Despite a turbulent few weeks, Tesla saw an upswing in its share price off the back of an email from CEO Elon Musk. The email informed employees that the company would have “the most amazing quarter” in its history, with a promise to double its Q3 manufacturing output of Tesla cars in comparison to Q2 of 2018. This isn’t the first time Elon Musk has made such promises; sales increased by 40% in the first Quarter of 2018, and 55% in the second. This put the total produced in Q2 to just over 53,000 cars, therefore doubling it in Q3 would see Tesla produce over 100,000 new vehicles in just three months!
After a high profile resignation of the Chief Accounting Officer in early September, Musk’s email also outlined a number of changes within Tesla’s senior management, including the promotion of Jerome Guillen to President of Automotive. Guillen has been with the company for more than eight years and has been credited with the creation of the Tesla Model 3’s production line. His new position will see him oversee all of the company’s vehicle production.
A Roller Coaster History
Founded back in 2003 with the primary goal of successfully commercializing electric vehicles, there was an initial focus on selling to early adopters with a premium sports car, a successful strategy that has seen the company become a household brand. Whilst it wasn’t the first of the modern electric cars to hit the market, Tesla has become a byword for electrically powered transport and has been successful in making it cool to own such a vehicle. Before the rise of Tesla, there had always been a stigma attached to ownership of hybrid and electric cars. The success of this can be seen in the growing number of celebrities who are becoming Tesla owners, examples including Zooey Deschanel, Ben Affleck, and Daniel Negreanu.
Following the success of Tesla’s original sports car, the Tesla Roadster, the company began its move into the mainstream car market with the Model S. This was partially funded by a loan from the United States Department of Energy back in the summer of 2009. Although still not yet available everywhere, the latest car to be released by the company is the Tesla Model 3, which has seen massive demand in pre-orders. With its starting price of around $35,000, cars are expected to be delivered to customers outside of North America in 2019.
The premise of the Tesla is that it is a practical everyday car that runs entirely on electricity, making it a “zero emissions” vehicle. The reality is that electricity has to come from somewhere, and in most cases still requires the burning of fossil fuels. Therefore the emissions aren’t coming from the car itself, but they are still created, although as renewable energy becomes a bigger contributor to energy supplies the emissions will be reduced.
As well as this, Tesla has been known to make resources available to those in need. A recent example of this has been Tesla owners fleeing the path of Hurricane Florence being given free “Supercharging” and having software limits on battery capacity removed to help them drive away from the storm. A message sent to the owners of Teslas in the affected area said this was to provide “peace of mind” that would allow them to get to a safe location. This is not a one off; the company has previously provided similar assistance to those fleeing the wrath of Hurricane Irma in 2017.
The increased popularity of Tesla vehicles amongst celebrities, and the regular positive press from actions like assisting those fleeing hurricanes is seeing growing demand for all of Tesla’s cars. Therefore, the promise by Elon Musk to double the rate of manufacturing is not just a publicity stunt, it is, in fact, a necessity for the company to ensure that supply meets demand. And with demand unlikely to slow down anytime soon, get used to seeing headlines like this more and more.