Even though the North American International Auto Show in Detroit is next week, at least a few automakers can’t wait that long to show off “the goods” as it were. The 2016 Chevy Volt was just revealed at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, as was the Mercedes autonomous concept car. But what about Tesla? While the electric automaker didn’t schedule a press conference, it did trot out the old Model X prototype to put on display for showgoers.
Alas, that might be as close as we get to a Model X debut this month, as Tesla has a booth at NAIAS, but no press conference scheduled. Even last year, when Tesla had nothing to debut, it held a press conference to update the gathered journo-types on the goings-on at the electric automaker. But for whatever reason, Tesla is showing off the goods, but doesn’t plan to make any announcements.
— Marco della Cava (@marcodellacava) January 5, 2015
It is interesting however that more and more automakers are going to CES to make their big announcements. It could be that CES is a week before NAIAS, giving automakers a buzz advantage as there are fewer automotive announcements to compete. Or it could be that automakers like GM and Mercedes are trying to follow Tesla’s lead to be seen more as a “tech” company than a car company. Tesla in particular has been making appearances at web development and hacking conferences on missions to recruit new talent, and Elon Musk seems even more interested in making battery packs than cars if you consider all the effort he has put into the Gigafactory.
Is the Consumer Electronics Show being taken over by automakers that would rather be tech companies? Are we seeing the natural overlap between two increasingly interlinked industries? Should we think of Tesla as an automaker, a tech company, or both? That all depends on whom you ask, though the lines seem to be more and more blurry by the day.
Image: Marco della Cava