Tesla Investor Day was polarizing, but Former Ford CEO came away impressed

For better or worse, Tesla Investor Day was a technical tour de force that involved in-depth discussions on the electric vehicle maker’s plans for the future. Similar to other Tesla live events, however, Investor Day ended up polarizing Wall Street analysts and EV community members alike. So polarizing was Investor Day that even some longtime Tesla bulls on social media disagreed on whether the event was beneficial for the company or a gross miscalculation. 

Former Ford CEO Mark Fields seems to be in the former camp about Tesla Investor Day. In recent comments, Fields noted that he saw the event as a way for the company to reaffirm its reign over the electric vehicle segment. While the event did not include specific details on new vehicles, the former Ford CEO stated that it still showed Tesla’s leadership in critical areas.

Fields shared his comments during a segment with CNBC following Investor Day. Fields stated that while competitors such as Ford and Hyundai are making a lot of headway in their respective electric vehicle programs, Tesla was able to highlight that it is one generation ahead of the competition. 

“And Tesla right now is one generation ahead of the other automakers. Tesla still has the leg-up on the competition, and I think they demonstrated that yesterday,” Fields said

Fields also noted that there would likely be multiple winners in the EV race, especially as the electric vehicle market continues to hit its pace. “There’s going to be a number of winners, and there’s going to be a number of losers because, when you look at the adoption of EVs over time, I mean, this is a huge addressable market,” Fields said. 

The technical nature of Investor Day and its lack of focus on the innovations behind the creation and production of its next-generation car — not the specifics of the vehicle itself — partly resulted in Tesla stock taking a 7% dive following the event. Other criticisms about the event involved the style and length of the Investor Day presentation itself, which has been compared negatively to the refined quality of keynotes from companies like Apple.

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