Tesla is a totally different car brand and driving experience from other auto manufacturers. Why and how? Just my two cents.
What makes Tesla stand out?
#1 – COMPANY IMAGE
Auto companies have this appearance of being a giant utility company and labor union. They make tools and give us jobs. As technical as they are…we don’t typically see cars as “high-tech”. They’re more like “really expensive clothes” that we wear and even personify ourselves with. Some of us drive certain cars for function, others for status, or a combination of both. It’s a whole lifestyle thing. And many people identify closely with their car brand.
Another image of the auto industry is one of its close relationship to the Wall street and fossil fuel industry. You know, those billionaires messing up our planet. The ones taking our dollars to bail out their failed businesses time and time again.
Tesla is a stark different from all this. It seems to have started its existence with an innocent utopian view of a clean and pure future. No more fossil fuels. Clean energy equals happy bright future for all humans and mother earth. At least that seems to be what’s being sold.
And for the most part, it seems true. Elon Musk…not a guy with big investments behind even bigger promises…but a man of science. An engineer with hopes and dreams to drive humanity into the future! A technological savior of mankind.
#2 – PUBLIC LEADER (Elon Musk)
It’s interesting how public he is. Nobody knows who the other the auto manufacturer CEO’s are. Nobody knows what they’re saying or what they’re thinking, or what controversy is surrounding them. They’re very well isolated from their brand…perhaps for better PR purposes.
Regardless of whether or not you drive a Tesla, or even want a Tesla…it seems everyone knows all about Tesla’s business and what it wants to do next. Every time Elon tweets, it’s like a premonition for the future. And people hang on to his every word to see if it’s kept or not.
#3 – BUSINESS SUCCESS
Tesla has cleverly accomplished a few things that I haven’t seen done by other auto-manufacturers.
- Pre-ordering – it takes A LOT of brand trust for people to put deposits on a car that isn’t even in production.
- Luxury-to-mainstream production – most car brands are building luxury brands out of mainstream brands (like Toyota > Lexus). I haven’t seen anyone successful at going the other way around. (Highend Mercedes to lowend Mercedes?).
- Profiting – yes, I think Teslas will soon be profiting and never look back. We’re beyond the point of speculation now. Even if you think Tesla is losing, I don’t think they’ve lost as massively as the ones needing bailouts for decades (e.g. GM).
#4 – DISTRIBUTION MODEL
Teslas are sold directly to consumers. No more stuffy outdated “dealerships” in a giant lot in the side of town you never look at.They’re in fun stores (very similar to Apple stores) located in malls and other busy foot-traffic places. They look more like a toystore with options to play with, rather than an office building with cubicles and business-dressed salesmen pushing papers around.
#5 – STREAMLINED CHOICES
No more choice-paralysis and option-overload. They have one sedan model, one sportscar model, one SUV, one compact car. Will soon have one compact SUV and one truck. This is massively different from the usual dealership with multiple variants and many models overlapping each other in features and options. Too confusing and you’re not sure what you want any more. With Tesla, it’s very obvious which one fits you best and it really does fit you well!
#6 – BATTERY RANGE
One of the biggest hurdles to early electric cars was their lack of range. It seemed like they only went 100-150 miles and needed to be charged often. Tesla is the first to hit the 300-mile range making it not only much more comparable to regular gas cars but almost completely removing the “range-anxiety” of electric cars.
#7 – ELECTRIC ADVANTAGE
Electric cars have been long seen as DISADVANTAGED to normal cars (internal combustion engine, ICE’s for short). They were considered slower, more costly, more inconvenient, not enough range, not reliable, and a multitude of other distrust.
Tesla was the first electric car to actually have advantages over ICE’s. They’re faster, not cheaper (but more cost efficient in use), can charge anywhere, have plenty of range, reliable, and seem like great cars.
#8 – GREAT DESIGN
The design work has been incredible inside and out.
Clean, modern, sleek. Unisex. The car looks cute and at the same time muscular. Appeals to all ages and genders. Yes, there are some diehard car fanatics who prefer a noisy Corvette but even they cannot dismiss its massive power under the hood and sleek lines inside. Modern lines, giant glass, gull-wing doors, Aero covers. Whether you like the aesthetics or not, there’s no denying that they are eye-catching. Tesla vehicles look like futuristic spaceships merely in disguise as cars.
The interior is a whole other world. The Tesla interior is such a refreshing change from the usual vomit of buttons all over the dash and door handles. No more crazy knobs and dials like an airplane cockpit. So clean…yes, like an iPhone. One screen to rule them all! Never been in a Tesla before? Don’t know how to turn on the AC? Don’t worry, you’ll figure it out in 5 minutes or less.
#9 – FUELING CONVENIENCE
Electric refueling is convenient as heck and so much cleaner for the environment! You can charge anywhere…Tesla supercharger, charger from another brand, higher wattage industrial outlet, or even a regular wall outlet!
Yes, there might not be enough charging stations at this moment but I promise that will all change! Electric charging is somewhat like the pre-WIFI era when not all places had wifi yet. And now, it seems you can find free WIFI anywhere!
It’s also nice that Tesla supercharging stations are usually located in clean, safe, fun/convenient locations. Next to stores, shops, restaurants…places you’d actually visit!
#10 – SOFTWARE INTEGRATION
Everything. The software update in the cars. The mobile app integration. Incredible, you can interact with your car in so many more ways without even being in it. I won’t list all the features here but there are enough that you really can’t even compare Tesla to regular cars!
#11 – USER SATISFACTION
Tesla has gone viral. I can’t think of a happier user base than Tesla customers. Despite the issues with Teslas’ imperfections, users are still flocking to social media and telling all friends about their cool Tesla cool. It’s not just a joy to drive but a joy to share with friends. You can’t buy this kind of brand marketing!
#12 – COMPREHENSIVE SERVICE
Tesla’s service offering is quite comprehensive. They have service centers and also mobile service where they come to you. This is great as previous electric cars didn’t seem to be as easy to service and fix.