More Auto Insight from Mac - Elon Musk's Tesla a Winner? +VIDEO
By Mac Gordon
The Auto Channel
DETROIT - January 15, 2013: Elon Musk's press conference at the 2013 Detroit NAIAS was packed with a scrum that likened Musk's Tesla S (for S-class?) to three daring post-World War II icons-the DeLorean sports coupe, racy Tucker Torpedo, and eponymous Edsel (Ford).
Musk is not about to accept failure, already boasting a year's marketing through a mere 25 independent Tesla stores (half in California); several in Chicago offer the all-electric Tesla S.
Watch the complete Tesla Press Conference
The automaker CEO, Elon Musk, refuses to reveal sales numbers or production goals. He is a “listed” purveyor of stock, and keeps a lid on metrics, such as price or cost. But he confines his appearances and vehicle displays to one in Detroit-refusing to exhibit at the Chicago or New York shows this winter.
Musk has a spotty record of business ventures, raising doubts about his chances of ultimate success. The Tesla S may be the first of its kind, and Motor Trend Magazine's 2013 Car Of The Year, but so were Preston Tucker's Torpedo and John DeLorean's DeLorean! Edsel (Ford) was a dud from its 1957 birth.
Musk replies with claims of 300 miles of range, top speed of 130 mph, 416 hp and a battery lasting 125K miles.
“Worry-Free Driving,” explains Elon.
Could Elon be right-on? Is it enough that the wunderkind from Fremont closed his Motown remarks with “We're different!”