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Audi's Stefan Niemand praises Tesla publicly and is frank about the future

Discussion in 'Model S' started by calisnow, Mar 26, 2016.

  1. calisnow

    calisnow Active Member

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    This has been in several news items but I haven't seen it here. The highlights:

    "Tesla Motors was the beneficiary of high praise at a German automotive conference last week. Stefan Niemand, director of battery electric vehicles at Audi, had nothing but criticism for his colleagues. . . Niemand told the . . . congress . . . that electric cars European manufacturers are bringing to market fall far short of customer expectations.

    “These cars are slower than those with conventional drive and they have a much lower range – and in compensation they are more expensive,” he said.

    Niemand said buyers want to buy cars that do not degrade the environment and are even willing to pay a premium for them, but only if they do not have to give up the fun of driving them.

    In particular, he lamented that Europe does not yet have a comprehensive infrastructure of fast charging stations. He told his colleagues that they must commit to building a system that features charging stations with at least 350 kW of power. “We need awesome cars and a seamless infrastructure,” he said.

    “Those who have ever driven electrically are lost for the internal combustion engine for all time,” he said, but they must have access to adequate charging facilities to complete their journeys.

    The Audi executive had high praise for Tesla because of its commitment to building its Supercharger network. “I hate to admit it, but Tesla did everything right”, he said. He marveled at how Tesla created a system of 611 Supercharger locations with more that 3,600 individual chargers in such a short period of time.

    The inference left for his colleagues to draw upon was that unless they are willing to make a similar commitment, they are in danger of falling further and further behind their American rival.

    Tesla Receives High Praise From Audi Executive
     
  2. thegruf

    thegruf Member

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    Tesla should hire him ... as clearly he has no future in the VW Audi Group
     
    • Like x 1
  3. ElectricTundra

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    #3 ElectricTundra, Mar 27, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2016
    "Manufacturers are in a tough position. Many, the Germans in particular, have said that they were caught with their pants down by Tesla and have lost considerable marketshare to the upstart who now leads the segment. Responding is difficult though. Introducing a BEV competitor will only serve to waken their customer base to the advantages of BEV’s and bring more direct comparisons to Tesla. This will also cannibalize their current ICE offerings as there is not as much differentiation with electric systems as gas which is easily seen with Tesla producing a car that is generally faster, safer, better handling, quieter, and smoother than even the most expensive German cars. They may need to choose between cannibalizing themselves or letting others do it for them.

    Musk overreached with the Model X and problems with the doors are bringing a bit of relief to the other manufacturers. Few believe he’ll make that mistake again and fear that the upcoming Model 3 will radically change the landscape. (Photo: Bonnie Norman (Tesla Roadster, Model S, Model X), Data: Bloomberg)"

    (emphasis mine)

    From: Gas Stations: Not Long For This World? .

    I would be curious how many sales the Germans and others have lost to Tesla. Have most Model S sales come at their expense? How many Tesla sales are people who'd not otherwise consider something in this price range but have stretched because it's electric?
     
  4. thegruf

    thegruf Member

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    Elon hinself has said that the biggest problem for existing auto manufacturers is that they have to build on existing hardware platforms that have to cater for ICE as well. This inevitably leads to compromises and to direct comparisons by their purchasers of costs vs ICE model for model. Tesla is free of these encumbrances and can design a totally optimised platform for BEV and this remains one of its most potent advantages and distinctions.

    As for the MX FWDs and other tetthing troubles - Tesla will get these sorted in due course, they have a history of releasing rather more problems to the customer base than they should, but have shown they can get on top of these issues with the S and in the main retain customer goodwill and loyalty too.

    The M3 will be different due to its mass market positioning, there will be less tolerance by this market for such issues, and again Musk has said the design will be less ambitious at least initially.
     

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