Move Over, Ford, Toyota, Daimler — Tesla Most Important Car Company?

Here’s a provoca­tive thought: In two years, “Tes­la Motors has trans­formed [itself] from fledg­ling start-up to arguably the most impor­tant car com­pa­ny in the world.”  That’s from Adam Jonas, a Mor­gan Stan­ley ana­lyst. He felt com­pelled to add, how­ev­er, that “We are not jok­ing.”

In his report in the Los Ange­les Times, he spelled out his rea­sons:

  • Sup­pli­ers are tak­ing Tes­la very seri­ous­ly, and con­sid­er­ing ded­i­cat­ed lines and facil­i­ties
  • Automak­ers are emu­lat­ing Tes­la: Jonas says that GM has a “Team Tes­la” and a BMW engi­neer told him that Tes­la has rein­vig­o­rat­ed the spir­it of inno­va­tion there.
  • Five states are vying to land Tesla’s pro­posed $5 bil­lion bat­tery “gigafac­to­ry,” need­ed to pow­er the ten-fold or more jump in pro­duc­tion that Tes­la is pro­ject­ing in the next five years.
  • Tes­la is the “most” Amer­i­can car with U.S. con­tent of near­ly 90%.

There is mixed opin­ion on whether Tesla’s move to open its patent port­fo­lio will help or hurt the company’s chances to become a major auto­mo­tive mak­er. Some argue that it will give a leg up to its com­peti­tors, while oth­ers say that it broad­en the mar­ket.

So far, we don’t know of any large fleets that have includ­ed Tes­la, but recent­ly Tes­la has begum offer­ing busi­ness leas­es. Cost is about $500 after anoth­er $500 in sav­ings esti­mat­ed by Tes­la, in fuel and tax­es.

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