Disruption in the Automotive Industry: An Analysis of the Competitive Forces That Followed Tesla

Siems Christopher Siemssen

Student thesis: Master thesis


In the 2000s the established industry had already tried electric vehicles. They found that the EVS were difficult to produce and sell, and ultimately would end up undermining their own business model. However, as climate change moved into the centre of social and political awareness, regulation was passed to enable electric vehicles to come to the fore. Over the last decade Elon Musk’s Tesla has proven that there is both feasible technology and a considerable demand for BEVs. The macro-economic developments in Asia, have shifted the global market and production centres, and due to China’s new legislation the automotive industry has to accept that the internal combustion engine is a thing of the past. In this thesis we cover the disruption of EVs, in order to assess the research statement to which extent is the established automotive industry challenged by Tesla and the disruptiveness of electric cars. We examine the impact on the established industry, who had failed to market electric vehicles due to Clayton Christensen’s innovator’s dilemma. The thesis examines the global automotive industry at its current state, with particular focus on EV penetration and mainstream adoption. By building a combined framework of Michael Porter’s Five Forces and the PEST analysis tool, the thesis examines the nine forces that shape the competitive environment of today’s automotive industry, and what is to come.

EducationsCand.merc.smc Strategic Market Creation, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2018
Number of pages95