Techdirt Podcast Episode 74: Why Is Tesla So Successful?

from the no-single-answer dept

Consumers looking for an electric car have several options to consider, but the buzz and excitement around Tesla continues to dwarf everything else. It's hardly unfounded, but the scale of the company's success is staggering, and there's no single reason for it. This week, we discuss that simple question: just why is Tesla so successful?

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Filed Under: electric cards, podcast, techdirt podcast
Companies: tesla


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  1. icon
    Michael Ho (profile), 17 May 2016 @ 12:29pm

    Found another car company that's following in Tesla's footsteps.....

    Detroit Electric is basically copying Tesla (along with production delays!), and it's selling an EV Lotus for 6 figures with plans to roll out a mass market EV car under $40,000 someday.

    http://archive.is/20160517185324/http://www.wired.com/2013/04/detroit-electric-sp-01/

    But the SP:01 isn't going to be sold in the US. (The Lotus donor car bodies don't have the right kind of airbags for the US market.)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Personanongrata, 17 May 2016 @ 1:27pm

    Is Tesla the New Tucker*?

    Why Is Tesla So Successful?

    How do you define successful?

    Has Tesla Motors turned a profit yet?

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-04/as-tesla-gears-up-for-suv-investors-ask-where- the-profits-are

    If electric cars are such a wiz-bang sure-fire can't miss endeavor why the need for US federal/state government subsidies?

    http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-hy-musk-subsidies-20150531-story.html


    * Tucker Link:
    http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-tucker-was-the-1940s-car-of-the-future-135008742/?no- ist

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 17 May 2016 @ 1:55pm

    Re: Is Tesla the New Tucker*?

    No, Tesla is the new Amazon. Look at the criticisms people are aiming at Tesla, about their financial and business models, then look at criticisms people were aiming at Amazon in the late 1990s about their financial and business models, and it all starts to look very familiar.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 17 May 2016 @ 2:10pm

    WRT Tesla being a "luxury car" brand that's moving downmarket, it's important to note that this has been their stated goal all along.

    Elon Musk never set out to run a luxury car company. He's a visionary, a guy who wants to bring transformative change, and he knows that you can't transform a system by only penetrating into a tiny percentage of the market. So he used the high-end market as a stepping stone, a means to an end, to build a brand and to raise capital so that they'd have the resources to put into the R&D necessary to make affordable, high-quality EVs available to the masses.

    When Henry Ford set out to build a car for the masses, he wasn't doing anything particularly revolutionary. Automobile technology was pretty well established by that point, and the cars were simple to make, so he could jump straight into it. A century of improvements in the state of the art, not to mention vital safety standards that were nonexistent in Ford's day, means that making an entry-level car from nothing is a difficult endeavor. Now add in an entirely new fuel system with minimal infrastructure to support it (Ford originally intended for the Model T to run on alcohol which anyone with a still could make in their own garage) and you can see why Tesla's incremental system was necessary to get off the ground!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    ryuugami, 18 May 2016 @ 12:56am

    Re: Is Tesla the New Tucker*?

    Yeah, Tesla should really learn from successful auto industry giants, like GM. Or fossil fuel industry, with their legendary independence from any government subsidy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Andy, 18 May 2016 @ 4:07am

    A different opinnion.

    Tesla is the big fuck you to government and big business, the biggest business.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Andy, 18 May 2016 @ 4:11am

    Re: Is Tesla the New Tucker*?

    Wake up....your outdated posts are way old news, 500 000 and more reservations for the model 3 and the cost of electric batteries plummeting means electric cars are way ahead of the curve and are taking over the car industry , slowly right now but much faster as all manufacturers of ice cars start selling millions of there cheap 300 mile cars.
    By 2020 we will have 500 mile cars selling for under $40 000 and nobody is going to change that.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Andy, 18 May 2016 @ 4:14am

    Re: Re: Is Tesla the New Tucker*?

    Well said, if electric car manufacturers had just ten percent of the money big oil get in subsidies they would be producing millions of cars right now not in 2-3 years time.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 20 Jun 2016 @ 12:12pm

    Tesla competitors

    Another one, Atieva, that's starting with a "premium" EV car...

    http://autoweek.com/article/car-news/china-backs-electric-car-startups-rival-tesla

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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