Tesla’s biggest competition is remarkably similar to the biggest competitors in our day-to-day lives: ourselves. In a way, this seems strange considering we wake up every morning and battle things like motivation, drive, determination, and ailments that can derail us from our goals. A car company has to battle things like product development, economic turmoil, parts shortages (like we saw this week in Fremont), and demand, among several other things. But ultimately, Tesla’s biggest competition in the future is itself because the company’s ability to expand the idea of the EV market is something that will be tough to keep up with, especially when frontman Elon Musk calls it quits.
Yet, headlines of mainstream media and others still suggest Tesla’s biggest competition lies within the hands of another automaker. For the last few years, we’ve all heard it: “This is a Tesla killer,” or “Tesla is doomed.” Here we are, in 2021, still with Tesla sitting atop the EV leaderboard with a considerable distance between gold and silver. In reality, Tesla really has to battle itself to keep growing, and here’s why.
Tesla has no shortage of innovation. Let’s think about it for a second: a car company with almost no money 13 years ago still ended up creating one car, then another off of the profits of that, and now it is the most valuable car company in the world. It managed to turn the automotive industry’s focus to EVs instead of how the sector could make gas cars better. It turned the widely-successful automakers of the past century into the lost and unguided entities who are struggling to keep up. Lastly, it showed that, while business is serious, it’s not necessarily life or death. Make a good product that people believe in, and people will follow.