I've watched the rise of Tesla and its leader, Elon Musk, with great interest, and now I'm watching the travails of Tesla.
What we are seeing is the downward spiral of the company that is coming face-to-face with the real world.
Tesla was a great success when it was the only game in town. With a big battery and high prices, it became the darling of a niche of consumers who enjoyed everything it represented.
Now it would appear that not just reality but competition is catching up with the company. We are about to see an onslaught of companies introducing all sorts of electric vehicles. The Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Bolt, too, will be seeing lots of new competition.
By the way, all of these new vehicles are arriving without any real demand on the part of consumers. The public still must decide if it has any interest in EVs.
But because there is such an institutional push for electric vehicles around the world, we will see lots of models being introduced — all to the detriment of Mr. Musk, who seems to be having real problems meeting the demand for his Model 3. The fresh competition is only adding to the problems.
Tesla gave it a good run. Having a market to yourself is a wonderful thing, but it requires you to take advantage of your position quickly before losing that advantage. It is simply a short-term position.
It is rather remarkable that Musk has gotten this far, with such a huge valuation for his company. But even if he is about to increase production instantly, the competition will change the landscape permanently.
The story is not over, but we are rapidly getting to the final chapters. It makes for great reading.