He also takes a dig at Michigan for not allowing direct sales to customers.
Tesla’s high-end electric vehicles appeal to customers with a combination of cutting-edge technology, impressive performance, and attractive design – just look at the rapid pace of orders for the Model 3. The automaker's vice president of business development Diarmuid O’Connell thinks that every EV should have the emotional appeal of his company’s products. During the recent CAR Management Briefing Seminars, he even scolded competitors for making their green vehicles too boring.
“In essence, they’ve delivered little more than appliances,” O’Connell said during the seminar, according to Automotive News. “Now, appliances are useful. But they tend to be white. They tend to be unemotional."
In just a few years, O’Connell should get what he’s wishing for, and the changing market would mean more competition against Tesla. For example, the next-generation Nissan Leaf reportedly has over 200 miles of range and takes cues from the futuristic IDS concept, which definitely doesn’t look boring. Depending on the price, it might be an alternative to the Model 3 for some buyers. The Chevrolet Bolt could rob some of the upcoming sedan’s sales, too. More luxurious rivals are also on the way. Audi’s Q6 arrives in 2018 to challenge the Model X, and the production Porsche Mission E is on track for around 2020 for a fight with the Model S.
O’Connell also used his speech for a swipe against Michigan not allowing Tesla to conduct direct sales in the state. He claimed it was hard to find EVs on the roads in Detroit. “I think if the Michigan Legislature would allow Tesla to sell cars in Michigan, we could probably address this,” O’Connell said, according to Automotive News.
Tesla and the state have been in legislative battle for years over the automaker’s desire to sell vehicles directly to consumers through company-owned stores rather than franchised dealers. The governor there signed a law in 2014 that made such sales illegal, and General Motors supported that bill. Tesla has had similar fights in other states, but Michigan has been among the most contentious.
Source: Automotive News