We are now witnessing Elon Muskâ€™s slow-motion disruption of the global auto industry.
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Cars!
In 2007, Nokia was the biggest and most fashionable name in cell phones, with an unassailable lead in hand-held technology. Things had been so good for so long that company executivesÂ saw little chanceÂ for any competitive challengeâ€“phones were a tough business, they said, and Nokia was reaping the harvest of decades of hard work that no one else could hope to match.
That June, Steve JobsÂ introduced the iPhone. And seven years later, Nokiaâ€”worth a quarter of a trillion dollars at its apexâ€”abjectlyÂ sold offits much-diminished phone division to Microsoft. The price was $7 billion, less than 3% of its former value.
AppleÂ hasnâ€™t introducedÂ as revolutionary a product since, to the relief of incumbent players in all kinds of sectors. But Elon Musk, whose acumen and showmanship get him frequently compared with Jobs, has worked eagerly to fill the void.
On March 31, his Tesla Motors unveiled its long-promised Model 3, a $35,000 electric car that will go 215 miles per charge. The market response suggests to some the potential as a category killer, not just in electric vehicles, but mainstream cars in general: in the week since, more than 325,000 Model 3s have been pre-ordered by people putting down $1,000 per reservation, the company said April 7.
Even deep Tesla skeptics call this demandÂ unprecedented. There simply may be no example of a new car attracting as much interest in more than a century of automative history. Veteran auto analyst Bertel Schmidt says the closest comparison would be theÂ 1955 Citroen DS(below), which was pre-ordered by 12,000 motorists on launch day. Wall Street has responded by sending Teslaâ€™s share price up by about 12% since the Model 3â€™s debut.
Top Reddit comment is thatÂ Arnold SchwarzeneggerÂ saidÂ it best:
"There are two doors. Behind Door Number One is a completely sealed room, with a regular, gasoline-fueled car. Behind Door Number Two is an identical, completely sealed room, with an electric car. Both engines are running full blast.
I want you to pick a door to open, and enter the room and shut the door behind you. You have to stay in the room you choose for one hour. You cannot turn off the engine. You do not get a gas mask.
I'm guessing you chose Door Number Two, with the electric car, right? Door Number One is a fatal choice - who would ever want to breathe those fumes?
This is the choice the world is making right now."