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Posts Tagged ‘Tesla Model S’

Tesla Moves Ahead While Keeping an Eye Out for a Ghost

May 22nd, 2014

Fisker Karma

Tesla has reached its tipping point.

How do I know this? I can feel it. I can sense it. I credit my finely tuned sense of the automotive industry.

Well, that and I’m hearing about Tesla everywhere. In the news, in blogs, on drives with friends and coworkers, and while working in my front yard. Tesla has infiltrated the auto world, and things are looking great for the California automaker.

Unless Fisker’s rebirth poses as much of a problem as its new owner promises.

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Here Comes Tesla’s Competition

March 28th, 2014

Commuter Cars Tango and George Clooney

When you think of electric cars, the first maker to come to mind is probably Tesla. The company has done an amazing job branding itself as the leader in vehicles powered by electrons. With sexy car designs, lots of media coverage and a personable-yet-eccentric CEO, Tesla has become the gold standard in electric vehicles.

That doesn’t mean Tesla is alone, though.

Other carmakers build and sell vehicles that use alternative fuels, and there’s no way the legacy automakers are going to sit down and watch Tesla silently drive into the sunset with all the cash.

From the big boys to some small guys with big ideas, it seems EVs are here to stay. Keep reading for some interesting competitors Tesla may face.

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Tesla Challenging Dealer Franchise Laws, and Winning

March 24th, 2014

2012-Tesla-Model-S

The American dealer franchise system might be on its last tank of fuel.

Since the advent of the mass production of cars, their sales have been filtered through a system of dealerships not affiliated with the carmakers. By acting as the middleman between the factory and the consumer, the dealer is free to negotiate and attempt to maximize profits. The downside for consumers, of course, is that uneducated people can be taken advantage of and charged more than necessary. The upside is that car buyers have local sales people and reliable service.

Tesla wants to change things up by selling directly to consumers in a retail model that could, and probably will, revolutionize how we buy cars.

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Relax, It Was a Run-of-the-Mill Car Fire

October 3rd, 2013

Tesla Model S fire

If a Ford catches on fire, people assume it was an accident, and the incident barely registers a blip on the radar of car blogs and news sites. The company’s stock certainly feels no repercussions.

If a Tesla catches on fire, the news media explodes like a Fisker battery pack, and the stock takes a significant hit.

Why the difference?

Because people are looking for the downfall of Tesla. They anticipate one problem sitting just under the surface, unseen, until it erupts in a ball of flames for the world see.

Those people thought it finally happened when a Tesla Model S caught fire in a sleepy suburb of Seattle.

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Could GM Build a Better Tesla?

September 20th, 2013

Tesla Model S

The article posted at CNN Money made me chuckle.

It opened with these lines, which should make you laugh, too:

GM says it wants to develop a car that can match Tesla’s 200-mile range for less than half the price.

The goal was laid-out Monday as the company announced a $20 million investment in its battery lab in Warren, Mich. But the company didn’t give a specific time frame for achieving it.

GM’s car would go 200 miles between charges and cost $30,000.

It seems as though that’s exactly what the Volt was supposed to do… which is only where the humor begins.

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Tesla Could Change How Cars Are Sold

August 23rd, 2013

Tesla Model S

The dealer franchise system has worked for selling cars in the United States for nearly as long as there have been cars in the United States.

By requiring new vehicles to be sold through private dealers not associated with the automakers, the market has been able to determine fair prices based on the MSRP. That’s been mostly good for consumers, at least the ones educated enough to research and negotiate a fair price.

It’s also allowed dealers to make gobs of money by acting as the middlemen between automakers and consumers.

Tesla thinks that model should change.

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Here Comes the Tesla Supercharger Network

May 31st, 2013

Tesla Supercharger fast-charging system for electric cars

“Tesla needed to solve the problem of long-distance travel and we can’t wait for others to agree with our strategy. If we wait for some sort of consensus, it’s going to take too long. We just need to get going and other manufacturers can either copy us or join us.”

In the world of high-powered auto executives, you can probably guess that quote comes from the guy who also owns a company that builds spaceships. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, founder of PayPal, and owner of SpaceX, isn’t a guy to wait around and hope technology adapts to his product. No, Musk would rather adapt and invent technology to support his product.

In this case, the technology seems simple on the surface: recharging the electric vehicles that Tesla builds.

The problem is a current lack of North American infrastructure to provide a network that could support a cross-country trip. But why wait for that infrastructure, when you can just build your own?

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Tesla Announces “World’s Best” Warranty

April 29th, 2013

Tesla Model S

A lot of people in advertising seem to think they can add instant credibility to their marketing message by adding a superlative or two to the copy.

Calling a product or service the “best” or the “biggest” or the “most” is pretty common practice, but this rarely means anything, since such labels are typically subjective marketing speak and used everywhere, all the time.

Tesla Motors posted a piece on its blog Friday announcing the “World’s Best Service and Warranty Program.” Well, that’s a mighty bold statement to make, but then again, Tesla is a pretty bold company and tends to back up what it says.

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Tesla Goes Its Own Way, Debuts New Lease Program

April 3rd, 2013

Tesla Model S

Tesla hasn’t done much that’s conventional in the car business. Just being successful as an independent U.S. automaker is unconventional enough, but the feisty maker of sexy electric cars has shunned the traditional dealer network and, now, debuted a whole new way to finance a Model S.

Well, mostly new. It’s essentially a lease. And a purchase, but with all kinds of asterisks and “true cost of ownership” numbers involved. But is the new financing program truly revolutionary, as Tesla CEO Elon Musk has suggested?

Well, yeah, the idea actually is. Don’t expect to drive a new Tesla for dirt cheap (not even close), but Tesla’s new financing plan should pique the interest of more than a few potential buyers.

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U.S. Electric Car Industry Hits Super-Sized Speed Bumps

December 12th, 2012
Tesla Model S, stranded

The "unpluggable" Model S

The Tesla that couldn’t move.

The Fisker fires.

The A123 bankruptcy.

The CODA Automotive layoffs.

It’s been a rough end to 2012 for the U.S. electric vehicle industry, but all hope is not lost. Maybe Chinese companies can step in and take some ownership in an effort to right what sometimes looks like a quickly sinking ship.

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