There was Elon Musk and now Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim. Slim is following (though he wouldn’t agree with the perception) what Musk has done in the U.S. - manufacture electric cars for the consumer market.
Slim recently announced he is entering the electric car market on a grand scale, with made-in-Mexico electric cars designed and manufactured by his existing Giant Motors enterprise. So what’s the difference between Musk’s Tesla and Slim’s yet-to-be named car? For starters it’s the price point and travel range. The Mexican electric car will be low-cost and travel shorter distances after each charge.
Tesla is decidedly an upscale luxury vehicle with a starting price of $101,000 or 2 million pesos, which is a steep price for a country where the median income is $12,800. Elias Massri, CEO of Giant Motors noted the following:
“We are developing a new Mexican electric vehicle that will not only be assembled in [Mexico], but also designed and modeled to meet the needs of Mexican consumers.”
The Mexican auto market is apparently ready to implement what it has learned from decades of building cars for U.S. manufacturers.
Carlos Slim will collaborate with a subsidiary of the Mexican bread giant Bimbo and the Monterrey Institute of Technology. The first prototype is expected to be ready in 2018 and be used as taxis. Once the enterprise switches to production mode the company will be seeking government funding. Shortly after the Giant Motor announcement General Motors announced its own plug-in hybrid the Chevrolet Volt is coming to the Mexican market as soon as this summer.
It is not known that when the Mexican electric car starts being mass produced whether exports to the U.S. will happen – currently 80% of all Mexican-made vehicles are export to the American market. A retail price for the Mexican electric car has not been announced.
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