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Chevy Volt 2.0 vs. the Tesla Gen 3 Launch Strategy

“Our new car, the Super-Duper Electric 101, with 300 miles of range, is $39,999 and is shipping TODAY.” — Said no auto executive at a launch event, ever.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — No, the auto industry is not Steve Jobs introducing the next iPhone. Typically, a car company (1) shows a prototype two years before the car hits the showroom and then (2) shows the final production car in the form of a “formal introduction” one year before the showroom date.

In other words, the standard operating procedure in the car world is to be two years ahead in terms of communicating with the consumer. Occasionally, they skip the first stage and it’s down to one year. But that’s it in most cases — one year, normally two.

In contrast, in the smartphone/computer business, companies such as Google (GOOG_) and Apple (AAPL_) nowadays either have zero lag, or no more than two weeks, from announcement to the product shipping. In fact, the entire product development cycle fits inside the last automotive launch stage of one year!

In other words, the differences couldn’t be more stark. We will never see the automotive industry do what Steve Jobs pioneered at Apple: “Our new product, …. shipping today!”

Or will we?


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