The Miracle Startup: Tesla Motors

The last known motor company to launch and be successful at their enterprise was Ford Motor Company in the year 1956. It was such a surprise then that a young company that launched in the year 2010 managed to break through such an established market. Tesla Motors, more commonly known as Tesla, has been quite victorious in seizing the interest of the public with its goal to hasten the transition from gas guzzling machines to more sustainable means.
Sustainability is the goal that so many motor companies seem to falter at. Yet it was a concept that one Martin Eberhard and one March Tarpenning held on to and acted upon in the year of 2003. The company they founded specialized in designing, producing and manufacturing electric cars that are geared to be more affordable to the every day consumer. Eberhard served as Tesla’s chief executive officer (CEO) while Tarpenning was the chief financial officer (CFO). The leadership mantle of CEO has since transferred to Elon Musk, a man also known for co-founding PayPal.
It was on June 29, 2010 that Tesla Motors launched its initial public offering (IPO) on the Nasdaq Stock Market. The IPO launching accumulated over $225 million USD for the company.
The flagship launch of Tesla introduced the world to the Tesla Roadster, a completely electric sports car. The first highway-legal electric car, it made use of lithium-ion battery cells (like the one used in laptops and cell phones) and clocked a whopping 394 km on a single charge. What captured the world’s imagination was the fact that this all-electric car produced no tailpipe emissions. It seems as though the possibility of transitioning to sustainable energy was no longer just a pipedream. Accordingly, it became a roaring success and Tesla was able to sell more than 2,400 Roadsters during the time of its production. Sadly, the production of the Tesla Roadster halted in the year 2012 as Tesla’s primary focus shifted on the development and production of Tesla’s newer car model: the Model S sedan.
Tesla Motors’ Model S sedan gained widespread praise for its performance and design after its production and deliveries to retail distributors in 2012. Also in the year 2012, Tesla established stations that they called Superchargers in several states in the US and key locations in Europe specifically for the purpose of charging batteries swiftly and at no extra cost for those who purchased Tesla units. Supercharger is a trademarked direct current technology that provides units up to 120 kWH per car. Tesla’s Supercharger network now links several mainstay routes in North America, Asia Pacific, and Europe.
By the year 2014, Tesla had half the market value of Ford Motors. While Tesla Motors was founded in San Carlos, California, its headquarters are located in Palo Alto, California. Since its foundation, Tesla has gone on to partner with several other manufacturing giants like Daimler, Toyota, and others. It still operates as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), something that was unusual compared to the other manufacturers. In the same year of 2014, Tesla had announced that it would establish what they called a “GigaFactory”. The $5 Billion plant is aiming to reduce the battery cost of Tesla units by 25-30%. The GigaFactory is a co-project with Panasonic which also specializes in battery research and development.
Of course it hasn’t been a ride full of rainbows for Tesla. They’ve had their share of controversies and lawsuits through the years. One of the more early disputes occurred in 2008 where Tesla Motors had sued Fisker Automotive regarding information leakage and theft of confidential designs. However, it was later announced that an arbiter had found the dispute in favor of Frisker. Tesla issued a statement that it would no longer pursue the issue. The year 2009 saw a sort of family spat as there was a founder dispute. Eberhard had filed a suit against Tesla and Musk for slander, breach of contract, and libel. Eberhard later withdrew the case and parties involved reached an amicable final settlement. The year of 2015 saw the website of Tesla to be compromised and defaced. Around the same time, Tesla’s Twitter account was momentarily compromised.
Regardless of the troubles it has seen, which, includes a dip in the net income in the year 2015, Tesla’s assets and equity remain on an upward trend. This year, Tesla employs more than 14,000 people worldwide. What the world is now waiting for is the opening of Tesla’s GigaFactory in the year 2020.