Yesterday was a very big day for Tesla — it was Taco Tuesday! Well, somewhat more importantly, it was Battery Day. But Tesla is up to much more than batteries. Wilhelm Graupner, Executive Director of Business Strategy, Sales & Marketing at AVL Northern Europe, shared a quick analysis of a one-year-old Tesla SWOT video and pointed out that Tesla has eliminated four of the identified weaknesses in that video in the past year. The video Graupner referenced is below, followed by a short summary of the progress.
4 Weaknesses Eliminated
In the table provided by Graupner above, he shows the four weaknesses Tesla has eliminated:
- Burnt cash in 2017 and 2018
- Model 3 line “over automated”
- Missed Model 3 output
- Question of whether Tesla can scale.
Another two weaknesses that Tesla has not eliminated are those that really can’t be helped. The first one, if eliminated, would go against its core mission. Tesla’s patents are open to anyone who wants to use them in good faith. This “weakness” is actually, in my opinion, a strength of Tesla’s character.
The other weakness that hasn’t been eliminated is the fact that Elon Musk runs more than one multi-billion company. Although these are separate companies, all of them are in line with Tesla’s mission and Elon’s goal of making the world a better place. Furthermore, they sometimes provide significant technological linkages and Tesla benefits from the association. Again, in my opinion, these both show the strength of Elon Musk’s character (who he is as a person) as well as how dedicated he is to his goals. And when someone is that dedicated to their life’s work, that grit is what strengthens the last weakness.
1. Tesla’s Move From Burning Cash To Profitability
In the past year, Tesla’s had four consecutive profitable quarters, which is a key qualifier for inclusion in the S&P 500.
2. Model 3 Line “Over Automated”
In 2018, many headlines accused Tesla of harming itself by over-automating. Analysts at Bernstein, Toni Sacconaghi and Max Warburton, shared their thoughts about that, fueling the headlines. Looking back now, not only did Tesla recover from that “injury,” but the company isn’t just standing tall — it’s moving ahead faster and faster.
3. Missed Model 3 Output
In 2018, Tesla was struggling to meet its output goals. During the first quarter of 2018, Tesla produced almost 35,000 vehicles — 9,766 were Model 3s. However, when Elon Musk took over the Model 3 production process and made some major changes, things started improving.
In 2019, Tesla’s Model 3 was the world’s best selling electric vehicle for the second consecutive year, with just over 300,000 units delivered, which represented a full 14% of the world EV market.
4. Is Tesla Able to Scale?
From the perspective of 2020, the answer to that is a resounding “duh” — of course it can! 2018 was a tough year for Tesla, in general, but that year also greatly strengthened the company’s ability to scale, and the company as a whole, allowing it to become what it is today, a much stronger company a mere two years later.
For a lump of metal to become a blade, it has to go through the fire first. Today, Tesla is that sharp blade cutting through old and outdated industries with the precision of a neurosurgeon.