Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Is Tesla the Automotive Twitter?

A typically fantastic Tad Friend piece about Tesla contains this quote from G.M.'s Bob Lutz:

The hubris of Tesla is 'We're not going to fall into the trap of being like Detroit--we're going to be the SIlicon Valley guys, nimble and innovative.' Everyone who tries to reinvent this business believes that auto companies are populated by dummies who don't understand Moore's Law. But, unlike a silicon chip, the modern automobile has to be a certain size, and carry a certain number of people, at a certain speed. Over thirty-five hundred parts from around the world have to come together at the right place and the right tie to produce sitxy to seventy of these things an hour. These things are called cars. And to make them you need a large engineering staff, a workforce that demands retirement benefits, a tax staff, a fleet of accountants, and an unbelievable amount of reliability testing that Tesla can't afford to do right now--and we can't afford not to do. Inevitably, Tesla will discover that the only way to succeed on the scale we have is to be exactly like us.

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