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Can Tesla avoid becoming the BlackBerry of electric cars?

Can Tesla avoid becoming the BlackBerry of electric cars?
From Engadget - November 14, 2017

Tesla -- even with all its faults -- has been incredibly important to the auto industry. In 2006 Musk dropped his master plan to sell high-end EVs to the well off to help create an electric car for everyone. Car startups, even from established automakers, tend to die a sad long death (anyone remember Saturn or more recently Scion?). But Tesla had hype and a grand vision on its side. It took a while though -- 11 years before the company delivered the first of its affordable Model 3s to customers.

During that time though other automakers paid attention to the Silicon Valley company as it gained attention for its cars and Autopilot (its semi-autonomous feature). This is especially true on the high end of the market. "I think that Tesla has been very influential in motivating the luxury brands to offer similar capabilities," Gartner lead automotive analyst Mike Ramsey told Engadget.

It was more than the fear of missing out on the self-driving future that lit a fire under automakers. With the Model S, Tesla demonstrated that people actually wanted an electric car. So, while it was working on generating the capital and buzz for its Model 3, automakers like GM pounced, and introduced their own electric cars. The result is the Bolt. A long-range EV with a price tag of just under $30,000 with tax credits applied. Detroit took Tesla's plan and beat it to market.

Meanwhile Tesla is struggling to get its Model 3 out of its factory. "The problem is its popularity has risen so much that scale has become a bigger and bigger part of its business and it is no longer in reality a tech company, it is a manufacturing company for better or for worse," Ramsey said.

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