Tesla Moves Ahead While Keeping an Eye Out for a Ghost

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.

You may have heard that Toyota has left California and established a new headquarters in Texas. That move leaves Tesla as the Golden State’s largest automaker. On top of that, the fierce debate surrounding Tesla’s direct sales approach took a turn in the company’s favor this week. Federal Trade Commission officials told some states their dealer-favoring laws constituted a form of “protection that is likely harming both competition and consumers.”

There are no official law changes just yet, but the statements are setting a possible precedent on future state objections to Tesla’s direct sales method.

But there’s a ghost rising from the ashes that’s threatening to dampen Tesla’s fun.

Fisker is now owned by China’s Wanxiang Group, which is owned by an eccentric billionaire who has vowed to go bankrupt if necessary in an effort to overtake Tesla. Chairman Lu Guanqui said in an interview with Automotive News,

I’ll put every cent that Wanxiang earns into making electric vehicles…. I’ll burn as much cash as it takes to succeed, or until Wanxiang goes bust.

He continued,

The road is still very long…. We want to concentrate for now on manufacturing in the U.S. If I don’t succeed, my son will continue with it. If he doesn’t make it, my grandson will.

Wow. How’s that for determination?

The passion to succeed is admirable, but with Tesla’s head start I’m not sure that Fisker can catch up. There are no Fiskers driving by when I’m working outside, and I don’t have friends telling me they have friends who have purchased a Fisker.

Tesla, on the other hand, is on the road to changing this industry.

Should Tesla be worried about the return of Fisker?


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