Tesla Model 3 Skips U.S. Car of the Year Competition Due to Lack of Cars

Tesla Model 3 1 photo
Photo: Tesla Inc.
The North American Car of the Year (NACOTY) awards are just around the corner, and one very important name will not be among those contesting for the title.
The Tesla Model 3 is arguably the hottest release of the year, being the first electric sedan with an accessible price ($35,000) and a long-enough range (220 miles). The Chevrolet Bolt pulled similar numbers (slightly more expensive and 18 more miles), but it's a hatchback, and we all know how Americans feel about having the backs of their sedans hatch. Besides, for those willing to pay more, the Model 3 comes with a larger battery pack for a maximum range of 310 miles.

A recent paper released by the EPA revealed that the long-range version of the Model 3 is actually capable of 334 miles on a single charge, just one tiny mile short of Tesla's record holder, the Model S 100D. And that's even before we go into the vehicle's Autopilot 2.0 system or its revolutionary air conditioning solution.

However, Tesla decided to pull the Model 3 out of the competition. The reason invoked is pretty laughable, which makes us suspect there were other considerations involved. According to Detroit News, the Palo Alto company said that "it was focused on scaling up production and could not have a car available for jury testing."

We can only speculate here, but we think our two explanations are a lot more plausible. The first has to do with the constant anti-selling of the Model 3 that Tesla's been involved with every since the reservations exploded. The last thing it needs now is more of those, and winning the contest could mean that more people find out about the car.

On the other hand, Tesla doesn't invest in advertising, so it relies only on the media, social networks and word of mouth. If the Model 3 didn't win the NACOTY award, then it would have placed a stain on the electric sedan that the company can do without.

It was a lose/lose situation for Tesla, so it decided to hide behind a poor excuse and step out of it. The competition would have been pretty stiff as well with the 2018 Alfa Romeo Giulia, 2017 Porsche Panamera, 2018 Kia Stinger or 2018 Toyota Camry, to name just a few.

That means we won't get to see the Model 3 go head-to-head with the rest of the traditional models yet, a confrontation that would have been extremely exciting and potentially foreshadowing for what's to come in the industry.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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