Tesla’s Billion Dollar Problem: Who Will Sell and Service All Those Cars?


Californian carmaker Tesla famously has plans for producing 500,000 of its electric cars by 2018, and a million of them two years later. This is a tall order for a company that made just 25,185 units in the third quarter of 2016, and which has an eye on making some 80,000 for the year. While Tesla’s many fans rarely question the company’s ambitious plans, Elon Musk’s outsized targets raise doubt and eyebrows among industry insiders. An analysis of admittedly arcane data of pollution permits, secured by the company, hints that 200,000 units by 2018 may be a more reasonable target. Let’s charitably assume that half a million by 2018 is a realistic goal. In that case, one question hasn’t been asked, but can’t be asked often enough: How does Tesla plan to sell and support all these cars?

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