Speculation abounds lately about whether Tesla will eventually top the Cars.com “American-Made” index. Speculation really should center around whether the average consumer knows of the index, but let’s assume he does. And let’s assume the Gigafactory secures the title for Tesla in a few years. Will it help the company?
China: Hell yes. American car ownership adds inches to your, um, you-know-what. Add another half-inch if you’re driving the MOST American car. Even Buick has more than geriatric cachet in China. Tesla and China will soon embrace in a sweaty love pretzel. TSLA longs get ready to rejoice.
Europe: Doubt it. Too much culture clash. The US and Europe can’t even agree on music, let alone cars. Europe drives diesel stick Benzes as taxis and raspy little shitboxes as commuter cars, while we roll like Boss Hogg. Those are the stereotypes anyway. But like all stereotypes, they’re based partially on truth. Look at the European Car of the Year awards. Usually it’s a model we can’t buy in the US and frankly, wouldn’t want. We booted Fiat*, Alfa, Peugeot, Merkur, Sterling, Triumph, MG, Renault and others for stinking up the US. And Europe perceives American cars as heavy, inefficient, impractical and slushy to drive. Even the Model S falls into some of those categories for some European regions, though it utterly shatters others. In short, American pedigree is no real advantage in Europe. Tesla’s European bid will pass or fail based on engineering merit and overall acceptance of electric motoring.
US: Maybe. Remember, we almost put the Detroit 3 out of business while we were turning Japanese. We don’t blindly love our country. We love America, but we hate ‘Merica. You know when Tesla may really get somewhere with the American-made angle? When it enters the full-size truck market. That’s the most patriotic segment on earth. Nobody can pry the keys to a big truck from Uncle Sam’s fingers. The Det 3 truck advertisements make you want to salute horsies, hay bales, Bob Seger and stubble. Can you imagine Musk knocking the F-150 on its ass in performance, reliability, practicality, ruggedness, green cred AND American-made cred? Yikes!
* Yes, it’s back for more punishment.