There has long been an interesting paradox in the realm of cars. For some peculiar reason, people who buy really expensive cars are willing to make more compromises to the foibles of the car and cut them more slack. How else to explain grief that owners of Italian exotics withstood for decades in terms of reliability, ergonomics and build quality. Buyers of mainstream cars that often have far fewer problems as a percentage of the number of vehicles built have a fit at every little thing that goes wrong. That same paradox exists today. The Tesla Roadster by virtue of its price and performance falls into entry level of exotic cars. Despite numerous delays in getting the car into production, and obvious compromised in terms of its functionality, most people have been willing to cut the car and the company a lot of slack, myself included. In my case my experience in the auto industry allows me to understand the difficulty of the task Tesla had. I never actually expected them to meet their aggressive timing targets and I've written on numerous occasions about the potential problems they might have. Nonetheless most people believed in the company.

General Motors on the other hand faces an entirely different standard with the Volt. In spite having a much more complex vehicle to develop with a much greater level of functionality and a shorter time frame than Tesla, GM seems to be being held to a higher standard than Tesla. At the slightest hint of time slips or cost increases, so many people jump on GM thinking that the car will never happen. Admittedly, we have yet to see a running prototype of the Volt (although they do apparently now exist) but that doesn't mean the company isn't fully committed to making the car happen. GM's task of creating a car that will be an affordable mainstream sedan for four passengers that meets modern standards will strangely mean that customers actually expect it to work all of the time. That's a situation that the much more expensive Tesla won't face to nearly the same degree.

[Source: Motor Trend]


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