The Musk Method: Learn from partners then go it alone

By Paul Lienert, Norihiko Shirouzu and Edward Taylor

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© Thomson Reuters 2020.

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My son-in-law has a business that was in conversations with Tesla to help with their car production. They got so far as the signing of an NDA. Once Tesla got the information from him that they wanted, the conversations halted. Still, can't fault the quality of the final product.

I remember when Musk bought the GM-Toyota plant in Fremont, California. The GM people confidently said that he was setting himself up for a monumental failure, because he didn't realize how difficult it is to make cars. Well, looks like the failure is more with GM, for not seeing a need for electrical vehicles.

Back in the 1990s California's Democratic controlled state government mandated that car companies had to sell a percentage of Electric Vehicles in the State. GM produced the EV-1, at the time the most famous electric vehicle in the world. As soon as the state government was controlled by Republicans for a while, they eliminated the mandate to sell EVs. GM took back every last EV-1 and destroyed each one. So much for foresight. They went from being the world's foremost producer of EVs, to being the archetype of how to do things wrong. Musk filled a void that would not have existed without a monstrous lack of foresight from the major auto producers.

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Musk uses the CCP playbook.

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