Tesla is growing like no other company in the auto industry and is pretty much on a tear. This is a good thing. In late 2019, as in four days before 2020, CNBC had Steve Westly, a former Tesla board member and a member of the Westly Group, on its Power Lunch show. They got right to the point with this question: “What’s changed in 90 days?”
Westley says that it is the numbers and breaks it down into four points:
1. Tesla is showing strong growth. Tesla delivered 245,000 cars in 2018 and between 360,000 and 370,000 in 2019. “There’s no other auto company in the world that’s growing that quickly.”
2. Strong international growth in both Europe and China. In China, Tesla built the Gigafactory 3 in 11 months and is delivering vehicles today already.
3. Tesla is bringing new products to the market all the time. The Model Y will be coming out this summer, Westley says, ahead of plan. The Model Y will be followed by the Tesla Semi and the Cybertruck. Tesla is bringing products to the market faster than anyone else. (Editor’s note: That claim isn’t exactly correct. Some other automakers are rolling out more new BEV models in the coming year. However, perhaps if you assume a reference to “mass-market” models this is correct. Perhaps.)
4. Tesla is profitable. It was profitable in Q2 and Q3 of 2019. Westly said he thinks that it will be profitable in Q4. Note that just a few months ago many critics said that Tesla was never going to be profitable.
“The simple fact is he knows how to create great products and he’s bringing them to market faster than anyone else.” — Steve Westly on Elon Musk
Elon Musk was brought up as a fifth reason that Tesla is doing so great. One of the hosts said that people invested in Elon and when he “misbehaved” on Twitter and “got himself into trouble” the stock started not doing so well, but when he started “behaving” it seemed to do better. Westly replied by saying that Elon Musk is a lot like Steve Jobs and Thomas Edison — they never played by the “rules.”
Westly predicts that for the next 12–18 months Tesla is looking pretty strong.
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