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Is Tesla having an Amazon moment right now?

by Matt Pressman

Comparisons between Amazon and Tesla have been pretty popular in the business press. There’s also more than a few parallels between company CEOs Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk. Looking at these tech trailblazers, something bigger may be afoot. Kirk Bell asks in Motor Authority, “What if this is the auto industry’s Amazon moment, and Tesla is the company that stands to benefit?”

Tesla Model Y (Source: EVANNEX; Photo by Casey Murphy)

“Like mom and pop shops and even big box stores, mainstream automakers might not be ready to take on the challenge of the progressive company with the new, big idea. Amazon did it in retail and now Tesla could do it to the auto industry,” writes Bell.

Forget Wall Street analysts. Even other auto industry execs are acknowledging Tesla’s progressive culture and innovative tech. “Currently, Tesla has larger batteries because their cars are built around the batteries. Tesla is two years ahead in terms of computing and software architecture, and in autonomous driving as well,” Audi CEO Markus Duesmann told a German publication in July.

“So far, no automaker’s EV can achieve the range of a Tesla. The Tesla Model 3 Long Range is EPA-rated at [353] miles of range, and the Model S as high as 402 miles. The Porsche Taycan has 192 miles of range, the Audi E-Tron 218 miles, the Nissan Leaf 226 miles, the Hyundai Kona Electric 258 miles, and the Chevrolet Bolt 259 miles,” notes Bell. And that’s not the only advantage. “Tesla also has the jump on all of them for charging infrastructure.”

 

Bell admits, “The issue for established automakers is not only an engineering problem, but also a design and marketing one. Not only do they need to find a way to compete with Tesla for range, despite Tesla’s decade head start, they also need to design cars that resonate with buyers and market them to capture their imaginations. Maybe it’s one of perception too: Maybe we gravitate to the Amazons and Teslas of the world because they’re uncomplicated choices.”

So what might happen if major automakers keep clinging to outdated, ICE-based, fossil fuel oriented tech? Will they continue to sit around and take a wait-and-see approach? If so, according to Bell, “they could lose their customers just like retail stores did when Amazon had a better idea. How it all plays out will define the auto industry in the next decade and beyond.”

Originally published on EVANNEX.

Related stories:

Tesla As 17 Different Companies

Tesla = Approximately A Dozen Startups

 
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