Innovation Beatdown: How Tesla Spanked Detroit

This week, Tesla made news when its Model S sedan outsold Porsche, Jaguar, Volvo, Land Rover, Lincoln, Fiat, and Mitsubishi in California. It managed that feat without any advertising or marketing. Tesla doesn’t even have a Chief Marketing Officer.

Earlier this month, the 10-year-old car company earned the highest crash test safety rating ever for its Model S – better than vehicles produced by the goliath auto manufacturers who have been at it for 100 years or so.

Since the beginning of the year, Tesla’s stock is up 370%. It has a higher market cap than Chrysler and Fiat. Tesla shares have gained $16 billion in value this year. 

Did I mention Tesla also solved one of the problems that the brightest minds in Detroit couldn’t: Building an electric car people are waiting in line to buy. In the process, Tesla has done us a huge favor by demonstrating what’s possible and moving us another step closer to reducing our carbon footprint.

Where Do You Start?
GM, Ford, Chrysler, Mercedes, BMW, Toyota and Nissan - each failed to produce the next big thing in the auto industry.

All of their electric car offerings have been uninspired, both in design and sales. With their enormous car-making expertise and resources, why haven’t they been able to create a gorgeous product like the Model S?

Thank God For Silicon Valley
The car company started by tech entrepreneur +Elon Musk has again proven the golden rule of progress: Innovation often comes from the outside. The incumbents are trapped by their vanity. They can’t innovate outside their self-made box.

Sure, Tesla faces challenges. Range, refueling, and the fact that electricity comes from power plants that burn fossil fuel are issues. Some say the Model S is a toy for the rich.  Others caution it’s still very early in the game. Points all taken.

The biggest concern we should all have about Tesla is not that it will be successful. Rather, that it will be too successful. Let’s hope one of these lumbering car companies doesn’t buy Tesla just as it starts humming.

#technology   #technologytrends   #electriccars   #siliconvalley  
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