Tesla Roadster: The Car of the Future?

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

Case Details:


Case Code : OPER076 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 300 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges


New Product Development / Management Control / Innovation

Case Length : 18 Pages
Period : 2003-2009
Organization : Tesla Motors Inc.
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note : Not Available
Countries : USA
Industry : Automobile


The case discusses the efforts of Tesla Motors Inc. (Tesla) in developing and marketing the Tesla Roadster, an electric car powered by Lithium-ion batteries. It describes how the company was set up by Martin Eberhard and Elon Musk, their subsequent efforts to secure funding for the project, and the design and development process for the car. The case also discusses some of the technical challenges and management problems which complicated and delayed the development and production of the car. It also briefly touches on the relative advantages of electric cars, and describes some of the challenges faced by Tesla, and the future outlook for electric cars.


Understand the technical challenges faced by a company developing a revolutionary, new product.

Identify the need for proper management control during new product development.

Appreciate the need for innovation in developing and growing new markets and industries.


  Page No.
Introduction 1
Getting Started 2
Bringing the Investors Aboard 4
The Development Process 5
Unveiling the Tesla Roadster 6
Problems in Bringing the Roadster to Market 7
Finally on the Road 9
Roadblocks 10
The Road Ahead 11
Exhibits 13


Electric Vehicles/EV, Tesla Roadster, Automobile industry, New product development, Innovation, Effective management control , Model S, Electric car

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