The Wall Street Journal tells me that Tesla has now overtaken Ford as the second largest car maker in the US by market value. General Motors is ahead but may now be glancing in the rear view mirror.
Is this a “seismic shift” in the industry as WSJ puts it – a “growing belief that internal-combustion engines will be replaced by electric motors as the primary power source for automobiles”? Others disagree, seeing more hype than substance. Currently, Tesla produces fewer than 100,000 cars a year, compared with Ford’s millions. But are we on the brink of a major innovation-led change?
Yesterday was the Bloomberg Tech Summit in London, and the start of London Tech Week. The former Mayor of New York and the present Mayor of London emphasised the key role that technology and digital will play in the economic futures of both cities. This is not just about a single sector; London’s (& New York’s) competitive advantage derives in large part from the size and diversity of its economy, generating economic spillovers, agglomeration economies and supporting convergence of technologies. Proximity generates the marriage of art and science.
Talent – skills, human capital – is crucial to this. More than 2000 tech apprenticeships have been created in London and there are fantastic initiatives like Code Club to generate excitement and later careers among young Londoners. But we will need to do a lot more collectively to exploit fully this opportunity and ensure both that new and growing companies can meet their skills needs, and that all Londoners can benefit from the expected growth in the sector.