In case you missed it, TV personality Bob Lutz turned up on PBS' Charlie Rose show last week with Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk. The retired General Motors product czar was in good spirits, lavishing high praise on the upstart electric-car company.
Lutz called the Tesla Model S arriving next summer "one of the best-styled medium-sized to large-sized four-door sedans in the world today." And he told fellow guest Musk that Tesla, which has been selling only the two-seat Roadster, might succeed: "The transition to the four-door sedan, I think that will open to a much broader market and to a sustainable commercial future."
Setting up a dealer network and finding enough marketing money will be a challenge, Lutz said. Still, he said Tesla "has a high chance of success."
"They have a brilliant design staff, a very sound engineering staff; they have a great production facility in the old NUMMI plant in Fremont, California," he said.
But most important, according to Lutz, is that the Model S has a pretty face: "Part of making them want it is the design. You could have a 400-mile range, but if it was ugly, no one would buy it."