Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica

Clean Transport

CEO Of Daimler Talks Tesla & Changing Automotive Sector (Video)

The CEO of Daimler, Dieter Zetsche, was recently quoted making some interesting new comments about Tesla Motors and the overall changing landscape of the industry at the Paris Motor Show.

The comments were a bit different than what we’re used to from Daimler execs. You’ll probably recall that the board member in charge of research and development at Daimler AG, Thomas Weber, scoffed when told of the number of Tesla Model 3 reservations, saying: “Let’s see if they can build them.”

That’s generally been the tact taken by execs to date, to claim indignantly that what Tesla is literally doing can’t actually be done. Even though it is being done.

In an interview with CNBC, Zetsche was asked whether the company’s new EQ platform for electric vehicles was a means of “fighting back” against Tesla. He stated: “If you want to interpret it that way, it’s fine. Tesla is a successful electric automotive company… (but) we want to be No 1 by latest 2025 in the electric premium segment.”

The “electric premium segment?” That’s the entire luxury sedan segment that Tesla is now taking over, not just the electric portion of it — Daimler’s problem isn’t as simple as losing out on an emerging segment, but rather the destruction and replacement of the current segment with an electric one.

The “interesting” new comments mentioned above were made by Zetsche in an interview with Bloomberg. EV Annex provides more: “The Bloomberg reporter commented on Zetsche’s newfound Silicon Valley ‘tech-look’ — complete with jeans and sneakers. Zetsch later commented that, ‘We are seeing the digital world taking possession of the automotive world.’ Asked if Tesla is the key competitor in the luxury space, Zetsche responds, ‘At this point in time, obviously yes.’ He admits that based on targets five years ago, Mercedes is ‘tracking behind’ — therefore they’ve readjusted their target to be the leader in electric vehicles by 2025. He also refers to new adversaries in the autonomous driving space as ‘non-automotive competitors’ — likely a reference to the Silicon Valley companies now taking center stage as it relates to self-driving cars.”

So the solution to the company’s many institutional problems and inertia is as simple as “dressing casual?” That will make up for the company’s lack of real action to date? Or is it just that that’s far easier (and apparent) than actual institutional change? Isn’t that cargo cult thinking?

As far as the rest of the comments, targets are one thing, achievements are another — simply adjusting the target doesn’t mean that it becomes any easier to actually catch up to Tesla, and others — much less by as soon as 2025, which is less than a decade away.

Still, the comments make it sound like Daimler execs are now realizing what a bad situation the company stands to be in if rapid changes don’t occur over the coming years.

It should be remembered, though, that much of the disruptive quality of Tesla’s approach is how comprehensive it is — the company has been building out its Supercharger and destination charger networks for several years now; working to build its own (enormous) battery manufacturing facility; and working aggressively on the development of its own autonomous driving technologies. If Daimler is to compete, the matter isn’t as simple as designing a compelling electric vehicle that sells at a similar price point as a Tesla Model 3.


Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.

 
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

Comments

#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.

 

Support our work today!

Advertisement

Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports

Advertisement

EV Sales Charts, Graphs, & Stats

Advertisement

Our Electric Car Driver Report

30 Electric Car Benefits

Tesla Model 3 Video

Renewable Energy 101 In Depth

solar power facts

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like

Cars

Electric vehicle technology has advanced tremendously in the past few years, let alone the past decade. The two topics of this week’s CleanTech Talk...

Air Quality

Musk says that switching from the rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for mining and transactions, especially coal, is essential for Bitcoin.

Cars

Volvo Cars and Volkswagen are the only major carmakers ready to switch to electric in line with Europe’s net zero climate target, according to...

Clean Transport

Austin Community College (ACC) and Tesla have launched a new 14-week intensive training program that will give students hands-on learning experiences for a manufacturing career...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.