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After Years Of Passive Aggressive Contempt, German Companies Now Trying To Take Credit For Tesla’s Success

The attitude that many German automakers have had towards Tesla since its entrance into the market has not exactly been a welcoming one — perhaps “veiled contempt” would be a polite way of putting it? (Though, this sort of behavior seems to run deep in German culture and business practice, and goes back at least as far as the birth of the modern unified German identity.)

So it may make some of those reading this laugh a bit to find out that the tide seems to have finally turned, and that German companies are now beginning to take Tesla seriously as a competitor…. And also beginning to take credit for Tesla’s success to date. (Another famously German personality trait.)

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Of course, it should be remembered here that Tesla is now rather past the point of simply being a “competitor” in the European luxury car market — but now actually seems to more or less be taking the market segment over (see: Tesla Model S Taking Over Premium Sedan Market In Europe, Automotive Industry Data Reports and #1 Large Luxury Car In US = Tesla Model S In 2015).

Anyways… Back to the main point of this article: an article in Handelsblatt in which the author expounds on the ways that various German companies have made Tesla’s success to date possible.

Here’s a snippet from the article (“Tesla: German Under The Hood“) to give you a general idea:

The electronic steering is provided by another German supplier: Bosch Mobility Solutions. Without the component, Tesla’s electronic assistant wouldn’t work. The supplier also developed parking sensors and a radar system for Tesla. Working with the Californians challenged some of the processes at the big German supplier.

…The small automaker can’t rely on its own inventions in all areas, so its value creation remains smaller than that of traditional producers.

You get the idea. There’s quite a lot more, and some of it is quite funny, so it’s probably worth a look in my opinion (it’s behind a pay wall, but there’s a free trial period).

And, yes, I’m aware that nearly every culture seems bizarre/arrogant/easily mocked from a foreigner’s vantage point. Americans included. 🙂

(Great thanks to “blanche” on the Tesla Motors Club for posting a link to the article, and kicking off a discussion on the matter.)

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. You can follow his work on Google+.


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