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Tesla has been the symbol of the auto industry future, exciting car aficionados with its bold ambitions. However, the brand is also notorious for its struggles.
It has established a reputation as a company that sets unrealistic expectations with a habit of pushing deadlines. Most of its woes can be attributed to a lack of adequate funds.
According to an infographic by Carsurance, Tesla is one of the world’s few self-owned automakers, but it’s not as liquid as its competitors that have been household names for decades.
Tesla’s production inefficiency stems from its supply-chain problems caused by cash-flow challenges. The manufacturer often fails to maximize the capacity of its supplies because it simply doesn’t have the money to pay for the components it needs to keep making cars up front.
Although the famed auto brand has yet to win enough investor confidence to become financially capable of boosting production and be truly profitable, nothing can doubt its influence as an industry disruptor.
Since its foundation in 2003, the norms the auto industry has known have been slowly fading away in the rearview mirror. Below are the noteworthy ways Tesla has been changing cars as we know them.
Infographic: 'Who Owns Which Car Brands'
The first electric car was invented in 1832, but the thought of its ubiquity only dominated public consciousness since Tesla came into the picture.
Thanks to its larger-than-life CEO, Elon Musk, the company’s unmistakable marketing prowess has convinced the world and has scared competitors enough to believe that tomorrow belongs to electric vehicles.
No self-respecting automaker these days isn’t contemplating about investing serious coin in electrification. In fact, more established companies, such as Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, have followed the lead of the relatively broke and idealistically teenage Tesla.
Musk and his friends have made electric vehicles the “new standard” even though such cars only represent a teeny-weeny share of the global market to this day.
Since 2015, self-driving vehicles are no longer science-fiction because of Tesla’s Autopilot. The introduction of this self-driving hardware to commercial vehicles marked the first time semi-autonomous technology was at the disposal of the motoring public.
Of course, the launch of Autopilot wasn’t without controversy. It didn’t take long before not-so-bright Tesla owners started using their cars à la Knight Rider.
Although Autopilot was only designed to do basics like staying in lane and maintaining moderate distance and speed to allow proper clearance between cars on the road, Tesla gave the world the first taste of the self-driving experience.
The rest of the industry saw that the rules had been changed, and there’s no other option but to innovate, so they followed suit.
Updating Software Seamlessly
This is one area where legacy auto brands find it exhausting to catch up with Tesla. The company’s independence is behind its unparalleled ability to perform over-the-air firmware updates.
How Tesla is doing it is no longer a mystery. The manufacturer’s bug-fixing capabilities are just so difficult to replicate because it doesn’t rely on franchise dealerships to service its vehicles for the customers.
Tesla may solely bear the responsibility for cybersecurity, but the self-sufficiency has made it second to none in the field of technology maintenance.
Many investors are no longer willing to forgive Tesla for its underachievement, and some observers feel like the company might reach the end of the road if it still couldn’t start building electric cars more efficiently soon.
Whatever happens to Tesla after launching its much-anticipated Model 3, though, posterity would look back and remember Elon Musk as an iconic and immortal futurist, albeit flawed, just like Nikola Tesla himself.