General Motors: During the Bolt introduction (skip to 7:52), Mary Barra took a tacit swing at Tesla: “We believe strongly in the dealer model, and the tremendous value our customers derive from neighborhood dealerships.” No, GM clearly considers dealers a burden, not a blessing. Not only did GM try to bypass dealers in 1999, but just a couple years ago, it wrote this letter to the state of Ohio, about Tesla’s factory-direct business model. These excerpts show GMs real feelings about its allegedly wonderful dealer network. It’s no advantage. In fact, Tesla has the advantage:
“As a result, Tesla would gain a distinct competitive advantage by avoiding restrictions that all other manufacturers face in Ohio concerning establishing and relocating dealerships, servicing customers, allocating vehicles, pricing vehicles, the ownership and management of dealerships, and providing warranty services, among other things.”
“Simply put, General Motors strongly believes there exists no justification for an individual auto manufacturer to receive such unique, favorable protection under Ohio law.”
Those are the words of Selim Bingol, GM’s senior vice president for global communications and public policy. Think GM needs to have few more meetings? This is the same company that claimed the Caddy ELR does not compete with Tesla, while also running this ad.
Nissan: Carlos Ghosn is gung-ho about autonomy, except when he’s skeptical. This week, he’s skeptical. Privacy concerns will hamper the adoption of connected, autonomous cars, he said. We could digest his comments one of two ways:
- He’s right while everyone else is wrong.
- He’s been caught a bit flat-footed by the sudden M&A activity involving driverless cars and prefers to marginalize the whole thing rather than admit he needs to catch up.
Volkswagen: Matthias Müller said VW “didn’t lie” about emissions, and the whole diesel gate thing was just a “technical problem.” Immediately after that interview, VW pulled him aside, slapped him a few times, and put him back in the spotlight to sing a different tune: “We have worked night and day to find solutions. Not only technical solutions,” Müller said in the followup interview with NPR. “It’s a lot of work for the lawyers and also for the press department.”
We should give poor Matthias the benefit of the doubt, VW says, because the setting for the initial interview was too chaotic. TeslaMondo says otherwise. This is the same guy who totally mucked up his stance on Tesla when he was Porsche chief. First he claimed to know nothing about Tesla. Then just a few months later, he proclaimed great respect for Tesla. This guy isn’t fit to lead VW, as predicted here. In fact, TeslaMondo shuns profanity, but will make an exception for Müller. He is nothing but a 100% pure . . . send the kids to bed right about now . . . a total doo-doo head, that’s what he is.