Is There a War Going on Between BMW, Tesla and Cadillac in California?

Plenty of publications went ahead and started claiming that BMW, Tesla and Cadillac are fighting for the so-called ‘geeks’ of California, the Palo Alto region to be more precise. Apart from the absolutely useless comparisons between the three models that are going at it in the region, the news were rather disappointing, having no real basis behind them. Let’s take a look, shall we?
bmw i8 1 photo
Photo: bmw
First of all, comparing the i8 and Cadillac ELR with the Tesla Model S is wrong from the get go. The first two are plug-in hybrids while the Tesla is an all-electric car that doesn’t need gasoline at all, has a huge range by comparison and emits zero CO2. This alone should disband the so-called ‘war’ between the three, especially if it’s ‘geeks’ we’re talking about.

That’s because people that fit that description are expected to know a thing or two about the cars they are buying. They are smart, well informed customers that know what they want and what they are buying. None of them will be in the dark, thinking that either the i8 or the ELR are pure electric cars.

Secondly, let’s talk about the practical issues at hand, shall we? The Tesla can fit up to 7 people inside, has two boots and is basically an SUV in sedan clothes. It’s not just practical, it will do unbelievable things. Sure, it weighs two tons but it owes that to the batteries. No surprise here.

On the other hand, the i8 has two small seats in the back and limited luggage space. It’s a sports car that is perfect for just two people, the rest of the interior space probably being used for bags and stuff. The Cadillac isn’t too far off, even though it does stick to a more conventional design as a coupe and offers a bit more space.

It would look like the Tesla has everything in its pocket. It does, to some certain point. As we said, the prospective buyers for this trio won’t make any mistake when purchasing a car. They will know exactly what they want and it will be either practicality with zero emissions or a sporty car with a hybrid setup.

However, even though they don’t exactly compete, the market is starting to cool off for Teslas. It’s not necessarily because their sales are going to the i8 and/or the ELR but rather because the market is saturated.

“I probably see a Tesla every day around here. Part of buying into a luxury brand is the distinction - in both style and whatever,” said Oakland resident, Patrick Wang, 29, for Bloomberg.

Furthermore, the i8 has a distinctive design that is highly desirable. It’s comes with plenty of innovative features as well, even though the hybrid plug-in drivetrain is nothing new. It has plenty of aces up its sleeve and it just went on sale in the US. With its limited availability and the special design, it’s more than desirable, in a different segment, though.

Friends and strangers “don’t identify it as being EV or future or that sort of stuff,” Wang said. “They just think it looks cool.”

And that’s where BMW is winning and Tesla is losing. The Model S is showing its age and the traditional look of the car is starting to pull it down in sales. Even so, people that want a true emissions-free car with plenty of practical advantages will still go for a Model S instead of the i8 or ELR. These cars are not fighting a war!
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