Nearly everyone in the world still thinks Tesla is just an electric car company. It’s not.
It is much, much more.
Here are my five reasons why Tesla is going to make the traditional car industry obsolete, the same way the Ford Model T did to the horse and buggy.
1. Tesla isn’t manufacturing cars; it is manufacturing the world’s first fully autonomous robots.
We thought the first robots would look like us. But they ended up looking like cars.
Last month, Tesla released their fully self-driving beta. And it works.
Fully autonomous cars are here, and the other 1.3 million Teslas currently on the road will be “brought to life” within months. This will allow Tesla to become a “transportation as a service” business overnight, as 1+ million vehicles can be turned into autonomous taxis with the click of a button.
Uber and Lyft will be the first major casualties because the price of a ‘ride share’ in an automated Tesla will cost around 80% less than an Uber. Why? Because there isn’t a fleet of human drivers to pay, service or support.
The next will be the national trucking and transportation industry thanks to the autonomous Tesla Semi. Tesla’s full self-driving AI will continue to improve at an exponential rate, while other ‘competitors’ are still trying to get a few prototypes on the road for testing.
But Uber and Lyft aren’t the only companies about to be wiped out. Traditional car manufacturers themselves are done. Their manufacturing infrastructure, supply chain, profit margins, labor costs, service costs and sales models will make it impossible for them to compete against the Tesla ‘alien’ now spreading its roots on Earth.
2. As of this year, Tesla is manufacturing cars in a completely new way that is reducing build cost and complexity 60-80%.
Tesla’s newest factories in Shanghai, Berlin and Austin, Texas are truly revolutionary.
For example, a traditional car frame can take up to 700 separate parts and welds to complete.
Tesla’s new “mega-casting” technology used in these new factories will allow them to cast the entire car frame with just two parts. The cost savings and increase in efficiency will make it impossible for traditional manufacturers to compete.
It is as if you are selling a mobile phone for USD10,000, while Apple is offering the iPhone at USD600. Traditional car manufacturers are BlackBerry or even Palm Pilot. If you don’t know what those are, then I’ve made my point.
Adopting this new manufacturing process will take existing car companies billions of dollars to implement and require them to abandon their current systems, processes and business models. Legacy industries that have been doing the same thing, the same way, for decades, have never been able to adapt to that degree, or at the speed required to do so successfully.
3. Tesla is a software technology company.
The traditional automakers all outsource their software development to third-party companies like Bosch. Tesla, like Apple, creates its own software, which gives it an unbeatable advantage. Every Tesla is being shipped with full self-driving hardware whether the customer purchased it or not. If you decide you want to upgrade to full-self driving (FSD) one day, you can do so right on your phone for USD10,000.
Last month, Tesla offered owners a “speed boost” option that will increase the car’s 0-60 MPH acceleration rate for USD2,000. If you want to upgrade, you just purchase it in your Tesla app. That’s a software purchase, which means the money is all profit. No other car manufacturers can to do that and won’t for years.
As FSD comes online, the center screen in every Tesla will turn into the equivalent of the Apple’s iTunes marketplace. You’ll be able to purchase subscriptions for movies, games and augmented reality services you will want to use because you’ll no longer be driving. Your car will turn into a virtual vending machine, and it’s all profit for Tesla.
4. Self-driving cars are already proven to be safer than human drivers.
A recent study in Germany found that driving-related accidents would be reduced by 90% once self-driving is implemented. Insurance is an insanely profitable industry, despite that it currently depends on foggy data and human drivers.
Tesla knows what every single car is doing at all times because of its self-driving hardware and software. It has more data to understand insurance risks than any other company in the world, and data is the key to pricing and profitability. Throw self-driving into the mix, and accidents will be dramatically reduced.
Tesla is now offering insurance to Tesla owners that already costs 20-30% less than traditional insurance. A year from now, no one will be able to compete with Tesla’s insurance prices, making it another multi-billion-dollar profit center for this, “car manufacturer.”
5. Tesla is an energy company.
Tesla Solar, combined with Tesla Powerwall, Tesla’s Charging Network, and Tesla Energy Marketplace, will eventually consume the traditional energy industry.
As the cost of solar continues to drop, and innovations in energy storage (battery tech), continue to increase, energy production will become decentralized. It will be transferred from the oil and utility companies, to YOU and me, as our homes start to produce more and more power from solar. Tesla’s energy marketplace will allow us to sell our excess energy back to the utility companies.
No other “car manufacturers” are even thinking about this. They’re trying to figure out how to stick batteries into their current models so they can stay relevant.
Tesla disrupts five industries at once
We have Tesla – a robotics manufacturer, a ride-share company, a software company, an insurance company, and an energy company – all rolled into one. It doesn’t have dealerships and it doesn’t sell vehicles by model year. It continually iterates and upgrades its models in real time, while traditional manufacturers are thinking about their next model to be released seven years from now.