💵 What Tesla's new pricing strategy signals
Tesla fans might not like it, but from a pure design and "car" perspective, Tesla is the care from the future... as it was imagined twenty years ago (read: they lost their edge and are very much dated regarding what is offered by competitors).
What we still overlook, though, is their current industrial advantage. But, if Tesla's EV design shows its age and lack of investment in that direction, they nonetheless cumulated twenty years of fine-tuning their technology, process, and supply chain.
A striking visualization reminded me how much they built a profitable business and why it will be a huge boon for them to fend off competitors for the next few years.
This snapshot might be deceptive as most incumbent companies in Europe and the U.S. are ramping up their business. They will not be profitable until their start amortizing recent infrastructures and get into higher volume mode. Recent (admittedly very much foreseeable) bankruptcies of supposedly flagship EV startups make it clear that automotive is a volume business, and the strength of Tesla certainly was Musk's skill at raising vast amounts of money back in 2003 and keeping the faith in his crazy endeavor.
But playing on price is also a very negative signal about Tesla. You end up having to do this when you don't innovate anymore and cannot command higher prices and margins. This is a company inching slowly toward commoditization. Which, despite all the design bravado and big marketing talks in the automotive industry, is what cars are at. An expensive product without much differentiation and very few innovations (remember: technology and R&D don't mean innovation).
Tesla still has a huge card up its sleeve that the aforementioned analyses don't (can't?) take into account.