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Ford to Build Model S Competitor?

Discussion in 'News' started by crmatson, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. crmatson

    crmatson Member

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    Didn't see this posted yet.
    Ford considers building Tesla-like vehicle

    Fields [Ford CEO Mark Fields] said Ford could build a car similar to the Tesla Model S and has the engineering and manufacturing sophistication to do so. "We drove it. We took it apart. We put it back together and we drove it again," he said.

    I'll believe it when I see it.
     
  2. Adm

    Adm Active Member

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    I think they could if they wanted to, but I don't think they want to (yet).
     
  3. techmaven

    techmaven Active Member

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    I would love to see them try.

    There's a notion amongst Tesla detractors that the big automakers could build a Model S equivalent or better at any time if they felt like it. We haven't seen anyone build long range BEV sedans so it would be nice to see them try.
     
  4. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    My guess is that Ford is referring to building a Tesla like vehicle more from the "autopilot perspective" as opposed to an EV that could match the Model S's EV performance & range...
     
  5. artsci

    artsci Sponsor

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    So why don't they? Talk is cheap.
     
  6. AnOutsider

    AnOutsider S532 # XS27

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    Are they saying "hey we took it apart and see exactly what they did, so we can do it too"? If so, big deal. Make it better. Make it cheaper. Do it.
     
  7. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    "Can" and "Will" are greatly different things.

    Personally owning a Ford EV, and a Model S, I think "can" is probably an accurate statement.

    A lot of Ford's Lincoln vehicles are quite nice on the inside. The Taurus would be a wonderful car to start with. It has a very refined style, and build quality. I am very impressed by the drive of the Focus EV, and the commitment to non CARB states. The Focus EV is a first-generation EV. It is basically an open beta. But it is very close to being excellent in execution.

    I just feel that Ford is going to stick with turbos (eco-boost) and their very well done hybrid/energi line. Slowly expanding the all electric range and making the engines smaller and smaller.

    I can always hope that the success of the Model S has caused at least one large auto manufacturer to wake up and start developing a high end EV.
     
  8. RobStark

    RobStark Active Member

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    No, that is not what they meant. A financial analyst asked Ford CEO if they would consider building a Model S competitor.

    Like I wrote in the investor forum, Ford could build a car like the Mercedes S-550 plug-in, Porsche 918 or the Ferrari LaFarrari.

    So could the Chinese OEMs.

    But the question is how close, how much production capacity and at what price would they release it at.

    If they were willing to sell 1000 Model S 85 clones for $75k without a supercharger network would people forgo Tesla for a Lincoln Model T 85 :smile:? Would people trust Ford as much as Tesla in building a long range BEV sedan? Would people and Californians in particular forgo the Tesla cool factor for a Lincoln? Would they be afraid Ford would pull the plug :wink: and effectively leave it orphaned?
     
  9. timf

    timf Member

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    I want to see Ford build a true Tesla competitor. I want to see every auto manufacturer build true Tesla competitors. Tesla is more of a success in the auto industry if they shift the practices of everyone rather than if they take 10% market share for themselves. The entire purpose of the company is to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles, and I welcome every legitimate option to the market.

    Now will this happen? Probably not anytime soon. Words cost a lot than developing an all-new platform.
     
  10. JohnQ

    JohnQ Active Member

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    Most companies forget the importance of the underlined part below.
     
  11. etheric_jerry

    etheric_jerry Member

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  12. qwk

    qwk Model S P2681

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    Talk is cheap, producing a Model S competitor is expensive. I already know how this story ends....vaporware.
     
  13. 30seconds

    30seconds Active Member

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    And GM could build a BMW competitor - just took them 20 years to do it.

    All companies "could" build a competitor as long as they start with a clean sheet, build supercharging network, procure / invest in a massive amount of battery supply and somehow either 1. Bring sub component design & software back in house or 2. Significantly upgrade the abilities of their subcomponent manufacturers.

    Personally I think there are lots of other components about Tesla that are not fully appreciated such as tie between solar power and gigafactory production (will allow them to essentially "capitalize" energy costs and increase product gross margin), rapid feedback between cars in the wild, engineering analysis and product fixes and the underlying design philosophy that allows service centers and ranger quickly replace key components (battery, motor). Unclear how these will translate to long term competitive advantage but it is clear to me that the way Tesla operates from top to bottom is very unlike any other auto manufacturer.
     
  14. callmesam

    callmesam Member

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    My favorite quote of the article:


    "Ford said it has no plan to emulate the Tesla Model S -- a big, four-door hatchback sedan. But a larger vehicle of some kind, with greater range and better performance than the Focus electric, would fit Ford's lineup and its emphasis on technology, the automaker said."


    So can we hold you to that vague assertion? How many years away is a "vehicle of some kind?"
     
  15. Genebe

    Genebe Member

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    What would it take for GM to retool the Volt to offer a sub-model that was a pure EV? I don't think it would be very difficult to do for them, and we might see this once battery efficiency improves enough to give it a decent range. However, Tesla has already taken steps to be very competitive in any battery production/cost market, and I think they've firmly locked themselves into the future market as the leader for pure EV models.

    GM, Ford, and the other large manufacturers certainly have deep enough pockets to fund the development of a Tesla competitor.
     
  16. ElSupreme

    ElSupreme Model S 03182

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    I'm guessing that the next generation of Fusion will have an EV variant. So probably 4-5 years. I also expect that the Focus, and C-Max (same platform) to keep/get full EV variants as well. It's actually at this point probably in Ford's best interest to not directly compete with the Model S. As the cachet and profile of Tesla at the moment is way beyond what Ford can compete with.

    - - - Updated - - -

    I don't think the planetary gearset will work very well for the Volt without the ICE. I would think a whole new motor->wheels linkage would need to be developed.
     
  17. RobStark

    RobStark Active Member

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    There are advantages to being a start-up and there are advantages to being a 100 year old mega corporation.

    Like the sheer man power available. Little things like grab handles and coat hooks would not get overlooked.

    Bringing to market luxury vehicles with poor fitting glass,reduction gears milled not to spec, wires and plastic covers coming lose etc etc.



    Under Bill Ford as CEO,2001-2006, Ford lost lots of money with "green" initiatives.

    Now, they are making the critical mistake of waiting for Tesla to prove that dedicated BEVs are a viable long term business not a fad among wealthy progressives.

    They think once Tesla establishes,say 4% US market share, they can quickly jump in and catch up.

    Evidently, they are not very familiar with the analysis on disrupted industries.
     
  18. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    That is just male CEO arrogance speaking. As if just having some understanding of how all the parts work is all that is needed to make a successful long range EV. As others have pointed out, the Supercharger network is a critical part of the puzzle and Ford has nothing. Could Ford make a roughly equivalent Model S competitor, and could they create their own DC charging network? Of course they could, they have tons of money. Will they any time soon? I doubt it. They are afraid to make the commitment and afraid to disrupt their existing business

    From the article: "Ford said it has no plan to emulate the Tesla Model S -- a big, four-door hatchback sedan. But a larger vehicle of some kind, with greater range and better performance than the Focus electric, would fit Ford's lineup and its emphasis on technology, the automaker said."

    A "larger vehicle", bigger than the Model S? I wonder if that is correct, or if what was actually said was a "smaller vehicle", but bigger than the Focus.

    Maybe the sentence is poorly constructed and what was meant was "a larger EV than the Focus with greater range and better performance would fit Ford's lineup and its emphasis on technology, the automaker said."
     
  19. adiggs

    adiggs Active Member

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    It's telling to me that a CEO of a company would spend even 1 second in a quarterly conference call discussing company performance, to talk about how the CEO's company could do something similar to what some competitor is doing if they wanted to, but don't (want to that is).

    The only competitor / competition that a CEO should be talking about during a conference call is somebody that you compete with broadly and deeply. Intel and AMD, Apple and Samsung, Ford and GM. And only to talk about how existing products compare better and worse.

    Talking about a pipsqueak competitor, at least based on unit volume, who has a product that you have nothing like, just emphasized what you can't do in the first place. Saying you can disassemble and reassemble it strongly suggests that Ford employs mechanics and engineers. That's a relief.


    Not that I'm a CEO, and not that I've ever done a quarterly conference call, but my immediate thought is to figure out how I'd have turned the question into one about EV's in general, and from there into a discussion of what Ford products there are, what Ford IS actually doing, and what Ford DOES actually have in the work and is ready to talk about.

    This comment makes me happy I'm not an investor in Ford - as a shareholder, hearing my CEO talk this way would make me crazy. (Or sell).
     
  20. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    I read it like "a larger type of vehicle" or "a vehicle in the large class of vehicles" and definately not "larger than the Model S".
     

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