Tesla Motors SWOT Analysis
Tesla Motors, Inc.
September 18, 2013
Christian Brothers University
CMBA 605: Strategic Management
Matthew McKnight, Ryan Manning
Founded in 2003 Tesla Motors specializes in high-end electric vehicles. Tesla Motors operates out of Palo Alto California and employs over 2000 people. Its CEO and cofounder, Elon Musk, has seen prior success in PayPal and SpaceX. The Goal of Tesla Motors is to “accelerate the transition to electric mobility with a full range of increasingly affordable electric cars.” (“About Tesla,” 2013).
Elon Musk is known for leading innovation. Sometimes compared to Steve Jobs for his command of entrepreneurial spirit and innovation, Elon Musk has been integral to the development and success of PayPal and SpaceX (Currie, 2013). Tesla is a continuation of this innovative spirit and shares many of the same strengths and attributes that its founder instilled in his other companies. In many ways Tesla may seem similar to an earlier version of Apple. Though the product line of Tesla may be quite different from Apple, they share many of the same strengths in regards to their respective markets. Tesla’s strengths include but are not limited to its innovative technology and business model driven by a large R&D pipeline, a technical mastery of electronic motors and associated components, employee skills, and a company culture centered on technological innovation and excellence.
The first of Tesla Motors strengths is in its R&D department and technical mastery of electronic motors and associated components. It could be argued that the biggest strength of Tesla is its ability to output new technology. Tesla’s most important technological breakthrough is its electric power train. As one of its core competencies, Tesla develops and sells power train components to third parties such as Toyota and Daimler. In addition to developing a robust powertrain Tesla also specializes in electric car engineering (Tesla Motors, Inc., 2013). Tesla wanted their electric vehicle to be as efficient as possible and had to develop new systems to be compatible with their electric powertrain. This design constraint led to the development and innovation of several unique technological features in addition to making their powertrain modular to adapt to a variety of applications, Tesla has engineered a complete battery pack system, unique motor and gearbox designs, and has redesigned systems such as heating and air-conditioning. In developing all this innovative technology,