Tesla Motors to supply batteries, components for electric Smart car
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#1 Jan 13, 2009
People have long criticized Tesla for getting in at the high end of the auto market, but in retrospect, their strategy now appears to be very sound. They concentrated on their area of strength -- batteries and drivetrain -- then partnered with Lotus for a high-end, high performance vehicle (to develop expertise in the auto lifecycle, recoup investment capital, and fund further R&D), and Daimler for a more affordable mass-market vehicle. There was no way that startup Tesla could produce inexpensive vehicles in mass-market quantities in the short term, so it made sense to accelerate affordable EV production through a partnership with one of the big automakers.
I am wondering what this news augurs for the prospects of more affordable Tesla-branded vehicles, such as the much discussed "Model S" sedan (codenamed "WhiteStar") or the rumored "everyman" EV (codenamed "BlueStar"). For that matter, I wonder if the outright sale of Tesla to Daimler or another BigAuto concern is in the cards. But regardless, good for Tesla, doing what they need to do to ensure that everyone gets a chance to get behind the wheel of exciting, quality EVs.
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