The noted director of automotive research at the University of Duisburg-Essen Ferdinand Dudenhöffer recently published an article in a Swiss paper that argued that the major ICE (internal combustion engine) vehicle manufacturers will have to “adopt the Tesla Principle” in order to stay relevant.
The forum member “LST” on the Tesla Motors Club forum (who first posted a link to the article in question) noted in the recent discussion that this is the first time that Dudenhöffer has acknowledged Tesla as being a serious competitor. I suppose that it’s getting a bit hard at this point to deny it.
Here are some excerpts from the article in question run through an online translation program (thanks to “sandpiper” for this):
Switzerland is certainly not the most important car country in the world. But at the Switzerland trends can be identified. The Swiss do not have private carmaker and are therefore “neutral”, in terms of technologies. The neutrality of Switzerland makes the country interesting to observe trends unadulterated. This is shown at 4 different forms. First, there are no favors for diesel fuel, such as in Germany and many other European countries, but the fuel tax per liter for gasoline and diesel fuels in Switzerland (are) equal. Therefore, Switzerland has not the extreme diesel boom as in other European countries observed. Second, there are no subsidies for electric cars. This must be the vehicles in the “hard” competitive with conventional drives prevail. A Norway- or Holland effect, in both countries are electric cars subsidized by the state, so do not exist. Thirdly, Switzerland is a market for high-quality vehicles. For high-value vehicles, new technologies are usually used first. The Switzerland is thus also a kind of test market for the marketability of future technologies. Whether Rolls-Royce, Ferrari, Porsche and Audi, Mercedes, and BMW – have the Swiss by their high national product per head significantly higher levels of premium as and luxury vehicles of rest Europe. Fourthly, Switzerland does not have a car maker. In countries such as Germany, the propensity for new technologies is “overestimated partly”. The domestic carmakers – such as the VW brand – bring up to 30% of new cars as own admission in the market. So certain are vehicles artificially “pushed”. This distortion there is in Switzerland not.
…In 2015, the model Tesla S has with 1556 new registrations, the Swiss dominated full-size cars. From Model S in more sold than on Range Rover (1065), 911 (1027), Porsche Cayenne (894), Mercedes S-Class (776), Audi Q7 (759), BMW X6 (668), Mercedes CLS (500), Mercedes ML and GLE (489), the BMW 7 Series (192), Porsche Panamera (168), the Audi A8 (100) etc. Record for Tesla is impressive and for the upper-class manufacturer rather “sobering”. The entire Mercedes S-class – including its plug-in hybrids – sold worse than the one Tesla model. Even the classic Porsche 911 with its many body styles can not get Tesla.
The market share of Tesla’s Switzerland to 0.7% in January 2016 and increased. That sounds like a little, but is relativized when the market shares of other car brands to look. As for the classification: In Germany in 2015 have the brands Honda (0.66%), Land Rover (0.57%), Jeep (0.46%), Subaru (0.2%), Jaguar (0.16 %), Alfa Romeo (0.1%) all less market shares achieved as Tesla with a single model in January 2016 and in Switzerland. Here, the Model X has not yet been delivered in Switzerland. What incidentally applies to Switzerland, may also transfer similar to the United States. 22,635 Model S cars Tesla has sold in 2015 in USA. The Mercedes S-class was only sold 21,934 times, the Audi Q7 only 18,995 times and Porsche Cayenne (16,474) and 911 (9898) as well as BMW 7 Series clearly under Tesla. However, there are in the US government support for the purchase of electric cars. Therefore, the image is “distorted”.
…But the customer demand in the neutral test market Switzerland is impressive… The newcomer Tesla is the only one who so far the right jump has made in the electromobility. The strategy of traditional carmaker – to bet on all horses, ie diesel, hybrid, plug-in, fuel cell and a few high-reach poor electric cars seems to have failed.
Interesting points. Similar to ones that we’ve made a number of times here at EVObsession, but of course hearing such comments coming from someone like Dudenhöffer has its own implications. I wonder what the CEOs at some of the aforementioned companies thought when hearing about this?
Those that speak the language, or are curious to see the original regardless, can find it through the TMC link at the top of this article.