Car technology and Turkey
Think of a car. Its production has not even started yet and you have to wait a year to receive the earliest produced one.
Yet three days after the car’s announcement, 300,000 people have made advance payments, saying “I want to buy this car.”
Success is something like that.
I am talking about electric car producer Tesla and the announcement of its new Model 3.
Tesla was established in 2003 in the United States to produce electric cars. Compared with the car giants of the world, its production and sale numbers are very low.
Yet when I checked Tesla’s value on the stock market the other day, it was $35 billion compared to GM’s $46.2 billion. The famous Fiat-Chrysler was worth only $12.33 billion.
GM produces ten times more cars than Tesla. It might sound surprising then that Tesla’s value is three-fourths of GM, but looking from inside you can see that the future belongs to Tesla and that GM will have to undergo serious transformation in order to stand on its feet in the period ahead.
Tesla’s new Model 3 will be sold in the U.S. for prices starting from $35,000. With 300,000 people already pledged to buy the car, we are talking about $10 billion worth of sales.
Tesla has come to this point after being on the brink of bankruptcy several times. It was able to survive thanks to the $70 million given by Elon Musk, the company’s current director.
It took 13 years for Tesla to reach its current point. It started from zero. It almost did not use the technology of classic cars. In classic cars, the motor is at the center of the car, while everything else comes after. In Tesla cars, the battery and the computer are the main features of the car, the motor is just like any other ordinary feature of the car like it seats. With Tesla’s success, all German luxury car producers for the American market like Audi, VW, Mercedes and BMW must be thinking hard these days. Tesla’s more expensive models have already started targeting these companies markets in America.
Lessons for Turkey
I think there are important lessons here for Turkey. For years we have been looking for a “courageous guy to produce a national car.”
We have not been able to find one. That’s why our state bought a car platform from abroad and spent a tremendous amount of money.
I think that money was wasted because we keep maintaining the old mentality and acting the same. Yet the future belongs to those who will think radically different.
From now on, when we talk about the car of the future, we should talk about the battery or the computer; we should buy a company that produces good batteries.
Tesla’s batteries, when fully charged, can take you a little more than 400 km and 60 percent of the batteries can be charged in a time frame shorter than 30 minutes.
The future lies in increasing the capacity of the battery and shortening the time of charging.
For some time, the competition has been going on regarding car batteries. The question is where Turkey is in that competition. Are we a spectator on the benches, or a player in the game?
For instance, there was news about the electric bus produced by TEMSA. The bus can go 230 km when fully charged and its batteries are charged in six hours.
TEMSA is still at the beginning of the road. They need to improve the batteries.
Turkey needs to be interested with the future, not the past.