Did Tesla Take A Page From Hyundai's Book?

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
did tesla take a page from hyundai s book

As enthusiastic as I am about the actual product (when everyone was ready to crap all over Tesla based on some bad information, TTAC was one of the few publications to go to bat for the upstart auto maker), Elon Musk’s series of announcements, frequently couched in hyperbolic descriptions of their significance, are beginning to grate on me. Every week, Musk seems to descend from Mount Sinai bearing yet another set of tablets that promise to “disrupt” (to use a favorite term of Silicon Valley) the automotive landscape forever, yet end up being little more than a not-quite-a-lease program or some announcement about after-sales care.

A look through TTAC’s archives shows that Tesla has in fact cribbed some of their ideas from Hyundai. While Musk has endlessly touted that his pseudo-lease program will guarantee the value of the Model S, Hyundai has been making that same promise since April of 2011.

Meanwhile, Tesla’s service program, which Musk touts as the “world’s best” seems to have a lot in common with the one created by Hyundai for the Equu s. Both involve having your car picked up from the location of your choice and exchanged with a loaner vehicle, ensuring that you never have to step foot in a smelly service department ever again.

Perhaps we’ll soon find out that Tesla overstated their mileage claims for the Model S, which would then allow us to really draw some parallels between the two companies.

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  • Lunosalpha Lunosalpha on May 07, 2013

    Wait, what was the point of this post? Did I come to TTAC or Yahoo?

  • Shaker Shaker on May 08, 2013

    I think this is the "Tesla Will Fail" prognostication thread. Maybe so, but I'd say Musk and his workers came the closest yet to a "desirable" EV, despite the limitations of the technology - viewed that way, The Model S is a success. Personally, I'd love to go crazy and spend my 401(k) money on one, and drive the coolest car ever, but this "reality" thing keeps stopping me :-)

  • Shaker Shaker on May 09, 2013

    Consumer Reports just finished testing the Model S, and gave it a 99 out of 100, which (I'm reasonably sure) is their highest score ever. The demerits listed that kept it from a perfect score: "Limited range, long charging times, access, visibility, some controls." The pluses: "Energy efficiency, acceleration, quietness, ride, handling, braking, easy-to-use touch screen, luggage capacity, fit and finish." They averaged around 200 miles of range (180 cold weather, 220 warm), but needed 12 hours for a full charge on the standard 240 volt charger. Definitely not for everybody, but a brilliant second effort (my words). Edit: CR's calculated running costs (@ $0.11 kWHr) were $1.20/gal equivalent.

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    • Truckducken Truckducken on May 09, 2013

      As someone who stopped reading CR's biased crap decades ago, I've gotta ask after seeing this preposterous figure: what score did they give the Volt? Being a product of the hated Detroit makers, I'm guessing it was slagged for long recharging times (even though there's a gas option) and using premium fuel, with a rating well south of the Prius, let alone the almighty Muskmobile. Let me speculate that if GM started selling a version of the Model S with nothing changed but the badges, it probably wouldn't crack 50 on the CR scale.

  • Thelaine Thelaine on May 09, 2013

    I agree with gslip and shaker that this is an amazing car and that Musk is a brilliant man, but I do believe this product has a tiny market that will soon be tapped out and that this company will inevitably go tits up. Which reminds me, have you seen Elon's wife? Not bad for a nerd, Elon. Don't lose all your money.

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    • Corntrollio Corntrollio on May 10, 2013

      @EchoChamberJDM "but I remember him living on a couch with friends back in 2007 or 2008 after his divorce and it was quite the story in the blog-o-sphere." Those blog stories were BS. He wrote a response to that effect at some point. Someone started a rumor that he was poor, but come on -- think about how much money the guy had. Even in the worst divorce, the wife couldn't get more than her share of the community property under California law. That's how it works. He may have been living on people's couches for emotional support or something, but I doubt. He moved on to the second wife pretty seamlessly.