Published on May 16th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Tesla’s Success PUSHES Mercedes & Audi Forward
Mercedes and other German carmakers now have plans to launch multiple all-electric and plug-in hybrid models, but their slow reaction has forced them to cede ground to Tesla. Despite the immense pride invested in the German car industry, and Germans’ initial preference for German-made electric cars, Tesla outsold the electric offerings of every indigenous brand last year in their home country.
The total of 1,582 Model S sedans Tesla delivered was better than any of the German brands could muster. That’s partly because, at the moment, the Germans only offer shorter-range electric cars like the BMW i3 and Mercedes-Benz B250e.
Tesla’s success in Germany and other European countries is viewed as another gut punch by a car industry already reeling from the Volkswagen diesel scandal. Daimler executives were harangued by shareholders at the company’s annual meeting this month in Berlin for letting Tesla gain such an advantage.
Defending the company, Zetsche noted that Tesla continues to lose money, something Daimler shareholders likely wouldn’t tolerate over the long term. Daimler also does have some electric cars in the works, including a crossover based on the current Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class platform. Other German firms are planning their responses with potential Tesla rivals as well.
BMW is rumored to be planning an extended-range electric model larger than the current i3, possibly called i5. Audi has already confirmed that it will launch an all-electric SUV in 2018, based on the e-tron quattro concept from the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show. Corporate cousin Porsche will launch a production version of its Mission E sedan concept also unveiled last year in Frankfurt before the end of the decade.
While the German carmakers are behind, they may not be out of the race yet. Tesla must still actually get the Model 3 into production. The next few years promise to be quite interesting indeed.