Tesla Inc’s TSLA first Investor Day last week left some wanting more from the electric vehicle maker, but that wasn’t the case for the former Ford Motor Co F CEO Mark Fields who saw it as more of a victory lap for the Elon Musk– led company.
What To Know: The former Ford CEO was impressed by Tesla’s Investor Day, he said in an appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” the morning after the event.
When automakers hold events for investors, most expect to hear about company strategy, see new products or services unveiled and be presented with new financial targets.
“Clearly, in this event, they only did the first thing,” Fields said.
“That being said, they did lay out a lot of enablers and a lot of content on the manufacturing and engineering efficiencies that they’re putting in place to reduce costs, which is key to Tesla continuing to grow and deliver more affordable products off the next generation platform that they talked about.”
Ark Invest founder and CEO Cathie Wood anticipated a lot of talk around cost cutting ahead of the event. She doesn’t think other automakers can keep up with Tesla as the company is already three to four years ahead with its battery technologies and competitors are playing catch up. Fields seemed to agree.
In order for Tesla to reach mass adoption, prices have to come down to a range of $30,000 to $35,000 per vehicle, the former Ford CEO said.
“Tesla started as a software and battery company and is becoming a manufacturing company. On the other hand, you have the established carmakers, who are basically manufacturing and engineering organizations, trying to become software and battery companies,” he said.
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Fields told CNBC the winners are going to be the companies that have the most appealing products with the best software, cost leadership and can demonstrate consistent execution.
“Tesla right now is one generation ahead of the other automakers,” Fields said.
Although other automakers like Ford have made significant progress with vehicles like the Mach-E and the F-150 Lightning, “Tesla still has the leg-up on the competition and I think they demonstrated that,” the former Ford CEO said.
TSLA Price Action: Tesla shares are down 1.93% at $190.07 Tuesday afternoon, according to Benzinga Pro.
Photo: courtesy of Tesla.