Tesla’s impact on the Auto Industry

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#1
Hi there,

I’m a 3rd year Journalism student from Liverpool John Moores University, and I’m currently working on a car magazine as part of my final year project before I graduate.

For my magazine, I’m working on a feature piece about what impact Tesla has had on the auto industry since the Tesla Roadster was introduced.

I’m hoping some people on here could possibly provide me with their thoughts on this by answering the following questions below.

1. Electric Vehicles have been around long before Tesla, but it seems more recently the bigger more established brands are finally beginning to think seriously about producing EVs of it’s own. (Audi E-tron, Mercedes EQC, Jaguar I-Pace) To what extent do you think Tesla has played a part in this?

2. Also, what are people's thoughts on the companies over-the-air software updates which get sent to each individual car? As far as I’m aware it’s only Tesla doing this?

3. I’m also interesting to know people on here feel about Tesla’s focus on automated vehicles. It seems to have been a catalyst for the upsurge in interest from other auto brands. I’m assuming many have reservations regarding this technology?

4. Lastly, Tesla have been operating within a market which seems to have been relatively free from competition. Now Audi and Jaguar are pouring lots of it’s capital into EV’s, what does Tesla need to do to improve to remain competitive?

A response to any of the above questions would be really helpful and much appreciated.

Thank you,

Harry
 

garsh

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#2
1. Electric Vehicles have been around long before Tesla, but it seems more recently the bigger more established brands are finally beginning to think seriously about producing EVs of it’s own. (Audi E-tron, Mercedes EQC, Jaguar I-Pace) To what extent do you think Tesla has played a part in this?
Tesla's goal was to accelerate the adoption of EVs.
Established brands would still just be playing around with little 100-mile commuter cars if it wasn't for Tesla.
2. Also, what are people's thoughts on the companies over-the-air software updates which get sent to each individual car? As far as I’m aware it’s only Tesla doing this?
I believe Ford does something similar with the F150 truck. Go read more about that too.
3. I’m also interesting to know people on here feel about Tesla’s focus on automated vehicles. It seems to have been a catalyst for the upsurge in interest from other auto brands. I’m assuming many have reservations regarding this technology?
It's inevitable. I can't imagine a future where we don't have self-driving vehicles.
4. Lastly, Tesla have been operating within a market which seems to have been relatively free from competition. Now Audi and Jaguar are pouring lots of it’s capital into EV’s, what does Tesla need to do to improve to remain competitive?
The Audi e-tron and Jaguar i-pace are a good 10 years behind Tesla in battery and motor technology. It's a good first effort by those companies, but they're nowhere near being real competitors to a Tesla. Even a 2012 Tesla Model S compares quite favorably against those vehicles.

HTH!
 
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MelindaV

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#3
1. Electric Vehicles have been around long before Tesla, but it seems more recently the bigger more established brands are finally beginning to think seriously about producing EVs of it’s own. (Audi E-tron, Mercedes EQC, Jaguar I-Pace) To what extent do you think Tesla has played a part in this?
if I were to put a percentage on it, I'd say 75% Tesla and 25% compliance regulations.
2. Also, what are people's thoughts on the companies over-the-air software updates which get sent to each individual car? As far as I’m aware it’s only Tesla doing this?
the OTA software updates are one of the top 5 best things about these cars. In 30 weeks, my own car has received 12 updates. these included countless new features and improvements.
3. I’m also interesting to know people on here feel about Tesla’s focus on automated vehicles. It seems to have been a catalyst for the upsurge in interest from other auto brands. I’m assuming many have reservations regarding this technology?
It is a new thing for most everyone and should be approached with some amount of reservation/caution. BUT knowing its limitations, using it as it is designed is fantastic. It makes heavy traffic commute driving multiple times less stressful, mundane long drives less tiring, and gets better every day.
4. Lastly, Tesla have been operating within a market which seems to have been relatively free from competition. Now Audi and Jaguar are pouring lots of it’s capital into EV’s, what does Tesla need to do to improve to remain competitive?
the only thing they need to do to remain competitive is continue on the path they are on. The others may be coming up with luxury class EVs, but looking at them next to Tesla's specs, they are still greatly lacking and at a higher price. When/if Tesla is able to release an economy priced EV, Game Over for all other competition. Even with the lowest price being the Model 3, it is becoming more difficult to justify a lower priced combustion engine car vs an electric car when considering lifetime costs in fuel and maintenance. Companies that depend on those lower to mid priced cars (hello Honda/Toyota) are quickly going to realize their customers will be willing to spend an extra $8k or $10k to step up to an EV that will end up saving them on a day to day basis, and be less cost over the life of the car.
 

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#4
Totally concur with responses above. A few thoughts of my own:
  1. What role has Tesla played in getting other brands to seriously take on electric vehicles? Somewhere out there in cyberspace, there is a wonderful quote about Elon earning a spot at every board meeting of every major car manufacturer. Obviously, he's not actually on any other boards, but his presence is felt and what he has done with Tesla has shaped the entire landscape. Elon/Tesla has shown that electric cars are feasible, and set a very high bar for the excellence of the technology.
  2. What are thoughts on OTA updates? I love them. If one appears in the middle of the night, we stay up until it is downloaded so we can find out what version it is and what new features we have. It's like constantly having new presents to unwrap. It's exciting to have a car that is not static but keeps improving. However, I have friends who would totally freak out about any user interface change on their computer, and I've wondered how they would handle a Tesla. And I've read on other forums that some model S/X owners refuse to accept any OTA updates since the one that made it so they could no longer choose which window appears where. So while the new features are nice, I think ones that affect the user interface are not universally applauded.
  3. Do I have any reservations about automation? Yes I do. In its current form, it needs to be watched like a teenager. It can do amazing things, but has the potential to go way astray. However, I've seen it improve dramatically in the last year and a half, and am quite confident that it will continue to improve. I didn't immediately buy into the self-driving concept, but once I've experienced what a Tesla can do (and how much more relaxing and SAFER a trip can be), I got rid of all pre-2017 cars that we owned. I'm looking forward to a dramatic increase in safety on the roads in the coming years due to automation. I don't have enough visionary powers to understand if that will really be full self-driving, but I'm totally sure the car will be able to handle most tasks better than a human.
  4. What does Tesla need to do to remain competitive? I think they have to work on their customer interface. Stories abound of the nightmare experience people have had with ordering, delivery and service. Because the cars themselves are so phenomenal, those pains tend to be fleeting, but they shouldn't exist at all. I have had multiple times where I have an issue, and it just takes constant prodding to get any answers/resolutions. I think it is a combination of Tesla employees being stretched too thin, but also the structure/culture seems to prevent employee empowerment and follow through on customer-related concerns.
 
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#5
Hi guys,

Thanks so much for sharing with me your thoughts on Tesla and its push for change and innovation. You've all given me plenty to work with so thanks again, I really appreciate it.

Harry
 

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#6
Two things Tesla has which puts them far ahead of the competition:

1) The SuperCharger network. It allows a Tesla to be used as a no-compromise complete replacement for an ICE car. You can take off for a road trip across the continent with full confidence that you'll be able to charge up quickly and effortlessly there and back. No competitor can touch that at present. And the SuperChargers are getting faster, to support the higher charging rates that new Model 3s are capable of handling.

2) The GigaFactory battery manufacturing facility. Tesla has world-class battery researchers on staff. Any improvements in reliability, longevity, or power density can quickly be rolled into production; competitors have to buy whatever their supplier is selling. Also, the GigaFactory is currently building about as many Li-Ion batteries as all the rest of the battery manufacturers combined. So Tesla's competitors are fighting each other over the remaining supply. Both Audi and Jaguar seem to be battery-constrained. Audi recently reduced their production line to six hours up-time daily.