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Tesla Marketing Plan Essay

(Received 7 Oct 2011; last version received 10 January 2012) The case study delivers analysis in the strategic promoting plan of electric vehicle manufacturer, Tesla Motor. It has profound marketing administration implications, mainly because it addresses this investigation through the unique point of view of Tesla’s ‘new technology’based approach to car marketing and pertains it to the successful marketing model of Apple Computer. This marketing way is table to the classic automobile industry’s marketing management approach which will favors mass marketing and mass production.

A qualitative, disovery research approach was followed for this examination. Research was conducted through extensive second literature collection and data analysis, and in-depth examination of case research focusing generally on Apple Computer. Essential findings determine that: (1) the battery pack electric car industry is poised for explosive expansion; (2) Tesla Motors is definitely uniquely located to make profit upon this kind of growth opportunity; and (3) a ‘new technology’-based method to marketing management is central to Tesla’s current and future expansion.

Keywords: Tesla Motors; Apple Computer paradigm; strategic advertising plan; qualitative marketing evaluation; international advertising management; power supply electric vehicles Introduction Tesla Motors (‘Tesla’) is a global enterprise that designs, produces and markets electric powered vehicles and pieces. Presently, it’s the only automobile manufacturer selling zero-emission sporting activities cars in serial production (as opposed to concept automobiles or prototypes). It is now broadening this technological advantage for the luxury motor vehicle sedan marketplace.

Tesla’s approach of selling sleek, earth-friendly designs for high margins echoes Apple Computer’s business design, and is different greatly from its industry colleagues Chrysler, Honda and Basic Motors in Detroit, which has been struggling to evolve their maturing lines to meet the increasing demands for electric and hybrid vehicles (Sun, 2011). In spite of a global strides created by Tesla in terms of technological innovations, global branding and industry adoption, this remains a young organization within a nascent industry – compared to the 150-year-old internal combustable vehicle sector. Not surprisingly, the amount of literature and research devoted to the company as well as the electric car industry generally speaking is limited.

Further exacerbating current research gaps, existing study and evaluation of Tesla has focused almost exclusively on the scientific strides manufactured by the company. As a result, an even more significant research difference exists linked to the advertising business facets of the company and its products. In light of these study gaps, the central concerns addressed in this research statement include: (1) the major developments within the electric vehicle ecosystem that have a new unique marketplace environment pertaining to Tesla; (2) Tesla’s response to capitalize after this market chance; and (3) analysis of Tesla’s exceptional marketing strategy – current and prospective – to increase upon this market opportunity.

Additionally , this writing represents the first specific research are accountable to analyze Tesla from an organized marketing point of view using Apple Computer being a comparative new-technology marketing unit. Investors and analysts remain deeply divided on the future of Tesla. A large number of detractors see the company, containing experienced simply limited profitability since its invention in the year 2003, as an ‘emperor without clothes’, while more high proponents are calling it the ‘Apple of automakers’ (Sun, 2011). Situation evaluation: electric vehicles A new technology of cars – run by electric drivetrains with energy coming from electric safe-keeping batteries – has appeared over the past a few years.

These cars include advanced gas electric hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery electric power vehicles (BEVs) (Mintzer, 2009). Gas electrical hybrids, including the pre-2004 Toyota Prius, will be powered by gasoline and batteries tend to be not regarded as true ‘electric’ vehicles simply because do not have a ‘plug-in’ recharging feature. Plug-in hybrids (e. g. the Chevrolet Volt), rely partly on regular fuels tend to be still designed to be charged up again via the power company.

BEVs, including Tesla’s Roadster, rely totally on electrical energy and will be primary of this survey. Electric automobile market summary Analysis of some of the most reliable recent forecasts indicate that BEVs could account for as much as 53% of electric vehicle sales through 2020 and 5% of total global automobile sales (Ashtiani et al., 2011; Week for reviewing, 2010). (See Figure 1 . ) At this stage of BEV industry expansion, forecasting long term sales volumes of prints is challenging and risky. The sales prospects with the market are highly contingent after various marketplace drivers, which can be discussed later on.

In any event, two leading studies detailing expected BEV development by the Boston Consulting Group and Deutsche Bank, anticipate annual product sales of up to one million BEVs by simply 2015 in North America exclusively (Cunningham, 2009). Table you highlights many additional, credible medium-term average annual BEV global product sales estimates. It has to be taken into account that the previously mentioned forecasts echo fairly traditional projections considering they are based upon technology developments which will reflect a reasonably limited BEV range of Electrical vehicle market share about 100 kilometers – and, therefore , expose more limited market re-homing.

However , Google (2011), in the comprehensive ‘Impact of clean strength innovation’ statement, predicts that battery breakthroughs reflecting a range of three hundred miles about the same charge can propel BEVs’ market share from the total automobile industry to over 30%. As noted, Tesla’s breakthrough discovery battery technology is already competent of this range objective. A central argument in favor of quick electric motor vehicle adoption is definitely the positive environmental effects. Contrary to emissions coming from gasoline driven vehicles, which will contribute nearly 56. 6% of the total global greenhouse gas emissions, BEVs produce zero emissions into the atmosphere (US Environmental Protection Agency, 2007).

Hardester (2010) notes the argument may be made that while BEVs do not emit any kind of pollution, the power sources accustomed to charge the vehicles produce pollution. Countertop to this position, much of the power necessary to impose BEVs could possibly be produced by zero emissions pollutions options such as wind, solar, geothermal, hydrogen and nuclear electrical power plants. Marketplace forecasts aside, the BEV industry is constantly on the evolve in an unusual and uneven way, with superior sports versions, mini-cars and commercial automobiles leading the way prior to the technology being targeted toward the popular consumer.

Yet , given you will of BEVs and the root factors driving a car this ‘new technologydriven’ sector, such a market beginning had not been only likely, but also well predicted. BEV industry drivers A driver is actually a major element that plays a part in the growth or change of a particular market.

Four key market motorists will have the best impact on the competitive position of BEVs in the vehicle market: (1) technological developments (advances in battery technology, vehicle performance improvements); (2) infrastructure advancements (spread of recharging channels, smart-grid developments); (3) community policy; and (4) strength economics (price of electricity and gasoline). (See Number 2 . ) Technological advancements The advancement of the BEV market is remarkably contingent after continued improvements in core technologies which include vehicle power packs and overall vehicle functionality. This includes advancements in power supply characteristics including range/power, development costs, security and reliability.

It also comprises vehicle efficiency improvements such as torque, productivity and stability. Battery development Two of the biggest factors suppressing the mass adoption of BEVs are battery range limitations and high power supply costs. For the reason that regard, you will discover promising prospects for battery technology improvements that will always improve selection performance and reduce costs.

The original acid-based electric vehicle battery was incredibly heavy together a limited range of just about 60 mls. Comparatively, lithium ion batteries ponder substantially fewer, are comparable size and still have nearly five times the range (Eberhard & Tarpenning, 2006). Tesla’s leading-edge lithium-ion based battery, for instance, can be 500 pounds lighter and has a range of up to three hundred miles.

While breakthroughs in advanced battery technologies have resulted in important cost savings, BEV batteries are still incredibly relatively costly (Ashtiani et al., 2011). Lithium-ion electric batteries can are the cause of up to fifty percent of the cost of a BEV, with current battery pack prices believed at about $15, 1000 (Ramsey, 2010). A major matter is the popular and short supply of battery pack component parts, including uncommon metals including cobalt, manganese and pennie. Figure 3 illustrates a typical production cost breakdown for the lithium-ion battery. Continued developments in R&D and anticipated economies of scale will likely spur the kind of significant battery price savings necessary to produce BEV rates more competitive.

The US Division of Energy has generated an achievable vehicle battery pack cost decrease goal of 70% among 2010 and 2014 (Ramsey, 2010). In contrast, the Gale encyclopedia of U. H. economic record reveals that computer processors (a similar new technology development) were released at high relative rates, but continuously declined by simply an average of 20% per year seeing that 1950 (Carson, 1999). BEV improvements The primary manner in which a BEV dramatically outperforms a gasoline power vehicle (aside from clear emissions advantages) is their high rpm ratio. A gas engine has diminished torque functionality in the low ‘rpm’ selection and only gives limited hp within a slim rpm range.

By comparison, the motor offers high rpm capabilities even at zero rpms, provides near continuous torque inside the 6000 rpm range and continues to deliver exceptional electric power beyond 13, 500 rpms (Eberhard & Tarpenning, 2006). What this means is that electrical vehicles are exceedingly fast with or without experience of rpm output. Regarding efficiency, electric powered vehicles are six occasions as successful and develop less than one-tenth the polluting of the environment than the most effective gasoline powered vehicle (Eberhard & Tarpenning, 2006). BEVs are mechanically much simpler (10 times fewer moving parts, no engine, no transmission, etc . ) than both gasoline driven vehicles and hybrid electric power vehicles.

The BEV engine has only one moving component, has no clutch i465 black and boasts a highly simple transmission. In addition, due to a technological progression known as ‘regenerative braking’, your friction braking experience very little wear. Services for a classy electric car is limited to routine automobile inspection, possible simple application updates and tire maintenance, for the first 75, 000 kilometers. Tesla, for instance, has already produced battery technology which expands the range of BEVs to 300 miles. This gives climb for positive outlook for comparable growth of the BEV market and the progress a supporting charging stop infrastructure.

Besides charging channels, there are a number of viable charging options that can spur sector growth including: the availability of plug-ins in parking abri, restaurants and also other commercial companies, as well as the quick evolution of workplace recharging facilities (Ashtiani et ‘s., 2011; Wynn & Lafleur, 2009). An additional innovation, power supply swapping channels, provides another potential answer. In that regard, a alliance between Israel, Nissan/Renault and Silicon Valley-based Better Place was formed with the objective of building a nationwide electric battery swapping and charging facilities with the ability to handle 95, 000 electrical vehicles by simply late 2011 (Cunningham, 2009).

In any event, beating consumer ‘range anxiety’ is actually a critical take into account quickening the adoption rates of BEVs (Patel & Aalok, 2010). Smart-grid expansion Even a partial shift by gasoline to electricity as a transportation fuel will have main ramifications for the demands and operation of electrical grid electricity systems. One potential strategy to these issues may be the development of smart-grid technologies which in turn incorporate advanced distribution, tranny, metering and consumer technology (Ashtiani ain al., 2011).

Smart-grid solutions include dual end communications techniques between electric power users and energy suppliers, enhanced electricity load monitoring and management of two-way electrical energy flows. Within a joint research released simply by Better Place and PJM, it is argued that an additional viable remedy for keeping lower BEV-related electricity main grid costs is usually via a central charging infrastructure managed by a single self-employed system owner (Schneider ainsi que al., 2011). Additionally , Ashtiani et ‘s. (2011) assert that policies aiming to enhance electric power devices must be adopted, including the acceleration of smart-grid standards and implementation as well as the expansion of lower-priced, off-peak pricing.

General public policy The transportation sector has become a focus for intercontinental policymakers as it accounts for practically 57% of most environmentally damaging greenhouse gas and up to 70% of petroleum usage (Ashtiani ou al., 2011; US Environmental Protection Agency, 2007). (See Figure 5. ) As a result, governments all over the world are motivating electric motor vehicle adoption alternatively transportation technology. This confidence comes in the shape of government financial aid for electric vehicle suppliers, consumer value incentives, duty credits pertaining to producers and consumers and sponsorship of technological r and d (R&D) (Cunningham, 2009; Week in Review, 2010).

Other countries, including the European Union, have focused on promoting technology-neutral measures just like strict new vehicle co2 emissions requirements. A significant degree of governmental support is necessary due to private sector underinvestment in critical areas such as electric power vehicle R&D and system development (Ashtiani et al., 2011). Community policy measures have been integrated to counter-top this underinvestment, including support for development and facilities, R&D grants, loan warranties and public –private partnerships.

China, for instance , is currently devoted to supportive guidelines and twelve-monthly government investments of $150 billion 12 months into the clean energy sector – citing the ‘emerging’ electric motor vehicle sector as a core tactical industry aspect (Week for reviewing, 2010). Furthermore, many countries, including the Usa, China and Japan, have established near-term electric power vehicle production targets which will serve to travel investment and resource target into the industry sector. Energy economics The economics of the electric motor vehicle industry require comparative examination between the value of electrical energy on one hand, plus the price of gasoline one the other side of the coin.

Both are susceptible to change, but crude oil selling price volatility serves to weaken investment in alternative powers (Ashtiani et al., 2011). The average selling price of gas in the United States, for example is likely to increase from below $2 per gallon for most of the 1990s to the estimated $3. 60 every gallon this year and beyond in the United States and nearly twice as much in countries such as Norway, Denmark and Germany (Ashtiani et approach., 2011, l. 53). Simultaneously, the US Strength Information Administration (2011) predictions crude oil prices to rise via an average $79 per clip or barrel in 2010 to $100 every barrel in 2011 and further than.

The price of gasoline is snugly linked to global oil rates, but electrical energy prices generally in most major countries are only weakly related to oil prices (Ashtiani et ‘s., 2011). Electric power prices during these countries are more directly related to the prices of natural gas and coal. General, energy economics trends as well as the other key market drivers are highly favorable to BEV commercialization. In terms of the economics of purchasing an electrical vehicle, the overall cost of ownership gap among electric cars and gas powered automobiles should continue to narrow because countries globally scale back the estimated 300 dollar billion in fossil gas subsidies at the moment provided to oil businesses.

As a just to illustrate, leaders of the Group of twenty Nations in November 2010 re-affirmed their particular prior responsibilities to this sort of subsidy phase-out (Week for reviewing, 2010). Situation analysis: Tesla Motors Company overview 1 battery electrical vehicle manufacturer, Tesla Engines, is particularly suitable to cash in upon the discussed marketplace drivers, and is the focus of the marketing strategy analysis. Business background Tesla Motors Inc. (Tesla) is actually a Silicon Valley-based company that designs, makes and markets battery electric power vehicles (BEVs), as well as lithium-ion battery packs, and electric vehicle powertrains components. Founded in the year 2003, Tesla was the first fresh American auto manufacturer to emerge in decades.

It was also the first auto maker to production and sell highway-capable BEVs in serial production. The company’s culture and marketing approach are more ‘Silicon Valley’ than ‘Detroit’, refractive of an procedure that is extremely innovative, extremely competitive and very useful (Aden & Barray, 08, p. 84). The company is growing from a single retail store (through which that markets their vehicles) in 2008, to 18 stores globally, a 350, 000 square-foot production center and global sales in at least 30 countries (Tesla Motor, 2011a). About 29 Summer 2010 Tesla (TSLA) effectively launched its initial public offering, increasing over $226 million. Company sales Seeing that 2008, Tesla has offered 1650 of its personal Tesla Roadsters worldwide for a base price of around $109, 000.

The company’s monetary statements for the three months ended 31 March 2011 show total revenues of $49 , 000, 000 and a net loss in $48. being unfaithful million (Tesla Motors, 2011b). Tesla’s medium-term sales volume projections happen to be fairly conventional – a 2% market share of the global mid-size luxurious vehicle car market by 2013 (Patel & Aalok, 2010). Tesla’s longer-term accomplishment is highly conditional upon general consumer version of electric cars and the company’s ability to expand its manufacturer.

Even though Tesla has but to gain a steady earnings, it has a market cap of about $2. 24 billion and currently trading at around 20 moments earnings, with per reveal prices consistently trading in the $25/share range – off its perfect highs, nevertheless at the high-end of their historical range (LaMonica, 2011; Seeking First, 2011).

Business strategy Tesla’s primary target is to boost the number of electrical vehicles open to mainstream customers in three ways:  sales of its automobiles through the expanding network of company-owned showrooms and online; 2) sales of its branded electric powertrain components to other automakers to induce overall electric powered vehicle fascination and product sales; and 3) serve as a catalyst and positive example of how ‘fun’ and ‘social responsibility’ generating are mutually compatible. (Logan, 2011) Tesla’s overall strategy is to initial establish a foundation for electric vehicle revenue via it is high-end Roadster model – an objective they have already achieved. Next, by 2012 that plans to start mass production of it is new Style S Car, a more cost-effective (around $57, 000) BEV targeted at central to upper-middle school consumers (Seeking Alpha, 2011).

Finally, by 2015 Tesla plans to generate and marketplace a BEV (BlueStar) designed for under $30, 000, bringing its BEV lines in to the mass-market customer price range. Item analysis Tesla Roadster Tesla’s flagship car is the $109, 000 (base price) Tesla Roadster (see Figure 5). This top-end BEV, which has a range of up to 250 kilometers, uses a exclusive lithium-ion polymer battery pack that stores as much as twice the power – therefore twice the range – of batteries employed in older electrical vehicles and hybrids present in the market today. One more distinguishing feature of the Roadster is their speed – capable of acceleration via zero to 60 mph in under four secs, with a self-limited top speed of 125 with (Logan, 2011).

A final main distinction in the Roadster is its modern day, sporty presence, designed to appeal to consumers inside the luxury sports activities vehicle market occupied by automakers including Ferrari and Porsche (Aden & Barray, 2008). Tesla reports product sales of 1650 Roadsters around the world as of the finish of Apr 2011. In spite of the fact the Roadster accounts for most of Tesla’s revenue to date, the company plans to stop its development by the end of summer 2011 in order to focus on the first appearance of it is next generation of BEVs – the Version S sedan.

Tesla Model S Tesla’s next generation automobile is the Style S car, which the business has targeted for consumer delivery by mid-2012 (see Figure 6). Priced at around $57, 000, the Model T is positioned to compete inside the luxury car market (e. g. Audi A6, Mercedes E-Class and BMW 5-Series) (Kanellos, 2011; Patel & Aalok, 2010). It will seat up to seven people when equipped with an optional 3rd row of rear facing seats. The Model S will integrate battery technology similar to the Roadster and will be provided by batteries starting from 160 miles to three hundred miles.

Customers will pay extra for the larger battery range options. A substantial feature with the Model T is that it can be capable of quick electric battery swaps and recharging features using 100V, 200V and 480V power sources (Cunningham, 2009). Tesla expects Version S to be a large quantity driver pertaining to the company.

Appropriately, it programs to build among 5000 to 7000 Style S automobiles in 2012. Tesla will then boost Model S i9000 manufacturing to twenty, 000 vehicles a year beginning 2013 (Kanellos, 2011).

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