Tesla may have become the first automaker to be valued at a half trillion dollars, but the company has had more than one brush with death. The most recent, which CEO Elon Musk admitted to last month, came in mid-2017. That is when the automaker was pushed to the brink of bankruptcy by what Musk called a "production and logistics hell" while ramping up output of the Model 3.
Long-established automakers initially took comfort in the idea that once they finally had a competitive electric vehicle, they could leverage their decades of expertise in engineering and production to dominate startups such as Tesla, which was forced to assemble Model 3s in a massive tent in 2018.
Creating a whole new value chain using first-time suppliers and expecting to produce automotive-grade components at an industrial scale, however, has proved far more complicated than many automakers thought.
This has been most evident with EV battery components.