One of the most awaited cars of the year is Tesla’s fourth and most affordable model to date – the Model 3. The compact electric sedan promises a price point around $30,000 and a driving autonomy of at least 200 miles, enough to not only tackle head-on the BMW i3, but also the 3 Series Sedan.
Naturally, Tesla’s Model 3 is a topic of conversation not only among car enthusiasts, but also within the four-cylinder walls in Munich.
At the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, Ian Robertson, BMW’s head of sales and marketing, talked to Car and Driver about the new Tesla.
“In many ways, I’m very supportive of what Tesla has done,” Robertson said. “The world needs that sort of new competitor. That isn’t to say that we’re not going to be very competitive with them as well, of course—but Elon Musk has achieved a lot, and I admire what he has done.”
Robertson also mentioned the transition for Tesla from a small to a large – or at least medium size – automaker and the challenges this transition would face.
“I think that [Musk] is moving from being a startup to being a full-blown company, and he’s beginning to understand some of the challenges that brings,” Robertson added. “Those are the sort of challenges we don’t have. We are able to productionize things and move quickly in that regard.”
“The Model 3 will come, but I’m not sure of what volume it will come with, I’m not sure of the price point it will come with, and I’m not sure how good the car [will be],” Robertson said, while insisting that the iNext, which we don’t anticipate seeing until 2021, will be “the latest in electromobility” when it comes out.
Robertson also said that BMW will sell 100,000 EVs and PHEVs this year, a significant number for the global market.
“We’ll have sold 300,000 or even 400,000 EVs before any [of our major rivals] have even launched them,” Robertson said. “We think that as we go through the period between now and 2025, that number will go up to maybe 20 percent.”
One thing is clear though – the next few years will be quite interesting for all automakers who are moving towards electro-mobility and production scaling, with lots of models being planned across multiple segments and competing for a demanding customer.