Tesla Motors is a famous American car-producing company situated in Silicon Valley. Its main focused is placed on designing, producing and selling electric vehicles and different components to them. The name of the company is connected to the famous electrical engineer and physicist Nikola Tesla. The versatility and environmental friendliness are the main criteria for development of innovative technologies. The present success of the company is determined by the fact that the consumers more often refuse from acquiring goods, which can cause damage to the environment. The current paper outlines the main scope of the products the company manufactures and the way how it spreads them. Moreover, the paper describes what strategy is used by the company, gives information on its financial records, and reveals the strengths and weaknesses of the company.
Elon Musk, Martin Eberhard, JB Strobel and Mark Tarpenning founded Tesla Motors in 2003. It should be noted that despite the fact that the company belongs to the automotive industry, its Head and General Manager, Elon Musk, primarily invested considerable resources in the development of space technologies and renewable energy sources. In addition, the company became the winner of The Crunchies 2007 in the nomination "The best eco-friendly initiative" for the development of vehicles with electric motors. These facts had a significant impact on the company’s image.
With time, the company became famous due to the production of electric vehicles, which include Tesla Model S, Tesla Roadster, and Tesla Model X. The first representative of the lineup was the electric sports car, and then the company started producing sedans and crossovers. The release of the latest model Tesla Model 3 is expected in 2017. Its price would be approximately $35 000, and its trip distance is expected to reach approximately 320 km. Pre-orders were opened after the official presentation of the car. The model was presented to the public on April 1, 2016. During the first week, 325,000 people reserved the car, making a deposit of one thousand dollars. Such a significant volume of orders has led to the adjustment of the company’s production plans. In addition, Tesla expands its Supercharger network, which is a station for charging electric vehicles. Stations are working mainly from solar energy. It should be noted that there is a possibility to use the station for all new cars, while some older models may require the purchase of additional module for $ 2,500.
In 2015, the net of chargers that make it possible for an electric car to move from one coast of the USA to the other one covered almost all main transport corridors of the country. At the same time, the Superchargers network is actively developing in Europe, Asia, Australia, Japan, and in the east coast of China. The cost of battery charging up to 80% within 40 minutes is included in the car cost. Thus, purchasing a car, the buyer pays for fuel for the whole period of the vehicle usage. However, proprietary technology of fast robotic replacement battery with a charged battery, which takes only a minute, will cost from 60 to 80 US dollars.
Unlike most automakers, Tesla does not sell cars through independent dealers. As a rule, Tesla showrooms are demonstration sites and purchases are made directly through the site of Tesla. It is similar to Apple’s sales model. Some states in the US prohibit or limit direct sales of cars, as well as selling through dealers belonging to the manufacture. Tesla had to face lawsuits on the Prohibition of direct sales. In the states of Virginia and Texas, the company lost the case, which resulted in ban for Tesla to sell its products.
The first public offer of shares took place in June 2010. Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, president and founder of eBay, Jeffrey Skoll, the founder of PayPal payment system, Elon Musk, and Daimler AG are among the company’s main investors. In addition, Toyota has invested approximately $ 50 million in Tesla’s production. However, at the initial stage, the owner of the company made the largest contribution, which is the proceeds of the sale of his share in the PayPal project with total cost of $ 70 million. Tesla, as well as SpaceX and SolarCity, receives a substantial financial assistance from the state. The authorities of the State of Nevada agreed to provide tax relief for one billion dollars for the construction of a batteries factory.
The part of the Tesla Motors income is associated with certain legislative features of the State of California, according to which car manufacturers are required to supply a certain percentage of cars that do not create air pollution to the state. Since all Tesla cars are environment-friendly, the company can resell part of its quotas to manufacturers of gasoline engines. Such strategy is called «ZEV credit». With each produced electric car of Model S, Tesla’s income due to the resale of quotas may reach 35 thousand dollars.
In 2010, the Energy Department of the USA approved a loan of $ 465 million for Tesla. According to The Wall Street Journal, Musk uses the funds from public contracts SpaceX for financing Tesla. Mr. Musk has issued loans worth $ 475 million on the security of his shares that, according to some researchers, creates risks for other shareholders.
Revenues of Tesla are growing relentlessly. During the first quarter of 2012, the company earned approximately $ 30 million. In two years, the revenue for the first quarter amounted more than $ 600 million, and for the last quarter of 2015, the company earned more than 1.214 billion dollars. However, even with such dizzying revenues, the company shows an annual net loss for the past five years. In 2015, the company’s losses amounted to approximately 900 thousand dollars, which was a record number for the company. It is caused by the huge investments in the development of the company. In June 2014, the management of Tesla makes a decision to open access to company’s patents, thus, accelerating the transition of all motorists to electric vehicles in order to solve the pollution problem as quickly as possible. Elon Musk has promised to open the 203 patents and Tesla is already working closely with two automakers, namely Daimler and Toyota.
From all the above, it becomes clear that the company is using a strategy of aggressive purposes. Its owner puts obviously unattainable tasks in order to obtain maximum efficiency of employees. Nevertheless, it can frustrate investors and cause sharp criticism. However, Musk concedes that in such way he is trying to increase potential output.
Just like with any other business, the company has a number of competitive advantages and disadvantages, as well as internal opportunities and threats. The strengths of the company are its innovative products and services. New, powerful, fuel-efficient electric cars are out of the competition with other car products and the ability of free charge completely discredits the competitors. The company’s strengths include such factors as innovation, design, and image. Leadership, management, and company’s partnership strategy also apply to the internal strengths of Tesla. It should be noted that Tesla is a strong brand leading a successful marketing policy. The last thing that gives a company huge advantage is the presence of many patents.
The internal weaknesses include the fact that the young company is not financially stable and still absorbs more investments than profit. Due to low production volumes, Tesla Motors does not benefit from important economies of scale. In addition, a negative incident could have a disastrous impact as the company still has a precarious position in relation to customers and business partners.
The company’s opportunity lies in the fact that the government encourages clean energy. The company receives competitive advantages by collaborating with Toyota, Daimler, and Panasonic. In addition, Tesla Motors has taken a position in an emerging market that gives it an opportunity to be the first and unique in this area and take a leading position.
On the other hand, the external threats of the company include the fact that new developments in the field of clean energy can lead to dramatic changes in the market. Moreover, the company itself, new competitors, and the support of the state can be unstable sometimes.
Speaking about the recommendations for the company, it should be noted that the company must improve the safety and maintenance of Tesla software. The defects in these systems undermine the credibility of the company. In addition, Tesla Motors needs to revise the plan of cars production in such a way that it always has enough time to serve all the interested customers and manages to prepare the plans on time.
To summarize, it should be noted that the development of Tesla created a furor in the automotive market, as well as in the market of energy and even space technology. It allowed the company to make its brand popular, important and interesting for investors, partners, and customers. Despite the fact that the company’s financial statements show a net loss in recent years, there are many reasons to believe that Tesla Motors is quite promising, and it will become one of the most profitable companies in the nearest future. Such companies as Tesla have a noble purpose in their mission, which is not only based on the desire to earn. Elon Musk opens a new era in the world of technology and makes fantastic ideas a reality.
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