Despite the strong bias that most German citizens have for German-made cars, it appears that the Tesla Model 3 unveiling has made quite an impact on the public there. A new poll from the German car magazine Autobild found that 66% of those queried said that they would consider buying a Model 3.
While that may not sound like a substantial percentage, for a country as insular (in many ways) as Germany, that’s really quite impressive. Especially when considering that many of the top sellers on the international auto market currently are made by German brands. One can guess that the execs behind these brands/companies — BMW, Mercedes, Audi, etc — are really starting to feel the heat. Nobody in Germany wants to see their cash cow slaughtered and shipped off to America, after all.
Teslarati provides some more on that:
The recent unveiling of the Tesla Model 3 has gotten Daimler shareholders feeling defensive. At the company’s annual meeting in Berlin on Wednesday, several had pointed questions for management. Ingo Speich, portfolio manager for Union Investment, said the capital markets are concerned the “fat years” for premium German car makers are over. The automobile industry is looking at “a radical upheaval, driven by attacks from Silicon Valley,” he said via the Financial Times.
Several shareholders wanted to know what Daimler is doing to counter the pressure to build electric cars spearheaded by Tesla. “We don’t really have a product for this competition from Tesla. In the long term we have some great vehicles . . . but they are virtual at this point,” one shareholder pointed out. Another worried that the company had no answer to the Model 3. “What is the reason for that?” he asked.
The CEO of Daimler, Dieter Zetsche, commented that the company is working on it. 10 plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles are expected to be available in 2017, and the company is working on a long-range all-electric car to be released by the end of the decade.
Notably, Daimler shares are down considerably in 2016 (~20%), as are BMW shares (~25%).