TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker or making a Paypal contribution here: paypal.me/SupportTMC

Akerson Demands GM Innovation to Blunt Tesla Threat

Discussion in 'News' started by igotzzoom, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. igotzzoom

    igotzzoom Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2013
    Messages:
    838
    Location:
    Laguna Hills, CA
  2. davecolene0606

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2013
    Messages:
    222
    Location:
    Fort Pierce, FL
    What is quite apparent is that he still doesn't get it

    "While Akerson and Girsky are encouraging more risk-taking, the CEO is demanding that R&D be concentrated on ideas that car-buyers will want and pay for."

    Innovations don't come from a customer survey it comes from introducing something everyone didn't even know they needed, The Model S and IPhone come to mind. He is demonstrably short sighted if he thinks about this as some sort of build what they ask for.

    Tesla is disruptive because they did what GM marketers said "the consumer did not want".

    He really should worry about Tesla.
     
  3. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2011
    Messages:
    15,487
    "Could be"?

    Dear Mr. Akerson, here's the wall with the writing on it:

    BestCar.png
     
  4. GasDoc

    GasDoc Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2012
    Messages:
    774
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    I forget the exact quote but the gist of it is that if you asked people what they wanted in terms of transportation before the car was invented, they would have told you "A faster horse that eats and drinks less".
     
  5. dsm363

    dsm363 Roadster + Sig Model S

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    Messages:
    18,235
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    Looks like the quote is attributed to Henry Ford but not sure if he actually said it:

    "If I’d asked people what they wanted, they’d have asked for a faster horse.” Henry Ford

    Blog: Three old chestnuts, cracked | Foolproof
     
  6. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Messages:
    2,518
    Location:
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    My comment on the article at ABG:

    One year from now:

    Mr Akerson, we have the results of our Tesla study. We managed to come in under budget for the study at $965K instead of the million you allotted. I'm very proud of that success.

    Okay. The results of our findings are that Tesla has created an all electric car that consumers have asked for. It has excellent performance with a 0-60 of 4.0 seconds. The skateboard battery pack means that the center of gravity is about the same as our Corvette. So it handles unbelievably well. We created a skateboard propulsion system back in 2001 but never developed it beyond the experimental phase. The car also has a very low Cd. Our Ultralite concept we developed in 1992 had a low Cd. We never developed that car either. It had a lot of forward thinking ideas that were never developed either. The Tesla Model S has a lot of exciting new ideas that they implemented immediately and they continue to update and upgrade the car on the fly.

    Akerson: How much do they charge for that?

    Uh. Nothing, sir. Tesla considers it part of the ownership. Their philosophy seems to be to listen to their customers and give them what they want.

    Akerson: They are making us look bad.

    From what we researched, that wasn't their point. It was simply to make the buying experience the best it can possibly be. As part of the study we discovered that our customers are unhappy with our system for buying a car.


    I could have gone on but I hoped the point was made....
     
  7. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2010
    Messages:
    15,850
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    This. They don't even understand the nature of disruptive innovations - that their customers will tell them they don't want the products. Unless they've really understood that they want a Tesla, and why.
     
  8. Blurry_Eyed

    Blurry_Eyed MS Sig #267, MX Sig # 761

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    561
    I could see this as a plot line for a good episode of 'The Office'!
     
  9. lorih

    lorih Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2013
    Messages:
    692
    Location:
    Silicon Valley/ Seattle Areas
  10. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

    Joined:
    May 10, 2012
    Messages:
    4,674
    Location:
    Timonium, Maryland
    The whole problem with the conventional auto industry is that it's based on a focus group marketing mentality. If the Model S were evaluated in focus groups Tesla would have concluded that nobody wanted it.

    It's apparent that Akerson is still caught in that trap.
     
  11. richkae

    richkae VIN587

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1,917
    14 million new passenger vehicles are sold in the US each year.
    15000 Teslas is just about 0.1%
    Thats all they need to succeed. That's a niche way too small for a focus group to even notice.
    They can grow from there.
     
  12. herbvdh

    herbvdh Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Messages:
    200
    Akerson's mistake is a group to study Tesla. He should tell his R & D team to design competition to Tesla. Let me see we need 1) Good batteries. 2) A charger 3) A controller and 4) a motor. Now Akerson How hard is that??? It is not rocket science either!!! This was part of a discussion in my office today. I have a PhD. in engineering maybe GM needs me. Sorry GM too late.
     
  13. evme

    evme Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Messages:
    616
    Location:
    NY
    Akerson: So what is the results of the study?

    Employee: Ah, sir. The entire team quit and moved to Tesla. They brought in their resignations the day they took a test ride sir.

    Akerson: Hmm....set up another study team...

    ~Another year later~

    Akerson: So what is the results of the study?

    Employee: Ah, sir. The entire team quit and moved to Tesla. They brought in their resignations the day they took a test ride sir.

    Akerson: What in the world is going on? I am going to go and see for myself.

    ~one month later~

    Executive: Where is Mr Akerson? I have some papers for him to sign.

    Employee: Ah, sir. The Mr Akerson quit and moved to Tesla. He brought in his resignations the day he took a test ride sir.


    Actually, maybe a focus group is what they need. But in a different format. They need to take a GM car and cover it up and a Tesla and cover it up. And have people take a test ride. Then tell them both are new models made by GM and which one they want GM to make. The answer would then be clear.
     
  14. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2011
    Messages:
    15,487
    Applying the "Pepsi Challenge" will just lock in more Model S reservations.
     
  15. elecblue

    elecblue Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2012
    Messages:
    248
    Location:
    Singapore (for next 2 years) previously Chicago, I
    Classic!
     
  16. evme

    evme Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Messages:
    616
    Location:
    NY
    That is why I said to cover up the car and tell them that its also a GM car. If they didn't cover it up, then yes that would just increase the Model S reservations.
     
  17. Grendal

    Grendal Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2012
    Messages:
    2,518
    Location:
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    As I posted in my playful comment, GM (and the other major manufacturers as well) has revolutionary designs and innovations. They just never implement them because they are too far from the current designs. How often do you see a very cool new design on the cover of a car magazine for a show car that makes the show circuit then is never seen again? That happens constantly. Tesla works in reverse. If there is a need then Tesla makes it happen. If it's a good idea then it is put into the car.
     
  18. Morristhecat

    Morristhecat Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    566
    Location:
    Burnaby, BC
    This reminds me of the Volt. When the concept car came out, it was a sexy all electric car that every magazine showcased. At the auto show, crowds were packed around it and everyone wanted one. I remember specifically that I was going to get one when they come out.

    Flash forward a few years and the production Volt is shown. Woah, they put a gas engine in it now? Huh, it isn't sexy any more and looks like every other cars lines. It only has a small battery now??? I no longer wanted this car. While it is still progress, it was still a big fail compared to what they had. (No offence to the Volt owners here)

    They had the formula in the concept, and GM's marketing gurus changed the formula from sexy to bleh. So typical.

    Meanwhile Tesla puts out a sexy all electric concept, and that is exactly what their production car became. They offered sexy, and gave sexy. They got the formula and kept it. People want it.

    The formula is make it sexy. Make it better than anything else. Make it with the better material than currently avilable. Make it easy. Go out of the box. Go out of your comfort zone. To my knowledge only Apple and Tesla get it. GM, Chrysler, Ford not. I think BMW might be figuring it out soon.
     
  19. brianman

    brianman Burrito Founder

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2011
    Messages:
    15,487
    ... and actually make that for customers. Not some watered down POS that nobody wants.
     
  20. scottf200

    scottf200 Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2013
    Messages:
    1,271
    Location:
    Chicagoland ModelX S603
    #20 scottf200, Jul 19, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2013
    Disclosure: I have a deposit on a Model X. (I'm still stunned on how much Tesla is doing software updates.)

    So at one point your are saying the Volt concept was going to be a battery only BEV car? I don't recall ever hearing that.

    Of course, I was a little late to the Volt party. Still I bought one before they were available in my state. Flew to NY and drove it back to IL (charging at a B&B on the two day trip). 23,000 electric on miles (30K total) and 2.5 yrs later the car is still very impressive!! Been using it on some road trips this past year.

    Also GM is making good on the concept with the ELR. I was at a stoplight just this very morning being questioned by a corvette driver about the Volt. He planned on getting the ELR.
    T7g7.jpeg


    Then there is the Spark EV which it appears they put a LOT of R&D money in the motors (perm and induct).
    This R&D can be used for other cars obviously. They are not sitting still.

    http://media.gm.com/media/us/en/gm/news.detail.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2011/Oct/1026_spark_elec_mtr.html

    101_PM_All_Chevy_white.jpg
    --
    101_IND_All_Chevy_white.jpg
     

Share This Page