Media is quick to label a new electric vehicle in the market
Tesla Killers Are Dying, While Tesla Continues To Live
Tesla has had a lot of uncertainty from the day it was formed as an electric car company by Elon Musk, Martin Eberhard, Marc Tarpenning and JB Straubel. But one thing has been consistent, anytime a new electric car is unveiled; the media is quick to call it the new “Tesla killer” from the days of Fisker Automotive to the Audi E-tron and Jaguar I-Pace.
However, Tesla has continued to expand its dominance in the electric vehicle category and expanded its lead. Tesla has almost singlehandedly brought electric vehicles to the mainstream while its “killers” continue to struggle even with experienced automakers like Jaguar (I-Pace) and Audi (E-tron) entering the market. Even them, are not assured of instant success as many thought.
The Tesla Models have continued to thrive in the face of growing competition because they offer more range and public charging infrastructure. The Model S and X offer 300 miles of range and the much cheaper Model 3 offers 240 miles. In comparison, the Jaguar I-Pace costs $69,500 but has just 234 miles of range while the Audi E-tron, priced at $74,800, offers 204 miles of range.
Ed Kim who is an analyst at Auto Pacific, car market research and consulting firm, said that a customer in choosing the I-Pace over the Tesla would really have to be someone that doesn’t like the Tesla. “If a customer is choosing the I-Pace over the comparable Tesla, they are making the conscious decision; I don’t want the Tesla,”
It should also be noted that Tesla does not spend any money on advertising. Musk has emphasized this in the past, saying that Tesla instead spends the money on making the product great. Musk gets a lot of free marketing form his hordes of Tesla loyalists and admirers.
He has cultivated a wow factor at Tesla with his over the air software updates to add games and entertainment features and pursuit of autonomous driving. Everything about the Tesla brand is associated with being cool. The Tesla vehicles are essentially a smart gadget.
His rivals, long used to marketing campaigns, have continued with it. The Jaguar marketing team spent years designing a marketing strategy for the I-Pace. They decided to join Formula E, which is an electric vehicle circuit competition version of Formula 1 and takes place in cities like New York, Hong Kong and London.
Mercedes-Benz and Porsche are also joining Formula E for the 2019-2020 seasons to generate buzz for their upcoming all electric models. But while the formula E generates buzz in the circuits and on social media, this hasn’t translated into sales.
The Jaguar I-Pace has sold an average of 190 vehicles per month compared to Tesla that delivered 550 vehicles a month in its first year on the market, in 2015. Jaguar has decided to attack Tesla heads on by offering a $3000 discount on the I-Pace for Tesla owners for the next month and a half. The E-tron has sold 745 units in the four months that it has been available in the US Market.