Big Auto vs. Tesla and the Pace of Innovation

9 years. It’s a long time in the real world. And an eternity in the tech world. That is how long of a head start Tesla has had on big auto makers like GM, Ford, and Chrysler. That is why I couldn’t help but smile a bit when CNBC wrote about the Tesla competitor the new Ford Mach-E coming in early 2021.

Ford has a lack of innovation. The CEO even admitted this on stage several years back. And this lack of innovation, and slower pace of innovation, will be readily apparent in the e-vehicle copy cats that hit the market over the next 5-10 years.

From the exterior design to the interior style, big auto will find it safer to draw their cues from Tesla than innovate themselves.

What an incredible scene we get to watch play out over the next few years. Ford is excited their Mach-E gets to compete with the new Tesla Model Y. Meanwhile, Tesla says hold my beer Ford, and announces the Cybertruck. If you need any proof of the market Tesla just entered, do some research on America’s best selling truck, the F-150.

We should measure companies based on how quickly they iterate with new models, how reliable their software platform is, and how fast they can adapt to new technology.

That is what I invest in more than anything else. The pace of innovation. It’s why I’m a Tesla shareholder and not a Ford shareholder. And that is why big auto will never catch Tesla. They can copy them, but they will always be in Elon Musk’s rearview mirror.