Tesla’s Entry into the U.S. Auto Industry

Tesla’s Entry into the U.S. Auto Industry

In March 2016, CEO Elon Musk unveiled the company’s latest electric car, the Model 3, in front of an audience of 800 Tesla owners and fans. Musk enthusiastically explained how Tesla’s earlier electric vehicles (EVs) – the Roadster, Models S and X – had paved the way for the company to design and manufacture an EV “for the masses.” The baseline $35,000 Model 3 could accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in six seconds, and its 75-kilowatt hour (kWh) battery had a range of 220 miles (the range increased to 310 miles with a long-range battery option). Deliveries of the car would begin at the end of 2017. Musk boasted to the audience that the company had already secured 115,000 pre-ordered cars at $1,000 per car (a number that would grow to 500,000 pre-orders by 2018).By August 2018, Musk’s enthusiasm had turned to misery, laid bare in a New York Times article entitled “Elon Musk Details ‘Excruciating’ Personal Toll of Tesla Turmoil.”2 Working up to 120 hours a week and sleeping on the factory floor, Musk was closely supervising the production of the Model 3. He described Tesla as being in a state of “production hell.” The company had paused production in late February and again in April to work out bottlenecks in its highly automated factory, staffed with over 1,000 robots.

During a call with equity analysts in May 2018, Musk’s misery was palpable. He became testy, characterizing a question about the company’s capital requirements as “boring.”4 But it was a legitimate question. In the second quarter of 2018, the company recorded a net loss of $743 million on revenue of $4 billion. Analysts estimated that the company needed to produce at least 5,000 units a week to turn a profit in 2018.5 Some wondered whether Tesla would run out of cash by the end of the year.6 (See the Tesla Financials tab in the Tesla case workbook for additional financial data.)Required:

A complete business case analysis similar to the cases discussed in class (case description, list of issues, ethical issues, possible solutions, between 1500-2500 words.
Include Ethical Issue as and ethical solutions for ethical issues in Business based on this article.
Include anthropological, relativistic, egoistic, utilitarian and “theory of virtues” point of view.

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