Monday, February 25, 2008

Toyota Hybrid Sports vs Tesla

Isn't it interesting that Toyota has launched its Future Toyota Hybrid Sports (FT-HS) concept on Monday claiming it has ultra high performance and ultra low fuel use and emissions. This is before Tesla Motors much awaited launch in March. Is this a pre-emption on Toyota's part to steal a bit of the spotlight from Tesla? You betcha.

The FT-HS is the combination of an electric motor and a 3.5-litre petrol engine. Toyota says its front engine, rear drive layout provides optimum performance, reaching speeds of 100 km/h in around four seconds. Tesla on the other hand is an outright pure electrical beast which can also reach 100km/h in around four seconds, drives to a distance of 394km on a full tank and guzzles 2cents to the mile...not quite guzzling at 2cents. If you look at the slick design of both cars, you will notice how edgy they both look. I would take both if I had a choice ;-)

It would be interesting to see how the new startup of Tesla Motors battles the Goliath of Toyota in a crowded market-place. Toyota with its strong distribution chain and solid reputation for producing vehicles just-in-time at minimal costs. I guess at a price tag of $100,000USD, Tesla have targeted a specific end of the car-lovers market. The same old tests will be applied, how good will I look in this car? how fast is this car? is this car reliable? does it exceed the expectations of its advertisements? is it worth $100,000USD? is there anything else that I can get for this price? how does it compare? I suppose with a sound buzz marketing campaign, a focussed target marketing approach on key early adopters and the formation of solid longterm relationships with its distributors, Tesla should create a new sustainable market for itself.

If I was marketing for Tesla, I would make everyone come to me for the first year or two. I would situate my Tesla sales yard near a racetrack or freeway and build an experience around driving the Tesla just like Ferrari. This would allow people to get a feel for the car and appreciate the experience. I would also build in other peripheral services to the Tesla like a partnership with eco-friendly businesses that would benefit and add value to the lives of Tesla customers. I would create personalised number plates and limit the first lot of Teslas. Each would symbolise the exclusivity of their purchase. I would then create a few memorable experiences for Tesla customers and build the database to stay in touch with them. Finally, I would fly in the boys from BBC's "Top Gear". Now what better exposure than those guys to experience a test-drive.

The future is looking bright for super 'green' sports cars. Imagine a new Formula 1 or Indy format using electric cars.

1 comment:

BillyWarhol said...

Both c0ol looking Cars + FAST!

the Toyota looks a little stale with that old Celica GT styling tho* Nothing too Fresh there save a coupla Mods*

I presume it will be $30 or $40 Grand Cheaper than the Tesla*