Marchionne thinks Electric Cars should be Better Late than Sorry!

Sergio Marchionne, boss of Fiat Chrysler (FCA) and well known woolly-jumper enthusiast, has weighed into the new Tesla 3 argument with ...


Sergio Marchionne, boss of Fiat Chrysler (FCA) and well known woolly-jumper enthusiast, has weighed into the new Tesla 3 argument with a great big dollop of scepticism and, surprise surprise, it turns out that he is not a fan of the latest Tesla offering.

Marchionne is unlike most other CEO’s who err on the side of diplomacy for fear of being made to eat their words later. On the Tesla 3, he is quoted as saying that he is not at all surprised by the high number of reservations for the latest offering, but Tesla would now be faced with the task of actually building them, then delivering them and, oh yes, making a profit whilst doing so - all things that he is not at all convinced that Tesla can do, remembering the past history of the Tesla X’s almost two-year delay and the price that the Tesla 3 will go on sale at.

At a base price of US$35,000, there are many in the industry who have raised eyebrows on how the fledgling automaker will be able to turn a profit, none more so than Marchionne who rather controversially said, “If Musk can show me that the car will be profitable at that price, I will copy the formula, add the Italian design flair and get it to the market within 12 months.”

Tesla has promised that the Tesla 3 will not be dogged by production delays in the same way that the Tesla X was, and has said that the root cause of the X’s delay was the inclusion of way too much new technology for the initial launch, coupled to insufficient supplier capacity and some internal capability. Tesla has received some 300,000 orders for the new Tesla 3, but with a current capacity of just 750 cars per week, it will take some time until the back-order is fulfilled; as of the last press release, the company is still only forecasting a total shipment of 90,000 cars for the year, across all three of their models.

Fiat Chrysler is one of the few major automakers that don’t seem to have an EV or proper hybrid programme, with just two real offerings - the Fiat 500E, which Marchionne openly encouraged people to ignore, or the Pacifica minivan (plug-in hybrid option) in its line-up; assuming, that is, you ignore the US$1.3 million LaFerrari. But the FCA boss doesn’t seem at all concerned about getting into the Electric Vehicle race late, maintaining that it is better to be late than sorry.

Still, an Alfa Spider-styled Electric Car would interest us, assuming that it went when you wanted it to go and, let’s face it, Italian cars may do well on style but they are not so famous for reliability.

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