Very few would argue the fact that Tesla Motors produces the highest-quality electric vehicles anywhere in the world. The firm’s electric cars are not cheap, but they are highly reliable and offer better performance than any other commercially available EV. These facts about Tesla have produced a generation of so-called Tesluvers, and these enthusiasts argue that Tesla will eventually become the next Ford or General Motors. They might be right, but according to Re/code’s Kara Swisher, it’s more likely the EV maker gets bought out in the next few years as the technology matures.
In an interview on CNBC earlier this week, Swisher discusses the the present and future of Tesla, and suggests that Elon Musk’s firm could be bought out by the likes of General Motors or even Apple sometime in the near future.
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Tesla up this week on good sales news
Tesla has had a very good week so far. Shares are up almost 10% this week, from around $190 to almost $208. Most of the positive momentum came from Elon Musk announcing on Good Friday that the firm had a record sales quarter, delivering more than 10,000 cars from January through March of this year. Of note, Musk has an extremely ambitious target of selling 55,000 cars in 2015 and ramping up to 500,000 cars a year by 2020.
Tesla faces major challenges
Swisher began the discussion of Tesla by pointing out “It’s still a small car company.” She continued to highlight that the challenges facing an up and coming car company are immense, ranging from developing to reliable suppliers to marketing. That said, Elon Musk and his team have done a great job so far, and there’s no reason to think they will not continue to do so.
Tesla buyout a distinct possibility as mobility moves forward
“I always think this company is going to probably get bought at some point,” Swisher said in the free-flowing three-person CNBC interview. “But Elon [Musk] is really trying to build this into a real thing and it’s very difficult to build a car company in any environment.
“The question is: Will they [the consumers] buy them across the country?” she asked rhetorically. “Can they make these cars less expensive; can it become a more common car versus the very high end, sort of elite, car that it still is no matter how you slice it?”
Swisher went on to pose another query: “The question is will they try to get ahead by using Tesla to do that, or will they “step over” it with their own version of electric cars.”
She also said, “You could see a Google or an Apple buy Tesla if they’re really getting into the car business as they seem to be doing.”
Related to the potential interest of tech companies in Tesla, she moved on to a discussion of mobility, noting: “It’s the next big area in mobility. Remember, the car is the first mobile device.”
Swisher would not be pinned down on a potential price for Tesla; she said that would depend on market share of Musk’s firm at the time.