There are few people who deny that Tesla makes beautiful vehicles, but many wonder why an electric car is designed in such a manner as to blend in with other high dollar luxury vehicles. Since most electric vehicles boldly say, "Look at me, I run on electricity alone", one question still remains. Why would Tesla build EVs that don't tell onlookers that this is no ordinary vehicle?
Tesla Model S designer Franz von Holzhausen answered that question in a recent interview with Wards Auto. When he was asked about the Tesla's mainstream appearance Holzhausen responded, "Tesla can't afford to use design to emphasize technological differentiation the way Toyota Motor Corp. does with its Prius hybrid. Toyota is in the mind's eye. At Tesla we don't have a very well-known brand. It's marginally known at best. We've got one product on the road. So we're building a brand at the same time as launching new technology."
Electric vehicles have traditionally been designed in such a way that they immediately stand out from the crowd. In many ways, the design is typically polarizing. Consumers either love or hate the look of most EVs. Those who are fond of the design may buy one, those who are not will simply look elsewhere. Tesla does not have the monetary funding to take that risk. They want buyers to be satisfied with the traditional design of their vehicles. Though not groundbreaking in exterior design, the vehicles are groundbreaking in many other ways.
The Tesla design model is similar to Toyota's approach on many of its product. Toyota, conservatively designs vehicles to appeal to a broad market and are extremely successful reaching millions of buyers.
Holzhausen added, "Auto industry pioneers took the same approach, basing their designs on what was familiar to the public at the turn of the 20th century. When the first cars were developed, they looked very much like the carriage behind the horse. People couldn't take that big leap of a whole new technology and a whole new look. As we develop our brand, we want to establish a strong foundation with which we can attract customers."
Though Tesla products may not have a revolutionary design, they have appeal to a broad segment of car buyers. Studies suggest that most potential EV buyers do not want their vehicles to appear different than traditional cars. So it seems that Tesla's approach of designing appealing vehicles for the masses may indeed be beneficial to the company and others may follow their design ideology.
Source: Wards Auto (Login required)