Tesla, Inc. (formerly Tesla Motors, Inc.), is an American automotive and
energy company based in Palo Alto, California. The company specializes in
electric car manufacturing and, through its SolarCity subsidiary, solar panel
manufacturing. It operates multiple production and assembly plants, such as
Gigafactory 1 near Reno, Nevada, and its main vehicle manufacturing facility at
Tesla Factory in Fremont, California. As of March 2019, Tesla sells Model S,
Model X, and Model 3 cars. It is accepting reservations for the Model Y,
Roadster (2020), and Semi vehicles. Tesla also sells Powerwall, Powerpack, and
Megapack batteries, solar panels, solar roof tiles, and some related products.
Tesla was founded in July 2003, by engineers Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, under the name Tesla Motors. The company's name is a tribute to engineer Nikola Tesla. In early Series A funding, Tesla Motors was joined by Elon Musk, J. B. Straubel and Ian Wright, all of whom are retroactively allowed to call themselves co-founders of the company. Musk, who formerly served as chairman and is the current chief executive officer, said that he envisioned Tesla Motors as a technology company and independent automaker, aimed at eventually offering electric cars at prices affordable to the average consumer. Tesla Motors shortened its name to Tesla in February 2017.
After 10 years in the market, Tesla ranked as the world's best selling plug-in passenger car manufacturer in 2018, both as a brand and by automotive group, with 245,240 units delivered and a market share of 12% of the plug-in segment sales. Tesla vehicle sales in the U.S. increased by 280% from 48,000 in 2017 to 182,400 in 2018, and globally were up by 138% from 2017. In 2019, Tesla got approval to start manufacturing in China.