Reporting on Optimism, Faith, and the future of Electric Vehicles

Mr. Musk Goes to Detroit: We’re Trying to Help

The automotive industry spends more money than any other industry on advertising. Automotive industry digital ad spending is expected to nearly double in 3 years. The tide is shifting for the automotive and advertising industries in many ways. In the auto industry, Tesla has not had to pay a cent for their worldwide exposure beyond the events they host to unveil their newest model. The Big Three have never had an opportunity like this. If it was not clear already, Tesla has never paid for a commercial or a print ad.

This article covers Elon Musk’s (Tesla’s Chairman) trip to the Automotive World News Conference held in Detroit this past January. As an industry publication, Ad Age is the most respected source that lends insight into advertising trends. In this particular article, coverage is given to Musk who has been very fortunate for the hype over his company. The piece later on curves towards how several other industry executives respond to the Electric Vehicle phenomenon. Leaders of GM, Nissan, and Fiat Chrysler all make nods toward their future EVs but don’t completely embrace them as you might expect.

This is a written work that covers the main points of Elon Musk’s attendance at the Automotive News World Congress, but also highlights the challenges of Musk and his peers at other companies that lay ahead.

Is the electric vehicle story exhausted? When will the hype over Elon Musk end, or will it continue to grow as Tesla continues to produce more cars each year? Will Tesla’s free exposure ever stop? Will the big three ever adopt the same attitude towards Electric Vehicles that Tesla has?


3 Responses to “Reporting on Optimism, Faith, and the future of Electric Vehicles”

  1. I think this article does a great job of presenting the vision of Elon Musk objectively through his visit to the Automotive World News Conference in January. I found some of the quotes from his speech especially powerful. While standing in the GM headquarter building, he boldly states “Electric cars are just fundamentally better” and “I think we’re really going to regret the amount of carbon that we’re putting in the oceans and atmosphere”.

    The reason that Tesla has gotten so much positive publicity is because they are trying to initiate change in the industry. What I find astonishing is that Tesla opened its book of patents, offering its technology to any company that will take it. I think that concern over global climate change is rising, and as electric charging stands become more common, Tesla’s sales will soar. The hype over won’t stop, as demand for more fuel efficient vehicles is only going to increase, shown by the huge increase in sales of cars like the Toyota Prius. The next step for Musk, as the article points out, is convincing the Big Three that this is where the future lies.

  2. I thought that this was a great article for a couple reasons. The first being that in a highly consumerist world dominated by fossil fuel companies and politicians that only care about profits getting re-elected, it is such a relief to hear about someone in power doing what it takes to make a difference. We are t the point in the climate movement where we need all the big players to take the risk necessary to move to a more carbon neutral world and seeing a car company going to such extreme lengths to try to change the world is very encouraging and hopeful that we aren’t doomed for a rather bleak future.

    Like Cole mentioned, the fact that they opened up their patents to everyone for free is unheard of! That kind of dedication to making change and working for a better future seems like it’s too good to be true. I don’t think that the electric car story is exhausted just because this particular case has so many intriguing aspects. Tesla is like the Cinderella story that Americans love and I for one am rooting for a happy ending.

  3. I too thought this was a strong article, in the way it presented the futuristic plans of Tesla and the personal branding of Elon Musk without the sensationalism usually used in “cutting-edge” stories. The use of subheadings was effective in weaving the narrative about the visit to Detroit into the exposition of Tesla and the car industry.

    The use of short, staccato sentences provided a stylistic sharpness to the piece by getting right to the emotional truth of the preceding paragraph. They also reflect the efficiency and effectiveness of Musk, described as a high power, less CEO and more tech visionary. The narrative arch also begins with Musk doing well, and after describing the uphill battle of electric cars, recounts financial low points of Tesla’s founding, before concluding the article on a triumphant visionary note: “faith”.

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