Here are some cars you’d see on the street 2004/2005:
Do they have any nostalgic value yet? Are they quaint? Probably not. Do you look at them and say, “Ah yes, I remember those days.” Probably not. In fact, they’re still pretty fresh. So thirteen years wasn’t long ago. Fair enough?
Well, here’s a snapshot of Tesla just thirteen years ago, as described in the Ashlee Vance book:
“Had anyone in Detroit stopped by Tesla motors at this point, they would have ended up in hysterics. The sum total of the company’s automotive expertise was that a couple of the guys at Tesla really liked cars and another one had created a series of science fair projects based on technology that the automotive industry considered ridiculous.”
Now let’s press the fast-forward button for just a split second, to 2017. Tesla is now worth more than Ford and, depending on daily market undulation, more than GM. Among millennials, Tesla is now the coolest automotive-related brand and one of the coolest brands in any industry, says a Google survey.
There’s still room for all of this to come crashing down. Model III might be a brief, kooky anomaly that quickly washes away. Think of the music business. The Monkees outsold the Beatles in 1967. Tesla could be the Monkees. But if that’s the case, who are the automotive Beatles?