Handelsblatt Claims “The Germans Are Coming For Tesla Motors”

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In the latest attempt from certain German elites to assuage their collective, highly defensive ego, the business paper Handelsblatt has published a new article titled “The Germans Are Coming for Tesla Motors.”

Succumbing to an all-too-common trait of being unable to deal objectively with one’s competitors/enemies, seemingly as a result of the sense of entitlement, the article begins by claiming: “In the global race to bring electric cars to market, the German carmakers have woken up from their slumber. The contest is finally getting interesting.”

As Tesla has already more or less conquered the large luxury sedan market, and most Tesla owners are now Tesla loyalists, you would think that things became interesting quite a while back, wouldn’t you?

But if you are looking to protect your ego, then it probably is best to claim that the ball is still in your court, and that your initiative is all that will determine the eventual outcome.

Otherwise, you have to deal with the actual realities of open competition, which isn’t something that a sense of entitlement seems to appreciate.

With regard to the seemingly typical German auto manufacturer response to competition, Green Car Reports notes: “We recall the days when we were told by a Volkswagen executive that if US consumers were smarter, they’d stop buying silly Toyota Prius hybrids that were no fun to drive and switch to that company’s clean-diesel offerings. And we know how that turned out.”

Yes, because if someone isn’t doing what you want them to do, the solution is to call them stupid and pat yourself on the back for being smarter than them.

With the Tesla Model 3 still apparently on track for a late 2017 release, if anything, it seems as though it’s too late to truly protect the German companies’ current (lucrative) profit margins. Rather than a lethal response from Germany’s auto giants, it may well be too late to preserve the status quo.


Green Car Reports continues:

“As we noted in recounting a story passed along to us by a German industry insider, the Tesla Model S was a huge shock to Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz — but perhaps no maker more so than Porsche, which had been hugely successful with its fast, sporty Panamera four-door.

“The Porsche product team had to grapple with the appearance of an electric car, from a highly unlikely company, that was as fast, smoother, and equally as desirable as their prime offering.

“Moreover, it was luring away some of their customers in the most advanced and tech-forward parts of their market.

“So when Audi, BMW, and Mercedes had similar experiences, according to Handelsblatt, then the electric-car business actually became interesting.

“We might argue that the electric-car industry was pretty interesting long before the Germans woke up to the threat Tesla seemed to pose.”

As a reminder here, American, Japanese, and French companies currently dominate the electric vehicle market. And most of these firms are now far into the development of long-range, next-gen models that will be released over the next few years.

The German firms, largely, seem to instead be talking about hypothetical vehicles which won’t be released until the 2020–2025 timeframe.

That doesn’t sound “interesting” to me. That sounds like the setup for a bloodbath.

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James Ayre

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.

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