After reading Jacobides, MacDuffie, and Tae (2016), the success of Tesla in launching a new automobile company in a crowded sector puzzled us. Jacobides, MacDuffie, and Tae (2016) had convinced us that developing the capabilities to become the manufacturer of a complete, safe automobile system would be quite difficult. Researching the development history of Tesla, we have pieced together the key features of how Tesla achieved its successful entry into the automobile sector. From this we have concluded, based on the development time and costs associated with the Tesla Model S, that a well-funded company could develop a new electric vehicle (EV) from scratch and move it into production within 3 to 5 years, by spending $1–2 billion of capital for design, development, and manufacturing. Without a doubt, increasing production to the levels of mass producers would take much longer, but the Telsa example demonstrates that new entry into the industy has become feasible. Tesla’s trajectory, from start-up on the brink of bankruptcy to a company mass producing electric vehicles within 5 years, raises important questions about the future of the global automobile sector. What would prevent Apple and Google, two companies that clearly have the resources to fund $2B in R&D, from entering the market and contesting fiercely with the dominant OEMs such as GM, Ford, VW, Mercedes, and Toyota? There are already many ventures in the Chinese electric automobile sector, such as BYD, Qiantu, NIO, and many more. Inspired by the success of Tesla, why would Chinese software and internet giants such as Tencent and Alibaba not enter this large market given that Tesla did not have prior experience and was able to get a successful car ready for sale within 5 years? In this perspective piece, we offer our reflections on the implications of the success of Tesla for the dynamics of the global automobile sector. We will appraise the chances that Chinese firms will for the first time become leading players in pushing the frontier of automotive technology, a goal that has eluded them over the past 30 years despite massive government efforts to create strong home-grown auto companies.
There are three commentaries on our articles that make for a very spirited debate.
Finally, Liisa Välikangas provides an introduction to the “Forum on Tesla and the Global Automotive Industry” Management and Organization Review, 2018.
We could have perhaps saved a lot of money in Sydney if we had deployed this new Chinese technology.
It is now being tested in Dubai.
Full story at: http://econ.st/2e4CNHP
Edited by Arie Lewin (Duke University), Martin Kenney (University of California, Davis), Johann Peter Murmann (UNSW Australia) - April 2016 - Cambridge University PressThe miracle growth of the Chinese economy has decreased from a compound annual growth rate of 10% to less than 7% in 2015, raising questions about China?s prospects of avoiding the ?middle income trap?.The two engines of growth -- exporting on a scale never before witnessed and massive infrastructure investments -- are approaching the limits of diminishing returns. Assuming that current political arrangements prevail and that western socio-political economic models are not adopted, can China develop a new growth model with innovation at its center? This volume brings together leading Chinese and international scholars who examine the role of culture, institutions, national policy, firm and individual dimensions in shaping the operation of firms, industries and technologies. Their analyses of the daunting challenges of building an innovation-driven growth model for China range from quite optimistic to deeply pessimistic. The book will appeal to scholars, policy-makers and business persons.
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Biographical Details of Contributors