Tesla Motors, one of the original electric vehicle start-ups and currently the largest player of the few remaining, recently reiterated plans to end production of its all-electric sports car, the Tesla Roadster, by the end of 2011. The Tesla Roadster has been Tesla Motors’ main source of revenue since its launch, with the first 100 units selling in three weeks and the second 100 in just under a year from its launch date.
So why would Tesla end production of the vehicle that made them a household name in the electric car industry? It might have something to do with Tesla Motors’ main stated goal as a company, which is not simply to make a profit and allow its CEOs to retire in style, but to increase the variety and popularity of electric vehicles in today’s automotive market. Selling its cars is just one of three ways that Tesla has stated as a strategy to achieve this goal.
The other two involve selling Tesla’s electric motor technology to other automakers to help them on the EV path and provide a positive example for the auto industry that it is possible to create efficient, high-performance EVs. and popular. .
Although the Tesla Roadster has helped propel Tesla Motors to international fame, the geniuses behind the company may have decided that it has run its course. Tesla Motors is working on something even bigger than the amazing success of the Roadster. There’s been a bit of a buzz in the media recently about Tesla’s new electric vehicle, the Model X.
Although not much is known about the Model X, reports indicate that it will be in the popular crossover SUV genre and that the platform will be based on another Tesla model, the Model S. The Big Three automakers, in the 1980s Each of them developed a solid vehicle platform, only one was needed, and they began to use it as the basis for dozens of different car models. With a single platform of vehicles, these companies produced cars, trucks, SUVs and crossovers of all shapes and sizes, putting different body styles on the same platform. This strategy allowed them to quickly win in the market.
Possibly ending production of its Roadster is Tesla’s way of diverting necessary resources to this single-platform strategy. If they can perfect their Model S platform, they’ll be able to cheaply build many different electric models: SUVs, minivans, sedans, pretty much you name it, using the Model S as a base.
There’s just the small matter of being able to keep your head above water in the six-month interval between the end of the Roadster and the start of the Model X. Tesla recently announced plans to issue 5.3 million of its shares to the public. to help them raise money and survive as an independent business until the Model X takes off. Could this strategy be the key that ultimately allows them to achieve their company’s goal of making EVs part of everyday life for the mainstream consumer?