General

A compact car ?

edited November 2012 in General
I think that for Tesla, a good thing to do would be to create and sell a new model which should be a compact car. People really want these kind of cars more and more. With the technology that Tesla is able to give to their cars, that compact car would be far ahead of the competition. About 80% of the popular electric cars are compact cars. So with, let's say, the Model C, Tesla is going to get popular and is going to have a lot of sales all around the world because compact cars are the most popular i Europe and Asia.

Is it a good idea for the brand ? Give your opinion!
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Comments

  • edited November -1
    I'd love to see a compact Tesla hatchback model. Similar in size to the leaf, but with Tesla's genius touch, beautiful styling, and better performance all around.
  • edited November -1
    Tesla has a compact car out there. They call it The Roadster.

    Seriously, Tesla needs to go from top to bottom in order to survive. Everyone trying that other way around has failed. With GenIII you will get something that could be called a compact car, but not subcompact. Then they are large enough to build 100k+ cars / year which is required for low margin compact car to be profitable.
  • edited November -1
    Timo +1
    TM is running as fast as it can ...
  • edited November -1
    Actually, Timo is right but the idea of a compact car is a plan that would be good in a few years. It's a fast and "across the world" economic project that demands a strong company base.
  • edited November -1
    Right now supply is a main issue so they pretty much need to keep volume under control for now. Also, there is more profit margin per options and accessories than the base vehicle. This is one of the biggest reasons you can't get a stripped down Camaro or Mustang. I think they are going about it in a practical manner by selling the power-trains to Toyota and Daimler. I think they are working on the Smart Car and a small MB to come out around 2014. This will increase their sales of course and give them more experience and vetting. A downside though is slower Tesla brand recognition. Toyota seems fond of using other maker's power plants like the Triumph (aka Prius gen I), Subaru Boxer in the Scion FRS and now Tesla power in the RAV 4 EV. Come to think of it an FRS and/or BRZ with Tesla Power would be a nice entry level sports car.
  • edited November -1
    To both Tesla..., Tesla master plan has always been this:

    1) build a very expensive niche target car
    ...and use money from that to...
    2) build practical luxury car to bigger target group
    ...and use money from that to...
    3) build an affordable car to rest of us.

    That's the plan in a nutshell.

    That step 3 is referred as GenIII here (generation III). Generation III will be a platform to many different car types, not just the affordable car, but main point is that you <u><b>will</b></u> get that affordable compact car pretty soon after Model S (in couple of years, my bet is at late 2015 or early 2016).
  • edited November -1
    TeslaCrush;
    Some outlets are hyping the collapse of the EV market and cancellation of EV plans by the Majors, world-wide. I don't know to what extent that is true, but if it is it's because none have broken the Range Barrier like Tesla has. (Probably there are a couple of Range Barriers, and the SuperCharge network takes aim at the second, longer one.)

    People aren't prepared to pay more for a car that can't go very far (unless they have the Save The World bug). So 60-100 mi. range cars don't cut it (unless they're cheap). TM couldn't do "cheap", so it did "long", but no one else could pull it off.

    Anyhow, the combo of Model S and SuperCharge world-wide will (IMO) reverse that trend.
  • edited November -1
    Nova ss size with model s performance upgrade and all the 21st century goodies.
  • edited November -1
    I wonder if this is a cart-before-the-horse scenario. I think we started to see compact cars with the oil crisis in the 70's. I always thought they were put on the market to save on gas; they're lighter and can go farther on a tank of gas. If they cost the same to run and went the same distance as a bigger and safer car, I'd question how popular they would be.
  • edited November -1
    bsimoes,

    Bigger does not mean safer.
  • edited November -1
    Well, bsimoes, in Europe (I don't know if you've been there or if you live there), you'll rarely see an SUV or a pick-up truck. It is so rare and I've talk to Europeans and they're not buying a car for the same reasons as here. They want a little practical car, who can do average distances, practical in cities and it's got to be affordable. Model S and Roadster are good for Europe but Model X isn't much. That's why in genIII, a Model C would really be a good move for TM. So, yes the compact cars are economic but they certainly are practical and trendy.
  • edited November -1
    It's also because in Europe we have a bit longer history behind the roads. Streets are narrower and some city centers would be nightmarish to drive in big US SUV. H*ll, you can hardly drive in some of the streets with SmartForTwo. Everything is more closely packed for majority of the Europe compared to US.

    Small and agile cars are highly valued here. Big does not mean better in here, and safety has not direct mental connection to size. In fact it's more like big = clumsy = unsafe.

    European cars have always been smaller (in general) than US cars. My father had a Triumph Herald 13/60 when I was younger, he sold it when it got too small for our family (and dogs and...). Now I wish he hadn't sold it because it was so fun for a car. Not especially fast but turned on a dime and accelerated nicely. All US cars of that era were quite a bit larger if my memory servers me correctly.
  • edited November -1
    In the US, bigger does mean safer (fatalities per crash). Physics rulez! Bet the same stats exist (if you could dig them out) for Autobahns.
  • edited November -1
    @bsimoes

    A compact car would be lighter and smaller than the Model S, so it should be able to drive more efficiently, which would mean lower costs to run. Granted, the energy cost difference would likely be fairly minimal since this is already extremely low with the Model S.

    Thus far, I think Tesla has demonstrated a good strategy for their vehicle roadmap, but assuming they are still around in the next 5 years (sure hope so), I think a compact car could make a lot of sense. Not everyone needs a full sized sedan, let alone an SUV, but they often need something more practical than the Roadster. A compact hatchback fits the bill and consumes fewer natural resources (i.e. more sustainable but still meets the needs of many consumers).
  • edited November -1
    I am holding out for a car smaller than the model S and Tesla plans to make that with the Generation III. So until then I will just have to drive my Roadster ;)
  • edited November -1
    For Brian, fatalities / crash doesn't count how many crashes were avoided completely. Or what happened to that other party in that crash. Speed kills when there is a crash, so it doesn't count low speed collisions either. Smaller is more agile and can avoid crashes easier than larger and clumsier car. A compact car (not sub-compact) is a great compromise between safety (by size) and agility. Not quite completely without protection like a bike, and not too big and cumbersome to have too long braking distances to avoid rear-ending other cars in pile-up.

    Of course if you drive a tank, it would not matter (to you) if you collide with a car. OTOH if you manage to flip that tank over you still get hurt.
  • edited November -1
    Don't have EU stats, but I suspect the issue is academic, there, given the "tight quarters" in urban streets. Roads designed for foot traffic, horses, and such impose constraints.

    But I suspect Autobahn pile-ups provide some interesting data!
  • edited November -1
    Autobahn is one of the safest road on earth, it's not free for all, it's really strict and organized.
  • edited November -1
    "People really want these kind of cars more and more."

    I think the main reason people want these kinds of cars more and more is to improve fuel economy, not because they actually want a car that is physically smaller.


    "About 80% of the popular electric cars are compact cars."

    Hence, there is the advantage of differentiating by offering a large sedan.
  • edited November -1
    Large car NOT EQ safer

  • edited November -1
    Tiebreaker;
    50 yrs difference in tech and design and materials. Apples and apples, please?
  • edited November -1
    olanmills, it's true that Tesla is original with a Sedan but, for future large selling the cars have to be affordable like a compact and trendy for the big buyers like Europe and Asia. The big thing right there are the compact cars, as always. Except that Buick is a larger seller in China than in the states.
  • edited November -1
    Brian, correct. That is the point.
  • edited November -1
    TeslaSam, recommended reading:
    http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/secret-tesla-motors-master-plan-just-between-you-and-me

    Elon hat the same idea in 2006 already, and is still following through on it. You may also want to read this thread:
    http://www.teslamotors.com/forum/forums/bmw-quicker-tesla-bring-bluestar-market
  • edited November -1
    Brian,

    If bigger was safer then the 6,000 pound cars of the fifties and sixties would be the safest vehicles around. However, bigger isn't safer. If you take a McLaren and an Explorer and run both into a tree at 100 mph, you stand a really good chance of surviving in the McLaren. Not so much in the Explorer. Yet the McLaren weighs far less.

    Good engineering and strength of materials is what creates safe vehicles--not being bigger.
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