No American automotive startup company has succeeded since Chrysler was established in 1925, and what Tesla is doing against odds in not-exactly business-friendly California will no doubt be studied in MBA programs.
The Model S emits nothing, and when driven at a normal pace, consumes electricity at a rate equal to the energy costs of an 80-90-plus mpg car.
Its style and functionality have won it rave reviews, including top-level awards from several publications. Its build quality and perceived value led Consumer Reports to say it was the best car it has tested in recent memory, if not ever.
Just as important, the credibility it is creating for electric cars is huge.
That it is a goad to the majors is no question. Audi has just brought its R8 out of mothballs, General Motors has assigned a team to keep tabs, and has credited Tesla’s Roadster as baiting it into building its Volt.
BMW is also threatened by Tesla, and it’s doing it all without advertising or discounting its cars.
Nope, if you want a Tesla, you need to get in line, waiting from 1-3 months, and this is for a car that costs 2-4 times the $32,000 average new car price.
You have ripples in the pond, and then you have the big boulders Tesla is casting into the waters, splashing entrenched automakers, upsetting critics, and winning converts to more sustainable transportation.