Why Tesla Builds Factories Three Times Faster Than Its Competitors, and What Sets Elon Musk Apart From Other Corporate Leaders

Elon Musk, unparalleled entrepreneur: Block-Builders’ new infographic focusses on the ways that Musk’s Tesla & Co. are distinguishing themselves from the competition.

The price of Tesla shares has climbed by 869% within the last year. All of this in a period during which other car manufacturers have suffered severe losses. However, it is more than their stock market value that sets Elon Musk and Tesla apart from their competitors.

Born in 1971 in South Africa, Elon Musk has repeatedly demonstrated a keen instinct for emerging trends. Not only in electric mobility, but also in the fields of solar, medicine, space travel and AI.

Tesla Builds at Record Pace

The US car manufacturer is pounding factories out of the ground in no time at all, as the infographic shows. The Shanghai gigafactory was built in just under a year. Its competitors are different: Daimler’s Factory 56 in Sindelfingen took 30 months, and BMW’s factory in Leipzig was constructed in just under 36 months. This is no accident, according to Jörg Thiele, President of the Association of Consulting Engineers (VBI). In the Handelsblatt he described Tesla as very active builders who make quick decisions.

Following on from Thiele, Elon Musk assumes responsibility and is even prepared to contemplate deconstruction if necessary: “Tesla’s company structure is simply different. If Musk is willing to take the risk, then it is clear that there’s somebody at the top who is watching everyone else’s back”.

Elon Musk does without advertising

While advertising expenditure by car manufacturers has recently risen sharply again, Tesla does not run paid advertising. Volkswagen is a completely different story: the Wolfsburg company’s campaigns cost €258 million last year.

By contrast Tesla relies heavily on communication via Twitter – free publicity. Elon Musk has 38.7 million followers on this social medium, as can be seen in the infographic. The Tesla corporation, on the other hand, has an estimated 6.2 million followers, still significantly more than BMW (2.1 million), Volkswagen (0.135 million) and Daimler (0.067 million).

Tesla outstrips competition

Tesla is still a relatively small player in terms of vehicles sold, despite its high market capitalization. The Californians are however the top sellers of electric vehicles. Last year, the company put 367,820 electric cars on the road. BYD is in second place with 229,506 electric vehicles, and BMW is first among German car manufacturers with 128,883 vehicles.

Despite sometimes unconventional corporate management, Tesla achieved another milestone in 2020: the car manufacturer announced for the first time that it had operated at a profit for four consecutive quarters. All of this while the corona crisis has been causing other manufacturers a lot of trouble.

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