In the automobile market, there are few paths to success. General Motors has been rising in the ranks in the last few years, and there are even rumors that they’ll produce another electric vehicle.
Depending on whom you ask, General Motors’ [GM] biggest enemy is probably itself. After all, just because you can make a car, doesn’t mean that people will buy it. In today’s automobile market, there is always another vehicle being made by someone else that’s cheaper, more fun-to-drive, more economical, or has more muchness. How does GM stay on top of things?
In order to keep track of what the competition is doing, General Motors studies, and not just from afar. GM engineers get up close and personal, starting with test drives and a visual inspection. Then things start to get uncomfortable, GM engineers employing sophisticated 3D scanning cameras to build a virtual model of the car they’re studying, a Tesla Model S electric vehicle, for example. As if being poked and prodded and scanned wasn’t enough, things get dirty when GM engineers start to disassemble the vehicle, scanning piece by piece, adding to the virtual model of the car.
What does General Motors do with this information? Imagine GM’s future electric vehicle, possibly a Cadillac, built to compete against whatever Tesla Motors Model [insert letter here] is producing at the time. GM could be using information right now to benchmark the Tesla Model S, examining passenger space, aerodynamics, trunk space, weight distribution, battery construction, among other things. And why would GM need this information? As the saying goes, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” but it is also the quickest way to a lawsuit.
When General Motors finally releases their next electric vehicle, I wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t have something in common with the Tesla Model S.
Image © General Motors