Aiming at talent and technology, these acquisitions made Tesla's trillion-dollar market capitalization path

汽車之心 ·  Apr 17, 2022 09:16

From key areas such as automobile manufacturing, self-driving to battery production, Tesla, Inc. 's every acquisition is aimed at solving practical problems, acquiring technical personnel and finally realizing internalized production to reduce costs and increase efficiency.

In the field of automotive technology, there is no shortage of investment, and it is common to invest tens of millions or even hundreds of millions of dollars in mergers and acquisitions.

In fact, Tesla, Inc., the leader of intelligent electric vehicles, has also experienced the process of buying and buying in the process from immature to strong.

Tesla, Inc. and Apple Inc have similar M & A strategies, focusing on acquiring small and medium-sized technology companies and acquiring technology and talent through wholly-owned acquisitions.

At the same time, Tesla, Inc. has a grand picture of internalizing production to reduce costs and increase efficiency-raising barriers and strengthening his moat step by step in key areas such as car manufacturing, self-driving and battery production.

Tesla, Inc. 's merger and acquisition StrategyAcquire talent and technology through overall buying

Apple Inc, as the king of the smartphone era, has been at the forefront of technology and fashion.

Tesla, Inc. 's position as a leader in the electric vehicle industry is also obvious to all, and Tesla, Inc. is often compared to "Apple Inc in the car".

Tesla, Inc. and Apple Inc are not only leaders in their respective fields, but also very similar in M & A strategies.

Apple Inc CEO Cook once said, "We are mainly interested in small innovative technology companies that can complement Apple Inc's products."

Tesla, Inc. has a similar preference.

Tesla, Inc. has acquired more than 10 companies: from stamping parts maker Riviera Tool in 2015 to Sillion, a battery negative material technology start-up in 2021, and Springpower International, a Canadian company to acquire battery cathode technology.


Interestingly, like Apple Inc, Tesla, Inc. does not often announce these mergers and acquisitions.

Apple Inc uses a small transaction strategy in mergers and acquisitions, which can be accurately summarized in one word:Acq-hireIn short, it is a merger and acquisition with the purpose of acquiring talent.

Most of the companies acquired by Tesla, Inc. are small start-ups, and they are very confidential about the amount and process of the acquisition.

In most cases, Tesla, Inc. never announces these acquisitions generously, but always completes the acquisitions quietly, and most of the speculation in the newspapers is that the acquisitions have been completed.


Tesla, Inc. announced the acquisition of solar panel company SolarCity for $2.6 billion in 2016 as an exception. The acquisition case was also brought to court because of Tesla, Inc. 's entanglement with shareholders' interests, and Musk even appeared in court to defend the acquisition.

After all, well-known acquisitions like this are in the minority, and in most cases Tesla, Inc. is still carried out in private, and outsiders have to speculate on the acquisition process, the amount of money, and even whether the acquisition is completed or not.

Another feature is that most of Tesla, Inc. 's acquisitions are aimed at small and medium-sized companies, focusing on talent and technology.

To put it bluntly, the use of acquisition means to legally possess talents and technology, and rapidly expand their own strength.

Tesla, Inc. 's three stages of merger and acquisition

In the object of merger and acquisition, Tesla, Inc. basically follows the route of automobile manufacturing, autopilot and battery manufacturing.

In those areas that are very important for business development, but it is difficult to make a breakthrough for a while, Tesla, Inc. gradually acquired the corresponding talent and technology through mergers and acquisitions to consolidate the foundation.

These are the three main stages of Tesla, Inc. 's acquisition: the early stage is the technology related to automobile manufacturing, followed by autopilot and artificial intelligence, and then to battery manufacturing. This is also in line with the stage characteristics of the development of electric vehicles.

(1)2015 Mel 2017: focus on ensuring access to automotive manufacturing technology

In 2015, Tesla, Inc. first acquired the stamping parts manufacturer Vieira Die Company.Riviera ToolTo increase the production capacity of electric vehicles
This is Tesla, Inc. 's first acquisition since it was founded in 2003, and Tesla, Inc. 's business has expanded to Michigan.

At that time, Tesla, Inc. was in the midst of expanding production capacity and increasing sales. This year, Tesla, Inc. was selling only Model S models, Model X was scheduled to start shipping in the third quarter of that year, and Model 3 was scheduled to launch in 2017.

Riviera Tool, a company that produces tools and dies for stamping metal parts, can supply stamping parts for Tesla, Inc. 's plant in Vermont, California, boosting Tesla, Inc. 's production capacity.

Tesla, Inc. also confirmed the acquisition and renamed Vieira Mould company Riviera Tool to Tesla, Inc. tools and Mould Factory (Tesla Tool and Die Factory), but Tesla, Inc. did not disclose the price of the deal.

Before the acquisition, Riviera Tool was not only a parts supplier to Tesla, Inc., but its customers also included GM, Ford and Chrysler in Detroit, as well as automakers such as BMW, Nissan and Daimler.

After the completion of the acquisition, the Riviera completed its orders with other customers and began to focus on serving Tesla, Inc..

In order to increase the production capacity of Model 3, Tesla, Inc. acquired the German Automation production Company in 2016.Grohmann Engineering

After being acquired by Tesla, Inc., Grohmann renamed Tesla, Inc. Grohmann Automation,Grohmann Engineering founder Klaus Groman (Klaus Grohmann) also joined Tesla, Inc. as the director of the newly established department "Tesla, Inc. Advanced Automation in Germany".

At the time, Grohmann Engineering already had 700 employees.

Tesla, Inc. CTO JB Straubel (JB Straubel) also said that Germany's huge reserve of engineering talent was also an important factor in Tesla, Inc. 's decision to invest in Germany. After the completion of this acquisition, the team of Grohman will be expanded to 1000.


Musk attaches great importance to this "the first major deal in Tesla, Inc. 's history". "Automation is a very important part of Tesla, Inc. 's future," he said.

By acquiring machines for the production of machines, Tesla, Inc. has once again expanded his business to Germany, the hometown of car manufacturing.

Tesla, Inc. believes that at a time when automobile production is increased before the launch of the Model 3, automation has significantly improved the speed and quality of production.

In addition, Musk said, "the key to the business is people, and we are very honored to keep Groman," he said. "he is an important person in the company. "

News reports say Tesla, Inc. 's purchase price is as high as1.5 亿dollar.

Increasing production capacity and improving efficiency is also the focus of Tesla, Inc. 's automobile mass production.

In November 2017, Tesla, Inc. acquired a company that makes automation equipment for the factory.Perbix


Prior to the acquisition, Perbix had been working with Tesla, Inc. for three years and was responsible for producing various automation tools for Tesla, Inc., including those used to drive rotors in Tesla, Inc. 's cars.

Through this acquisition, Tesla, Inc. will be able to produce more auto parts in his factory and use highly automated technology to reduce car production costs.

This is the same logic as the 2016 acquisition of Grohmann Engineering, a German automation company.
Tesla, Inc. has encountered capacity difficulties in Model 3, and Musk has pointed out capacity problems on Twitter. It has been reported that one of the reasons for the lack of production capacity is that many parts need to be processed manually, and the acquisition of Perbix can effectively solve this problem.

Tesla, Inc. spent a lot of money to solve the problem. Although the transaction price was not disclosed, James S. Dudley, the owner of Perbix, received 34772 Tesla, Inc. shares, which were worth more than1000 万dollar.

Tesla, Inc. focused on the technology of automobile production and mass production in the early stage of development, and constantly ensured the scale of mass production through acquisitions. As Musk once said, a high degree of automation can reduce the cost of automobile production.

This is also Tesla, Inc. 's business logic, as are today's super factories in California & Texas, Shanghai, China and Berlin, Germany.

(2)2019: start to focus on autopilot and artificial intelligence

After the scale of mass production cars came up, Tesla, Inc. focused on the issue of intelligence, and Autopilot became the top priority of Tesla, Inc. 's development.

In 2019, artificial intelligence companies began to appear on Tesla, Inc. 's M & A list.
The first one favored by Tesla, Inc. is an autopilot awareness startup.DeepScale

CEO Forrest Iandola of Deep Scale, a start-up with high-precision computer vision technology using low-power processes, believes that the advantage of Deep Scale lies in pre-perceptual fusion. "what we do is to use the pre-fusion of raw data to fuse before target detection."

The use of raw data rather than target data for perceptual fusion is also the most differentiated competitive advantage of Deep Scale.

Through the acquisition, Tesla, Inc. also included Deep Scale CEO, who works as a senior machine learning scientist, Tesla, Inc..

At the same time, Tesla, Inc. has realized the strong coupling of pre-fusion perception and completely independent R & D perception with Deep Scale at the technical level.

Tesla, Inc., who takes a purely visual route on autopilot, has a precise and far-sighted strategy of acquiring technology and talent from DeepScale.

At present, Tesla, Inc. FSD has expanded from the United States to Canada, Musk also said that fully autopilot can be achieved by the end of this year.
Judging from the test of Tesla, Inc. FSD by foreign car owners, although there are always minor problems, the test results are often amazing. Tesla, Inc. is committed to making the software behave as naturally as a human driver.

(3)2019-2021: focus on battery production
At Battery Day in September 2020, Musk demonstrated Tesla, Inc. 's battery ambitions, which opened the prelude to the internal production of batteries.


Tesla, Inc. not only released the third-generation 4680 cells with higher energy density and lower energy consumption, but also launched an architectural innovation at the physical level of the battery-CTC technology, which can eliminate Pack design and install cells or modules directly on the car body. Just after the day before the battery, Tesla, Inc. also launched five battery-related mergers and acquisitions.

Frequent mergers and acquisitions in the battery field show that Tesla, Inc. 's new step is to focus on battery technology innovation.

At the beginning of 2019, Tesla, Inc. announced that he was working with American Battery Technology Company.Maxwell TechnologiesReach an agreement to buy the latter at a price of $4.75 per share for a total price of up to2.18 亿dollar.

图片Upon completion of the acquisition, Maxwell Technologies will merge with a subsidiary of Tesla, Inc. to become a wholly owned subsidiary of Tesla, Inc..

The highlight of Maxwell Technologies is that it has developed a dry electrode technology and applied for a patent.

The dry electrode process of Maxwell provides a new method for the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries by forming a self-supporting film of negative or cathode materials through the fibrosis of PTFE (Teflon) mixed with active negative or cathode material particles.

Most crucially, this technology will enable the negative and positive electrodes of the battery to be solvent-free. Traditional lithium battery manufacturing requires the use of solvents with adhesive materials, the common solvent NMP toxic need to be carefully recovered, purification and reuse, but also requires a huge, expensive and complex electrode coating machine.

This technology can significantly improve battery performance, have more battery power, and further reduce production costs in the future.

In order to acquire battery manufacturing technology, Tesla, Inc. acquired battery manufacturers in October 2019.Hibar SystemsAnd the pumps produced by Hibar Systems will be used in the rapid battery assembly process for the new 4680 cell.


Through the above two acquisitions, Tesla, Inc. acquired not only dry electrode technology, but also battery manufacturing technology to further boost the internalization of battery production.

But Tesla, Inc. did not stop here, and extended his tentacles to the field of battery materials.

In 2021, Tesla, Inc. again aimed at the production technology of environmentally friendly anode materials.Springpower InternationalAnd startups with production technology for silicon anode materialsSiILion

Through the acquisition of Springpower International, Tesla, Inc. obtained a patent to make significant gains in the amount of water used to make battery cathodes and the costs associated with the process.


Drew Baglino, Tesla, Inc. 's engineering director, once described this problem in a popular way: when making cathodes, metal sulfates are needed to add chemicals and inject water. After a series of reactions, the final result is a small number of cathodes, but more waste water and by-products, the efficiency is not high.

Springpower International solves practical problems by providing Tesla, Inc. with the necessary technology, which is of great significance to Tesla, Inc. 's production of 4680 batteries.

SiILion, which Tesla, Inc. took a fancy to, is a new type of high energy density battery chemical based on "high load silicon anode" and a patent known as "large battery anode containing silicon particles".

图片Tesla, Inc. 's fancy to SiILion actually foreshadowed a long time ago. On the Battery Day in September 2020, Tesla, Inc. said that the new 4680 battery will be powered by a silicon-based battery anode, and the SiILion can meet Tesla, Inc. 's needs.

It is not difficult to see that these acquisitions in the battery field are paving the way for Tesla, Inc. 's own 4680 batteries.

At present, Tesla, Inc. has installed the 4680 battery production line in Texas and is expected to start production in early April. At the same time, Tesla, Inc. also plans to build a 4680 battery factory in the Berlin super factory.

On March 22 this year, Musk predicted that electric vehicle battery production will face challenges in 2023, and the battery will become a "limiting factor" hindering Tesla, Inc. 's development in the next 2-3 years.

However, with the large-scale production of batteries and further reduction in costs, 4680 batteries will become Tesla, Inc. 's new sales killer.

These acquisitionsTo achieve Tesla's trillion-dollar market capitalization.

From focusing on automobile manufacturing technology to focusing on intelligence and then extending to the heart of new energy vehicles--The field of power batteryEvery acquisition of Tesla, Inc. is aimed at solving practical problems, acquiring technical personnel and finally realizing internalized production to reduce cost and increase efficiency.

Tesla, Inc. is indomitable in her journey to become a leader in electric vehicles, especially in the capital markets.


On October 25th last year, the veteran US car rental giant Hertz announced that it would buy 100, 000 Tesla, Inc. cars at a time, the purchase amount was as high as 4.2 billion US dollars. Tesla, Inc. 's share price soared on the same day, leaping into a trillion-dollar market capitalization club.

At this point, the number of members of the global trillion-dollar club has increased to six, and Tesla, Inc., whose share price is "crazy", has surpassed Saudi Aramco, behind Apple Inc, Amazon.Com Inc, Microsoft Corp and Alphabet Inc-CL C.

Tesla, Inc. 's achievements in the capital market are amazing, and his autopilot technology and manufacturing capacity are also talked about by the industry.

The new power car companies and the traditional car companies facing the test of transformation are imitating or even copying the Tesla, Inc. model both openly and secretly. Tesla, Inc. has become Apple Inc in the field of intelligent electric vehicles.

Focus on small and medium-sized technology companies, acquire cutting-edge technology and talents through acquisitions, and constantly solve practical problems in development.

Tesla, Inc. gradually mastered the important technology in the field of electric vehicles in his own hands, and continuously magnified the advantages of this technology and talent through large-scale mass production, and internalized the cost-effectiveness of production. Tesla, Inc. became a car company with a gross profit margin of more than 30 per cent for two consecutive quarters last year.

With the rising price of battery raw materials and the possibility of a shortage of raw materials in the future, the industry's attention has once again turned to the field of power batteries, while Musk says he wants to build the world's largest battery production plant at Tesla, Inc. 's Berlin plant.

When the battery production line in Texas and the battery factory in Berlin opened, Tesla, Inc. 's new killer mace was already in place.

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