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Tesla: As Disruptive To U.S. Car Market As Toyota, Nissan Were?

In its decade of existence, electric-car startup Tesla has accomplished many things the auto industry didn't think it could do.But could Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] be as disruptive to the existing industry as were Toyota and Nissan, the two largest Japanese car importers during the Sixties, Seventies, and Eighties?That's the premise of Adam Jonas, who leads auto-industry research at Morgan Stanley. His quote ends an article in The New York Times last Friday.That column, by noted financial author James Stewart, looked at Tesla's opportunities and challenges from the point of view of a potential buyer."There’s been a seismic change," Jonas says. "The auto industry hasn’t seen anything this disruptive since the dawn of the Japanese manufacturers.”Toyota and Nissan (then Datsun)--along with later arrival Honda--offered small, fuel-efficient cars (which Detroit said no one wanted) that were more reliable than anything coming from domestic competitors (a fact Detroit ignored for three decades).Collectively, they went from selling fewer than 100,000 cars a year in the mid-Sixties to millions by the end of the Eighties.They expanded their model lines, established U.S. assembly plants (under threat of import duties), and pioneered the crossover utility vehicle, among other achievements.In 1970, General Motors alone made half the vehicles sold in the U.S. Last year, that number had fallen to 17.9 percent--an 88-year low.

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27 Aug
John Voelcker @johnvoelcker
DISCUSS : Could @TeslaMotors Be As Disruptive To U.S. Car Market As Japanese Imports Were? http://t.co/eGCfJfJ4hc #EV
27 Aug
Green Car Reports @GreenCarReports
Is Tesla Motors as disruptive to the U.S. car market as Toyota and Nissan were? http://t.co/xEFZmSy8U3