Tesla Motors, Inc. SWOT Analysis & Recommendations

Tesla Motors, Inc. SWOT analysis, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, internal, external strategic factors, automotive case study
A Tesla Roadster at the Tokyo Auto Salon, 2011. Tesla Motors, Inc.’s SWOT analysis emphasizes the importance of global expansion to ensure growth in the automotive market. (Photo: Public Domain)

Tesla Motors, Inc. succeeds as an innovative automotive business. This SWOT analysis shows that the company has the strengths needed to maintain profitability in the long term. However, the SWOT analysis also suggests strategic reform to ensure Tesla’s competitiveness and long-term success in the global automotive market. As a popular manufacturer of electric vehicles, the company stands to gain from continued global expansion. However, limited global operations remain a weakness that, along with other issues identified in this SWOT analysis, Tesla must address to achieve international competitiveness and corresponding business growth.

Tesla Motors, Inc. must implement reforms to effectively include the internal strategic factors (strengths and weaknesses) and external strategic factors (opportunities and threats) enumerated in this SWOT analysis. Doing so could boost Tesla’s business performance and resilience in the global market for electric automobiles and related products.

Tesla’s Strengths (Internal Strategic Factors)

This aspect of the SWOT Analysis deals with the internal strategic factors that contribute to organizational growth and improvement. In Tesla’s case, the following strengths are significant in shaping the company’s capabilities as a competitive player in the automotive industry:

  1. Highly innovative processes
  2. Strong brand
  3. High control on vehicle production

Tesla Motors, Inc. is known for its high rate of innovation, especially in introducing the world’s first fully electric sports car. This internal strategic factor is a strength that empowers the company to develop competitive and profitable products. In addition, the Tesla brand is a strong symbol of innovation and renewable energy solutions. Such a strong brand optimizes the company’s ability to attract and retain new customers. Tesla also has the strength of high control on vehicle production. For example, the company manufactures its automobiles in company-owned facilities in the United States. This factor minimizes issues linked to the involvement of third parties. This aspect of Tesla’s SWOT analysis points to innovation and brand image as major strengths of the company.

Tesla’s Weaknesses (Internal Strategic Factors)

The internal strategic factors that limit organizational performance are identified in this aspect of the SWOT Analysis. Despite its strong brand as a manufacturer of electric vehicles, Tesla Motors, Inc.’s performance and potential future growth suffer from the following major weaknesses:

  1. Limited market presence
  2. Limited supply chain
  3. High prices

Tesla suffers from limited market presence. For instance, the company generates most of its revenues in the United States and has smaller presence in China and the developing world. This internal strategic factor is a weakness that limits Tesla’s ability to grow based on the rapid economic growth of overseas markets. The company’s limited supply chain is a related weakness that prevents the company from rapidly expanding in such markets. Moreover, Tesla’s products are relatively more expensive than cars that have internal combustion engines. Such high prices prevent the company from rapidly growing its revenues in current markets. The weaknesses identified in this aspect of the SWOT analysis reflects Tesla’s need to reform its strategies related to global expansion and growth.

Opportunities for Tesla Motors, Inc. (External Strategic Factors)

This aspect of the SWOT Analysis focuses on the external strategic factors that present potential growth and development for the organization. Tesla Motors, Inc. has major opportunities to improve its financial standing and overall competitiveness in the global automotive market, as follows:

  1. Global sales expansion
  2. Global supply chain expansion
  3. Business diversification

As pointed out in its weaknesses, Tesla must consider global sales expansion. This opportunity is based on the significant economic growth of other countries where the company has insignificant presence. In relation, Tesla has the opportunity to expand its supply chain to support global expansion of production and sales operations. Also, the company can improve its performance through diversification. This external strategic factor involves establishing new businesses to reduce Tesla’s exposure to risks in the automotive market. This aspect of Tesla’s SWOT analysis emphasizes the benefits of international expansion.

Threats Facing Tesla Motors, Inc. (External Strategic Factors)

The external strategic factors that limit or reduce organizational performance are covered in this aspect of the SWOT Analysis. Even though its business has shown considerable profitability, Tesla needs to address the following threats to maintain resilience in the changing conditions of the automotive industry:

  1. Aggressive competition
  2. Dealership regulations

Automotive companies aggressively compete against each other. This external strategic factor threatens Tesla, considering current efforts of other firms to develop and produce fully electric vehicles. The company also faces the threat of dealership regulations. At present, Tesla directly sells its products to customers without dealership involvement that increases selling prices. However, some states like Virginia and Texas prohibits direct sales of the company’s products, requiring that such sales must go through dealerships. Based on this aspect of the SWOT analysis, Tesla must maintain competitive advantage to remain profitable despite aggressive competition from large automotive firms.

Tesla’s SWOT Analysis – Recommendations

Tesla Motors, Inc. has the necessary strengths to remain successful in the business in the years to come. However, as identified in this SWOT analysis, there are various issues that the company must address to maintain its competitiveness and improve its profitability. Tesla must improve its international presence. For example, new facilities and sales operations in high-potential developing countries can enhance business growth, satisfying Tesla’s mission and vision. Also, the company must continue its significant investments in research and development (R&D) to continue innovating and producing technologically advanced products. This SWOT analysis shows that Tesla can potentially grow in the global automotive market despite aggressive competition.


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