March 31, 2016
After Tesla Motors broke the scale (and the compression machine) with their Model S, and then achieved expectations with the Model X, the Model 3 has some large shoes to fill. As important as the other two were, the Tesla Model 3 is far more to the company’s future success or failure. Relatively speaking, it is rather simple to make one car in low volume, that shames the more established competition. Take Aston Martin for example. Despite the fact that my favorite (shhh... don’t tell anyone I am biased, I have to be an objective professional) automaker has been on the brink of bankruptcy for over two decades now; their cars have constantly outshone their competitors. In most cases literally, due to their dozens of coats of paint. And, it is precisely because they have had more time to dedicate to each car. When you have all that time per car, you can ensure that it is tailor made for each customer. In the case of Aston Martin, that means their drivers can be sure that they occupy the most aesthetically alluring car bar none. In Tesla’s case, the Model S is the most electric car on the market. It is hard to think of a non-Volkswagen auto group (VW AG) direct competitor… so I won’t. How could an Audi R8, or a Bentley Continental GT even consider the possibility of outperforming an Aston or a Tesla in their area of expertise when they are both made and designed in half the time. Fortunately, for VW AG, people buy things for convenience more often than they do for quality. Low volume, has a clear downside. For each Aston Martin available six months from now, there are 30 VW AG options available today, or next week at the worst. Each model release has served one exact function exceedingly well for Tesla. The Roadster was a perfect proof of concept, it showed that an electric car was a force to be reckoned with. It used the existing gold standard of sports cars as a base, then Tesla tweaked it to suit its needs. The result was a small roadster (duh) that was as adept as any other, without having to burn petrol. Then came the magnificent Model S. It proved that someone from outside the established industry could not only be competitive, but could crush the competition. The Model X was just there to stoke the fire and keep people interested while they took their time on the Model 3. Thus, in that regard, the Model 3 it is just as significant as the Model S was. The cheap electric sedan, will be the one that proves Tesla can not only make a better car than the other automakers, but can also match the numbers that others produce. While it is true that both models will be equally important to the grand scheme of the company, history will not remember it that way. If Tesla can prove they can produce affordable electric sedans at the same rate as their gasoline powered counterparts, it will be the next Model T.