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Case
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Reference no. IMD-7-2268
Published by: International Institute for Management Development (IMD)
Originally published in: 2021
Version: 09.03.2022
Revision date: 28-Mar-2022

Abstract

Tesla set out to build 'awesome' electric vehicles with a mission to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy. In so doing, Tesla not only disrupted existing incumbent manufacturers but also proved that there was a market for high-end electric vehicles. By the close of 2020, Tesla's market cap was USD669 billion-nearly as much as the next five most valuable car companies combined. Despite that, its global footprint was still relatively small with production of over one million vehicles at only two sites - the US and China. While Tesla had built strong markets in these two countries, it was still lagging in Europe and elsewhere. In January 2021, Tesla was planning to build a new factory in Berlin and enter the Indian market aggressively. The stock market seemed to welcome Tesla's current and future plans for expansion, with the stock trading at a record high value by mid-January 2021. At the same time, financial analysts and observers were wondering whether much of Tesla's stock price growth could be viewed as part of a tech-led asset bubble. In this highly uncertain and volatile environment, with the COVID-19 pandemic still not under control in large parts of the world, Tesla had to decide where to go next in its quest for global leadership. In view of the electric car industry's changing landscape and in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, was Tesla's international footprint fit for the future?

Time period

The events covered by this case took place in 2003-2020.

Geographical setting

Region:
World/global

Featured company

Tesla
Employees:
10000+
Turnover:
USD 31,536 million
Industry:
Automotive

About

Abstract

Tesla set out to build 'awesome' electric vehicles with a mission to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy. In so doing, Tesla not only disrupted existing incumbent manufacturers but also proved that there was a market for high-end electric vehicles. By the close of 2020, Tesla's market cap was USD669 billion-nearly as much as the next five most valuable car companies combined. Despite that, its global footprint was still relatively small with production of over one million vehicles at only two sites - the US and China. While Tesla had built strong markets in these two countries, it was still lagging in Europe and elsewhere. In January 2021, Tesla was planning to build a new factory in Berlin and enter the Indian market aggressively. The stock market seemed to welcome Tesla's current and future plans for expansion, with the stock trading at a record high value by mid-January 2021. At the same time, financial analysts and observers were wondering whether much of Tesla's stock price growth could be viewed as part of a tech-led asset bubble. In this highly uncertain and volatile environment, with the COVID-19 pandemic still not under control in large parts of the world, Tesla had to decide where to go next in its quest for global leadership. In view of the electric car industry's changing landscape and in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, was Tesla's international footprint fit for the future?

Settings

Time period

The events covered by this case took place in 2003-2020.

Geographical setting

Region:
World/global

Featured company

Tesla
Employees:
10000+
Turnover:
USD 31,536 million
Industry:
Automotive

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