Over the last few years, Elon Musk has been the source of much controversy and disdain within the automotive world. Part of this has to do with Musk’s indifference towards typical industry norms (dealership controversy), and part of this stems from the subversive nature of his products (the threat of electric technology).
Either way, the animosity that is sometimes aimed at Musk almost always derives from the fact that he is a threat.
In fact, Musk has become such a threat that even the largest manufacturers in the world have gone out of their way to keep tabs on his every move. Just last year, this was proven when evidence came out that GM had put together a secret team to track Musk, so they could study and understand exactly what kind of threat Tesla could pose to the automotive industry.
At the time of the disclosure, Shai Agassi of the Huffington Post said, “GM shouldn’t be the only company worried about Tesla’s future plans. The entire car industry should probably study Tesla, to understand if and how it plans to take such market share from all current incumbents.”
Since that time, of course, Tesla has only strengthened as a company as they’ve continued to surge in popularity and brand recognition.
Now, with a sense of placement and belonging, the tables have turned on Elon Musk. With each year, as electric cars become more popular, he finds himself more and more as a front runner within the automotive industry. Because of this, he has also been facing increased pressure to establish himself into the community.
That’s why tonight’s speech at the Automotive News World Congress is so important. Many are wondering if he will continue with a lone wolf, rogue approach, or if he will use the platform for integration. Looking back at Musk’s track record and his personal philosophies, it seems that he will stick with the revolutionary path, a path that is good for all of us consumers.