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Luxury car makers are so screwed

MichFin

Member
May 8, 2015
303
61
Detroit, MI
As we've seen in the news the luxury car makers are rolling out their electric cars in the Frankfurt auto show that will compete with the Tesla Model S. Problem is that they are going after the Model S and the Model X and most of these cars are just concept cars. The true killer is not the Model S but the Model 3 and none of them have anything to compete with it. The Model 3 will start at $35k and probably go up to $50k very well equipped. That compares to the 3 series BMW that starts at $35k as well. But after you figure in any government EV incentives, savings on gas and maintenance saving the Model 3 priced well bellow the BMW 3 series, Audi A4 or Cadillac ATS. Furthermore, Tesla has build a brand that is on par with all the elite car makers. Add to that the fact that Tesla will have the supercharger network built out by the time the Model 3 is released.

Lets take a look at US/Canadian sales numbers for 2014 from goodcarbadcar.net

BMW series 3 and 4 142232
Audi A4 38679
Cadilac ATS 29860

Tesla plans to build 500,000 cars a year by 2020. Figure about 100,000 are Model S and Model X and about 1/2 are sold in the U.S. and Canada. That's about 200,000 Model 3's sold in the U.S. and Canada. That's a giant blow to the luxury car makers as we know them. So as they roll out these late entries into the electric high end luxury cars they aren't hurting Tesla instead they are instead reaffirming that electric cars are amazing. They would be better off rolling out Model 3 killers or just acting like electric cars are toys for rich people.
 

Bangor Bob

Member
Jan 5, 2015
670
486
Bangor, ME
Volkswagen's CEO has been making noises about doubling the range of the e-golf in the next 2 years, and then doubling it again in a couple more years. At that point VW group will have a competitive battery and drivetrain they could put into an A4 and other "nicer" mass market cars.

They're going to be a couple years behind, but it's probably not fatal. Yet.

In another 10 years it'll be fatal.

Cadillac is currently led by one of the guys who was holding up electrics at Audi (and Infiniti) - they do have a nice flagship PHEV concept, but no timeline to actually build it. Meantime the gussied-up Volt they call the ELR can be had at $30k off MSRP, and rightly so.

BMW is utterly confusing - they seem to keep shifting strategy before quite "finishing" the last one.
 

Beckler

Member
Oct 22, 2012
607
550
Canada
They're going to pay for their complacency a la Kodak. In 5-6 years it's going to be Tesla and its multiple gigafactories pumping out legions of Model 3, vs. the lowly Chevy Bolt. :D But you're right about audi, porsche, announcments; they're concepts and as such have nothing to do with anything.
 

MichFin

Member
May 8, 2015
303
61
Detroit, MI
I've had a Volt for almost 2 years and a Model S for almost 4 months and I love both. But given the choice between a Bolt and a Model 3 I don't think it's even close. I've had so many friends say how much they want a Tesla but $80k is not doable for them. At $35k they will be jumping all over them.
 

jaguar36

Active Member
Apr 10, 2014
2,069
1,569
NJ
I think you're basing alot of that on the $35k number, which is at the very best going to be after incentives. The Model S is great, but its interior is not as nice as an A4 and it costs more than double. I doubt the base Model 3 interior will be anywhere near the same level. In addition based off the S's reliability, the 3-series and A4 are far more reliable. Lastly, if gas prices stay where they are today, or keep going down, an electric car is going to be a hard sell. Sure there will be some people who will buy it, but its not going to be a mass exodus from the germans.
 

MichFin

Member
May 8, 2015
303
61
Detroit, MI
The $35k price target from Tesla is before incentives and being an electric vehicle it doesn't require oil changes, timing belts and all the other maintenance that's associated with gas engines. Gas savings of $2,000 a year over 5 years is $10k and as we all know well built electric motors last a very very long time. While some might not like Tesla's interior finish I love it... It's simple, futuristic and elegant design works for me. Given a choice between a $35k 3 series BMW and a $35k Model 3 with equal performance and finish is a simple choice for the young yuppies out there today.

I came off the golf course last month to find a dozed 20 year old boys drooling over my 85D which was a little embarrassing for me since I'm not really out to get attention. I showed them the car's interior and storage and they were all impressed with it. Keep in mind that there were dozens of high end luxury cars in the parking lot including sports cars but this was the one that got their attention. I know the Model 3 will be a step down but this is the brand Tesla has built.
 
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jaguar36

Active Member
Apr 10, 2014
2,069
1,569
NJ
The $35k price target from Tesla is before incentives and being an electric vehicle it doesn't require oil changes, timing belts and all the other maintenance that's associated with gas engines. Gas savings of $2,000 a year over 5 years is $10k and as we all know well built electric motors last a very very long time.

Based on the only data we have from Tesla which is on the S:

Model S doesn't require any maintenance except for the $600 a year annual service, compared to the free maintenance on a BMW.

There is no gas savings with gas at this price level, at least in NJ. Model S is running at about 7-8cents per mile about the same as a 335i.

Well built gas engines will also last for more miles than most people will be keeping the car for.
 

Rprp

Member
Nov 11, 2013
185
20
Groningen, Netherlands
Is that from your own personal experience?

Mine is. The Model S is a great car, but my previous car (Audi A4) was far more reliable. I've been back over 10 times now for fixing issues and overall the German carmakers have a much better fit and finish, better chairs, better warranty (atleast in Europe), etc.

If Audi, BMW or Mercedes will make an eletric car with decent range (350km+) and a reliable Supercharger netwerk I'll be back on the "old nest".
 

ecarfan

Well-Known Member
Sep 21, 2013
19,226
13,878
West Vancouver, British Columbia
I think you're basing alot of that on the $35k number, which is at the very best going to be after incentives.
Elon has stated on the record, repeatedly, that the Model 3 base price at launch will be $35K WITHOUT ANY INCENTIVES.
Obviously that will be RWD with no options. And it is likely that, based on Tesla's history to date, initial production will be heavily optioned cars. But the base price will be $35K. Which means demand will be enormous no matter what gasoline prices are at the time. Most people who buy EVs don't buy them primarily because of the cost of gas. However, gas prices do heavily influence hybrid vehicle sales.
 

MichFin

Member
May 8, 2015
303
61
Detroit, MI
If Audi, BMW or Mercedes will make an eletric car with decent range (350km+) and a reliable Supercharger netwerk I'll be back on the "old nest".

I just don't see the Germans or anyone being able to hit your requirements in the next 5 years. Right now they are playing catch up to Model S and they are still 3-4 years out to match it. While they do that the Model 3 will come out and start eating away at their bread and butter low end luxury cars. Then they will be 3-4 years behind that... See the pattern here.

I was really surprised to read that Porsche is selling 200k units for the first time this year. They're a brand that's been around since before I was born. Tesla is going to hit 100k next year and they're still a baby of a company.

- - - Updated - - -

I'm own an 85 and pay 8 cents KWH with off peak charging (11pm-7am). That comes out to 2.5-3 cents a mile and my volt gets about 2 cents a mile. My old Mercedes clk 320 (small convertible) got about 20 miles to the gallon and required premium $2.50 a gallon which is 12.5 cents a mile. These figures are based on my actual cars figures.

I looked up your car BMW 335i Mileage | Fuelly and it averages 25 miles to the gallon at its best which is 10 cents per mile.
 

siucity

Button Pusher
Feb 18, 2015
410
219
SF North Bay, CA
I was really surprised to read that Porsche is selling 200k units for the first time this year. They're a brand that's been around since before I was born. Tesla is going to hit 100k next year and they're still a baby of a company.

Yearly sales is quite different than total overall sold. :)
 

mspohr

Well-Known Member
Jul 27, 2014
9,426
11,033
California
There is no gas savings with gas at this price level, at least in NJ. Model S is running at about 7-8cents per mile about the same as a 335i.
I don't know what the price of gas (or electricity) is in New Jersey but nationwide, electricity price is about $0.12/kWh which will give you a cost of about $0.04 per mile. For an ICE at average fuel efficiency (20 mpg) for an equivalent size car, gas would have to be about $0.80/gal. I don't think gas is that cheap (or electricity much more expensive) in New Jersey.
 

jaguar36

Active Member
Apr 10, 2014
2,069
1,569
NJ
Gas is currently about $2.25 a gallon for premium in NJ. At 25mpg (which is about what my 335i gets) thats 9 cents a mile.

Our Model S averages about 335watts/mile. Charging efficiency is about 85%. We pay 0.19 cents per kWH for electricity. Thats 7.5 cents per mile.


Thats pretty darn close.
 

mspohr

Well-Known Member
Jul 27, 2014
9,426
11,033
California
Gas is currently about $2.25 a gallon for premium in NJ. At 25mpg (which is about what my 335i gets) thats 9 cents a mile.

Our Model S averages about 335watts/mile. Charging efficiency is about 85%. We pay 0.19 cents per kWH for electricity. Thats 7.5 cents per mile.


Thats pretty darn close.
You're comparing a smaller ICE car with a Model S. To compare the Model 3 with a BMW 3 series, you would get 4 miles/kwh (rather than 3 miles/kwh for the Model S) so at $0.13/kwh that would be $0.033 per mile or gas (25mpg) at $0.82 per gallon.
(At $0.19/kwh you are an outlier. The references I googled for cost of electricity in NJ show $0.13/kwh.) For most people, they would need gas to cost $0.80 a gallon to have the same cost as an EV. Over the life of the car, the chances of gas for an ICE being less than $0.82/gal are slim and none.
 

Spidy

Active Member
Feb 7, 2015
1,364
1,035
EU
People who think they will want a $35000 Model 3 will be really disappointed when the configurator is released. Nobody will want that base model. Add some basic stuff like tech package, supercharger access and some small design changes and you are easily above $40k. In addition I expect less features to be default so we might already be at $45k. Battery upgrades and AWD as well as some less important upgrades will probably push the car to $70-80k.

Also don't expect everyone to get a $7500 tax credit it won't be left for long. And maintenance on a Model S in $600. Ask your friends what they pay for an oil change, even if the Model 3 would cost half as much that's probably still more expensive.

In addition there are already competing cars in that class with the eGolf, B-Class and i3. We will probably see the 2nd generation of those cars around the same time, maybe a bit later, but I wouldn't be surprised if Tesla is a bit late, too.
 

DonL

Member
Jan 30, 2013
32
7
La Jolla, CA
Suspect data

I think you're basing alot of that on the $35k number, which is at the very best going to be after incentives. The Model S is great, but its interior is not as nice as an A4 and it costs more than double. I doubt the base Model 3 interior will be anywhere near the same level. In addition based off the S's reliability, the 3-series and A4 are far more reliable. Lastly, if gas prices stay where they are today, or keep going down, an electric car is going to be a hard sell. Sure there will be some people who will buy it, but its not going to be a mass exodus from the germans.


Where are you getting your information? Elon recently stated that the Model 3 would come out in 2017 at a price of $35K. That doesn't include incentives, as far as I know.

And where did you get the information that the Model S isn't reliable and that the BMW is more reliable? I owned my previous Model S for two years and had owned BMW, Audi, Jaguar, and multiple Lexi before that. I expected my Model S to nag with with little problems but I found myself at the service center less frequently than any of those other cars, even less than my Lexus LS660l since I didn't need oil changes.
 

traxila

Supporting Member
Nov 25, 2012
1,807
10,216
NYC
People who think they will want a $35000 Model 3 will be really disappointed when the configurator is released. Nobody will want that base model. Add some basic stuff like tech package, supercharger access and some small design changes and you are easily above $40k. In addition I expect less features to be default so we might already be at $45k. Battery upgrades and AWD as well as some less important upgrades will probably push the car to $70-80k.

Also don't expect everyone to get a $7500 tax credit it won't be left for long. And maintenance on a Model S in $600. Ask your friends what they pay for an oil change, even if the Model 3 would cost half as much that's probably still more expensive.

In addition there are already competing cars in that class with the eGolf, B-Class and i3. We will probably see the 2nd generation of those cars around the same time, maybe a bit later, but I wouldn't be surprised if Tesla is a bit late, too.


You write with great confidence about details that have not been released to anyone. I doubt that even upper management at Tesla is certain about the pricing structures or what exactly would be standard. Perhaps you should contact them and inform them as to how they are going to execute.
 

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