In June 2020, I wrote a newsletter called “How Tesla’s Elon Musk dunks on the competition just as their momentum builds,” where I dissected Tesla’s strategies to derail competition in its footsteps. It seems that anytime a competing automaker is about to make a substantial step forward, Musk or Tesla releases an update that simply takes away any attention from anyone else. In this week’s newsletter, I want to talk about what Elon Musk and Tesla can do in 2021 to combat an expanding EV market, and take momentum away from the companies that claim they are “the next Tesla.”
With Rivian coming to the market soon with its R1T pickup and R1S SUV later this year, Tesla has a unique opportunity to halt the oncoming automaker’s momentum. Rivian, headed by CEO RJ Scaringe, has an adventurous, outdoorsy appeal to its consumers and its reservation holders, a strategy that truly speaks to the EV drivers who choose electric powertrains because of their environmental impact. Rivian is likely the first electric car company that will see its products regularly used in offroad settings, just what they’re geared for.
Tesla has always had a relatively luxurious connotation with its name, as its cars are usually sporty, sleek, and perfect for open road driving where the accelerator can occasionally hit the floorboards (not suggested or recommended by me). However, Rivian’s R1T, which sports a traditional pickup truck design, isn’t as talked about or as popular as the Tesla Cybertruck. On frequent occasion, the Cybertruck seems to come out of nowhere with a newly-released modification or design update at the hands of Elon Musk. With Musk revealing that the Cybertruck has been modified and reduced in size by 3%, there is no reason that Tesla won’t show new pictures of the all-electric “Cyberpunk” inspired pickup when Rivian is about to gain momentum. The conversation will almost surely switch back to Tesla because of its name, the truck’s “polarizing” design, and Tesla’s notoriety in the segment.
This is a preview from our weekly newsletter. Each week I go ‘Beyond the News’ and handcraft a special edition that includes my thoughts on the biggest stories, why it matters, and how it could impact the future.