Bob Lutz Offers Tesla A Warning

 
Bob Lutz is a motor industry old hand, having served BMW, Chrysler, Ford and GM at positions up to and including CEO. So when Bob has something to say the industry listens.
 
In a piece for Road and Track magazine Lutz offers some warnings for Tesla, in particular pointing out some significant flaws in the company's operating model and financial structure.
 
Before you discard this information as the vindictive rants of a motor industry apologist you should be aware that Lutz has been predicting the electrification of the passenger car for years and was responsible for green lighting the Volt almost a decade ago. The fact that Tesla's cars are electric has no relevance to Lutz's warnings.
 
There's no question that the adoption of electricity as a power source for cars by mainstream manufacturers is a risk for Tesla. Especially since the VW scandal virtually guarantees the Germans will have to undertake a wholesale adoption of EVs to wipe away the bad taste of diesel emissions cheating. VW's brands include Porsche, Audi and Bentley. Any one of these trumps Tesla for cachet and with the might of VW behind them will no doubt do so technically too.
 
Tesla's future looks like that of a boutique manufacturer. Selling premium cars at a solid profit is a workable model. Lutz points out several areas where Tesla isn't making this choice.
 
Tesla has only a short window to fix its operating model before it gets run over by the mainstream motor industry and probably Apple too.

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