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An analyst at Ark Invest says Tesla’s industry leadership is growing, as the company has a great advantage among all automakers.
In an interview with CNBC, Ark Invest analyst Tasha Keeney said Tesla is are solidifying its lead over the rest of the industry as the Covid-19 pandemic affects car sales and disrupts the supply chain. “We’re seeing a lot of the traditional automakers sort of flail, particularly in the autonomous technology space.”
Like any other automaker, Tesla's cars have some minor flaws, but despite this, Tesla has been consistently high in consumer satisfaction surveys. “They were once a start-up. They’re now a major auto manufacturer. I wouldn’t doubt that there are some imperfections in the car, but what I think we see happening is that consumers still love them.”
She also commented on a recent JD Power survey, saying that premium cars often fall below the average in the survey. Keeney said that these reviews could be left by customers who have high hopes for Tesla and point to all these little setbacks that they see.
She emphasized that this should not be focused on, as this is the next step to become the best. “Overall, this seems sort of like a short-term event in sort of Tesla’s long-term trajectory in being a leader in electric vehicles and autonomous transportation,” said Keeney.
Tesla is the undisputed leader in the production of electric vehicles. While other automakers are forced to postpone ongoing projects in the field of electric and autonomous cars associated with Covid-19, Tesla continues its development.
Keeney says it would be good for the industry to have another car manufacturer also succeed, however, the California company still has a 3-4 year advantage. “It would do well for the industry if another automaker were to succeed, but right now, we think Tesla still has a three- to four-year lead.”
Tesla already has an all-electric platform with amazing features and is now actively working on scaling an autonomous service. “What do you think is more difficult: fixing these customer complaints, maybe some manufacturing defects, or building an all-electric platform with amazing performance and scaling an autonomous ride-hailing service?” said Keeney.
“That’s really the long-term picture of the auto industry, is getting to autonomous and electric, and the rest of traditional autos are struggling so much to do so,” she said. “They’re already behind Tesla in making these autonomous electric platforms, and I really think this is going to just accelerate consolidation in the industry and get them even further behind.”
In many cases, traditional automakers seem to be “grasping at straws” in trying to chase Tesla, Keeney said. “We’re seeing a lot of the traditional automakers sort of flail, particularly in the autonomous technology space,” Keeney said. “They’ll maybe acquire a start-up, and many of them haven’t really done that that successfully - maybe GM is the most successful case - or they’ll partner with another traditional auto. But then they change plans a year later, and we haven’t really seen a lot of development effort come out of them.”
“Tesla’s really the only automaker that’s successfully enabled over-the-air updates. That’s crazy, ”she said. “They have an amazing software advantage over everyone else. So, I think it would do well for the industry if another automaker were to succeed. But right now, we think Tesla still has a three- to four-year lead over the rest of these companies.”
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