|Is Tesla on a slippery slope or a gold medal winner?|
Some companies are different. Everything about Tesla seems different. The way it markets its cars for one. Some people are attracted to different and they are the people that are keeping Tesla going. What it has done taking on car manufacturing was outrageous in scope but so far so good. I must confess I thought the whole approach was too risky and unlikely to succeed. However, as long as investors keep the faith, anything is possible.
Being a car manufacturer isn't easy. You have to watch for trends that may lead to where you need to be several years away. Jump into something that doesn't take off and that's costly. So is missing a trend or being very late to the party. Tesla has created something that is different and working. Will it ultimately succeed? Time will tell.
For now production hasn't been as large numerically as hoped but from nothing to now is a huge leap for the company. As they move into more volume and lower priced cars, maintaining quality and ensuring reliability will be so important.
I have put together some figures which I think are about right. If anyone can add clarification, please do so. It starts with the roadster model from Lotus, a steep learning curve. When that finished it was on to its own cars. The company doesn't release data so what is below is gleaned as best I can.
Picture source: Tesla.