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Reference no. 18-188
Prize winner
Published by:
MIT Sloan's LearningEdge (2019)
May 1, 2019
Revision date:
27 pages
Data source:
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In mid-2018, the US auto industry was in the early stages of what many believed would be a significant evolution in how people thought about and used cars. The future would be dominated by electric and autonomous vehicles. Car ownership in which people paid for a hard asset with all its bells and whistles would give way to people buying miles on shared vehicles. Tesla co-Founder and CEO Elon Musk had envisioned his company's electric vehicles leading the charge in the industry's evolution. However, the company was burning through cash at an unsustainable rate as it prepared to launch the industry's first mass-market electric vehicle, the Model 3. Many industry observers doubted whether Tesla would have enough money to stay afloat and if Musk was the right leader. This case is part of the MIT Sloan free case collection (visit for more information on the collection).

Teaching and learning

This item is suitable for undergraduate, postgraduate and executive education courses.


Strategy; Innovation; Technology; Entrepreneurship


The events covered by this item took place in 2019.

Geographical setting

United States

Featured company

Company name:

Featured protagonist

  • Elon Musk (male), Founder

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Awards, prizes & competitions

2021 - The Case Centre Awards - Category winner

Reviews & usage