Tesla Faces Growing Pains While Planning European Expansion

tesla-supercharger

There are some perks to Tesla ownership that customers believe are vital to the experience of owning one of the premium electric vehicles.

One of those perks is free access to the company’s network of superchargers. Another is quick and responsive maintenance and repairs.

Both of those perks seem to be fading away as Tesla grows. Customers are beginning to complain of long wait times for service and, at the same time, Tesla has announced that unlimited free charging access will soon be a thing of the past.

Is the novelty of Tesla ownership wearing off?

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Buick: America’s Shining Star for Reliability?

Buick Cascada by Mike Perkins

Since they began flooding the U.S. market in the mid-1970s, Japanese cars have always enjoyed a reputation for reliability American companies could seem to only covet. So, naturally, it comes as no surprise that Lexus and Toyota continue their best Jimmie Johnson and Sebastian Vettel impressions, respectively landing the top two spots of Consumer Reports’ Annual Brand Reliability Survey for the 4th straight year. Instead, this year shoppers will need to scroll down to the 3rd place finisher if they’re looking for a shock. Buick, of all brands, has brought an American nameplate to Consumer Reports’ podium for the first time in over three decades. Continue reading >>>

Innovate Everything: Lynk & Co. Wants to Shake Up the Car Business

Lynk & Co. 01

Typically, when researching a new car-focused story, the go-to sources are The Detroit News, Automotive News, a few car-focused blogs and websites, and maybe a more business-oriented publication, like Forbes. With Geely’s new Lynk & Co. car brand, however, news updates are just as likely to be found on sites like Mashable, The Verge, and Engadget as they are on the typical automotive outlets. That’s because, like Tesla’s direct sales or even Saturn’s no-haggle pricing, Lynk & Co. is entering the market with the mindset of a startup, intent on disrupting and revolutionizing the auto industry.

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Tesla: No Discount for You!

2016-tesla-model-x

One of the joys of shopping for a new car is knowing that the price you see on the window sticker is just a starting point for negotiation.

It’s exciting to see how far under that MSRP your sharp negotiating skills can get you. Two thousand dollars? Four thousand? More?

Of course, the flexibility of the dealer depends on a lot of factors. Is the car in high demand or has it been sitting on the lot for months? What kind of kickbacks does the manufacturer offer? Is the vehicle a high-priced luxury pickup or an economy car?

Whatever the vehicle, consumers rarely find themselves paying the full MSRP.

That is, of course, unless they’re buying a Tesla.

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Michigan Blocks Tesla from Selling Cars

tesla_model_x

Poor Tesla.

All the company wants to do is change the world with electric cars and sell them in a way that hasn’t been done since the turn of the 20th century.

Turns out some people in the auto industry aren’t big fans of change and are working really hard to try and keep things the way they’ve been for the last hundred years.

The latest example just went down in Michigan, where Tesla’s attempt to sell cars directly to customers has been blocked by the state’s government.

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More on Tesla: Why Part Deux Will Work

2016 Tesla Model X

Last week, Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla, unveiled his Master Plan, Part Deux, on his website. It lays out his plans for where his futuristic company will go in the next decade.

Now there are those of you out there who are wondering about his Master Plan, Part One, which included the following goals:

Create a low-volume car, which would necessarily be expensive; Use that money to develop a medium-volume car at a lower price; Use that money to create an affordable, high-volume car; and Provide solar power.

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Tesla, Autopilot, and the Future of Self-Driving Cars

Tesla AutoPilot

From the first press release outlining Tesla’s Autopilot technology, potential customers have wondered how the system works, what its limitations are, and whether it will be welcomed or shunned. Since Joshua Brown’s fatal crash while using Autopilot in a Tesla Model S, these questions have grown larger and more pointed. Without a doubt, popular opinion has shifted toward negativity. But should it?

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Tesla’s Master Plan, Part Deux: Anticipating a New World

Tesla-Model-X-Tesla-Roadster

Ten years ago, Tesla CEO Elon Musk showed the world his plan to grow his electric car company into an international powerhouse. In his original master plan, posted in 2006, Musk summarized his ambitions by saying Tesla would:

Build a sports car Use that money to build an affordable car Use that money to build an even more affordable car While doing the above, also provide zero-emission electric-power generation options

Mission accomplished.

With 2016 upon us, Musk has published his new master plan. It’s equally ambitious, if not more so, and includes some bombshells that give clues to Mr. Musk’s intentions to change our world for the better.

Perhaps the best idea in Musk’s “Master Plan, Part Deux,” is for an electric semi truck. Shocking, right?

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Could Now Be a Good Time to Buy a Tesla?

2015 Tesla Model S

Tesla has seen a lot of time in the news during the past couple of weeks over crashes involving its Autopilot system. Low gas prices also might be hurting its business plan, and there are some growing questions about reliability. This all begs the question: is now the right time to think about buying a Tesla? The answer is a qualified “maybe,” because the decision essentially comes down to how much risk you’re willing to assume.

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A Beginner’s Guide to Digital Instrumentation

Courtesy Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes-Benz Head-Up Display

Chances are, anyone reading this post learned to drive a car with some sort of traditional gauge setup. Speedometer, tachometer, engine temperature, gas level, maybe a warning that someone needs to fasten their seatbelt. But is it possible the near future will leave such an interior feeling old-fashioned, obsolete, better suited for classic cars and car shows? We all know how fondly our zealously up-to-date culture likes to deride (or sometimes obsess over) old technological “breakthroughs” like cassette tapes or first-generation iPods, computing devices that look and feel like bricks in comparison to the sleek devices of today. With their growing computing power and ever-more-sophisticated interiors, why would cars be exempt from this double-time march of progress?

Surely we’ve seen this coming. Nothing moves as quickly as technology or has quite the same way of spreading across all parts of a particular product or experience. We have our award-winning infotainment systems; how long could it have been before some of the operating philosophy behind fighter-jet cockpits or the crisp graphics and formidable computing power of smartphones began showing up right in front of drivers’ noses? Not long, apparently: just take a look at the new display setups appearing in consumer vehicles, from the head-up displays (yes, like fighter jets, sort of) to fully computerized dashboards. But if you haven’t necessarily been keeping an enthusiast’s eye on the automotive market, you might not quite know what these new features are all about. They are, after all, still pretty new. So here’s a quick rundown of a few of the more important (or common) among them.

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