First, make sure you're caught up on the readings on these two content pages:
Disruption Of Incumbents
We're going to use the electric vehicle technology-- and Tesla specifically-- as a case to illuminate the issues of incumbency and disruption.
Read this article on Tesla.
Read Wikipedia entry on Tesla Motors.
Check out Tesla's website.
Look at Tesla financials, exploring analysts reports as you find interesting.
Optional Readings and Resources:
Technology Review graphic on evolution of EVs
Technology Review test drive of Tesla and discussion of batteries.
Business Week Article on Elon Musk
Article from The Atlantic on GM's Volt.
Consider these questions:
- Which dimensions of performance might be used to create S-curves for the automotive industry? Sketch conceptually what they look like, including three technologies: internal combustion engine, hybrid electric drive, and all-electric drive.
- What are the core competencies of the large auto companies (e.g., Daimler, Ford, VW, General Motors, Nissan, Toyota)?
- Does a transition to electric vehicle technology enhance or destroy the competencies of the incumbent auto companies?
- Can Tesla disrupt the large existing auto companies? (Disrupt means: grow to be one of the largest companies at the expense of one or more of the incumbents.)
- 20 years from now, what do you predict will be the structure of the automotive industry?
Submit as plain text your short answer (100-200 words) to question 4 (Can/will Tesla disrupt the large existing auto companies?). Please support your argument logically based on what you now know about disruption and radical/strategic innovation. Remember, "disrupt" in our context means to grow to be one of the largest companies in the industry leading to the demise of the incumbents. We are not using the word as it is used daily by entrepreneurs (i.e., "be a successful company").