Are Tesla’s Gigafactory and autonomous driving technology, automotive industry disruptors?

  • Henrik Simon Schöttle (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Tesla's rapid development in recent years has attracted enormous attention in the automotive industry as well as from many other branches. This thesis explores Tesla's competitive advantage in the automotive industry, focusing on the role of autonomous driving technology and the Gigafactories. It explores the extent to which these two factors contribute to Tesla's disruptiveness. Although Tesla's innovations have already been groundbreaking, some of them are still in the development phase. The ADT might reach its full potential soon, while the Gigafactory concept has already made its mark on the industry. To analyse the extent to which these variables influence disruptiveness, a triangulation was applied in this academic paper. Qualitative data was obtained through semi-structured interviews with experts who hold relevant positions in the automotive and consulting industries. Quantitative data was systematically obtained by conducting a survey. The research question was created and built on the literature and is grounded on the basic theories of qualitative and quantitative research. Using triangulation, we concluded with this scientific paper that both variables are the reason for Tesla's disruptive success. The tech company's innovations are important components of the rapidly developing e-mobility market. The empirical results of the study in conjunction with the existing literature, underline the correlation and relevance of the Giga concept and the ADT. The outcomes of this study go beyond Tesla's current market position and provide insights for future research and findings on the adoption of electric vehicles, autonomous driving, and the disruptive impact on the automotive and the mobility market.
Date of Award22 Jan 2024
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorPeter V. Rajsingh (Supervisor)


  • Disruptive innovation
  • Autonomous driving
  • Gigafactories
  • Transformation
  • Competitive advantage
  • Strategy


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

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