Tesla vs Porsche: Challenger vs. Established Brand
In my previous article I analysed two challenger brands (N26 & Revolut) but in this article I want to present the findings of our research into a challenger and an established brand; Porsche vs. Tesla. While it may seem bizarre to say Tesla is still the (relatively) new kid on the block in the world of car manufacturers, Porsche has been on the market since the 30’s. This article will look at how the workforce reflects the focus of the company, by analysing job titles, previous work experience and previous positions held by employees at both firms.
Porsche vs. Tesla: Consultant vs. Salesman
From their workforce, we can see Tesla has 2 areas of focus: sales and product development.
Tesla became profitable in 2021, achieving the goal all startups set out to, while the majority fail. Chasing this goal may be why Tesla has over 26 times the number of salespeople as Porsche. The other area of focus for Tesla is clearly product development. They have 1.8 times the number of project managers than Porsche.
Tesla also has 2.4 times the number of software engineers than Porsche. This can add to their focus on product development and bringing new technology into their products, but on the other hand, this may just be reflective of the nature of Tesla and Porsches machines. A fully electric vehicle will need more software engineers than those needed for a traditional petrol motor.
Looking at Porsche, they clearly have a very different focus. Their workforce has more senior managers than that of Tesla, with 4.4 times the number of senior consultants and almost 1.5 times the number of managing directors.
This may give the appearance of a top-heavy structure, however, when looking at the number of student assistants and trainees we can see that Porsche is not in fact top-heavy. It has the management structure of a more traditional established business, rather than that of a new-ish tech startup. Porsche, we can see here, is relying on senior professionals with a wealth of experience to direct them on the running of a sustainable business.
Porsche vs.Tesla: Students vs. Interns
Another interesting fact to be found when looking at the job positions is looking at the number of students vs. interns. A reductive mind might look at those labels and think: what’s the difference?
Both job titles assume an entry level position with the possibility of progression — hence why openings in both companies are so sought after. However, Porsche, owing to its established nature, has a student programme. Through courses offered such as their “Dual Course of Study” in collaboration with DHBW Stuttgart, Porsche is choosing to hire talent through specific schemes, rather than hiring interns.
Porsche vs, Tesla: Sales vs. Industry Knowledge
Let’s look at the job positions held between Tesla and Porsche employees. One thing is immediately clear: Porsche favours consultants over Tesla. But what kind of consultants? Let’s take a look at the companies of previous employees.
From this we can see Porsche recruits from its industry; Daimler, BMW, Audi — Porsche likes to hire people that know their stuff. On the other hand, Tesla looks towards more people with a tech background, from Zolando to Amazon and being self-employed, it’s the self-starters that Tesla seem to be wanting to hire. This reflects the different business focusses we outlined earlier.
So why does any of this matter?
What our analysis shows — for investors, observers, supporters and detractors — is an insight into who these businesses are, and what differentiates them. There is a clear difference between the startup and established brand when it comes to hiring and the way in which these businesses are trying to grow.
Is difference a bad thing? Of course not — different businesses have different goals.
Does it change how an investor might view their investment — of course.