Tesla looking at compact hatchback to keep European buyers happy
PARIS - US electric vehicle specialist Tesla is looking at expanding in Europe by entering the mass-market with a compact car, Chief Executive Elon Musk said this week.
"Possibly in Europe it would make sense to do, I guess, a compact car, perhaps a hatchback or something like that," the South African born tech tycoon told a European online conference on batteries hosted by the German government.
"In the US, the cars tend to be bigger for personal taste reasons," he said. "In Europe, (they) tend to be smaller."
Musk said he had had some problems parking his five-metre long Tesla Model X car in German capital Berlin.
"I was driving a Model X around Berlin and we had quite a bit of trouble finding a parking space where we could fit," he said.
The California-based carmaker currently sells 4 car models, including its mid-sized Model 3 sedan and medium-sized Model Y SUV.
All its vehicles are several tens of centimetres longer than Volkswagen's Golf, which is popular in Europe.
On a global level, Tesla is also due to market its new "Cybertruck" pickup within two years.
World’s most valuable car company
Tesla blew past the $500 billion (R7.5 trillion) market value mark earlier this week as investors snapped up its shares in the run-up to its debut in the S&P 500. This extended a meteoricrally that has seen it surge over 500% this year.
Tesla has become by far the world's most valuable car company, despite production that is a fraction of what Toyota, Volkswagen or General Motors produces.
Shares of other electric vehicle makers have also rallied in recent months as President-elect Joe Biden made boosting EVs a top priority during his campaign.