According to a German minister.
Germany is one of the world's technological leaders, especially when it comes to vehicles. It has a long and proud tradition of advanced engineering benchmarks, but what about design?
Germany's current economic minister sees a problem here. According to Electrek and first reported by Der Spiegel, Germany's Economic Minister, Peter Altmaier, is clearly not pleased with the electrification effort of his country's premium automakers, BMW, Daimler-Benz, and VW Group.
In fact, he told the CEOs of each of those companies at a recent event the following: "I really wonder when you, Mr. Zetsche, or you, Mr. Diess, or Mr. Krüger of BMW will be able to get an electric car build, which is only half as sexy as one by Tesla. As far as the attractiveness of your e-cars is concerned, you could actually come up with some fresh ideas."
Der Spiegel claims there was no immediate response from any of the three CEOs, most likely because they were caught completely off guard by Altmaier's bluntness. Only Zetsche and Diess were physically present at the event but we're sure Krüger received word quickly. In some ways, Altmaier is correct. Just look at the BMW i3, for example. Now compare it to the Tesla Model 3. There was also the now discontinued Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive. Like the i3, there's great technology, subpar design. Fortunately for Altmaier, hope is on the way.
First off, Mercedes-Benz just revealed its new and far more stylish EQC all-electric crossover. Volkswagen will soon begin unveiling its I.D. lineup of electric vehicles while Audi will has launched an all-electric crossover of its own, the e-tron, with the e-tron GT concept set to debut next week at the LA Auto Show. Porsche will also soon launch what will likely be the Tesla Model S's greatest rival to date, the Taycan. Based on the Mission E Concept and spy shots, its design looks like it'll be pretty amazing in our eyes. Has Altmaier even seen the Mission E?
And then there's BMW. An all-electric version of the X3 crossover, dubbed the iX3, will arrive next year and an all-electric 3 Series is also in the works. In addition, there will be production versions of the iVision and iNext concepts. Given all of that, we don't see any reason for Altmaier to complain, other than the fact that the German automakers didn't beat Tesla to market.