Former Ford CEO Mark Fields had some things to say about Tesla this week. In what may be a surprise to some, Fields says that EVs are the future of the industry and the questions are: when is the payoff, and what are the adoption rates? He says that, if you look at all that Tesla has done, “they have really created a very — kind of — iconic brand for electrification.”
He also says, “[Elon’s] done a very good job with his organization in creating an aspirational brand for electric vehicles,” Fields also points out that Tesla is beyond “just an automotive maker” and cites that Tesla has solar and energy storage businesses under its wings. He thinks that all of this mixed in with the production in Shanghai and the new factory being built in Germany is something that investors are getting excited about.
“The question is,” Fields says in the video, “will there be natural demand to get mass adoption? And Tesla’s done a really good job on early adopters and creating that brand.” When asked about if people are buying Teslas because of the brand or because they are EVs, Fields says that, “if you talk to the customers, they are buying it because of the brand.” He points out what the majority of Tesla owners love about the vehicles: they are cool, stylish, and they help the environment since they do not emit carbon. Fields also talks about something that isn’t really talked about regarding Tesla, and that’s the software aspect of the vehicles. “They have a big advantage over the traditional OEMs,” he says.
It’s good to see a former Ford CEO pointing out that EVs are the future of the industry and sharing that Tesla has turned itself into an iconic brand leading the industry. What isn’t mentioned is Tesla’s factory-direct business model. There are no dealers or middle men to worry about, and this is a definite pro for those who hate negotiating. If I know something is worth a X dollars, I don’t want to have to argue over the price with someone in the middle who wants to profit off of me. Another thing Tesla has in its favor is the fact that it has limited model lineup options available, which makes the entire process streamlined and more efficient.
Right now, Tesla has seven variations of vehicles. In comparison, the Porsche 911 model has at least 20 variations of one model. Sometimes, when you have too many choices of one thing, it becomes boring. I’ve seen this in my own gem/jewelry business — people love variety but in the right amount.