"When is Tesla going to compete against me?"
With the recent release of the Model X, Tesla seems like a world-beater in the EV scene. There was that whole money issue earlier in the year but gullwing doors and Ludicrous mode make people forget such things. Tesla has plans for more models, including an entry level sedan, and seems primed to dominate the electric car sector. Or is it? Nissan certainly doesn't think so, at least not according to John Martin, its North American senior vice president of manufacturing and supply chain management.
Speaking at a panel discussion during the Rainbow/PUSH conference in Detroit, Martin made it clear that Tesla isn't a company Nissan fears. "Lots of people are calling Tesla a disrupter. They are not. People ask me: 'When are you going to compete with Tesla?' And I ask them, 'When is Tesla going to compete against me?'" Martin sees it as easy to make a premium electric car priced at $100,000. He says building an affordable EV, like the Leaf which starts at around $30,000, is much harder. Martin didn't stop throwing shade, though. He also took aim at Google and Apple, saying that it would be hard for either to become an automaker due to a disadvantage in manufacturing costs and reduced profit margins.
Cars costs way more to make than sweatshop smartphones, after all. One company he did have kind words for was Uber, saying it is a very real threat to taxi companies and will force reinvention. So we now know Uber is the real deal and Google, Apple and Tesla are trash. Thanks for the update, Nissan!