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The story of Elon Musk and GM’s race to build the first mass-market electric car

The story of Elon Musk and GM's race to build the first mass-market electric car â Quartz

The story of Elon Musk and GM's race to build the first mass-market electric car â Quartz

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GM launched the Volt in 2011 at $41,000. But by last year, Tesla’s sensational success had it worried. Then-CEO Dan Akerson said Tesla was a threat, and assigned a group of employees to monitor the newcomer. In 2012, Akerson was overheard bucking up employees with the promise that GM was getting close to a 200-mile car, a vow he repeated last year as well.

The angst has only deepened over the last 13 months. Wall Street has worked itself up into a frenzy over Tesla, doubling its share price to 78 times projected earnings—a dotcom-era number—compared with GM’s 7.5 times. Last month, a relaxed and confident Musk disclosed the name of his next-generation 200-mile car to a British journalist: the Model 3. It would be unveiled in late 2016 and go on sale the following year, he promised. Media- and image-savvy, he said it would be aimed at buyers, not of GM cars, but of BMW’s 3-Series, its $35,000 entry-level vehicle. 

Motorists bought 500,000 of the BMWs last year, and Musk predicts he will be selling that many vehicles per year by 2020.

Tesla considers its competition to be BMW not GM?

No wonder they price their cars so high. 

No, BMW drivers are their potential market.  He's predicting sales based on BMW's.

Oh. Because if he can get the price point lower he can sell a lot more. 

If he got a new a Tesla to cost $5000 he'd sell tens of millions of them. 

$35k for the base-level, comparable to a BMW 3 series.

That's too expensive for most of us.

If he takes the price down by a factor of ten, he will change the world. 

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