Dieter Zetsche seems to have changed his mind. Tesla’s Elon Musk is now seen as “a mastermind” by Mercedes’ boss, less than a month after Dr. Z said that the electric car company is in fact too small to take into consideration.
This is not the first time the frank Daimler CEO expresses his opinions rather bluntly, especially when aiming at Mercedes’ rivals. “Tesla has promised a lot, but has also delivered most of it. It remains to be seen how that will continue,” Zetsche declared in a recent interview with Caradvice.com.au.
Asked how he and his company are seeing the abrupt progress of a company known for its technology but not for its history in the car business, Dieter Zetsche described the rise of Tesla as a constructive challenge and not an issue.
“Will Tesla’s scalability prove to be doable? What will the market response be? Is all the information Elon Musk is giving correct? It all sounds promising but as far as the economics are concerned we have to see.”
Despite pre-orders for Tesla’s new Model 3 already reaching more than 300.000 copies, Dr. Z remains convinced the electric car company is still far from becoming a true competitor for Mercedes, in the vein of BMW or Audi. “We’ve got Audi and BMW just down the road from us in Germany,” he says. “And we beat the hell out of each other every day, and it keeps you alive, awake and energetic.”