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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    GM's CEO: Cadillac Will Take On Tesla

    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    September 23, 2013

    Tesla has apparently gotten under the skin of General Motors' CEO Dan Akerson. As we reported back in July, Akerson created a group to study Tesla and how it could effect the company. Now, Akerson wants to take on Tesla with Cadillac.

    “If you want to compete head-to-head with Tesla, and we ultimately will, you want to do it with a Cadillac,” Akerson said to The Detroit News.

    Akerson went on to indicate that he would like to compete with Tesla Model S directly.

    “But I do think when the (Cadillac) ELR comes out late this year, early next — it’s certainly in the same postal code as Tesla, but now we’re going to move up. It’s not going to be a mass-produced car."

    Akerson also gave Tesla a bit of a ribbing.

    “We’ll sell more (Chevrolet) Volts and lose less money on the Volts than they’ll lose on the (Tesla) Model S.”

    Source: The Detroit News

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at [email protected] or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    GM doesn't make an all electric car though. The ELR is closer to a plug in Prius than it is a Tesla Model S. I think this is more a move to draw attention to the ELR and Cadillac because Tesla gets a lot of free media attention. But in the end, none of these electric cars are money makers, they are too limited in what they can do until someone makes a super battery that can make an electric car perform like a gas car.

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    Yes they do. They make the Spark EV. But the implication Dan "foot-in-mouth" Akerson is making here is that he wants Cadillac to make a Model S competitor. If any of the big companies do it, I would expect it to be GM or Toyota. They both have the most experience with the battery systems needed to pull it off. Toyota is in bed with Tesla at the moment though, so they might not be able to pursue such a car due to some agreement.

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    This is the best electric car around right now, in a straight line it crushes it's gasoline counterpart.
    mercedes-benz-sls-amg-electric-drive.jpg

    But it costs $500,000, so there can't be a very good business case for it. Full electric beating gasoline is a while away I think, maybe not decades, but at least 10 years before they get competitive. Diesel or hybrid diesel will be the future, if these diesel cars can put out 350 lb-ft of torque and get 50 mpg, that is hard to beat. Unless someone makes a battery that weighs 200 lbs and has 400 mile range and recharges in 10 minutes.

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    The Tesla Model S is in the high $60k range, will out perform a 550i, and can recharge in 30 minutes.

    The Roadster could walk away from an Audi R8 like it was standing still.

    A Volt can do 0 - 60 in the same time it takes a 2.5 powered Malibu and that is mostly software limited.

    I'd say we're a lot closer than you think.

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    And Dan's "ribbing" means nothing... Elon Musk is worth a few billion and knows he is building an Apple-like fan base. He's willing to lose the money for now to dominate the market later.

    A stock with P/E of ~170 producing cars at less than ~0.1% of industry is sure to see some major correction. How much market can Elon sustain for his +$70,000 cars? When the annual market for cars (sedans) exceeding that purchasing price in US is approx. 30,000 units, how much more can Elon sustain its Model S before the growth stops? If you use Warren Buffet's analysis, the company is yet to prove it is capable for a long run.

    I think Dan is concentrating more on $30,000 electric car than a standalone Model S competitor.

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    And Dan's "ribbing" means nothing... Elon Musk is worth a few billion and knows he is building an Apple-like fan base. He's willing to lose the money for now to dominate the market later.

    A stock with P/E of ~170 producing cars at less than ~0.1% of industry is sure to see some major correction. How much market can Elon sustain for his +$70,000 cars? When the annual market for cars (sedans) exceeding that purchasing price in US is approx. 30,000 units, how much more can Elon sustain its Model S before the growth stops? If you use Warren Buffet's analysis, the company is yet to prove it is capable for a long run.

    I think Dan is concentrating more on $30,000 electric car than a standalone Model S competitor.

    Valid and nicely put Z, Warren Buffet's analysis model shows that Tesla is not a long term company unless they can deliver on the $30K car soon and then push even lower to get mass production flow.

    I suspect Tesla will be owned by someone else in the near future say next 5 years.

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    I don't think your timeline is accurate Ocn.... Electrics are coming faster than you think and like.

    Totally agree here, based on the 90 day turn on Software design, as we move to electronics with faster rewrite of the code, we will see gains and change come at a faster and faster pace. In some regards this will scare people at how fast auto's will change based on the auto industry moving to a more fluid model of design, testing and output.

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    The Tesla Model S is in the high $60k range, will out perform a 550i, and can recharge in 30 minutes.

    The Roadster could walk away from an Audi R8 like it was standing still.

    A Volt can do 0 - 60 in the same time it takes a 2.5 powered Malibu and that is mostly software limited.

    I'd say we're a lot closer than you think.

    The Volt has a gas engine in it. The Volt is the electric car that admits electric isn't as good as gas. I am not against electric, I think a quiet car with instant torque that is cheap to run is a great idea. But electric cars won't begin the take over until there is a 0-60 in 7-8 seconds, 400 mile range quick charging car that costs about $25,000. Because there are a dozen mid-size sedans for $25,000 that can do that. The day the Volt costs the same as a Cruze is the day electrics begin the takeover.

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    I was speaking to the Volt's propulsion capabilities. The gas engine being there isn't a statement about electric cars, it is a statement about electric car recharging infrastructure. When charging facilities are even half as plentiful as gas stations, the need for an on-board regeneration capability becomes unnecessary.

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