Consumer Reports released a report on customer satisfaction with luxury vehicles and Tesla led the pack.
Tesla owners are loyal fans of the cars which have taken the market for electric vehicles by storm. Tesla released the groundbreaking Roadster in 2011 with much acclaim but not too many sales.
The most recent Model S is even more popular and have crushed the competition. In the first half of 2017 it is estimated that 12,500 Model S’s were shipped vs 7,500 of the next closest competitor, the Mercedes S-Class.
The Tesla following is a bit cult-like, where owning a Tesla is a bit like owning a DeLorean was when the movie Back to the Future came out.
Consumer Reports says the next most popular luxury vehicle was Porsche followed by Genesis and Chrysler. Trailing at the end of the list of 30 car makers was Honda’s Acura.
While Tesla has focussed on the high end in the past, it is soon moving toward a more affordable offering with the Model 3. Base models are targeted for sale starting at $35,000 which puts it at the upper end of vehicles accessible to the masses.
Of course, the Model 3 won’t come with the bells and whistles of the upper-level siblings. That means Tesla will be transforming its identity to suit the masses as most car makers do if they want to grow.
What isn’t likely to change is the company’s leadership position in technology. Battery tech continues to move forward at unprecedented levels. Self-driving systems are also at the cutting edge but all the big manufacturers are investing heavily in this category of research.
Tesla is also attacking entirely new markets. Perhaps the most interesting is the move toward electric 18 wheelers. The trucking concept has been floated for some time but only recently did the company announce design prototypes and proposed pricing.
The initial price for its “semi” offering is $180,000 which surprised and pleased potential buyers who thought it would be more expensive. One big hurdle for the truck would be the probable size and weight of the battery. It is speculated the battery may weigh 20,000 lbs which would reduce the load capacity of the truck.
Tesla is also looking at leveraging the semi design as a pickup truck as well. Pickups are one of the biggest markets in the US, and electric trucks could be a very significant market for the car maker.