Business Spotlight: Tesla Part 2

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. beyond / biˈɒnd / (prep.) – outside a given range, limit, etc.

    The textbook covers topics beyond the English language and includes essays about history and culture.

  2. reflect / rɪˈflɛkt / (v.) – to show, express, or represent something

    The blue tones in the painting reflect the artist’s sadness.

  3. shoot from the hip / ʃut frəm ðə hɪp / (idiom) – to act or speak quickly without thinking about one’s actions or words

    Everyone knows Mike shoots from the hip; he isn’t someone who thinks carefully about what he’s going to do.

  4. secure / sɪˈkyʊər / (v.) – to get or achieve something with some difficulty or effort

    Anthony was glad that he was able to secure a parking spot during the mall’s biggest sale.

  5. have (one's) finger on the pulse / hæv ˈfɪŋ gər ɒn ðə pʌls / (idiom) – to have a good understanding of the latest events or changes in an industry, area, etc.

    A good company has its finger on the pulse and understands its customers’ needs.


Read the text below.

Continued from Part 1…

More innovations followed, including a driver-assistance system in 2014 that promised to drive cars automatically, and home battery packs that set the company in a new direction beyond automobiles. After acquiring a solar power company in 2017, Tesla Motors shortened its name to Tesla to reflect the many sides of its business.

In late 2017, the Model 3 sedan went into production, though there were many delays and manufacturing problems. Another source of problems was Musk’s shoot-from-the-hip style. In an August 2018 tweet, he claimed he had secured funding to take Tesla private, thus giving him more control over its long-term strategy. Unfortunately, the tweet was seen as harmful to Tesla’s investors, and he and Tesla were each fined $20 million (¥2.2 billion) for the incident.

Tesla recovered and in 2020 released the Model Y, which helped the firm surpass Toyota as the world’s most valuable carmaker.

Nowadays, Tesla is known for having its finger on the pulse. Just recently, they decided to accept bitcoins as payment and continue to work hard on a high-speed train, the Hyperloop. The company continues to strengthen, despite its CEO’s tweets. (Jasmin Hayward)

This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Tesla released a driver-assistance system in 2014 that promised to drive cars automatically. Would you trust such a system? If so, how much (ex. enough to keep your hands off the wheel, enough to take a nap in the backseat)? Why? Discuss.
  • Tesla recently decided to accept bitcoins as payment. Do you think more companies will begin to accept cryptocurrency in the near future? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Musk has repeatedly gotten in trouble for his tweets, which have been seen as harmful to Tesla’s investors as well as other companies. Do you think Musk should stop tweeting? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Musk’s shoot-from-the-hip style has been a source of problems for Tesla. What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of such a style (ex. encourages flexibility, causes chaos)? Why? Discuss.