Well-Made Car is Successful, Everybody’s Shocked

Only in the car biz…Tesla Motors built a great car, people love it, people are buying it, and no one can believe it.

Tesla front

Tesla released its second-quarter results yesterday and beat everyone’s projections. Its already-hot stock jumped at the news, and Forbes, the Wall Street Journal and other financial rags are falling all over themselves to praise the new cool kid. Tesla’s shares are worth more than they were in May by a factor of three, and the company is now profitable.

Not to be simplistic, since what Tesla has done really is unprecedented, but…duh? An innovative, quality product? An alternative-fuel vehicle that drives like it was built for car enthusiasts?  A design that is clean and attractive without being polarizing? Sounds like a good recipe to me!

Tesla rear 3-4

Of course, it’s true that many great ideas never reach fruition, and that many great ideas that reach fruition never take off. But the fact that Tesla made a great car and no one can believe it makes me want to slap executives at places like Lincoln, say, or General Motors. “This!” I would say to them. “This is an example of what you should be doing, and how you should be doing it! Stop being dumb.” The Model S is a car that I, a jaded, cynical, uncompromising and hardheaded car enthusiast, WANT to drive. (Are you listening BMW, with your fugly puggle-like i3? Toyota, you know where I would like you to stick all five million iterations of that god-awful Prius. Nissan, the Leaf resembles a radioactive amoeba looking for someone to infect. Would you please put it back in the test tube?).

What I want to say is that making a great car in a new way is not rocket science. But it may be. Tesla CEO Elon Musk is a rocket scientist, actually. D’oh!

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Kudos to Tesla on the success of the Model S. May it inspire other car companies to be bold and creative. And/or not suck.