brands seem to be fabulously marketing EVs a lot more than they’re actually making them. Tesla did have a record number of deliveries during the 4th quarter of 2022, but that’s globally, and they don’t break it down by nation. Regardless, discounts are something that Tesla hasn’t previously utilized. They’ve always taken more of an impersonal Add To Cart sales approach with fixed pricing. But by this point, it’s absolutely obvious that Tesla has become dangerous enough to where they’ve awoken a giant. And that giant is: The entire automotive industry PLUS their pals in government.
Tesla was a historical market disruptor.
Tesla disrupted the entire automotive industry to a point where – automotive manufacturers who were 95% BIGGER than Tesla (and a century more experienced)… got spun off their axis & became fixated on changing their entire business model just to be ‘more like Tesla’. Much of the automotive industry is now transitioning to EVs, fixed pricing, less inventory/overhead, and more online sales – just like Tesla.
When the bulk of the automotive industry starts modeling themselves after Tesla… how long before Tesla loses their advantage? If you follow cycling at all, it’s like the entire peloton is now running-down that one lonely guy out front who broke out early & pulled a lead. How long until Tesla is swallow up by the peloton?
Having said that, Tesla is very dialed-in with EV production at this point.
The legacy automakers, on the contrary, are having magnitudes of growing pains in the EV sector. Most of the EV recalls, issues, & production delays seem to be coming from legacy brands who are trying to rapidly transition. Which all circles back to the first sentence of this article… Tesla needs to bring refreshing new models if they want to stay ahead of this. Unless maybe – the people who buy Teslas tend to care more about exciting new software updates than actual exciting new models?
If we generously say that 30% of Americans actually want an EV, Tesla does very well serving 10% of that market. That’s a sweet spot. But currently, we’re talking about 100% of the automotive industry competing for & depleting the world’s resources to make EVs that only a generous 30% of American consumers even want… much less can afford. There’s no more sweet spot.
So here come the maybes…
Maybe Elon Musk is just too distracted with his new Twitter toy. That’s what a lot of media & investors are saying. Wall Street types are concerned that Tesla is currently a company where the CEO’s just dipped-out on an extended vacation… called Twitter. Eh – but I think they’re downplaying the man. I think Elon’s proven he’s got what it takes to multitask lol. But see, maybe Twitter is not so much a distraction or vacation. Maybe Elon Musk just sees the writing on the wall for Tesla. NOT to say that Tesla’s going under. But maybe Tesla’s fun glory-days of ‘disrupting the market’ have come to an end. In many ways, I think ‘disrupting the status quo’ is what motivates Elon Musk & juices him up. Hence his attention on Twitter now. Big tech is a very interesting/intriguing industry to disrupt. I see the appeal.
But where does that leave Tesla? Who knows. The Cybertruck would have been a cool disruptor… 18 months ago. Now maybe it would be interesting to leap out & be the first to make the Miata or the Wrangler of EVs. Disrupt the norm, by showing that an EV could actually be something where you actually want to roll the windows down.