That’s got to hurt.
Driving through affluent parts of any municipality will likely turn up a large number of large, usually German limousines prowling about, either in the form of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (undoubtedly the benchmark in the segment), the BMW 7-Series, or the Audi A8. However, it seems that in Europe, the tables have turned and you’re now more likely to find one of the German Three’s more unconventional competitors: The Tesla Model S.
This is particularly big news for the European stalwarts. They’ve long ceded their majority in North American limousine market to the slick, silent Tesla, but to be beaten on home territory must’ve sent executives scurrying. Analysts are also saying the same thing:
“This is an alarm for the traditional automakers. [The achievement] says a smaller, but smarter brand such as Tesla can beat them at home.” — Felipe Munoz, Analyst, JATO Dynamics
According to Autonews Europe, pressure is being applied across the industry to expedite their plans for their electric cars. As it is, Jaguar is responding to Tesla’s surge in popularity (pardon the pun) by repositioning its flagship XJ as an electric vehicle in the next generation. They’re also responding to the Tesla Model X crossover by readying an I-Pace electric SUV (due at the Geneva Motor Show). And while the Germans have prepared crossovers to do battle with the Model X (in the form of the Mercedes-Benz EQ-C and the Audi E-Tron), there’s little mention of how they intend to handle the Model S saloon.
Porsche, like Jaguar, does at least have a direct rival to Tesla’s saloon in the works. The Mission E will land towards the end of this year, and will arrive in a multi-variant formation to do battle with the Brit and the American. The Mission E will be offered as a 300kW, 400kW, and 500kW model, with all variants featuring all-wheel drive and a two-speed automatic gearbox.