GM sees Tesla as a threat....No Kidding!

GM sees Tesla as a threat....No Kidding!

This is something we should all read.
They just don't get EVs

blaquito | 25/07/2013

This guy is just being smart... for once. 20 years ago a car company like tesla would have been eaten alive by the big three. But today GM is just out of bankruptcy and partially owned by the government. Chrysler is ITALIAN owned mostly by Fiat. A ford is strong but alone. These companies cant afford to ignore a phenomenon like tesla. otherwise they could end up being the blackberry of the automotive industry.("the iphone wont hurt our business" famous last words)

Flaninacupboard | 25/07/2013

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

GM has been ignoring them for a long while, and are busily in laugh at you (all the stuff about laptop batteries), setting up a group to study Tesla suggests maybe they are about to enter fight you, but they are too late.

AmpedRealtor | 25/07/2013

I don't know of Tesla will ultimately win, but EVs certainly will.

If the Apple analogy holds true, the other auto makers will eventually jump on board with competitive products once Tesla's sales hit a tipping point. Then there is going to be incredible downward pressure on Tesla to continue to innovate or cheapen the product to compete with every Tom, Dick and Harry.

Tesla needs to make sure it maintains and asserts its intellectual property rights and has patented the hell out of their drive train. The superiority of Tesla's way to everyone else's should be its competitive advantage - range and infrastructure. I don't see how any of the other auto makers can possibly compete with long range vehicles without the infrastructure to support. Until they break out of that box, their success will be limited.

GeirT | 25/07/2013

What opinions CEO Dan Akerson of Government Motors express is actually irrelevant. He is too late with too little. GM is simply not capable of being part of the EV game change. TM has the winning formulae made. Sorry to say but GM is one dinosaur that deserves to die, despite Washington's coaching for their eternal life.

Somebody should give someone a lecture in Joseph Schumpeter's theorem of Creative Destruction: "...the process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one."

Wake up Detroit!

Brian H | 25/07/2013

If the majors truly make "competitive products", then Tesla Motors has served its purpose, and Elon can focus on SpaceX.

bbryant | 25/07/2013

Brian H
I think Elon ultimately wants to be the next evolution
of EXXON or TEXACO only via solar charging networks for

What other car maker thinks about energy to power the car they produce?

Changing the auto industry is a great adventure and service
to all but think , if we can replace the fossel fuel boys with
Elon's sun power chargers. I think the S is this generations Model T

Brian H | 25/07/2013

I disagree. He has said he'd rather have the bigs pick up the ball and carry it, but they haven't done so despite his offers to collaborate and help, so it is forcing him to force them to do it by competing flat-out. "You can do the easy way, or you can do it the hard way. You won't enjoy the hard way." Heh. | 25/07/2013

+1 Brian H

cfOH | 25/07/2013

Re-watch "Revenge of the Electric Car" (I just did) and remind yourself what Musk had to go through to get here. I have no doubts that he's in this until his goal is achieved rather than ceding everything to established companies just because they are "on the right track." He is less and less compromising because history has shown him that he doesn't need to be.

Brian H | 25/07/2013

his priority is to "get'r done" re EVs in general. He is less and less compromising because history is showing him it's not working.

negarholger | 26/07/2013

+1 Brian H
and the bigs will pick it up... questions is only who will suceed: Kia, Hyndai, VW,... ??? But some bigs will miss the boat. Note: above examples are not exactly my bets, just examples.
Car production requires massive factories, it is not like software with no factories or like Iphones you can assemble hiring a million people. Intel survived the AMD challenge because only they had the factories and AMD was production limited - you can't sell what you can't make.
But it not the cars itself, it is battery system production that will decide. If Tesla dominates the battery systems market, then the bigs will be hobbeled horses. I can see Elon attacking the problem in a very fundamental and broad way - from sustainable energy (SolarCity), electricity storage, charging infrastructure, eliminate dealers and a super attractive product. ( only service he is struggeling currently )
The bigs are in their thinking limited to cars only - infrastructure let somebody else do, standards that is goverment, etc... and that will hurt some of them in the long run.
Another note: BMW is thinking of not selling the I3 through their dealer network... the medicine starts working.

Andre-nl | 26/07/2013

Amidst all the negative comments about GM I would like to point out that, apart from the RenaulNissan alliance, they are far ahead of most other automakers. They were first with the Volt and they have just released the SparkEV. It is not a compliance car, but will be sold globally. And it may not be a Model S in terms of performance, handling, styling or luxury, but remember that the fiercest competition is in the segment of small, economic cars.

Ford? They have the Focus EV compliance car and outsourced the development of the drivetrain to Magna. Indeed, outsourcing the drivetrain, talking about not getting it!

Chrysler? The Fiat 500e compliance car is sold out for the rest of the year.

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."

That applies to most of the other large car companies with their half-hearted compliance cars, but not GM. The other big auto companies are still in the 'ignore' phase, but GM is definitely not in that camp and I can not remember them ever having made fun of Tesla. And fighting them? I might hope so! It is called 'competition' and forms the basis of our capitalist economies.

Bighorn | 26/07/2013

git'r done

jandkw | 26/07/2013

That's what leader is about, never underestimate your opponents. It is true in sports and in business. When the first IBM PC introduced in 1981, the big boys laugh at them and we all know the rest of the history. GM's Volt had so much hype when they first started development and drew great media attention and it turns out to be a big disappointment. This is good for the future of EV and cars in general if GM treats Tesla as a true competitor, I expect GM will build better future EVs and formulate strategy to counter-attack. Great for consumers.

ItsNotAboutTheMoney | 26/07/2013

Volt - a near-EREV (an EV-first PHEV design)
Battery research facility
Battery factory
Electric motor factory (building motors used in the ...)
Spark EV (... with the motors having the same spec as the Volt, hmmm, ...) which is a small BEV with good performance (i.e. it actually uses EV to a performance advantage).

Yes, GM has absolutely no clue and is not taking EV seriously.

While Tesla may lead the industry on battery pricing and battery management (GM's Volt battery management seems to be solid) which helped them produce "affordable" long-range BEVs, a key difference is that GM has an existing ICEV products so they don't have to be disruptive to succeed. GM is clearly trying harder than many of the other manufacturers.