Loup Ventures’ Gene Munster recently shared some thoughts about Tesla and how it’s putting more than just traditional automakers “in trouble.” Munster said that the potential downfall of traditional auto has been the focus of his attention as he has studied Tesla’s ascent.
“[T]he company has grown 4–5x faster than the traditional car makers. But that’s just the beginning.”
He added that Tesla is more than just a car company, and it’s also more than a tech company. He called it an energy company in hiding and, as he looked over Tesla’s March quarter, he added that Tesla has the potential to be even more than an energy company.
“When I apply what I’ve learned from studying Apple’s evolution over the last 20 years, I realize that it’s not just traditional auto that’s in trouble.”
Munster is seeing what many who follow Tesla closely have been saying for the past few years now. Even Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said several times that Tesla is like several startups, or a dozen startups, under one corporate roof. In fact, Elon said this while responding to a CleanTechnica article.
“Tesla should really be thought of as roughly a dozen technology startups, many of which have little to no correlation with traditional automotive companies.
“For example, we created a chip design team from scratch for the Tesla full self-driving computer, which is not something car companies do.”
Munster listed a few companies that Tesla would put in trouble besides traditional automakers. These include Lyft and Uber, Geico and Allstate, and even physical labor if all goes to plan with the Optimus robot that Tesla is designing.
In April 2021, CB Insights listed eight industries that Elon Musk and his companies were disrupting. Tesla is listed as disrupting five of those industries — automobiles, personal transport, solar energy, fossil fuels, and carsharing. CB Insights noted that a utility lobbying group said that Tesla could “lay waste to US power utilities and burn the utility business model.”
In the Loup Ventures article, Munster pointed out that many of the markets Tesla will disrupt are long shots that will take almost a decade to play out. However, if even one or two of these are to play out (and I believe that they will), this is trouble for the incumbents of those markets.