Thursday, October 16, 2014

Tesla As Foil To German Luxury Brands

The news that Mercedes sold a couple of thousand more cars than Audi in September wasn't particularly noteworthy in itself. It was however a great reminder at the total volume that the leading German luxury brands including BMW are doing worldwide putting them ahead of many "mainstream" brands. The brands all claim that sales aren't what they are chasing but sales are linked to profits and combined the two powers certainly impact the cars the brands produce. The other piece of news from last week, the Tesla D intro, actually serves as quite the foil for the Big 3 German luxury brands. Tesla's worldwide sales for all of 2014 will be about what Mercedes and BMW do in one month in the US alone, but it's the progression of improvement over at Tesla that makes it noteworthy. The D is set to match if not even surpass comparable AMG, M and RS models acceleration wise well up into big ticket range. The leap in performance and assistive technologies over the original Model S looks like an incredible commitment to the product and the vision of creating their version of the best possible car out there. It's the kind of product improvement that makes you question how true to words are the German brands to their famous taglines and what more that they could do if they were focused more on product rather than profit. Could they push even more performance today or make designs that much more daring and stunning? It will be intriguing to see over the next few years how the Big 3 change their products in response, if they do at all. Possibly completely uninfluenced, the Audi LA Auto Show concept is something to watch with Audi letting go of some of its design restraint. It's the kind of thinking that the established brands might need in the future.


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