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<< News >>

2015 North American International Auto Show

 

 

Elon Musk encourages other automakers to join the electric vehicle revolution

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Musk talking with Jason Stein of Automotive News.

 

by Jason Rzucidlo
americajr@americajr.com

 

|

DETROIT -- Wherever Elon Musk goes, he is treated like a rock star. He was the speaker that caused the 2015 Automotive News World Congress to be sold out. The CEO of Tesla Motors, SpaceX and other companies spoke to a standing room only crowd inside the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center on Tuesday.

“I think that all transport with the exception of rockets will go fully electric,” Musk said. “If we can make it go electric sooner, then that would be much better for the world. The potential harm to the climate is much more greater than it was before. We can’t rely on scarcity to drag the price of oil and gas high. We have to figure out how to make electric cars without the economic force and function of high gas prices. If we don’t make electric cars, then we’re not doing as much as we can. Most of the good that we’ve done is cutting a path through the jungle.”

When we learned that Tesla was having a display at the North American International Auto Show, rumors started flying that we would see the new Model X. However, it never came true. The upcoming electric vehicle from the California-based automaker has now been delayed for the past two years. Instead, IT showed off a few different versions of the Model S.

“We have to show people that electric cars can be fast, sexy, handle well, have a high range and be a great car,” the CEO explained. "That’s what we do with the Tesla Roadster. It’s important to break that mold and address that misconception. When I started Tesla, I thought we’d have a 10 percent chance of success. Does Tesla become a niche carmaker making 100,000 cars per year? Point one percent of a market share is definitely a niche. By 2020, we’ll do more than 500,000. By 2025, we’ll probably get to a few million cars per year.”

The highly anticipated Model 3 will be Tesla’s next electric vehicle to hit the market this summer. It will offer a 200-mile range with a price tag close to $35,000. For the first time, Tesla will face some stiff competition from Chevrolet, which unveiled its new Bolt EV concept with a similar range and price.

“I don't see it as a competitive threat just because I think all cars will go electric," Musk explained. "If you define a set of cars that are electric, then sure it's a competitor. That's not what we see. There are 100 million new cars and trucks made every year. What does it matter if someone makes a few hundred thousand additional electric cars. It's not going to effect us really."

Automotive News Editor & Publisher Jason Stein moderated the conversation with Musk. The discussion took place one day prior to the rocket crash.

“On the Sunday before Christmas morning in 2008, waking up and thinking ‘I never thought I was capable of having a nervous breakdown, but this is the closest I’ve ever come.’ After the first three rockets failed, I didn’t really allow the money for three flights—barely enough money for a fourth flight. That’s when the markets were crashing, GM and Chrysler were going bankrupt.”

The IHS Automotive Loyalty Awards were also presented on Tuesday evening. The winners included: Ford Motor Company for overall loyalty to manufacturer, overall loyalty to make and African American market loyalty to make. Toyota was honored with the Asian and Hispanic market loyalty to make awards. Maserati won the most improved loyalty to make award and the highest conquest percent of registrations award. Finally, Lexus took home the trophy for the most improved conquest percent of registrations award.

For more information about the Automotive News World Congress, visit www.autonews.com.

Related Stories: Buick introduces its first convertible in 25 years -- the Cascada at the 2015 NAIAS; Evolving luxury vehicle market discussed at 27th SAA Auto Outlook Conference; GM CEO Mary Barra; Ryan Hunter-Reay wrap up 2015 Automotive News World Congress; 2016 Ford GT Conquers North American International Auto Show

 

 

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Elon Musk addressing the crowd before his discussion.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

“I think that all transport with the exception of rockets will go fully electric,” the Tesla CEO said.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Musk took questions from the local, national and international media.

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The IHS Automotive Loyalty awards were also presented

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

Ford, Toyota and Maserati rounded out this year's top loyalty winners.

 

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This page was last updated on Sun, January 25, 2015 7:25 PM

 

 

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