Tesla disclosed lower production and delivery numbers than anticipated for the third quarter, which has caused shares to decline more than 35% this year. That's partially because other electric vehicle start-ups like Rivian and Lucid, as well as GM, Ford, and Volkswagen, are posing increasing competition to Tesla in the US.
The competition between Tesla and domestic EV rivals like Nio, Xpeng, and Li Auto presents significant difficulties in China as well. Additionally, there is BYD, a Chinese automaker supported by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRKB) and the up-and-coming Bhavish Aggarwal.
Who is Bhavish Aggarwal?
The founder of India's largest ride-sharing startup kept ahead of rival Uber to maintain his position as the top brand in the nation for quite some time. Now, Aggarwal wants his company, Ola Electric Mobility to surpass China's BYD Co. and Elon Musk's Tesla as the market leader for electric vehicles by finding a niche in more affordable models.
However, some managers and board members at Ola Electric have expressed frustration with Aggarwal's relentless pace and management style, raising questions about safety and the company's business model, according to past and present employees. Two-wheelers have been delayed due to supply chain issues and sales are declining. Customers occasionally report issues with their scooters catching fire, or they have defective batteries or there are complaints the mobility vehicles contain accident-causing software, leading to product recalls and public apologies. A higher turnover rate than rivals was demonstrated by the thirty-dozen senior executives who left Aggarwal's two billion-dollar businesses, Ola Electric and ANI Technologies Pvt, within a year or two of joining.
Aggarwal put on hold plans for ANI Technologies' initial public offering late last year as internal problems grew and the world's investment climate cooled. At the time, ANI Technologies was last valued at $7.5 billion. Several current and former executives claimed that Ola Electric and its risk-taking founder are at a crossroads as questions surround the company right now: Aggarwal has ambitions to succeed as India's Elon Musk.
India is a growing EV market
India is already the largest two-wheeler manufacturing and market in the world. Blue-chip investors and sovereign funds are searching for alternatives to China, so the nation's success in producing inexpensive cars could serve as a guide for how developing nations can do away with combustion engines and reduce pollution without investing in expensive electric vehicles. Government incentives and cheap labor enable EVs to compete with or even be less expensive than internal combustion engine vehicles in India.
The Indian EV market is expected to be 400 times larger by the end of the decade, or more than $150 billion. Aggarwal began tweeting teaser images of the company's automobile design and a new battery innovation facility just a few months after Ola's electric two-wheeler debuted on the market in December of last year. He has worked tirelessly to transform India's firmly entrenched automobile sector, which has for many years been dominated by giants like Tata and Mahindra.
Aggarwal stated that even if it offends some individuals, he wants to create businesses with a lasting influence. He claimed that India can outperform competitors not just by producing cheaper electric vehicles but also by developing a global presence in 5G, clean energy, and sustainable transportation.
He cofounded Ola in 2010 after earning an engineering degree and working for Microsoft Corp. The business, which was incorporated as ANI Technologies Pvt, initially offered taxi services to tour groups but quickly switched to ride-hailing. The majority of Indians at the time relied on erratic local taxi services.
Tesla, Musk, and distractions
Elon Musk would be wise to pay attention. Due to the fact that Tesla lacks a CEO, Musk must run the company while also juggling his many other endeavors, including SpaceX, The Boring Company, Neuralink, and possibly Twitter.
Furthermore, if the economy is slowing, it would be irrational to expect that the company can raise prices indefinitely without the demand hurting. The fact that Tesla is up against increasing competition in the US, Europe and further East could slow down demand for Tesla.