Over the last few months the electric vehicle market has had its fair share of negative news, beginning with the Tesla Motors spat with the New York Times, the demise of Fisker and more recently the collapse of battery services company Better Place. Fisker collapsed owing the U.S. government, i.e. the US taxpayer, $171 million and Better Place managed to burn through $850 million of private funding before it closed its doors for the final time. For many people the Tesla Motors spat with the New York Times could have been a game changer but Elon Musk managed to turn this around in the company's favour.
Who is Elon Musk?
Elon Musk is one of the co-founders of Tesla Motors and the company's current chief executive officer. He has managed one of the great technology feats of recent times bringing this fresh and ambitious company to the stock market with an array of famous investors. However, while initially many of the second stage investors grabbed the limelight with regards to the motoring press, Elon Musk (an entrepreneur in his own right) has certainly taken control!
Why is Elon Musk so powerful?
It was Elon Musk who single-handedly fought back when the New York Times issued an array of critical comments regarding the company's electric sports car. It was Elon Musk who managed to repay the U.S. government’s $465 million loan nine years early and he was the one who recently announced plans for a Tesla "affordable" electric car.
Quote from ElectricForum.com : "Elon Musk would be making his quarterly report in the next few days... something we should all look forward to."
While it would be foolish to suggest that Elon Musk has made no mistakes along the way, indeed what businessman doesn’t make mistakes, but the fact is that he has learned from his errors and built on them. He has managed the public relations side of the business with a very hands-on style as the company itself has a very small public relations operation. He has also managed the expectations of the motoring public and the motoring media with expert precision, offering snippets and rumours to keep the company in the headlines.
What next for Elon Musk?
While there is no doubt that Tesla Motors recently turned a corner, announcing a quarterly profit for the first time, there is still much more to come from this technologically advanced operation. The luxury end of the electric sports car market is dominated by the company and indeed plans to release an "affordable" electric vehicle within four years have set the market alight.
Even though the company will require further cash investment in the short, medium and longer term the truth is that at this moment in time it is streets ahead of its competitors. Elon Musk was recently asked about the future of Tesla Motors and seemed to suggest it would be acquired by a larger operation at some stage in the future. Indeed, he even went so far as to suggest that Apple would be a perfect parent company of the operation.
While corporate activity of this nature may well be many years down the line, the fact is that Elon Musk is yet again ahead of the rest and thinking far into the future. But what has he got in store in the short term?
At a time when the electric vehicle market is going through something of a rocky patch with the demise of Fikser, disappointing sales, and the collapse of Better Place, Tesla Motors investors would have been pleased to see more upbeat headlines associated with the company. Elon Musk is the chief executive officer of the company, although he is perhaps more hands-on than any CEO you will ever have come across before. He is very quickly making a name for himself in the electric vehicle market because quite frankly, what he says he delivers.
So, love him or hate him, there is no doubt that Elon Musk is helping to pull the electric vehicle market from the ashes and yet another slip back in time!