Now before people take this the wrong way and I mean, they will because WW2 was no joke, the war killed a lot of people and scarred many more. Elon Musk jokingly compared Tesla’s logistic challenges to World War 2. I am sure he said it as a joke while exaggerating for effect at the same time. While the joke may seem distasteful to some people, it is a joke nonetheless. No one would want to intentionally downplay WW2.
Tesla is now one of the biggest electric car manufacturers in the world. They sold 500,000 electric cars last year alone. They even have plans to increase this number to 750,000 in 2021. This level of production is not easy to achieve and that’s exactly what Musk was trying to tell his investors though his phrasing could have been better.
In a conference call with Tesla investors, Musk said that Tesla’s production issues and supply constraints were a “logistical problem that makes World War II look trivial”. The conference call was a follow-up after Tesla’s first-quarter earnings report was released. Elon Musk went on to clarify his statement saying that “I’m not kidding. The scale is insane. We’re talking millions of cars, massive global supply chain, 50 countries, dozens of regulatory regimes”.
Elon Musk has said time and time again that Tesla’s biggest achievement was not developing an electric car because, well, there are a lot of electric car manufacturers in the world. According to Musk, the biggest achievement was becoming the first new American car company to get to volume production without going bankrupt. Musk said that “Myself and many others at Tesla had to basically have several aneurysms to get this done”.
Although Tesla has been selling a lot of automobiles, their majority of profits came from sales of bitcoin and regulatory credits. At least the company has many ways to generate profit, considering they also doubled the prices on their solar roofs. Reminiscing on previous logistic issues Musk said that “For a few days there, nobody could buy a USB cable in the Bay Area because we went and bought them all to put them in the car, literally. There are hundreds of stories like that”.
Handling logistics issues is hard, if something isn’t available then there isn’t much you can do about it. Especially with the pandemic and lockdowns every other month.