Anthony Ginsberg from ETF specialists HANeft says Tesla is poised to cream off chunks of value-added across the industry by selling its intellectual property and battery technology to Old Autos through leasing agreements. Tesla’s direct car sales tell only a fraction of the bigger story.
Personally, I think the Germans will bounce back but they have left it dangerously late. VW’s futuristic chief, Herbert Diess, warns that the German industry could succumb to the “Coventry syndrome” – going the way of the British car industry in the 1970s. Downfall can be swift. Britain was the world’s biggest exporter of cars in the 1950s, before being crippled by strategic errors and complacency.
There is no exact parallel with Germany but one has to ask: what were VW directors smoking when they told each other that Tesla would fall flat on its face trying to engineer a good car? And what were Daimler executives smoking when they ditched their 10pc holding of Tesla in 2014, concluding that the company was going nowhere?
So far the omens are not good for challengers in the US market Porsche’s Taycan has flopped this year, while Jaguar has sold just over 1,000 of its I-Pace sports utilities.
The software is not integrated. The “companion apps” that give the best EVs an edge – and will be a big source of future revenue – are not fully functional in most models. Windsor says a Land Rover driver needs three apps: one to plan routes, a second to remote start the vehicle and a third to check the user guide.
The maximum range of the Taycan and the Audi E-tron is about 200 miles. Most Tesla models surpass 300 miles and even the cheapest Model 3 can run for 250 miles.
The European Battery Alliance has launched a “Manhattan Project” to crack the technology, with a large infusion of EU state aid.