This is why the legacy automakers should be terrified of Tesla

  • Published on March 18th, 2020

Traditional automakers should be terrified of Tesla — and they are — but not because of Tesla’s success or how quickly this company has taken over the entire EV market around the world. It isn’t due to the fact that people love their vehicles or that Tesla provides over-the-air updates. It isn’t just Dog Mode, Sentry Mode, entertainment, etc. It’s a combination of all of that and more.

tesla model 3


Cleantechnica

That “more” simply means that Elon Musk, unlike what some critics claim he doesn’t do, does market research and listens to his customers. Caraoke, Dog Mode, and several other features in Tesla are due to a customer tweeting Elon and asking him for these things — despite the fact that Elon has millions of followers and his phone would die if he turned on his Twitter notifications.

He is able to see through the noise and focus on his fanbase and customers (his first tweet to me was about cats, by the way). The way he interacts with customers is why traditional automakers should be terrified.

Of course, none of the other automakers are as heavily followed as Elon Musk is either. This is why, as Quinn Nelson stated in a tweet, traditional automakers should be scared. Quinn was referring to an interaction he had with Elon in which he asked for an update and less than two months later he and several other Tesla owners got it. The update in question was detecting the driver in a seat before switching to Bluetooth. This would help a driver who is on the phone to switch the audio from the phone to that of the car as desired, not in a confusing way.

When Elon does sweet little things like these, he is showing his customers that he values them. He does this with pretty much anyone on Twitter. Some of the critics think you have to have a verified checkmark or own a Tesla to get any attention from Elon, but in 2018 I was neither and happened to write him an open letter. It was linked to my old jewelry blog. He shared it and commented on it — it totally made my day when he did that.

I am still neither a verified Twitter account or Tesla owner, but due to Elon’s random act of unexpected kindness, I am now a Tesla shareholder and reservation holder. (Hello, Cybertruck you sexy beast, you. I see you in my driveway.) The point I am trying to make is that when it comes to his customers (and us simple fans), Elon sees us and will answer our questions, weigh in our ideas and suggestions, and put them into action if they are doable or fit with his idea of the perfect vehicle.

This is why traditional automakers should be terrified. Their CEOs are not as interactive with their fan bases or their company’s fan bases as Elon is with Tesla’s and his own. In fact, they seem out of touch with the needs of their customers, while Elon scrolls through Twitter looking for memes and ways to make better cars.

(Originally appeared at our sister-site, Cleantechnica.)

About the Author

Johnna Crider is a Baton Rouge artist, gem and mineral collector, and Tesla shareholder who believes in Elon Musk and Tesla. Elon Musk advised her in 2018 to “Believe in Good.” Tesla is one of many good things to believe in. You can find Johnna on Twitter
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