Techdirt Podcast Episode 74: Why Is Tesla So Successful?

from the no-single-answer dept

Consumers looking for an electric car have several options to consider, but the buzz and excitement around Tesla continues to dwarf everything else. It's hardly unfounded, but the scale of the company's success is staggering, and there's no single reason for it. This week, we discuss that simple question: just why is Tesla so successful?

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Filed Under: electric cards, podcast, techdirt podcast
Companies: tesla

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  1. icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 17 May 2016 @ 2:10pm

    WRT Tesla being a "luxury car" brand that's moving downmarket, it's important to note that this has been their stated goal all along.

    Elon Musk never set out to run a luxury car company. He's a visionary, a guy who wants to bring transformative change, and he knows that you can't transform a system by only penetrating into a tiny percentage of the market. So he used the high-end market as a stepping stone, a means to an end, to build a brand and to raise capital so that they'd have the resources to put into the R&D necessary to make affordable, high-quality EVs available to the masses.

    When Henry Ford set out to build a car for the masses, he wasn't doing anything particularly revolutionary. Automobile technology was pretty well established by that point, and the cars were simple to make, so he could jump straight into it. A century of improvements in the state of the art, not to mention vital safety standards that were nonexistent in Ford's day, means that making an entry-level car from nothing is a difficult endeavor. Now add in an entirely new fuel system with minimal infrastructure to support it (Ford originally intended for the Model T to run on alcohol which anyone with a still could make in their own garage) and you can see why Tesla's incremental system was necessary to get off the ground!

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