Tesla (the Car)
| Dick Langlois |
Speaking of Tesla: as I was waiting to cross Page Mill Road in Palo Alto the other day, I saw a real live Tesla drive by — the car, not the long-dead inventor. There are several dealerships along El Camino.
In their recent comment, Mari Sako and Susan Helper suggested that electric vehicles might be an example in which, because of the systemic nature of innovation, we might see considerable vertical integration à la Chandler. They talked about the complementary network of charging stations, etc. But it seems to me that what vertical integration the electric vehicle will bring about is more likely to be in the design and production of the car itself. For example, the Tesla website notes that the “Roadster is controlled by state-of-the-art vehicle software. Rooted in Silicon Valley tradition, the code is developed in-house with an intense focus on agile and constant innovation.” Presumably they mean that the code itself, not the vertical integration, is rooted in Silicon Valley tradition.
Apparently, Tesla (along with Toyota) is going to reopen the famed NUMMI plant in Fremont to make its new passenger-car model.