Tesla does not spend a ton of money on Advertising, but spends hundreds of millions of dollars every year on Research & Development – way more than its competition.
The over-emphasis on innovation helps Tesla in many ways. It not only allows Tesla to build better products, but also makes people sit back and take notice.
According to a recent report by Berenberg Bank, Tesla has an inherent technological edge over its competitors.
“Imminent competition from traditional Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) is often cited as a key threat to Tesla, but this underestimates the full extent of Tesla’s technology advantage, which manifests in the entire electronic architecture design,” said Berenberg Bank analyst Alexander Haissl.
“This is a decisive barrier for legacy carmakers. Tesla’s centralised, integrated, technology-driven architecture enables flexibility and OTA (over-the-air) software-upgradeability across the entire domain. In contrast, traditional architectures implement technology additively to the legacy infrastructure, resulting in decentralised electronic control units (ECUs) systems that creates excess complexity and incompatibility, ”
Here is a small list of Tesla’s lead:
Tesla appears to be a year or 10 ahead of other automakers on the battery front in a few key ways — battery cell chemistry, battery pack design, and production capacity(which is also related to economies of scale and overall EV cost).
As it turns out, the power Tesla vehicles can pull out of their batteries has been hugely valued by customers, the amount of energy Tesla’s batteries can store has been unmatched (due in part to the number of battery cells Tesla stuffs into the packs, of course*), the batteries have been holding up very well (only 7% degradation on one Model S with 250,000 miles and 6% on one with 200,000 miles), and Tesla’s skateboard battery pack design allowing for maximum space above the floor has been wildly popular. – Zachary Shahan , CleanTechnicia
“I feel like everyone agrees Waymo’s technology is the best right now, but I think a lot of people are underestimating the power of the dataset that Tesla has,” says analyst Tasha Keeney, who covers Tesla for Ark Invest.
Last week, after ConsumerReport’s road test was published, Tesla CEO Elon Musk vowed that the automaker would get a fix out within days.
Until now, that type of remote improvement to a car’s basic functionality had been unheard of. “I’ve been at CR for 19 years and tested more than 1,000 cars,” says Jake Fisher, director of auto testing at Consumer Reports, “and I’ve never seen a car that could improve its track performance with an over-the-air update.”
Tesla says it has 47 robots deployed in scanning stations throughout the body line. They measure 1,900 points in every Model 3 to match them to design specs—with a precision of 0.15 millimeters. Torque measurements are also automatically recorded for every bolt that’s fastened. During the final test drives on the track, sound recorders measure squeaks, rattles and wind and road noise that a test driver might miss. All of this data is stored with each car’s unique Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN, so service centers can trace any issue back to a root cause in the factory. The idea is that Tesla will be able to improve its cars, even after they’re in a customer’s driveway.
Tesla’s revolutionary, direct-to-consumer sales model – which allows customers to purchase directly from Tesla as opposed to through third-party franchised dealerships – has upended the way people today think about buying cars (just like Uber has changed the way we think about taxis).
Now you can also shop for your Tesla while you browse for suits at Nordstrom. Just this year, a Tesla “Gallery” showcasing Tesla vehicles opened inside the high-end retailer, located in the men’s department at the Grove in Los Angeles. It’s an experiment that will likely pressure traditional dealers to get more creative about sales.
If Elon Musk can make this dance of robots and people work, it will change how cars are made. – Bloomberg
I will neither call this a lead nor a win for Tesla. Automation has helped Tesla as much as it has hurt them. If they win this, other automakers will follow suit, if not, it’s going to make everyone cautious.
Yes, excessive automation at Tesla was a mistake. To be precise, my mistake. Humans are underrated.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 13, 2018