BMW Discusses "Tesla-Killer"

BMW Discusses "Tesla-Killer"

johncrab | 8 dicembre 2014

Yep. HTC, RIM (RIP), Samsung, Motorola (RIP), LG, Nokia (RIP), Sony and Microsoft have all talked up their "iPhone Killers" over the years. In marketing when anyone talks in terms of "killing" a brand leader, it's because they have nothing to offer by hyperbole.

lolachampcar | 8 dicembre 2014

Keep talking BMW. It will make you feel better.

Plugged In | 8 dicembre 2014

WOW! 100 kilometers of range! Why... that's almost 1/4 of Tesla! And it will be available in limited quantities, no doubt... eventually.

And of course, "something's gotta give" -- trunk space, interior space, reliability. You know, meaningless details like that.

Last but not least... the slogan!

Yesterday's technology, tomorrow!

cpmarino | 8 dicembre 2014

Hybrid technology has a lot to offer, and when you look at supercars like the LaFerrari, Porsche 918 and the Mac P1, the technology plays a large role in significantly improving the performance of those vehicles.

However, in the real world, I don't understand the hybrid application. Internal combustion engines and electric motors are very complicated. Engineering a vehicle around one or the other is complicated. Combining them, and engineering a vehicle around both, seems pointless to me both from a cost and engineering standpoint. Adding a layer of complexity to an already needlessly complex ICE just exacerbates the problem.

No, the value of the electric motor, as Tesla has shown, is when it can stand on it's own as a viable alternative to ICE. Often in life, when we try to combine things to improve efficiency, we make the problem significantly worse. Outside of a supercar, it seems ineffective to combine these technologies. | 8 dicembre 2014

What a kluge. That's a fine way to treat Elon after all he has done to get BMW in the news lately. He must be shaking in his boots.

richard | 8 dicembre 2014


hybrids are only a short term measure until batteries become more affordable, then as happened with the iPhone, and the iPad, everyone will copy the technological market leader, the first company to truly make the tech work in the real world, despite previously slating it as impossible, too expensive or never going to catch on, they just don't want to abandon the billions spent on ice engine development.

and tesla sales, hmmm, no marketing spend needed at all, as everyone compares the new cars as tesla killers, new people see the word tesla and think- whats that then?

Lol, i just can't wait to see the drag strip vids for the pd, that should be entertainment :)

Plugged In | 8 dicembre 2014

Who is Lois?

@Richard, in every other industry you are 1000% right. But the Model S has been in production now for 2 1/2 years and -- unlike the I-phone and I-Pad -- there is still no real direct competition in sight. Imagine the situation if the I-Phone competitors continued to produce its product by offering cameras, text capability, and a "hybrid" combination of icons and keyboard strokes. After 15 minutes, the icons would no longer be available because their computer chips and batteries couldn't handle it.

If that were the case, then every other competitor would be so far out of business and in the dustbin of history alongside that of the Radio Shack TRS-80.

sunkat | 8 dicembre 2014

Perhaps they meant to say it's an i3/i8/Fisker Karma killer....

Captain_Zap | 8 dicembre 2014

"Limited Quantities" translated: "Compliance Car"

AmpedRealtor | 8 dicembre 2014

The article seems to be written by someone who has never driven a Tesla and has no understanding of the technology about which he is writing. Reading this drivel is like reading about GM's press release last year that they can easily come out with a car like Model S if they wanted to, or Audi's recent statements about having a car competitive with Model S by 2017, or Mercedes talking about their electric car that is planned for 2020... in a word, it's al: BULL.

When these companies stop talking, I'll know they are actually working on something. The more the talk, the less the action. They only have talking points because they lack a product. Anything that passes the most basic scratch-and-sniff test with the media becomes a "Tesla kiler" just like every smartphone was supposed to be the iPhone killer. Does anyone remember the Blackberry Storm? Even Samsung, who copied every aspect of Apple's iPhone, cannot kill it and is now posting losses in its mobile division after earnings fell to half of what they were this time last year.

Show me a Tesla killer. The discussion ends right there.

TytanX_ | 8 dicembre 2014

When did BMWs get so ugly? They used to be such a beautiful looking car...

sule | 8 dicembre 2014

@johncrab: RIM is far from RIP. I use BlackBerry devices and services and would not switch to anything else. Samsung made an iPhone killer - I don't like it but most people do. So don't rely on this analogy.

Otherwise, this is normal and will be said. In their preferred marketing perspective their product is better. In our perspective it is far from that and commenters seem to agree.

NOLEK SUM | 8 dicembre 2014

Amped is correct, as always. No carmaker will ever be able to compete with the Tesla. And within five years Tesla will have taken over the entire industry and everyone else will be gone, and the Germans will be the first to disappear. Good call, fanbois!

Mystery Lab | 8 dicembre 2014

The saddest thing about this is that BMW would rather focus on 'killing' Tesla and staking claim to a 50,000 car a year market. It shows that they don't really see the potential in the BEV space. They should be 'joining' or 'all-in' and working to make this space what it can be. That's what Tesla has done in opening up their patents.

I'm pretty disappointed with Bavaria right now.

cpmarino | 8 dicembre 2014

@Gadfly, maybe being a bit optimistic there. The ICE manufacturers are in a difficult spot right now, and as with most large companies, they move very slowly. The industry as a whole has been doing something the same way, something very profitable, for so long that they aren't going to just shift gears each time a new concept arises, regardless of how good that concept is. I remember when I was younger when we first started seeing Diesel cars in America, and diesel pumps at the gas stations ... damn, every car was going to be diesel!

Right now, these companies are making overtures, because they have to. They are turbocharging, for efficiency gains, not performance. None of the larger manufacturers are going to clean-sheet design a fully electric automobile any time soon.

And the Apple analogy, while there is some relevance, you've got to consider the price point. Tesla's do not cost $600. It's simple economics ... Apple made a better product that people wanted desperately, because it could do so much more than competitors. A lot of people could afford the $600 for a new phone, and mass hysteria ensued. It will not be until Tesla develops affordable car for the masses that is every bit as efficient as the Model S that you will see those other manufacturers start making real strides. Right now, Tesla isn't hitting them in the wallet. If the Model 3 starts doing so, they'll have no choice.

sklancha | 8 dicembre 2014

@cpmarino +1

My thoughts exactly! I was a lot more elementary in my logic, however. It just seems like having an electrical motor system PLUS an internal combustion motor system PLUS the extra gadgets/technology needed to merge the two systems would increase the maintenance expense/concerns/problems. It took me less than a day of looking at potential hybrids before I ruled out the whole hybrid concept and jumped on the all electric bandwagon.

NOLEK SUM | 8 dicembre 2014

I have always thought that hybrid was an awkward, interim technology. But the prevailing fanboi fantasy that no one will ever be able to come out with a vehicle to compete with Tesla is as nutty has those who though that no one would ever be able to compete with the iPhone. How can people be so… Stupid?

And no matter the limitations of hybrid, there are tens of thousands of people who will prefer it to existing EV technology simply because it eliminates range anxiety and it allows them to smugly satisfy their self-indulgent liberal guilt "green" desire.

Red Sage ca us | 8 dicembre 2014

Gadfly wrote, "But the prevailing fanboi fantasy that no one will ever be able to come out with a vehicle to compete with Tesla..."

To clarify, the prevailing opinion is not that traditional automobile manufacturers are not able to compete by designing and building a no compromise 100% battery electric car. The issue at hand is that they are not willing to do so. The inertia of being large, established firms cancels out the advantage they should command in this regard.

NOLEK SUM | 8 dicembre 2014

Red Sage

So let me get this straight. They can do it, but they're not willing to, because of "inertia". They never, ever innovate, correct? So they are going to let Tesla drive them out of business and take over the entire industry. Brilliant analysis. I'll junk my Kellogg MBA. Thanks for the education.

sule | 8 dicembre 2014

@Red Sage, Gadfly:

The nature of this is complex. There was another thread on this issue, I won't repeat that, may only find and post a link.

They will want to innovate. But they will be dragged down as well by pressures to continue making profit and not adversely affecting it. They also need to learn much. (Tesla does too). Then they also have the "dealer issue" that Tesla does not have (Tesla has a different problem). Investors and stakeholders prefer milking the cow while they can, then switching to a new cow, not healing the first one...

In this sense Tesla has an advantage. But no one should think this is a done deal!

suresv | 8 dicembre 2014

@Gadfly - I do think you should junk your Kellogg MBA - also read "Innovator's Dilemma" by Clayton Christensen. There are quite a few examples of companies that didn't overcome the inertia (or the short sighted view of not compromising their current products / models)

eye.surgeon | 8 dicembre 2014

Tesla sales are a rounding error to a company like BMW.

sule | 8 dicembre 2014

@eye.surgeon: All companies, pretty much, have at some point in time or another (or multiple times!) have been "rounding errors' to other companies. That does not mean much. Some rounding errors become greater and last longer than others before all ultimately fail.

NOLEK SUM | 8 dicembre 2014


Read it in 1981. His thesis has to do with what he calls "disruptive technology" and how it obsoletes existing technology overnight. This is clearly not the case here. Any car that has to be refueled every 200 miles and takes the better part of an hour to do so is hardly disruptive. Proof would seem to be that two years in, as eye.surgeon points out, in terms of global auto sales, Tesla is a complete nonentity. It is a fun curiosity for, mainly, the wealthy and those few idiots who go way over their head with debt to buy.

sule | 8 dicembre 2014

@Gadfly: Oh, this is disruptive in so many ways. That is one of the sources of "the grin".

suresv | 8 dicembre 2014

@gadfly - Interesting how you read a book in 1981 that was first published in 1997. Btw all the case studies quoted in the book is not overnight obsolescence of existing technology. And imho, Tesla cars are disruptive.

But I would agree that right now Teslas are more for the wealthy.

NOLEK SUM | 8 dicembre 2014

Mea Culpa. 2001.

Red Sage ca us | 8 dicembre 2014

Gadfly: I am on a mobile phone currently, so it is rather hard to write detailed replies. I have written about this subject already, quite a few times. You are definitely misrepresenting what I wrote here in this thread and elsewhere. Some have said Tesla Motors will put the rest out of business. I have said that they will keep themselves out of the EV industry, far longer than they should, for all the wrong reasons.

AmpedRealtor | 8 dicembre 2014

@ Gadfly,

No carmaker will ever be able to compete with the Tesla. And within five years Tesla will have taken over the entire industry and everyone else will be gone, and the Germans will be the first to disappear.

Way to be a drama queen. Nobody said any such thing. What I am saying is that talk is cheap - you of all people should understand that! So far that's all the competition is doing... talking. Where are the products? If you are staking a claim that there is a viable competitor to Tesla, show me a viable competitive product from that company.

Also, I'd probably give back a degree that you found in a box of corn flakes.

Plugged In | 8 dicembre 2014

@gadfly - go U Northwestern!

In any case, not all disruptive technology disrupts overnight.

Furthermore, the automotive industry as a whole is always willing to innovate, provided there is substantial profit to be made. When there isn't sufficient profit, the auto industry (especially in Detroit) has embarrassed itself over and over again.


In 1957, GM claimed that Ford was selling safety (by adding seat belts, etc.) while GM was selling cars, and that is why GM blew away Ford in that era.

In the 1970's, all four US automakers build economical cars that the public demanded, but they were all built very poorly because in order to meet profitability levels they cut corners all over the place. All of the terrible problems the domestic automakers have had, stem from their failure to build even a decent, economical car when desired most.

Air bags and anti-lock brakes are considered standard equipment these days. But in the 1980's such items were hard to come by. Why? Was it not obvious that they were important?

Over and over and over again the US Auto industry has had the opportunity to move faster and do better, but because of profitability issues and constraints such as "this is the way we have always done business / why fix what isn't broken", as a whole the industry makes those innovations at a snail's pace.

The automobile didn't render the horse obsolete overnight.
The PC didn't render the mainframe obsolete overnight, although typewriters surely disappeared in relatively short order.
There are a few people that still carry around a cell phone that is not a smartphone. Not many, though.
It will take time. But if we get to the point that Tesla is able to build a car that costs 1/2 what it does now and goes at least as far as it does now... Wouldn't those who read this say that if such a moment comes to pass, would that be disruptive in your view?

Red Sage ca us | 8 dicembre 2014

Gadfly: Also, I undertand that you have chosen to take a well grounded, less enthusiastic, not-at-all optimistic, anti-fanboi stance regarding Tesla Motors.

Please understand that is exactly the same stance I hold, only in regard to traditional automobile manufacturers building worthy EVs to challenge or topple Tesla. I feel the history of multiple companies proves their lack of sincerity. I believe that if they could get away with ignoring CAFE and CARB regulations,they would. I believe they intend to delay any transition to fully electric transportation as a firm resolve and with a stubborn stance as long as they know they can.

Pride. Prejudice. Perspective.

thranx | 8 dicembre 2014

@Amped; "When these companies stop talking, I'll know they are actually working on something."

Quite so. For example, not much loud talk from Renault lately...but they have four EV models on the market.

Chuck Norris never talked much about himself, either, when he was teaching.

Pungoteague_Dave | 8 dicembre 2014

+1,000 gadfly. The disciples around here just can't be convinced that EV's are marginal toys for the wealthy. They concoct crazy battery pricing scenarios that will transform EV's into Everyman vehicles competitive with ICE, dream up things like EV trucks and airplanes, even though even their hollowed leader, Musk says that's nuts, with a sly insider smile about how even that's possible, so they read between the lines and say it will be here next year.

They will be disillusioned at some point while you and I enjoy our 691-horsepower steeds. What baffles me is how they can remain faithful in the face of an ego-driven rollout of a car that is clearly the antithesis of economical transportation for the masses - a ridiculous, overpowered car that was designed to beat a sporting enthusiast's former dream car. I can't wait to get mine, because I am also an immature boy who never outgrew his teenage years, but bear no illusion that what we are doing here is changing the world in any way that will ever be more than a blip. It will certainly have no measurable impact on human consumption of carbon fuels, even with follow-on and competitive vehicle production included in the mix. The new Ford F-150 is much more important and impactful in that respect, and in one year will reduce fossil fuel usage more than all the Tesla's in the world combined. So let's let the fanbois retain their little saving-the-world fantasy. The need something to feel smug about.

Red Sage ca us | 9 dicembre 2014

Pungoteague_Dave predicted with utmost confidence, "...bear no illusion that what we are doing here is changing the world in any way that will ever be more than a blip."

Wow. Just... Wow.

Challenge... accepted.

Grinnin'.VA | 9 dicembre 2014

@ cpmarino | December 8, 2014

Hybrid technology has a lot to offer, ...
However, in the real world, I don't understand the hybrid application. Internal combustion engines and electric motors are very complicated.

Yes. Hybrids are complicated. But somehow that hasn't prevented Toyota from making the Prius one of the more reliable cars on the road. And in spite of its abysmal acceleration, it still sells quite well.

BTW, Tesla has no planned BEV model that can beat the Prius on its turf: an efficient reliable car. I know. My wife and I each drove a Prius until I got rid of mine to get a Tesla, knowing that I could never drive it far enough to compete with the Prius as an economical car.

Go Tesla! Prove that you can compete with the Prius.

redacted | 9 dicembre 2014

@PD hallowed? I would hate to see Elon hollowed.

alcassfast | 9 dicembre 2014

Revisiting the 1957 Sales Numbers
By JERRY GARRETT JUNE 3, 2007 10:49 AMJune 3, 2007 10:49 am
In the May 20 feature, “Fifty, Finned and Fabulous,” it was noted that in 1957 Ford took the sales title from Chevrolet for the first time.

While that’s generally accepted as true, there is more than one way of looking at the sales numbers in the auto industry that year.

The final tally, according to our trusty reference, the Standard Catalog (Krause Publications), was 1,522,406 for Ford versus 1,515,177 for Chevrolet, a difference of 7,359 units.

Clear enough? Not so fast. The distinction is that Ford sold more 1957 Fords during the 1957 model year than Chevrolet sold of its 1957 Chevrolets.

But Chevrolet actually sold 136 more cars during the 1957 model “calendar year” than Ford.

Confused? The thing was, some 7,359 of the Chevrolets sold during that time period were leftover 1956 models.

From a production standpoint, Ford churned out 1,655,065 of its 1957 model Fords. But the final 132,659 of those wound up being sold outside the 1957 calendar year.

Those carryover models, coupled with a deep recession in the country’s economy, fouled Ford sales for 1958. Oh, and don’t forget the introduction of the Edsel that year. Production of 1958 Ford models dropped to just 967,954 units. Ouch!

Chevrolet handily regained the sales title, even though the recession helped drive its sales down to just 1.2 million units. | 9 dicembre 2014


A fairly short-sighted comment at best. The "D" accomplishes a number of things:
1) Real world test of the drivetrain for the Model X for nine months or so
2) Perhaps test the drive unit for the M3
3) Capture the segment of the market that wanted AWD and did not want an SUV/did not want to wait for the Model X and would end up getting a competitor
4) Drive up ASP and gross margins
5) Create more free buzz for the company


Captain_Zap | 9 dicembre 2014


The D also fulfilled some part of the top speed need in Deutschland.

Captain_Zap | 9 dicembre 2014

I didn't realize that Gadfly got his MBA out of a box of Frosted Flakes. ;-)

Captain_Zap | 9 dicembre 2014
sbeggs | 9 dicembre 2014

Ha! @Captain_Zap,
But watch out, you're attracting @Brian H's attention... | 9 dicembre 2014

Missed this gem last month - rumor that the i5 will by FCEV powered, using the same stack from the Mirai:

All I can think is this is more gaming of CARB to get credits....or Autocrat got hacked by The Onion

jcaspar1 | 9 dicembre 2014

@eye.surgeon "Tesla sales are a rounding error to a company like BMW."

Or 1.7 times the sales of their 7 series! Guess they are sure to drop that poor selling model :)

FelixMendeldog | 10 dicembre 2014

Grinnin' @us.VA Yes. Hybrids are complicated. But somehow that hasn't prevented Toyota from making the Prius one of the more reliable cars on the road. And in spite of its abysmal acceleration, it still sells quite well.

I agree 100%. Toyota is a great company and their Prius Hybrid has had a good run. But they better have a plan for a real BEV to compete with Tesla Model 3. I drove Prius a few times (I wanted to like it) but was always struck by how loud, rickety and unrefined they feel, as well as really slow. In those days, we bought the VW Jetta TDI instead—simpler, cheaper, quieter, more sold road feel, enormous real world range, and highway mileage close enough to that of most hybrids to make the decision easy.

But then there was Model S…good lord! Yes, it is totally unfair to compare a Prius to a Model S because of the enormous price difference, but once Tesla has their Model 3, every automaker will need to admit some facts to themselves—painful, but inevitable and ultimately for the good.

PV_Dave @US-PA | 10 dicembre 2014

Mainstream manufacturers can keep their hybrids; they are transitional, but I don't see them as the future.

Most of us hope that mainstream manufacturers will eventually produce BEVs which are compelling enough to go head-to-head with Tesla.

Most of us unfortunately have no expectation of that happening any time soon, even with the patents opened up and the offer to share the Supercharger network. But maybe we'll be surprised. I hope so.

The "rounding error" argument is nonsense. Tesla has captured a non-trivial share of the market they are competing within, and they are still supply constrained. When production capacity of the Model ☰ is greater than or equal to sales demand, then we'll be in a position to see what Tesla's true impact will be. Until then, the story is still being told, and you can't reliably skip to the end.

Red Sage ca us | 10 dicembre 2014

FelixMendeldog & PV_Dave: +1 UP! Agreed. Very well put, by both of you. It is a fair assessment to doubt the resolve of traditional automobile manufacturers when it comes to fully electric vehicles. The hybrid cars are transitional. The plugin hybrids are gimped.

If they were to build hybrids that had even a 100 mile real world, usable, pure electric range, those cars would destroy their entire business model. Because once people got used to doing their daily driving and 95% of their weekend activities on pure electric drive, they would want to dump the pump forever. They would seek a fully electric car as their next purchase.

Traditional automobile manufacturers are fully aware of this dilemma. But still, they choose to wait and see. Will Tesla Motors complete the Gigafactory on time? Will the Model ≡ arrive in 2017, with a range over 200 miles, within the expected price range? Will Tesla's Generation III vehicles be popular, or a complete bust?

Rather than preemptively striking with a capable BEV of their own, each traditional automobile manufacturer will choose to act in response instead. In the meantime, they might increase battery capacity to as much as 20-24 kWh on plugin hybrids such as the Volt. That will increase electric range to almost 60-80 miles or so, and improve CAFE numbers at minimal financial risk, since those variants would probably only be sold in California and other participating CARB states.

Grinnin'.VA | 10 dicembre 2014

@ FelixMendeldog | December 10, 2014

I agree 100%. Toyota is a great company and their Prius Hybrid has had a good run. But they better have a plan for a real BEV to compete with Tesla Model 3.

I hope you're right. However, the last time I saw an update on Tesla's plans for the M3 they were talking about a 200-mile range. For me, that isn't enough. If the M3 range is over 300 miles, I'd seriously consider buying one.

Go Tesla!

Brian H | 10 dicembre 2014

Once you hit 200 mi EV range, range anxiety decreases exponentially as a motivator. You get much smaller reductions jumping to 300, 400, 500 miles. Especially where SpCs are available.